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Gordon25 Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:52 PM
Original message
BBV'rs: An interesting look at SAIC
While this doesn't directly bear on SAIC's contract to examine Diebold's elections software for Maryland, it nonetheless provides some data on SAIC which is most interesting, including how closely it is currently tied to this administration.

A thought, before you read the article. SAIC is not an accredited election software Independent Testing Authority and thus has not even quasi-standing to certify any election software. There is an accredited election software ITA other than Ciber, Inc., but instead, SAIC is chosen. Since Diebold's software is a trade secret, Maryland would have been liable had they given the source code to a third party unless --- Diebold gave them written approval. If Diebold knew about the flaws in the GEMS software which the internal Diebold emails pretty conclusively prove they did, and they gave permission to have SAIC examine the software, they were either knowingly opening themselves up for hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of lawsuits over a defective and misrepresented product, or -- they knew going in what would be in the report coming out. Don't see many alternative explanations, do you? Data on SAIC about halfway down the article

<snip> "According to a mid-August report by Katrin Dauenhauer and Jim Lobe in Asia Times, "Of the six billion dollars it earned in revenue last year, about two thirds came from the US Treasury, mostly from the defense budget."

"SAIC, heavily involved with homeland security projects, has already acquired several reconstruction contracts in Iraq, and Kay and a number of other former company employees are firmly planted in country. The company "has been running the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council (IRDC) since the body was established by the Pentagon in February," Dauenhauer and Lobe reported. "SAIC is also a subcontractor under Vinnell Corporation, another big defense contractor that has long been in charge of training for the Saudi National Guard, hired to reconstitute and train a new Iraqi army." And SAIC is also running the recently established Iraqi Media Network (IMN) project, whose charge was to "was to put together a new information ministry, complete with television, radio and a newspaper, and the content that would make all three attractive to average Iraqis." <snip>

So you've got a corporation who gets two thirds of its revenues from the feds, feeding freely at the trough in Iraq, dependent upon the good will of this administration (and its backers) for their continued survival, testing the software owned by a company run by conservative Republican Bush supporters who know the software contains egregious security flaws and yet give written permission to have the examination done.

Wish I could get those kind of odds in Vegas.


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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. And on top of it all
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 04:22 PM by seemslikeadream
Diebold is celebrating being chosen to provide three new customized high-tech vaults to secure the original copies of the Charters of Freedom: The U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

This is really creepy.

A little more

Founded in 1859 as a security equipment company, Diebold is a world leader in providing physical and electronic security systems and facility transaction, providing total systems solutions to financial and commerical markets. Specialized applications include card systems, which can boost productivity, convience and securtiy in the corporate and college campus enviroments. Over the past decade,
Diebold has been the primary supplier for all of the country's federal reserve banks, which includes seven bank sites and more than 20 vault doors.
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dusty64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. This stinks to high
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. Boy, does this need a kick

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lindashaw Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. Is this truly hopeless? Don't we have a chance? Make me feel better.
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Gordon25 Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. A patriotic Diebold employee...
...released to the media a week or so ago 1.8 gig's of internal Diebold emails. Not all have been yet read, but in those which have there is proof of Diebold's intent to decieve and defraud; that they have known about the security problems in the software for years and knew some elections officials used those security holes to manipulate vote totals; that they put uncertified versions of the software on elections machines during at least two elections. This is the kind of evidence that can send corporate executives to prison if an agressive prosecutor gets a hold of it. If you live in a state that uses Diebold equipment, you are the end user of that equipment. There is proof in the emails of Diebold's intent to deceive you and make you think the system is secure. Go to for details on the emails. Contact your state Attorney General and file a consumer fraud complaint against Diebold. It was your tax money that was spent buying these machines which were misrepresented as being secure.

No, things are very much not hopeless right now. Diebold is ducking and covering, playing defense, calling in political favors and allies. Elected officials are behind the curve on this. It is up to individual citizen activists to file complaints, spread the word through letters to the editor. Most of all educate yourself on the issue and then join us in the fight. If enough of us care enough to do a little bit, we can save the integrity of our vote and in the process, our Democracy.

Please don't dispair. It has been a few individual citizens who have taken up this issue and decided to do what they could which has led to this most recent release of data. The more of us that pitch in the faster we secure our vote. We can't wait until after the 2004 election. If we do, any investigation into this issue will get the same stonewall treatment any attempt to investigate 9/11 has received. Check out the Activism forum while you are at for suggestions on other things you can do. Research your state election laws. You can do it on line. The more you know the more powerful you are. Your help is needed and welcome.


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never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. Great points, Gordon
SAIC is definitely a spook outfit, except as a company they are without congressional oversight. Does anyone know if they are privately owned like Diebold??

The deeper this gets the more I am convinced they think of America as little more than any of the other banana republics that have been hijacked.
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Gordon25 Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. They bill themselves...
...on their website as "employee-owned." Don't know beyond that. I've been told by someone familiar with the BBV issue who worked with SAIC when he owned a software development firm, that their separate branches really do seem to operate separately. Of course, that was before 2000. Today, who knows? He said he would be surprised is SAIC gave Diebold a clean bill of health on the software. I guess we will see -- if the report is ever released.

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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. It sounds like a "Shadow Government"
which maintains its continuity and power no matter which party is in the majority, or what surface changes take place. In other words, much worse than the BBV scandal which is simply one piece of this larger problem.

It makes sense that the military with all its doomsday devices could hardly hand over the controls of government to just anyone. As long as the "elected" government believes it wields power, as long as the people believe they are "electing" their leaders, the military and defense contractors are free to make the real decisions.

They are not going to beat swords into plowshares when the men who make swords pay them to use swords.

Seeing the extent of SAIC's powerful involvement behind the scenes is very revealing and frightening.
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Gordon25 Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Speaking of Shadow Government...
...anybody ever hear anything about what happened to the one Cheney and crew set up underground somewhere in Virginia? Wouldn't suprise me if SAIC had a hand in setting up and running the "secure facility" where it was housed. As I recall when it was set up it was supposed to consist of two to three hundred people who would be in the secure facility 24/7, ready to step forward and take control in the event of a national emergency that killed or incapacitated elected leadership. To my knowledge it has never been dismantled. Sure like to know who's in there and what they're doing on the taxpayer's dime.

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RedEagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Gordon is a great writer!
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shirlden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Kick
:kick: n/t
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Here's what happened to one site
"Fleischer said the "shadow government" was a tightly held secret because the White House did not want a repeat of the underground bunker at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, W.Va. It was designed to protect members of Congress in a nuclear strike, but is now a tourist site rented out for theme parties."

The other one they were planning to make operational was Site R somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvannia. Isn't that where Cheney hangs upside down sleeping during the day?

God, knows what SAIC is doing in that place. But I bet it's more than supplying office furniture.
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Gordon25 Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Thanks for the update
Yeah, I think the one in PA is the operational one now, not VA as I said. And I wouldn't be surprised if SAIC has provided a "secure" roost from which Cheney could hang upside down in the facility.

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. BTW, did you guys catch this in the Times?



Those Machines, in the News Again

MAYBE it's lingering resentment over the 2000 election recount in Florida. But Democrats are crying foul over donations to Republicans from the Diebold Corporation of North Canton, Ohio, one of the country's largest makers of high-tech voting machines.

In the last three years, company officers and board members have donated more than $600,000 to President Bush and other Republicans. In a recent invitation to a big fund-raiser at his home in Columbus, Ohio, Walden W. O'Dell, Diebold's chief executive, told invitees that he was a "longtime supporter" of Mr. Bush and was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Democrats complain that it's not fair for executives from a company that makes voting machines including some used in Florida in 2000 to take sides.

"It's simply outrageous," said Mike Siegel, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Either the Republicans should return the money or these individuals need to recuse themselves. They have no business as devout supporters of the president being involved with machines used to cast ballots for him."

Mr. O'Dell defended the integrity of his voting machines and his right, as a citizen, to support candidates of his choosing. But he conceded that some might take his fund-raising letter the wrong way. The letter "certainly could have been worded better," he said.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. "Maybe it's lingering resentment..." !???????
MAYBE it the NYTimes was on top of this story with a real investigation of BBV the "MAYBE'S" would be put to bed!!!

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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Well, it's a sort of gossipy political column
All the stories are rather snide. But it's good to see the Diebold story's not disappeared at the NYT. Any coverage is good.

And "Mike Siegel, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee" looks like a good candidate to be lobbied on this issue.
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angka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
15. the thing is
that 'predictable' elections is homeland security. from a certain point of view. continuity of government, right?

the corruption runs so deep that at some point it becomes indistinguishable from the american dream...
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
16. I'm guessing most DU-BBVers have looked over the SAIC site
but for those who have not, check it out:

Company Overview

Founded by Dr. J.R. Beyster and a small group of scientists in 1969, SAIC, a Fortune 500 company, now ranks as the largest employee-owned research and engineering firm in the nation. SAIC and its subsidiaries have more than 40,000 employees with offices in over 150 cities worldwide.

SAIC is a key source for leading-edge technologies that will carry our clients into the 21st century and beyond. We help clients respond faster to opportunities, achieve more from their operations, exceed their mission requirements, and meet the competition head-on. See our industry rankings.

Who Knew?

In 1969, a small group of research scientists founded a business in a little village called La Jolla. Who knew what the future held?

Today, the scientists' business, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), is one of the world's leading providers of outsourcing and IT services, and the nation's largest employee-owned research and engineering company.

View the Video Interview with Dr. Beyster

Our information systems and technology solutions are helping speed and improve service delivery and giving decision makers better information to make decisions. Our next generation networks are helping clients create new markets in converged voice, video, and data services. Our e-business solutions are creating unprecedented collaboration and efficiency throughout complex value chains. Our wireless solutions are opening up new communications with remote areas faster and better than ever before. SAIC is also a portal to advanced technologies. We provide access to the latest technologies developed by a host of organizations worldwide, including our own world-class research organizations. We bring more than three decades of experience making new technologies succeed in real-world, real-time business. For more details see our Products & Services.

Recent Financial Information
SAIC achieved revenues of $5.9 billion, reflecting a growth rate of 2 percent over the previous year's revenues of $5.8 billion.

The current SAIC stock price is $30.50 per share for SAIC Class A Common Stock, effective July 11, 2003. This represents a 5.1% increase from the price of $29.02 established on April 11, 2003, and an increase of 5.5% from last year at this time.

SAIC files financial and disclosure documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). View our Form 10K; and our Form 10Q for the First Quarter. SAIC's filings are available on the SEC's EDGAR database (view all filings).

In addition, Forms 3, 4, and 5, filed by SAIC directors and executive officers pursuant to Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are also available on the SEC's EDGAR database (view Forms 3, 4, 5).


Founder's Profile
When he founded the company in 1969, Dr. J.R. Beyster could have followed the more traditional American process of closely holding the stock of the company among himself and a top layer of senior management. Instead, he chose from the very beginning to reward the performance of employees with stock ownership.

"Someone who is involved with the company should own a piece of it," says Dr. Beyster. "Those who really perform well are rewarded by having their stock increased. People involved in the company should share in its success."

He believes that as a result of the employee ownership philosophy, Science Applications International Corporation has become one of the largest and fastest-growing employee-owned companies in the world. When he started SAIC, Dr. Beyster had little idea that he would build a company with over 40,000 employees and over $5.9 billion in revenues.

His belief in employee ownership led him to create the Foundation for Enterprise Development and The Beyster Institute for Entrepreneurial Employee Ownership, a nonprofit organization he formed in 1986 to foster employee ownership and participation. The Foundation provides advice and resources to companies that are starting employee ownership programs or using equity compensation as a motivational tool. The F.E.D. also works actively with the Morozov Project in Russia to train Russian business leaders. Dr. Beyster believes applying the methods of employee ownership can make a real difference in the economic lives of the people living there.

SAIC was founded as a scientific consulting firm with a handful of government contracts for nuclear power and nuclear weapons effects study programs. "I was not the brilliant, flash-of-inspiration type of entrepreneur," says Dr. Beyster. "I was more of a persistent, builder type. Rather than having a grand design, we started with some contracts and a few people with ideas, and growth started to snowball."

Over the years, the company has expanded into national and homeland security programs, non-nuclear energy studies, health care systems, environment-related businesses, information technologies, high-technology products, telecommunications, transportation and eSolutions services and products for commercial and government customers.

After receiving B.S.E., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering and Physics from the University of Michigan, Dr. Beyster began his career in the early 1950's as a senior scientist at Westinghouse. He then worked as a physicist at Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratory, conducting research using a water boiler reactor and a large Van De Graaf Accelerator.

He joined General Atomic in 1957 as chairman of the Accelerator Physics Department, where he established and managed the 100-million-volt traveling wave linear accelerator facility, a self-supporting government and private research laboratory. His research on neutron thermalization led to the publication of a book entitled Slow Neutron Scattering and Thermalization by Park, Nelkin, Beyster and Wikner.

His many professional associations allow Dr. Beyster to extend his influence to a wide circle of business and academia. A fellow of the American Nuclear Society, he has served as chairman of the Society's Reactor Physics Department and Shielding Division. He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group to the Director of the Strategic Planning Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a member of the Defense Science Board Low Observable Panel.

A vigorous supporter of education, Dr. Beyster recently endowed a chair in Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Beyster has written or coauthored approximately 60 publications and reports. As the result of his professional and business success, he has earned recognition and received numerous awards.

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BevHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
18. SAIC Vice Chairman is Chairman of the Board for VoteHere
Avi Rubin: ties to VoteHere
SAIC: Vice Chairman of SAIC is the Chairman of VoteHere

If that report has even a whif of "needs verification using a cryptography solution" (of course, they aren't necessarily releasing the whole report) -- anyway, watch this carefully. I think it may be pretty transparent.

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Gordon25 Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. That's an interesting connection...
...Bev, that I hadn't twigged to, as the Brits say: "Avi Rubin: ties to VoteHere
SAIC: Vice Chairman of SAIC is the Chairman of VoteHere."

It adds to my growing conviction that the Rubin report was a straw man designed to avoid talking about your report on the flaws in the GEMS software. I can't repeat often enough that Diebold responded to the Rubin report with a line by line rebuttal but has yet to make a single public statement about the Harris report. Now that we have the emails, we perhaps understand why. They have known about the Harris reported security holes for ten years, and known about the illegal misuse of those security flaws by elections officials. Guess they might want to distract attention from that.

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BevHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. They have made a one-line rebuttal that is preposterous
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 11:33 PM by BevHarris
In the Seattle Times when asked about the GEMS hack: "If someone did that the elections supervisor would know."

What is particularly ridiculous about this statement: The Oct. 2001 internal memo from their principal engineer Ken Clark which recently surfaced, pointing to the GEMS flaw and saying that he hasn't corrected the flaw because it is handy when they need to do "end runs" around the voting system -- "King County is famous for it."

Sophia Lee, the same tech who handled San Luis Obispo, is the tech assigned to King County.

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RedEagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Kick!
SAIC, there when Diebold needs them?
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