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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:13 AM
Original message
Clark's Axicom answer, is it the truth?
How does CAPPS II, which I know many air-traveler advocacy groups are concerned about, not do that, not step over the line? Or does it, now that it's about to be in place?

CLARK: Well, I don't know about CAPPS II because I have not seen the program, and I don't think many of the people who are worried about it have.

Here's what I believe. I believe that we need to use all of the tools and tradecraft at our disposal to help keep this country safe. And we need to do so in a way that doesn't violate people's privacy.

And when I was consulting with Axiom -- and I was on the board of the company, and I did take them around and introduce them to various members of the United States government, the Defense Department and so forth, because their technology will improve our security.

But I was insistence that we do so with a firm grip on the privacy issues. Had I still been on that board when all this was going through, I would have insisted that ACLU and others be brought in to pre-approve CAPPS II. Whether that was done or not, I have no idea.

CLARK: But there's nothing intrinsic in the system that we're using that can't be made fully compatible with all of the privacy concerns.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39875-20...

Clark, a Democrat who declared himself a presidential candidate 10 days ago, joined Acxiom's board of directors in December 2001. He earned $300,000 from Acxiom last year and was set to receive $150,000, plus potential commissions, this year, according to financial disclosure records. He owns several thousand shares of Acxiom stock worth more than $67,000.

snip

"As a consultant, he helped the company win a government contract worth an undisclosed amount to provide data and consulting services to the CAPPS II program."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A7380-2003Sep2...

MANCHESTER, N.H. Retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark pitched a security software firm to high-ranking Bush administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, earning nearly $500,000 for his lobbying work, according to records provided by the Democratic presidential contender's campaign.

Clark also contacted the CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency and other federal agencies in an attempt to land Acxiom Corp. a contract for the controversial CAPPS II airline passenger screening system. The Little Rock, Ark.-based company won a contract to help develop the system.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cl...


How does Clark know is "nothing intrinsic in the system that we're using that can't be made fully compatible with all of the privacy concerns" when he admits that he doesn't "know about CAPPS II because "he has "not seen the program"?

I'm not ready to make any judgements but that seems just a little fishy.
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Ummm
:boring:
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Maybe he sould have done some of the previous debates.
I'm just starting to look at this stuff because frankly I thought it was a conspiracy theoryish thing, but it was in the debate tonight.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. It was probably sent to Fox
by one of the DU anti-Clark people who post it here all the time OR Fox people spend a lot of time here and got the information from the 10 threads a day on the subject. Rush reads DU, I'm sure Fox does too.
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Well this thread has a new aspect so it's not recycled junk,
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 12:23 AM by cynicalSOB1
which I honestly detest.

The question is directed as to whether his debate answer was the truth.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. He's a man of his word.
If he said he didn't know anything about CAPPS II and was not working there at the time......I believe him.
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Fleshdancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. do you know him personally? n/t
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. What Is Your Candidates Plan To Deal With Airline Safety?
Is he aware of Hart Rudman Report, Gore's Commision on Airline Safety and Terrorism, 9/11?

Did you know that what Axciom was working on was called for in The Gore Commission's Report?

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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I'm not making judgments but his time as a defense lobbyist is fair play.
Don't try to change the topic, it's the possibility of a lie that I don't like. Did he know what was in it or didn't he?
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. He Answered The Question. So Call Him A Liar
if that's what you want to believe.
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. So there aren't any conflicting statements or facts?
We have 10 threads in 3 hours about Dean hollering a bit but a thread on a debate answer is to much to ask. I didn't participate in any of the old one's. If Clark is the nominee I think I have a right as a Democrat to ask questions.
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maxr4clark Donating Member (639 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. Here's the situation
Axciom is a database company, based in Little Rock. Lockheed-Martin is the company that does CAPPS II. CAPPS II uses information that comes from Axciom's databases. When Axciom discovered, shortly after 9/11, that they had information on 11 of the 18 terrorists, they thought the government might be interested in knowing that. They contacted Clark, who introduced Axciom to the government agency that was funding Lockheed-Martin to make CAPPS II.

When he represented Axciom to Lockheed-Martin, as he said in the debate and as I had previously read in a Washington Post article, Clark stressed that the information must be used in a way compatible with existing privacy rights.

Clark did not lie in the debate. Clark does not know whether CAPPS II makes appropriate use of the information that Axciom provides or not. He acted as a salesman on Axciom's behalf, selling a raw material (in this case, information) to Lockheed-Martin. Whether Lockheed-Martin makes appropriate use of that information is a very important issue, and Clark pointed that out to them. If CAPPS II violates privacy rights, though, that is Lockheed-Martin's failure, not General Clark's. Clark represented the civil liberties correctly to the company that might violate them.

Clear enough?
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Crystal clear to me. Thanks, maxr :) n/t
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Clear. That's an answer.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. How do you know what he stressed to Lockheed-M regarding privacy rights?
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 02:31 AM by Dover
Do you have a document of some kind to share? That would certainly help clear this up. Any document or corporate presentations previous to his announcent for candidacy would be helpful.

But, in general, having lobbiests filling major positions of government, as we have been learning the hard way, opens up all kinds of conflict of interest issues. Are we always going to be in a position where it comes down to whether we are going to "believe" someone is telling the truth about their apparent conflicts of interest? Bushco certainly expects that.

In fact I think lobbiests ought to be prevented from running for the presidency and other high office and those leaving high government positions ought not to become lobbiests that provide access for corporations.
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hilzoy Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:26 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. Here's something.
Not e.g. his actual powerpoint presentation, but at least an eyewitness account:
"Government and industry officials who have attended meetings with Clark described him as thoughtful and persuasive. Jones, the Acxiom official, said Clark repeatedly stressed the need to "properly balance legitimate privacy interests and the need for security." Jones said that was a core theme of Acxiom's effort to win government contracts."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=artic...

And from Salon: "Acxiom won a contract from the Pentagon to assist in building a passenger database called CAPPS IIthat airlines would use to screen for potential terrorists. According to an Acxiom executive and government officials who attended the meetings, Clark was vigilant about insisting that privacy rights be balanced with security needs." (From Salon, Sept. 28 2003; unfortunately, I didn't save the url.)
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maxr4clark Donating Member (639 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:45 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. See other response; and...
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 03:50 AM by maxr4clark
I told you what evidence I had in #18. If you want more than that, find it yourself.

As for trust, the answer is yes, we have to trust candidates to tell the truth about their pasts, their present, and their intentions for the future. We shouldn't trust blindly, but at some level we have to trust people.

And we have to make the people who betray that trust, like Bush has, pay through the nose so it doesn't happen often. That is precisely why you hear Clark talk about holding Bush accountable for taking us to war on bad information, for keeping the process of government behind closed doors, and for potentially misusing the Patriot Act. He has said he wants to have congressional hearings on those issues, and frankly I've been a bit surprised that the other candidates haven't called for that as well. There appears to me to be ample evidence to justify such hearings.

I have looked into Clark's past as carefully as I can, given that I have other responsibilities in life. I have gone searching for what he did at Axciom; for what the connection is between him and the SOA; for what he said before Congress in September 2002. Based on all of the checking I have done, Clark's character is unblemished. Given such a clean record of checked statements, I'll take his word at the debate and a corroboratory article at face value.

Feel free to judge him by your own standard, but you had better be able to back up any claims that he is lying--not questions like the one you posed, but claims--because unsupportable claims of dishonesty are, in my book, slander.
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
11. whats fishy is how he critisizes ex-generals who go lobbying
after retirement and then he does the very same thing.

Its not his job to "see the program".

Its his job to be able to get appointments with people who can sign contracts. Pure and simple.
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. So he didn't pitch the actual product at all?
It was just, call could we have an appointment type stuff? Did he sit in on the pitches?
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. not having been there I cannot say but it doesn't matter
most likely they let the "technical people" talk with the "techical people" and had the sales rep talk to the generals and he likely sat in on that at least for a time. Could have gone wandering after getting people introduced chatting with "the gang".

The ability to have calls answered and to get appointments is why you hire ex-generals to hawk your product.

If he says its wrong for other generals, why isn't it wrong for him ?
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Beats me. But that's another one to ask at a debate,
if he ever goes to one again.

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
15. I'd feel much better if he could point to something concrete
Something like what he said about bringing in the ACLU, that demonstrates some concern about civil liberties.

I've heard claims before like the one there about his insisting on following civil liberties, but I haven't heard how. Can he produce a memo, a document, something? Maybe he can, but I haven't seen it.

I really think he was just an ordinary lobbyist, looking out for the company, not the citizenry, unless he can prove it. Not because he's a bad person, but this is SO important and this is the presidency he's running for.
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Agreed. I'd like to see concretely whether or not he knew the basics...
and whether or not he asked if there were civil rights concerns. I need something concrete too.

Do we want a regular lobbyist representing our party? It's an important question because the Republicans will play this in a big way if he gets the nomination.

I'll be nice and not whip out the Kerry lobbyist stuff. Tonight is a night for at least some peace. :)
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
17. Privacy Villain of the Week: Gen. Wesley Clark & Acxiom


More information has come to light in the JetBlue/CAPPS II incident regarding the role of data broker Acxiom and its rainmaker-slash-board-member (and now-presidential candidate) Gen. Wesley Clark.

Privacy Villain of the Week:
Gen. Wesley Clark & Acxiom

You may recall that the incident involved a strange cross-pollination of executive agency functions as a U.S. Army contractor, Torch Concepts, tested a program purportedly intended for the Transportation Security Administration, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. That program is CAPPS II, the air-travel customer profiling system set to go online early next year, assigning every American who travels by commercial airliner a color-code based on a purported threat level generated by computer algorithms.

The JetBlue scandal arose when it was found out that the airline violated its privacy policy by releasing 5 million "passenger name records" to Torch Concepts. Torch Concepts then crossreferenced those records with information from data-broker Acxiom. That information included such data as gender, residence information, children, Social Security Number, vehicles, occupation and income. In a presentation foolishly posted to the web, complete with at least one passenger's social security number, the test system seemed to flag everyone who wasn't "Young Middle Income Home Owners with Short Length-of-Residence" or "Older Upper Income Home Owners with Longer Length-of-Residence" as a potential terrorist threat worthy of extra airport searches by federal TSA agents.

Acxiom's sale of that data would seem to violate its privacy policy, as outlined in the complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC):


    "Acxiom displays a US Privacy Policy on its website providing in pertinent part:
    'Acxiom respects the privacy of every individual about whom we have information. Acxiom and our associates (employees) pledge to conduct our business according to these principles:

    "Notice, Access and Choice -- Acxiom recognizes that individuals should be informed about how information about them is used and have choices about the dissemination of that information . . .

    "'Acxiom displays on its website Access, Notice, and Choice provisions providing in pertinent part:

    "'Notices should be provided that explain the collection, use and distribution of personally identifiable information. Most importantly, individuals should have the choice to opt out of the use of their data in marketing campaigns if they so desire. Similarly, Acxiom believes individuals should have access to information a company has about them that will be used for commercial reference purposes. Acxiom conforms to all legal and self-regulatory guidelines for providing an individual with notice, access and choice . . . . Acxiom does not provide any information, whether public or non-public, to individuals. Acxiom also does not allow our clients to make any non-public information available to an individual. Acxiom does allow our clients to make only public record and publicly available information available to individuals in the form of commonly used and accepted real estate research tools and public listing searches via the Internet. . . .'

    "There is no evidence that Acxiom provided notice to or obtained the consent of any passengers whose personal information was sold to Torch Concepts for the purposes of the study. . . .

    "Acxiom's sale of personal information to Torch Concepts violated its US privacy policy and Notice, Access, Choice provisions, and constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice in or affecting commerce within the meaning of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a)."


Now, how did Acxiom get this contract? Look toward a story buried on page A9 of the Saturday Sept. 27 Washington Post, where it is reported that Gen. Wesley Clark, who became a member of Acxiom's board after his retirement, went hard to work trying to increase the value of his share of stock in the firm by meeting "on the company's behalf with officials at the Department of Justice, the CIA, the Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Administration and Lockheed Martin Corp., the defense contractor that is heading up CAPPS II."

That article also reported that back in January 2002, when TSA was still a part of the Department of Transportation, "In a meeting at the in January 2002, according to participants, Clark described a system that would combine personal data from Acxiom with information about the reservations and seating records of every U.S. airline passenger."

<snip>

http://www.nccprivacy.org/handv/031006villain.htm
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TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
21. aaaaaaaaaaaagh!
WHY is it that every time this comes up, I still haven't seen anyone spell Acxiom properly???? Just how can anyone raise questions about a company that they can't even spell???? It makes the research (if there ever even was any) look worse then pathetic... how does one even DO any internet research on a company that they can't even spell right????

ONE MORE TIME: it is ACXIOM! A-C-X-I-O-M!

They even have a website (and they know how to spell their own name): http://www.acxiom.com/
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maxr4clark Donating Member (639 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Sorry...
I did it wrong in #18 above, too. But if you look for it on Google, you find stuff in the press under both spellings. And it doesn't say "Did you mean Acxiom?", either, since it's not in any dictionary.

The moral: search Google with lots of possible spellings! And for companies, don't use f***ing unpronouncable spellings, people don't remember them and then nobody can figure anything out. And don't name your daughter Jhannet, either, please.
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hellhathnofury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. BFD
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
22. As usual Clark is asking us to suspend our suspicion and concerns
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 02:24 AM by Dover
regarding the facts and his affiliations, and believe that he WOULD have done XYZ....

I still can't imagine why the Dems haven't called him on all this stuff. Maybe they figure he'll help dillute Dean's lead...

Or maybe partisanship itself is dilluted to the point where the line between Democrat and Republican is so fluid that distinctions are moot, and corporate lobbiest is just another name for politician.

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maxr4clark Donating Member (639 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. Not in the least

The truth is just getting lost in the translation from Military Standard English to what you and I speak. My first job out of college was to help write a standards document for a think tank, so I used to know MIL-STD-ENGLISH fairly well.

Someone on Clark's staff should sit up with him tonight and make lists of the top ten questions he's been asked on the campaign trail, and show him how to answer them quickly and conclusively in a debate, so they don't keep getting asked.

Faux News sure did their best to keep the candidates from saying anything very informative tonight, and to pry out of our candidates what their first response to the Republicans' attacks are going to be. Whoever let Brit Hume be a panelist for a Democratic debate should be fired.
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
29. There seems to be a lot that DUers know
that the General doesn't.

His answers to those questions reminded me of that guy from Enron who was stupid enough to testify in front of the Senate and didn't seem to know anything about anything. He had a BA from Harvard I believe.

That was interesting. Disappointing too. Bush Sr's career became what it did becasue of his innate ability to "not know" things.

Julie
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