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Obama names corrupt old ex-EDO Corp CIA man as national security chief

f | 27.11.2008 10:50 | Smash EDO | Anti-militarism | Terror War

Dennis C. Blair to be the new Director of National Security in Obama administration

the more things 'change' the more they stay the same

Dennis C. Blair left EDO Corp in 2006 after being being exposed for his involvement in a dodgy dealings over the massive Lockheed Martin F22 jet fighter contract.

EDO Corp are now owned by ITT



EDO Director Dennis C. Blair and the EDO-IDA scandal

Admiral Dennis C. Blair.

Dennis C. Blair was until 2006 a Director of EDO Corp. He has also been a U.S. military commander and the Associate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for Military Support. He is on record as having knowledge of covert CIA operations within allied countries that were intended to influence political affairs for the benefit of US interests.[5]

On 25 July 2006, the Washington Post published an article by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist R. Jeffrey Smith and Renae Merlethat.[6] This detailed links between a think tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) that had been commissioned as an independent advisor to the Pentagon, and EDO Corporation. The article exposed serious issues arising out of Blair's joint positions as president of IDA and as a director of EDO Corp.

The article was based on evidence gathered by a non-profit corruption watchdog, called the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) that had published a detailed report on the same day, entitled "Preying on The Taxpayer: The F22 Raptor." This report details evidence of a conflict of interest between IDA and EDO Corporation.[7]

The POGO report describes how IDA had produced an independent study for the Pentagon, entitled F-22 A Multiyear Procurement Business Case Analysis, that advised the U.S. Congress that a multiyear procurement (MYP) of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor could result in a cost savings, which is one of six requirements for issuing a multiyear procurement contract. The report did note, however, that this estimated cost savings was less than for other historical MYPs.[8] Congress then approved the MYP, through a legislative amendment, proposed by Senator Saxby Chambliss (GA), partly on the basis of the report's findings. The IDA report was the only one at the time that backed an F-22 program extension, in contrast with two other previous reports that had advised against it. A separate study by RAND, however, commissioned in the wake of the IDA-EDO scandal, also estimated a cost savings associated with an F-22 MYP contract, which was actually larger than the estimated cost savings that IDA reported.[9] The Chambliss amendment led to an extra cost of between US$10 - US$15 billion to the US taxpayer.[citation needed] The amendment extended the production life of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor by three years, overturning a previous decision to phase out the fighter plane because of safety and performance problems, as well as its huge expense. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee, on 25 July 2006, POGO's Danielle Brian said: We do not know if Admiral Blair recused himself, or in any way affected the outcome of the IDA report. I would submit, however, that there is an appearance of a conflict of interest — given his substantial personal financial interest and his fiduciary responsibility to EDO -- in the continued funding of the F-22A. This raises reasonable questions about the independence of IDA’s analysis. EDO is an important sub contractor on the F22 program, being the sole supplier for the F22 AMRAAM vertical ejection launcher. As a director who owned shares in the company, Dennis Blair arguably stood to gain from any decision by Congress to extend the F22 program. [10]

On 27 July 2006, the Washington Post reported that Dennis Blair had revealed that he would resign from the board of EDO Corporation, 'as soon as possible,' because of the revelations.[11] Dennis Blair then submitted his letter of resignation on 31 July 2006.

On 13 September 2006, the Washington Post reported that Dennis Blair had resigned his position as president of the Institute of Defense Analyses after its trustees had found that a conflict of interest had occurred. Blair was asked to give up his other paid positions with military contractors, but he refused and instead chose to give up his position of president of IDA.[12]

On 20 September 2006, Rolling Stone magazine published an article on the story entitled "Another Tale of Waste and Fraud Unpunished".[13]

On 28 September 2006, the New York Times reported that the F-22 multiyear contract had been approved by Congress despite opposition from Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush and the present and future chairmen of top U.S. Government military procurement committees. The New York Times suggested that the military industrial lobby that pushed the F-22 multiyear programme was more powerful than the elected officials who oversee government military spending including the President of the United States himself.[14]

On 1 December 2006, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. Inspector General had found that although Blair had indeed violated IDA's conflict of interest policy by working for both EDO and IDA at the same time, his actions had not affected IDA's results on the F-22.[15] It also found that Blair's involvement in the IDA F-22 MYP study was "minimal," with no involvement in conducting the analysis or preparing or reviewing the report before it was finalized.[16]

Dennis C. Blair was replaced as an EDO director by General John A. Gordon (ret), who is closely linked to Blair. In 1996 Gordon replaced Blair as Associate Director for Military Affairs at the CIA,[17] and in 2007 Blair and Gordon sit together on the council of SAFE, a corporate-military think tank tasked with finding solutions to the approaching energy crisis.[18]