War Profiteering

-


The first blog post I did over four years ago at The Washington Note had to do with the subject of war profiteering and players in the national security establishment that were making money from defense contractors while also serving as so-called “objective” commentators on the war, weapons systems, and the like.
My target at the time was former Clinton administration CIA Director James Woolsey — or “Jihad Jim” as some of his friends call him — who was the first major national security voice on September 11, 2001 to try and tie the terrorist attacks that day in New York and Washington, D.C. to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Woolsey did not disclose that he was a lawyer representing the interests of Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress at the time.
Now, the New York Times raises questions about the one-man punditry, war consulting, strategic advisory services provided by General Barry McCaffrey. There are a long list of others that deserve similar scrutiny.
— Steve Clemons
Editor’s note: Thanks to Ben Rosengart for sending this our way.

Comments

24 comments on “War Profiteering

  1. söve says:

    There is no delusion. “Peace on earth, and good will towards men” is an exceedingly distant wildly receding and blurry dream. Human kill and make war, and divide, conquer, or enslave one human from another for any one of myriad insane reasons. But if it is now our responsibility to evolve intellectually, – then who?

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Sixteen Indiana National Guardsmen sued defense contractor KBR Inc., a former Halliburton subsidiary, Wednesday for knowingly exposing its employees to toxic chemicals. Some of the plaintiffs now have health problems related to the exposure. This is not the first time the Houston-based company’s treatment of employees has come to public attention. McClatchy reported Wednesday that a KBR subcontractor appears to be violating U.S. guidelines on human trafficking, living conditions, and pay in its treatment of 1000 Asian men it employs in Iraq. (AP)

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    Read Hobbes and you’ll not want to burn anything to the ground or put Palin in office. The “War of every Man against every Man” where life is “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” should be enough for us to work on institution-building rather than on institution-burning.
    But in the end, institutions and laws are only as strong and moral as the people who use, populate, and interpret them. Morality in, morality out. Profiteering in, profiteering out.
    Obama’s push for governmental effectiveness may actually matter. But there are a lot of countervailing forces to be dealt with. We need a brave Congress, an active citizenry, and a thoughtful media. We need to overcome a lot of faulty thinking (read _Nudge_ for some of these flaws in human thinking). I wish us all good luck in keeping up the pressure, in being able to put long term, careful analysis before short term gain, in putting work ahead of easy answers. I hope we read and study, talk to people who know good stuff, practice intellectual modesty.
    I tend to think Obama has some of these characteristics, but the pressure system is pretty intense. Maybe, just maybe, his cast of insiders can withstand it.

    Reply

  4. TonyForesta says:

    Historically, it is impossible to contest your assertion questions that “..profiteering is the REASON for war”. I’ll grant you that hit. But riddle me this – is it not our responsibility as sentient beings, and as citizens of socalled democracies to at least begin the process of righting this horrific wrong?
    There is no delusion. “Peace on earth, and good will towards men” is an exceedingly distant wildly receding and blurry dream. Human kill and make war, and divide, conquer, or enslave one human from another for any one of myriad insane reasons. But if it is now our responsibility to evolve intellectually, – then who?
    My point is that warmaking is – sadly – part of our DNA, – but should we not as responsible citizens in socalled democratic societies demand that our wars be fought out of necessity, and repudiate war as a profit making enterprize?
    If the answer is yes, – then there is hope for all of us. If the answer is no – then war for profit will eventually destoy us all.

    Reply

  5. Carroll says:

    Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over.
    How many times do I have to say it? What is it going to take to convince Americans they have exhausted all other alternatives? How long shall we give Obama to or Congress and K Street and Wall Street to reform themselves…LOL…as if they were actually reformable. Four more years? Eight?
    Beats the hell out of me why people wait until they have that famous ..”nothing left to lose” ..before they do anything.

    Reply

  6. thewizardofoz says:

    oh my how shocking….
    “i and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, those to whom evil is done do evil in return.”

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its probably wise to note, considering the topic, that Hillary Clinton was the defense industry’s darling during this election cycle, far out-distancing any other politician in raking in defense industry contributions.
    Doesn’t exactly bode well for Obama’s promise of “change”, does it?
    And generally, the Dems seem even more subservient to the will of the Israelis than the Republicans are, if such a thing is possible. I would bet the dollar amount of “aid” shipped to Israel is about to get a boost in the next four years.
    Trillions. Squandered. And the sons of bitches can’t even maintain our interstates. But hey, we’ll subsidize Israel somehow, even if we gotta do it with imaginary money conjured up by the fed. Or, by golly, why not just steal it from our SS? They’re gonna screw us out of it anyway.
    Honestly, I wish this winkin’ bimbo Palin woulda got in. We still woulda got reamed, but at least we’d be chuckling while they did the deed. The turkey video was a classic, as was the “I’ll bring ’em to ya” comment during the Couric interview. Just imagine the mirth we could of experienced with her performing live from the Rose Garden. She mighta even made history, and won the first ever Emmy for the White House; Best Sit-com.

    Reply

  8. DonS says:

    Meanwhile it seems CNN is “profiteering” on the India-Pakistan angle of the Mumbai attacks
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/30/india.attacks/index.html
    Seems like a perfect entree for the TWN folks to introduce a bit of sane analysis, though specific factual informaiton may not be available. Still, the opportunities for accommodation may exist. The last thing the world needs is another overreaction in the model of Bush/Iraq.

    Reply

  9. questions says:

    War profiteering is the REASON for war. Why would we ever want to do away with it?
    I was going to put in a bunch of links to: War Profiteering in the Revolutionary War; War Profiteering in the Civil War; War Profiteering in WWI…. But you can google as well as I.
    What a sad sad sad world we’ve created where really smart engineers and thinkers get their best pay figuring out how to build killing machines, how to understand the “enemy” in order better to destroy the enemy; where each Congressional district’s best jobs program is military contracting; where in the looming recession military sign-ups are up; where maculinity gets confused with murderous rage; where institutions that are built to protect end up destroying their wards; where the best defense is a good offense instead of Socratic modesty; where the deepest anxieties of our leaders are foisted on us all; where the basest prejudices of many are made into law.
    I could go on, but I’m depressing myself and I have work to do.

    Reply

  10. Linda says:

    Obama talks a great deal about going through the discretionary budget line-by-line to find programs that don’t work and fraud, waste, and abuse. The discretionary budget is rather small compared to entitlements that help millions of people and to DOD. Yet I see no plans to date to do the same at DOD where there is obscene fraud, waste, and abuse, etc. are in the military-industrial-complex.
    POA, here’s a recent op-ed by Dov Zakheim. http://www.sacbee.com/debate/story/1385840.html
    Note how he is identified at the end. It makes no mention at all that since he left DOD, he’s been a VP at Booz Allen Hamilton.

    Reply

  11. TonyForesta says:

    Oh,… and the wanton profiteering extends beyond the private military, private intelligence, and message-force multiplying industrial complexes.
    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/12-bush-profiteers-collect-billions-from-no-child-left-behind/
    But, no one cares. Let’s not look back or be vindictive, and let’s all look to the future turn our backs on the rule of law and the Constitution, and allow pathological liars, criminals, traitors, and wanton profiteers to slither into oppulent retirements with the very contractors to whom the bushgov awarded openended, nobid multihundred million contracts.
    A reading from the gospel according to the centerists:
    Hallelujah, Amen.

    Reply

  12. TonyForesta says:

    The message-force multiplier story came and went in a few news cycles, yet here is hard proof, of insiders, and profiteers pimping the bushgovs propaganda, disinformation, and patent lies, – for profit.
    MaCaffrey is one speck in monsterous iceberg of warprofiteering by bushgov insiders that goes complete unnoticed, unchecked, and unchanged.
    Read this http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14898 and weep.
    The meat of the abuse is delivered in the last paragraph {“By joining QinetiQ, less than a year after he resigned from the Pentagon, Cambone has been hired to implement the very policies he helped pioneer at the Pentagon, not as a public servant but as a private businessman benefiting from taxpayer dollars. And with Cambone in the driver’s seat in northern Virginia, QinetiQ is set to build on its already thriving business to become one of the premier suppliers of technology to the “intelligence enterprise” that Cambone built.”}
    The web of interpenetrating connections between the private military, intelligence, and message-force multipling industrial complexes and the fascist in the bushgov is clear, well documented, exceedingly costly to the American taxpayer, grotesquely underreported, and criminal.
    Why do we allow wanton profiteering from and by cronies, cabals, and oligarchs in, or beholden to the fascists in the bushgov.
    No one does anything to counter or contain these abuses, so the wanton profiteering continues unabated and yet again, the American tax payer is burdened with the enormous, unaccoutable costs.

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    “In fact, Bush might want to give some of these public servants
    the Medal of Freedom at the same time he bestows the honor
    on Generals Petraeus and Odierno. They deserve it.”
    How could Kristol forget to mention Lynndie England and those
    other brave men and women at Abu Ghraib, whose actions as
    well become “susceptible to demagogic or politically inspired
    prosecution by some seeking to score political points”?
    My guess is that this vocal defender of torture will use his
    megaphone at The New York Times to spread his message to a
    wider audience during the Christmas holidays.
    And BTW, it`s comforting to see that respectable papers like
    NYT are so objective. Some of their writers may be against
    Gestapo methods; others may defend them – and then the
    reader can weight the arguments against each other, without
    any biased interference from the editors.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Meanwhile, the rewrite of history continues unabated. Not only are these pieces of shit in the Bush Administration going to escape indictment, prosecution, and punishment, this con-job called the TRC will undoubtedly aid the journey to “hero” status for many of these traitors, felons, and monsters. After all, if history records no indictments, prosecutions, or punishments, but instead records Medals of Freedom and cushy post Bush Administration diplomatic postings and exorborant speaking fees on the lecture circuit, how can it be true they were criminals and traitors?
    http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m49202&hd=&size=1&l=e
    Kristol Calls On Bush To Pardon Torturers And Wiretappers, Reward Them With Medal Of Freedom
    Think Progress
    November 30, 2008
    In his new Weekly Standard column, right-wing pundit Bill Kristol lays out a to-do list for President Bush before he leaves office. He urges Bush to deliver speeches “reminding Americans of our successes fighting the war on terror.” Kristol dreams, “Over time, Bush might even get deserved credit for effective conduct of the war on terror.”
    After urging Bush to fight the incoming administration’s desire to close Guantanamo, Kristol concludes with this:
    One last thing: Bush should consider pardoning–and should at least be vociferously praising–everyone who served in good faith in the war on terror, but whose deeds may now be susceptible to demagogic or politically inspired prosecution by some seeking to score political points. The lawyers can work out if such general or specific preemptive pardons are possible; it may be that the best Bush can or should do is to warn publicly against any such harassment or prosecution. But the idea is this: The CIA agents who waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the NSA officials who listened in on phone calls from Pakistan, should not have to worry about legal bills or public defamation. In fact, Bush might want to give some of these public servants the Medal of Freedom at the same time he bestows the honor on Generals Petraeus and Odierno. They deserve it.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “How could anybody even attempt to come near implying that there might be something intrinsically crooked about our War On Drugs?”
    Maybe Ollie North and John Poindexter could answer that one, eh?

    Reply

  16. just john says:

    But McCaffrey used to be our Drug Czar!
    How could anybody even attempt to come near implying that there might be something intrinsically crooked about our War On Drugs?

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Take a look at the link Kervick provided. Dennis Ross again.
    And egads, Karen Hughes? For chrissakes, they should draft Palin too if they are looking for this kind of quality and expertise.
    Its interesting that they claim Iran is going to fuel a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. I woulda sworn Israel already handled that task quite adeptly.
    And Iran is going to “destabilize the region”? Truth is, perhaps if Iran had a deterrent against nuclear attack from Israel it might tend to be a stabilizing factor. I mean hey, considering Israel’s murderous and illegal use of cluster munitions in Lebanon, who can doubt that Israel might decide to nuke a coupla million Iranian citizens?
    Look, the bottom line is that our foreign policy, as it applies to the Middle East, is unquestionably determined by Israeli interests, at times even to the point of seriously undermining our own intersts. Its time to stop denying it, face reality, register AIPAC as a foreign agent, kick these fuckin’ spies like Rosen out of the country, and stop subsidizing Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13819

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    (This is my FIFTH try to navigate this post onto the Washington note. All the usual methods to gaet around Steve’s FUBAR Captcha horseshit aren’t working. But I’ll get the damned thing posted, one way or another.)
    http://smokingmirrors.blogspot.com/2007/08/dov-zakheim-and-missing-trillions_8010.html
    Dov Zakheim and the Missing Trillions.
    “What is the most outrageous piece of news that isn’t being discussed? I would venture to say it is the strange tale of Dov Zakheim and the missing trillions. I hear all kinds of numbers. I hear 2.3 trillion from Rumsfield and I hear about one trillion that Zakheim can’t explain. Still, you’ll need to check the dates of Zakheim’s days in the saddle as Pentagon Comptroller and then you can wonder to your hearts content. There’s no doubt the money is gone and there’s no doubt about who should know where it went but…what do I know? I know one trillion dollars is a lot of money. Isn’t one trillion dollars a million million? Zounds!!!”
    “Has the cost of the entire Iraqi incursion come to a trillion dollars yet? It certainly isn’t anywhere near 2.3 trillion. Why isn’t this under discussion? Is it just too big a thing, too enormous to comprehend, that our minds go blank when we think about it? Hmmm…”
    “There are a number of researched sources for all of the details you need to get a grasp of the situation. I’m not going to go into that kind of detail here. It’s been done better than I can manage at places like here”
    (use the link above to asccess this link, Steve’s system is not allowing me to post it)
    and here
    (use the link above to asccess this link, Steve’s system is not allowing me to post it)
    “this last link gives you many further links. You might want to read some of this before you continue here.”
    (This article continues at the link at top. Of course, a bunch of braying jackasses will blather on about “conspiracy theories”, but the missiong trillions is no “conspiract theory”, nor is the fact that a blazing neo-con having dual citizenship with Israel was in charge of the money….POA)
    A further excerpt…
    “Any time you start looking into the rabbit hole you run across the same names. There is this handful of people who constantly show up. Why are there continuous connections to Israel? As I have said before, I don’t enjoy having to reach these conclusions. There is no more heavyweight subject than Israeli involvement in 9/11. There is nothing that causes more screeching and name calling, slander and opprobrium. But… every time you look and everywhere you look, the same names, the same connections, the same events pop to the surface of the lake like a dead body and smell as bad”
    “Now, either this is the most fantastic, most outrageous set of coincidences of which there is no parallel in human history or… there is something to it”
    “What are so many members of one of the smallest groups of people in the world doing in so many sensitive areas of the American government? How come they have so many irrefutable connections to one of the biggest events in American history? Honestly, I just want some answers. I don’t know what to think and I don’t like having to think about and speak about things that can make me a target of powerful interests that seem to be in control of a whole lot of bad shit”
    “Now, once again, either there is something to all of this or it is an unbelievable chain of coincidence that defies reason. What do we make of this?”

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://smokingmirrors.blogspot.com/2007/08/dov-zakheim-and-missing-trillions_8010.html
    Dov Zakheim and the Missing Trillions.
    “What is the most outrageous piece of news that isn’t being discussed? I would venture to say it is the strange tale of Dov Zakheim and the missing trillions. I hear all kinds of numbers. I hear 2.3 trillion from Rumsfield and I hear about one trillion that Zakheim can’t explain. Still, you’ll need to check the dates of Zakheim’s days in the saddle as Pentagon Comptroller and then you can wonder to your hearts content. There’s no doubt the money is gone and there’s no doubt about who should know where it went but…what do I know? I know one trillion dollars is a lot of money. Isn’t one trillion dollars a million million? Zounds!!!”
    “Has the cost of the entire Iraqi incursion come to a trillion dollars yet? It certainly isn’t anywhere near 2.3 trillion. Why isn’t this under discussion? Is it just too big a thing, too enormous to comprehend, that our minds go blank when we think about it? Hmmm…”
    “There are a number of researched sources for all of the details you need to get a grasp of the situation. I’m not going to go into that kind of detail here. It’s been done better than I can manage at places like here”
    http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1015.shtml(disabled to get through CAPTCHA. Copy and paste it. CAPTCHA only allows two links before it blocks your post.)
    and here
    http://www.solari.com/learn/articles_missingmoney.htm
    “this last link gives you many further links. You might want to read some of this before you continue here.”
    (This article continues at the link at top. Of course, a bunch of braying jackasses will blather on about “conspiracy theories”, but the missiong trillions is no “conspiract theory”, nor is the fact that a blazing neo-con having dual citizenship with Israel was in charge of the money….POA)
    A further excerpt…
    “Any time you start looking into the rabbit hole you run across the same names. There is this handful of people who constantly show up. Why are there continuous connections to Israel? As I have said before, I don’t enjoy having to reach these conclusions. There is no more heavyweight subject than Israeli involvement in 9/11. There is nothing that causes more screeching and name calling, slander and opprobrium. But… every time you look and everywhere you look, the same names, the same connections, the same events pop to the surface of the lake like a dead body and smell as bad”
    “Now, either this is the most fantastic, most outrageous set of coincidences of which there is no parallel in human history or… there is something to it”
    “What are so many members of one of the smallest groups of people in the world doing in so many sensitive areas of the American government? How come they have so many irrefutable connections to one of the biggest events in American history? Honestly, I just want some answers. I don’t know what to think and I don’t like having to think about and speak about things that can make me a target of powerful interests that seem to be in control of a whole lot of bad shit”
    “Now, once again, either there is something to all of this or it is an unbelievable chain of coincidence that defies reason. What do we make of this?”

    Reply

  20. DonS says:

    Atrios and, Greenwald (via Atrios) are similarly on the case to out these massive conflicts of interest.
    http://www.eschatonblog.com/2008_11_30_archive.html#7679101545881206046

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And why the hell isn’t someone looking into the two TRILLION dollars that went missing from the DOD during Dov Zakhiem’s stewardship?
    You know, its funny. There was a Senator on “Washington Journal” (CNN), a year or so ago, (don’t recall his name), that had a caller ask him about the two trillion. The asshole was taken by suprise, and totally in the dark. He actually reprimanded the caller, and said that it was impossible, that she must mean “billion” instead of “trillion”.
    So, its not enough that this piece of shit non-representative was totally unaware of the facts, but to rub salt in our wounds the jackass implies that its no big deal, it was probably only a couple of billion. One of our Washington geniuses in action, eh?
    Looks like we’re gonna get more of the same from Obama, sans lube.

    Reply

  22. JohnH says:

    Why pick only on individuals who make “money from defense contractors while also serving as so-called “objective” commentators on the war, weapons systems, and the like?”
    Why not make anyone who attempts to influence public policy disclose their sources of funding? I’d be particularly interested in seeing the underwriters of think tanks and elite universities that train the foreign policy mob.
    http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03jan-feb/jan-feb03corp2.html

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ah yes, profiteering scumbags, as if this is today’s issue.
    Underscoring the crimes is fruitless without a true drive for accountability, and it is quite obvious such a drive is not in the making.
    We the unrepresented will get yet one more fucking commission designed to sugarcoat the facts and placate the bothersome masses.
    TRC my ass. We need a complete fumigation, the cockroaches have over-run the place. And it looks like Obama isn’t even gonna give us one can of Raid.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *