In April of this year, I highlighted the FBI’s disturbing and Orwellian plan to launch a massive biometric database known as the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System in the post, FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in Facial Recognition Database by 2015. In that piece I noted that:
The latest article from the EFF that caught my attention was published a couple of days ago, and shines light on the disturbing push by the FBI to create an extensive facial recognition database, which will include criminal and non-criminal photos alike. The information received by the EFF via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, demonstrates that the feds may have a mugshot database with up to 52 million photos by 2015.
The program is called Next Generation Identification (NGI), and the aspect of it that bothers the EFF most is the fact that non-criminal and criminal photos will be combined in the same database. So someone who has no criminal record can suddenly be flagged as a suspect just because an algorithm says so. What’s worst, research shows that the potential for false positive identification increases as the dataset increases.
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High ranking generals and admirals earn their stars. They earn their stripes. Then, they earn their cash. New research by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found 70% of the 108 three-and-four star generals and admirals who retired between 2009 and 2011 took jobs with defense contractor or consultants. In at least a few cases, the retirees have continued to advise the Department of Defense while on the payroll of defense contractors, suggesting the Pentagon may not always be receiving unbiased counsel.
A Boston Globe investigation revealed the number of retired three-and-four star generals and admirals moving into lucrative defense industry jobs rose from less than 50% between 1994 and 1998 to a stratospheric 80% between 2004 and 2008.
– From Strategic Maneuvers: The Revolving Door from the Pentagon to the Private Sector, a report by CREW
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has just released a fantastic new report on the revolving door between the Pentagon and the private sector, which raises serious concerns not only about ethics and corruption within the defense sector, but also raises issues of national security if retired generals are merely acting as mercenaries once they retire. Meanwhile, these are the folks we are supposed to allow to read all of our emails and communications without warrants??
When I first figured out the gigantic ponzi scheme, theft and fraud within the financial system, centered around the Federal Reserve system and the TBTF banks, as well as the revolving door between the SEC, Treasury Department, etc and Wall Street firms, I never imagined the same thing goes on in virtually every sector of our corrupt crony capitalist economy…including the military.
One of the prime examples of the dangers of this activity outlined in the report revolves around Lt. Gen. Robert Dail. He retired from the Army in January 2009 and by March 2009 had become the president of Supreme Group USA. Supreme Foodservice had been paid at least $6.8 billion to provide food to U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, but then the Pentagon accused it of overcharging by hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite this, the contact was renewed during Lt. Gen. Dail’s time there and in June 2012, the company was actually awarded an additional $1.5 billion contract to ease the transition to a new vendor.
Absolutely incredible. Other key findings in the report are:
- Retired generals can make more than their yearly military pay by serving on corporate boards
- Contractors have increased spending on lobbying for 40 percent in the last five years
- The U.S. government paid the top five defense contractors $113 billion in 2011
- As of early 2012, 68 percent of lobbyists for the top five defense contractors had prior public sector experience
- Pentagon rules prohibiting the revolving door are riddled with loopholes
The entire report can be found here.