Wired.com, in a July 26, 2013 piece by David Cravats, details that not-very-surprising fact that those congressional representatives who received the largest political donations from defense contractors voted last week, 217 to 205, to oppose cuts to NSA’s phone-spying dragnet budget. Those who opposed the cuts, and thus the “Amash amendment” received 122% more defense contractor funds than those who voted against it, with one Democratic exception of Representative Dennis Moran of Virginia.
An analysis done by the Berkeley non-profit, MapLight for Wired showed that Defense contractor donations averaged $41,635 from the pot, whereas House members who voted to repeal authority averaged $18,765 for the previous two year period.
The only really surprising fact is how very little the defense contractors had to pony-up to buy their contractor-collusive representative over the two year period: $12.97 million.
In contrast to the billions of dollars these big corporations make each year from their defense contracts in the surveillance industry, the going price for representatives is trifling low. (Of course, undoubtedly some representatives with committee assignments critical to surveillance budget issues do undoubtedly get lucrative extra perks in the form of post-term jobs, many as lobbyists, should they leave Congress, but still the cost of doing business with friendly congressional representatives is virtually a rounding error in their corporate budgets.
Deborah Charles and Ben Berkowitz report on Reuters of June 10, 2013, that:
The U.S. government spends more than $300 billion a year on services that are contracted out, according to Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, an independent watchdog that investigates corruption and misconduct in government.
The government workforce has pretty much stayed the same over the last 30 to 40 years but we’ve supplemented that with a contractor workforce that has grown dramatically,” he said. More than 4.9 million people had government security clearances as of October 1, 2012, including about 1.4 million with “top secret” clearance, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Nearly 800,000 government employees had “top secret” clearances, versus 480,000 contractors; the remaining “top secret” holders were not broken down.
In 2009, Lockheed Martin, one of the largest contractors, received 38.4 billion from government contracts, while Boeing received 22 billion and 23 billion in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
NSA Whistle-blower Edward Snowden last corporate employer was Booz-Allen. Booz is not one of the biggest government contractors, but it has done very well from its surveillance work. According to the NY Times of 6/10/2013, Booze earned 1.3 billion in 2012. (Our truth-defying Director of National Intelligence and head of NSA, furtive functionary James Clapper, was formerly with Booze, which is a subsidiary of the Carlyle Group. He is but one of the revolving door clique that routinely alternates between government and Booze employment.) Read the rest of this entry →