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Octafish's Journal
Octafish's Journal
March 2, 2012

Corruption Touched CIA’s Covert Operations

Things I've learned in looking up other things:

Above is a never-before-published picture of the wine locker at the Capital Grille that defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes shared with Kyle Dusty Foggo when Foggo was the executive director of the CIA and illegally steering contracts to Wilkes. Wilkes paid for many expensive meals for Foggo at the restaurant. (Photo by Jerry Kammer)

No sacrifice is too great when it comes to defending dinner. I mean, democracy.

Corruption Touched CIA’s Covert Operations

by Marcus Stern
ProPublica, Feb. 25, 2009, 12 a.m.

Paramilitary agents for the CIA’s super-secret Special Activities Division, or SAD, perform raids, ambushes, abductions and other difficult chores overseas, including infiltrating countries to “light up” targets from the ground for air-to-ground missile strikes. This week the government acknowledged for the first time that some of SAD’s sensitive air operations were swept up in a fraud conspiracy that reached the highest levels of the CIA and cost the government $40 million.

That information was contained in a series of court filings released in advance of the long-awaited sentencing of Kyle Dustin “Dusty” Foggo, the disgraced former No. 3 official at the CIA.

One remarkable affidavit came from a leader of SAD, a branch of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, which handles covert actions. It indicates that Foggo forced SAD to use a shell company set up by defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes to handle its sensitive air operations, even though Wilkes and his company had no experience in clandestine aviation operations.


The documents also argue that Wilkes and Foggo tried to incorporate the military’s need for armored vehicles into an array of contracts that involved not only the CIA’s sensitive air operations but also water for troops in Iraq. Wilkes’ and Foggo’s deals—during which they hid their long, personal friendship from other government officials—included markups of up to 60 percent on the goods and services they sold the CIA.



True patriots, these guardians of the free market, Capitalism's Invisible Army.
March 2, 2012

Dusty Foggo’s Girlfriend, John Rizzo, and the Salt Pit

Thanks, again, hootinholler! Something else that's news to me, the Salt Pit deaths and Dusty Foggo's girlfriend:

Dusty Foggo’s Girlfriend, John Rizzo, and the Salt Pit

By: emptywheel Sunday March 28, 2010 11:31 am


Details of how Foggo got his girlfriend hired appeared in the sentencing documents for his conviction in the Brent Wilkes/Duke Cunningham case (they were included not just to show Foggo’s corruption, but also because, over the course of the case, Foggo had repeatedly claimed to be happily and faithfully married).


Now, there is no definitive reason to think there’s a link between Foggo’s decision that two lower level guys who killed a detainee in Afghanistan should get off with no punishment and his girlfriend’s remarkable career at CIA.

But it’s clear from both the AP story on the Salt Pit and Yoo’s response to the OPR Report that the Salt Pit death happened at least partly because of instructions that came from Langley, instructions that may have involved Rizzo directly. And we know that within weeks of the time Foggo saw the details CIA revealed in his sentencing memorandum, he decided to get all chatty with John Durham about the torture tape destruction (note, this was before Durham’s mandate was extended to include the Salt Pit death, so Foggo’s testimony couldn’t have pertained directly to this review). [font color="red"]We also know that DOJ started to have a “real problem” with Carol Lam’s investigation of Duke Cunningham and Brent Wilkes as soon as she asked for a search warrant of Foggo.[/font color]

Dusty Foggo got incredible levels of protection while in his last two years at CIA, protection that probably goes beyond what you’d expect of his senior position. With each new detail of his involvement in the torture program, it seems more and more likely that that protection extended at least in part from the role he played in covering up torture.

SOURCE: http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/03/28/dusty-foggos-girlfriend-john-rizzo-and-the-salt-pit/

Imagine that, torture. The stuff one learns when reading. Too bad the newspapers are going extinct and the thinking that goes with them. Someday soon, if the BFEE get their way, no one will even think to ask: "What about all the money being made by all the cronies up the food chain?"
March 2, 2012

Wow! Sampson Admits He Made Call To Silence FBI Complaints Over Lam’s Firing

Stuff to remember...

Sampson Admits He Made Call To Silence FBI Complaints Over Lam’s Firing

By ThinkProgress on Mar 29, 2007 at 2:00 pm

During today’s hearing, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) questioned Kyle Sampson about the head of the FBI office in San Diego, Dan Dzwilewski, who told reporters in January that Carol Lam’s firing was a blow to efforts to prosecute ongoing cases.

At a hearing with FBI Director Robert Mueller this week, Feinstein said that Dzwilewski’s office had told her it had subsequently been contacted and “warned to say no more.” Under questioning today, Sampson acknowledged he had made a call to complain about Dzwilewski’s statement. But Sampson said he had merely “asked…why an FBI employee was commenting on that issue.” Watch it:
< flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/03/lamfbi.320.240.flv >

Also today, [font color="green"]Sampson claimed that the “real problem” with Carol Lam that Sampson referred to in an email “was her office’s prosecution of immigration cases.”[/font coor]



Right. Immigration. That's the ticket. Not money trumps peace.

Thank you, SuperHoot! Lots to know, in your post thar.
March 2, 2012

Blogging About WikiLeaks Could Get You Fired

Seems writing about the truth is unsportsmanlike.

Blogging About WikiLeaks Could Get You Fired

A State Department employee is under investigation for disclosing classified information. His big disclosure? Linking to a widely publicized WikiLeaks document on his personal blog.

—By Peter Van Buren | Tom Dispatch / Mother Jones, Tue Sep. 27, 2011 12:56 PM PDT

On the same day that more than 250,000 unredacted State Department cables hemorrhaged out onto the Internet, I was interrogated for the first time in my 23-year State Department career by State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) and told I was under investigation for allegedly disclosing classified information. The evidence of my crime? A posting on my blog from the previous month that included a link to a WikiLeaks document already available elsewhere on the web.

As we sat in a small, gray, windowless room, resplendent with a two-way mirror, multiple ceiling-mounted cameras, and iron rungs on the table to which handcuffs could be attached, the two DS agents stated that the inclusion of that link amounted to disclosing classified material. In other words, a link to a document posted by who-knows-who on a public website available at this moment to anyone in the world was the legal equivalent of me stealing a top secret report, hiding it under my coat, and passing it to a Chinese spy in a dark alley.

The agents demanded to know who might be helping me with my blog ("Name names!&quot , if I had donated any money from my upcoming book on my wacky year-long State Department assignment to a forward military base in Iraq, and if so to which charities, the details of my contract with my publisher, how much money (if any) I had been paid, and—by the way—whether I had otherwise "transferred" classified information.

Had I, they asked, looked at the WikiLeaks site at home on my own time on my own computer? Every blog post, every Facebook post, and every tweet by every State Department employee, they told me, must be precleared by the Department prior to "publication." Then they called me back for a second 90-minute interview, stating that my refusal to answer questions would lead to my being fired, never mind the Fifth (or the First) Amendment.



Thank you, unkachuck! It's probably illegal to even think about Wikileaks. Wouldn't know it, with all these secret laws and courts.

Speaking of which... Whatever happened to that Constitution paper thing, anyway? Did it go the way of the Dodo, 5-4, too?
March 2, 2012

WikiLeaks Goes Inside Corporate America's Wannabe CIA

Now, who can an afford to buy such, uh, information? Beside the Food Trust behind Sen. Bob Dole?

WikiLeaks Goes Inside Corporate America's Wannabe CIA

What do Coke, Goldman, the Marines, and the Knights of Columbus have in common? They all paid Stratfor to act as their own private intelligence agency.

—By Adam Weinstein | Mother Jones, Mon Feb. 27, 2012 1:42 PM PST


Few companies seemed as concerned about threats from activists as Archer Daniels Midland, the "Goliath of world food production" Mother Jones once described as equally concerned with "possible price-fixing in Bulgaria" and "influence-peddling in Washington." Shortly after Stratfor started its Global Vantage service, Rich Ryan of ADM's "investigative unit" began to hit them up for intel on political enemies:

• On July 24, 2006: "Rich called to ask a few more questions about activist campaigns to pass to other business divisions. Watching for more information."

• Two days later: "Talked with Rich several times about activist campaign against the company."

• On November 9, 2006: "Received email from Rich regarding some animal rights protesters. Setting up a meeting while he and Mark are in DC next week."

• Five days later: "Rich came into the office for a brief discussion about animal rights as it relates to their new facilty [sic.] in Decatur. He seems very happy with the service, and happy with our information and assistance."



Deep pockets, theirs. Very deep. And lightless.

Thank you, bvar22. You have no idea how much your kindness over the years means.
March 2, 2012

''Trusted Former CIA Cronies''

From the war horse's mouth:

Stratfor: executive boasted of 'trusted former CIA cronies'

By Alex Spillius, Diplomatic Correspondent
9:08PM GMT 28 Feb 2012
The Telegraph

A senior executive with the private intelligence firm Stratfor boasted to colleagues about his "trusted former CIA cronies" and promised to "see what I can uncover" about a classified FBI investigation, according to emails released by the WikiLeaks.

Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at the Texas firm, also informed members of staff that he had a copy of the confidential indictment on Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

The second batch of five million internal Stratfor emails obtained by the Anonymous computer hacking group revealed that the company has high level sources within the United States and other governments, runs a network of paid informants that includes embassy staff and journalists and planned a hedge fund, Stratcap, based on its secret intelligence.


Mr Assange labelled the company as a "private intelligence Enron", in reference to the energy giant that collapsed after a false accounting scandal.



Thank you, wildbilln864! Corporate McPravda has done near-zero to inform the citizenry about this important, eh, change to democracy -- Inside Trading on War Inc.
March 2, 2012

Oil, Media, and War

Something about the resource extraction business, from September 16, 2001:


Where are the moderating voices, the views of those who stand against the momentum of war, who challenge the self-serving rationalizations of empire? You are unlikely to find them in the major media.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is headed by Bob Coonrad, formerly deputy managing director of the U.S. propaganda station Voice of America. At the helm of National Public Radio is Kevin Klose, formerly director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and Radio and Television Marti. (Klose in September 2002 was in Rhinebeck, New York, arguing the necessity of attacking Iraq.) The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is Michael Powell, son of the secretary of state.

(March 2003: Clear Channel, the Texas-based owner of more than 1200 radio and 36 television stations in the USA, with its own syndication and tour management divisions, has been organizing rallies in support of invading Iraq. They also maintain and enforce a list of banned songs and musicians for their stations. Vice chairman Tom Hicks made George W. Bush a multimillionaire by buying the Texas Rangers baseball team from him. As one of the creators and the first chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (with Clear Channel founder Lowry Mays on the board) when Bush was governor, he turned over the control of its funds to companies close to the Bushes, including The Carlyle Group mentioned below. Clear Channel's growth has depended on continued deregulation and lax oversight by the FCC and has its own lobbying office in Washington.)

Oil companies often share board members with the media. The director of Texaco (recently merged with Chevron), former senator Sam Nunn, is also on the board of directors of GE/NBC (GE is the nation's sixth largest defense contractor). Texaco board of directors member Charles Price sits on the New York Times/Boston Globe board of directors. Corporate board member William Steere is on the board of directors of Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal. A member of the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal corporate board, Rand Araskog, also sits on the board of directors of Shell Oil.


Robert Oakley, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan in the 1980's and instrumental to the CIA support of the Afghan Mujahedin (in which Osama bin Laden became a commander), now works for Unocal. One of the Mujahedin's leaders, Hamid Karzai, was the main intermediary between the Mujahedin and the CIA. He later became a top advisor to Unocal and after the ending of Taliban rule in Afghanistan was installed as prime minister. Henry Kissinger also works for Unocal. Secretary of the Air Force under the elder George Bush, Donald Rice, is on Unocal's board of directors. (Rice is also a former president of the military think tank RAND.) Another board member is Charles Larson, former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Navy's pacific command. Former RAND employee and Unocal advisor Zalman Khalilzad is now the National Security Council's advisor for southwest Asia. Afghanistan-born Khalilzad was also an advisor to the state department in the 1980's and is a close associate of Vice President Cheney and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. [On December 31, 2001, Khalilzad became special envoy to Afghanistan.]



...very profitable, that mineral extraction. Especially when applying the muscle of the Pentagon so your friends can steal it from the people who once owned it.
March 2, 2012

Was Carol Lam Targeting The White House Prior To Her Firing?

I dunno how this has since shaken down, but I do know one crazy warmonger in cheat has gotten clean away.

Was Carol Lam Targeting The White House Prior To Her Firing

By Faiz Shakir on Mar 19, 2007 at 1:52 pm

lamReferring to the Bush administration’s purge of former San Diego-based U.S. attorney Carol Lam, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) questioned recently on the Senate floor whether she was let go because she was “about to investigate other people who were politically powerful.”

The media reports this morning that among Lam’s politically powerful targets were former CIA official Kyle “Dusty” Foggo and then-House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA). But there is evidence to believe that the White House may also have been on Lam’s target list. Here are the connections:

– Washington D.C. defense contractor Mitchell Wade pled guilty last February to paying then-California Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham more than $1 million in bribes.

– Wade’s company MZM Inc. received its first federal contract from the White House. The contract, which ran from July 15 to August 15, 2002, stipulated that Wade be paid $140,000 to “provide office furniture and computers for Vice President Dick Cheney.”

– Two weeks later, on August 30, 2002, Wade purchased a yacht for $140,000 for Duke Cunningham. The boat’s name was later changed to the “Duke-Stir.” Said one party to the sale: “I knew then that somebody was going to go to jail for that…Duke looked at the boat, and Wade bought it — all in one day. Then they got on the boat and floated away.”

– According to Cunningham’s sentencing memorandum, the purchase price of the boat had been negotiated through a third-party earlier that summer, around the same time the White House contract was signed.


Thank you, woo me with science! Some things, like prosecution of traitors and warmongers, are too important to, eh, let drop.

March 1, 2012

GOP Spies at Work on Us ... as in 'We the People' Us.

Gee. If the Roberts Court didn't have to decide it, I guess this would be illegal.

CIFA 2.0 Back in the Outsourcing Business

By: emptywheel Thursday April 21, 2011 9:30 am

Remember the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA)? Here’s how I described it back in 2007.

CIFA is, along with the National Security Letters Congress is now cracking down on, probably the biggest abuse of civil rights and privacy BushCo has hatched up. It was designed to gather intelligence on threats to defense installments in the United States–to try to collect information (in the TALON database) on threatening people scoping out domestic bases. But it ended up focusing on peace activists and the lefty blogosphere’s own Jesus’ General. 70 percent of CIFA’s employees are contractors, a figure that makes it a prime candidate for politicized contracting scandal.

Among the contractors spying on Americans was MZM, one of the companies that bribed Duke Cunningham. Prosecutors in that case started investigating MZM’s CIFA contracts in May 2006. Three months after that, the top two managers at CIFA, who had directed CIFA keep sending MZM contracts, resigned suddenly. When DOD’s Inspector General tried to investigate CIFA in 2007, it discovered (it claimed) that the entire CIFA database had been destroyed in June 2006, just as prosecutors were closing in on those contracts.

[font color="green"]Later, in 2008, just as CIFA was claiming it couldn’t publicly reveal its unclassified contracts, we learned that Stephen Cambone (who had led one of the inquiries into CIFA), had won a contract from it, sort of a payoff for not finding anything, I guess.[/font color]

Later that year, DOD “disestablished” CIFA.

Or rather, they renamed it, calling it the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center. Then, last year, we learned that database DOD claimed had been destroyed in 2006 really hadn’t been, and CIFA 2.0 was getting back in the business of keeping a database of information on big threats to the US like Quakers and bloggers.



Thanks, bananas! People who think this is old news are, well, missing a very big boat.

Like a clean environment, freedom was something We the People just took for granted -- apart from those who read the newspapers, of course.
March 1, 2012

With all the trillions involved, these guys've probably done a lot more than just hold hands.

Betcha Bush tried to reach third base on his first date, just like Poppy.

Michelle Mairesse of Hermes-Press provides an excellent overview:

The Bush-Saudi Connection.

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