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September 30, 2005

Crony Capitalism at our Nuclear Facilities

What could be worse than our nation's hurricaine response being left in the hands of incompetent Bush cronies?

How about the safety of our nuclear plants handed over to an incompetent GOP corporate crony, a company which has repeatedly botched security drills and lied about it to cover up its incompetence.

This is Wackenhut, the foreign-owned security firm that guards many army bases and US nuclear facilities, a company that has:

So why does Wackenhut keep getting these security contracts?   Because of the usual government revolving door, where ex-government officials leverage their connections to get contracts for substandard privatization.  Just look at this list of ex-GOPers on Wackenhut's board:

Admiral David E. Jeremiah - Board Chair.  Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Gulf War, president of one defense contractor and director of several others; paid consultant for Boeing regarding the Air Force's tanker acquisition.

John S. Foster - Director.  After career in the Defense and Energy world, member of a range of advisory bodies, defense company boards, and neocon causes.

Troy Wade - Director.  Assistant Secretary for defense programs at DOE during the Reagan Administration, former Deputy Manager of DOE's Nevada Operations Office, and a member of President Bush's Transition Advisory Team on Energy, where Ken Lay -former CEO of Enron - served as a co-member.

As Public Citizen has written, the Bush administration has resisted improving security at our nuclear facilities because it "has a fierce ideological aversion to regulation, and two, the administration is heavily indebted to the nuclear industry and electric utilities for generous campaign contributions."

In fact, as a National Academy of Sciences report detailed, the administration has been systematically withholding information on potential security lapses by companies like Wackenhut.

SEIU International union has been birddogging these problems at their Eye on Wackenhut site, revealing how corporate cronyism is undermining our nuclear safety programs.

Posted by Nathan at September 30, 2005 09:50 AM