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Update May 8:
President Trump promised to "drain the swamp".
Patrick Malone at the Center for Public Integrity has done an extensive report on the shenanigans of Heather Wilson, Pres. Trump's nominee for Air Force Secretary, and perhaps the most egregious example of the Congressional-Contractor-Lobbyist-Regulator complex, what Trump himself called "the swamp" which he promised to "drain". Published February 8, 2017 at both Politico and the CPI website, with the latter version including emails between Wilson and Lockheed's subsidiary Sandia Corp.
Air Force Secretary Nominee Helped A Major Defense Contractor Lobby For More Federal Funds
Feb 8, Patrick Malone, Center for Public Integrity:
"Even though Trump promised during the presidential campaign to "drain the swamp" of Washington power brokers that use knowledge gained in public office to pursue private gains, dozens of internal Lockheed and Sandia emails involving Wilson make clear that she is practiced at doing just that."
"When New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson left Congress in 2009, she went to work the same month as a paid consultant for a subsidiary of weapons-contracting giant Lockheed Martin. That company then capitalized on Wilson's extraordinary familiarity with Washington to craft a lobbying strategy meant to avoid having to compete for the renewal of a government contract that brought in huge profits...
"The strategy relied on discrete meetings between Lockheed officials and powerful members of the fledgling Obama Administration, key members of Congress, and influential Washingtonians who had also passed through the revolving door between government and private industry...
"Wilson, a Republican who had spent four years on the House Armed Services Committee and six years on the Intelligence Committee, spent five months drawing up a roadmap for Lockheed to achieve its key objective: Renewing its existing contract to manage Sandia National Laboratories, a wholly-owned subsidiary that helps make nuclear weapons and has an annual budget of more than $2 billion, without having to compete with any other firm- unlike most federal contractors...
"The Sandia contract was one of three that Wilson executed between 2009 and 2011 with the private firms that produce nuclear weapons. In addition, she collected $195,718 from the privately-run Los Alamos National Laboratory, for whom she arranged meetings with and visits by "senior federal officials who had the ability to impact both funding and future work at the Laboratory in the intelligence arena," according to the 2013 IG report...
"She was also paid $2,500 to attend each of three business meetings at the privately-run Oak Ridge National Laboratory; she also was paid additional funds by the privately-run Nevada Test Site, to advise them about future business opportunities, that report said...
"Public scandal surrounded all of these contracts, once the June 2013 Inspector General report was published. It said none of the invoices that Wilson's firm had sent to the laboratories contained sufficient detail to conclude she actually provided all the services the firm promised to supply. Bills sent for $10,000 a month lacked 'details as to the time expended and nature of the actual services' the firm performed...
"In February 2013, then-House Speaker John Boehner appointed Wilson to the Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, meant to critique and suggest improvements in the way the government does business with nuclear weapon contractors- including the four that had hired Wilson's firm.
"Wilson's appointment got the attention of an anti-nuclear watchdog group in her home state, Nuclear Watch New Mexico. Wilson ignored pleas by the group's executive director, Jay Coghlan, to step down from the congressional commission over the perceived conflict of interest. The panel recommended that Washington sharply scale back its regulation and oversight of all the nuclear weapons laboratories..."
- Read the full Public Integrity article, with many more details, including the emails exchanged between Wilson and Lockheed's subsidiary Sandia Corp.
- A version of Malone's article also appears in Politico on the same day (without the emails).
POGO, January 24, 2017:
Heather Wilson Resources
- DOE IG Report June 2013
Current nuclear stockpiles- for country reports and other details see original annotated infographic at Ploughshares.org.
|"I am the only person who ever looked at all twelve thousand five hundred of our targets. And when I got through I was horrified. Deterrence was a formula for disaster. We escaped disaster by the grace of God... This has to end. This must stop. This must be our highest priority." -Gen. Lee Butler (Ret.), former Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command||Our Mission: Through comprehensive research, public education and effective citizen action, Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities, mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs, greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex, and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
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