Archive for June, 2010


I received this from Robin Petersen today describing his problems with Boeing taking responsibility for their subsidiary BISS.  GFS


If you have the time I would suggest taking a moment to look at this C-Span link;

I would also suggest that you start the C-Span video at 1:17 in which Mr. McNerney begins his testimony before the AFSC.

The Boeing Company CEO, Mr. James W. McNerney Jr. went on record before the Armed Forces Services Committee in August of 2006 following a Department of Justice investigation that proved that the Boeing Company had been involved in unethical and criminal wrongdoing.  Mr. McNerney, the new CEO of (14 months) stated in part that he would personally ensure that “The Boeing Company” would put the unethical past behind them, move forward, and operate under the highest standards of integrity and ethical business conduct.  Mr. McNerney stated that he would personally oversee the Boeing Ethics and Compliance Programs and hold those managers who failed to follow his leadership principles and ethics guidelines accountable. 

You should know that I contacted the Boeing Ethics Hotline in April of 2009 to express my concerns of unethical business practices, by people who represented themselves as “Boeing Managers.”  I also contacted Mr. McNerney himself, via federal express letter from Saudi Arabia in June 2009 in which I identified a number of ethical violations; that I was injured; that his company had breached my contract for failure to pay me my salary; that I felt fraud was taking place; that there was a complete disregard for the safety and wellbeing of Boeing employees; and that my U.S. Passport had not been returned upon my request. 

Mr. McNerney never bothered to respond to this report of obvious ethics and criminal violations.  If leadership, ethics and integrity are to be achieved by example, I believe Mr. McNerney has failed in that responsibility.  

Thank you,

Robin P. Petersen (Rob)

With Mr. Petersen’s permission, I have posted the letter below that he wrote asking help from Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, while he experienced unlawful detainment by BIS/Boeing in Saudi Arabia and was not allowed to leave to seek medical treatment in the United States.  Apparently there are a number of people, both U.S citizens and citizens of other nations, who have been experiencing such treatment.  This is an outrage.  Defininitive action must be taken by the U.S. government, concerning this unlawful behavior by Boeing/BISS and what appears to be an involved Saudi government.  Accepting employment with Boeing/BISS and working in the Middle East should not be tantamount to signing away one’s human and civil rights and becoming a slave or political prisoner.   



To all;

I have sent the following email to the U.S. State Department as they allow only seven days in which to respond to their email.




Subject: RE: Boeing Company Violating Human Rights [Incident: 100604-000108]

Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 17:04:54 +0000

Dear Sir/Madam;

Thank you for your email.  I am responding because you stated that I have seven (7) days to reopen this matter should I not feel it has been resolved.  I do not feel it has been properly resolved.  My point in this matter is that the Boeing Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Boeing International Support Systems have engaged in U.S. Passport confiscation, false imprisonment, failure to provide for the safety and wellbeing of its employees and other fraudulent activities.  They have defrauded the Saudi Government through over billing (claiming to have more employees working for them than actual) and in providing substandard flight training and unsafe aircraft maintenance.  They are a U.S. Contactor and as such are required to meet certain ethical, professional and legal standards in accordance with the Technical Assistance Agreements established through our U.S. State Department.  They have not met those standards and should be held accountable for violating such agreements. 

I and others, including people from other nations were held against our will and were not allowed to return to our countries of origin when requests were made in writing to Boeing managers.  Many were forced to sign liability releases before being paid, having their passports returned, and being provided with an “Exit Visa” in which to leave the country of Saudi Arabia.  Although, this information was reported first to the U.S. State Department in June of 2009, via the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (please find attached letter dated June 3, 2009) and then to the FBI in December of 2009 to my knowledge, no investigation has ever been initiated by either agency. 

You should know that I recently sent a letter to President Obama dated June 16, 2010 asking that he please have someone contact the Phoenix, FBI on my behalf to inquire as to why they did not initiate an investigation of some sort for what I believe are criminal violations of U.S. Law.

Thank you for taking the time to review this information and please reopen this investigation [Incident: 100604-000108].


s/ Robin Petersen

> From:

> To:

> Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 10:40:20 -0400

> Subject: Boeing Company Violating Human Rights [Incident: 100604-000108]



> Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support

> center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.


> If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it

> within the next 7 days.


> Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.


> Subject

> —————————————————————

> Boeing Company Violating Human Rights



> Discussion Thread

> —————————————————————

> Response (Support Agent) – 06/18/2010 10:40 AM

> Thank you for your message to Secretary Clinton sharing your thoughts and concerns. We value your opinion and will take it — and the views of all Americans — into consideration.


> Secretary Clinton is committed to strengthening America’s national security, advancing the interest of the United States, and restoring America’s leadership position in the world.


> Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of State.



> Question Reference #100604-000108

> —————————————————————

> Category Level 1: Ask the State Department

> Date Created: 06/04/2010 12:06 PM

> Last Updated: 06/18/2010 10:40 AM

> Status: Solved

> [—001:001003:23410—]


Robin P. Petersen

Apartment NC8-10D

Saudi City, Jeddah

Saudi Arabia

Email  Phone # 966 (0) 56 650-7815

                                                      June 3, 2009

US State Department

The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State

Washington DC


Subj:  Withholding of US Passports 

Dear Mrs. Clinton; 

I am writing you this letter to request your assistance.  I am a US Citizen / Retired Veteran and have been injured in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.   I need to return to the United States for medical care.   

Although I have requested the return of my US Passport, the managers of the Boeing International Support Systems / Alsalam Aircraft Company will not return the passport to me nor will they provide me with an exit visa to leave this country. 

I have enclosed a copy of a letter that was written to the Boeing C.E.O. dated June 2, 2009 for your review.  Please help me. 

Thank you, 

Robin P. Petersen 

Encl:  letter dated June 2, 2009 to the Boeing Company CEO

In spite of new controls, Austrian tax haven practices continue to ease the financing of terrorism, money laundering and organized crime.  

By Shelley Stark

      Austria’s measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing still face obstacles achieving their goals, according to a December 2009 report by the International Monetary Fund’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Limitations on access to ownership of assets through custodial Treuhand arrangements, foundations, and companies issuing bearer shares all help protect criminal activity.

      Despite all good intentions, the FATF reports that it is impossible to satisfy the needs of clients seeking to keep banking relationships secret and hide beneficial ownership and still impose stringent verifiable rules that mandate transparency. 

      In Austria, custodial “Treuhand” arrangements are different from the trusts familiar to British or American clients.  The Austrian legal code as described in Rummel: Kommentar zum Allegemeinen bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch states, “it is self evident that a third-party should not ever be made aware that any indirect or direct relationship exists between the businessman and the asset via the lawyer. The relationship between the businessman and the lawyer is secret, which often includes even knowledge of a ‘power of attorney’ existing between the lawyer and the businessman”. 

      These “Treuhand” accounts can have either a lawyer or a notary as official trustee or Treuhänder, and thus play an important role in the sale and purchase of enterprises and real estate. These trustees administer assets and securities, create foundations, operate trusts and open bank accounts with banks that correspondingly want this kind of business. One possibility for the trustee is to create an ‘open Treuhand’ arrangement where the legal relationship between them and the client is not held secret, or they may decide on a ‘hidden Treuhand’ where attorney-client privilege prevents disclosure of a Treuhand contract.

      With a hidden Treuhand arrangement, it is effectively impossible to ascertain beneficial ownership of private foundations, corporations, and bank accounts. According to Austrian law as described in Rummel, “Treuhand contracts are not regulated, because there exists the freedom to make contracts as one pleases.”

      In Austria, both lawyers and notaries serve as official trustees and thus play an important role in the sale and purchase of enterprises and real estate.

      “They let the bank know an account is a trust account,” Rummel explains, “but do not have to disclose the name of the client, because the banking relationship is between the trustee and the bank, and not the bank and the client.”

      Currently, there are no measures in place for persons acting as official trustees who are not lawyers or notaries, the FATF report stated. As there is no central register of people authorized to be trustees, ownership could only be traced through a police search, involving a check of every relevant professional. In a case where the person is not a member of the Bar Association, or a notary, then the search is effectively impossible.

      The impetus for the FATF initiatives lies an interest eliminating the opportunities for terrorist financing. The assumption made in the FATF report, however, is that neither criminals nor terrorists would be interested in engaging in the traditional financial activities or identity subterfuge, where the participation of lawyers and notaries would be required.

      Complicating matters further, the laundering of personal funds is not treated as a crime under Austrian law, as Article 165 limits the scope of money laundering offences to assets “that derive from the crime of another person.” In essence, these unregulated activities leave a wide loophole for criminals and terrorist financiers.

      Although the criminalization of the financing of terrorist activities is consistent with the 1999 UN Terrorist Convention, credit institutions individually assess whether customers or products represent a low risk of money laundering or terrorist financing. The FATF report states “even though banks will comply with requests by the Austrian Financial Investigative Unit, court orders from the public prosecutor are rejected if in the view of the bank, adequate evidence was not presented and the legal conditions for disclosure were not met.”

      Another problem in identifying criminal activities is how legal authorities can become aware of criminal activities outside the due-diligence banks. Even high-level staffers at Austrian regulators often lack the expertise to identify activities that lie outside the law. In a Jan. 25 interview, Dr. Edwin Zauchner at the Austrian Finance Ministry admitted that there is not one tax expert on his staff familiar with hidden Treuhand and thus capable of identifying tax avoidance using the with hidden Treuhand mechanism.

      In addition, Dir. Franz Kurz at the Tax Investigation Unit (Steuerfahndung) revealed that there are at least 70 staff people with knowledge concerning hidden Treuhand, but that not one of them has ever pursed a reported case, because the obstacles to doing so “make the effort pointless.”

      “Unless one provided the Treuhand contract and illustrated what illegality is occurring,” says Mag. Rudolf Unterköfler of the Criminal Intelligence Service with the Federal Ministry of Interior,  “an investigation would not be pursued.” Outside of the due diligence of the banks, there is little laudable chance of an investigation into any hidden Treuhand activities.

      How then is it possible to satisfy the needs of clients seeking to keep beneficial ownership of domestic or international enterprises discrete and still impose the necessary due diligence and stringent verifiable rules that make corporate transparency rules essential for market stability effective?

      According to the FATF, beneficiary identity in the case of fiduciary accounts held by attorneys or notaries from Austria, or any other country, does not need to be provided to credit or financial institutions if several requirements are fulfilled. Those include the infeasibility of the beneficiary identity due to the representation of large co-ownership communities of changing composition, as well as the certainty that the client is not domiciled in a non-cooperative country and that no money laundering or terrorist financing have taken place.

      Clearly, some people are interested in hiding their economic activities as well as their income because. And while there is no data available for assets under management in the private banking sector, aggregated balance sheets of banks in Austria show a growing trend in the ratio of foreign deposits.

      Consider this: Afghanistan’s opium production has gone from 640 tons in 2001 to 8,200 tons in 2007, worth an estimated $6.4 billion on the streets of Western countries. Afghanistan now supplies over 93% of the global opiate market. And while the Taliban may move heroin out of Afghanistan to supply world consumption, it is doubtful that they will truck their ill-gotten gains back into the country just to hide them in a cave. It is highly more likely that this money would remain in tax havens in Europe where it would be safe and could be readily used to purchase ever-increasingly sophisticated equipment to carry out terrorist activities.

      Despite recommendations, however, the status quo suggests that the legal community is unaware of criminal organizations’ and terrorist financiers’ intentions to hide or create profits by engaging a lawyer and possibly working in legitimate capital markets. While the FATF has recommended greater transparency regarding Treuhand relationships, there is still no viable means to achieve it as long as lawyers and banks are still the guardians of secrecy.  

Shelley Stark is the author of Hidden Treuhand: How Corporations and Individuals Hide Assets and Money, published by Universal Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida. Also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Thanks for sending this!  I sure appreciate my readers and their contributions to knowing what is going on and why!  Those who do care about getting a more suitable Director of National Intelligence appointed, now must quickly apply pressure to their Senators, as the Senate must confirm this appointment.  I hope clear heads prevail and determined people will write, email and call their Senators.  If enough of us do so, we can stop this.  Tell all your friends and associates!  GFS


G. Florence-

I wrote earlier to express my concern about Obama’s possible nomination of James Clapper as the new Director of National Intelligence.  Seems that I am not alone in my opinions, others have a similar opinion of Clapper’s capabilities.  Trust me, I’ve had to work for the sorry _ _ _ _!


Taking Stock of the Intel Community Shake Up

Written by Larry C. Johnson

Saturday, 06 January 2007 12:31

There are big doings in the intel community that may signal the start of a new effort to cook the books to justify an attack on Iran.  Let’s start with John Negroponte’s move to State Department.  I am told by a knowledgeable friend that Negroponte was pressured by the White House to take the job at State.  The exodus of key State Department personnel (e.g., Deputy Secretary Zoellick, Counselor Phil Zelikow, and Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Hank Crumpton) left Condi twisting in the wind.  Negroponte gives Condi one of the most experienced foreign service officers in the State Department’s history. 

Negroponte will not be shedding crocodile tears as he drives  to Foggy Bottom.  The Director of National Intelligence job is still in its full birthing pains and, while having important clout over the National Intelligence Estimate process and handling the daily Presidential intelligence brief, still lacks effective control of the intelligence community.  The Director of CIA retains control over the most significant human collection capability and the Under Secretary of Intelligence at the Department of Defense essentially controls 80% of the intelligence community, including almost all of the critical technical collection assets.

Replacing Negroponte with retired Navy Admiral John M. McConnell and appointing retired Air Force Lt. General James Clapper as the Under Secretary of Intelligence at DOD, where he will be in charge of coordinating the budgets and activities of the NSA, the NRO, Defense Human Services, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the Defense Intelligence Agency, will give the military unprecedented control of the intelligence community.  This will mark the first time since World War II the active duty or former military officers are running the main intelligence assets of the United States.  Clapper’s new job, at least for him, is a dream come true.

Clapper and McConnell are worrisome choices because they are known in the intelligence community as guys willing to give their customers what they want.  Unlike Negroponte, who took a pretty tough analytical stance dismissing the imminence of an Iranian threat, Clapper and McConnell will be more than willing collaborators in making a case that Iran is a serious, immediate threat.  If you want to cook the books then these guys can be master chefs.

Clapper’s new job, at least for him, is a dream come true.   He appears on the verge of fulfilling a lifelong ambition.  While he was director Clapper spent much pf his time politicking and scheming to take away from the Director of the CIA any and all moneys that were budgeted for any support to the armed forces. He wanted to make himself “Director of Military Intelligence,” a new title, so that he could receive his fourth star as a full general. He was defeated in this attempt by the then DCI James Woolsey.  Although a fourth star is not in the plans, Clapper will be the Director of Military   Intelligence.

Jim Clapper, I’m told by a former colleague of Clapper’s, may have been the worst director ever of the DIA.  An Air force tactical intelligence officer, Clapper knew nothing whatever of intelligence support to policy making when he arrived at DIA as its Director in 1992. His entire world of work up to then had been made up of target photographs and anti-aircraft weapons.

He was completely unfamiliar with the fact that DIA was a major participant in the formulation of national intelligence estimates, and when he found out that was true he said that he “had no intention of participating.” Accordingly he re-structured DIA’s analytic force, which had been one of the finest in the world away from such categories as; countries XXX, counter-terrorism, economics, advanced weapons developments, Middle East, Islam, etc. to categories such as; tanks, anti-aircraft rockets, bombs, etc. This removed from the national analytic capability a major asset which would have been invaluable in the period before 9/11.

As a result of his destruction of their career fields, hundreds of the most senior and esteemed analysts retired early. DIA has been trying to re-construct the fine capability that it had at the end of the First Gulf War ever since Clapper left the job of Director. The confirmation hearings of Clapper and McConnell will be a signficant test of the Democratic Senate’s spine.  Are the Democrats willing to ask tough questions during upcoming confirmation hearings and insist on getting answers?  Will the Rockefeller led Senate Intelligence Committee push hard behind closed doors to get a solid, no shit appraisal of whether or not Iran really poses an imminent threat in the Middle East?  I hope the answer is yes.


Dear Reader, 

I share your concerns, though undoubtedly not your specific experiences.  I would suggest you and others turn your intense focus to writing, emailing and calling your Senators, as the Senate will have to confirm this disastrous appointment.  We can stop it if we can get enough people to say “not only no, but hell no!”  GFS


G. Florence-

Too late.  Now we are going to have a new national disaster serving as Director of National Intelligence.  Clapper was a walking disaster at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  Obama did not listen.  Obama should have had to work for him!

Intelligence Chief Walks Plank Without Ceremony

Wednesday 26 May 2010

by: Ray McGovern, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis

The term “accountability” was effectively banned inside the Washington Beltway many years ago. So, why was it that the just-jettisoned Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Dennis Blair, was abruptly shown the door last week – I mean, really. Most pundits attribute the firing of Blair to the most recent series of intelligence misadventures. But the evidence is mounting that there is much more to the story.

True, a Senate Intelligence Committee report released on May 18 regarding 23-year-old Nigerian passenger Uma Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to down an airliner over Detroit on Christmas revealed a damning string of intelligence shortcomings – on top of other recent misadventures. Once again, the intelligence community was shown to be in all-too-familiar disarray – adrift, with no helmsman strong, savvy and courageous enough to get proliferating intelligence bureaucracies to cooperate.

The Senate report is a damning catalog of misfeasance and mistakes. Yet, given recent precedent, with US intelligence screwing up so clearly and regularly with no one held accountable, L’Affaire Abdulmutallab probably would not, in and of itself, have been enough to send Blair packing. Rather, it should be seen as the proximate cause of Blair’s walking the plank on Friday – which he did without the normally de rigueur thank you to President Obama for “the privilege of serving.”

A powerful combination of senior CIA officials and White House functionaries influenced by the Israel lobby had been out for Blair’s hide for over a year. That he crossed the CIA in trying to assert a right to appoint some CIA station chiefs abroad, for example, is by now a familiar story. And his rivalry with CIA alumnus John Brennan, now White House referent for terrorism, was an open secret. Brennan must be particularly happy at Blair’s demise, since, truth be told, Brennan bears as much responsibility for Abdulmutallab being able to board his flight as Blair does.

There is another element, virtually neglected in the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM), that did Blair in. You see, Blair had a strong measure of integrity. And that can often be the kiss of death in official Washington. On substantive issues, like Iran’s nuclear program, Blair did not show the malleability that is desired by those who are out to zap Iran; I believe it likely that these get-Iran, neocon hawks helped to zap Blair.

Denied His Own Staff

Last year, the neocons had their feathers ruffled big time by Blair’s choice of independent-minded former Ambassador Chas Freeman to be chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), without clearing this first with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The NIC has purview over the preparation of National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) and the President’s Daily Brief – the two premier intelligence publications.

Blair’s choice of Freeman raised the ire of Washington’s still-influential neoconservatives and their allies in the Obama administration because he was regarded as a “realist” on the Middle East, rather than someone who would side reflexively with Israel.

When rumors began to circulate about Freeman’s appointment, the neocons unleashed a media barrage, denouncing his criticism of Israel and his associations with the Saudi and Chinese governments. One influential column, entitled “Obama’s Intelligence Blunder,” was published February 28 on The Washington Post’s neocon-dominated op-ed page, written by Jon Chait of The New Republic, another important neocon journal.

Still, on the morning of March 10, 2009, Blair described the high value that Freeman “will” bring to the job – “his long experience and inventive mind,” for example.

Enter Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), who simply could not abide someone in that post with open respect for the rights and interests of both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. By five o’clock that afternoon, Freeman was told by Blair to announce that he (Freeman) had asked that his selection “not proceed.”

To his credit, Freeman went down swinging. He made it clear that he was withdrawing his “previous acceptance” of Blair’s invitation to chair the NIC because of the character assassination of him orchestrated by the Israel lobby (which Freeman now calls the “Likud Lobby,” to identify it more narrowly with the extreme right wingers – the kind who got Rahm Emanuel to give him the heave-ho).

Freeman added, “The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views … and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those it [the lobby] favors.”

Foreign policy analyst Chris Nelson described the imbroglio as a reflection of the “deadly power game regarding what level of support for controversial Israeli government policies is a ‘requirement’ for US public office.”

Schumer led the lobby’s unabashed boasting. “His [Freeman’s] statements against Israel were way over the top,” Schumer said. “I repeatedly urged the White House to reject him, and I am glad they did the right thing.” Though the Freeman flap faded, it was the kind of sin not to be forgiven. Blair had suffered a political hit and had made some powerful enemies.

I recall the “morning after,” as I found myself wondering when Emanuel – who reportedly was Schumer’s go-to guy on the get-Freeman campaign – saw fit to let Admiral Blair in on the little secret that no way could he have Freeman.

And I wondered why Blair tucked tail, rather than quit in protest of having his choice for the nation’s senior intelligence analyst blackballed. It is, at least in theory, a position that is supposed to be about objectivity, giving the president unvarnished information, not ideologically favored spin.

Apparently, these days it is in theory only. The lobby won that one hands down – and, with typical chutzpah, has not stopped boasting. The get-Blair campaign was unusually transparent in The Washington Post’s lead editorial on Saturday, which began by asserting that Blair’s “resignation … was the product of personal as well as institutional failings.” His “personal” failing? Here’s how The Post described it:

“Mr. Blair’s political judgment looked questionable from the beginning of his DNI tenure, when he nominated a former ambassador [Chas Freeman] with … crackpot views about the about the Israel ‘Lobby’ to chair the National Intelligence Council.”

A Messy Structure

Aside from offending the editorial page neocons of The Washington Post and other lobby influenced centers of power, it also seems clear that, without a highly honed talent for management and strong presidential support, Blair was doomed to failure from the start. And so was the bureaucratic superstructure built around the director of National Intelligence as a key reform that followed the twin intelligence failures on 9/11 and Iraq’s WMD (weapons of mass destruction).

The DNI was given the supremely difficult task of ruling over the intelligence community, a responsibility previous invested in the director of Central Intelligence. The job was hard enough, but Blair was hampered further because he lacked the strong personal support of President Obama.

I served under nine directors of central intelligence – several of them at close remove. Adm. Stansfield Turner, who was picked by his Naval Academy classmate Jimmy Carter, was the only one who really grasped the reins of the entire intelligence community and made it cohere.

A few years ago, as Admiral Turner and I sat together waiting to go into a TV studio, I had a chance to ask him how he was able to do that. To the best of my recollection, this is what he told me:

“I was in command of the Sixth Fleet cruising in the Med when I was tipped off that I was about to get a call from the president-elect. There had been earlier signs that Carter was going to ask me to be his Director of Central Intelligence.

“Now, Ray, when you know you’re going to be made that kind of offer – one you can’t really refuse – that’s precisely the time when you need to think long and hard about how you might use what little bargaining power you may have at that point, in order to improve your chances for success in the new job. I had about ten minutes. Then the call came.

“Mr. President-elect, I said, as a former naval officer you will be able to appreciate this conundrum I see. The job is twofold. I would have no trouble running the CIA – I can run the Sixth Fleet; I can run the CIA.

“What gives me pause is the equally important – maybe more important – job of running the entire intelligence community. As a military man I am very reluctant to accept responsibility for something over which I have only tenuous authority.

“And my experience with the intelligence community suggests that the fiefdoms that comprise it will not work together effectively, no matter what I say or do, UNLESS you make it clear that I have the authority derived from the President, commensurate with my responsibility in leading the entire community. If you can make that clear, I will accept the nomination with gusto.”

Carter said he would take care of it and, shortly thereafter, came a directive from the president-elect to heads of the main national security and intelligence agencies and staffs. In it, Carter announced he had selected Turner to be his DCI, that ALL addressees would cooperate fully with him as he harnesses the intelligence community behind the new administration’s main objectives, and that he had instructed Turner to let him know immediately should there be any sign that he was not getting the full and unfettered cooperation he would need as the chief intelligence adviser to the president. That did it, Turner told me.

Turner was too modest to add what I had already learned as a lesson about his tenure, that an effective director of the intelligence community needs the courage to put noses out of joint. He should NOT adopt the “team player” mode that so many intelligence directors since Turner have succumbed to.

If Turner was not getting full cooperation from, say, the FBI, he would simply go down to the White House and let President Carter and/or his advisers know. The attorney general and/or the FBI director would promptly receive the necessary remedial instructions.

Consummate “Team Player”

Two decades later, “team player” George Tenet (the team being George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld) stood this on its head. Nary a nose did timid, incurious George put out of joint.

But Tenet, who had mastered the skills of serving his “principal” as a staff aide to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman David Boren, was so well-liked in Washington that even the 9/11 Commission was reluctant to offer pointed criticism of his gross misfeasance in his community role.

(At one hearing, Commissioner Jamie Gorelick fawned over Tenet, noting with admiring wonderment what she said especially distinguished him; namely, that everyone in the establishment simply called him “George,” and all automatically knew to whom they were referring. Amazing!)

Instead of affixing blame for 9/11, co-chair Lee Hamilton, Gorelick, and others kept wringing their hands, complaining, “no one was in charge of the intelligence community.” True enough, but that was by no means solely due to the structural anomaly that gave the DCI responsibility for managing both the agency and the entire intelligence community.

It had much more to do with Tenet’s reluctance to give the needed time and attention to the rest of the community and make it work together. Tenet preferred to direct his gaze upward, showing the bureaucratic skills he had learned as a Capitol Hill aide, ingratiating himself with the powerful and never putting them – or himself – in an uncomfortable situation.

You don’t insinuate yourself into top jobs in Washington, or get to stay in them, by knocking important noses out of joint, no matter how badly such disfigurement is needed. No one ever needed plastic surgery after an encounter with Tenet.

On July 22, 2004, the day the 9/11 report was released, I had been asked to comment on it immediately at the BBC’s studio in Washington. After expressing amazement at the report’s bizarre bottom line, that the calamity seemed to be no one’s fault, I emerged from the studio and promptly bumped into two commissioners, Jamie Gorelick and Slade Gorton. They had been waiting on deck in the outer room.

Gorelick went in first; I thought to myself, now’s your chance, McGovern. I approached Gorton and said that I was bothered by the report’s mantra that no one is in charge of the intelligence community and the commission’s misguided notion that a new DNI superstructure should be placed atop it.

I said that I was sure he was aware that, by statute, Director of Central Intelligence Tenet is supposed to be in charge of the community and to ensure that all agencies coordinate and cooperate. Gorton put his arm around me, as senior ex-senators are wont to do, and in an avuncular voice (as if explaining something pretty basic to a freshman), said, “Yes, of course I know that, Ray. But Tenet would not do it.”

My follow-up question was to be: So, you all are advocating an entirely new superstructure just because Tenet “would not do it?” Unfortunately, the door opened, Gorelick walked out and Gorton escaped into the studio.

The year 2004 was an election year and, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the commission report, members of Congress wished to be seen as doing something – anything. So, they moved to enact many of the 9/11 Commission’s “reforms.”

By then, the CIA and the just-resigned Tenet had been completely discredited, not only for failures prior to 9/11, but also for the unconscionable cooking of intelligence to justify war on Iraq.

Yet, instead of focusing on individual responsibility for 9/11 and the politicization of the CIA’s analytical division – what might be called cultural failures – Congress found it easier to diagram a new bureaucracy.

Protests from intelligence professionals were seen as self-serving. So, we got a new DNI ostensibly to preside over the whole enchilada, but WITHOUT the kind of authority and support Carter gave Turner.

Admirals and Admirals

If recent years have proved anything, it is this: there are admirals; and then there are admirals.

Admirals in the mold of Stansfield Turner – like William (Fox) Fallon and Joint Chiefs’ Chairman Mike Mullen – are one thing. They represent the tough independence that the Navy often requires of its senior officers.

Near the end of the Bush administration, Fallon and Mullen deserved most of the credit for facing down Vice President Dick Cheney and persuading President Bush that war with Iran would not be a good idea and that Israel needed to be told exactly that – in no uncertain terms. That was just three years ago; war was pretty close.

Then there are the admirals who know how to salute and avoid confrontations, the likes of Mike McConnell, who was snatched away from his sinecure as a Booz-Allen & Hamilton marketeer to become the second director of national intelligence, apparently because he was judged to be incapable of doing much harm.

What McConnell lacked in managerial knowhow, well, let me put it this way: he in no way made up for that lack by his substantive acumen. Three poignant illustrative vignettes involving the hapless McConnell come to mind:

(1) Testifying before the Senate, McConnell was asked to venture a guess as to why Israel might put forward a more alarming view of Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon than that of the US intelligence community. He was at a loss for an answer.

(2) At times, McConnell would display his naïveté by saying too much. The subject of torture came up in an interview McConnell gave Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker magazine. McConnell innocently told Wright that, for him: “Waterboarding would be excruciating. If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can’t imagine how painful! Whether it’s torture by anybody else’s definition, for me it would be torture.”

Later, McConnell let slip the rationale for the Bush administration’s refusal to admit that waterboarding is torture. For anyone paying attention, that rationale had long been a no-brainer. But here is McConnell inadvertently articulating it: “If it is ever determined to be torture, there will be a huge penalty to be paid for anyone engaging in it.”

(3) More damning was “Malleable Mike” McConnell’s attempts to finesse the key judgments of the bombshell NIE of November 2007, which directly contradicted what Bush and Cheney had been saying about the imminence of a nuclear threat from Iran.

Facing withering criticism from the likes of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger and the irrepressible former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, McConnell backpedaled.

In testimony to the Senate on February 5, 2008, he confessed to careless wording in the NIE due to time constraints, and even indicated he “probably would have changed a thing or two.”

Whereas the NIE started out with a straightforward, “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program,” McConnell indicated he would now prefer to say, for example, that “maybe even the least significant portion [of the Iranian nuclear program; i. e., the warhead] was halted and there are other parts that continue.”

A Mixed Bag

McConnell’s successor Blair was in no way a strong manager as DNI. And with an increasingly bloated staff tripping over one another, there was little hope that Blair was up to the job of taking hold of the intelligence community.

Nor was there any sign that he ever thought to ask President Obama for the necessary endorsement and support. Besides, Blair seems to have been an innocent to the ways of Washington.

Anyone could have told him there would be no percentage in locking horns with CIA Director Leon Panetta with the latter’s longstanding political connections in this town and a CIA staff that has proven past master at political infighting.

Worse still, Blair let himself be used in a way no US intelligence official should permit. Those in the Obama administration who think it’s a good idea to put US citizens on the CIA assassination list needed to send up a trial balloon to see if Congress and the media would look the other way.

And so, in February, the White House inflated the balloon for Blair to float at a Congressional hearing. He contended that there were certain counterterrorism cases that could involve killing an American citizen. There were very few objections from official Washington.

Administration officials have since cited secret evidence showing that the Yemen-based Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki’s connections to al-Qaeda have gone “operational,” thus making him a target for killing even though he is a native-born American citizen. The Bill of Rights be damned.

I would wager Blair regrets letting himself be used like that. I have independent confirmation that, during the sixties at the Naval Academy, the curriculum included a block of instruction on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

A Saving Grace

There is one substantive matter of considerable significance on which Blair did muster the courage to stand up. He withstood intense pressure from those wishing to exaggerate the danger that Iran could have a nuclear weapon soon.

There is no sign that whoever succeeds him will have the courage, professionalism or gravitas needed to face down those in Congress and the administration determined to exaggerate that threat, to the point where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be emboldened to launch a “pre-emptive” attack (the term now in vogue for what the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal called a “war of aggression”).

In testimony before Congress early this year, Blair virtually wore out the subjunctive mood in addressing Iran’s possible plans for a nuclear weapon. His paragraphs were replete with dependent clauses, virtually all of them beginning with “if.”

Blair repeated verbatim the 2007 NIE judgment that Iran is “keeping the option open to develop nuclear weapons,” while also repeating the intelligence community’s agnosticism on the $64 question: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

Addressing the uranium enrichment plant at Qom, Blair said its small size and location under a mountain “fit nicely with a strategy of keeping the option open to build a nuclear weapon at some future date, if Tehran ever decides to do that.”

Such “advancements lead us to affirm our judgment from the 2007 NIE that Iran is technically capable of producing enough HEU [highly enriched uranium] for a weapon in the next few years, if it chooses to do so.”

Notably absent from Blair’s testimony was the first “high confidence” judgment of the 2007 NIE that “in fall 2003 Iran halted its nuclear weapons program,” and the “moderate confidence” assessment that Iran had not restarted it.

That was the most controversial judgment in 2007. But Blair did not disavow it. Nor did he weasel on it, as McConnell did. He simply didn’t mention it – probably in an attempt to let that sleeping dog lie. But now that dog is waking up.

Possible Revisions

A “Memorandum to Holders” is intelligence jargon for updating a definitive estimate, like the one from November 2007, with any necessary changes. As has been the custom in recent years, one regarding the Iranian nuclear program has been delayed and delayed again. The Washington Post says it is now due in August.

There is no minimizing the importance of this update. It needs to be as honest as the earlier NIE, though that will take courage and clout.

In this sense, I regret Blair’s departure. For those now in charge are relative nonentities with, truth be told, sparse experience in intelligence work and little gravitas. It is doubtful they will be able to stand up against the mounting pressures to paint Iran in the most alarmist colors.

The task is complicated by the recent tripartite Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal. With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her neocon friends and supporters already trashing this viable initiative, it will take courage to point out clearly to the president the relative merits of allowing Iran to transfer half of its low enriched uranium to Turkey and then onward for further processing.

Except for the political pressures, not much courage should be needed. By any objective measure, the relative merits should be pretty obvious, IF one is willing to recognize Israeli demands for what they are, as Turkey and Brazil made bold to do. (Where is Freeman when we need him?)

Nominating a Successor

According to press reports, the leading candidate to succeed Blair is retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, whose record does not inspire confidence. Clapper has a well-deserved reputation for telling consumers of intelligence what they want to hear.

He now serves as undersecretary of intelligence at the Defense Department, working for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was the chief bureaucrat responsible for politicizing US intelligence in the 1980s as an apparatchik for CIA Director William Casey.

Some of my colleagues in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity have the book on Clapper, who served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 1991 to 1995. There, according to Larry Johnson, Clapper earned the reputation of “worst-ever DIA director.”

Among other things, he restructured DIA’s analytical corps, removing an analysis capability that would have been an invaluable asset in the period before 9/11 and succeeding years. As a direct result, hundreds of the most experienced analysts took early retirement, and DIA has had to play catch-up ever since to reconstruct its analytic capability.

Retired US Army Col. Pat Lang, who held some of the most senior positions at DIA, told me Friday, “Clapper is a man who is just a walking mass of ambition.”

What I find most damaging, though, is the fact that Clapper was head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from 2001 to 2006. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld chose well, for his purposes.

It is abundantly clear that Clapper smothered any imagery analyst who had he temerity to suggest that, since there was not a trace of WMD in the various kinds of available imagery of Iraq, there might not be any WMD.

Clapper, rather, was one to salute smartly. He subscribed enthusiastically to the Rumsfeld dictum: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Quick, someone tell Barack Obama about Clapper before the president is led once again down the garden path.

[    ]

This story was sent to me as a comment related to the McNerney stories about Jim McNerney being placed in charge of Obama’s Export Council.  It was sent to me by the plaintiff, Robin Petersen, who has filed suit against Boeing.   I find this very disturbing that what Mr. Peterson was subjected to could even conceivably happen. I wish Mr. Petersen well and good luck with his legal proceedings. GFS


7:10 p.m. June 2:  This is real.  I found the court filing here:

And Mr. Petersen’s attorney’s website here:  Kissandra Tysman


The Boeing Company, a U.S. company incorporated in the State of Delaware and with corporate offices in Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri and its wholly owned subsidiary Boeing International Support Systems, Saudi Arabia (BISS) are reportedly engaged in the practice of passport confiscation, involuntary servitude, debt bondage, and fraudulent recruitment practices upon U.S. Citizens and Third Country National (TCN) workers. The Boeing Company may be held responsible for violations of U.S. Law and international law for “Aiding and Abetting” their subsidiary company, BISS which recruits employees out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is alleged to have confiscated passports from US Citizens and Third Country National workers in Saudi Arabia.

As reference, the U.S. State Department’s 2009 report on “Human Trafficking” details the unconscionable and disturbing ongoing human rights violations that are presently taking place in the country of Saudi Arabia. A report authored by former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, (2006) identifies Saudi Arabia as a “Tier 3” country whose government does not fully comply with the minimum standards and is not making significant efforts to eliminate human rights violations in their country. The report further states that the United States employs a “zero tolerance” policy against human trafficking both domestically and abroad. A third report by the Department of Defense, OIG dated January 15, 2010, provides information relating to “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act,” January 10, 2006 that gives the United States Government authorization to terminate grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements for “Trafficking in Persons” (TIP) related violations.

A lawsuit brought by Attorney Kissandra L. Tysman of the Tysman Law Firm, located in Mesa, Arizona was filed on May 7, 2010 in U.S. District Court, Phoenix, Arizona against “The Boeing Company” and it wholly owned subsidiary BISS. The lawsuit alleges that her client Mr. Robin Petersen, a pilot and former U.S. Navy Commander who became injured overseas while employed by Boeing/BISS was not allowed to return to the United States for medical treatment in that he had his U.S. passport confiscated; was held against his will; and was not provided with an “Exit Visa” in which to leave the country of Saudi Arabia. Mr. Petersen had made several written requests for the return of his passport to “The Boeing Company” Operations Manager, in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Shaun A. Ford, and also contacted Mr. W. James McNerney, Jr., “The Boeing Company” CEO by Federal Express letter, detailing the fraudulent activity, unethical business practices, and violations of human rights that he had observed and experienced while employed by Boeing/BISS. Mr. McNerney never responded to Mr. Petersen’s concerns and request for help. The lawsuit also alleges that a number of other U.S. Veterans and Third Country National workers who were employed by Boeing/BISS in Saudi Arabia had their passports confiscated and were subject to inhumane treatment.

Mr. Petersen made several attempts to get help from the U.S. Consulate located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He was finally helped by a consulate security official in June 2009, who then ordered Boeing/BISS company officials to return Mr. Petersen’s U.S. passport and provide him with the required “Exit Visa” in which to depart the country of Saudi Arabia. On June 8, 2009, and after six months without having the freedom to travel, Mr. Petersen was able to return to the United States to get the proper treatment he needed for his injury. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Arizona, May 7, 2010 (case # 2:2010CV00999 Petersen v Boeing) and lists the following causes of action:

Count 1, Confiscation of U.S. Passports
Count 2, Violations of RICO statutes
Count 3, False imprisonment
Count 4, Breach of Contract
Count 5, Fraud
Count 6, Intentional Inflection of emotional distress
Count 7, Failure to pay wages

Although this lawsuit has been filed in the United States, it is important to know that there is an effort on the part of several worldwide organizations to hold executives of companies such as Mr. McNerney, CEO of “The Boeing Company” criminally responsible for willfully aiding and abetting their business partners who engage in human rights violations.


Boeing Defense Unit Realigns for Growth, Expansion Into New Markets


ST. LOUIS, Jan. 7, 2010 — The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced organization and leadership changes within its Integrated Defense Systems unit that continue to reposition the company for growth in the current business environment. The realignment is effective immediately, and the unit will begin operating under a new name: Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

In announcing the changes, Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the realignment is part of a continuing effort to successfully compete in a rapidly evolving global defense and security marketplace. Muilenburg said that reshaping the unit positions Boeing for further growth in new and adjacent markets while continuing to serve existing defense and space customers.

“Boeing anticipated flattening defense budgets and shifting customer priorities for the past few years and has been taking aggressive steps to position the company for profitable growth in a challenging economy,” Muilenburg said. “In the past 18 months alone, we have acquired seven companies to enhance existing capabilities, expanded Boeing’s services business, and created new divisions — like Unmanned Airborne Systems — to directly and rapidly respond to our customers’ emerging priorities.

“With these latest strategic moves, we can extend our core programs even as we enhance Boeing-wide capabilities designed to capture business in promising markets in the United States and around the world, including cyber-security, energy, intelligence, C4ISR and logistics,” Muilenburg said.

The scope of change in Boeing’s business environment is further reflected in the decision to rename Integrated Defense Systems, a name the unit has carried since 2002, when the company consolidated its military aircraft and space businesses. Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a recognition that success in a highly competitive global arena will be determined by a company’s ability to offer and deliver new capabilities, products and services to meet complex customer demands.

“As Boeing sustains and grows its core global defense business through solid execution, we are also playing a broader role in markets that go beyond Boeing’s traditional strengths,” Muilenburg said. “As we grow in these areas, it is important for us to send strong signals to our global customers that we are prepared to offer high-value Boeing solutions for all of their needs across defense, space and security domains.”

While Boeing Defense, Space & Security will retain its current operating units — Boeing Military Aircraft (BMA), Network and Space Systems (N&SS), and Global Services & Support (GS&S) — the realignment consolidates some divisions and makes a number of leadership changes. Chief among the moves is consolidation of two divisions in N&SS: The Combat Systems division and the Command, Control & Communications (C3) Networks division will be unified as the new Network and Tactical Systems division.

Muilenburg also announced several key leadership assignments at the Boeing Defense, Space & Security level and throughout the business units that will help the company improve productivity, manage its cost structure and deliver on customer commitments:

  • Rick Baily is named vice president, Engineering and Mission Assurance; prior to this, Baily was vice president/general manager of Combat Systems.
  • Nan Bouchard is named vice president, Program Management; she previously served as vice president/general manager, C3 Networks.
  • Dave Bowman is named BMA vice president/general manager, Global Mobility Systems and International Tankers; he previously served as vice president, Tanker Programs.
  • Jean Chamberlin is named BMA vice president/general manager, U.S. Air Force Tanker Program; prior to this, she served as vice president, Global Mobility Systems.
  • Steve Goo is named vice president, International Operations and Compliance; he adds international compliance to his responsibilities. He will oversee all BDS international legal entities in Australia, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.
  • Bill Schnettgoecke is named vice president, Operations and Supplier Management; Schnettgoecke previously served in a deputy role to this position, and succeeds John Van Gels.
  • Torbjorn Sjogren is named GS&S vice president of the Boeing International Support Systems and Alsalam Aircraft Co. subsidiaries in Saudi Arabia; previously, he served as GS&S vice president, International Support Systems.
  • Charles Toups is named N&SS vice president/general manager of Network and Tactical Systems; he had served as vice president, Engineering and Mission Assurance.
  • John Van Gels is named vice president, Strategic Planning for Operations and Supplier Management; he previously was vice president, Operations and Supplier Management.

A number of structural changes complement these leadership moves:

  • In BMA, the Weapons business becomes a division with a direct reporting relationship to BMA; it had been a subdivision of the BMA Global Strike Systems division.
  • In N&SS, the Heath, Ohio, and Ogden, Utah, facilities will now report to the Missile Defense Systems division; previously, they reported to the N&SS C3 Networks division.
  • GS&S operations in Australia will report to Jim O’Neill, vice president/general manager, Integrated Logistics division. Aviation Training International Ltd., a joint venture for Apache helicopter training with AgustaWestland in the United Kingdom, will report to Mark McGraw, vice president, Training Systems and Services division. Both entities previously reported to International Support Systems.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide. 

Link to Original:



There are a number of troubled agencies, I’ve been monitoring lately.  One of the ones that is most troubling is the Defense Security Service (DSS).  (You can use the search on this blog and see how many articles or comments I’ve posted about DSS and read them all.) 

I recently heard from my sources within the DSS, (an agency which has oversight of defense contracts bid and won by various defense contractors), that the Director, Kathleen Watson and their Director of Field Operations, Richard Lawhorn, have made staff assessment visits the highest priority in the Defense Security Service.

I understand that “staff assessment visits” mean full scale attacks on local and regional offices of DSS and specifically targeting their field personnel and local/regional office chiefs.)  Due to mismanagement it appears, from the top, many of these offices are understaffed, undertrained, and over-tasked in trying to fulfill their routine mission and jobs, let alone be able to deal with the kind of games now being launched against them by their head office and regional managers.  This appears to be full-scale campaign of retribution being levied against local/regional office field personnel.  I would like to know why.

I have also heard that Watson and Lawhorn are requiring these already understaffed and overworked field offices to assign field personnel to these assessment visits around the country at the expense of accomplishing the agency’s stated mission.  (Read that as real oversight work.)   To this interested observer it appears to be a deliberate sabotaging of the DSS employees ability to do their jobs.  

If any of you have any further details or perspective on what is going on within this very troubled agency, please leave comment or contact me by email through this blog site. 

Thank you,