The Carlyle Group-Busted! But Skates On Much More.

May 23, 2009
Carlyle Group

Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group, primary home for half of the former Reagan and Bush administration defense, CIA chiefs and presidents 41 and 43 was nabbed in a play for pay scheme throwing $13 million in bribes to New York pension fund directors to elicit contracts. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said:

Carlyle had agreed to $20 million to “resolve its role” in the ongoing corruption investigation and agreed to a new code of conduct that prohibits the use of such middlemen.

Carlyle enlisted the aid of a “fixer”, Hank Morris, and “paid Morris through shell companies he controlled”.

Carlyle then received more than $730 million in New York state pension funds for five different projects, according to Cuomo.

Carlyle employees also made about $78,000 in campaign contributions to Comptroller Hevesi’s campaign in 2005 and 2006, according to Cuomo, some solicited by Morris.

Finally.  Carlyle caught with it’s pants down mooning the public.

But the whole deal seems amateurish and penny ante compared to their propensity for buying up military contractors before and while declaring “war on terror”.

General Dynamics Tank

General Dynamics Tank

Carlyle chairman, Frank Carlucci, former defense department chief during the Reagan years and head of defense contractor, General Dynamics, was unhappy about the fortunes of his industry during the late 1990’s.  Firms had been consolidating, business was slow.  The wars waged by the Reagan-Bush administration were winding down, The Cold War barely a memory. Contracts, previously lucrative, were trickling in.  Carlyle and the rest of the military-industrial complex despaired at the military’s “socialism” and wanted more of it handed over to the private sector.

In 1997 Carlyle Group bought United Defense Industries.  The company’s prospectus describes its mission manufacturing:

Combat Vehicle Systems, Fire Support, Combat Support Vehicle Systems, Weapons Delivery Systems, Amphibious Assault Vehicles, Logistics and Training Support, Intelligent Munitions, and Marine Repair.

….United Defense was upgrading existing vehicles. The company was also busy developing the next generation Crusader Field Artillery System, designed to replace the M109A6 Paladin, and was hoping to land a $20 billion Crusader production contract in 2000. The company was also developing a Composite Armor Vehicle and a Grizzly minefield-breaching vehicle.

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, President George Bush and his administration launched immense military initiatives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas, and these initiatives greatly impacted the U.S. defense industry. In December of that year, United Defense went public on the New York Stock Exchange and was awarded many new contracts.

Iraq soldiers

Iraq soldiers

Carlyle snapped up Cercom, Inc.

In 2004, United Defense acquired Cercom Inc., which specialized in developing armor protection for soldiers as well as for defense vehicles.

From the New York Times:

Cercom, an advanced materials company based in Vista, Calif., began making enhanced plates for the Pentagon this summer and said it was working round the clock to fill its part of the military order.

Weren’t there complaints and desperate calls for help from soldiers and their families for more body and vehicle armor?  Did president Bush send them into the field with inadequate armor from his own company? Just asking.

War is  business.  An eternal war is very good business.

In July 2002, United Defense acquired United States Marine Repair, the country’s largest non-nuclear ship repair, modernization, conversion, and overhaul company. United Defense’s work with the U.S. Army was bolstered as well when, in 2003, the company was awarded a $2 billion contract by Boeing Co. to develop five types of manned ground vehicles (MGVs) for the Army.

From Funding Universe, above:

As the country’s war efforts continued, United Defense’s first quarter revenues in 2004 increased 17 percent, with sales from the Defense System division generating the bulk of the first quarter growth in 2004. These were attributed, in particular, to Bradley Fighting Vehicle upgrades, spare parts, and ramped-up development programs including the Army’s Future Combat Systems and the Navy’s new destroyer program, DD(X).

What a lovely pair of warmongers: Bush with the Carlyle Group, United Defense, Cercom.  Cheney running Halliburton and KBR.  What a racket!  We know the costs and cost over runs for no-bid Halliburton and KBR were enormous.  Could we see the same pattern for United Defense and Cercom?  Did I forget to mention the CIA and Defense Department officials that sit on the Carlyle board?  And how about the Saudi royal family, close associates of Osama and the bin Ladins and countrymen of 13 of the 15 airline hijackers that plowed into the World Trade Center towers to start the Iraq(!!!!???) invasion? What a tangled web they weave.

In 2008 The Carlyle Group acquired Booz Allen, the global management and intelligence consulting firm, for $2.54 billion.

Dick Cheney-sneers

Dick Cheney-sneers

Bush I with Saudis

Bush I I with Saudis

Bush I with Saudis

Bush I with Saudis

A recent deal between Booz Allen and the Carlyle Group has been deemed a national security threat by the Service Employees Union International. The government of Abu-Dhabi holds high stakes in the Carlyle group, and this new union of Booz Allen with the Carlyle Group risks allowing the foreign government access to national security information. Booz Allen is headquartered in Mclean, Virginia and is one of the oldest management consulting firms in the world. The company is one of the largest contractors to the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency. The ties between Booz Allen and intelligence agencies are very close. Former intelligence agency officers have held the position of vice president for Booz Allen and a retired CIA deputy director referred to Booz Allen as “the shadow intelligence community.”

From Democracy Now!:

Mike McConnell, Booz Allen and the Privatization of Intelligence

Mikemcconnell

Mike McConnell, the man President Bush tapped to replace John Negroponte as National Intelligence Director, has been a leading figure in outsourcing U.S. intelligence operations to private industry. McConnell is a former director of the National Security Agency and the current director of defense programs at Booz Allen. We take a look at McConnell and the privatization of intelligence with journalist Tim Shorrock.

McConnell is a former director of the National Security Agency and the current director of defense programs at Booz Allen—one of the nation’s biggest defense and intelligence contractors. Under his watch, Booz Allen has been deeply involved in some of the most controversial counterterrorism programs run by the Bush administration, including the infamous Total Information Awareness data-mining scheme. McConnell has also been a leading figure in outsourcing U.S. intelligence operations to private industry.

McConnell has since the 2008 election stepped down from the top spy post as DNI and returned to Booz-Allen. He has been replaced by Admiral Dennis Blair.

President Bush rushed through FISA and the Patriot Act to ensure the legal authority for comprehensive, high stakes, “drift-net” style and satellite spying capacity on all communications, cell phones, emails, internet searches, medical records, bank accounts, etc.  The FBI has been afforded similarly advanced legal authority and technological support to spy on Americans.  President Obama has gone a step further-shielding telecomunications companies such as Verizon and AT&T and government officials from privacy violations lawsuits.  Obama has also included funds in the stimulus package to  hook up the nation to the telecommunications grid, digitize and upload personal medical files, examining them without consent or knowledge.

Looks like Obama’s going to follow in the Bush-Cheney footsteps. General Michael Hayden, Obama’s NSA spymaster, and the man who doesn’t believe in “probable cause” provisions or search warrants, is George Bush’s old CIA partner.

Bush I with General Hayden

Bush I I with General Hayden

Soros-ex-Carlyle Group member

Soros-ex-Carlyle Group member

Obama’s favorite companies seem to be General Electric, Microsoft and Google. They, too, will reap the benefits of data mining in the “war on terror”.  I wonder what’s in it for him?  Oh yeah, his mentor George Soros owns 6 million shares of Halliburton?  Guess we know where this is headed.

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Tim Geithner Rules the World

May 1, 2009
G. Bush 'splainin'

G. Bush 'splainin'

The George Bush administration wanted a unitary executive and sovereign immunity.  So does the Obama administration. Both view perpetual crisis and war on “terror” as vehicles to absolute power. The paid for congress is merely a rubber stamp. The end of an independent congress (if there ever was one) means the end of the voice of the people.  Surely, the shadowy groups that nominate presidents are now the true authorities controlling the vehicle of government. If one needs more proof that what now exists in America is a corrupt and self-seeking duopoly, or that the Bush administration has set up the oligarchic table to be run by the Obama clique, consider this article from NPR:

Bambi thinkin'

Bambi thinkin'

Perhaps no single aspect of the proposed bailout illustrates the shift so well as the Bush administration’s request to endow the Treasury secretary with nearly absolute control of the $700 billion measure. The measure sent to Congress by the U.S. Treasury includes this clause: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

Jon Macey, a professor and deputy dean of Yale Law School, says the bill contains the largest transfer of power from Congress to the administration that he has ever seen. Macey says Congress is handing over more power than it did in granting the executive branch leeway in the Patriot Act, more than when authorizing combat through the war powers clause.

He says the move amounts to a sidelining of Congress. Macey says: “Imagine you’re going to a partner you’ve been working with for the last 200 years: ‘I’m not going to fire you; you can still be called Congress. But you don’t have any power.

For heaven’s sake, these guys are the cronies of Kissinger and George Soros and the Carlyle Group.  Why are we letting them run our country?

Soros lyin'

Soros lyin'

Geithner prevaricatin'

Geithner prevaricatin'

Already, Geithner has presided over the biggest bailout give away to financial institutions in the history of the world. Taxpayers have taken a hit for billions, even trillions, with most of the money shoved into pass-throughs to other institutions or into a black hole of accountability, whence nothing will return.  The giveaway is an experiment. Geithner and Co. don’t know what they’re doing.  But our boy has much more on his plate.  The whole world waits, hat in hand for Geithner’s make or break decisions. This guy wields breathtaking power in a  job that pays $191,300 per year.

So he’s not in it for the salary.

Here is a brief rundown of the international financial institutions under Geithner’s thumb. And so I wonder:  Whose thumb is Geithner under?  And where does all of that money go?  According to Wikipedia, our Secretary of the Treasury is:

The Chief Financial Officer of the government, the Secretary serves as Chairman Pro Tempore of the President’s Economic Policy Council, Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, and as U.S. Governor of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Power over the economies of foreign nations is implicit in the interconnection of  these private and public lending institutions that dominate much of the world.  Take the IMF for example, many developing or financially troubled nations detest the it for these reasons:

… conditions placed on troubled countries is that the governments sell up as much of their national assets as they can, normally to western corporations at heavily discounted prices.

Argentina and Kenya are two examples of nations severly undercut by IMF policies. Again per Wikipedia:

poverty Asia

poverty Asia

Argentina, which had been considered by the IMF to be a model country in its compliance to policy proposals by the Bretton Woods institutions, experienced a catastrophic economic crisis in 2001, which some believe to have been caused by IMF-induced budget restrictions — which undercut the government’s ability to sustain national infrastructure even in crucial areas such as health, education, and security — and privatization of strategically vital national resources. Others attribute the crisis to Argentina’s mis-designed fiscal federalism, which caused subnational spending to increase rapidly. The crisis added to widespread hatred of this institution in Argentina and other South American countries, with many blaming the IMF for the region’s economic problems. The current — as of early 2006 — trend towards moderate left-wing governments in the region and a growing concern with the development of a regional economic policy largely independent of big business pressures has been ascribed to this crisis.

poverty Latin America

poverty Latin America

Foreign privatization of another nation’s vital resources is colonization without the extra expense. From the same article as above:

Another example of where IMF Structural Adjustment Programmes aggravated the problem was in Kenya. Before the IMF got involved in the country, the Kenyan central bank oversaw all currency movements in and out of the country. The IMF mandated that the Kenyan central bank had to allow easier currency movement. However, the adjustment resulted in very little foreign investment, but allowed Kamlesh Manusuklal Damji Pattni, with the help of corrupt government officials, to siphon off billions of Kenyan shillings in what came to be known as the Goldenberg scandal, leaving the country worse off than it was before the IMF reforms were implemented. In an interview, the former Romanian Prime Minister Tăriceanu stated that “Since 2005, IMF is constantly making mistakes when it appreciates the country’s economic performances”.

Impact on Public Health

In 2008, a study by analysts from Cambridge and Yale universities published on the open-access Public Library of Science concluded that strict conditions on the international loans by the IMF resulted in thousands of deaths in Eastern Europe by tuberculosis as public health care had to be weakened. In the 21 countries which the IMF had given loans, tuberculosis deaths rose by 16.6 %.

In Indonesia, Geithner, author of the IMF cure for the Asian economic crisis, was a catastrophe.  Paul Keating, Australia’s then Prime Minister viewed Geithner this way:

Soeharto’s government delivered 21 years of 7 per cent compound growth. It takes a gigantic fool to mess that up. But the IMF messed it up. The end result was the biggest fall in GDP in the 20th century. That dubious distinction went to Indonesia. And, of course, Soeharto lost power.

Tim Geithner’s father Peter, director of the Asia program of the Ford Foundation was probably complicit in the military coup that installed Suharto.  His son finished the country off with monetary policy.

This week Geithner told a committee of the IMF and World Bank that the economic crises in Asia, Latin America and Africa are unprecedented since the Great Depression. He called for wealthier lender nations to contribute higher amounts to stave of a financial meltdown and human disaster.

A World Bank and IMF report warned on Friday that the crisis means up to 90 million more people will remain trapped in extreme poverty this year while the chronically hungry could top one billion.

Some documentaries related to the IMF:

Life and Debt, a documentary film, deals with the IMF’s policies’ influence on Jamaica and its economy from a critical point of view. In 1978, one year after Jamaica first entered a borrowing relationship with the IMF, the Jamaican dollar was still worth more on the open exchange than the US dollar; by 1995, when Jamaica terminated that relationship, the Jamaican dollar had eroded to less than 2 cents US. Such observations lead to skepticism that IMF involvement is not necessarily helpful to a third world economy.

The Debt of Dictators [3] explores the lending of billions of dollars by the IMF, World Bank multinational banks and other international financial institutions to brutal dictators throughout the world. (see IMF/World Bank support of military dictatorships)

Jon Macey’s caution (above) bears repeating: this is the largest transfer of power from Congress to the administration that he has ever seen.

Do we want the lives of a billion people hanging by Geithner’s thread? The Geithner/Obama axis was unable to prevent hundreds of milions of unearned bonuses transferred to the Wall Street gang.  And they will be unable to prevent the looting of the world’s poorest nations.


Who Are America’s Oligarchs?

April 11, 2009
Why is this man smiling

Why is this man smiling?

Like his mother, Ann Dunham Soetoro, the media has sold Barack Obama as a “Leftist”.  I don’t believe this story about mother or son. What better camouflage for a corporatist/opportunist/operative than soft focus “Leftist”?  While investigating the theory that Obama’s mama, Ann Dunham Soetoro, was a possible CIA covert operative stationed in Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan, I have been taken in many directions. Most investigative paths led back to Southeast Asia. After a coup  and the corporate “opening” of one of the most resource rich countries in the world, Indonesia became one of the poorest-per capita-nations in Asia, with low educational levels and enormous divisions between rich and poor .

Summarizing some of my earlier posts, life-behind-the-malls

Poor area of Jakarta

Poor area of Jakarta

I followed the connections between Peter Geithner (long time head of the Ford Foundation’s Asia Division) and Ann Soetero. The Ford Foundation in Asia is widely held to be connected to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.  Ann Dunham Soetoro worked extensively with the Ford Foundation as well as the U.S.A.I.D. and the World Bank, both considered sometime partners in covert operations. Barack Obama’s step-father, Lolo Soetoro was a high ranking military officer in Suharto’s Army and a government liaison between the Indonesian military government and the international oil industry.

Peter Geithner’s son Tim, Obama’s Treasury Secretary, was raised primarily in China and Southeast Asia. As Clinton undersecretary for Asian Affairs and high ranking officer in the International Monetary Fund, it was Geithner’s monetary medicine that led to a worsening of the Asian financial catastrophe — which wrecked the economies primarily of Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea.  Many experts believe Geithner’s monetary policy led to the crash of the Southeast Asian economies. Other factors in the collapse were overvalued real-estate assets and outside currency manipulations. Foreign capital had been pouring into the Southeast Asian economies, due to high interest rates relative to the dollar. When American interest rates began to rise, capital flowed toward American investments, out of Asia. Thailand was forced to “float” its currency against the dollar. This resulted in the crash of the value of the Asian currencies and a deep retrenchment of real estate values.  The financial collapse called for a massive infusion of IMF funds.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

The foreign ministers of the 10 ASEAN countries believed that the well co-ordinated manipulation of their currencies was a deliberate attempt to destabilize the ASEAN economies. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused George Soros of ruining Malaysia’s economy with “massive currency speculation.”

The economic crisis also led to a political upheaval, most notably culminating in the resignations of President Suharto in Indonesia and Prime Minister General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh in Thailand. There was a general rise in anti-Western sentiment, with George Soros and the IMF in particular singled out as targets of criticisms.

George Soros

George Soros

Soros is also reviled in some quarters for his speculative manipulation shorting of the British Pound Sterling.  The British government fought back with massive central bank intervention but was unable to defend its currency which lost 20% of its value.  With this attack, Soros made (I won’t say earned) more than 1.1 billion dollars in a single day.

Soros doesn’t just anticipate currency devaluations, his hedge fund movements and his dire warnings often cause the events.

From Wikipedia:

When investment regulations restricted his ability to run the funds as he wished, he quit his position in 1973 and established a private investment company that eventually evolved into the Quantum Fund.

Soros is also a former member of the Carlyle GroupRecall that the Carlyle Group’s members include former defense department and CIA heads as well as members of the Saudi royal family.

According to Wikipedia this is the focus of the Carlyle Group’s financial interests:

Carlyle invests primarily in the following industries: aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer and retail, energy and power, health care, real estate, technology and business services, telecommunications and media, and transportation. The Carlyle Group’s investments are focused on East Asia, Europe and North America, with most investment money coming from the United States (65%), Europe (25%), Asia (6%), Latin America, and the Middle East. Defense investments represent about 1% of the group’s current portfolio; for example, Carlyle owns 33.8% of QinetiQ, the recently privatized British defense contractor.

Hmmm…CFR’s interests, healthcare, automotive, electric power,real estate, all Obama’s primary interests in the Economic stimulus package. And…
Interesting that Britain is also privatizing ITS military.

According to Wikipedia:

In late 2006, Soros bought about 2 million shares of Halliburton.

With this information on the table, tell me, do you think Obama is going to end the war? Or will he continue to fill the coffers of Halliburton?

From Chinadaily BBS

Soros likes to portray himself as an outsider, an independent-minded Hungarian emigre and philosopher-pundit who stands detached from the US military-industrial complex. But take a look at the board members of the NGOs he organises and finances. At Human Rights Watch, for example, there is Morton Abramowitz, US assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research from 1985-89, and now a fellow at the interventionist Council on Foreign Relations; ex-ambassador Warren Zimmerman (whose spell in Yugoslavia coincided with the break-up of that country); and Paul Goble, director of communications at the CIA-created Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (which Soros also funds). Soros’s International Crisis Group boasts such “independent” luminaries as the former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Richard Allen, as well as General Wesley Clark, once Nato supreme allied commander for Europe. The group’s vice-chairman is the former congressman Stephen Solarz, once described as “the Israel lobby’s chief legislative tactician on Capitol Hill” and a signatory, along with the likes of Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, to a notorious letter to President Clinton in 1998 calling for a “comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime”.

George Soros was Barack Obama’s primary, early deep-pocket supporter through MoveOn.Org.  Is Soros a conventional “Leftist” or an opportunist who exploits the gaps caused by social transition and political instability?  My guess is that he’s the same type of “Leftist” as Obama.

Soros has also speculated that an international reserve currency will replace the dollar

China recently proposed greater use of Special Drawing Rights, possibly as an eventual global reserve currency. “In the long run, having an international accounting unit rather than the dollar may, in fact, be to our advantage …

Where is the “advantage” for the average American citizen?

So, Soros backed Obama. Then, Obama has chosen Tim Geithner (architect of the IMF collapse of the Indonesian and Thai economies) to rescue America from the financial collapse created by unregulated banks and hedge funds. Seems to me like a cluster fuck of the American taxpayer.

Soros and Geithner have something else in common. Both are members of the Council of Foreign Relations, which some believe to be the most influential private foreign policy group in the world.  CFR publishes Foreign Affairs.  It’s policy think tank is the Rockefeller Institute (closely allied with the Ford foundation). According to Wikipedia:

Journalist Joseph Kraft, a former member of both the CFR and the Trilateral Commission, said the Council “comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite – a group of men, similar in interest and outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes.”

Corporate members of the board of CFR

One long term and influential member of the CFR is Henry KissingerTimothy Geithner was an associate of Kissinger and Associates from 1986-1989.  Since Kissinger’s clients and activities are totally secret, we don’t know what Geithner actually did while with Kissinger and Associates.

the Times then-national security correspondent, Leslie Gelb, reported that the Midland Bank of Britain was also one of the special influence-purchasing clients of Kissinger Associates that paid Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner and his colleagues “slightly more than $150,000 yearly for varying services.”

The new order is globalization: the sweeping away of national institutions and borders and transitioning to free trade, mobile international labor markets, mobility of capital movement, worldwide corporate structures.  Looking at your family and neighbors — how many are affected by NAFTA, immigration, job loss, outsourcing, …?

Is the U.S. just another country to be destabilized in the global leveling process?
In this article the author takes up globalization fostered by interests in both the political Left and the political Right.

In his book, Promoting Polyarchy, William Robinson describes the formation of a new hegemonic bloc that has emerged to lead the process of globalization. This bloc consists of various economic and political forces that have become the dominant sector of the ruling class throughout the developed world. The politics and policies of this ruling bloc are conditioned by the new global structure of accumulation and production. This historic bloc is composed of the transnational corporations and financial institutions, supranational economic planning agencies, major forces in the dominant political parties, media conglomerates, and technocratic elites in the Third World.

The new integrated circuits of world production and finance are possible because information technologies allow the centralization of decision making along with a geographic decentralization of production. The results are world mobility for investments, markets,and production, which leads globalists to harmonize a wide range of fiscal, monetary and industrial policies across national borders. Therefore, it is the logic of global accumulation, rather than national accumulation, that guides the political and economic behavior of the ruling bloc.   (Emphasis mine)

In the U.S., the globalist ruling bloc has three main factions: neo-liberal structuralists; free-market conservatives, and liberal regulationists. Their debates dominate Washington and don’t correspond to the familiar political categories of the industrial era. The same is true of the anti-globalist camp, which contains both the anti-imperialist left and the reactionary populous right.

The globalists consolidated ideologically in the early 1980s under the policy of the Washington Consensus. Developed to deal with the debt crisis in Latin America and Mexico, its main principles were privatization, free trade, high interest rates, and a sharply diminished role for the state in economic activity and social services. This became the policy mantra of the Reagan revolution, and a siren call for the new Democrats. However, the recent Asian crisis has exposed important contradictions and major splits in the globalists camp. Foremost is the question of how best to structure the new world economy, with the debate centered on IMF policies.

Obama’s mama had a cover:  a leftist do-gooder.  Obama’s acorn didn’t fall far from it’s tree. Left and Right have one goal – weilding power for the accumulation of riches.  Left and Right are embodied in one person, and that person is Barack Obama.