Who investigates the Investigation Services?
I went looking to see where security clearances get approved. I once again ran across the story of late Col. Ted S. Westhusing, who was likely murdered by private contractors in Iraq in 2005. Westhusing was one of those guys who has an impossible job: He was driven to go shut down corrupt military contractors in Iraq. Not surprisingly, they killed him and lied about it, apparently. It's suspected Westhusing was going to expose USIS corruption: U.S. Investigative Services, a firm spun out of the privatized federal office that hands out security clearances.
These contractors worked for USIS, the same secretive corporation that hands out federal security clearances under the authority of the Office of Personnel Management. (the Defense Security Service generally handles the Pentagon, and sometimes stop by this website. Hi guys! last April there was a snag in the system at DSS)
USIS' history is kind of mysterious at their official website:
Ensuring a Safer Future Today.
Political patronage. A vengeful assassin. A President's death.
Thus began the story that eventually led to the emergence of USIS as the largest investigative services company on the North American continent.
Assassination of Garfield
When President James A. Garfield decided in 1881 that federal positions should be awarded by merit, and not according to political patronage, he sealed his fate. He was assassinated by Charles Guiteau, in an act of vengeance when Guiteau hadn't received the government position he expected for his support of Garfield.
Civil Service Commission Established
The outrage over Garfield's death generated a national movement, which eventually resulted in the establishment of the Civil Service Commission in 1883. One of its duties was to oversee the investigation of the background, suitability, and loyalty of employees and applicants for federal positions. For almost half a century, that responsibility was in our province as the Investigations Service arm of the Office of Personnel Management.
Formation of USIS
On July 8, 1996, USIS was formed on the initiative of the President and Congress as an employee-owned company. USIS is steeped in the tradition of providing high-quality, timely investigative services to its customers. Today, USIS is the industry leader in employment background and drug screening services. USIS is recognized as a primary resource for business information and due diligence services and the pre-eminent supplier of national security and administrative staffing support for U.S. government programs here and abroad.
Who owns USIS?
Carlyle Group!!! BONUS POINTS FOR ALL. But mysteriously, it's only 'partially realized.' Nice.
USIS was promptly purchased by the Carlyle Group, where it now has control over and who gets rejected. (more on Carlyle and war outsourcing from CPI)
Answers.com: USIS is the privatized arm of the Office of Personnel Management's Office of Federal Investigations. OPM privatized its investigations function in 1996 into what became US Investigations Services, or USIS. The company began as an employee-owned company, but has since been purchased by private investors and is now owned by The Carlyle Group and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, two private equity firms. Since OPMs privatization of its federal investigators, approximately 2000 investigators from the Defense Security Service have been transferred to OPM, and OPM has since reconstituted its federal investigations program in the Center for Federal Investigative Services, located within OPM. OPM is responsible for the bulk of federal security clearance investigations, but it contracts out most of this work.
Duly noted on Wikipedia, USIS originally had all of OPM's background checks, but now Kroll (the "Wall street CIA" heavies handling WTC security on 9/11), and CACI - the shadeballs running the Abu Ghraib interrogators -- also have a handle on who gets security clearances in America today.
In Iraq, USIS has some kind of role. And Westhusing was going to try to put a stop to it. So they put a stop to him - and USIS personnel reported the whole damn murder ('suicide') scene. No one cares.... Here is a 2004 story about Ollie North and more on USIS from Wayne Madsen and John Stanton.
In other military-industrial news, a shady holding firm called Cerberus, which seems linked to bribe-nexus MZM and the Cunningham contractor bribery scandal, now ends up the ugly failed contractor for Walter Reed soldiers. This DKos diary had many links to major stories on it: Larger CIA and DoD Privatization Scandal Emerging from Walter Reed Story, US Attorneys Firing. Yeah they canned US attorneys to protect some of that. It is also duly noted here that MZM somehow inserted its lackeys in the WMD Whitewash commission - IE the Silberman/Robb report that absolved the Bushies of Iraq intel spoofing. Many onion layers etc.
AP story on Westhusing from June 2005 from a thread dedicated to him on iraq.pigstye.net (which notes all the casualties):
Wednesday, June 08 2005 @ 08:05 AM EDT
KOTV.COM -- TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A West Point professor who volunteered to serve in Iraq has been killed in action, family members said Monday. Col. Ted S. Westhusing, 45, was killed in action on Sunday, family members said Monday. They did not release specifics on how he was killed. Family members received official notification of the death from the military late Sunday. Westhusing, a 1979 graduate of Jenks High School, had doctorates in Russian, philosophy and military strategy, his eldest brother Tim Westhusing of Broken Arrow said Monday.
"He wanted to go over there and make things better," Tim Westhusing said. "He has a wife and three children. He didn't have to go. This is the worst of all possible results." His mother, Terry Clark, of Tulsa, said he gave up "the good life" of a full-time teaching job to go to Iraq because he felt it was what Americans should do. His six-month leave for the Iraq assignment was scheduled to end next month, Clark said.
"He was a strong, Christian, ethical man and did what he believed was right," Clark said. A basketball player at Jenks and a National Merit Scholar, Ted Westhusing could have gone anywhere, Clark said, but he chose the U.S. Military Academy and the Army as a career. "He came from a military family, a family with a history of military service," Clark said. "We are all very proud of him."
Westhusing graduated from West Point in 1983. He left for Iraq near the end of the year and was helping train the Iraqi Army, working as counter-terrorism and special operations director under Lt. Gen. David Petraeus. He wrote a number of columns on his military experience that were printed in West Point and elsewhere. Among them was an opinion piece that appeared in The Tulsa Tribune on the eve of the first Iraq war in December 1990. In it, he detailed the nature of the modern soldier.
"In the minds of friend and foe alike, our Army is, without a doubt, the best-trained, best-equipped, best-led and most intelligent of any in our nation's history," he wrote. "Our soldiers are recognized as the world's finest."
He was an adviser for the movie "Troy." He explained military planning and troop movement to filmmakers. "He was a smart, moral man," his brother said. "He was an upstanding member of his community. He was an incredible guy. He saw the inhumanity and he wanted to make a difference." Ted Westhusing will be buried at West Point, Clark said. Funeral services are pending.
There was this article that someone posted here:
Westhusing's 352-page doctoral dissertation is a dense, searching, and sometimes personal effort to define the ideal spirit for a modern American soldier. His lantern held high, he plucked specific examples from history and picked each apart in a search for the perfect warrior. Achilles was a fierce fighter, adept with his spear and physically fit. But he desecrated Hector's corpse and selfishly pouted on the sidelines as the Trojans nearly destroyed the Greeks. Ridgway was a brave leader of men, but,Westhusing noted, some considered him too eager for his own glory. The bridge between the sometimes competing virtues of competition and cooperation was honor, a soldier's desire for approval from his fellow man and his country.Westhusing called it a "beguiling virtue"- difficult to define and difficult to recognize. The job of the American soldier was to embrace the true form.
Westhusing cautioned that devotion to honor could be taken too far. The "regimental honor" of the British infantry in the Victorian era was so extreme that officers suffering even a slight moral lapse would occasionally commit suicide rather than face disgrace. Westhusing called it a "monster" of a notion. "This sense of regimental honor tends to prevent and transfigure both greatness of mind and extended benevolence," two of the requirements needed for true honor, he said.
We're gonna throw in the bit from Wayne Madsen. Madsen is one of those "out there" journalists, so take your grains of salt, etc. This was posted on the same spot:
January 23, 2006 -- More details emerge on Col. Ted Westhusing's "suiciding" in Iraq. Days before his supposed suicide by a "self-inflicted" gunshot wound in a Camp Dublin, Iraq trailer, West Point Honor Board member and Iraqi police and security forces trainer Col. Ted Westhusing reported in e-mail to the United States that "terrible things were going on Iraq." He also said he hoped he would make it back to the United States alive. Westhusing had three weeks left on his tour of duty in Iraq when he allegedly shot himself in June 2005.
It is noteworthy that after Westhusing's death, two top Army generals, both responsible for training Iraqi forces, General Dave Petraeus, the Commander of the Multi National Security Transition Command Iraq (MNSTCI), and Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, the Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, were quickly transferred without much fanfare to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Fort Hood, Texas, respectively.
U.S. Army cover-up of Colonel Westhusing's death: Highlighted by fabricated evidence and quick transfers of senior officers
Informed sources report that Westhusing was prepared to blow the whistle on fraud involving US Investigations Services (USIS), a Carlyle Group company, when he died. [See Jan. 14 story below]. He had also discovered links between USIS principals and clandestine events involving the Iran-Contra scandal of the Reagan-Bush I administrations. Westhusing has also linked USIS to the illegal killing and torture of Iraqis. USIS personnel whom Westhusing was investigating had the keys to his trailer. In addition, Westhusing's personal bodyguard was given a leave of absence shortly before the colonel's death.
The U.S. Army's official report on Westhusing's death contained a number of falsehoods, according to those close to the case. Most importantly, the Army report stated that Westhusing had electronically communicated an interest in obtaining hollow point bullets. The bullet which killed Westhusing was a hollow point. However, the Army's statement was false, according to an informed source. In addition, the Army combed Westhusing's service record and interviewed a number of colleagues in order to concoct a story that would make suicide appear plausible.
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer is reportedly trying to get the Senate to investigate Westhusing's death. However, with the Republicans in firm control, it appears that murder of senior U.S. military officers is also something the GOP is more than willing to cover up.
Please contact your local congressman or woman or senator and press them to investigate Colonel Ted's death. He represents the good in us all.
January 14, 2006 -- Serious questions remain concerning Col. Westhusing's "suicide" in Iraq. Army's chief ethics expert was murdered, according to Carlyle Group insider.
According an informed source within The Carlyle Group business consortium, Col. Ted Westhusing, the Army's top military ethicist and professor at West Point, did not commit suicide in a Baghdad trailer in June 2005 as was widely reported in the mainstream media five months later. At the time of his death, Westhusing was investigating contract violations and human rights abuses by US Investigations Services (USIS), formerly a federal agency, the Office of Federal Investigations (OFI), which operated under the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
In 1996, OFI, which conducted background investigations for civil service personnel, was privatized. The 700 government employees of OFI became employee-owners as part of USIS. In January 2003, the New York investment firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe, described by a Carlyle insider as a virtual shadow operation for The Carlyle Group, bought USIS for $545 million. With 5000 current and former employees of USIS sharing $500 million, the deal made them wealthy with the stroke of a pen. However, upper management within USIS became much wealthier than the rank-and-file. Insiders report that the twelve top managers at USIS became multimillionaires as a result of their cashing in of their Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Many of these instant millionaires already had a close relationship with The Carlyle Group.
Carlyle had been a shareholder in USIS since 1999 and with the buy-out deal via the Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe deal, Carlyle became the major shareholder.
USIS continues to have a virtual exclusivity deal to perform background security investigations for OPM [all the feds! -dan]. The company bills itself as "one of the largest Intelligence and Security Services companies in North America."
With the Iraq invasion, USIS obtained lucrative Pentagon private security contracts in Iraq. At a 2004 job fair in Falls Church, Virginia, USIS was advertising for "interrogators" and "protection specialists" for "overseas assignments." While he was in Iraq training Iraqi police and overseeing the USIS contract to train police as part of the Pentagon's Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, Westhusing received an anonymous letter that reported USIS's Private Services Division (PSD) was engaged in fraudulent activities in Iraq, including over-billing the government. In addition, the letter reported that USIS security personnel had murdered innocent Iraqis. After demanding answers from USIS, Westhusing reported the problems up the chain of command. After an "investigation," the Army found no evidence of wrongdoing by USIS.
That decision signed Col. Westhusing's death sentence. USIS and Carlyle have powerful allies in the administration, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Princeton roommate of Carlyle Chairman Emeritus and former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci. Former President George H. W. Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker, and former British Prime Minister John Major are Carlyle international advisers. George W. Bush was formerly employed by a Carlyle subsidiary and the Bin Laden business cartel was a one-time investor in the firm.
Westhusing, who, according to friends and colleagues, showed no signs of depression, left a suicide note the Army concluded was in his handwriting. However, Westhusing's family and friends have thrown cold water on the Army's investigation.
WMR can report that based on information obtained from Carlyle insiders, Col. Westhusing's death was not caused by suicide. The fact that Westhusing was investigating one of the most politically and financially powerful firms in the world resulted in higher-ups wanting him out of the way. According to the Los Angeles Times, all of the witnesses who claimed Westhusing shot himself were USIS employees. In addition, a USIS manager interfered with the crime scene, including handling Westhusing's service revolver. The USIS manager was not tested for gunpowder residue on his hands.
Westhusing's investigation threatened to unearth a network of fraudsters looting the US Treasury that included the Bush family and some of their closest financial partners. After Westhusing's murder, USIS management sent a vaguely-worded memo to employees about how to respond to derogatory information in the media or rumors about USIS. Management's attention, described as "psychotic" in nature, was on USIS's upcoming IPO (initial public offering), according to a well-placed source. USIS also owns Total Information Services of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a commercial personal data mining operation.
Someday we'll find out the truth. Many more articles on Westhusing here.