February 12, 2009 -- Blair, Iridium, and Buzzy Krongard
publication date: Feb 12, 2009
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February 12, 2009 -- Blair, Iridium, and Buzzy Krongard
No sooner has retired Admiral Dennis Blair settled into his new job as Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the world has witnessed the first orbital collision between two satellites. The crash occurred on February 10 between a U.S. Iridium communications satellite and a Russian Cosmos-2251 military satellite 485 miles above northern Siberia, in what is considered low-Earth orbit or "LEO."
Iridium satellites are operated by Iridium Satellite LLC, a privately-held firm headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Iridium also has highly-classified contracts with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), over which Blair has responsibility as DNI.
Iridium declared bankruptcy in 2000 and was sold by Motorola to Iridium Satellite LLC. The new owners got a sweetheart deal. They bought Iridium for $25 million. Motorola had invested a whopping $5 billion in the firm. In the murky world of intelligence, such "asset flipping" and "creative financing" is commonplace.
A 25 percent owner of Iridium is Prince Khalid bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman of Saudi Arabia. During the time Motorola owned Iridium, Khalid was a investment partner along with the Saudi Bin Laden Group, owned by the family of America's "old friend" Osama Bin Laden.
The timing of the crash between one of Iridium's birds and the Cosmos satellite is peculiar. The collision occurred near an orbital location where China shot down a weather satellite in 2007 with a ground-based missile.
Blair sat on the board of Iridium LLC, along with Alvin B. "Buzzy" Krongard, former chairman of Alex Brown Inc., Vice Chairman of Bankers Trust, and Executive Director of the CIA. Krongard's brother Howard "Cookie" Krongard was the Inspector General of the State Department at the time he was supposedly investigating Blackwater's security contracts. On November 14, 2007, WMR reported: "Buzzy Krongard had been invited the join Blackwater Worldwide's Advisory Board and had accepted the invitation and was actually in attendance at a Blackwater advisory board meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia mere hours before Howard Krongard's testimony. The State Department IG then changed his testimony. Howard Krongard first stated that he had no way of knowing whether his brother accepted the Blackwater invitation and after the committee produced an email from Blackwater CEO Erik Prince thanking Buzzy Krongard and other advisory board members for accepting the invitation, Howard Krongard changed his testimony again and said that after speaking to his brother during a hearing break, he learned that Buzzy was, in fact, in Williamsburg at the Blackwater meeting the prior day. Howard Krongard then stated before the committee that he was officially recusing himself from all matters dealing with the current investigations of Blackwater."
Another member of Iridium's board is former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, the former Governor of Pennsylvania.
On August 9, 2006, when Buzzy Krongard was named to Iridium's board, he stated: "I am impressed with the unique aspects of the Iridium network and the power it brings to bear on the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT), homeland defense and other related operations. Iridium has an important customer base to serve and I am pleased to assist."
Perhaps sensing the Russian-American satellite collision was no mere accident, the Czech government, acting in the capacity as the European Union's presidency, stated: "States conducting outer space activities should also refrain from any intentional action which will or might bring about ... the damage or destruction of outer space objects."
Krongard's successor as CIA Executive Director, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, was indicted in 2007 on several counts of fraud. In a plea deal, Foggo pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud. U.S. Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia James Cacheris, whose brother Plato Cacheris, handles a number of national security cases before his brother's court in a clear case of conflict-of-interests and nepotism, ruled against a federal prosecution request to release copies of secret grand jury testimony about their case against Foggo. The secret testimony reportedly contains information on Foggo's relationship with convicted lobbyist Brent Wilkes and jailed former California GOP congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
But it may contain even more embarassing revelations. On May 3, 2006, WMR reported: "According to sources close to the investigation of GOP businessmen Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes in the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal involving GOP members of Congress and sex escorts, poker parties, hotel suites, and limousines, many of the behind-the-scenes principals in the affair were involved in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s. There is a focus on the activities of Porter Goss's CIA Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who was reportedly assigned to John Negroponte's death squad and Contra support operations in Honduras in the 1980s. Foggo is a good friend of Wilkes from their days as students in San Diego. Foggo's past job was in chief of logistics, including contract administration, for the CIA's main European and Middle East support base in Frankfurt, Germany. Informed sources believe that Foggo was a key individual in approving contracts for many of the CIA rendition airline companies responsible for transporting "Al Qaeda" suspects from and to the Middle East via Frankfurt and other airports. The owners of these airline companies include many Iran-Contra veterans who were responsible for flying arms and drugs for the CIA in the 1980s."
President Obama promised "change." With the first ever collision between a satellite belonging to the firm on whose board Obama's DNI once sat and a Russian military bird, it appears that Obama may be continuing in a long tradition of dangerous covert operations that were a hallmark of Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43. That is change no one can believe in.