The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Spying for Profit

Jul 22, 2013

One of the big revelations that has come out of the NSA spying scandal is how much the U.S. government partners in its spying operations with huge companies. Snowden himself was employed by a private company called Booz Allen at the time of the leaks. Literally thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are employed by the U.S. national security agencies. According to the New York Times (June 19), of the estimated 80 billion dollars spent by the government on intelligence work, “most is spent on private contractors.”

These companies make huge profits from these government contracts. Last year, for example, Booz Allen pulled in more than five billion dollars in business, mostly from the government, out of which it made more than one billion dollars in profits, an enormous profit rate.

At the head of the spy agencies and these companies are the same people. The revolving door between the spy agencies and private companies spins very, very fast. Booz Allen itself is headed by the Bush administration’s former intelligence chief John M. McConnell, while Obama’s current intelligence chief, James R. Clapper, used to run Booz Allen.

Booz Allen’s profits now enrich plenty of other former high officials, since it is owned by the Carlyle Group, a private equity company founded by Frank Carlucci, Reagan’s CIA Director, with former Vice President Dan Quayle as a top boss. On the Carlyle Group’s board of directors are former British Prime Minister John Major, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, etc.

In return for their services, the government also provides those companies with other enormous advantages, such as access to classified intelligence... which they can use any way that is most profitable for them, whether it is against their competitors, or against the American public.

Spying on the American public is a very profitable business indeed.