The EyeOpener- Stratfor and the Privatization of Intelligence

BFP VideoLate last year, hackers with the anonymous hacking group LulzSec raided the servers of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or Stratfor, a private intelligence company in Austin, Texas, coming away with some 5 million emails. Last month, Wikileaks began publishing the emails as “The Global Intelligence Files” to much fanfare. All of the claims that continue to emerge on a daily basis from this email archive are just that: claims. Regardless of the truth of this or that particular claim, perhaps the most significant thing to emerge from the emails is the fact that companies like Stratfor exist at all. That private companies are in possession of vast intelligence networks and vast sums of data on private individuals is a trend that few are comfortable with, but few are aware of until situations like the Stratfor leak bring it to the public's attention.

This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett, presenting the disturbing trend of outsourcing intelligence work to private companies, the unhealthy relationship between intelligence agencies and the private sector, the culpability for misconduct and shielding the government from being held accountable for crimes committed on its behalf, and the creation of a revolving door that allows the private companies enormous leeway in bending and breaking laws by offering incentives to the agencies that are supposedly keeping an eye on them.

Watch the Preview Here:

Watch the Full Video Report Here:

[jwplayer mediaid="13015" image="http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/wp-content/themes/bfpost/images/bfpvideostill.jpg"/]

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING, and by ordering our EXCLUSIVE BFP DVD .

Damning the Damnable Jane Harman

“The Marriage from Hell: Jane Harman & the Woodrow Wilson Center”

WWC

Last year investigative journalist David Boyajian wrote two exposés on Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center, revealing how the center has been violating its Congressional mandate and been up to its neck in tainted corporate cash. You can read Boyajian’s exposés here and here. Many agreed with Boyajian’s damning assessment, including a prominent journalist who called the WWC “a global joke.” I too wrote a follow up article on WWC with a special focus on its ‘oily’ President, Mr. Lee Hamilton. By oily, I mean ‘glisteningly greasy.’ I am sure you recognize his name from his highly publicized position and face as one of the 9/11 Commissioners, but his possibly pay-off position with WWC was not the lone factor for his glistening status in my report. Here are a few excerpts from my piece to illustrate what I mean:

Fortunately one independent reporter researched and reported on one such case, call it ‘chased the egg,’ on one of the 9/11 Commissioners, a Former Representative, Mr. Lee Hamilton, which I happened to come across yesterday. It was truly interesting to see how many ‘honorary’ positions Mr. Hamilton has been given, handed, by our government alone, just check out a few here:

-Co-chair of the Department of Energy Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future with Brent Scowcroft

-Serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board & the FBI Director’s Advisory Board,

-Serves on the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force

- Serves on the CIA External Advisory Board

The White House, the CIA, and the FBI must have been extremely well-served by Hamilton’s performance as the commissioner to grant him this many prestigious quasi positions. No? For me, the most interesting aspect which was covered by CounterCurrents.Org had to do with Hamilton’s position with and current salary from the Woodrow Wilson Center, and his questionable corporate ties, particularly with BAE Systems, the main sponsor of his forthcoming gala dinner

You can read my entire article ‘9/11 Commissioner’s Turkey Baste: Chicken or the Egg?’ here. Now back to the focus of this post.

[Read more...]

Rep. Jean Schmidt Found Guilty of Accepting $500,000 in ‘Indirect’ Turkish Lobby Payment

The Revered Bruce Fein & Foreign Lobby Dollars in the Form of Illegal Payment of Legal Bills


schmidt

I’ve been meaning to write about this for weeks, and just got around doing it. Maybe the subconscious procrastination was due to the conscious sanitization of this news by venues like this. Maybe it was the dread of having to tackle one of the quasi media phony darlings like this guy. Or maybe it was the repressed exhaustion-frustration I went through a couple of years back with this. Okay, allow me to start with the fairly recent development reported ‘incompletely and badly’ by the New York Times:

Representative Jean Schmidt, Republican of Ohio, has been ordered by the House Ethics Committee to repay a Turkish-American group $500,000 for legal services it improperly paid for to help her pursue a defamation lawsuit and other legal proceedings against a Democratic opponent in the 2008 election.

sk

As you can see, very consciously the Times avoids naming ‘that Democratic opponent.’ Because naming him, David Krikorian, would require some fact citing and more context-background on the case; the case they together with the rest of the mainstream media went out of their way to black out. And doing ‘that’ would God forbid bring up the long-blacked-out state secrets privilege in my case. And ‘that’ my dear friends, is something that has been forbidden to these stenographers in the media circus.

So let’s continue the no-coverage coverage of a very significant case involving Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and the twisted and rechanneled Turkish Foreign Lobby dollars:

The action by the House committee, disclosed Friday, did not come with a formal punishment, because ethics investigators concluded that Ms. Schmidt had been misled by her own lawyers from the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund about who was paying the legal bills.

Ms. Schmidt was ordered to amend her annual personal financial disclosure reports to acknowledge the gift from the Turkish Coalition of America, which actually paid the bills, and then reimburse the lawyers.

fein

 The report above casually, and very quickly, glosses over one of the implicated, that is, directly implicated, parties in this case: Schmidt’s lawyer- the lawyer who supposedly, and intentionally, misled his client, and did so with a dollar amount not in the thousands, but actually half a million dollars. Ordinarily this slip by a government garbage disposal facility like the Times would not raise big flags. However, this lawyer is no ordinary lawyer. The lawyer in question here happens to be a famous, very public, high-profile and very deviously and shrewdly marketed man. The lawyer in this case is none other than deceivingly perceived Bruce Fein.  A man who has gotten very wealthy thanks to the foreign lobby, in this case the Turkish lobby in need of a man who knows the maze that gets the cheese to the congressional mice:

In 2007, Ayasli transferred $30 million in stock to fund a new endeavor, the nonprofit Turkish Coalition of America. The organization is headquartered in a Washington suite that has also been listed as the address for the Turkish Coalition USA PAC, the lobbying firm of Lydia Borland (who has represented the Turkish government), and the law firm of Bruce Fein and Associates (Fein comprises half of the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund).

In addition to the advocacy done through the ATC (which also funds trips to Turkey for congressional staff), a handful of its members--Citigroup, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Textron, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, which spent a combined $80 million lobbying Washington last year lobbied Congress directly on the genocide resolution and other issues important to Turkey; the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group, helped coordinate the effort.

mfein

Oh wait, Bruce Fein is married to Mattie Fein, the Republican candidate who ran against Jane Harman in 2010. Had she won, how would one go about calculating and deducting her campaign-donation  ‘gifts’ from her husbands million-dollar foreign lobby gifts? Isn’t it interesting? And as far as Turkey’s former partner lobby, the Israeli Lobby, this is where Bruce & his voluptuous wife stand when given the Zionism litmus test:

7. Would you support Israel taking military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Under what circumstances?

The United States should support whatever Israel believes is justified by national security worries over Iran.

I know Mr. Fein has many pro-liberties fans out there who are mistaking him for ‘real;’ some consider him a real constitutionalist who stands for liberties and against secrecy. That’s very similar to those who fell for Obama the constitutionalist. Remember, Obama the author of a very constitutional book? Recall the beautiful words spoken and sold as pro liberties, pro change, anti secrecy and beyond? Well, you have a similar situation with Mr. Fein: he talks a good talk, and writes well. As for who Mr. Fein is: you are looking at a man long succumbed to foreign lobby and military industrial complex lobby dollars. You are looking at a man far more loyal to Israel and its lobby than to our nation. You actually have a man who believes any war would be justified for the sake of Israel. And in the latest Schmidt case you are looking at a man who helped funnel half a million dollar foreign ‘Bakshish’ to his congresswoman friend, and even indicted by the lame Congressional Ethics Committee as an attorney who intentionally misled his client. [Read more...]

BFP Select Nightly News & Editorials-August 15, 2011

The CIA, Lies & Intelligence, Spinning Iran's Centrifuge, the Pentagon's New China War Plan, Imperialist Freedom, NATO Report: US Raids in Afghanistan Tripled Since 2009, FBI Investigation Reveals DOD Contractors Stole Iraq Artifacts, The People's Ponzi Scheme, How China Sees English Riots, Israeli Black Hole in Kosovo, Why Does Mainstream Media Disrespect Ron Paul? & More!

logo

BFP Nightly Quote

"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom: and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too." - W. Somerset Maugham

International Newsworthy

Spinning Iran's Centrifuge

NATO & Turkey Support Armed Rebels in Syria 

NATO Report: US Raids in Afghanistan Tripled Since 2009 

Report: Libyan Rebels, Government Hold Talks in Tunisia 

Azerbaijan: Baku Hedging Its Economic Bets 

Israeli Black Hole in Kosovo 

Israel Seeks 20 More F-35 Stealth Jets 

UK: Concern Social Networks Targeted as BlackBerry Helps Police Identify Rioters 

* * * *

[Read more...]

Fethullah Gulen Foundations in US on Our Tax Dollars

Gulen US Charter Schools: Where is Your Money Going?!

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

Boiling Frogs Beltway Buzz: The Upcoming Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Prozac

A Caucus to Combat Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Divorce & Job Dissatisfaction via ‘Happiness Pill’

capprozAccording to our inside sources a new Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Prozac will be launched before the end of the 112th Congress. The primary purpose of the Prozac Caucus will be to raise awareness and advocate for this ‘miracle drug’ aka ‘happiness pill,’ on the grounds of combating homegrown terrorism and domestic violence, lowering the national divorce rate, and increasing the level of general job satisfaction among the restless American workforce. “Increasing the level of general satisfaction and happiness, while decreasing the effects of violence and despair inducing factors such as anxiety and depression, are the major keys to achieving long term national security, family unity, and work force stability. With Prozac we believe we can achieve all that and more,” said a congressional aide who wished to remain anonymous. The caucus will have an interactive website with easy-to-print promotional materials and a password protected section for physicians titled ‘Patriotic Physicians for a Secure America.’

Let’s start with what is a congressional caucus, or at least what it is supposed to be, in theory that is. A congressional caucus is a coalition of House and Senate members who meet to discuss specific legislative priorities and policy issues. Caucuses ‘supposedly’ allow members to discuss issues to determine their positions and make sure their votes are informed. They can also give ‘advocates’ a chance for a group of legislators to champion their cause on the Hill. You may go ahead and change ‘advocates’ to ‘lobby and you’ll be even more on target.

When we look at the long list of these caucuses, a list that initially had only a few but seems to lately  have taken off rapidly, we see some caucuses that seem rather ‘ordinary and expected;’ for example,  Children’s Environmental Health Caucus or Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus. We also see some ‘amusing’ ones, such as Congressional Bike Caucus, Congressional Soccer Caucus, and Congressional Boating Caucus.

You follow me so far? Okay, then there are more than a few caucuses that are ‘confusing:’ Democratic Israel Working Group, Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus, and other ones for Turkey, Jordan, etc.  Why do I say ‘confusing’? Well, in the above paragraph we outlined the caucus definition, which includes ‘giving advocates, aka lobbies, a chance to influence, aka lobby, their cause through the members of their caucus. In this case, the advocates, aka lobbies, are foreign, and this means ‘direct foreign influence,’ and that in turn would make the representatives in these caucuses who then influence and lobby the rest of the Congress ‘foreign agents.’ Think of it as two-tiered foreign lobbies: [Read more...]

Podcast Show #37

The Boiling Frogs Presents Corey Pein

BFP Podcast Logo

Corey Pein recounts the creation of the recently launched groundbreaking site warisbusiness.com, a nonpartisan site covering military contracting, the global arms trade and the lobby, and how he began the project with two assumptions: The first- a lot of people are making money from war, while enjoying the comforts of anonymity (such people were once plainly called profiteers), and the second: Privatizing war inevitably prolongs it, creating what economists call a “perverse incentive.” Mr. Pein discusses the bought out generals and the militarization of the economy, and the latest on the ‘Rent-A-Generals’ exposé. He talks about scandals such as Mina Corp and the subsequent cover up, US Embassies as marketing arms of military corporations, the win-win outcome of elections for the Pentagon contractors and arms makers, Wikileaks, and more!

CoreyPein Corey Pein is an award-winning investigative reporter and long-form narrative journalist who writes about the military industrial complex, money, politics and violence from London, UK. Previously, he has lived in New Mexico, Oregon, Georgia and in Southeast Asia. His latest project is warisbusiness.com, a startup news site covering military contracting and the global arms trade. Mr. Pein has worked on staff at Columbia Journalism Review, Willamette Week, the Santa Fe Reporter and IHT ThaiDay, and contributed to Salon, Slate, The American Prospect, and CounterPunch, among others.

Here is our guest Corey Pein unplugged!

Note- Boiling Frogs selects warisbusiness.com as the best website of 2010!

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

9/11 Commissioner’s Turkey Baste: Chicken or the Egg?

The Roots of Lee Hamilton’s Six Figure Earnings

chickeggWe all know the relevance and importance of a solid and sound background check when it comes to our elected and appointed officials and commissioners. Of course we all want to know about that big ‘conflict of interest’ factor. Okay, not all of us, especially not our MSM stenographers, but a few independent researchers and journalists here and there, and the rest of us among the ‘active and inquiring’ crowd. So let’s call this ‘chasing the chicken’ for now.’ Are you with me so far? Just hang in there and you’ll find out what I’m talking about, or at least I hope you will 😉

Equally or even more significant is the need to follow up into post facto profiteering and connections of those assigned or elected for particular official posts. As in business, there is more than one method of payment and reimbursement for public figures serving interests other than the public, and in some cases interests totally in conflict with those of the public. Think of Former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and his post official position as a registered foreign agent for Turkey and his $35,000 a month payment. Or think about Former Defense Secretary, William Cohen, who went from heavily in debt and with negative net worth to multi millionaire in less than two years after leaving his public post. Unfortunately even fewer people, reporters and researchers, bother to cover and report on these important cases. Now, let’s call this ‘chasing the egg’ for the sake of what’s coming next.

HamiltonFortunately one independent reporter researched and reported on one such case, call it ‘chased the egg,’ on one of the 9/11 Commissioners, a Former Representative, Mr. Lee Hamilton, which I happened to come across yesterday. It was truly interesting to see how many ‘honorary’ positions Mr. Hamilton has been given, handed, by our government alone, just check out a few here:

-Co-chair of the Department of Energy Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future with Brent Scowcroft

-Serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board & the FBI Director’s Advisory Board,

-Serves on the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force

- Serves on the CIA External Advisory Board

The White House, the CIA, and the FBI must have been extremely well-served by Hamilton’s performance as the commissioner to grant him this many prestigious quasi positions. No? For me, the most interesting aspect which was covered by CounterCurrents.Org had to do with Hamilton’s position with and current salary from the Woodrow Wilson Center, and his questionable corporate ties, particularly with BAE Systems, the main sponsor of his forthcoming gala dinner. Here are a few excerpts:

Back in May, I was unaware that WWC President Lee Hamilton is a board member of one of the Center's top corporate donors, BAE Systems Inc. That's the American division of the largest weapons and defense firm in the world, BAE Systems plc, based in the U.K., with annual sales exceeding $36 billion.

Lee Hamilton's 34 years as Congressman (D-IN) and his service on the CIA External Advisory Board, FBI Director's Advisory Board, 9/11 Commission, and elsewhere are cited in his biography on the WWC website.

Nowhere, however, does the WWC mention his simultaneous service to corporate America. Hamilton -- whose WWC salary exceeds $410,000 and who qualifies for a hefty Congressional pension -- is a member of the boards of not only BAE Systems Inc. (since 2004), but also Carbon Motors (since 2008), and the Albright Stonebridge Group (since 2006).

Hold on, it’s getting much worse, and I’m adding my own emphasis to the excerpts:

The latter is a DC-based “global strategy firm” headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (co-chaired the so-called “ Genocide Prevention Task Force" with former Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose firm represents Turkish businesses; they both refuse to acknowledge the Armenian genocide) and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (pled guilty to stealing classified documents needed by the 9/11 Commission).

Even aside from Hamilton's corporate connections, can the WWC serve as a “neutral forum” for, and objectively analyze, the issues facing the American people when companies with mercenary agendas – overseas business interests, deals with sordid foreign governments, genocide denial, Federal contracts, and more – are helping to foot WWC's budget?

BAE, for example, has lobbied against an Armenian genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress and, like several WWC donors, is a member of the American Turkish Council. The ATC is a business group that has shamelessly labored to defeat the Armenian resolution and that FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds has accused of serious wrongdoing.

Here is more on BAE as a major criminal entity: [Read more...]

Updates & Weekly Round Up for December 12

Ron Paul on Escalation in Afghanistan, Obama Supports & Defends Domestic Enemies & More

Not much in terms of site updates on this week’s Boiling Frogs Round Up. If you haven’t listened to our interview with Pepe Escobar, please do; click here.

Last week I failed to bring to your attention an interesting and noteworthy interview:

Peter B Collins interviewed David Krikorian, challenger to GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio, on Schmidt’s efforts to squelch Krikorian’s First Amendment rights and the infamous Turkish Lobby’s covert and overt influence of Schmidt’s campaign. Krikorian ran against Mean Jean in 2008 and got 17% of the vote as an independent. After he announced he would challenge her again in 2010 as a Democrat, Schmidt filed legal actions over Krikorian’s sharp criticism of her support from Turkish interests. Schmidt’s lawyer is Bruce Fein, an erstwhile friend of the PBC show for his support of impeachment for Bush and Cheney; Fein is counsel to the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and an apologist for Turkey’s denial of the Armenian genocide.

This is a very interesting, and informative interview. You can listen to it here at Peter B Collins’ website. I’m looking forward to your feedback on this; many of you know why.

Rep. Ron Paul on the Escalation in Afghanistan

RonPaulCongressman Ron Paul has written an excellent editorial piece on our war in Afghanistan and President Obama’s escalation plans now in full action. As always he makes his points clearly and sincerely: No beating around the bush, no gobbledygook stuff, and no special interests or agenda to serve.

Dr. Paul hits some of the most important key words and phrases: Perpetual War, seeking out monsters to destroy abroad, Military Industrial Complex, the War Lobby, bypassing the Constitution, nebulous & never-ending conflicts, domestic liberties, nation-building, war-racketeers…Here are a couple of excerpts:

 

If anyone still doubted that this administration’s foreign policy would bring any kind of change, this week’s debate on Afghanistan should remove all doubt. The president’s stated justifications for sending more troops to Afghanistan and escalating the war amount to little more than recycling all the false reasons we began the conflict. It is so discouraging to see this coming from our new leadership, when the people were hoping for peace. New polls show that 49 percent of the people favor minding our own business on the world stage, up from 30 percent in 2002. Perpetual war is not solving anything. Indeed continually seeking out monsters to destroy abroad only threatens our security here at home as international resentment against us builds. The people understand this and are becoming increasingly frustrated at not being heard by the decision-makers. The leaders say some things the people want to hear, but change never comes.

We now find ourselves in another foreign policy quagmire with little hope of victory, and not even a definition of victory. Eisenhower said that only an alert and informed electorate could keep these war racketeering pressures at bay. He was right, and the key is for the people to ensure that their elected leaders follow the Constitution. The Constitution requires a declaration of war by Congress in order to legitimately go to war. Bypassing this critical step makes it far too easy to waste resources on nebulous and never-ending conflicts. Without clear goals, the conflicts last forever and drain the country of blood and treasure. The drafters of the Constitution gave Congress the power to declare war precisely because they feared allowing the executive unfettered discretion in military affairs. They understood that making it easy for leaders to wage foreign wars would threaten domestic liberties.

I don’t know about you but I for one always seem to find myself agreeing with Dr. Paul’s view on our foreign policy and the destructiveness of the long-in-power war party. You can read the brief but effective piece here. What do you think?
 

President Obama: Staunch Supporter of our Domestic Enemies?

It certainly appears that way. He’s been vehemently supporting the Patriot Act and its architects & defenders; he’s been relentlessly protecting the previous administrations’ wrongdoers and culprits involved in rendition and torture…And now this: White House wants suit against Yoo dismissed

The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.

Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, worked for the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003. He was the author of a 2002 memo that said rough treatment of captives amounts to torture only if it causes the same level of pain as "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death." The memo also said the president may have the power to authorize torture of enemy combatants.

 

TortureExample

 

We’ve been writing and talking about many cases, issues, and points where Obama has been supporting, defending, and continuing the Bush administration’s practices and abuses. Now can we think of any cases, examples, or issues where he, Obama, has actually been opposing or challenging the previous administration’s decisions, policies, or practices? In the Human Rights area? Our civil liberties? War(s)? I didn’t think so either… [Read more...]

Richard Armitage: New Chairman of the Premier Turkish Lobby in the US

Another Neocon Makes Turkish Ties & Connections Official

ArmitageNow it is official. Former U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage is on his way to take over the Chairmanship of the American Turkish Council from Brent Scowcroft.

Richard Perle and Douglas Feith were the first Neocon operatives to officially become lobbyists for Turkish ‘special’ interests in the US in 1989. They set up their lobby firm, International Advisors, Inc. (IAI) and formally registered as foreign agents for the government of Turkey, while still connected to the Pentagon. Since 1989 other major-league politicians and bureaucrats have joined the list, including Former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and Deputy Secretary of State, Marc Grossman.
 

Here are a few excerpts from the brief article on this official announcement, which interestingly took place on October 30, over a week ago, but was completely censored, blacked out, by the media.

 

ATC Board of Directors announced with a statement Thursday that it elected Ambassador Armitage to succeed Scowcroft --who served for 9 years as chairman-- on January 1, 2010.


The American-Turkish Council thanked General Scowcroft for his personal commitment to a strong U.S.-Turkey relationship and particularly for his highly successful leadership of the ATC.


ATC said it was looking forward to working with Armitage to strengthen the business, defense, trade and investment, foreign policy and cultural relations between the United States and Turkey.


Scowcroft and Ambassador Armitage will travel to Turkey November 16-20 for senior-level discussions with Turkey's government, military and business leadership.

 

We will have more on this and relevant points soon. Please stay tuned, but meanwhile disseminate this - let it be known. As you can see, the mainstream media and the lobby-influenced & managed pseudo alternative counterparts don’t want you to notice these things 😉

The Gate-Keepers of the Revolving Doors

Shielding our Multi-Daddy Statesmen & Generals

Some of you may be familiar with my past interviews, comments, or writings on the issue of ‘revolving doors.’ I started this blog by emphasizing the importance of separating ‘main causes’ from the multiple ‘symptoms’ we’ve been suffering from. Well, I consider the chronic revolving doors phenomena as one of those main causes leading to many of the ailments we suffer from today.

In November 2006 I wrote a two part series on this issue: ‘The Highjacking of a Nation. ‘In Part Two, ‘The Auctioning of Former Statesman & Dime a Dozen Generals’, I provided a few examples of how certain former statesmen and generals cash in on their connections and peddle their influence to the highest bidders turned clients. One of these cases involved General Joseph Ralston. He is the Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group. He serves on the board of Lockheed Martin, which paid the Cohen Group $550,000 in 2005, according to a Lockheed filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Ralston is also a member of the 2006 Advisory Board of the American Turkish Council (ATC), and one of Turkey’s top advocates and lobbyists.

In late summer of 2006, while serving as the Vice Chairman for the Cohen Group, while serving on Lockheed Martin’s Board, while sitting on the Advisory Board of the Turkish Lobby Group, ATC and lobbying for Turkey, this ‘Dime a Dozen’ General, was appointed to be US Special Envoy for Countering the Kurdistan Workers Party conflict with Turkey. Here is an excerpt from my piece:

    “Our government sent this man, Ralston, as a special envoy to help resolve the highly critical Northern Iraq situation with possible dire consequences in the near future. Considering Ralston’s livelihood and his loyalties, as a member of the board of the directors of Lockheed Martin, as the vice chairman of a lobbying firm with foreign interests, as an advisor and board member for the most powerful Turkish Lobby group, ATC, who did this man represent while in Turkey as the special envoy? What interests did he really represent; Iraq’s situation, Lockheed’s livelihood, which depends on further conflicts and bloodshed; the corrupt and criminal government of Turkey and its representation via ATC; or, the furthering of the Cohen Group’s future pimping opportunities?”

Why am I revisiting Ralston and this major case of conflict of interest now? It is because I intend to re-illustrate it within the framework and as an example in the discussion we’ve been having on ‘Dissecting the MSM.’

While the implications of Ralston’s appointment caused a major stir within the Kurdish community and organizations, pointing to Ralston’s position with the Turkish lobby in the US, and within Turkey’s own communities and pointing to Ralston’s position with Lockheed Martin, our own media and watchdog organizations let this gargantuan conflict of interest pass under the radar.

Also from ‘Hijacking of a Nation: Part Two’

    “Why in the world did no one within the U.S. mainstream media give even the slightest coverage of this conflict of interest? Why haven’t we heard anyone asking Ralston the most important question, in dire need of an answer: ‘Who’s your daddy Ralston; boy?’ Ralston’s position is no different than what is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “A person conceived and born out of wedlock.” With the possibility of any one of four daddies, and without the benefit of a DNA test, how do we go about determining Ralston’s real daddy?”

Ken Silverstein of Harper Magazine wrote a piece on this in November of 2006, titled ‘Lost in the Valley of the Wolves’. He touched the most important aspects of this case:

    “…But it appears that Ralston is representing the interests of the shareholders of Lockheed Martin rather than the interests of the American people.”

    “Then came the mid-September announcement (just weeks after Ralston's appointment) that Turkeywould be purchasing thirty new F-16's from Lockheed Martin. Weeks later, the Turkish government ruled out purchasing any Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes. This leaves only one option—Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. A deal between Lockheed and Turkey would be worth as much as $10 billion.”

... and he asked the ‘real question’ any MSM reporter with even a half of a brain should have asked:

    “Did Special Envoy Ralston lobby on behalf of Lockheed Martin during his encounters with Turkish officials? It seems likely. Ralston sits on the Board of Directorsof Lockheed Martin and serves as vice chairman of The Cohen Group, a lobbying firm that has represented Lockheed since 2004. On August 11 of this year, seventeen days before he was named Special Envoy, Ralston was appointed to The Cohen Group team that lobbies for Lockheed.”

…and he emphasized the unmentionable as far as the US MSM is concerned, the Turkish Lobby:

    “As Kurdish activist and blogger Mizgin Yilmaz has explained in detail , Ralston has close ties to Turkey through his military service and through his seat on the advisory board of the American Turkish Council. Lockheed Martin is a leading member and financial sponsor of this council, which “is dedicated to effectively strengthening U.S.-Turkish relations through the promotion of commercial, defense, technology and cultural relations.””

…and he concluded it with a punch absent in the work (stenography) of all other MSM players:

    “It's hard to understand how the Bush Administration could appoint a special envoy with so many conflicts of interest, but Lockheed's corporate slogan says it all: “We never forget who we're working for.” Neither, it seems, does General Ralston.”

Aside from Harper’s Silverstein, one other publication, the Boston Globe, did an excellent hard-hitting report on this. Kevin McKiernan begins the piece with a great punch line:

    “MOST PEOPLE would agree that it's bad ethics for government officials to invest in companies that they regulate. But what about a US special envoy to a Middle East trouble spot who happens to be a director of an arms company selling weapons to one of the parties in the conflict?”

Here is more from McKiernan’s report:

    “The problem is that General Ralston is on the board of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest arms maker, which just last month finalized a $2.9 billion sale for advanced F-16 fighters that may well be used in the Kurdish region (the State Department acknowledges that F-16 s were involved in human rights abuses in Turkey in the 1990s). This gives the ex-general the appearance of holding a financial interest in his shuttle diplomacy.”

    “General Ralston is on the board of the American Turkish Council, the powerful Capitol Hill lobby, and he is vice chairman of the Cohen Group, a corporation founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, with close ties to the Turkish military. Unfortunately, Ralston carries too much baggage to be special envoy, and he should step down before he alienates the Kurds of Iraq, the best -- and perhaps only -- friend the US government has in the country.”

And even a punchier finale:

    “Our new man in Ankara will be seen as an arms merchant in diplomat's clothing. He should be replaced.”

Now, here is a list of links to some of the major news coverage involving Ralston’s bastardization of military honor:

McClatchy

CBS News

CNN

New York Times

NPR

Time Magazine

I can go on and list more, but I’m sure you get the picture. They all went with the transcript faxed to them by the State Department like good little stenographers! Didn’t they have access to Ralston’s background, which is listed even in Wikipedia and his employer’s, Cohen Group, website? Surely they did! Weren’t they given reports and tips by those who’ve been acting as watchdogs on this case? Surely they were!

Here is a statement from ‘Mizgin’ who not only followed the case from the beginning as it was unfolding, but took it upon herself to contact these MSM reporters, supplying them with all the background on Four-Daddy General Ralston, and underlining all the issues of ‘conflicts of interests’:

    At the end of September 2006, a friend in the UK who writes the Hevallo blog had sent me a link to an article in the Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram on the sale of F-16s to Turkey. At the same time, Turkey was considering a purchase of the new Lockheed Martin F-35 but was not scheduled to make a decision on this purchase until the end of 2006. This news came almost one month after former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Joseph Ralston was named by the State Department as the "special envoy" to "coordinate" the PKK for Turkey.

    Since the PKK was preparing to declare a 1 October 2006 unilateral ceasefire, and since I was working on an English translation of Ocalan's statement regarding the ceasefire, I didn't have time to immediately investigate the F-16 story and the connection to Ralston. However, by 1 October, I had completed some initial investigation and noted the conflict of interest that Ralston's appointment created.

    In researching Ralston's background, I found that he was working for The Cohen Group, a lobbying firm founded by former Defense Secretary William Cohen, and that Ralston was one of two vice-chairmen for The Cohen Group. The other was Marc Grossman. I had come across a Washington Post article from May 2006 on Cohen and his firm which was written by David Hilzenrath. The article described the revolving-door syndrome between government and private business. In writing the article, I thought Hilzenrath would have the background to see that there was an obvious conflict of interest with Ralston's appointment and his connection to a private company that was listed with the US Senate, in accordance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, as a lobbyist hired to sell Lockheed Martin tactical fighter aircraft. In fact, Ralston was listed as a lobbyist with the Senate for this very purpose at least as late as 31 July 2006.

    I contacted Hilzenrath with the information I had managed to search out within a couple of days and suggested that he write something about the appointment since he had written about the people involved with The Cohen Group. He was interested initially and asked for a phone number where he could contact me. I gave him a "throw-away" number where he could reach me, but never heard from him again.

    In the meantime and out of frustration with trying to get the mainstream media interested in an appointment that was obviously very wrong, I wrote an article myself with was first published on KurdishInfo and then on KurdishMedia. Hevallo managed to get the article published in the UK's Socialist Worker. A friend from Diyarbakir translated the article into Turkish and I sent it to Ozgur Gundem, where it was published. I also posted the Turkish version on Istanbul Indymedia. Another friend persuaded the Kurdish National Congress of North America to call for Ralston's resignation as "special envoy."

    Before the end of October 2006, Ralston had secured Turkey's purchase of F-35 aircraft for $10 billion and the official announcement of the purchase came in December 2006. This meant that within a matter of a few weeks, Ralston had squeezed some $13 billion out of the Turkish Defense Ministry.

    From the UK, Hevallo had contacted a reporter for the LA Times, Kim Murphy, after she wrote a piece on Ralston and the Kurdish situation while she had been in Iraq. This also looked promising as Murphy appeared interested initially. Hevallo sent her the information that we had collected on Ralston and the Lockheed deals with Turkey and she was going to present the information to her editor in Washington DC. From that point on the information was buried and we heard nothing else from Murphy or the LA Times.

    Did the reporters themselves make the decision to sit on the information about this conflict of interest or did they, honestly, pass it to their editors, who made the final decisions? I don't know. I guess it really doesn't matter because our experience proves that somewhere along the line, someone in the mainstream media is going to sit on this kind of information to keep it from the public.

    Considering that most of Turkey's purchases of military hardware during the Clinton administration were subsidized by up to 80% by the US taxpayer, Americans themselves should have an interest in what happens when retired generals-turned lobbyists are appointed to handle situations that deal in matters of life and death.

    There were those whom we contacted who did take up the pen to write about the Ralston problem and I am grateful to them for their help. Among those were Ken Silverstein at Harper's; Kevin McKiernan, a longtime advocate for the Kurdish people, writing in the Boston Globe; Chris Deliso, who included information about Lockheed Martin's public relations firm, Public Strategies, Inc., who took a great interest in the things I was writing about Ralston and Lockheed--hence the need for "throw-away" phone numbers when you have to deal with these bloodsuckers; and Luke Ryland, who managed to link the Ralston conflict of interest with the Sibel Edmonds case. For all of these, I have nothing but praise and the greatest thanks

So what did they do instead? They all went by the transcript faxed and or e-mailed to them by the State Department like good little stenographers! That’s exactly what they did, and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing when it comes to shielding our multi-daddy Statesmen & Generals.

Is Ralston an isolated case? Of course not! There is an extensive list of these multi-daddy ex government officials who double or maybe even triple dip. Here, check out a few of these dime-a-dozen public servants turned foreign lobbyists:

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert: Here, here, and here.

Former Undersecretary of State & Ambassador to Turkey Marc Grossman: Here, here, and here.

Retired General Brent Scowcroft: Here, here, here, and here.