For Whom "The Wall" Profits III: The Deepwater Model
As we know, DHS Deputy Secretary is Michael P. Jackson will oversee the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) program, however there are other major players in the overall functionality of the program. According to GovExec.com, these players are
Greg Giddens, the SBI program's executive director ... Julie Myers, new head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on interior enforcement and Emilio Gonzalez, the new director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, on the guest worker program.SBI Program Director Greg Giddens
Giddens was appointed Michael Chertoff in December and before his appointment, he was the former Coast Guard Deepwater program official. He wasn't any program official, according to a Aug 2002 GovExec.com artcle, Giddens was the deputy program executive officer.
Giddens, the deputy program executive officer for the Coast Guard's Deepwater project, is largely responsible for navigating the 20-year, $17 billion deal. Capping off six years of hard work, the Coast Guard on June 25 awarded the project to a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.It would seem appropriate for Giddens to be tapped by DHS to become SBI's program director considering his program experience. However, Giddens performance as the deputy program executive officer is pretty telling to what would be expected in his new role as SBI’s program director. But then again, this is a BushCo government and one shouldn’t expect much to change.
The acquisition represents a major shift in the way the Coast Guard buys ships and aircraft. Rather than specifying the exact mix of assets for the revamped fleet, the agency took an innovative approach, allowing three competing private sector bidders unprecedented freedom to design an entire system of ships, small boats, aircraft, satellites and robotic unmanned aerial vehicles.
In a post-9/11 world, all seemed well for the Coast Guard considering they have always had limited resources. Since 2002, Congress has increased the Coast Guard's budget and also provided them an additional $1.5 billion to develop Deepwater, the Coast Guard’s integrated system of ships, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and computer and surveillance logistics. In 2003, the GAO was asked to investigate into the Deepwater program to see if it had been managed effectively and to see how effective the Coast Guard was at overseeing their contractors. The GAO found
...the Coast Guard has neither measured the extent of competition among suppliers of Deepwater assets nor held the system integrator accountable for taking steps to achieve competition. Deepwater’s acquisition structure is such that the two first-tier subcontractors have sole responsibility for determining whether to hold competitions for assets or to provide these assets themselves. The Coast Guard has taken a hands-off approach to "make or buy" decisions made at the subcontractor level. As a result, questions remain about whether the government will be able to control costs.In regards how the Coast Guard’s oversaw their subcontractors, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman – the same two who are submitting proposals for the SBI contract – the GAO wasn’t pleased with the Coast Guard’s performance either. According to the GAO Report, it seems the Coast Guard has no knowledge about Lockheed Martin's and Northrop's activity's when it comes to managing Deepwater's assets, nor do they know if their subcontractors will keep the funds to themselves or hold a competition for bids. And even if they do have a bids competition, it most likely will go to one of Lockheed Martin's and Northrop's subsidiaries.
The acquisition structure of the Deepwater program is such that the two first-tier subcontractors, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman — the companies that formed ICGS and that developed the Deepwater solution — have sole responsibility for determining whether to hold competitions for Deepwater assets or to provide these assets themselves. Over 40 percent of the funds obligated to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have either remained with those companies or been awarded to their subsidiaries.So what should we expect from Giddons and SBInet? Giddons' vision for SBInet will be modeled after the Deepwater program; which would mean - SBInet will also have a lack of oversight and will be a doomed program.
Evidence of this could be found during the last House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee hearing meeting. According to an April GovExec.com article, Appropriators skeptical of promised secure border initiative, senior members of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee began questioning the whole program.
Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member Martin Olav Sabo, D-Minn., added, "I'm worried that DHS thinks that the solution is to hire a private technology company to run the SBI, and then sit back and watch."During a hearing, Rogers had demanded that the department submit the strategic plan for SBInet and at the time Giddens assured Rogers, he would submit it at the end of April. It is now June and the Homeland Security as yet to cough up the plan.
The department will continue to move forward with its scheduled plans to award a prime contractor in September, regardless being $97 million less than what the administration had requested from the subcommittee.
Once a prime contractor is awarded, BushCo can rest assure that the no competitive contract bidding policy will continue to flourish on Homeland Secretary Chertoff and SBI Program Director Greg Giddens watch. Chertoff's appointment of Greg Giddens is additional proof that the border wall construction project in another one of BushCo's money making scheme.
"Recess Appointment" Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Julie Myers
Last year, many questioned Dudya's decision to nominate Julie Myers to head up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Myers is not only the niece of General Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but she is recently married to John F. Wood, Secretary Michael Chertoff's Chief of Staff.
As Myers continues to receive the onslaught of intense questioning by both sides of the political aisle, one thing is over looked, her marriage to John Wood. As Chief of Staff, Wood will oversee the Department's policy, planning and operations responsibilities, which will include the new SBInet program. After a closer look, Wood's background should shed some light as to why BushCo is so adamant in having Myers as ICE Queen. According to a Feb 2005 Press Release:
From 1998 to 2001, Wood was an Associate in the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis. He clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Clarence Thomas from 1997 to 1998 and for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1996 to 1997. Previously, he served on the staff of Senator John C. Danforth (R-Missouri).Kirkland and Ellis is famous for one of its most well-known lawyer, Kenneth Starr - which Myers happened to be an Associate Independent Counsel when Kenneth Starr was Independent Counsel. But what does Kirkland and Ellis have to do with Wood and the "border wall"? A lot.
According to their website, one of their major clients is Raytheon, one of the defense contractors who is also bidding for the lucrative SBInet prize. Considering Raytheon has brought in a revenue of 20,245 million to Kirkland and Ellis, I highly doubt that Raytheon is a recent client.
Currently, there hasn't been any journalistic investigation to cause suspicions about the obvious conflict of interest. But I do have to admit, it was a nice Rovian parlor trick by sending out a sacrificial lamb to distract the people from looking into BushCo's "border profiteering" buddies. However, the real question remains, is all this too late for current and future immigrants as evidence shows that the Customs and Border Protection agency have been working in overtime to detainee a large level of immigrants.
The Customs and Border Protection agency is considering a variety of methods to accommodate what is expected to be a surge in illegal immigrants detained, including holding those arrested on ships to await trial, a source within the agency said.If so, we can no longer sit idly by as this country continues to suffer. It is time to make noise and sound the alarms.
NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE BACK THIS COUNTRY FROM THE CORPORATE PROFITEERS!!!