Monday, April 21, 2008

When The Generals Lied - LTG Thomas McInerney

LTG Thomas McInerney is the first stop in our series. Out of the group of senior officers profiled in this story, McInerney appears to be one of the more corporately connected officers.

McInerney is a Fox News analyst. This is his bio sketch:

General McInerney is the founder of Government Reform Through Technology, a consulting firm that works with high-tech companies. GRTT conducts business with federal, state, city and local governments to help them introduce advanced technology into the public sector.

Prior to this, he was the CEO and the president of Business Executives for National Security, a national, nonpartisan organization of business and professional leaders.

For 35 years, General McInerney served as a pilot, commander, and strategic planner in the U.S. Air Force.

He retired from military service as Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Director of the Defense Performance Review, reporting to the Secretary of Defense. He led the Pentagon's "reinventing government" effort, visiting more than 100 leading-edge commercial companies to assimilate their ideas about business re-engineering.

General McInerney graduated from the United States Military Academy and earned a Master's degree in international relations from George Washington University. He also attended the Armed Forces Staff College and National War College.

This part has either been deliberately left out or was not relevant to include:

Ezenia! Inc., (OTCBB:EZEN.OB), today announced that Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney USAF (Ret.) has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. His appointment is effective immediately.


General McInerney also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Alloy Surfaces Company, KIL Inc. Kilgore Flares Co, LLC, SABA (Federal Advisory Board), Pan American International Academy (Flight Simulators), Agusta Westland NA, Nortel Government Solutions and Crescent Technology Ventures Plc .

According to the New York Times, McInerney was receiving "talking points" from the Pentagon:

Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”

Though many analysts are paid network consultants, making $500 to $1,000 per appearance, in Pentagon meetings they sometimes spoke as if they were operating behind enemy lines, interviews and transcripts show. Some offered the Pentagon tips on how to outmaneuver the networks, or as one analyst put it to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, “the Chris Matthewses and the Wolf Blitzers of the world.” Some warned of planned stories or sent the Pentagon copies of their correspondence with network news executives. Many — although certainly not all — faithfully echoed talking points intended to counter critics.

“Good work,” Thomas G. McInerney, a retired Air Force general, consultant and Fox News analyst, wrote to the Pentagon after receiving fresh talking points in late 2006. “We will use it.

Coincidentally, McInerney was serving on various company boards in late 2006--as outlined above. He has worked in the corporate world throughout his career, and there's nothing wrong with that. But one of the companies he was working with, Ezenia! Inc., was almost wholly dependent on contracts with the Department of Defense:

These risks and uncertainties include the considerations that are discussed in the Company' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, such as the evolution of Ezenia!'s market, dependence on the United States government as its largest customer and on other major customers, continued funding of defense programs by the United States government and the timing of such funding

At the same time that McInerney was disseminating favorable talking points for the Pentagon, Ezenia! was given a monetary award:

Nashua, N.H. (November 27, 2006) - Ezenia! Inc. (OTCBB:EZEN.OB), a leading market provider of real-time collaboration solutions, today announced the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, New York has awarded the Company a $1 million contract extension for Phase II of its Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract.

Despite McInerney's presence on the Ezenia board, the company failed to show significant profitability. In 2007, tough times hit Ezenia!:

NASHUA – Computer networking company Ezenia Inc. lost $4.5 million last year – a decline of more than $8 million from a profitable 2006.

The Nashua company attributes some of the loss a to $2.2 million increase in operating expenses amid declining revenues. Ezenia spent extra money on product improvements, sales and marketing, and legal fees, the company reported Wednesday.

The company also faced expenses from the closing of its Colorado office and the consolidation of those operations into the Nashua headquarters. That move is expected to eventually soften quarterly losses.

"Management expects that the company will continue to be under pressure for at least the first half of 2008 as market conditions remain uncertain," Khoa Nguyen, chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement.

However, a decision by DoD in February, 2008 to award Ezenia a lucrative contract renewal for a tenth consecutive year seems to have turned things around:

NASHUA, N.H., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ezenia, Inc (OTCBulletinBoard: EZEN) , a leading provider of real-time collaboration solutions for corporate and government networks, announced today that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has renewed its license subscription for InfoWorkSpace under the Joint Intelligence Virtual Architecture (JIVA) contract, for a tenth consecutive year.

Sponsored by the DIA, JIVA provides the Intelligence Community with state- of-the-art DCID security, ensuring that critical data is delivered to only the appropriate individuals. Over the last 9 operating years, InfoWorkSpace has a track record of proven, reliable collaboration capabilities unparalleled by any other collaboration product. Using InfoWorkSpace has ensured critical information gets delivered so a rapid response can be coordinated. The secure data being distributed enables a seamless coordination to geographically dispersed organizations, and assists in the successful execution of critical missions around the world. This architecture touches not only all direct U.S. intelligence agencies, but also each individual branch of the U.S. military. Ezenia is extremely proud of the historic use of InfoWorkSpace in the context of this mission.

Dozens of companies could provide this same service--but in the 9th year of this contract, Ezenia! was losing money. So why would DoD keep feeding a small company that couldn't make money from this program? McInerney's term on the board of directors was set to expire this year, and he was not reappointed. But it does call into question whether or not this company was able to stay afloat, win contract renewals, win a one million dollar bonus and survive a management shakeup if McInerney wasn't on their board while doing the legwork of the Pentagon to help sell the war to the American people.

Could it be because General McInerney was on their board--and was actively disseminating the talking points of the Pentagon? It gives one pause.


Here's a snippet of what kind of thinker McInerney is:

I might sleep easier if this were merely Becker’s invention. But all of it, he writes, is prefigured in the Pentagon’s OPLAN 5027, a scheme for ‘defeating the enemy in detail’ (whatever that means). Last March [March, 2004] the Atlantic convened a ‘war game’ with former American diplomats and generals to see how a new conflict with the North might play out. Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, an air force strategic planner with decades of experience, played the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. ‘Would we win?’ he asked. Well, ‘there’d be a lot of carnage,’ but yes, we would win – ‘quicker than we did in Operation Iraqi Freedom’ most likely, or in the worst case it might take an extra month. Civilian casualties in Seoul could be kept down to no more than 100,000 (not one South Korean was invited to participate in this ‘game’). North Korea’s nuclear weapons upset the balance of power in the region, he thought, so the US should give nukes to Japan and South Korea for pre-positioning. Once the war begins, for every nuke the North use ‘we will use a hundred.’ That also applies should the North transfer nuclear weapons to terrorists: ‘If any nuclear weapons go off in the United States, you are a target,’ General McInerney would tell Pyongyang, even if it weren’t clear where the weapons came from. The opaque and uncontrolled Other excites exterminationist impulses: it would be nice to say that this is merely McInerney’s view, but the pattern runs deep in American history.

And, This little nugget from September, 2007:

General John Abizaid, the former Centcom commander, said last week: “Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Critics fear Abizaid has lost sight of Iran’s potential to arm militant groups such as Hezbollah with nuclear weapons. “You can deter Iran, but there is no strategy against nuclear terrorism,” said the retired air force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney of the Iran policy committee.

“There is no question that we can take out Iran. The problem is the follow-on, the velvet revolution that needs to be created so the Iranian people know it’s not aimed at them, but at the Iranian regime.”

What is the "Iran Policy Committee?"

It appears to be part of the Nuclear Control Institute, although the connection is murky, to say the least. Coincidentally, Captain Charles Nash and Major General Paul Vallely were prominently featured in the New York Times article, alongside McInerney. It's interesting that such vocal supporters of the war in Iraq would be part of the Iran Policy committee.

HERE is an excellent explanation as to why McInerney is ideologically suspect:

On the April 12 [2006] edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, while discussing the potential use of military action to thwart Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons, Fox News military analyst retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney purported to "lay out a campaign today that will take Iran down very quickly." When asked by host Bill O'Reilly if his military strategy "would be all air, no infantry, and maybe some Special Forces trying to help," McInerney responded that was "correct." But neither McInerney nor O'Reilly mentioned that McInerney also said in 2002 that the military campaign in Iraq, which has now lasted longer than three years, would be "shorter" than the 42 days it took to complete the Persian Gulf War in 1991, adding, "It is going to be absolutely awesome, and that's why this war, if we do it properly, will go very quick, and we'll have less civilian casualties than we did last time."

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