WOOLSEY WATCH: Woolsey Needs to Make a Choice Between Being a War Profiteer or War Pundit


TWN has posted a great deal in the past about James Woolsey and his personal enrichment in a network of national security-oriented firms, investment funds, and other activities.
Woolsey was the first person on national television on September 11, 2001 to allege the connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda without disclosing on these shows his legal relationship representing Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.
He is also someone who seems to see no conflict between being a pro-war pundit pretending to be on objective commentator and a war profiteer who is pocketing a lot of money from contracting related to war activities.
To add to the pile of Woolsey involvement in defense firms (to see the rest, just search under “Woolsey” on the search function on the front page of TWN), here is another snippet regarding a defense firm he is playing with and no doubt being lavishly compensated.
As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune this week:

If a rising tide lifts all boats, a surge in federal defense spending has raised a fleet of small defense contractors.
At the end of May, the Navy said it had awarded an omnibus contract valued at nearly $ 40 billion to 503 government vendors, including hundreds of small businesses. The multiyear contract enables the companies to bid for a wide variety of services needed by the Navy under SeaPort Enhanced, a relatively new Web-based procurement program.
The Navy said it expects to award up to $ 5.3 billion a year under the SeaPort Enhanced program for engineering services, software development and all phases of weapons acquisition and program support. The list of eligible companies includes 60 firms based in San Diego, most of them small, privately held businesses.
“It’s a hunting license, basically,” said William G. Gang, chief operating officer for Information Systems Laboratories, an employee-owned defense firm based in San Diego since 1996. “You have to be on this SeaPort list to respond to the announcement.”
Information Systems Laboratories, also known as ISL, serves in many ways as a paradigm among the legion of small defense contractors in ascendance throughout the San Diego region.
Like other defense companies, ISL has responded in recent years to the Pentagon’s emphasis on “transformational” military technologies and tactics. The new doctrine has sought to combat terrorist and guerrilla attacks by revising the Pentagon’s preference for big weapons systems to include “the small, the fast and the many.”
A key to such capabilities is the electronic umbrella of digital communications and computer systems that enables regional military commanders to share information with their forces in the field as well as strategists in the Pentagon. The military calls it C4ISR, an acronym that refers to the four C’s — Command, Control, Communications and Computers — along with Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
As a technology company, ISL has expertise in signals processing, sensors and communications.
“They are in a pretty sweet spot right now,” said Jonathan Clark, a vice president and investment banking specialist at BB&T Capital Markets/Windsor Group in Huntington Beach.
“One of the things we’re seeing is that (sector) has been a tremendously robust market,” Clark said, “particularly companies that are focused on intelligence, homeland security and defense.”
ISL is registered as a small business, which has been helpful in winning contracts awarded under the Pentagon’s Small Business Innovative Research program. About 45 percent of its 125 employees hold security clearances from the Department of Defense.
As a small business, though, ISL also has distinguished itself in other ways.
–ISL’s sales growth put it on Deloitte’s 2004 list of “Fast 50” high-technology companies in the San Diego area. The company recorded $ 22 million in revenue last year, a 17.6 percent gain over 2003. ISL estimates its revenue this year will exceed $ 27 million.
–R. Michael Dowe Jr., ISL’s chief executive, was recently named as Ernst & Young’s 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year among San Diego’s software and information technology companies.
–ISL also has recruited some prominent leaders in the defense industry to serve on a five-member technical advisory committee created to help set priorities for the company’s research and development.
The committee includes James Woolsey, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Norman Augustine, the retired chairman and chief executive of Lockheed Martin Corp.; Kent Kresa, a former chairman and chief executive of Northrop Grumman; Ret. Adm. William Owens, chief executive of Nortel and former vice chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Ret. Gen. Paul Gorman, former commander in chief of the U.S. Army’s Southern Command and commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Woolsey should either choose to offer his expertise to the nation on biowarfare and national security issues while making a salary commensurate with those activities, as he apparently does at Booz Allen, and then forfeit his many other national security-related money-making boondoggles in which he gets rich while our nation’s soldiers risk everything on the front line. Or alternatively, he should recuse himself from punditry and make all the money in the war business he would like to.
Doing both is outrageous — and Congress should call hearings about those who have fanned the flames of the Iraq invasion, and now potentially an Iran conflict, while making windfall profits from these national security crises.
— Steve Clemons