Former high-ranking Bush officials enjoy war profits

Now working inside America’s “shadow” spy industry, George Tenet, Richard Armitage, Cofer Black and others are cashing in big on Iraq and the war on terror.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from Tim Shorrock’s book, “Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing,” published this month by Simon & Schuster and reprinted with permission.

By Tim Shorrock | The Salon, May 29, 2008

News

Salon composite
From bottom: Former Bush officials George Tenet, Richard Armitage and Cofer Black

Richard L. Armitage, who served from 2001 to 2005 as Deputy Secretary of State, was a rarity in the Bush administration: an official who delighted in talking to the press. Reporters loved him for his withering criticism of the neoconservative zealots around President George W. Bush and in part because he fed them tidbits about the White House they could obtain nowhere else. His accidental disclosure to conservative columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson, was working undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency remains one of the most notorious leaks of the Bush era.

But perhaps because of his cozy ties to the Washington press corps and the media’s obsession with Plamegate, very little has been written about Armitage’s extensive business dealings. In fact, Armitage is one of the most successful capitalists in Washington. He has successfully parlayed his experience in covert operations and secret diplomacy into a thriving career as a consultant and adviser to some of the biggest players in America’s Intelligence Industrial Complex — corporations that are working at the heart of U.S. national security and profiting handsomely from it.

Armitage, currently an adviser to presidential candidate John McCain, had once been Colin Powell’s closest ally during the bitter disputes inside the Bush administration over the invasion and occupation of Iraq. According to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, Armitage advised Powell on more than one occasion to tell the neocons to “go fuck themselves,” and, at one point, even refused to deliver a speech about Iraq drafted for him by Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.

Yet, three years after those epic battles, Armitage is enjoying life as a stakeholder in a dozen private companies that are making money directly from the war started by his former nemeses.

Continued . . .

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