Saturday, October 14, 2006

fear and greed

In response to my De La Vega / Plame / Armitage /libby post yesterday, starroute left the following comment:
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It might be a side issue, but one thing that jumped out at me from your post was Armitage's involvement with ManTech (ed: armitage is on the board of mantech) -- which is one of those names that keeps turning up in all sorts of places. I've been thinking more and more that the real key to all this Sibel-related stuff is not the Neocons or the old Iran-Contra gang or even the Bush loyalitists, but the military-industrial-security complex. And ManTech opens a number of windows into that.

For example, there's Admiral Jeremiah:

FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 18, 2004--ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT), a leading provider of innovative technologies and solutions focused on mission-critical national security programs for the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. federal government customers announced today that Adm. David E. Jeremiah, USN (Ret) and Dr. Paul G. Stern have joined its Board of Directors. . . .

Admiral Jeremiah began his association with ManTech in 1994 when he was elected to our Advisory Board. He became Chairman of the Advisory Board in 2002. Because of his long association with ManTech, he knows our corporation well and, by virtue of his long, distinguished career in the Navy and industry, has an in-depth knowledge of our marketplace. "His guidance as a member and Chairman of the Advisory Board has been invaluable over the years, and we are pleased to have his expertise on our Board of Directors," said Mr. Pedersen.

During his military career, Admiral Jeremiah earned a reputation as an authority on strategic planning, financial management and the policy implications of advanced technology. From 1990 to 1994, Admiral Jeremiah served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Generals Powell and Shalikashvili. He has served as a Partner and President of Technology Strategies and Alliances Corporation, a strategic advisory and investment banking firm engaged primarily in the aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and electronics industries since 1994.

Admiral Jeremiah also serves on the board of directors for Alliant Techsystems Inc.; Geobiotics, LLC; Todd Shipyards Corporation; and Wackenhut Services, Inc. He is on the Board of Trustees for MITRE Corporation and he serves as an Advisory Board member for Northrop Grumman Corporation. Further, Admiral Jeremiah serves on various national security panels and boards, including the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Defense Policy Board and the National Reconnaissance Office Technology Advisory Group.


An interesting set of credentials -- but one it doesn't mention is his association with JINSA.

The behemoths of military contracting are also well represented in JINSA's ranks. For example, JINSA advisory board members Adm. Leon Edney, Adm. David Jeremiah and Lieut. Gen. Charles May, all retired, have served Northrop Grumman or its subsidiaries as either consultants or board members. . . .

By far the most profitably diversified of the JINSAns is retired Adm. David Jeremiah. President and partner of Technology Strategies & Alliances Corporation (described as a "strategic advisory firm and investment banking firm engaged primarily in the aerospace, defense, telecommunications and electronics industries"), Jeremiah also sits on the boards of Northrop Grumman's Litton subsidiary and of defense giant Alliant Techsystems, which--in partnership with Israel's TAAS--does a brisk business in rubber bullets. And he has a seat on the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, chaired by Perle.


And here's something else from my files:

June 29, 2004

ManTech International Corporation (Nasdaq:MANT), a leading provider of innovative technologies and solutions focused on mission-critical national security programs for the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, the Department of State, the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and other federal government customers announced today the introduction of NetWitness version 5.0, an enhanced version of the popular network wiretap tool that offers improved analytics features and increased capabilities to monitor Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic.

"Terrorists, narcotics groups and other criminals are using the Internet to recruit and run their operations," said Mark Longworth, vice president, Forensics Explorers(R), a division of ManTech Information Systems and Technology. "The Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and law enforcement have the means to intercept such communication; however, interpreting the meaning of these increasingly complex digital communications represents a challenge. With the use of instant messaging, VoIP, anonymous e-mail, and "blogs," the days of intelligence professionals and law enforcement simply "listening" to the bad guy's phone calls are over," said Longworth. "NetWitness version 5 is specifically designed to help investigators be more successful at exploiting Internet intercepts." . . .

NetWitness, which was first introduced and used by the federal government in 1997, is an important addition to ManTech's service and solution offerings, a company well-known for being one of the leading provider's of highly-advanced, information technology services and solutions to the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense. "Our customers in the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense and law enforcement are asking us for more than just services - they are asking us to identify and develop creative solutions to their persistent problems," said George J. Pedersen, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, ManTech International Corporation. "The sophisticated and advanced information technology services we provide to our customers have given us unique visibility to some of their needs and challenges. Not only is NetWitness an excellent technology, but it comes with ManTech's extensive knowledge of our customer's environment," he said.


Firms like ManTech and people like Jeremiah are the real power behind the push for endless war and the security state. I don't know what Armitage's precise relationship with them may be -- but I'm willing to wager there are more answers to be found there than in what he may or may not have been trying to do for Libby.
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Given the beating I've taken of late, allow me to repeat starroute's comment:
I've been thinking more and more that the real key to all this Sibel-related stuff is not the Neocons or the old Iran-Contra gang or even the Bush loyalists, but the military-industrial-security complex.
I'd take that one step further than the military-industrial-security complex - i'd argue (and i do again and again) that it all comes down to financial self-interest. It may not trump everything, but it seems a pretty good place to start. Yes, you can argue that there's some ideology involved, and yes, you can also argue that the neocons are also in it for the bux, same with the iran-contra gang. And yes, you can argue that some folks are involved in institutional battles. And yes, you can argue that there are other motives for the military-industrial- security complex, such as a global police state (although, similarly, I'd argue 'for what purpose?')

And yes, you can argue (and i'd definitely agree) that I am blinkered and anchored in my position that selfish considerations trump everything and that everyone has a price and all that. And I don't have much to offer to counter that criticism - other than to say that i've had a lot of experience working in markets of different types, and the two things that seem to matter in those environments are fear and greed - and in my experience, they usually trump loyalty and ideology.
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update - profmarcus in the comments shines a spotlight on atk
and
starroute:
Greed is certainly a motivation, but greed doesn't go very far in explaining who's doing what and why. Even pigs at the trough enrich themselves in ways that comport with their own belief systems and ideas about how the world ought to be.
starroute has more

3 comments:

profmarcus said...

one player mentioned here, alliant techsystems, has an unfortunately low profile, particularly when considering the type of "business" it engages in... in one of my former, darker lives, i worked for a previous incarnation of ATK, as it's known, when it was still part of honeywell... ATK is the producer of those horrible anti-personnel bomblets and land mines currently sprinkled liberally all over lebanon, afghanistant, cambodia, iraq, and a great deal of the rest of the conflict-ridden areas of the world... it's an ugly business and an ugly company...

http://www.atk.com/

starroute said...

Greed is certainly a motivation, but greed doesn't go very far in explaining who's doing what and why. Even pigs at the trough enrich themselves in ways that comport with their own belief systems and ideas about how the world ought to be.

For example, greedy ex-Congressmen typically become lobbyists for large corporations. They get rich, their friends get rich, and it's all in service of a vaguely defined free market ideology.

In contrast, people in the Bush Sr. circle get involved with the Carlyle Group or similar international business ventures and hobnob with Arab sheikhs. This serves both their elitist view of world affairs, which emphasizes keeping the "right" people in charge, and their geostrategic emphasis on projecting American influence into crucial regions of the world.

Finally, retired ex-military officers tend to hook up with defense and security contractors. They make out very well, but it also fits it with their peace-through-strength or clash of civilizations mindset -- an outlook that apparently combines an after-echo of the gonzo anti-communism that animated many of them in their formative years with a strain of prayer-breakfast Christianity that's glad to take Islam as the new enemy.

It's the old "I may be a whore but I'm not that kind of whore" situation. We need to know just what kind of whores these people are in order to understand what they're up to and, hopefully, preempt it. So in the current instance, when former military officers like those of the Iran Policy Committee start lining up with the Neocons to get us into a war with Iran, I want to know why and whose interests and ideology are being served by it.

lukery said...

thnx PM and starroute - post updated

I want to know why and whose interests and ideology are being served by it.
me too - it sure as hell makes it hard to know how to try to stop it if we don't know what the motivations are. grrr.