Quotable

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel


Friday, April 24, 2009

Our Biggest Hurdle: The Revolving Door

Friends,

After writing a recent post in my other blog about Trimming the President's war funding budget, I felt the need for a reality check. It came in a report I've had buried in my pile of "things to read" for several years. About Face: The Role of the Arms Lobby In the Bush Administration's Radical Reversal of Two Decades of U.S. Nuclear Policy, provides a sobering look at how the U.S. government's intimate relationship with corporate interests makes trimming (let alone questioning) any budget related to military funding (or nuclear weapons) a difficult, if not impossible task.

This special report from the World Policy Insitute, written in 2002, is a searing indictment of the role of the corporate arms lobby in shaping U.S. strategic policy, in this case as it relates to nuclear weapons. Chapter one is aptly titled,"The Bush Nuclear Policy: Making the World Safe for Nuclear Weapons?"

I don't know how many ex CEOs of Lockheed Martin President Obama has appointed to positions like Air Force Assistant Secretary, but he has appointed at least two heavys - National Security Advisor, James Jones (Director, Boeing) and Deputy Secretary of Defense, William Lynn (Lobbyist, Raytheon). Not a bad start, eh?

The Bush administration wasn't the first to pack the house with industry insiders (although it raised it to a high art), and it won't be the last. President Obama may have the best of intentions (and I believe he does) in wanting to rid the world of nuclear weapons, but he is up against an extraordinarily powerful weapons lobby. Better keep your eye on the ball on this one folks; nothing is going to change until we figure out how to close the revolving door.

I've extracted most of the players from Appendix A: Through the Revolving Door: Corporate Connections of Bush Administration Officials to the Arms and Energy Industries. It makes great late night reading.

Peace,

Leonard

P.S. - I'll research these key government appointments and report on their corporate connections in a subsequent post. It will be interesting to see if President Obama has done anything to slow down the revolving door.

**************

Appendix A: Department, Rank, Name, Affiliation(s), Compensation

White House/Executive, Vice President, Dick Cheney - CEO, shareholder of Halliburton (oil, defense construction) $35.1 mil. salary, $500,001-$1 mil. deferred comp., $1-$5 mil. Cash Value Bonus Plan director, Procter & Gamble $250,001-$500,000 shareholder, restricted stock director, Brown and Root Saudi Limited Co. N/A shareholder, Anadarko Petroleum $250,001-$500,000 deferred stock payment

Lynn Cheney, wife of Vice President - director, Lockheed Martin $500,000-$1,000,000 deferred fees

White House/Executive, Deputy National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley - board member, ANSER Analytic Services, (major defense contractor) $20,000 partner, Shea and Gardner, law firm representing Lockheed Martin N/A

White House/Executive, Assistant to the President; Dir. Of Legislative Affairs, Nicholas Calio - paid consultant, Motorola (significant defense contractor) N/A

White House/Executive, Senior Advisor to the President, Karl Rove - shareholder, Enron and Boeing $100,001-$250,000 each

White House/Executive, Chief of Staff to Vice President, I. Lewis Libby - consultant, Northrop Grumman $6,000

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld director, Gilead Sciences (biotech) up to $30 million stock director, Asea Brown Boveri LTD. (nuclear energy) $148,020 limited partner, SCF-II(energy) $17,000 director, Gulfstream Aerospace (now a General Dynamics subsidiary), which specializes in corporate jets and "special mission" aircraft sold to foreign governments for military use $5,000

Defense Under Secretary for Comptroller Dov Zakheim, vice president, Systems Planning Corporation (defense consulting firm) $277,749 paid advisory board, Northrop Grumman $11,000

Defense Under Secretary for Policy Douglas J. Feith shareholder, Sunoco up to $650,000 stock president and managing partner of former law firm, Feith & Zell, clients include Loral Space and Communications Ltd, Northrop Grumman $5,000 in fees for each client, salary of $246,045 at law firm

Defense Under Secretary for Personnel & Readiness David S.C. Chu, vice president, Rand Corp.(major Pentagon consulting and research firm) $226,000

Defense Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge Jr., CEO, Aerospace Corp., a nonprofit defense research firm which has received more than $600 million for work at the Space and Missiles Defense Center, Los Angeles (a top 100 defense contractor) $470,000 salary United Industrial Corp.(defense), director, shareholder $35,000 fees, up to $250,000 stock director, AAI (defense) $4,000 vice president, McDonell Douglas Electronics N/A

Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz co-chairman of Nunn-Wolfowitz, task force, Hughes Electronics $300,000 consultant, Northrop Grumman $6,000 fees consultant, BP Amoco $10,000 fees

Defense Undersecretary Michael Wynne, senior vice president, General Dynamics, International Planning and Development, 25 years in defense industry at GD and Martin Marietta N/A

Defense Director, Office of Independent Testing and Evaluation Thomas Christie, director, Institute for Defense Analysis (major Pentagon consulting firm), Operational Evaluation Division N/A

Air Force Secretary James Roche, former president, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, in charge of combat avionics, defensive systems, space systems among others, began career with Northrop Grumman in 1984 N/A

Air Force Assistant Secretary for Installations, Environment and Logistics Nelson F. Gibbs, corporate comptroller 1991-1999, Northrop Grumman N/A

Air Force Assistant Secretary Peter B. Teetsm chief operating officer, Lockheed Martin, 37 years in defense industry N/A

Navy Secretary Gordon England, former executive vice president, General Dynamics, 20 years in defense industry with GD and Lockheed N/A

Energy Administrator for Defense Programs (includes nuclear weapons work) Everet Beckner, deputy chief executive, Lockheed Martin's representative in three company consortium running Britain's nuclear weapons complex (Atomic Weapons Establishment) N/A

State Secretary Colin Powell shareholder, General Dynamics $1 to $5 mil. stock honorarium for speaking, Carlyle Group $100,000 honorariums, Arthur Andersen, GE Power Systems $59,500 each director, Gulfstream Aerospace $5,000

State Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage president and partner, Armitage Assoc. LLP(consulting for Raytheon, Boeing, Brown and Root, Science Application International and other defense contractors), also served on boards of Raytheon and Mantech $246,965 salary GE, Coastal Corp. (defense), shareholder $500,001-$1 mil. each

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta special business initiative vice president, shareholder, Lockheed Martin $130,000 salary, $80,000 stock board member, MELE Assoc., (tech consulting for Lockheed, Depts. of Energy, State, Transportation) up to $50,000 stock

Transportation Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson vice president, Lockheed Martin, chief operating officer Lockheed Martin Information and Management Services $300,000 salary, up to $500,000 severance package

Justice Solicitor General Theodore Olson private practice clients include; Hughes Electronics, Arthur Andersen $5,000 each

Sources: Center for Public Integrity, ("Bush Top 100"
http://www.publicintegrity.org/cgi-bin/whoswhosearch.asp), Whitehouse.gov, supplemented by news accounts in the New York Times, Washington Post, Denver Post, Aviation Week & Space Technology and the Los Angeles Times among others.

Note: Connections cited here represent relationships that existed prior to the individual's appointment to the administration. In the vast majority of cases these financial links have been severed pursuant to conflict-of-interest rules.

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