Booz Allen Hamilton: “helping the government insure domestic tranquility” — Edward Snowden
By Danny Weil on June 26, 2013 8:24 pm
On June 24th, 2013, The Huffington Post reported that Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked information on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, says he sought a job with Booz Allen Hamilton to gather evidence on the agency’s data collection networks (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/edward-snowden-booz-allen-hamilton_n_3491203.html).
In a June 12, 2013 interview with the South China Morning Post, Snowden, who previously worked as a CIA technician, said he took the position with the intention of collecting information on the NSA.
“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he said. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago” (ibid).
Booz Allen Hamilton also released a statement confirming Snowden’s employment with the firm before the Huffington Post article, on June 11, 2013:
“Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, was an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. Snowden, who had a salary at the rate of $122,000, was terminated June 10, 2013 for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy. News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter” (http://www.boozallen.com/media-center/press-releases/48399320/statement-reports-leaked-information-060913).
Of course what this all means is that Booz Allen will be on the hunt, along with its “clients and authorities”, the CIA, NSA, US military and the ‘fusion centers’, to track down whistleblower, Edward Snowden. The release of the information by Booz Allen gives even more credence to the fact it is a private intelligence contractor or spin-off of both the CIA and the NSA. It is part of the American Shadow state.
But just what is Booz Allen Hamilton?
Many of the data we have about American intelligence were exposed by journalist Tim Shorrock in his book, Spies for Hire: the Secret Word of Intelligence Outsourcing (Simon & Schuster), in which he denounced the outsourcing of state intelligence services, Americans and the large number of former government members who are part of these companies, and whose salaries can double or triple what they perceived
Building in DC where Booz Hamilton is housed
in public. As stated in an article published in Salon, “spying has become one of the industries that have grown faster than the United States. The federal government relies more than ever on outsourcing some of its most sensitive work (http://www.elconfidencial.com/alma-corazon-vida/2013/06/26/booz-allen-hamilton-o-las-puertas-giratorias-entre-militares-dinero-y-espias-123693/).
Steven Aftergood, head of the Government Secrets Project of the Federation of American Scientists told Business Insider, “now you’re in the government two or three years, you get a permit, and emigrate to one of those contractors that pay well” (ibid). Pay well, indeed.
Due to budgetary restraints and the unpopularity of foreign occupations and wars with heightened casualty rates, the American ruling class has resorted for years to using private and as we have seen, uncontrollable surrogates to represent its power in remote places all over the world. Though not a new phenomenon, the use of private military contractors (PMCs) and private intelligence contractors (PICs) have been created by what Peter Dale Scott calls ‘entrepreneurs of violence’ and subsidized with billions from US taxpayers.
Companies like Booz Allen Hamilton have combed the world’s continents looking for violence and war from which to profit handsomely. The carnage they have left behind and the toll in human lives is unfathomable.
Donald Rumsfeld, a close friend of the PMCs and the PICs, escalated their use during the Iraq war in the decade of 2000. Firms, like Booz Allen Hamilton, were involved at this time in such scandals and butchery as Iraq Abu Ghraib, the killing and burning of four contractors in Fallujah and the killing in 2007 of eight Iraqi civilians following a car bombing, to mention just a few.
Many of these groups are known to the US public, most are not. Blackwater is one firm known. It made headlines many times as a PMC. Firms like Diligence LLC, headed by Lannie Griffiths, Ed Rogers are less well-known. Diligence LLC was founded by William Webster, the only man in US history to head both the CIA and the FBI. Diligence LLC interfaced with Wall Street and as founders of the Republican lobbying team, Barbour, Griffiths and Rogers (BGR). Haley Barbour, former Governor of Mississippi, served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993 to 1997 (Scott, Peter Dale, American War Machine, 2010, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.).
Private intelligence contractors, unlike private military contractors, are CIA spinoffs. They constitute America’s ‘shadow government’. Yet unlike Blackwater itself part of the military shadow government, they specialize in counterterrorism and counter insurgency operations throughout the world. One such firm, not under the American people’s radar is Booz Allen Hamilton.
Some History of the private intelligence contractor (PIC), Booz Allen Hamilton
As Peter Dale Scott wrote in his book, American War Machine:
“The oldest and perhaps the largest of the private defense contractors is Booz Allen Hamilton, a management consulting firm that in 1940 was hired by the U.S. military (in the word’s of the company’s website)”
‘to help prepare the nation for war, and later for peace.’ (ibid).
Booz Allen Hamilton is actually a very old and semi-secretive company. It has been in business for 99 years. It was founded in 1914 by Edwin Booze, as a management consultant, i.e. the company specialized in advising companies on how to improve their processes and activities to be more productive. However, it was during the Second World War when Booz Allen enjoyed its greatest growth. For this is when it started collaborating with the U.S. Army. The long decades of the Cold War and constant spying on the enemy enabled Booz to become one of the leading consultants in the United States. Currently, Booz Allen Hamilton is a government contractor, with 99% of its revenue coming from the US government (http://www.dailypaul.com/290258/booz-allen-hamilton-what-you-dont-know-about-snowdens-fomer-employer).
This may all come as a surprise to the average American and it should. The company works in secret and when it does advertise its services, it clothes them in innocuous sounding ‘business friendly’ terms. They peg themselves as “a leading provider of management and technology consulting services to the US government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets…” and they boast that they are a “strategy and technology consulting firm” (www.boozallen.com). Yet the firms squalid history, as sordid as it is, is somewhat known.
The following was reported at Daily Paul, online on June 24th, 2013:
“Among the individuals involved in running the company, we have:
James Clapper – current Director of National Intelligence (DNI), head of NSA, the man who lied to Congress about the fact that NSA is actively spying on Americans, is a former executive
Mike McConnell – a current executive of the company, had Clapper’s job (DNI) during George W. Bush’s administration (keep it in the family, eh?) — he worked for Booz Allen before Bush, then worked for Bush, then back to Booz Allen after Bush
James Woolsey – former CIA Director, current executive (see Jan Helfeld’s interview of Mr. Woolsey where it becomes clear that Woolsey has no interest in discussing principles, only war)
Melissa Hathaway – former executive, also worked for McConnell during the Bush administration
Ian Brzezinski – former executive, son of Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, central figure in the NWO crowd, and mastermind of Operation Cyclone
Dov Zakheim – this character is … unbelievable:
1993 – His company, System Planning Corporation, had a subsidiary called Tridata Corporation, which was the company that “oversaw” the investigation of the 1993 WTC bombing
2000 – Part of the neo-con Project for a New American Century, he is co-author of “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” in which he is credited with the infamous line, “… some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”
2001 – He is appointed Comptroller of the Pentagon, in which $2.3 trillion promptly goes “missing” (http://www.dailypaul.com/290258/booz-allen-hamilton-what-you-dont-know-about-snowdens-fomer-employer).
These are the death merchants who trade in entrepreneurial violence at taxpayer expense while aggrandizing themselves and making millions if not billions from public funds.
According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo:
“67% of the company is controlled by the private equity fund Carlyle. Carlyle, whose offices are in the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, is led by billionaire and philanthropist David Rubenstein (a former adviser to Jimmy Carter), who is paying out of pocket half of the bill for the reconstruction of the Washington Monument, which was damaged in the earthquake of Washington, 2011 (the rest are borne by the State). His advisers, managers and investors, especially in the past, are George Bush ‘father’, the bin Laden family, former British Conservative Prime Minister John Major and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci.
The former director of the CIA under Bill Clinton (who later switched to the Republican Party), James Woolsey, was vice president of Booz Allen for a time. Now, that position is held by Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, that is, the person who coordinates the 50 U.S. intelligence agencies, which have an annual budget of 80,000 million (60,000 million euros). For comparison, that’s 10 times what Spain spends his entire defense.
And the current Director of National Intelligence, retired Lt. Gen. James Clapper? He also was director of Booz Allen” (http://www.elmundo.es/america/2013/06/10/estados_unidos/1370889794.html).
The Carlyle Group bought Booz Allen for 910 million dollars in 2010. Now, Carlyle’s share is worth 1,660 million dollars. The publicly traded shares of the company, is only 30%. But the shares have appreciated by 50% since March 2013.
Like any other company in the hands of vulture capitalists, Booz Allen Hamilton is very generous with its shareholders. This is logical, because the ‘equity’ is the ultimate example of financial capitalism pure and simple. It is no coincidence that Gordon Gekko (bad, starring Michael Douglas in ‘Wall Street’ by Oliver Stone) and Edward Lewis (Richard Gere’s character in ‘Pretty Woman’) are directors of such investment vehicles.
Carlyle took out the 33% stake in Booz Allen Hamilton to exchange in an IPO that was not very good. But since then, they have been milking the company for unquenchable profits. Booz Allen Hamilton is profitable, and has increased its turnover by 60% in two years. However, to satisfy their shareholders, the company is usually indebted and, with the money they earn, they thus pay dividends to Carlyle.
This is common practice, used even by the world’s richest company, Apple Computers, for it allows borrowing at very low rates and up to the tax deductibility of debt. In total, according to Forbes Magazine, Booz Allen Hamilton has paid dividends to its largest shareholder, Carlyle, in the amount of $1.179 million dollars over three years. Thus, the fund has gained its main investor, Rubenstein, between appreciation and dividends action, three times what he invested at Booz Allen Hamilton (ibid).
In 1953 Booz Allen Hamilton was hired by the U.S. government to study and reorganize land ownership records in the Philippines in support of the counterinsurgency program there directed by CIA officer Edward Lansdale (Shorrock, Tim, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intellignece Outsourcing (New York, Simon and Schuster, 2008), 40, 41).
In the 1950’s the company also supplied a temporary home and nonofficial cover for the legendary CIA operative Miles Copeland, who later would act as a case officer for CIA asset and ‘cut-out’, arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi (Summers, Anthony with Swann, Robbyn, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (New York, Viking, 2000), 244-245 ).
By 2006, according to Scott, the ‘private intelligence contractor’ (PIC) had 18,000 employees worldwide, including, (according to Information Week in 2002) more than one thousand former intelligence officers on its staff (Shorrock, Spies for Hire, 43, citing Information Week, February 25, 2002).
But even more, the PIC found a strong ally in the person of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, under the illegal regime of US president, George W. Bush.
Rumsfeld himself, according to Shorrock:
“… came to the office with intimate knowledge of Booz Allen’s capabilities. In the 1970s, as Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) during Richard Nixon’s administration, he had hired Booz Allen to reorganize OEO and kill our outsource many of its programs. Under Rumsfeld, Booz Allen was so trusted that it was hired in 2004 to help prepare President Bush’s national defense budget….. And as a consultant to Central Command, the company was at the center of the first preemptive war in U.S. history” (Shorrock, Spies for Hire), 51.).
Before getting the contract to prepare Bush’s budget:
“Booz Allen Hamilton had received more than $3 billion in Department of Defense contracts during the six previous years” (Brown, Elizabeth, “Outsourcing the Defense Budget: Defense contractors ar writing the President’s Defense Budget”, “Center for Public Integrity, July 29, 2004, http://projects.public integrity.org/report.aspix?aid=363&sid=2000).
The company’s relationship with the government is comfortable for in the two final Bush years, Booz’s Sr. Vice President, Mike McConnell took a leave of absence to serve as the government’s second director of national intelligence.
The passage of the Patriot Act gave a boost to companies like Booz Allen Hamilton. Directly after passage of the act, Donald Rumsfeld, an old friend of Booz Allen, created the Counter Intelligence Field Activity (CIFA) office in 2002 and filled its staff with contractors from Booz Allen. CIFA was used against people seen by the administration as harboring ill will against the Bush administration and its policies.
What was created, with the participation of Booz Allen Hamilton, were planned ‘fusion centers’ in the United States where data from intelligence agencies, the FBI, local police, private sector databases, and anonymous tipsters are combined and analyzed by counterterrorism analysts. There are now at least forty-three current and planned ‘fusion centers’ and according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the project inculcates the Department of Homeland Security “with enormous domestic surveillance powers” (Sorrock, Spies for Hire, 344).
The purpose of the ‘fusion centers’ “which combine the military, the FBI, state police and other merchants of violence, have been internally promoted by the US Army as a means to avoid restrictions preventing the military from spying on the domestic population” (Assange, Julian, “The Spy who billed me twice,” Wikileaks, http://wikileaks.org/wiki/The_spy_who_billed_me_twice).
The boom in government contracts for the PIC was such that in 2008, Boonz Hamilton broke in two. On the one hand, there was the section on business consulting, the smallest part, which maintains a corporate structure similar to that of a law firm and is called Booz & Company. It is a company that operates in 33 countries advising corporations. That was its initial activity. Today, 99 years after its creation, however, is the other half, Booz Allen Hamilton, which symbolizes neo-liberal capitalism and the ‘military industrial complex’ (http://www.elmundo.es/america/2013/06/10/estados_unidos/1370889794.html).
The following self-serving mission statement is from Booz Allen Hamilton’s website under the heading “Partnering to Support the US Government’s Mission’:
“All of us at Booz Allen are committed to helping the government meet its mission to establish justice, insure [sic] domestic tranquility, provide for common defense, and promote general welfare” (http://www.boozallen.com/consulting/advance-our-government).
The company also boasts to its corporate clients that they deliver “enduring results”:
“Corporate and government clients depend on Booz Allen for more than just bright ideas. They count on us to help them solve their toughest problems and achieve their most critical missions. For nearly 100 years, our strategy and technology consultants have partnered with clients to deliver results that endure. Below are some of the key areas where our dedicated people are making a lasting impact” (http://www.boozallen.com/consulting/delivering-results-that-endure).
The statement “insure [sic] domestic tranquility” raises a number of questions we as funders of the PIC and as citizens should ponder:
1) What exactly does Booz Allen Hamilton mean by “insuring domestic tranquility”? The term has very specific connotations: maintaining social order, suppressing civil unrest, repressing political dissent, heightened civilian spying, and curtailing civil liberties.
Domestic tranquility typically involves the sacrifice of individual rights in exchange for enhanced security and may involve the prosecution and incarceration of political adversaries and the imposition of martial law. Domestic tranquility is typically achieved through intimidation and fear and is most commonly associated with autocratic regimes such as the Assads in Syria and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, to name just a few.
2) By engaging in “insuring domestic tranquility” Booz Allen has acknowledged they are likely engaged in the domestic surveillance of Americans. Why?
We now know the Occupy movement was under surveillance and there was a coordinated suppression of the movement which appears to have involved the Department of Homeland Security. What role if any did Booz Allen play in this?
3) What specific activities of “insuring domestic tranquility” has Booz Allen Hamilton engaged in? Activities which may be associated with domestic tranquility include surveillance, arrest, prosecution, incarceration and even assassinations.
Under the Obama administration we now know there are programs of mass surveillance, the Espionage Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act have been used to prosecute domestic dissident voices, the press has faced repeated threats, and investigations and harassment. HR 347 criminalizes protests on federal property and the US maintains the highest rate of incarceration of any nation. The National Defense Authorization Act allows for the president to assassinate anyone (including US citizens), anytime and anywhere when he sees fit.
4) Is Booz Allen engaging in “insuring domestic tranquility” primarily for profit as a publicly traded company which derives the majority of its revenues from government contracting? It has been reported that upwards of 70% of the NSA’s budget goes to private contractors
Mike McConnell is a perfect example of how Booz Allen has used the revolving door to blur the lines between government and private enterprise for financial gain.. According to their website:
“Mike McConnell is Vice Chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton, where his primary roles include serving on the firm’s Leadership Team and leading Booz Allen’s rapidly expanding cyber business. After retiring from the Navy in 1996 as a Vice Admiral, Mr. McConnell joined Booz Allen, and led the development of the firm’s Information Assurance business and the firm’s Intelligence business focused on policy, transformation, homeland security, and intelligence analytics, rising to the position of senior vice president.
Upon being asked by President George W. Bush in 2007 to become the second Director of National Intelligence, he left Booz Allen and served as the DNI for two years under Presidents Bush and Obama. As the DNI he managed the expansive national Intelligence Community – an organization of over 100,000 people, and an annual global enterprise budget of over $47B – and had extensive interactions with the White House, the President’s Cabinet, Congress, international leaders, and the US business community. In 2009, Mr. McConnell returned to Booz Allen as an executive vice president to lead the firm’s Intelligence business. In 2011 he was elevated to his current position as Vice Chairman of the firm.
Mr. McConnell’s career has spanned over 40 years focused on international development and foreign intelligence issues. His 29-year distinguished career as a US Navy intelligence officer included significant assignments that impacted national security issues. During Desert Shield/Storm and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Mr. McConnell served as the Intelligence Officer for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, and the Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney. From 1992 to 1996 he served as the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA) under Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton. As DIRNSA, he led the agency during a critical period as it adapted to the multi-polar threats brought about by the end of the Cold War, providing global intelligence and information security services to the White House, Cabinet officials, Congress, and a broad array of military and civil intelligence customers. During the same period, he also served as a member of the Director of Central Intelligence’s senior national intelligence leadership team, which addressed major programmatic and substantive foreign intelligence issues.
In addition to having been awarded many of the nation’s highest military awards for meritorious service, Mr. McConnell has twice received the nation’s highest award for service in the Intelligence Community, once by President Clinton and once by President George W. Bush. He has also served as the Chairman and CEO of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). He is the 2011 recipient of INSA’s William Oliver Baker Award, which is awarded annually for sustained and excellent service in intelligence and national security (https://www.boozallen.com/about/leadership/executive-leadership/McConnell).
Newsthink and Doublespeak
Like most death merchants and violent corporations, Booz Allen engages in Orwellian newsthink and doublespeak which masks their true purpose and intentions. The following are further excerpts from their website:
“…Booz Allen is helping agencies use social medial and Government 2.0 tools to enhance collaboration among stakeholders and help agencies adopt a transformative culture of open government” (http://www.boozallen.com/consulting/advance-our-government/enabling-open-government).
“The government workforce of tomorrow must be flexible, skilled in using social media, capable of working anywhere and anytime, and savvy about cybersecurity
It’s that clear – and that critical. Every day, every Booz Allen staff member puts ethics first. As an institution and as individuals, corporate governance and business ethics define our way of life” (http://www.boozallen.com/consulting/advance-our-government/workforce-of-tomorrow).
Booz Allen Hamilton has been named by CareerBliss.com as one of the 10 companies where young employees are happiest”( (http://www.boozallen.com/about/awards-recognition/48386991/Booz-Allen-named-one-of-happiest-companies-for-young-professionals).
“Major changes in the government, political, and economic landscape are driving sweeping transformation. From finance and health reform to infrastructure modernization, agency leaders are challenged to implement meaningful changes that improve government’s transparency, accountability, and performance”
As long as the shadow state, a mixture of drug dealing, for-profit violent entrepreneurs and death squads are allowed to exist there can be no justice, only tax subsidized violence. Yet justice is not on the agenda for Booz Hamilton or any of the other such PIC’s or PMC’s that roam the world’s landscape looking for or creating wars and carnage from which they can profit. That the Obama administration is aware of all of this one can only conclude that Obama is the civilian face of a military dictatorship in the US that has a long history with billions in its claws.
Edward Snowden is not only a hero for exposing the NSA spying, he has also turned over the grubby rock of what Peter Dale Scott calls “deep politics” or the para-political state that is out of purview for most American people but which is subsidized by them at a time when they are told that austerity must blanket their lives. Perhaps the outing by Snowden will allow Americans to see that the neo-liberal US government, made up of corrupt politicians and war criminals really does exist and more, it is the shadow government that calls the shots.