The Iron Triangle

Tracking Power, Money and Influence in U.S. National Security

Tara O’Toole is a CIA consultant

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Her financial disclosures (see page 16 of 19) show Tara O’Toole, the Obama administration’s pick for the Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security, made $4,394 from CIA consulting.

Spooky.  Actually it’s probably not that big of a deal.  The CIA needs expertise on biological weapons.  And O’Toole is an expert, though some think she’s over-hyped the bio-threat.

Written by schwellenbach

June 22, 2009 at 9:52 pm

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Guilty pleas related to defense contracts in Afghanistan

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Written by schwellenbach

June 20, 2009 at 1:04 am

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DoDIG “found no evidence to suggest that the Air Force or [Lockheed Martin] exerted inappropriate influence over DCMA”

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The Pentagon’s inspector general said (pdf) neither the Air Force, Lockheed Martin or the Defense Contract Management Agency did anything wrong after it reviewed the circumstances surrounding a DCMA letter (pdf) justifying a bonus for one of its employees.  The letter stated the employee played a lead role in helping to reverse a contract termination decision for Lockheed Martin’s C-130J aircraft in 2005.

My former employer, the Project On Government Oversight, wrote the inspector general in September 2008 and provided the DCMA letter. POGO’s executive director Danielle Brian wrote, “The letter provides a shocking level of insight into the resources, time and effort that was spent by an agency inside the Department of Defense working with the contractor to thwart Secretary Rumsfeld’s decision to terminate the C-130J. We are particularly disturbed that the DCMA assisted the Air Force and Lockheed Martin in its lobbying efforts.”

The inspector general said its “discussions with personnel at DCMA, Air Force headquarters, and the C-130J SPO [system program office] supported statements made to us by the employee that he did not work on a termination cost analysis.”

The inspector general also said the letter was erroneous because of confusion between DCMA supervisors over what the DCMA employee actually did.  “Since the award justification was in error, we referred the issue to the DCMA for potential administrative action,” states the report.

Written by schwellenbach

June 15, 2009 at 9:35 pm

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DOJ: Defense Department Official Indicted on Espionage, False Statement Charges

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Written by schwellenbach

June 15, 2009 at 7:28 pm

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Tracking Lobbying Giant PMA’s Former Clients

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My latest post at the Center:

To say that Washington is a town built on relationships is an understatement. A recent example: In the wake of the embattled lobbying firm PMA’s demise this April, many of its former clients are sticking with their former PMA lobbyists.

Written by schwellenbach

May 27, 2009 at 8:10 pm

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Iraq Bullet-Proof Vest Contract Fraud and Bribes

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DOJ Antitrust Division press release today, entitled, “DEFENSE CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROCUREMENT OF A BULLET-PROOF VEST CONTRACT IN IRAQ“:

A defense contractor has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and has admitted to engaging in other bribery-related conduct in connection with contracts in Iraq, the Department of Justice today announced.

According to the plea agreement filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia on Dec. 18, 2007, and unsealed today, Diana Bakir Demilta, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Demilta, the President of Global-Link Distribution LLC, a defense contracting company with operations in the International Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, subverted the competitive bidding process used by the Department of Defense and the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq for a bullet-proof vest contract by submitting multiple sham bids from about September 2004 until about March 2005.

In addition, Demilta admitted that she paid at least $60,000 to an unnamed public official to induce that person to influence the award of contracts and to induce expedited payments for contracts awarded to Demilta’s company.

Written by schwellenbach

May 27, 2009 at 7:25 pm

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Surge in Defense Contracts, Drop in Fraud Cases

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It took a while, but my story on the drop in Pentagon contracting fraud enforcement is out today on the Center for Public Integrity’s Web site:

Defense contracting grew from about $200 billion in fiscal year 1993 at the start of the Clinton presidency to nearly $400 billion in FY 2008 at the end of President George W. Bush’s administration (1993 dollars adjusted for inflation to 2008 dollars). But Defense Department investigators during the Bush administration sent 76 percent fewer contracting fraud and corruption cases to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution than were referred under Clinton, according to Justice Department data analyzed by the Center for Public Integrity.

“No one is minding the store,” said William G. Dupree, a former director of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), which investigates contracting fraud. “Someone needs to address that.”

Written by schwellenbach

April 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm

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