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.


The Patriot Act in El Salvador

May 11, 2009

Nothing new here, this is old news but I’m going to cover it again because it’s 2009 and we have a new president who, sadly, is a carbon copy of the last one.

The U.S. Patriot Act’s provision for warrantless seizure of medical records got the ball rolling. President Obama and the NSA are committed to the spying provisions of the act.  Will they follow through on the penalty provisions as well, as El Salvador did?

Water Protest-El Salvador

Water Protest-El Salvador

In 2007 El Salvador, under the control of the right wing ARENA party, used a version of America’s Patriot Act to arrest peaceful members of a peaceful resistance group for protesting the privatization of its water supply and public health system.  The federal water supply had lately been distributed to municipalities which in turn sold it to private interests. Salvadorans complained of the high cost and poor quality of the water received from the private water distribution interests.

The government plans to try them under the country’s new anti-terrorism laws, which could make them the first political prisoners in the nation’s post-war era.

Several nurses were also arrested for protesting the privatization of the health care industry.

Charges were eventually reduced but many resisters served as much as nine months in prison. Upon release, one of the leaders of the opposition was murdered.

This case not only points up the problems with the growing cancer of globalization and privatization of essential resources but the way governments may react when they encounter opposition to their plans.

At the protest several persons were arrested under a provision of an anti terrorist act which converted misdemeanor acts of civil disobedience to felonies punishable by up to 60 years in prison.  The provision of the El Salvador act was similar to the Violent Radicalization and Home Grown Terror Prevention Act.

VRAHTPA establishes a new federal commission tasked with investigating Americans with “extremist belief systems” and those who may engage in “ideologically based violence.” This effort is expected to cost $22 million.
You can get a feel for where this commission is heading in this excerpt from the legislation to create it, which has already cleared by the House of Representatives by a 404-6 vote and is now headed to the Senate:
he Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

What is ideological terror and how will they decide what one can believe?  Who will be the terrorists in a world where the “war on terror” never ends, but expands into infinity?  Nothing is clear cut with the Patriot Act.  I feel uneasy about handing over my medical records to the worldwide pharmaceutical and health care industries just because they gave Obama and Pelosi a bunch of money.  In fact, I feel downright pissed off.  What would happen if we just refused to do it?  Would we be left off of the medicare and health care grid?  Would we be able to receive medical treatment? How about some types of social security?

Could we be arrested?  Don’t know.   And I sure don’t trust Obama and the oligarchs.