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posted by cmn32480 on Wednesday May 13 2015, @12:10PM   Printer-friendly

The Intercept's Lee Fang has highlighted a few examples of loud National Security Agency allies that have financial ties to the agency and mass surveillance. The list includes Stewart Baker, the general counsel to the NSA from 1992 through 1994, Fox News military analyst Jack Keane, Retired General Wesley Clark, former Central Intelligence Agency chief James Woolsey, former Republican National Committee chair Jim Gilmore, former NSA director Mike McConnell, and Center for Strategic and International Studies President John Hamre. They have surfaced regularly in the media to denounce Snowden, and in the case of Woolsey, to call for Snowden to be "hanged by his neck".

These NSA cheerleaders have received millions of dollars from their involvement with NSA contractors. For example, Clark and Woolsey are advisors to Paladin Capital Group, "an investment advisor and private equity firm whose Homeland Security Fund was set up about three months after the September 11th attacks to focus on defense and intelligence-related startups":

At the time of Woolsey and Clark's anti-Snowden statements it included a stake in Endgame Systems, a computer network security company that had worked with the NSA, having reportedly counted the agency among its largest customers. Paladin was also invested in CyberCore, which had provided technological work to the NSA. Later, in 2014, Paladin invested in Shadow Networks, formerly known as ZanttzZ, which also provided tech work to the NSA.

Since 2009, [Jim] Gilmore has also worked for a major NSA contractor as member of the board of CACI International, for which he has been compensated with more than $1 million in cash and stock awards. CACI, the firm whose contractors were behind the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, has steadily increased its stake in the cyber intelligence business, acquiring the firm Six3 Systems, an NSA contractor, for $820 million two years ago.

Hamre received close to a quarter of a million dollars as a board member to NSA contractor Leidos, as he had the year prior. In 2013 and again in 2012, Hamre took close to quarter of a million dollars as a board member at SAIC, which has served as a major NSA contractor and which split to form Leidos. Also responsible for the [CSIS] report was former NSA director Mike McConnell — only identified by "Former Director of National Intelligence" rather than as vice chairman of NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, his role at the time.

 
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  • (Score: 2, Troll) by looorg on Wednesday May 13 2015, @03:06PM

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @03:06PM (#182408)

    If I spent my entire career in the military or with some spooky three-letter-agency and I eventually retire, start my own business or get a new job wouldn't it kind of make sense to start one or get one in the field that I actually have knowledge in? Most people when they switch jobs switch job and are not going down an entirely new career path. So they are capitalizing on their previous knowledge. Not surprising at all. Can't even really say I find anything wrong with it. If its not wrong for other professional fields to do it I don't see how it would be wrong for these people. This is done all the time in all fields of business. If or when I switch jobs if my current employer have something against my new employer they better pay me not to take that job then. This is clearly the Intercept grinding it's governmenthatingaxe as per usual.

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  • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Wednesday May 13 2015, @03:13PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @03:13PM (#182412) Journal

    > governmenthatingaxe
    govern men that in gaxe ? What's a gaxe?

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday May 13 2015, @04:17PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 13 2015, @04:17PM (#182446) Homepage Journal

      government hating axe

      The Intercept is grinding it's axe. It's governmenthatingaxe.

      --
      There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday May 13 2015, @10:00PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @10:00PM (#182655) Journal

        The Intercept is grinding it's axe. It's governmenthatingaxe.

        Are you sure? I read "government hat in gaxe", which seemed to make more sense. Hey, wait a minute mr. Crystal Palace, is this some kind of code?

        --
        #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday May 14 2015, @01:55AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 14 2015, @01:55AM (#182757) Homepage Journal

          Yes, it's a code. If you still have your decoder issued by General Mills in the mid-60's then you can probably read the real message. Otherwise - no message for you!

          --
          There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday May 14 2015, @04:08AM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday May 14 2015, @04:08AM (#182792) Journal

            General Mills, hmmm, did they not own the brand name of Cracker Jack? Cracker, code-cracker! NSA! I knew it! But without the secret ROT frequency (kenneth), I cannot decode the massage, anyway. It must be in the _Cryptonomicon_ somewhere.

            --
            #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Thursday May 14 2015, @04:03PM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 14 2015, @04:03PM (#182961) Homepage Journal

              I confess - I pulled General Mills out of the air. Decoder rings were a big thing back then, but I can't remember who offered them, and who didn't. Cracker Jacks may have, I just don't know. But, since you mentioned Cracker Jacks, I had to look. No, it was never GM. It was it's own independent company, until Borden bought it, then sold it to Pepsico, who placed it under the Frito Lay sub-brand.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_Jack [wikipedia.org]

              As for decoder rings - looks like Ovaltine first capitalized on the things - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_decoder_ring [wikipedia.org]

              Ehhhh - another couple minutes of our lives wasted, right? LMAO

              --
              There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Mr Big in the Pants on Wednesday May 13 2015, @05:04PM

    by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @05:04PM (#182470)

    What I find most amusing is that your are unwittingly advocating for the "revolving door" which has, along with other forms of greed and corruption, absolutely devastated democracy in the US. And in the out of control, constitution-ignoring, money sucking security fiasco known as the NSA?!

    Good job citizen! And make sure to report anything suspicious you see in your neighbourhood or at work to your nearest friendly authority figure!

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by looorg on Wednesday May 13 2015, @06:11PM

      by looorg (578) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @06:11PM (#182510)

      I'm not sure I would classify it as unwittingly since I am aware of the problem. The system isn't perfect, I don't think I claimed that. I think the way I stated it was even quite clear. What I was wondering is why things should be different for people people in the military and the intelligence field compared to professionals in other fields. People there jump around between companies and agencies and nobody care all that much. People with just as much power and knowledge. At worst or most there might be some non-compete clause in a contract that have to be adhered to. Instead of answering that I get the same tired anti-government tirades. Just for once answer me why they should get punished for serving the government.

      Lets just say that you had worked for the CIA for 25 years. During that time you accumulate some knowledge that others find interesting, others in related fields, and they offer you a job. How is that wrong? You utilize things you have learned to further your career. Just like anyone else. Are you this upset about everyone using knowledge gained leaving one place and setting up business somewhere else or is your mistrust reserved for members of what you believe to be the military-industrial-complex?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @06:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @06:39PM (#182532)

        He has the same selfish complex that most whiners here have: if it is something I want or is important to me, it is my right; if it isn't important to ME, it is an abuse of power, socialism, government out of control, etc., etc., etc.

        I'd bet he'd be out in front of the whiners on something like no-compete stipulations for programming jobs. "They can't tell me what kind of work I can do!!!"

        As for revolving door, there are existing laws against that.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @06:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @06:48PM (#182536)

          it is an abuse of power

          Well, yes, mass surveillance is an abuse of power (as well as a violation of the constitution), and the people who work at the NSA but are not planning any leaks are true criminals, as well as the people in the government who allow these abuses to continue. Defending the NSA is betraying the principles to which the US is supposed to aspire, so it's interesting to see they have financial ties to NSA contractors. We know why they're defending it.

          As for you, I hope, at least, that mass surveillance is an abuse of power to you. It's a shame you have to make these random assumptions about people who just want the government to follow the constitution.

        • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Wednesday May 13 2015, @07:23PM

          by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @07:23PM (#182557)

          Nope, I don't. But I'll hazard a guess this is not the first conspiratorial, ad hominem you have engaged in right?

          Please pick up your knuckles...they are dragging on my carpet.

      • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Wednesday May 13 2015, @07:28PM

        by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @07:28PM (#182562)

        If you are aware of the problem that just makes the irony of your statement even more ironic...but I think your understanding of it is somewhat lacking from what you have said.

        - They are not serving the government, they are serving themselves and their vested interests so your argument there is just ridiculous.
        - The government is supposed to serve the people and these people clearly serving their own best financial interests.
        - They have VESTED FINANCIAL INTERESTS.

        Try looking up "conflict of interest" and why that is a bad thing...

        If you cannot see why this is wrong then I give up. There is no hope for you...

        • (Score: 2, Disagree) by looorg on Wednesday May 13 2015, @07:59PM

          by looorg (578) on Wednesday May 13 2015, @07:59PM (#182583)

          Two out of three bullet-points are true for everyone, the one in the middle is open for interpretation. I believe all these people served the government, they also served themselves as we all do. Everyone has a vested financial interest in their careers, it's not a unique identifier for these people. I'm asking why it's or should be different for these people compared to other professions. Job-jumping or whatever you like to refer to it as is normal these days. It's what I have been asking from the start. You, or perhaps I should say The Intercept, have a clear issue and an axe to grind with parts of the US Government and the what they imagine to be the military-industrial-complex. I can only assume they believe them to have some kind of power and influence never before seen in any other profession; that or they don't care about other professions since they are more interested in government-bashing then anything else. But why not then just answer the question of how long should someone that leaves the government, military or intelligence community be isolated from the workforce. How long and how much are you willing to pay the head of some agency to spend at home doing essentially "nothing"? Because in the end that is what it comes down to. You can't become some kinda of eternal employment pariah just cause you once worked for some part of the government, that would be utterly cruel.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @08:39PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @08:39PM (#182608)

            > But why not then just answer the question of how long should someone that leaves the government, military or intelligence community be isolated from the workforce.

            The answer to that question is meta. The problem is not these specific individuals it is the existence of the industry itself. The outsourcing of government functions to corporations is the problem. Cut back on that and your question becomes moot. A major problem is that these people are responsible for the out-sourcing to begin with, in effect they create the jobs they then jump to.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @05:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 13 2015, @05:48PM (#182493)

    > If its not wrong for other professional fields to do it I don't see how it would be wrong for these people.

    Because the government has a monopoly on force and therefore requires much tighter restrictions and accountability that private business does not.