January 14, 2011 - The Constantine Report    
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

What Caused Ike to Criticize the “Military-Industrial Complex”?

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

By James Ledbetter
Reuters | January 14, 2011

The following is an excerpt from James Ledbetter’s new book,  “Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex.”

The 50th anniversary of Dwight Eisenhower’s January 17, 1961 farewell speech, which introduced the concept of a “military-industrial complex,” has caused many to ask: What was the context? Why did a president who had been a five-star general, and had commandeered what was probably the largest military force amassed in the history of mankind to win World War II, seemingly change direction and warn against excessive military influence?

The launch of the Sputnik satellite, on October 4, 1957, hit the Eisenhower White House like a targeted missile. Whether it represented a scientific breakthrough for the Soviet Union is a matter that can still be debated. But as a public relations coup, it unsettled the administration more than any other event, including the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954. The President set a defiant tone with his insistence that the first Sputnik launch was but “one small ball” thrust into the sky.

Years of unresolved debates over military budgets and readiness resurfaced with a nagging urgency. To the knowledgeable, the Sputnik launch implied that the Soviets now had the ability to hitch a nuclear warhead to a missile and launch it thousands of miles from their own soil, thus ushering in not only an expensive and disruptive new phase of the arms race but one in which they had the lead. White House advisors estimated that by as early as 1959, as a contemporary press account put it, “the U.S.S.R. could deploy enough intercontinental-range ballistic missiles to smash or paralyze the Strategic Air Command’s U.S. bases. The attack could occur with a warning of no more than ten or fifteen minutes.”

While the public was focused on the two Sputnik launches, Washington’s elite was arguably more devastated by the release of an exceptionally well-timed panel study—delivered four days after the second Sputnik orbit—that appeared to show the Soviet military threat was even greater than the Administration thought. Entitled “Deterrence & Survival in the Nuclear Age,” it was known informally as the Gaither Report after its panel chairman, H. Rowan Gaither of the RAND Corporation. The report—classified “top secret”—cited “spectacular progress” in Soviet military development after World War II. The Soviets, the authors claimed, had enough fissionable material for 1500 atomic weapons and had “probably surpassed” the U.S. in the production of nuclear-tipped intercontinental missiles. They proposed a massive military spending program that would not only match the alleged Soviet offensive capabilities, but commit more than $20 billion to a nationwide system of nuclear fallout shelters.

In the panic that ensued after the report’s conclusions became known, many public figures—Democrats especially, but also including the nuclear physicist Edward Teller—compared the Sputnik launch to Pearl Harbor. Lyndon Johnson, the Senate majority leader, declared that “the Russians have beaten us at our own game – daring scientific advances in the nuclear age.” Senator John F. Kennedy would make Sputnik a major issue in his 1958 re-election campaign. Demands for an American response—at a minimum, having the President appoint a “missile czar”—were nearly overwhelming.

The political fallout was considerable. Democrats on Capitol Hill were keen to find a scapegoat, and the Eisenhower Administration’s earlier insistence on balancing military expenditures with fiscal restraint could easily, in panicked retrospect, be made to look as if the administration allowed itself to be outflanked by the Soviets. True or not, having to expend energy and political capital to defend against such charges robbed Eisenhower of his greatest political credential: his monopoly on issues of national security. As the White House prepared its responses, chief aide Arthur Larson wrote to fellow staffers: “More comments are reaching me on the Sputnick [sic] business…these from friends. Reaction of bewilderment is shifting to anger… DDE’s prestige in his special area is slipping… I am amazed at the extent and depth of these reactions as I pick up my contacts around the country.”

Despite the pressure, neither the President nor his most important advisers were moved to make fundamental policy shifts. Everything that could be done to launch a satellite was put into place, and missile budgets were increased (but not as much as some within the administration wished; Eisenhower was concerned that bumping up missile-related spending too high in the 1959 budget would “lead people to say that nothing had been done in the last five years.”) But in general, the administration did whatever it could, short of releasing confidential data from U-2 spy planes, to convey that it did not share the conclusions of the Gaither Report.

The period following the Sputnik-Gaither crisis demonstrates Eisenhower’s military-industrial-complex critique in its early stages. After all, who was behind the faulty intelligence and calls for military buildup in the Gaither Report? The leadership consisted of known and trusted Eisenhower advisers, but there could be no hiding the fact that the billions in increased military spending called for by the panel would benefit many of the very people making the recommendations. Two of the report’s principal directors were Robert C. Sprague, who headed his own business of military electronics, and William C. Foster of the Olin-Mathiesen Chemical Company, a producer of gunpowder and ammunition.

From the studies he had conducted for the Army in the ‘30s, Eisenhower was keenly aware of the interdependency between the military and private industry. And while he believed that protecting the American economy and private enterprise was a critical mission for the military, that goal also involved ensuring that the military and the economy had to be restrained from merging into a behemoth that could threaten both. By the time of the Sputnik-Gaither frenzy in1957, it could be argued that just such a situation had come to pass, and Eisenhower glimpsed it in what might seem an unlikely venue—trade journals catering to the aerospace industry. Titles like Aviation Week and Air Force magazine were scarcely more than a decade old, yet they were helping set the tone of public debate over security policy. Like Congressional hearings controlled by Democrats, these publications became a venue for the largely unfiltered views of the military establishment. They were often harshly, even personally critical of Eisenhower and his Defense Department managers.

Shortly after the Sputnik launch, for example, Aviation Week editorialized that Americans

“have a right to know the facts about the relative position of the U.S. and the Soviet Union in this technological race which is perhaps the most significant single event of our times. They have the right to find out why a nation with our vastly superior scientific, economic and military potential is being at the very least equaled and perhaps being surpassed by a country that less than two decades ago couldn’t even play in the same scientific ball park. They also have a right to make the decisions as to whether they want their government to maintain our current leadership of the free world regardless of the cost in dollars and sweat, or whether they wish to supinely abdicate this position in favor of enjoying a few more years of the hedonistic prosperity that now enfolds our country. These are choices the citizens of this land must make for themselves. They are not decisions to be made arbitrarily by a clique of leaders in an ivory tower or on a golf course.”

But perhaps more mesmerizing than the magazines’ editorial content was their advertising. To flip through these publications in the late 1950s was to peer into an otherwise hidden America, where prosperity and security seemed to orbit solely around a single vast and growing industry. Aviation in 1957 was approximately an $11 billion business, with giants like Boeing, Douglas Aircraft, and General Dynamics bringing in more than $1 billion each in annual revenue (IBM that year had revenues of $734 million and General Motors about $10.8 billion). Nearly all of that revenue came from military contracts, and these magazines were where military contractors hawked their goods.

There were also ads for the raw materials needed to make planes and rockets: titanium, graphite, rubber, stainless steel, aluminum. Layered on top of that were dozens of subindustries that had sprung up after the war, many of which straddled the line between public subsidy and private enterprise: makers of helicopters, circuit breakers, aircraft bolts, aircraft engines, roller bearings, navigation and radar systems, aircraft spark plugs, rockets and much else. A typical full-page ad from January 1957, for example, hawks a product made by the Radio Corporation of America—RCA, at the time, the 25th largest company in America, with nearly 80,000 employees and well over a billion dollars in annual revenue. Most Americans associated it with radios and televisions, but RCA also—as this ad made clear—had a “defense electronic products” division that made guidance systems for Air Force planes. An illustration shows seven white Air Force fighters, each with its system trained on a large, black, unmarked aircraft. The copy promises readers, “Fire control radar tells WHERE TO AIM/WHEN TO FIRE!”

Most advertising seeks to sell a product or service to multiple customers. For leading-edge military products with national security implications, there was only one customer—the Pentagon. And thus, these journals were viewed with irritated fascination by the Eisenhower White House, and particularly by the speechwriter Malcolm Moos. In an interview, Moos recalled the trade publications specifically in the context of the farewell speech, noting that Peter Aurand, a naval attaché whose father had been a classmate of Eisenhower’s at West Point, would “bring in these aerospace journals, talk about them, leave them on my desk. And it’s astounding to go through them and see some 25,000 different kinds of related companies in this thing.” Eisenhower’s scientific advisor James Killian said that the President could not stomach the journals and their ads: “Repeatedly, I saw Ike angered by the excesses, both in text and advertising, of the aerospace-electronics press, which advocated ever bigger and better weapons to meet an ever bigger and better Soviet threat they had conjured up.”

By 1959 Eisenhower had begun to see private military contractors as a self-interested, malign actor in the budget process. In a June meeting with legislative leaders about defense appropriations, he questioned an additional $85 million that had been put into the ATLAS program, an early intercontinental ballistic missile. Congressman Gerald Ford tried to reassure him with a variety of explanations: the Air Force had recently revised its cost estimates; the increase was much less than what many in Congress were proposing; other parts of the missiles appropriation had been reduced. But Eisenhower was not persuaded. According to the meeting notes, “The President protested the political pressures that the munitions industry brings to bear on the Congress, and especially the resort to full-page advertisements such as that by Boeing in regard to the BOMARC. He thought it was clear that other elements than the basic defense of the country were entered into the handling of these problems.”

This outburst was sufficiently unusual that it was almost immediately leaked to the press. A New York Times reporter wrote that Eisenhower had let it be known that he “believed political and financial influences rather than military considerations alone were playing an unwarranted part in the defense debate.” This was evidently a presidential theme in 1959; later that month, while discussing an upcoming Space Council meeting and the need for better coordination and single management of our national missile ranges, Eisenhower insisted: “We must avoid letting the munitions companies dictate the pattern of our organization.”

Thus, a year and a half before the speech that caused so many Americans to wonder about Eisenhower’s motives, he was well down the path of frustration with the influence, and confluence, of military and industrial power.


“… If you want to feel a tad more intimidated, consider Lockheed Martin’s sheer size for a moment. After all, the company receives one of every 14 dollars doled out by the Pentagon. In fact, its government contracts, thought about another way, amount to a ‘Lockheed Martin tax’ of $260 per taxpaying household in the United States, and no weapons contractor has more power or money to wield to defend its turf. It spent $12 million on congressional lobbying and campaign contributions in 2009 alone. …”

William D. Hartung: How a Giant Weapons Maker
Became the New Big Brother

CBS News | January 12, 2011

(CBS) William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex (Nation Books, January 2011.
This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.


Have you noticed that Lockheed Martin, the giant weapons corporation, is shadowing you? No? Then you haven’t been paying much attention. Let me put it this way: If you have a life, Lockheed Martin is likely a part of it.

True, Lockheed Martin doesn’t actually run the U.S. government, but sometimes it seems as if it might as well. After all, it received $36 billion in government contracts in 2008 alone, more than any company in history. It now does work for more than two dozen government agencies from the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s involved in surveillance and information processing for the CIA, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, the Census Bureau, and the Postal Service.

Oh, and Lockheed Martin has even helped train those friendly Transportation Security Administration agents who pat you down at the airport. Naturally, the company produces cluster bombs, designs nuclear weapons, and makes the F-35 Lightning (an overpriced, behind-schedule, underperforming combat aircraft that is slated to be bought by customers in more than a dozen countries) — and when it comes to weaponry, that’s just the start of a long list. In recent times, though, it’s moved beyond anything usually associated with a weapons corporation and has been virtually running its own foreign policy, doing everything from hiring interrogators for U.S. overseas prisons (including at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq) to managing a private intelligence network in Pakistan and helping write the Afghan constitution.

A For-Profit Government-in-the-Making

If you want to feel a tad more intimidated, consider Lockheed Martin’s sheer size for a moment. After all, the company receives one of every 14 dollars doled out by the Pentagon. In fact, its government contracts, thought about another way, amount to a “Lockheed Martin tax” of $260 per taxpaying household in the United States, and no weapons contractor has more power or money to wield to defend its turf. It spent $12 million on congressional lobbying and campaign contributions in 2009 alone.

Not surprisingly, it’s the top contributor to the incoming House Armed Services Committee chairman, Republican Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California, giving more than $50,000 in the most recent election cycle. It also tops the list of donors to Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), the powerful chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the self-described “#1 earmarks guy in the U.S. Congress.”

Add to all that its 140,000 employees and its claim to have facilities in 46 states, and the scale of its clout starts to become clearer. While the bulk of its influence-peddling activities may be perfectly legal, the company also has quite a track record when it comes to law-breaking: it ranks number one on the “contractor misconduct” database maintained by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington-DC-based watchdog group.

How in the world did Lockheed Martin become more than just a military contractor? Its first significant foray outside the world of weaponry came in the early 1990s when plain old Lockheed (not yet merged with Martin Marietta) bought Datacom Inc., a company specializing in providing services for state and city governments, and turned it into the foundation for a new business unit called Lockheed Information Management Services (IMS). In turn, IMS managed to win contracts in 44 states and several foreign countries for tasks ranging from collecting parking fines and tolls to tracking down “deadbeat dads” and running “welfare to work” job-training programs. The result was a number of high profile failures, but hey, you can’t do everything right, can you?

Under pressure from Wall Street to concentrate on its core business — implements of destruction — Lockheed Martin sold IMS in 2001. By then, however, it had developed a taste for non-weapons work, especially when it came to data collection and processing. So it turned to the federal government where it promptly racked up deals with the IRS, the Census Bureau, and the U.S. Postal Service, among other agencies.

As a result, Lockheed Martin is now involved in nearly every interaction you have with the government. Paying your taxes? Lockheed Martin is all over it. The company is even creating a system that provides comprehensive data on every contact taxpayers have with the IRS from phone calls to face-to-face meetings.

Want to stand up and be counted by the U.S. Census? Lockheed Martin will take care of it.

The company runs three centers — in Baltimore, Phoenix, and Jeffersonville, Indiana — that processed up to 18 tractor-trailers full of mail per day at the height of the 2010 Census count. For $500 million it is developing the Decennial Response Information Service (DRIS), which will collect and analyze information gathered from any source, from phone calls or the Internet to personal visits. According to Preston Waite, associate director of the Census, the DRIS will be a “big catch net, catching all the data that comes in no matter where it comes from.”

Need to get a package across the country? Lockheed Martin cameras will scan bar codes and recognize addresses, so your package can be sorted “without human intervention,” as the company’s web site puts it.

Plan on committing a crime? Think twice. Lockheed Martin is in charge of the FBI’s Integrated Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), a database of 55 million sets of fingerprints.

The company also produces biometric identification devices that will know who you are by scanning your iris, recognizing your face, or coming up with novel ways of collecting your fingerprints or DNA. As the company likes to say, it’s in the business of making everyone’s lives (and so personal data) an “open book,” which is, of course, of great benefit to us all. “Thanks to biometric technology,” the company proclaims, “people don’t have to worry about forgetting a password or bringing multiple forms of identification. Things just got a little easier.”

Are you a New York City resident concerned about a “suspicious package” finding its way onto the subway platform? Lockheed Martin tried to do something about that, too, thanks to a contract from the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to install 3,000 security cameras and motion sensors that would spot such packages, as well as the people carrying them, and notify the authorities. Only problem: the cameras didn’t work as advertised and the MTA axed Lockheed Martin and cancelled the $212 million contract.

Collecting Intelligence on You

If it seems a little creepy to you that the same company making ballistic missiles is also processing your taxes, accessing your fingerprints, scanning your packages, ensuring that it’s easier than ever to collect your DNA, and counting you for the census, rest assured: Lockheed Martin’s interest in getting inside your private life via intelligence collection and surveillance has remained remarkably undiminished in the twenty-first century.

Tim Shorrock, author of the seminal book Spies for Hire, has described Lockheed Martin as “the largest defense contractor and private intelligence force in the world.” As far back as 2002, the company plunged into the “Total Information Awareness” (TIA) program that was former National Security Advisor Admiral John Poindexter’s pet project.  A giant database to collect telephone numbers, credit cards, and reams of other personal data from U.S. citizens in the name of fighting terrorism, the program was de-funded by Congress the following year, but concerns remain that the National Security Agency is now running a similar secret program.

In the meantime, since at least 2004, Lockheed Martin has been involved in the Pentagon’s Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), which collected personal data on American citizens for storage in a database known as “Threat and Local Observation Notice” (and far more dramatically by the acronym TALON). While Congress shut down the domestic spying aspect of the program in 2007 (assuming, that is, that the Pentagon followed orders), CIFA itself continues to operate. In 2005, Washington Post military and intelligence expert William Arkin revealed that, while the database was theoretically being used to track anyone suspected of terrorism, drug trafficking, or espionage, “some military gumshoe or overzealous commander just has to decide someone is a ‘threat to the military’” for it to be brought into play.

Among the “threatening” citizens actually tracked by CIFA were members of antiwar groups.  As part of its role in CIFA, Lockheed Martin was not only monitoring intelligence, but also “estimating future threats.”  (Not exactly inconvenient for a giant weapons outfit that might see antiwar activism as a threat!)

Lockheed Martin is also intimately bound up in the workings of the National Security Agency, America’s largest spy outfit.  In addition to producing spy satellites for the NSA, the company is in charge of “Project Groundbreaker,” a $5 billion, 10-year effort to upgrade the agency’s internal telephone and computer networks.

While Lockheed Martin may well be watching you at home — it’s my personal nominee for twenty-first-century “Big Brother” — it has also been involved in questionable activities abroad that go well beyond supplying weapons to regions in conflict.  There were, of course, those interrogators it recruited for America’s offshore prison system from Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan (and the charges of abuses that so naturally went with them), but the real scandal the company has been embroiled in involves overseeing an assassination program in Pakistan.

Initially, it was billed as an information gathering operation using private companies to generate data the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies allegedly could not get on their own.  Instead, the companies turned out to be supplying targeting information used by U.S. Army Special Forces troops to locate and kill suspected Taliban leaders.

The private firms involved were managed by Lockheed Martin under a $22 million contract from the U.S. Army.  As Mark Mazetti of the New York Times has reported, there were just two small problems with the effort: “The American military is largely prohibited from operating in Pakistan.  And under Pentagon rules, the army is not allowed to hire contractors for spying.”  Much as in the Iran/Contra scandal of the 1980s, when Oliver North set up a network of shell companies to evade the laws against arming right-wing paramilitaries in Nicaragua, the Army used Lockheed Martin to do an end run around rules limiting U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan.  It should not, then, be too surprising that one of the people involved in the Lockheed-Martin-managed network was Duane “Dewey” Claridge, an ex-CIA man who had once been knee deep in the Iran/Contra affair.

A Twenty-First Century Big Brother

There has also been a softer side to Lockheed Martin’s foreign policy efforts.  It has involved contracts for services that range from recruiting election monitors for Bosnia and the Ukraine and attempting to reform Liberia’s justice system to providing personnel involved in drafting the Afghan constitution.  Most of these projects have been carried out by the company’s PAE unit, the successor to a formerly independent firm, Pacific Architects and Engineers, that made its fortune building and maintaining military bases during the Vietnam War.

However, the “soft power” side of Lockheed Martin’s operations (as described on its web site) may soon diminish substantially as the company has put PAE up for sale.  Still, the revenues garnered from these activities will undoubtedly be more than offset by a new $5 billion, multi-year contract awarded by the U.S. Army to provide logistics support for U.S. Special Forces in dozens of countries.

Consider all this but a Lockheed Martin précis.  A full accounting of its “shadow government” would fill volumes.  After all, it’s the number-one contractor not only for the Pentagon, but also for the Department of Energy. It ranks number two for the Department of State, number three for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and number four for the Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development.

Even listing the government and quasi-governmental agencies the company has contracts with is a daunting task, but here’s just a partial run-down: the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Land Management, the Census Bureau, the Coast Guard, the Department of Defense (including the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency), the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Technology Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the General Services Administration, the Geological Survey,  the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of State, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Agency, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

When President Eisenhower warned 50 years ago this month of the dangers of “unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” he could never have dreamed that one for-profit weapons outfit would so fully insinuate itself into so many aspects of American life.  Lockheed Martin has helped turn Eisenhower’s dismal mid-twentieth-century vision into a for-profit military-industrial-surveillance complex fit for the twenty-first century, one in which no governmental activity is now beyond its reach.

I feel safer already.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


By Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic | January 14, 2011

Pima County detectives are investigating if some death threats received by fax this spring by a California state senator might be connected to the Tucson shooting spree that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded.

A Pima County detective called Sen. Leland Yee’s chief of staff on Monday to inquire about some racist faxes Yee received in March or April after he checked into payments made by a California state university to Sarah Palin for a speaking engagement.

Adam Keigwin, Yee’s top aide, said he was surprised by the detective’s call.

“I’m not certain if there is a definite connection” between the threats received by Yee and the Giffords case, Keigwin said. “He referenced that they are seeing similar faxes in their investigation. I think it has similar terminology. I don’t know for sure, but he said they are getting very similar faxes.”

Deputy Jason Ogan, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, could not be reached for comment.

Keigwin said Yee received several anonymous threatening telephone messages at his offices and that he dismissed those as angry outbursts by “Sarah Palin fans.”

But he said the faxes were far more ominous. One featured a depiction of a noose and said “kill all the Marxists.” Others contained the “n” word and a communist symbol, attempting to draw a connection between Yee and the communist government of China.

Keigwin said he described the faxes to the Pima County detective and told him to call Tony Beard, the California State Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms, to learn more about the investigation.

The San Mateo County Times reported that the California Highway Patrol eventually investigated the death threats received by Yee.

Keigwin said he does not believe Giffords and Yee have ever met and knows of no other connection between them. Yee and Giffords are Democrats.


 By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS | January 14, 2011

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The CIA persuaded Switzerland to destroy millions of pages of evidence showing how a Pakistani scientist helped Iran, Libya and North Korea acquire sensitive nuclear technology, according to a new book.

“Fallout” by Americans Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz tells the story of the illicit nuclear procurement network created by Abdul Qadeer Khan, a metallurgist who is widely considered the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.

In 2004, Khan admitted to selling Iran, North Korea and Libya uranium enrichment technology that can be used to produce fuel for civilian reactors or atomic weapons. Khan’s movements have been curtailed since his public confession.

Analysts and U.N. officials have said that Khan’s illicit network, which specialized in helping countries skirt international sanctions, created the greatest nuclear proliferation crisis of the atomic age.

“Fallout” is the second book on the Khan network by Frantz and Collins, a husband-and-wife team of investigative journalists.

They say the United States pressured the Swiss government to destroy evidence that could have helped U.N. investigators determine the full extent of Khan’s black marketeering and say they did it to cover up CIA mistakes that had enabled Khan’s network to flourish.

The CIA, the authors say, tracked Khan’s activities for years thanks to a Swiss family, the Tinners, involved in the supply of nuclear technology which was a key element in Khan’s network. Members of the family were recruited by the CIA.

Through the Tinners, the CIA successfully infiltrated the Khan network, but Washington failed to act quickly enough to stop it spreading “the world’s most dangerous technology to the world’s most dangerous regimes,” Frantz told Reuters.

The CIA tried to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program while monitoring Khan, but it appears the Iranians discovered the problems with equipment that had been tampered with and repaired it, the authors write.


A Swiss investigator who worked on the Khan case was quoted by the authors as saying that Washington had wanted the evidence collected in raids on the Tinners’ home and offices, including computer files, hard drives, disks and documents, to be destroyed in order to “hide their own stupidity.”

“They are responsible for the spread of this dangerous technology,” the investigator said. “You cannot stop it now. The Tinners were free. They were computer freaks, living in different countries, and duplicating all those files.”

Among the files confiscated from the Tinners, Collins and Frantz say, were elements of a Chinese design for a nuclear weapon that had been scanned and could therefore have been copied and disseminated around the world.

Investigators from the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also identified possible elements of designs for two other more sophisticated Pakistani nuclear weapons among the materials they were allowed to see.

In addition to the discovery of more than 300 schematics for two types of Pakistani atomic weapons in the Tinners’ possession, hard drives belonging to the family were found in Thailand, Malaysia and South Africa, showing that classified information useful in making bombs had traveled the globe.

3 Ex-Officers on Trial in Obstruction Case

New York Times | January 13, 2011

The Shenandoah Six –  “Clearly, unequivocally a serious danger to witnesses in this case,” according to  Judge Malachy Mannion: (Top Row (left to Right): Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor; Captain Jamie Gennarini; and Lt. William Moyer. Bottom Row (left to Right): Police Officer Jason Hayes; Derrick Donchak; and Brandon Piekarsky.)

Three former Pennsylvania police officers went on trial Thursday on charges of obstructing justice in the beating death of a Mexican immigrant in 2008, a prosecution that Hispanics have come to view as a national test case for treatment of Latinos.

The federal case against the former officers, Matthew Nestor, Jason Hayes and William Moyer, began with the killing of Luís Ramírez, 25, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who was beaten and kicked to death in July 2008 by a group of young white men in the central Pennsylvania town of Shenandoah.

The case became a cause célèbre for Latinos who argued that the two main defendants, Brandon Piekarsky, a member of a high school football team, and his friend Derrick Donchak, got off with light sentences in a state trial in 2009. They were acquitted of the most serious charges and convicted of simple assault, a misdemeanor. After mounting criticism from state officials, federal prosecutors pressed civil rights charges against the two men, and in October, they were convicted of a hate crime.

The men, who are 19 and 20, face a maximum of life in prison when they are sentenced on Jan. 24. In federal court on Thursday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., prosecutors argued that the police officers, who are charged with conspiracy, making false statements and obstruction of justice, misrepresented facts during their investigation because they had personal connections to the families of the accused. Mr. Nestor, the chief of police at the time, had vacationed with Mr. Piekarsky’s mother, according to the indictment.

Mr. Hayes, a patrolman, was dating her, and the son of Mr. Moyer, a lieutenant, played on the same football team as those accused in the beating. All have since left the police department. Joseph Nahas, a lawyer for Mr. Nestor, strongly disputed the charges, according to The Republican Herald newspaper, and said that his client had called the district attorney for Schuylkill County within three hours of the beating.

“Everything the government just told you about my client is absolute nonsense,” Mr. Nahas said.

 The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which circulated a petition in 2009 calling for the Justice Department to bring federal charges in the case, welcomed the trial. “This trial sends a strong message that hate crimes and those who attempt to cover them up, including law enforcement officers, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Gladys Limón, a staff lawyer for the fund.

 Included in the indictment were accusations that Mr. Hayes, an investigating officer, had called Mr. Piekarsky’s mother and told her to tell the young men to “get their stories straight,” because Mr. Ramírez’s condition was deteriorating. He died in the hospital shortly after the beating. The indictment also said that Mr. Moyer contacted the parents of one of the accused and told them to have their son throw away his sneakers, and that a Shenandoah official told the officers to recuse themselves from the case, but they refused.

Prosecutors said Mr. Moyer and Mr. Hayes “deliberately mischaracterized” an eyewitness account of what happened in an official police report in order to “exculpate Brandon Piekarsky.”