Chelsea’s ‘Best Friend’ Wins $11 Mil In Defense Contracts With No Clearance

by Richard Pollock


A company whose president is “best friends” with Chelsea Clinton received more than $11 million in contracts over the last decade from a highly secretive Department of Defense think tank, but to date, the group lacks official federal approval to handle classified materials, according to sensitive documents TheDCNF was allowed to review.

Jacqueline Newmyer, the president of a company called the Long Term Strategy Group, has over the last 10 years received numerous Defense Department contracts from a secretive think tank called Office of Net Assessment.

The Office of Net Assessment is so sensitive, the specialized think tank is housed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and reports directly to the secretary. To date, the Long Term Strategy Group has received $11.2 million in contracts, according to USAspending,gov, a government database of federal contracts. But after winning a decade of contracts from the Office of Net Assessment, the federal agency is only now in the process of granting clearance to the company. Long Term Strategy Group never operated a secure room on their premises to handle classified materials, according to the Defense Security Service, a federal agency that approves secure rooms inside private sector firms. Long Term Strategy Group operates offices in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass. 

“The Long Term Strategy Group is currently in process for a facility clearance with the Defense Security Service,” the agency informed The DCNF in an email. 

Newmyer declined to address her company’s lack of facilities to handle classified material. “With regard to your questions about the status of our facilities, those are best directed to the US government, which has authority over such matters,” she wrote in an email to The DCNF.  She also declined to say whether her company is footing the bill for the new secure facility, or if the taxpayers are footing the bill through the Office of Net Assessment.

Adam Lovinger, a whistleblower and 12-year Office of Net Assessment (ONA) veteran, has repeatedly warned ONA’s leadership they faced risks by relying on outside contractors as well as the problem of cronyism and a growing “revolving door” policy, where ONA employees would leave the defense think tank and join private contractors to do the same work.

Others outside ONA have drawn similar conclusions about the office’s reliance on outside contractors. USA Today complained in August 2013 that the same set of contractors never seem to leave ONA: “While Democratic and Republican administrations come and go, ONA and its team of outside advisers remains the same. Contract records show the office relies on studies from outside contractors.” 

Clinton and Newmyer first met each other while attending Sidwell Friends School, an exclusive private Quaker school in the nation’s capital. They were in each other’s weddings, and in 2011 Chelsea referred to Newmyer as her “best friend.”  In numerous emails, Chelsea’s mom, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, actively promoted Newmyer and attempted to assist her in securing Defense Department contracts.

Secretary Clinton put Newmyer in contact with Michèle Flournoy, then-President Barack Obama’s undersecretary of defense, according to the emails from Clinton’s private email server released by the Department of State under a lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.  Hillary followed up in a July 19, 2009 email, asking Newmyer, “By the way, did the DOD contract work out?”

ONA was supposed to work on complicated future warfare scenarios when it was originally set up in the 1970s.  The think tank’s first director, Andrew Marshall, was adored by a coterie of ONA staff. He was called “Yoda,” after the “Star Wars” series, adding to his mystique. Marshall lasted in the DOD post for 42 years and retired at the age of 93 in 2015.


In 2016, Lovinger sent a series of memos to James H. Baker, ONA’s new director, raising many problems Baker “inherited” from Marshall, including the use of contractors. ONA has a reputation for issuing “‘sweet-heart contracts’ to a privileged few,” Lovinger told Baker in a Sept. 30, 2016 email chain.


ONA’s leadership, led by Baker, did not take kindly to Lovinger’s warnings and allegedly retaliated against the staffer, according to Sean Bigley, a federal security clearance attorney who also represents him.  Baker suspended Lovinger’s security clearance in May for “security infractions,” and launched numerous investigations.  The suspension came after Lovinger had been detailed to the National Security Council. He was removed from the National Security Council after losing his security clearance, and now languishes inside a Defense Department satellite office doing busy work.

In a Sept. 13, 2017 letter to DOD officials, Bigley charged: “A review of the ‘case file’ in this matter illuminates a picture of intentional whistleblower retaliation against Mr. Lovinger; personal and political vendettas against Lovinger by Baker …”  Although Lovinger has since been exonerated of all the accusations, he still faces the possibility of a revocation of his clearance. His case is currently pending before Defense Department officials.

In a recent move, Baker decided to “reclassify” Lovinger’s ONA position to one that now requires new skills he doesn’t possess.  Bigley complained about this new act of alleged retaliation in a Sept. 21 letter to the DOD acting general counsel:  “The practical effect of Baker’s plan, if executed, is that Mr. Lovinger will become a surplus employee and will be terminated; he does not possess the skill set applicable to the proposed reclassification.” Lovinger is the only staff member Baker has “reclassified,” according to Bigley.

One of Lovinger’s main complaints about ONA was that many of the reports contractors wrote imparted very little new information to the think tank. “Over the years ONA’s analytic staff has expressed how they learn very little from many (if not most) of our often very thin and superficial contractor reports,” he wrote in the Sept. 30, 2016 email. 

Some of Long Term Strategy Group’s reports bear out Lovinger’s critique. A September 2010 Long Term Strategy Group report, titled “Trends in Elite American Attitudes Toward War,” came to the astounding conclusion that, “American intellectuals have for the last century held considerably more cosmopolitan views than their non-intellectual counterparts.”  Another Long Term Strategy Group report was “On the Nature of Americans as a Warlike People.”

Lovinger also suggested in a March 3, 2017 memo to the record that contractor studies should be peer-reviewed: “There has never been an external review of these contractors’ research products,” he said, adding, “It is now clear that over several decades the office transferred millions of dollars to inexperienced and unqualified contractors.” 

Others outside of ONA have been even more critical of the think tank. Book critic Carlos Lozada criticized the think tank as “an opaque bureaucratic outfit,” in a Washington Post review of a book about Marshall, ONA’s founder.  University of Notre Dame Political Science Chairman Michael C. Desch said “a systematic scrutiny of [ONA’s] work is long overdue” in the December 2014 issue of  The National Interest. He recommended that ONA, “like so many now-superfluous parochial schools, should close its doors.”

On the liberal front, Middlebury Institute’s director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program, Jeffrey Lewis, wrote a scathing attack on ONA in the Oct. 24, 2014 edition of Foreign Policy Magazine. “Marshall funded a fair number of crackpots,” he charged.  Lewis cited two studies on Iraq “written by a crackpot who thinks Saddam planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and 9/11, and a study on ‘Islamic Warfare’ by the guy who fabricated both a Ph.D. and an interview with Barack Obama.”

Lovinger has also been critical of the revolving door at ONA, where previous government staffers went to work for ONA contractors.  Phillip Pournelle, who was ONA’s military adviser from November 2011 to December 2016, now works at Long Term Strategy Group as its “director for gaming and analysis,” according to his LinkedIn page.

Steve Rosen, also a long-time ONA consultant, was originally Newmyer’s professor at Harvard. But Newmyer and Rosen hit it off, and they “co-taught” a Harvard class together in 2006.  Newmyer and Rosen are top officers in a nonprofit they created together called the American Academy for Strategic Education, which is dedicated to educating a rising generation of strategic thinkers,” according to its website.  The organization has raised $894,000 since it began operations in 2013, according to their IRS 990 filing. The academy paid Newmyer and Rosen $45,000 each in 2015.

Since serving as president of Long Term Strategy Group, Newmyer has participated in many prestigious bodies on national security, and she was enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.  But her Ph.D. had little to do with today’s international conflicts or in contemporary military strategy. Her dissertation was on “a comparison of seminal works on strategy and statecraft from ancient China, the medieval Middle East, and early modern Europe,” according to a Harvard profile of her.

Adam Lovinger did not consent to an interview for this article. The Office of Net Assessment did not reply to a DCNF inquiry.

 

 


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KCP&L Smart Grid not a Good Plan for Consumers

by Allen Williams


Missouri Public Service (MPS) has accepted KCPL's 5-year plan for sustainable smart grid development.  The DOE funded MPS version can be accessed here. What does this mean to you as a consumer?

Source: KCP&L Smart Grid from Missouri Public Service Commission


There are few benefits for the electric consumer, the majority of infrastructure is aimed at collecting utility customer information and transmitting it via WIFI back to the Great Plains Subsidiary.  KCP&L claims increased system reliability and fewer outages to their smart grid: "There will be increased information about customer energy usage and the ability to monitor, manage and ultimately reduce energy consumption and bills.."

But how's that different from the histogram of usage that already appears on my monthly bill? The answer is KCP&L can determine exactly what is being operated in the home. The company is marketing the smart grid as advantageous to customers but what are claimed as benefits actually favors KCP&L not the consumer. The KCP&L plan version is available here.

For the system to produce the greatest economic benefit, individual homes must allow KCP&L to remotely control their household thermostat. There is a good possibility that participation will become mandatory at some point just as smart meters have been mandated by the company. Can you refuse? I was told by the KCP&L installation technician that I couldn't opt out. When companies dictate to you what you must do in order to receive their services, you are ruled by fascism. In a similar event in Nevada, the power company took the smart meter and left a hole where the meter was, leaving the woman without electrical power. One wonders what payoff the KCC and local politicians are getting to ignore consumer health and security issues and just look the other way.

KCP&L 's plan states that the thermostat is one way communication but MPS indicates that it's bi-directional as it has to be to cycle your AC compressor and provide feedback data to the company. KCP&L has the ability to send a signal providing instructions to the thermostat in to reduce cooling demand... programmable via the Internet " Note that cycling your air conditioning unit benefits KCP&L because you pay for the surge current (inrush) for each 15-minute cycle as well as the added wear and tear on the unit. Inrush current can be as much as 3.5 times as high as the normal load current, so if your unit typically uses around 20 amps during operation that amounts to 70 amps-4 times and hour plus the normal operating current.

KCP&L claims that "Cycling event-cycle compressor off and on for 15-minute increments, for no more than four hours." However, if KCP&L and its affiliates don't like your politics, you could be 'off' a lot longer than 4 hours.

There are some 25 additional disadvantages for the smart meter consumer as documented in a sample utility letter from stopsmarmeters.org concerning Pacific Gas and Electric customers who have a similar program. PG&E issues are common to KCP&L's five year plan and it's no surprise that KCP&L omits the disadvantages of their smart grid program. Utilities stand to make enormous profits long term from smart grid technology, so it's understandable that they'd hide any consumer disadvantages. Here is a brief summary of customer concerns:

  • [Smart Meters] individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy. Smart Meters" are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate Federal and State wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviors without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.

  • Smart meters are not protected from EMP attacks, large EMPs or localized EMPs as simple as a kid with a battery and a coil (Electro Magnetic Pulse)

This second case will be a lot of fun for the consumer trying to prove that he or she hasn't consumed the kilowatts that a compromised meter is now claiming. Note that the KCPL system permits the company to download whatever EER/ECA cost factors are desired directly into your meter and who's to know? Remember, that the social mindset is always to believe the machine because computers, etc... don't make mistakes!

  • They {Smart Meters] transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behavior and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.

Once a hacker gains access to your programmable thermostat via any internet connection, he's uniquely positioned to know the best time to burglarize that home and sexual predators could know when young children might be alone. Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants. Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, [NSA] corrupt law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.

Newer appliances with microchips will broadcast their ID so the utility (and others) will know exactly what you're doing in your own home in real time.  And, like Microsoft, Google and other collaborators who have give the NSA access to their customer databases, KCP&L will lie to its ratepayers, denying that NSA or anyone else has acquired such information.  Even if KCP&L's smart meter employs encrypted WIFI signals, the NSA will be provided with the encryption keys and/or direct access to the consumer's account at KCP&L's data hub despite a particular customer not being a terrorist threat.  KCP&L is bringing the public a step closer to the government's Total Information Awareness system.

There are also health and fire hazards associated with smart meter use but simply chalked up to the cost of doing business. "The Saskatchewan government has ordered its power utility SaskPower to remove 105,000 so-called smart meters installed at homes and businesses across the province, following concerns about eight unexplained fires associated with the units." Then there are reported health problems due to the radiation emitted by the devices.

There are some 25 stakeholder lobby groups involved in the Great Plains Smart Grid project, "..including neighborhood groups, Congressman Cleaver, MARC, MEC, KCP&L, MGE, KCMO water, UMKC" but no mention of the KCP&L pledge to cooperate with the radical Sierra Club on legislative and regulatory changes that would reduce the company's overall emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 percent by the year 2020.

The George Soros driven Sierra Club association tends to explain why KCP&L wants so many EER/ECA type surcharges. The KCC has already approved 99% of KCP&L's surcharge requests.  The latest request is for Time of Use (TOU)  because smart grid development and operation costs are driven by fringe environmental groups to the detriment of ratepayers but you won't hear that from the utility or local media outlets.  Currently, KCP&L profits are more than adequate to enable them to pay some $1.65 per shareholder as listed in the Great Plains Energy Corp 2nd quarter 2014 report.

The KCPL smart grid is clearly an Agenda 21 sustainable development program that will impose cap and trade on the American public via subterfuge. The EER/ECA/TOU surcharges are simply a hedge against lawsuit and regulatory threats. Utility rates will continue to increase to the planned benefit of the electric cartel owners, not the consumer.  Rest assured, the smart grid concept is planned to be the electric supply standard across North America including all rural areas. 

Related: 

http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Editorial+Smart+response+meter+worries/10074297/story.html


The Most Secure Search Engine on the Planet

The Most Private Search Engine on the Planet (Hint: It's Not Google) In fact, we here at The Sovereign Society have been telling you about the importance of it for more than 15 years. But along the way, the message became muted... it fell out of vogue and was lost to the new media age of Google, Facebook and iPhones. I will be honest, I thought I was the odd man out for trying to hang on to it.

Since June 6, the number of search queries on the DuckDuckGo search engine has doubled. Cryptocat, an Internet chat program has also seen its business double since then. And Tor, an Internet software program, has seen its downloads increase by more than 30% in less than four weeks.

The "it" that I am referring to is personal privacy - and the new-found desire for privacy is what's driving all of this new business activity. June 6, 2013 is the day the vast (and frightening) National Security Agency (NSA) domestic spying programs came to light.

Since the U.S. government's PRISM surveillance program came to light, we now know that it's possible for the NSA, the FBI and, eventually, the IRS to access the web activity, chat room discussions, emails, phone calls, and text messages of innocent citizens not suspected of committing a crime... and gather them all in government computers without needing to obtain a warrant.

Just let that sink in for a moment. Less than eight weeks ago, most of us thought such a thing could never, ever happen in the Land of the Free. But it is happening and it will continue to happen, according to President Obama, who referred to these once-unthinkable violations of our liberties and privacy as "minor intrusions" in our lives.

Personally, the PRISM revelations are the best thing that has happened to the U.S. in the last five years. Finally, the old paradigm through which most Americans see "our government" has been shattered. It's like Sleeping Beauty finally being roused from her deep sleep. As a nation, we must not accept - and willingly support - Big Brother's invasions of our privacy.

A Host of More Secure Alternatives

Unlike Google, Bing and Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not store personally identifiable information about peoples' search queries on its servers. You can see exactly how your Google search information is saved and sold, thanks to this simple diagram found on DuckDuckGo's website: http://donttrack.us/.

Another private third-party search engine is StartPage. When you search with StartPage, they remove all the identifying information from your online query and then submit it anonymously to Google themselves. They get the results and give them to you, keeping your information completely private. Your IP address is never stored... your visit is not logged and they don't place any tracking cookies on your browser.

You can keep your intranet chats private by using Cryptocat. This site encrypts all of its users' messages so that notes between you and family, friends, colleagues or employees stay off the radar.

What all of these companies, which have all provided customer data to the government, like Facebook, Google and Apple (and many others), realize is that many U.S. citizens still place a premium on their privacy... and you should too, before it's too late.

We Should All Be Fuming

Only 10 years ago, Steven Spielberg's action film Minority Report offered movie audiences a chilling glimpse of a future in which the government and police have a massive citizen data collection apparatus that is pervasive and omnipresent. Well, like it or not, that future is now.

Thankfully, there are companies, like those I've mentioned, providing private sector responses to these blatant affronts of our basic freedoms. And more have entered the fray, including TextSecure, a mobile app encryption service, and SpiderOak, a DropBox-like service that can't see the content of user files.

I hope that we will let our elected leaders know that spying on its citizens is not acceptable... and that it is no different than what the German government did in World War II. I'm proud to say that we've been way ahead of the curve on matters of liberty, privacy and encroaching government tyranny. And as we've learned of late, the work we do is more important than ever.