HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Know your BFEE: Blackwate...

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 12:53 PM

Know your BFEE: Blackwater Lobbyist Will Manage the House Intelligence Committee

From the It's a Living Department:



Blackwater Lobbyist Will Manage the House Intelligence Committee

Jeff Shockey, a lobbyist for defense contractors and Academi. He will soon lead the day to day operations of the House Intelligence Committee.

BY LEE FANG
Republic Report, Dec. 18, 2014

After lobbyist-run SuperPACs and big money efforts dominated the last election, legislators are now appointing lobbyists to literally manage the day-to-day affairs of Congress. For the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees government intelligence operations and agencies, the changing of the guard means a lobbyist for Academi, the defense contractor formerly known as Blackwater, is now in charge.

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), the incoming chairman of the Intelligence Committee when the House reconvenes in January, announced that Jeff Shockey will be the new Staff Director of the committee. As a paid representative of Academi, Shockey and his firm have earned $80,000 this year peddling influence on behalf of Academi.

In previous years, the House Intelligence Committee has investigated Blackwater over secret contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. As Staff Director, the highest position on a committee for a staff member, Shockey will oversee the agencies that do business with his former employer.

Shockey also represents a number of other companies with business before defense agencies: General Dynamics, Koch Industries, Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance, Innovative Defense Technologies and Boeing.

SNIP...

Other committees are also hiring lobbyists. Congessman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) replacement as chair of the Oversight Committee, just hired Podesta Group lobbyist Sean McLaughlin as his new Staff Director. McLaughlin’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a trade association for corporate CEOs of large firms. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) also hired a new chief of staff, Mark Isakowitz, who represents BP.

SOURCE: http://www.republicreport.org/2014/blackwater-lobbyist-will-manage-the-house-intelligence-committee/

"Money trumps peace." -- pretzeldent George Walker Bush, Feb. 14, 2007 really means the family continues its reign as the World's Merchants of Death.

32 replies, 5666 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Know your BFEE: Blackwater Lobbyist Will Manage the House Intelligence Committee (Original post)
Octafish Dec 2014 OP
Chuuku Davis Dec 2014 #1
Octafish Dec 2014 #2
daleanime Dec 2014 #3
Octafish Dec 2014 #5
Mnemosyne Dec 2014 #4
Octafish Dec 2014 #6
Octafish Dec 2014 #7
Initech Dec 2014 #8
Octafish Dec 2014 #10
Scuba Dec 2014 #9
Octafish Dec 2014 #11
Quantess Dec 2014 #12
Octafish Dec 2014 #14
JEB Dec 2014 #19
Octafish Dec 2014 #30
JEB Dec 2014 #13
Octafish Dec 2014 #15
JEB Dec 2014 #18
wildbilln864 Dec 2014 #16
Octafish Dec 2014 #17
wildbilln864 Dec 2014 #20
G_j Dec 2014 #27
Ramses Dec 2014 #21
Octafish Dec 2014 #24
RiverLover Dec 2014 #22
Octafish Dec 2014 #25
Initech Dec 2014 #23
Octafish Dec 2014 #28
Cleita Dec 2014 #26
Octafish Dec 2014 #29
Orsino Dec 2014 #31
Octafish Jan 2015 #32

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 12:58 PM

1. Money talks

Give $500,000 to your congresscritter and they will bark for you

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Chuuku Davis (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:04 PM

2. Heroically Bark

Know your BFEE: WikiLeaks Stratfor Dump Exposes Continued Secret Government Warmongering

War is big business. It's an insider's game. It's why we have so much secret government.

The last remaining enormous wads of cash in the Treasury are to be had for purchasing today's modern military industrial intel complex.



There's more than a trillion to be grabbed -- just for the Lockheed-Martin F-35.

Now keeping tabs on us -- people interested in using some of the nation's treasure for more peaceful purposes -- are for-hire spies. How do I know this? Julian Assange and Anonymous:



WikiLeaks' Stratfor Dump Lifts Lid on Intelligence-Industrial Complex

WikiLeaks' latest release, of hacked emails from Stratfor, shines light on the murky world of private intelligence-gathering


by Pratap Chatterjee
Published on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 by The Guardian/UK

What price bad intelligence? Some 5m internal emails from Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based company that brands itself as a "global intelligence" provider, were recently obtained by Anonymous, the hacker collective, and are being released in batches by WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing website, starting Monday.

The most striking revelation from the latest disclosure is not simply the military-industrial complex that conspires to spy on citizens, activists and trouble-causers, but the extremely low quality of the information available to the highest bidder. Clients of the company include Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, as well as US government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Marines.

SNIP...

Assange notes that Stratfor is also seeking to profit directly from this information by partnering in an apparent hedge-fund venture with Shea Morenz, a former Goldman Sachs managing director. He points to an August 2011 document, marked "DO NOT SHARE OR DISCUSS", from Stratfor CEO George Friedman, which says:

"What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor's intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like."


CONTINUED...

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/28-10?print



If it weren't for Anonymous and WikiLeaks, we probably wouldn't know about any of that.

It's no joke. It's no unimportant story. It's no boring history. Run by insiders, the secret government is key to making the system run on behalf of the few -- the 1-percent of 1-percent. Central to that is intelligence -- economically, politically and military useful information.

Which brings up the nation's purported free press, the only business mentioned by name in the entire United States Constitution, and how the organizations therein have miserably failed to feature prominently the sundry and myriad ways the insiders on Wall Street and their toadies in Washington do the work for Them.

The problem is systemic. The corruption is systemic.

Because it involves oversight of secret organizations -- the Pentagon, Homeland Security, CIA, etc -- Congress and the Administration often have no clue, let alone oversight, to what is happening because the corruption is marked "Top Secret."

Secret government also means We the People can't do our job as citizens, which is to hold them accountable and find the ones responsible in order to vote the crooks out and, it is hoped, the honest ones in.

With no citizen oversight, anything goes. And it doesn't stop.

Remember this fine fellow, US Navy fighter ace Randy "Duke" Cunningham?

Later a member of the United States Congress, he used his position to feather his nest, Big Time.



In his political career, Cunningham was a member of the Appropriations and Intelligence committees, and chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Human Intelligence Analysis and Counterintelligence during the 109th Congress. He was considered a leading Republican expert on national security issues.

Until recently, he resided in USP Tuscon or another fine facility where he got three squares, medical and dental.
Upon his release, FWIU, he was able to pick up his pension.

"The Duke Cunningham Act, also known as the Federal Pension Forfeiture Act, was introduced by U.S. Senator John F. Kerry in 2006. The bill would have denied pension benefits to any members of Congress convicted of bribery, conspiracy or perjury. The bill died in committee. (Source: The Press Enterprise)


Duke wasn't alone. He really was just one snake in a long line of snakes. Remember Dusty Foggo, Number 3 at CIA and close associate of CIA Director and former Congressman Porter Goss? Swells sitting atop the peak of political and military secrecy and power.

Unfortunately, when it comes to modern governance, no oversight means means the insiders are getting away with murder, and warmongering and treason and all the power that they bring. Appointed pretzeldent George W Bush on Valentine's Day 2007 put it in words: "Money trumps peace."



Secret government warmongering and war profiteering are systemic. Secret government is rotten to the core. What's more, in a democracy that once really was land of the free and home of the brave, secret government poses the greatest threat to true national security.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:08 PM

3. K&R....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to daleanime (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:30 PM

5. Gentlemen who don't want to get their hands dirty call MURDER Inc cough BLACKWATER.

Now they can call in the drones.



C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones

By JAMES RISEN and MARK MAZZETTI
The New York Times
August 21, 2009

WASHINGTON — From a secret division at its North Carolina headquarters, the company formerly known as Blackwater has assumed a role in Washington’s most important counterterrorism program: the use of remotely piloted drones to kill Al Qaeda’s leaders, according to government officials and current and former employees.

The division’s operations are carried out at hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the company’s contractors assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft, work previously performed by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency. They also provide security at the covert bases, the officials said.

The role of the company in the Predator program highlights the degree to which the C.I.A. now depends on outside contractors to perform some of the agency’s most important assignments. And it illustrates the resilience of Blackwater, now known as Xe (pronounced Zee) Services, though most people in and outside the company still refer to it as Blackwater. It has grown through government work, even as it attracted criticism and allegations of brutality in Iraq.

SNIP...

In interviews on Thursday, current and former government officials provided new details about Blackwater’s association with the assassination program, which began in 2004 not long after Porter J. Goss took over at the C.I.A. The officials said that the spy agency did not dispatch the Blackwater executives with a “license to kill.” Instead, it ordered the contractors to begin collecting information on the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s leaders, carry out surveillance and train for possible missions.

“The actual pulling of a trigger in some ways is the easiest part, and the part that requires the least expertise,” said one government official familiar with the canceled C.I.A. program. “It’s everything that leads up to it that’s the meat of the issue.”

CONTINUED...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/us/21intel.html

Gee. That's something else to hate Risen for.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:11 PM

4. It should boggle the mind, but somehow it just doesn't anymore. Happy Holidays, Octafish!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:36 PM

6. Gotta admit that it does take the risk out of the ''Checks & Balances'' part of the Constitution.

An old U.S. Army saying: "The best way to predict the future is to make it happen."



What better way to protect and serve the interests of the American military contractor than having a seat at the head of the table?

Take Carlyle Group, please:



Behind the Curtain: Booz Allen Hamilton and its Owner, The Carlyle Group

Written by Bob Adelmann
The New American; June 13, 2013

According to writers Thomas Heath and Marjorie Censer at the Washington Post, The Carlyle Group and its errant child, Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), have a public relations problem, thanks to NSA leaker and former BAH employee Edward Snowden. By the time top management at BAH learned that one of their top level agents had gone rogue, and terminated his employment, it was too late.

For years Carlyle had, according to the Post, “nurtured a reputation as a financially sophisticated asset manager that buys and sells everything from railroads to oil refineries”; but now the light from the Snowden revelations has revealed nothing more than two companies, parent and child, “bound by the thread of turning government secrets into profits.”

And have they ever. When The Carlyle Group bought BAH back in 2008, it was totally dependent upon government contracts in the fields of information technology (IT) and systems engineering for its bread and butter. But there wasn't much butter: After two years the company’s gross revenues were $5.1 billion but net profits were a minuscule $25 million, close to a rounding error on the company’s financial statement. In 2012, however, BAH grossed $5.8 billion and showed earnings of $219 million, nearly a nine-fold increase in net revenues and a nice gain in value for Carlyle.

Unwittingly, the Post authors exposed the real reason for the jump in profitability: close ties and interconnected relationships between top people at Carlyle and BAH, and the agencies with which they are working. The authors quoted George Price, an equity analyst at BB&T Capital: "[Booz Allen has] got a great brand, they've focused over time on hiring top people, including bringing on people who have a lot of senior government experience." (Emphasis added.)

For instance, James Clapper had a stint at BAH before becoming the current Director of National Intelligence; George Little consulted with BAH before taking a position at the Central Intelligence Agency; John McConnell, now vice chairman at BAH, was director of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the ‘90s before moving up to director of national intelligence in 2007; Todd Park began his career with BAH and now serves as the country's chief technology officer; James Woolsey, currently a senior vice president at BAH, served in the past as director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and so on.

BAH has had more than a little problem with self-dealing and conflicts of interest over the years. For instance in 2006 the European Commission asked the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Privacy International (PI) to investigate BAH’s involvement with President George Bush’s SWIFT surveillance program, which was viewed by that administration as “just another tool” in its so-called “War on Terror.” The only problem is that it was illegal, as it violated U.S., Belgian, and European privacy laws. BAH was right in the middle of it. According to the ACLU/PI report,

Though Booz Allen’s role is to verify that the access to the SWIFT data is not abused, its relationship with the U.S. Government calls its objectivity significantly into question. (Emphasis added.)

Among Booz Allen’s senior consulting staff are several former members of the intelligence community, including a former Director of the CIA and a former director of the NSA.


As noted by Barry Steinhardt, an ACLU director, “It’s bad enough that the [Bush] administration is trying to hold out a private company as a substitute for genuine checks and balances on its surveillance activities. But of all companies to perform audits on a secret surveillance program, it would be difficult to find one less objective and more intertwined with the U.S. government security establishment.” (Emphasis added.)

CONTINUED w Links n Privatized INTEL...

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/15696-behind-the-curtain-booz-allen-hamilton-and-its-owner-the-carlyle-group



PS: Most importantly: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Peaceful New Year to You and Yours, Mnemosyne!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:18 PM

7. Who is Jeff Shockey? An erudite blogger's POV...

Last edited Tue Dec 23, 2014, 04:37 PM - Edit history (1)

FOOL US ONCE, SHAME ON ME….FOOL US 1000 TIMES, OK SO EXACTLY HOW FAR DO YOU WANT US TO BEND OVER…

by GOOEYBUDSRADIO
Dec. 20, 2014

The brazenness of our leaders and their corporate owners and OUR terminal stupidity never ceases to amaze me. I mean, did we not just go through national debates on torture, spying and similar abuses, along with the appropriate hand wringing from our leaders and promises to “do better”. Well, at the same time they were decrying these abuses, they were preparing to make Jeff Shockley the new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Who is Jeff Shockley? None other that the lobbyist for Blackwater, the top of the food chain for America’s wannabe Gestapo mercenary Corporations.

I have heard of the Fox guarding the henhouse, but the Corp/1% have even bigger balls than I had thought possible. Ahh…but if you read the article you will see who else Jeff represents. The infamous Koch Brothers. These boys have been buying America’s Republican leaders for sometime now and are the money men behind the Tea Party …..and Citizens United, the folks who just got their ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to get their lackeys elected expanded by the budget add ons that “kept our government running”. They used to try to hide their subversion and perversion of the Democratic process. Now they do not even care if you know.

So America, just how stupid are we as a people? We have a cadre of bozos from among us whining that the new overtures to Cuba will hinder their ability to achieve Democracy. They know so much about Cuba, but not that their own country is no longer a Democracy. It is not a Democracy when your choices for leaders have been vetted, bought and paid for by an elite monied minority. These same Americans defended our use of torture, yet point fingers at oppressive regimes. I guess it is ok to torture others, just not your own people. I would suggest it is a VERY short road from the first to the second, and the actions of our police across the land indicate we have started down that road.

Every time I think Americans are starting to come out of the daze they have been in and are beginning to see just how stupid the Corp/1% think we are, something like this happens. Then I realize, they just may be correct in their assumption we are cattle to be led and used at their whim and pleasure. The Corp/1% are smart, have an agenda and are bold in their actions….we are none of that. But I am one of the “terminally optimistic”. I keep believing we will shed our chains and demand what is right. But then again, I have to consider that the terminally optimistic just might be a dumber subset of the terminally stupid. I hope this is not the case.

SOURCE: http://theoracleonourmatrix.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/fool-us-once-shame-on-me-fool-us-1000-times-ok-so-exactly-how-far-do-you-want-us-to-bend-over/

Mo' info: http://link.nationalmemo.com/5390c0f9dd52b8141a0165e323im7.51mz/VJVWtEmOUt1aYhLiA7c9c

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:31 PM

8. Money trumps peace all the time every time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Initech (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 04:05 PM

10. How the CIA Sold Obama on Counterinsurgency by Drone Assassination

?itok=s1LJFU_y

New Leaked WikiLeaks CIA Document

How the CIA Sold Obama on Counterinsurgency by Drone Assassination

by DAVID H. PRICE
CounterPunch, Dec. 23, 2014

Last week, WikiLeaks released a June 2009 CIA report on “Best Practices in Counterinsurgency: Making High-Value Targeting Operations an Effective Counterinsurgency Tool.” The report is classified secret and labeled “NoForn,” designating that it should not be distributed to non US nationals.

SNIP...

What the Post and others miss is the role this CIA report played in larger conversations about counterinsurgency strategies among members of the CIA, Pentagon, Congress, White House, and corporate military profiteers. In 2009, these conversations focused not only on the roles counterinsurgency should play in warzones, but whether this counterinsurgency should be based on soft power models (providing needed services, etc.) or hard power models (like Project Phoenix in Vietnam, or JSOC’s targeted assassination programs in Iraq). While this leaked document is only a single report, it provides a view into the types of intelligence analysis that informed President Obama’s rapid increased use of CIA HVT drone operations targeting individuals, including American citizens, in Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

This 18-page CIA report reads like a Harvard International Relations dissertation proposal—an observation more about audience, than author–as it reviews data on past HVT programs, weighing the “positive and negative implications of targeted assassinations” in select insurgency campaigns around the world. High-Value Targeting refers to “focused operations against specific individuals or networks whose removal or marginalization should disproportionately degrade an insurgent group’s effectiveness. The criteria for designating high-value targets will vary according to factors such as the insurgent group’s capabilities, structure, and leadership dynamics and the government’s desired outcome.”

SNIP...

The importance of this leaked report is the view it provides us of how the CIA privately talked to itself and the Executive Branch, in part aping a pose of comparative social science, as it sold a new generation of assassination campaigns designed to thwart the development of insurgent political movements challenging American military interests. This report feeds an attraction to lethal counterinsurgency that has lured liberal American presidents from Kennedy to Obama, and plays to a certain form of intellectual arrogance nurtured at elite universities.

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/23/how-the-cia-sold-obama-on-counterinsurgency-by-drone-assassination/


It really is looking that way, Initech. All the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 02:55 PM

9. Can we say Fascism* yet?

 

* "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 04:27 PM

11. Blackwater, torture and US imperialism

by Joseph Kishore
World Socialist Web Site, 24 October 2014

EXCERPT...

The perpetrators of these crimes remain at large. They include top officials in the Bush administration (President Bush himself, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and many others), who planned and launched a war on the basis of outright lies. They include top military and CIA officials, who carried out a war of terror against the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan, employing torture and mass killings as an instrument of policy. They include the leaders of the Republican and Democratic Parties, who sanctioned wars that have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. And they include leading personnel in the mass media, who worked to sell these wars to the American people.
Since coming into office in 2009, a central focus of the Obama administration has been to prevent any accountability for the crimes that have been committed—and continue to be committed—by the military and intelligence apparatus. The Democratic president and his key aides are among the many unindicted co-conspirators.

It is instructive to compare the jury decision on the Blackwater massacre to a hearing the day before in front of another district court judge in New York City. That case involves the ongoing attempts by the Obama administration, spanning six years, to block the release of 2,100 photos of torture carried out by the US military in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House has sought to keep the photos secret en masse on “national security” grounds—a rationale that it has also used to cover-up NSA spying, forced feeding of Guantanamo Bay inmates and other crimes. Judge Alvin Hellerstein has given the administration a December 12 deadline to provide specific reasons for withholding from public view each of the photographs.

According to a report yesterday in the WSWS, the torture photos “are said to be more disturbing than those released in 2004 showing the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib…They include soldiers pointing guns at the heads of detainees who are hooded and bound, soldiers beating detainees with their fists or objects, soldiers posing with groups of bound and restrained prisoners, soldiers posing with corpses, and, in at least one case, a female soldier pointing a broomstick at the rectum of a hooded detainee.”

The maneuvers of the Obama administration in the courtroom come at the same time as the White House continues its attempts to prevent the release of a Senate investigation into “medieval” torture, including “holding [detainees] under water until the point of death,” carried out by the CIA. Earlier this year, the CIA was caught spying on Senate staffers preparing the report, and the Obama administration has since worked with the spy agency to ensure that if anything is released, it will be heavily redacted.

According to human-rights lawyer Scott Horton, in an interview with The Intercept, “the battle plan” of CIA Director John Brennan and the Obama administration is to delay release of the CIA report until after the midterm elections in November. They hope that an anticipated victory in the Senate for the Republican Party will ensure that the report is permanently buried, without requiring the Democrats to perform this dirty deed themselves.

SNIP...

Torture, drone assassinations, massacres, extra-judicial killings—such are the methods of the American ruling class in asserting its interests all over the world. The Obama administration has continued and deepened the policies of its predecessor. It is currently escalating another war in the Middle East, while preparing new and even bloodier crimes. In Ukraine, it has worked with mercenaries embedded with right-wing and fascistic organizations as part of operations to assert US dominance in Eastern Europe. A recent document released by the US Army outlines a strategy of preventive war in every region of the world, singling out China and Russia as particular potential targets.

CONTINUED...

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/10/24/pers-o24.html

So. Il Duce's observation is supported by analysis from the Left and the facts before our eyes. Thanks for watching and grokking what's on the scope, Scuba.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Dec 24, 2014, 12:15 AM

12. Looks like a good thread.

I'll read it when I have more time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Quantess (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 02:30 PM

14. Appreciate that, Quantess. Details from LIL SIS...

More stuff we don't see on the tee vee, thanks to Lil Sis (the antidote to Big Brother):



SOURCE w/details: http://api.littlesis.org/maps/457-former-blackwater-academi-lobbyist-to-manage-the-house-intelligence-committee

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 09:22 PM

19. Bought and paid for coming and going.

 

This is a far cry from democracy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JEB (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 01:20 PM

30. NSA Chief Bet Money on AT&T as It Spied on You

DARK MONEY

by Shane Harris
The Daily Beast, 11.03.14

The former head of the world’s biggest spy agency didn’t just oversee the collection of billions of AT&T records. He also tried to make money off its customers.

At the same time Gen. Keith Alexander was running the National Security Agency, the United States’ biggest spying outfit, he was also trading stocks in an obscure technology company that had a sweetheart deal with one of the NSA’s most important sources of intelligence—the global phone and Internet giant AT&T.

In 2008, Alexander bought and sold tens of thousands of dollars in stock in a company called Synchronoss Technologies Inc., based in Bridgewater Township, N.J., according to the retired Army general’s financial-disclosure forms. You’ve probably never heard of Synchronoss, but, like the NSA, it probably knows who you are. If you’ve ever activated a new iPhone or synced your personal information across multiple devices—such as your phone, and your home and office computer—there’s a chance that Synchronoss’s technology helped make it happen. The company’s customers are some of the largest telecommunications service providers in the world—including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable—along with their more than 3 billion mobile subscribers.

Back when Alexander was an investor, Synchronoss was providing the technology that activated and “locked” all new Apple iPhones onto AT&T’s network. The carrier was then the exclusive voice and data service provider for the popular new iPhone, so Alexander stood to profit every time someone bought an iPhone and automatically became an AT&T customer.

The NSA also had its own special relationship with AT&T. Under secret court orders, the agency was then hoovering up the phone records of AT&T’s subscribers and pouring them into a database of who called whom in the United States, stretching back several years. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NSA also had secretly installed communications surveillance equipment in some of AT&T’s offices, under orders from President George W. Bush. AT&T is arguably the most important source of communications for the NSA’s eavesdroppers because the company owns and operates a huge portion of the United States mobile, landline, and Internet infrastructure.

The deal between AT&T and Synchronoss wasn’t a secret, but Alexander’s financial stake in it was. The NSA only handed over his financial-disclosure forms showing that he was an investor in October, following a lawsuit by investigative journalist Jason Leopold. The agency initially had claimed that revealing any of Alexander’s investments could jeopardize national security.

CONTINUED...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/03/nsa-chief-cashed-in-on-at-t-as-it-spied-on-you.html?via=newsletter&source=CSMorning

It is a far cry from democracy, JEB. The good general, now in retirement, heads a company specializing in real estate and mineral extraction industries, FIMA, Inc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Dec 24, 2014, 01:56 AM

13. K&R for the original post and subsequent informative posts and links.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JEB (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 02:36 PM

15. Thanks, JEB! It's go-go-go for War Inc. Yet, NOTHING much in the newspaper or on tee vee.

From a real reporter:



Blackwater Lobbyist will Manage Intelligence Committee

by LEE FANG
Republic Report, Dec. 18, 2014

After lobbyist-run SuperPACs and big money efforts dominated the last election, legislators are now appointing lobbyists to literally manage the day-to-day affairs of Congress. For the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees government intelligence operations and agencies, the changing of the guard means a lobbyist for Academi, the defense contractor formerly known as Blackwater, is now in charge.

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), the incoming chairman of the Intelligence Committee when the House reconvenes in January, announced that Jeff Shockey will be the new Staff Director of the committee. As a paid representative of Academi, Shockey and his firm have earned $80,000 this year peddling influence on behalf of Academi.

In previous years, the House Intelligence Committee has investigated Blackwater over secret contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. As Staff Director, the highest position on a committee for a staff member, Shockey will oversee the agencies that do business with his former employer.

Shockey also represents a number of other companies with business before defense agencies: General Dynamics, Koch Industries, Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance, Innovative Defense Technologies and Boeing.

The role reversal, for lobbyists to take brief stints in Congress after an election, has become a normalized. In a previous investigation for The Nation, we found that some corporate firms offer employment contracts with special bonuses for their staff to return to government jobs, ensuring the paycut the receive for passing through the revolving door to become public servants doesn’t have to alter their K Street lifestyle.

Other committees are also hiring lobbyists. Congessman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) replacement as chair of the Oversight Committee, just hired Podesta Group lobbyist Sean McLaughlin as his new Staff Director. McLaughlin’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a trade association for corporate CEOs of large firms. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) also hired a new chief of staff, Mark Isakowitz, who represents BP.

SOURCE w/links to details: https://www.republicreport.org/2014/blackwater-lobbyist-will-manage-the-house-intelligence-committee/



Thank you very much for wondering about all that is in the newspaper and on tee vee, JEB!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 09:20 PM

18. Beyond corruption. IMHO it's institutional fascism.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 03:34 PM

16. and a big K & R! n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wildbilln864 (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 09:20 PM

17. Remember when Blackwater threatened to kill State Department inspector in Iraq?

Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater

By JAMES RISEN
The New York Times, JUNE 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports.

After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.”

“The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves,” the investigator, Jean C. Richter, wrote in an Aug. 31, 2007, memo to State Department officials. “Blackwater contractors saw themselves as above the law,” he said, adding that the “hands off” management resulted in a situation in which “the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and in control.”

His memo and other newly disclosed State Department documents make clear that the department was alerted to serious problems involving Blackwater and its government overseers before the Nisour Square shooting, which outraged Iraqis and deepened resentment over the United States’ presence in the country.

CONTINUED...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/us/before-shooting-in-iraq-warning-on-blackwater.html?_r=4

Odd how there's so much on Blackwater and Death Inc to know, yet Corporate McPravda is silent.

Now why would the nation's mass media be silent on Blackwater criminality?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 10:27 PM

20. I do remember.

 

"Now why would the nation's mass media be silent on Blackwater criminality? "
because they are owned and in cahoots!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 01:59 PM

27. Yes,

it's all so very far beyond the pale at this point.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 10:31 PM

21. The rot goes deep

 

The infiltration of sociopaths in our goverment is very significant. These right wing dirtbags are a growing out of control cancer in all of our systems of government.

Im not sure what the answer is but to expose them and expose those who support sociopaths like the entire Bush clan

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ramses (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 12:44 PM

24. NSA data could be most useful for connected types on Wall Street.

The "Take" could be very, very, large. And, after it's sifted, make for a very, very large payday.



Gosh, maybe financial success isn't determined by hard work or who you know. It's just what you know and when you learn it.



CIA moonlights in corporate world

By EAMON JAVERS
Politico, 2/1/10

In the midst of two wars and the fight against Al Qaeda, the CIA is offering operatives a chance to peddle their expertise to private companies on the side — a policy that gives financial firms and hedge funds access to the nation’s top-level intelligence talent, POLITICO has learned.

In one case, these active-duty officers moonlighted at a hedge-fund consulting firm that wanted to tap their expertise in “deception detection,” the highly specialized art of telling when executives may be lying based on clues in a conversation.

The never-before-revealed policy comes to light as the CIA and other intelligence agencies are once again under fire for failing to “connect the dots,” this time in the Christmas Day bombing plot on Northwest Flight 253.

SNIP...

But the close ties between active-duty and retired CIA officers at one consulting company show the degree to which CIA-style intelligence gathering techniques have been employed by hedge funds and financial institutions in the global economy.

The firm is called Business Intelligence Advisors, and it is based in Boston. BIA was founded and is staffed by a number of retired CIA officers, and it specializes in the arcane field of “deception detection.” BIA’s clients have included Goldman Sachs and the enormous hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, according to spokesmen for both firms.

CONTINUED...

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/32290.html#ixzz0eIFPhHBh



You are spot-on, Ramses. Exposing the crooks is the first step to getting rid of their influence. I am troubled that the Department of Justice has so startlingly failed in doing its part of the job.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 10:59 PM

22. "Shockey will oversee the agencies that do business with his former employer."

I wonder if he gets a $22 million bonus from Blackwater for getting an oversight position of Blackwater, like Weiss is getting from Lazarus for overseeing Lazarus & their other wall street friends?

Our govt has without Q been taken over.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to RiverLover (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 12:50 PM

25. Stratfor: executive boasted of 'trusted former CIA cronies'

By Alex Spillius, Diplomatic Correspondent
9:08PM GMT 28 Feb 2012
The Telegraph

A senior executive with the private intelligence firm Stratfor boasted to colleagues about his "trusted former CIA cronies" and promised to "see what I can uncover" about a classified FBI investigation, according to emails released by the WikiLeaks.

Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at the Texas firm, also informed members of staff that he had a copy of the confidential indictment on Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

The second batch of five million internal Stratfor emails obtained by the Anonymous computer hacking group revealed that the company has high level sources within the United States and other governments, runs a network of paid informants that includes embassy staff and journalists and planned a hedge fund, Stratcap, based on its secret intelligence.

SNIP...

Mr Assange labelled the company as a "private intelligence Enron", in reference to the energy giant that collapsed after a false accounting scandal.

CONTINUED...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9111784/Stratfor-executive-boasted-of-trusted-former-CIA-cronies.html

PS: Call me old-fashioned or an old fossil, but I remember when people served in government to help build a better nation, not a bigger bank account. Now, thanks to Secret Government and the Wall-Street-on-the-Potomac, like 9-11 and Carlyle Group, things have changed -- especially for the 1-percent of 1-percent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 11:05 PM

23. You might as well give the alcoholic the keys to the liquor store.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Initech (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 08:57 PM

28. Aided and abetted by BFEE Judges who say it's OK to profit from inside information.

Corruption Is Now Officially Legal in the U.S., ''But Must Be Done Right''

by Erich Zeuss
GlobalResearch.ca

On December 10th, Wall Street’s federal appeals court, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that if inside information about what is going to happen to a corporation is taken advantage of by an investor, it’s okay, so long as the source of the inside-tip isn’t directly paid for passing it along.

In other words, if you have friends who have inside information that they received from their friends, they are free to pass it along to you, and you are free to pass inside information that you possess along to them to pass along to others, but neither of you is permitted to pay the other for any inside tip — the information can legally be acted on only if the tipper is not paid for the tip.

CONTINUED w/links...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/corruption-is-now-officially-legal-in-the-u-s-but-must-be-done-right/5419612

As long as the "Right" people keep getting richer, per GOP thinking, it's the law.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 01:53 PM

26. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cleita (Reply #26)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 09:05 PM

29. Blackwater/ Xe is just a corporate false front organization for the CIA.*

30 False Fronts Won Contracts for Blackwater

By JAMES RISEN and MARK MAZZETTI
The New York Times, September 3, 2010

WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, according to Congressional investigators and former Blackwater officials.

While it is not clear how many of those businesses won contracts, at least three had deals with the United States military or the Central Intelligence Agency, according to former government and company officials. Since 2001, the intelligence agency has awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates, according to a United States government official.

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week released a chart that identified 31 affiliates of Blackwater, now known as Xe Services. The network was disclosed as part of a committee’s investigation into government contracting. The investigation revealed the lengths to which Blackwater went to continue winning contracts after Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September 2007. That episode and other reports of abuses led to criminal and Congressional investigations, and cost the company its lucrative security contract with the State Department in Iraq.

The network of companies — which includes several businesses located in offshore tax havens — allowed Blackwater to obscure its involvement in government work from contracting officials or the public, and to assure a low profile for any of its classified activities, said former Blackwater officials, who, like the government officials, spoke only on condition of anonymity.

CONTINUED...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/04/world/middleeast/04blackwater.html?_r=2&ref=global-home&

* Learned the above thanks to DU: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022781265#post8

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 02:02 PM

31. Our new majority will be carefully supervised. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Orsino (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 8, 2015, 10:34 PM

32. James Risen: The Post-9/11 Homeland Security Industrial Complex Profiteers and Endless War

By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview
Sunday, 16 November 2014 00:00

EXCERPT...

Mark Karlin: In your third chapter, you state that the "corporate leaders at its vanguard can rightly be considered the true winners of the war on terror." You refer to these people as post-9/11, corporate entrepreneurs and opportunists. Can you provide a couple of brief examples?

James Risen: In chapter three, I focus on corporate leaders who have largely tried to avoid the limelight, but have nonetheless been among those who have profited the most from the war on terror. People like the Blue brothers, whose company, General Atomics, has produced the Predator and Reaper drones, the signature weapons of the global war on terror.

I also write about J. Philip London, executive chairman of CACI, the huge defense and intelligence contractor that was caught up in the Abu Ghraib scandal but then managed to continue to thrive in the war on terror, and Robert McKeon, a clever Wall Street maven who acquired Dyncorp as it profited from rival Blackwater's problems. McKeon eventually committed suicide, and the sale of assets by his estate after his death provided a glimpse at the massive wealth accumulated by the corporate leaders who benefit from being on the top rung of the war on terror.

Your prologue refers to the "homeland security-industrial" complex (including the related wars since 9/11) costing an estimated $4 trillion. Where did all that money go?

The Homeland Security Industrial Complex operates differently than the traditional Military Industrial Complex. Instead of spending on ships, airplanes and other big weapons systems, much of the money goes to secretive intelligence contractors who perform secret counterterrorism work for the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon and other agencies. Because it is all classified, there is no public debate about the massive amounts of money being poured into these contractors. And with little oversight, there is no way to determine whether these contractors have performed well or poorly. Four trillion dollars is the best estimate for the total price tag of the war on terror, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much of it has gone to shadowy contractors. It is one of the largest transfers of wealth in American history, and yet it has gone largely unnoticed.

Part III of Pay Any Price is entitled "Endless War." You divide this section into chapters focusing on "The War on Decency," "The War on Normalcy" and the "The War on Truth." That is an inversion of the government-vaunted war to protect Homeland Security into an immoral attack on the nation's moral integrity. How did we arrive at such an abandonment of our ethical standards?

If you recall, just after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney famously said that "the gloves come off." What that really meant was that the US was deregulating national security, getting rid of the rules and regulations that had governed national security since the post-Watergate reform era of the 1970s. As a result, we have conducted the war on terror in a climate in which there are few rules or limits on American actions. The message was clearly sent throughout the government that nothing should get in the way of stopping any future terrorist attack - and that message created a dangerous climate that we still live in today.

You discuss the relentless and tenacious persecution of whistleblowers under the Bush and Obama administrations (with the pace steadily picking up under the latter). In your many examples, you describe the harassment and shunning of Diane Roark, a staff member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Can you briefly explain what she tried to expose and how she was hounded into retirement and beyond?

I consider Diane Roark to be one of the unsung heroes of the post-9/11 era. A former Reagan White House staffer, at the time of 9/11 Roark was the House intelligence committee staffer in charge of oversight of the National Security Agency. Soon after 9/11, NSA staffers told her about the NSA's new domestic spying operation. She immediately realized that it was illegal, but at first thought it must be a rogue operation. She went to the staff director and minority staff director at the House intelligence committee to warn the chairman and ranking member about the operation, but the word came back that she should keep her mouth shut and stop talking about it. She realized that the chairman and ranking member already knew about it.

She then started to try to warn other senior officials that she knew throughout the government about the program, but found at every turn that they already knew about it and were involved in a massive cover-up. Finally, she had a dramatic showdown with NSA director Michael Hayden about the program, in which she told him that it was illegal. He responded that if it ever became public, the NSA and the Bush Administration could count on the "majority of nine" - meaning the approval of the Supreme Court. She then tried to get a message to the Supreme Court chief justice, but never heard back. She never leaked to the press and retired from the government depressed that she hadn't been able to stop the program.

Years later, after The New York Times disclosed the existence of the NSA domestic spying program, the FBI raided her house, because they wrongly thought that she was the source for the story. She had kept her concerns within the system and was still persecuted. Her case shows that it would have been impossible for Edward Snowden to stay within the system and do what he did.

KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root), at the time it was first contracted as a multibillion-dollar contractor to support the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere), is described in detail by you as a company "too big to fail" in the war on terror. Can you provide some highlights?

KBR was by far the largest military contractor in the Iraq war. It provided food, housing and other basic services to US military personnel in Iraq and throughout the war received about $39 billion in contracts. At the peak of the war, KBR had more personnel in Iraq than did the British Army. The United States simply could not have fought the war in Iraq without KBR. By providing almost all basic services in combat zones for US military personnel, KBR allows the United States to fight wars without a draft.

If the Army doesn't need soldiers to peel potatoes and instead has contractors do it, then it can fight wars of choice with a relatively small volunteer Army, and thus doesn't need to seek the political approval of American voters before it goes to war. So KBR is critical to the war effort; thus the chairman of the largely toothless commission on wartime contracting threw up his hands and wondered aloud whether KBR was too big to fail.

KBR was investigated for a series of problems - including the electrocution of US soldiers in barracks in Iraq with faulty wiring and the use of massive burn pits at US bases in Iraq that allegedly led to lung problems among US military personnel. But despite the investigations, KBR kept its massive contracts.

CONTINUED...

http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/27425-james-risen-the-post-9-11-homeland-security-industrial-complex-profiteers-and-endless-war

No wonder so many people in the same crowd who like seeing Siegelman incarcerated also want to see Risen behind bars. The truth hurts!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread