Back in the go-go 90s there was a claim made far and wide afloat the various divisions of Wall Street biggies were separated from the rest of the firm by a firewall. So, for example, the firm would never ever think about putting buy recs on dotcoms rocketing up the NASDAQ simply to pad enrich senior execs, or use info gleaned from ongoing deals to advise newer, prospective clients who happened to be in competition with existing ones, for such tacky purposes like getting lucrative M & A or underwriting business. It was a questionable claim at best, we didn’t learn just learned how questionable until the dotcoms turned into dotbombs.
With that conflict of interest in mind, here’s our for profit private national security overlords, bellying up for some sweet, cloak and dagger petro-dollars courtesy of the UAE:
NYT — When the United Arab Emirates wanted to create its own version of the National Security Agency, it turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to replicate the world’s largest and most powerful spy agency in the sands of Abu Dhabi.It was a natural choice: The chief architect of Booz Allen’s cyberstrategy is Mike McConnell, who once led the N.S.A. and pushed the United States into a new era of big data espionage. It was Mr. McConnell who won the blessing of the American intelligence agencies to bolster the Persian Gulf sheikdom, which helps track the Iranians.
“They are teaching everything,” one Arab official familiar with the effort said. “Data mining, Web surveillance, all sorts of digital intelligence collection.”
Let’s ask the obvious: how is turning over secret, hi-tech espionage methods used by the NSA to foreign nations good for US security? Clearly, if if the price is right, there’s no doubt it’s great for business. But how does it help America?
This is quite a dilemma. A private person turning over those very same methods to a foreign government for a pile of cash is treason. Hell, we know for a fact a private person turning over a fraction of that stuff to the entire world makes them a traitor, at least according to Dick Cheney and many others. But when private companies do it I guess it’s ok.
Maybe if there was a blowjob involved, traditional and right-wing media might suddenly discover a story here.