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That bird won’t fly and other news

Hold that Revolving Door! Four-Star General Coming Through
Dana Liebelson – (POGO) – January 28, 2012 – The revolving door that carried former Department of Defense honcho William Lynn III to a well-paying job with an Italian defense contractor keeps on spinning – now Gen. James Cartwright, who retired as the nation’s second-highest ranking military officer in August, is following Lynn into the private sector.

Cartwright is joining the Board of Directors at Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor. Earlier in the week, DRS Technologies named Lynn as its chief executive officer. (Coincidently, before Lynn was tapped as deputy defense secretary, he was a top lobbyist for Raytheon.)

“General Cartwright’s deep understanding of defense and broad experience in military operations and matters of national security will be of great value to our Board,” Raytheon Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson said in a press release.

Well, Cartwright certainly has a deep understanding of defense: He’s a four-star general with 40 years of service in the Marine Corps, including four years as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But then there’s that sticky “great value to the Board” comment. And that’s where the problem with the well-oiled revolving door that leads from the Pentagon to the defense industry rears its ugly head. (Click HERE for article)

Former United Nations Employee Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – January 27, 2012 – Jeffery K. Armstrong, 52, of South Riding, Va., was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for obtaining more than $100,000 in salary payments by fraudulently holding concurrent jobs at the United Nations (U.N.) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release following his sentence and to pay $128,153 in restitution.

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$40 Billion in Contracts Tied to Republican Security Advisers

Roxana Tiron – (Bloomberg) – December 22, 2011 – National security advisers to the Republican presidential candidates have links to defense, homeland security and energy companies that have received at least $40 billion in federal contracts since 2008.

Five of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 41 national security and foreign policy advisers have ties to companies that last year alone received at least $7.9 billion in federal contracts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government analyst Christopher Flavelle. Of that, $7.3 billion came from the Department of Defense.

Romney and Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker from Georgia, who are leading in the polls, have advisers who sit on the board of directors of BAE Systems, Inc., which has received at least $37 billion in U.S. government contracts since 2008, the most of all the companies with ties to Republican national security advisers.

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Encore performances for the DoJ & other news

Photo Courthouse News

…One protester heckled that the police had surrounded the building to arrest the people inside.
“Go for it, guys,” he urged. “The terrorists are inside.”
One officer smiled at that one… ~Occupiers Take Aim at Big Defense Conference

Imposter sentenced to 3 years for smuggling weapons, ammo onto MacDill
(WTSP) – Tampa, FL – December 1, 2011 – The man, caught smuggling weapons and ammunition onto MacDill Air Force Base while he was illegally living there in April 2010, was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday.

Back on July 21, Scott Allan Bennett, 40, was found guilty on all charges for lying to government officials to obtain housing on MacDill Air Force Base, as well as wearing a U.S. military uniform without authorization and violating a defense property security regulation with regard to firearms he had MacDill Air Force Base. (Click HERE for article)

Finmeccanica Chairman Resigns Amid Probe as Orsi Takes Job
Marco Bertacche & Sabine Pirone – (Bloomberg) – December 1, 2011 – Finmeccanica SpA Chairman Pier Francesco Guarguaglini resigned following Prime Minister Mario Monti’s call for the state-controlled company to swiftly address a corruption probe involving company executives.

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DRS Technologies’ parent company is at the center of corruption probe in Italy

In 2008, it bought the U.S. military contractor DRS Technologies Inc. in a $5.2 billion deal that Finmeccanica sought to boost its role as a key supplier of defense and security systems.

Monti urges ‘rapid’ resolution to corruption probe

Colleen Barry – (AP Business Writer) – MILAN – November 23, 2011 -Italian Premier Mario Monti’s fledgling government was facing its first emergency on Wednesday, a spiraling corruption probe at state-controlled Finmeccanica, the country’s aerospace and engineering giant. A government official reportedly met with Finmeccanica’s chairman during the day. On Tuesday, Monti issued a statement calling for a “rapid and responsible solution” to the allegations that a slush fund was set up to pay off politicians who referred contracts to Finmeccanica.

Monti, who was in Brussels to meet with European Union officials, said he was following developments closely.

His office could not confirm news agency reports that Chairman Pier Francesco Guarguaglini met with Monti’s undersecretary, Antonio Catricala. But Monti said in a statement he would have the defense and economic development ministers ensure that the company is taking the necessary steps to address the scandal.

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Your U.S. tax dollars at work supporting Iran’s nuclear program

U.S. Enriches Companies Defying Its Policy on Iran

By JO BECKER and RON NIXON

The federal government has awarded more than $107 billion in contract payments, grants and other benefits over the past decade to foreign and multinational American companies while they were doing business in Iran, despite Washington’s efforts to discourage investment there, records show.

That includes nearly $15 billion paid to companies that defied American sanctions law by making large investments that helped Iran develop its vast oil and gas reserves.

For years, the United States has been pressing other nations to join its efforts to squeeze the Iranian economy, in hopes of reining in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Now, with the nuclear standoff hardening and Iran rebuffing American diplomatic outreach, the Obama administration is trying to win a tough new round of United Nations sanctions.

But a New York Times analysis of federal records, company reports and other documents shows that both the Obama and Bush administrations have sent mixed messages to the corporate world when it comes to doing business in Iran, rewarding companies whose commercial interests conflict with American security goals.

Many of those companies are enmeshed in the most vital elements of Iran’s economy. More than two-thirds of the government money went to companies doing business in Iran’s energy industry — a huge source of revenue for the Iranian government and a stronghold of the increasingly powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a primary focus of the Obama administration’s proposed sanctions because it oversees Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

Other companies are involved in auto manufacturing and distribution, another important sector of the Iranian economy with links to the Revolutionary Guards. One supplied container ship motors to IRISL, a government-owned shipping line that was subsequently blacklisted by the United States for concealing military cargo. Read the remainder of this entry »