Reading an article about the Top Ten War Profiteers of 2004, one of the companies on the list rang a bell - Qualcomm, who made a motza out of installing Iraq's CDMA wireless phone network, after an outrageously unfair "bidding process".
So guess who is on QUALCOMM's Board of Directors - our old friend Diana Lady Dougan, one of the figures behind the shady Cyber Century Forum, the people behind the Iraq The Model blog's patrons, "Spirit of America".
Here's what The Center for Corporate Policy had to say about Qualcomm:
Two CPA officials resigned this year after claiming they were pressured by John Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for technology security to change an Iraqi police radio contract to favor Qualcomm's patented cellular technology, a move that critics say was intended to lock the technology in as the standard for the entire country.Also on the Qualcomm board is Brent Scowcroft, who is also the president of the Forum for International Policy, "a non-profit organization that he founded in 1993 that promotes American leadership and foreign policy."
Iraq's cellular market is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenues for the company, and potentially much more should it establish a standard for the region. Shaw's efforts to override contracting officials delayed an emergency radio contract, depriving Iraqi police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers and border guards of a joint communications system for months.
Shaw says he was urged to push Qualcomm's technology by Rep. Darrell E. Issa, a Republican whose San Diego County constituency includes numerous Qualcomm employees. Issa, who received $5,000 in campaign contributions from Qualcomm employees from 2003 to 2004, sits on the House Small Business Committee, and previously tried to help the company by sponsoring a bill that would have required the military to use its CDMA technology.
"Hundreds of thousands of American jobs depend on the success of U.S.-developed wireless technologies like CDMA," Issa claimed in a letter to Donald Rumsfeld. But the Pentagon doesn't seem to be buying the argument. The DoD's inspector general has asked the FBI to investigate Shaw's activities.
(For an excellent, in-depth investigation of Qualcomm see Michael Scherer, "Crossing the Lines," Mother Jones, Sept./Oct. 2004)