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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It’s All About Oil.

March 29, 2009

To quote the French:  The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Change you can believe in.

On January 28, 2009, Obama appointee, retired 4 star Admiral Dennis Blair was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Director of National Intelligence.  The DNI chief reports directly to the president and defense department chief and co-ordinates all other national intelligence agencies. It prepares the National Defense Estimate annual report to congress.  The office of DNI was created by the Bush administration in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Admiral Blair has an impressive resume: Rhodes Scholar, Russian speaker, attended East-West Center at the University of  Hawaii in 1968, former Commander-in -Chief of U.S. Pacific Command:

PACOM area of responsibility

PACOM area of responsibility

From 2003 to 2007, Blair was president of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit corporation that manages federally funded national security research and development centers. He stepped down in the face of concerns that his positions on the boards of major defense contractors presented a conflict of interest.

Excerpt from article by

Author:
Joanna Klonsky, Associate Editor

updated: February 9, 2009

Dennis Blair

Retired four-star Admiral Dennis C. Blair is President Obama’s director of national intelligence (DNI)–confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 28, 2009. Blair, a thirty-four-year Navy veteran, is the former commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Command.

He also served as associate director of central intelligence for military support, coordinating intelligence and military operations under the Clinton administration. He was director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, and commanded the Kitty Hawk Strike Group aircraft carrier and the destroyer Cochrane.

Admiral Blair advised congress in 1999 that U.S.-Indonesian  military co-ordination should be resumed. The above article does not mention that Admiral Blair’s 1999 advice came  just one day after the outbreak of an Indonesian Army massacre of civilians in Dili, East Timor.  Blair has contended that he was not aware of the Indonesian army’s  massacre, although evidence has been produced indicating that he did.  The army killings in Dili increased after the congressional approval of the new pact.  What is clear is that for some time the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have had a cordial relationship with Indonesia’s murderous dictators.

The massacre in Dili was about oil.

USPACCOM unified command

The top U.S. officer in the Pacific (unidentified, not Blair) met with Indonesia's president to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the region and applaud Indonesia’s role in security initiatives.

Blair Senate Appearance.

In a 2007 appearance before the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation,  retired admiral Dennis Blair urged the U.S. to pursue increased automobile mileage efficiency among the major auto makers in order to relieve stress on the military in the security of oil supplies.

Blair clearly emphasizes, throughout his senate testimony, that a large part of U.S. military commitment in the Pacific theater and Central Asia and the Middle East is the protection and preservation of energy (oil, natural gas) supplies.  In my post of March 1, 2009 I noted that the U.S. interest in Afghanistan and support of the Taliban throughout Afghanistan’s war with the invading Soviet Union  (which began in 1979-1980), included  an interest in extending an oil pipeline connecting the Middle East and Asia.  An effort to build the pipeline with the aid of trained Taliban workers was discontinued due to pressure from American feminist groups over the Taliban’s treatment of women.  Unocal attempted to take over the pipeline project from the U.S. Government but dropped the proposal.

It’s about oil.

Here’s an excerpt from Dennis Blair’s committee presentation:

In the late 1970s two serious threats to Persian Gulf oil were identified by the Carter Administration, which became seized by the issue. The first was a potential Soviet invasion from the north into the oil regions around the Gulf, a concern heightened by the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The second was an aggressive and fundamentalist Iran, which was led by a regime that had permitted and then exploited the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran. In response, the department of defense created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, the RDJTF, a planning headquarters and contingency force that could quickly deploy to the Gulf to defeat a major land invasion.  In 1983 as part of its general military build up against the Soviet Union, the Reagan administration upgraded this task force to a regional command like the European Command and the Pacific Command, where I served and where I ultimately commanded. So this Central Command had full time responsibility for U.S. interests in the region.

U.S. interests in the region – does that mean oil?

This article has an interesting timeline of events for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.  I can’t vouch for all the facts but it is tantalizing.

Obama plans to send 17,000 additional troops into Afghanistan to beef up the “war on terror”.  Along with this change comes an offer by his administration to “negotiate” with the “moderate” factions of the Taliban.  Thus Obama can argue that he will have two options for bringing peace to Afghanistan, a carrot and stick approach, if you will:  more troops and more bombing, or a settlement of differences.  In addition to bringing peace, the carrot and stick will also help build a new pipeline.  I doubt that feminist groups  this time will be able to stand in the way of the pipeline — not under a “progressive, feminist friendly” president.

Recall Ann Dunham Soetoro’s resume of helping poor women:  with microloans in Pakistan and Indonesia, cataloging various native crafts during major massacres in Indonesia under the auspices of the Ford Foundation (working for Peter Geithner, the Treasury Secretary’s father), USAID, and the World Bank (all of which are widely believed to have CIA associations).  Ann Dunham Soetero’s connection to these mineral rich regions is Barack Obama’s connection to these mineral rich regions.

Here’s a little bit of history about past DNI chiefs:

George W. Bush’s first DNI chief was John Negroponte, who previously held a position under Condaleeza Rice when she was NSA chief.  Negroponte served under Ronald Reagan as ambassador to El Salvador during Reagan’s dirty wars in Central America in the 1980’s, and was implicated in the training of death squads and the cover-up to congress of their barbarous activities.  A staunch anti-communist, he was appointed ambassador to Mexico during the populist Chiapas uprising, and suspected of using ruthless countermeasures against them. George Bush’s second DNI chief was Mike McConnell, a member of the controversial and influential quasi-governmental body, the Carlyle Group. Recall that the Carlyle Group is a conglomerate of American defense department chiefs, the two Bush presidents, and Saudi oil interests, among others.

Dennis Blair is Obama’s new DNI chief –another man with a strong resume protecting oil.

The more things change … the more it’s still about oil.