Home > Political Affairs > Mike McConnell, the WashPost & the dangers of sleazy corporatism

Mike McConnell, the WashPost & the dangers of sleazy corporatism

Industry Swindler

By Glenn Greenwald

In a political culture drowning in hidden conflicts of interests, exploitation of political office for profit, and a rapidly eroding wall separating the public and private spheres, Michael McConnell stands out as the perfect embodiment of all those afflictions. Few people have blurred the line between public office and private profit more egregiously and shamelessly than he. McConnell’s behavior is the classic never-ending “revolving door” syndrome: public officials serve private interests while in office and are then lavishly rewarded by those same interests once they leave. He went from being head of the National Security Agency under Bush 41 and Clinton directly to Booz Allen, one of the nation’s largest private intelligence contractors, then became Bush’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI), then went back to Booz Allen, where he is now Executive Vice President.

But that’s the least of what makes McConnell such a perfect symbol for the legalized corruption that dominates Washington. Tellingly, his overarching project while at Booz Allen and in public office was exactly the same: the outsourcing of America’s intelligence and surveillance functions (including domestic surveillance) to private corporations, where those activities are even more shielded than normal from all accountability and oversight and where they generate massive profit at the public expense. Prior to becoming Bush’s DNI, McConnell, while at Booz Allen, was chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, the primary business association of NSA and CIA contractors devoted to expanding the privatization of government intelligence functions.

Then, as Bush’s DNI, McConnell dramatically expanded the extent to which intelligence functions were outsourced to the same private industry that he long represented. Worse, he became the leading spokesman for demanding full immunity for lawbreaking telecoms for their participation in Bush’s illegal NSA programs — in other words, he exploited “national security” claims and his position as DNI to win the dismissal of lawsuits against the very lawbreaking industry he represented as INSA Chairman, including, almost certainly, Booz Allen itself. Having exploited his position as DNI to lavishly reward and protect the private intelligence industry, he then returns to its loving arms to receive from them lavish personal rewards of his own.

It’s vital to understand how this really works: it isn’t that people like Mike McConnell move from public office to the private sector and back again. That implies more separation than really exists. At this point, it’s more accurate to view the U.S. Government and these huge industry interests as one gigantic, amalgamated, inseparable entity — with a public division and a private one. When someone like McConnell goes from a top private sector position to a top government post in the same field, it’s more like an intra-corporate re-assignment than it is changing employers. When McConnell serves as DNI, he’s simply in one division of this entity and when he’s at Booz Allen, he’s in another, but it’s all serving the same entity (it’s exactly how insurance giant Wellpoint dispatched one of its Vice Presidents to Max Baucus’ office so that she could write the health care plan that the Congress eventually enacted).

Read more details in source article: Signs of the Times

Related stories:

January 8, 2007: The spy who came in from the boardroom
January 12, 2007: Mike McConnell, Booz Allen and the Privatization of Intelligence
March 30th, 2010: Mike McConnell and the American Corporate State

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: