Friday, October 12, 2007

Will Asia Times Piece on Petraeus Get "Rathered"?

A thought provoking piece in the Asia Times showed General Petraeus as a man controlled by Eisenhower's military/industrial complex and determined to feed the voracious beast with Iranian targets. It made many insightful comments, but one could cause the powers behind the curtain to discredit the whole for a small error in part. The story said under the "Show Me the Money"section:

"And it's not only Blackwater. There are Lebanese Christians, South African white supremacists, former soldiers under the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the British from Aegis. There's Vinel Corp and BDM International - both affiliated with the US Carlyle Group. There are the Israelis from Interop and Colosseum training Iraqi Kurd militias. From Peruvians making US$1,000 a month to Americans making US$1,000 a day, all these mercenaries are ultimately financed by American taxpayers - the whole net subcontracted by Petraeus' former boss, Donald Rumsfeld. Petraeus is just a general caught in a (mercenary) labyrinth."

After writing the author for confirmation, I did a little rooting through SEC files. I've come to believe private equity firms like not having such information open to the public and available online. But until every public company goes private or the Bush cabal changes the laws, such information exists. Here's what I found:

According to SEC reports, BDM was acquired by Carlyle in 1990. In March 1992 it purchased Vinnell, a company that provides training and logistics services largely in the Middle East. The Carlyle Group clearly stood in control with Frank Carlucci and William Conway comprising two of the three members of the Board Executive Committee. BDM also paid Carlyle over $500,000 a year for the investment firms advice.

As private equity underwriters (PEU's) do, they like to flip companies. Carlyle firm sold its remaining 26% of the company in late 1997. The sale was termed a watershed event. Carlyle's cut of the billion dollar deal was $260 million. Their initial investment was $24 million, making it more than a ten bagger. At $29.50 per share, Mr. Carlucci's 75,560 shares brought in $2.2 million and Mr. Conway's 83,618 shares equated to nearly $2.5 million. Not only did Carlyle make huge money, so did their key executives.

In December 1997 TRW purchased the firm from the Pennsylvania Avenue PEU. TRW was acquired in 2002 by Northrop Grumman Corporation, which kept the Vinnell brand name.

In the summer of 2003 Vinnell Corporation was awarded a $48 million contract to train the nucleus of a new Iraqi Army. Vinnell and its subcontractors began working at various locations in Iraq July 1 under the one-year contract. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract was awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Agency Southern Region Contracting Center. Vinnell's subcontractors are MPRI, Alexandria, Va.; SAIC, San Diego; Eagle Group International, Inc., Atlanta; Omega Training Group, Columbus, Ga.; and Worldwide Language Resources, Inc., Rumford, Maine.

The rest is history. Will one error, hurt Mr. Pepe Escobar's assessment? Will the spin machine chew him up for a dated relationship, similar to Dan Rather's font and ink problem on the true story of George Bush's kid glove treatment in the Texas Air National Guard? Is it a coincidence Vinnell trains the Saudi National Guard? What Prince got George-like treatment in the Saudi Guard and awaits his chance to sit on the throne and throw temper tantrums? The suspense is torturing, at least for somebody. Let's hope it's not deadly...