Part 1 of 4: National Security Inc.
“The evolution of General Dynamics was based on one simple strategy: Follow the money. The company embraced the emerging intelligence-driven style of warfare. It developed small-target identification systems and equipment that could intercept an insurgent’s cellphone and laptop communications. It found ways to sort the billions of data points collected by intelligence agencies into piles of information that a single person could analyze. It also began gobbling up smaller companies that could help it dominate the new intelligence landscape, just as its competitors were doing. Between 2001 and 2010, the company acquired 11 firms specializing in satellites, signals and geospatial intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, technology integration and imagery. On Sept. 11, 2001, General Dynamics was working with nine intelligence organizations. Now it has contracts with all 16. Its employees fill the halls of the NSA and DHS. The corporation was paid hundreds of millions of dollars to set up and manage DHS’s new offices in 2003, including its National Operations Center, Office of Intelligence and Analysis and Office of Security. Its employees do everything from deciding which threats to investigate to answering phones.”
Part 2 of 4: General Dynamics Elects General James L. Jones to Board of Directors
“General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) board of directors has elected retired U.S. Marine Corps general James L. Jones to be a director of the corporation, effective Aug. 3, 2011. Jones, 67, is currently president of global consulting firm Jones Group International and served as National Security Advisor to the President of the United States from January 2009 to November 2010. Previously, he was Supreme Allied Commander of the U.S. European Command and served as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, which he served for more than 40 years until his 2007 retirement. Jones is also on the boards of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Atlantic Council of the United States, among other institutions.”
Part 3 of 4: From the Pentagon to the private sector
“Retired General William S. Wallace, who ran the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command before retiring in 2008, said he was not representing one of the prospective bidders at the time of the meeting. Like the other participants, however, one of the ethics questions he was asked to answer, according to a blank copy, was whether he intended to consult in the future for a client that may have a direct interest in bidding on the new tank… Wallace declined to say how he answered that question. Wallace confirmed that he is now a consultant for General Dynamics Land Systems Division, which is seeking to win the ground combat vehicle contract.”
Part 4 of 4: Dynamic Generals
“Nothing lubricates the wheels of defense commerce better than to have General Dynamics’ boardroom filled with retired generals and admirals?
* Jay L. Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Retired Admiral, U.S. Navy. Chief of Naval Operations from 1996 to 2000.
* George A. Joulwan, Director and Chairman, Compensation Committee – Retired General, U.S. Army. Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, from 1993 to 1997. Commander-in-Chief, Southern Command from 1990 to 1993.
* Paul G. Kaminski, Director and Chairman, Finance and Benefit Plans Committee – Under Secretary of U.S. Department of Defense for Acquisition and Technology from 1994 to 1997.
* John M. Keane, Director – Retired General, U.S. Army. Vice Chief of Staff of the Army from 1999 to 2003.
* Lester L. Lyles, Director – Retired General, U.S. Air Force. Commander of the Air Force Materiel Command from 2000 to 2003. Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force from 1999 to 2000.
* Robert Walmsley, Director – Retired Vice Admiral, Royal Navy. Chief of Defence Procurement for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence from 1996 to 2003.
[The] key nodes in the corrupt government-corporate nexus are clearly at the highest levels where tax dollars get siphoned into private bank accounts by retired generals and former government officials who smugly regard the practice as the way Washington works. Indeed it is – and it is the way capitalism corrupts democracy.”
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