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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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Operation impunity & other news

House approves $649b defense budget bill
WASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense spending bill yesterday that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

…While House Republican leaders slashed billions from all other government agencies, the Defense Department is the only one that will see a double-digit increase in its budget beginning Oct. 1. ~Donna Cassata -Associated Press

Defense cuts?
Underwhelming fiscal discipline at the Pentagon
Steve Chapman – (Chicago Tribune) – July 10, 2011 – Politicians often rail against government spending, except when it goes to the military. Conservatives believe there is no such thing as too much defense spending, and liberals don’t argue, for fear of being labeled appeasers. So when there is talk of the two parties agreeing to cut the Pentagon budget, it sounds like a monumental change.

But probably not. It’s a good thing that defense, which accounts for roughly a fifth of all federal outlays, is no longer considered immune to the need for frugality. But both supporters and opponents have a stake in portraying any trims as far more significant than they really are.

The Obama administration reportedly has decided to boost its planned defense cuts to as much as $700 billion from $400 billion over the next 12 years. That sounds like a lot — considering that the earlier, smaller figure had sparked furious objections.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned it would be “a grievous mistake” that would someday “be measured in American lives lost.” Mitt Romney, in line with most other presidential candidates, insisted “we should not reduce our commitment to national security.”

Some Republicans in Congress may be prepared to subject defense spending to the sort of scrutiny applied elsewhere. But if you think the tea party favorites will demand serious fiscal discipline, you are in for a disappointment. (Click HERE for article)

Amid raft of changes to defense leadership, Pentagon’s No. 2 plans to exit
(AP) – WASHINGTON – July 8, 2011 – In a further shake-up of defense leaders, the Pentagon’s second-ranking official said yesterday he intends to resign but has agreed to stay on until Defense Secretary Leon Panetta chooses a successor.

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DoJ finds bowling for contractors more lucrative than bowling for dollars



Looks like the long arm of the law is finally reaching out and bitch slapping some of the contracting cronies and culprits who believe the law does not apply to them.  All I have to say is, “IT’S ABOUT TIME!”

The Department of Justice (DoJ) seems to be getting serious about enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Last year’s record breaking settlement with Halliburton and KBR to the tune of $579 million appears to have been only the beginning.  Last week the DoJ unsealed indictments against 22 high ranking individuals working for undisclosed (in the indictments) Defense contractors and then followed up with an indictment for one of their very own undercover operatives, Richard Bistrong, who helped them sting the first 22 alleged wrong doers. Read the remainder of this entry »