Profit Ties between Phony Terror Alerts, Airport Security and L-3 Communications

By Steve Scheetz
COTO Report

Since September 11, 2001, the US government has been operating with a demand for the understanding of the people. We, as part of this demand, are to allow certain limitations on our liberty in order to gain a certain level of security. But, given the questionable nature of what are likely exaggerated threats, coupled with Congressional enrichment from these expensive security technologies, the U.S. public is losing both liberty and security, as well as money.

Former director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge revealed details about how the terrorism alerts were used. Among other things, Ridge admits that he was pressured to raise the terror alert to help Bush win re-election in 2004. According to the Associated Press, “He said the episode convinced him to follow through with his plans to leave the administration; he resigned on Nov. 30, 2004.”

Now, since his election, President Obama has made sure that he could also utilize increased terror alerts for his own political ends. Indeed, on October 30, 2010, the president used terror scares involving packages on UPS flights that evidence is suggesting were fabricated. CNN reported:

“Investigators examined two UPS planes that landed at Philadelphia International Airport and another at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, said Mike Mangeot, a UPS spokesman. Authorities later gave the ‘all-clear’ at the airport in Newark, U.S. and U.K. officials said.”

Later, after a presidential press brief, Paul Joseph Watson noted that:

“CNN is running with the headline, Suspicious packages ‘contain explosive material,’ Obama says.”

Video of news can be found here.

Europe is also suspicious of these terror alerts. Last month, the Global Post reported:

“Despite the U.S. State Department’s travel alert — one step below an actual warning — and subsequent alerts by Britain, Japan and Sweden, calm has broken out on the streets of Berlin. The prevailing attitude is that the U.S.  … has a tendency to overreact.”

“….Wolfgang Bosbach, chairman of the security committee of the German parliament and a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, said: ‘That is the American reaction to knowledge which we in Europe have had for quite a long time.’”

Just today, the Guardian revealed that a Fake bomb made in the US caused Germany terror alert, which delayed a flight headed for Munich from Namibia for eight hours yesterday. No one in Germany authorized the “security test” nor do they know who planted the “test suitcase,” but Germany did establish “that the device had been manufactured by a US company that specialises in alarm systems.”

DHS uses these “terror threats” to increase its security measures at U.S. airports, and people will be expected to comply with the new TSA procedures, including the naked full body scanners as well as “enhanced” pat downs that amount to sexual assault.

Airport Security Contractors Have Ties to Policy Makers

L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. (not L-3 Communications Corp.) is a defense contractor whose primary interest is creating security scanner devices for commercial airports, detention facilities, postal facilities and government buildings. Many are familiar with their most recent and most controversial product using advanced imaging technology (AIT). Their ProVision scanner can be seen at many airports and in some correctional facilities. While TSA officials claim that images created by the scanners are immediately discarded, according to CNET News, the exact opposite is true. Tens of thousands of images have been stored and transmitted to other agencies.

L-3’s annual sales are in the $14 “B”illion dollar neighborhood, and their primary customer is the US Taxpayer. The board has some very well connected people on it. Lead Director Robert B. Millard receives paychecks from a number of activities. Two of these activities include his seat on private organizations that influence government policy: The Population Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. Through the Population Council, he has access to Justin Rockefeller as well as Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Thomas Corcoran is another director of L-3 Communications. Through his activity as a senior adviser to the Carlyle Group, (the number one donor to Senator Chuck Schumer’s campaign), it becomes clear how L-3 Communications is able to influence members of Congress. As a former Division President of Lockheed Martin, Corcoran is able to increase his influence through their political donation process.

L-3’s current director in charge of compensation is Alan Washkowitz, who formerly served as Managing Director of Lehman Brothers Inc. (which he joined in 1978). At Lehman, he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the organization. He is able to continue to influence Lehman Brothers as a stockholder.

Recapping some of L-3’s connections, we have the Carlyle Group, Lehman Brothers, Inc, Lockheed Martin Inc., government advisory councils, and the Rockefellers. And this just barely scratches the surface!  It seems, also, that corporate influence and direct contact was not enough for that large of a slice of the stimulus pie, so it should be made clear that L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. has spent millions on lobby efforts, including, but not limited to, highly connected lobbyists like Linda Daschle. The wife of former Senator Tom Daschle has an impressive resume in her own right. In addition to being an FAA administrator during the Clinton Administration, she also lobbies for American Airlines, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Electric, as well as L-3, among others.

(On a short side note, Alston + Bird’s lobby arm hired former senator Tom Daschle who was recruited by the former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. Daschle’s salary from Alston + Bird for the year 2008 was reportedly $2 million.)

Meanwhile, as $14 billion dollars worth of security screening equipment was sold throughout the US, the TSA is investigating John Tyner for refusing the “enhanced pat down” encouraged since the late October terror reports.

Serious Questions

All of this raises serious questions that need to be addressed:

1. Why would a president say that there were explosives on a plane that the FBI investigated and did not find just two days before an election?

2. Why would the TSA investigate a man who peacefully left an airport once he decided against acquiescing to the enhanced security scans and pat downs?

3. Given the connections of this company that manufacturers the scanners, and the money this company has given to politically connected figures, what reason could possibly be given that would exonerate the Washington Press Corps for the lack of reporting on this issue?

4. The DHS is responding to Muslim organizations demanding that Muslim women not be subjected to these scanners or enhanced pat downs. The DHS will be giving Muslim women a pass through these security measures that are “for your own good,” as Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano has said.

The way things stand, there are connections and there is money. Research into these connections has been collected, and is being placed into a PDF that will be located at These connections and this money has been used to create $14 Billion dollars worth of sales for a single company. This company’s business is to invade the public’s privacy through the TSA, yet, some of the public will be exempt from these “enhanced security measures.” Meanwhile, tens of thousands have had their imaging photos transmitted from the machines to other agencies.

The people of the United States have to be told that our government, which states that these rights are being violated “for our own good,” is lying.  The record clearly shows that our rights are being violated so that those with connections can receive billions in profit.  Tell your friends and families that greed is causing our rights to be stolen.  These acts are criminal, and we all need to hold these thieves accountable!

Rady Ananda contributed to this report.

Also see Steve’s Nov. 27 post, National Opt-Out Day: Report from Philadelphia International Airport.

30 responses to “Profit Ties between Phony Terror Alerts, Airport Security and L-3 Communications

  1. I don’t know, ya just gotta laugh…

  2. A Guy on the Internet

    Oh my f*cking goodness. Is this the same L-3 that pops up in the Joe Stack story?

  3. Good work Mr Sheetz and COTO. You followed the TSA to the money. Good work.

  4. Does point number 4 above actually mean that Muslim women will be allowed to BYPASS both the scanners and the gropers, even though they’ve been put there for “for their own good”? If so, what is their reason for not giving passes to ANY woman who asks to opt out of both? Or any guy, for that matter? After all, it’s the Muslims who are supposed to be the terrorists, and most of us know the scanners and the gropers are NOT “for our own good” but rather are there to enrich the Chertoff Group and terrorized everyone else.

  5. David, it is my understanding that nothing is actually in place, that the exclusion of Muslim women was an idea whose roots came from the organization CAIR… Now, our DHS has stated that it is considering this using freedom of religion as the appropriate argument. Everyone understands this to mean that Muslim Women will be excluded, it just has not happened as of yet.

    At the end of the day you are exactly correct as to the reasons why, and I used the example of the Muslim women exclusion to help demonstrate this.

  6. Thank you, Steve, both for the clarification and for the whole of this excellent post. I only hope we can raise a loud enough public outcry to get the scanners and gropers removed.

  7. Thank you for your kind words. We are working on it! is the website put together by two of my friends, James Babb and George Donnelly. We are going to protest and pass out literature to inform people at Philly International this Wednesday from 6:30-9PM

    Our goal is to free as many minds as we possibly can!

    • hey, you know George? I got contacted by Miami Herald about the TSA coverage we’ve been doing and referred them to George (whose email addr I found on his site.

      btw, I heard another website is saying Opt Out, but let yourself be groped. jeez. must be the voice of controlled opposition.

      and, hello, David Griscom — nice to see you!

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  9. Yes!! George is a good friend to the cause here in Philly, and I do consider him a friend. I should explain the opt out but let yourself be groped….

    Our message with WeWontFly is to opt out of flying if you can possibly avoid it. However, if you absolutely have to fly, opt out of the scanners. If everyone opts out of the scanners, and the groping lines become long enough, then, hopefully, the most people will be made aware of the absolute absurdity of the TSA and its guilt until proven innocent policy with every human being going through security, including 3 year old girls….

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  11. I would like to point out, that the statement made here: “These connections and this money has been used to create $14 Billion dollars worth of sales for a single company” really have no factual basis and is the personal opinion (it would appear) of the author.

    L-3 was started through an acquisition model and now has over 102 divisions. Are all of the divisions making body scanners? No. Careful research by the author(s) would have taken the time to research which division actually made the scanners and not slander the entire company, which employs over 65,000 people worldwide (including several veterans). Not all of them are evil and not all of them are even aware that L-3 makes the device (there is not great communication between divisions).

    The statement above would be no different than stating that McDonalds’ made all of its revenue on only French Fries and not take into account burgers, drinks, salads, etc.

    Please try to take the extra time to do ample research in the future, because it hurts your ability to be credible and be taken seriously.

  12. The entirety of L-3 communications holdings is 15.6 Billion in sales and it is currently ranked 463 on the Forbes list. I apologize for not providing the link to my number, but since it is very easily found on the company website, I did not think it was necessary to provide that link.

    I hope this helps.

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