What Got Added to the Renzi Indictment Since October 2006?

I noted earlier that there was good reason to believe that the impending Renzi indictment is the most likely explanation for Paul Charlton’s firing in December 2006. A number of reports described the investigation stalling just before Charlton was fired. That raises the question of whether the investigation has progressed since the time Charlton was fired–or whether DOJ has simply stalled since then.

The chronology of Charlton’s firing and the Renzi investigation

A quick reminder of the chronology:

June 2005: Investigation into Renzi launched

Months before election day, 2006: Investigators ask for clearance to tap Renzi

September 13, 2006: Charlton’s name added to the firing list

Late October, 2006: Wiretap approved and put into place

October 26, 2006: News of the Renzi investigation leaked to the press; this alerts Renzi to wiretaps used in the investigation

Late October 2006: Renzi’s Chief of Staff, Brian Murray, calls Charlton’s office and asks about "pending indictment;" Charlton alerts DOJ

December 7, 2006: Charlton fired

Early 2007: Key witnesses first subpoenaed

April 19, 2007: Renzi’s insurance company raided

April 21, 2007: John Wilkes WSJ article lays out most of charges described in indictment

November 9, 2007: Mukasey assumes AG position

December 17, 2007: Diane Humetewa assumes AZ US Attorney position

February 22, 2008: Renzi indicted

In other words, after stalling the approval of wiretaps in 2006, after raiding Renzi’s business (technically owned by his wife) in April 2007, it still took until today to bring the indictment.

So was DOJ stalling, or were they conducting an ongoing investigation?

What DOJ knew by April 2007

As I point out, by April 21 of last year, the WSJ’s John Wilke was able to describe almost all of the counts laid out in the indictment. He described that investigators had found:

2001 James Sandlin and Renzi become partners in Fountain Realty and Development

2002-2003: Sandlin buys Renzi out of the business

2002: Renzi receives $369,000 illegally from Fountain

2003: Sandlin buys the alfalfa field

2004: FEC audit finds the illegal 2002 payment from Fountain

2005: Resolution Trust Co (Company A in the indictment) seeks Renzi’s support of land swap so they can acquire land near Superior to start a copper mine

2005: Renzi conditions his support for the swap on the inclusion of an alfalfa field, owned by Renzi’s business partner, James Sandlin, for the price of $4 million (four times the price Sandlin paid for it); Resolution refuses

2005: Renzi conditions a different land swap with Petrified Forest Group (Investment Group B in the indictment) on purchase of alfalfa field; Petrified Forest purchases the land

May 2005: Petrified Forest makes first payment for alfalfa field; Fountain makes $200,00 payment to Renzi through vineyard owned by Renzi (though sold to his father just days later)

2005: After Resolution makes charges of preferential treatment, Renzi drops his support for Petrified Forest’s swap

These details describe the events behind 27 of the 35 charges included in the indictment. The only details added to the description of the alleged crimes are further details on the loan Renzi made Sandlin so he could buy Fountain (an additional $800,000 loan on top of the $200,000 noted in the story), details on the dates and amounts of wire transfers (to demonstrate the money laundering and wire fraud), and the description that Renzi used this money for personal expense and to pay a delinquent tax bill. So with regards to what the government was investigating in October 2006, little if anything was added since April 2007 (though presumably a lot of the details on the money laundering came from bank records that may have been the subpoenas that DOJ stalled in fall 2006).

While I have no way of knowing whether DOJ knew about the remainder of the indictment or not, the following details describing Renzi’s alleged insurance fraud did not appear in Wilke’s April 2007 article.

2001: Renzi and co-conspirator Andrew Beardall fail to pay $236,000 in premiums to insurance broker North Island Facilities

2001: Renzi submits fraudulent paperwork to cover up this embezzlement with clients and the FEC

2001-2002: Renzi transfers $400,000 out of Patriot Insurance into his congressional campaign

2002: False statements by Renzi and Beardall to cover up their fraud

2003: Further false statements to cover up the fraud

In other words–the only substantive thing added to the indictment after April 2007 is details of the early embezzlement from Patriot Insurance into Renzi’s campaign coffers. This information may have come from the raid on the Insurance company in April 2007, just days before Wilke’s article.

But there is nothing about the evidence described in the indictment that would necessarily have been added after April 2007.

The indictment excludes all mention of Fort Huachuca

More interesting than what got added to the indictment since last April is what got left out of the indictment: all mention of Renzi’s and his father’s ties to Fort Huachuca. In April of last year, Wilke explained:

Mr. Renzi told Resolution in 2005 that his support for the land swap would hinge in part on whether it helped fulfill a goal to cut water consumption along the San Pedro River, which slices through the desert far from the mining area, in southern Arizona, participants in the deal say. Fort Huachuca, a big U.S. Army base nearby, was under court order to cut water consumption, and it had been seeking help to retire farmland near the river. Mr. Renzi has longstanding ties to the base, the economic engine of the area. He grew up near it, and his father, retired U.S. Army Gen. Eugene Renzi, is its former commandant, now employed by one of its largest contractors, ManTech Corp.


The FBI is also looking into the congressman’s dealings with Fort Huachuca, these people say.

The indictment also neglects to mention that Renzi shifted the vineyard to his father days after it was used as a money laundering vehicle in this scheme.

Now, perhaps the government has spent the last ten months trying–but failing–to pull together indictments pertaining to Huachuca. Perhaps the government hopes, by indicting now, they can get such information from Co-Conspirators Beardall and Sandlin. Who knows.

But for the moment, the indictment does seem to skirt around allegations of improper influence pertaining to Daddy’s installation in Fort Huachuca. Which might tell us as much about GOP efforts to squelch this investigation as anything else.

96 replies
  1. Funnydiva2002 says:


    Ooo, someone submit the Digg so’s I can Digg this one, too, ‘K?

    Off to read in detail

    Again, thanks to EW for being all over this with facts and dot-connection.

    • Funnydiva2002 says:

      Easy mistake to make, since there were shady deals with both?
      Doesn’t change the fact that Mr R is a slime-bucket and in big legal trouble, right?
      Forgive my ignorance, but what happens now in the legal system? GJ is prior to an indictment, right? So is it down to cop a plea or try to get as late a trial date as possible?


      • emptywheel says:

        No, I’m just saying that DOJ may have thought the $400,000 came from one business entity rather than the other. It may be that they learned from someone where teh money came from since April 2007, is all I’m saying.

      • Funnydiva2002 says:

        does an indictment make it easier or more difficult to add new charges?
        I’m assuming easier…

      • emptywheel says:

        Well, I was limiting myself to the very comprehensive Wilke piece–not other rumored allegations, so it made my job easier. Now, if you take up MarieRoget’s challenge with the backhoe, you’ve got the harder job.

        I do wonder whether they gave RRR and his daddy an exemption for crimes related to Huachuca for national security grounds.

        • bmaz says:

          No clue on Humetewa. Not much floating around good or bad on her that has reached me; but I haven’t been down to Sandra Day very much in the last few months.

          • MarieRoget says:

            Thanks. Been scraping around on Humetewa also, but have found little that wasn’t out there before she took over.

            Got to get offline & go out, but you know who I’ve always wished to hear more from on these Native issues are Dan Bogden & Margaret Chiara. SInce the firings they’re been almost mute…

            • emptywheel says:

              True. I will say, WRT to Chiara (and the same may apply to Bogden), a local prosecutor with a nasty love for gossip said it all came down to Chiara giving her partner (the implication was it was a female partner) bonuses that no one else got.

              That’s a problem and likely what Chiara was investigated for in 2006, not long before the firing. The bonuses may actually be the work that said partner was doing for NAIS, in additoin to her normal duties–she was basically taking the place of a full-time staffer that DOJ had cut.

              But it’s impossible that that’s why Chiara was fired. She was one of the earliest people on the firing list, from 2005, so a 2006 issue over bonuses can’t explain why she was first on the list.

              • Rayne says:

                The bonus might be improbable as the reason for the firing, but teh gay? Might be…

                There’s other stuff coming to light in MI-06, though, that may be a more likely reason. I’ll fill you in offline. Unfortunately, like the rest of the purged USA’s, the deck was stacked and the NAIS, teh gay, the bonus, respect among Repug community, all made removing Chiara necessary.

                Humetawa had the deck stacked against her becoming Charlton’s replacement because she was Hopi AND she was chosen by the congressional delegation; Washington could not have that, needed somebody who would be absolutely controllable and without local obligation.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yeah, I had the same unfortunate though on teh gay; because, and I have no knowledge, care nor reason to believe one way of the other, there were rumors on that with Bogden too. As to Humetewa’s sponsors, I can see the trepidation with McCain (especially since he was the genesis of Charlton), but Kyl is a total fucking tool and wouldn’t dream of upsetting Bush’s applecart.

                  • Rayne says:

                    And that’s exactly what raised my hackles when I read that USDOJ nixed Humetawa; what the hell was going on that they didn’t take the recommendation of a tool like Kyl, let alone McCain? Why would they need somebody even more tightly in sync with Washington than that?

                    I have wondered whether they needed somebody to set up McCain if he got out of hand — but the Renzi situation was plenty of reason to need a USA with a tight leash.

                    And there’s still that bit about Abramoff and the Bayou Fund, too; did they need two layers of protection to keep that one down on the farm?

  2. Loo Hoo. says:

    Think Progress:

    McCain witholds ‘judgment’ on Renzi indictment.

    Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ), who is a member of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) National Leadership Team and a co-chair of his Arizona Leadership Team, was indicted this morning for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and more. Asked to comment, McCain refused to pass “judgment” on Renzi, claiming that he doesn’t “know enough of the details.” As TPM’s Paul Kiel notes, McCain claimed similar ignorance when it was first revealed that Renzi was under federal investigation.

    UPDATE: On a blogger conference call today, McCain said that Renzi “would probably step down as co-chair of his Arizona campaign.”

  3. Rayne says:

    Speaking of Humetawa: she was the candidate that McCain and Kyl had recommended to the USAG as a replacement for Charlton, but nixed without consideration for an interim. I’d completely forgotten to monitor this situation; it was this scotching of Humetawa that suggested to me that any of the USA’s with sizable Native American constituencies would have been targets for purging.

    So where’s the component in this chain of charges or criminal activities as yet uncharged that impacted adversely Native Americans? Guess I’m going to have to play catch up — maybe with a little Bobcat decked with front end loader.

    • emptywheel says:

      Part of the Apache tribe has culturally sensitive lands near the proposed Resolution mine–they were one of the stakeholders in AZ who opposed the swap.

      • bobschacht says:

        “Part of the Apache tribe has culturally sensitive lands near the proposed Resolution mine–they were one of the stakeholders in AZ who opposed the swap.”

        EW, as one who has worked on Native American issues for 20 years, and who was married to one for 8, I appreciate the sensitivity that you show for Native American issues, and the knowledgable way you deal with those issues. The way you investigate things and write, I’d love to see you write a book on the BIA (mis-)management of Indian Affairs, going back to and including the Babbitt years, for which I had high hopes but was mightily disappointed.

        Bob in HI

  4. Mary says:

    OT – supposedly OPR has wrapped up an “investigation” into the waterboarding opinion(s):

    “…and is likely to make public an unclassified version of its report.”

    While the NYT reporter, Scott Shane, has “legal experts” who have “said the likely outcome [will be] a public critique of the legal opinions on interrogation, conceivably including reprimands for some current or former Justice Department attorneys who drafted them” put me in the I Doubt It corner.

    OPR seems to be ready to not only endorse pixie dust, but to embrace Executive Branch law breaking with fervor these days. Where is that OPR investigation into why there were NO directives from ANY DOJ lawyers to CIA and other agencies to preserve evidence of interrogations, despite all the lawsuits where such evidence would be at issue?

    Yeah, right.

    They seldom release anything – usually doing very quiet bar referrals at most. If they are releasing something, especially given what a weird position they are in for any kind of substantive review of the legal decisions (given their ethics mandate), it is going to be as a whitewash to say that lawyers did their best and may have made some poor decisions, but not to worry – DOJ Is Good People doing Good Stuff and you can just trust trust trust that they are – umm – oh yeah – Good People doing Good Stuff.

  5. JohnLopresti says:

    I have to read the water background, bmaz. Last year we shared the 2003 NPT article on the rrr draft proviso to separate the aquifer draft of the industrial parks outside the ft from the industrial parks inside the ft, at tnh website. It is a long time since I visited the area; there used to be a remnant still in private ownership of the former urban center, now completely circled by the new city of SV. The old urban core still had dirt streets in places and still bore the name Fry, Az, although SV formally became the postal address and shared the selfsame zipcode. One local mystery was out toward the Chiricuahua cliffs where the original town of Huachuca seemed frozen in time, as well, but never grew even to miracle mile status. Fry, by contradistinction, had its own building code, so to speak. I found a googleBook about the eccentric history of Fry; but likely you know more. I prescind from echoing the popular landowner’s name. Think of Fry as a medieval European city with narrow cobblestone streets only one citroen can negotiate, and even then if it drives with one set of wheels on one of the sidewalks, though Fry had no sidewalks. There is a lot of Americana in that neighborhood.

    • bmaz says:

      When I was in high school in the early to mid 70s, we used to go down to Buena High School in Sierra Vista for various sports games. Pretty sleepy little rural town by a fairly laid back unimposing military installation. I went down and hiked in the Chirachuas a couple of times as a kid and in high school; they are pretty cool actually. It was always intel I know, because one of my childhood friends decided (never understood why, he was real bright) to enlist in the Army. Apparently he bent the curve on whatever tests they administered because he was immediately targeted for intel and sent down to the Fort after basic to be schooled up as a spy and taught Russian. But it was pretty laid back as I said; and I base this I guess in comparison to Luke Air Force Base, which was maybe four miles from my house and kids from there went to my high school. It was much more imposing and buttoned down than the Fort. Here is the clincher that I was alluding to before, and that the Biodiversity Center has always been hot over. The San Pedro watershed was as beautiful and lush of a desert riparian setting as you have ever seen in your life. Unbelievable. Now, not so much thanks to the water poaching. Growth of SV and the Fort put a dent in the scene; but the arrival and geometric growth of both ManTech and certain new buildings within the Fort associated therewith was the killer. What has happened to the ecosystem sown there is more than tragic and that is why Robin Silver and his Biodiversity Center have been so militant.

      • CTuttle says:

        Actually, bmaz, Ft Devens, MA was the home of the M.I. School that taught all the branches, until it was BRAC’d in the late Eighties and sent to Ft. Huachuca, at the same time, the 10th Special Forces were moved to Ft. Carson, CO… Huachuca has had a long M.I. role, but, the school was at Devens…!

        • bmaz says:

          All I know from back then (probably) 1976 or so, was that my friend was down there and that was what he said he was there for….

          • CTuttle says:

            Some specific MOS’s where taught elsewhere… But the bulk of MI courses were taught at Devens, I know the Signal Corps taught crypto equipment repair at Huachuca, not, Ft. Stewart, GA, which is the home of the SC School…

  6. AZ Matt says:

    I am not in Renzi´s district, Hopi is represented by Trent Franks. I am glad the crap has caught up to him at last. I was surprised when he was first elected his sticking his nose in the San Pedro watershed, far to the south. The folks in charge didn´t seem to care that his daddy had business interests there. Well, I won´t feel sorry for him at all when he ends up in prison. I hope daddy Franks is proud of what his greed has wrought for his son.

  7. AZ Matt says:

    I have never heard a Hopi say a bad thing about Diane Humetewa. She is well respected and has worked her way up.

  8. JohnLopresti says:

    bmaz, You are lucky it was 70s’; I got my K-12 teaching certificate for work at Buena in the 80s, but opted to accept work here in a neighboring state instead; by the 90s the ft silicon valley effect was in full swing, and town politics among the four burgs made both the pollution at the onbase airport and the aquifer overdraft topics that would attract raucous attendees at council meetings. I knew base muckymucks, and even attended a MT ’seminar’. It is pretty there; and strangely I think that is why the army wants to make it a metropolis instead of respecting the fragility of the oasis it really is: because people attending short courses there love the Sonoran desert landforms and all that goes with it. Maybe your friend was there in the 90s: I heard some pretty grammatical and fluent Moscovite Russian language in that town, and, by then, Arabic was a craze.

  9. Mary says:

    So is there anything to the spec that Renzi has spookish ties and a kindof “missing” 10 years (per Rozen per an Arizona newspaper article)?

    Is he a poker player?

    From the wikkis – Mantech (Renzi’s father’s company) is a provider of “innovative technologies and solutions for national security programs supporting the United States Intelligence Community and Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice … The corporation’s base is located in Fairfax, Virginia”


    • emptywheel says:

      Well, missing Reagan years, which just happens to be the same time frame that some other people of Renzi’s age–like Dusty Foggo and Mitch Wade–spent fighting Reagan’s secret wars.

      Only to come back to the US and apparently sponsor Bush’s secret spying on Americans.

      • Rayne says:

        Jeebus. He missed the Reagan years and he’s still got 12 kids?

        Renzi’s middle name must be “Rabbit”, as in “fucks breeds like a”.

    • bmaz says:

      You seen their website? ManTech

      From its beginning in 1968, ManTech International Corporation has consistently delivered innovative technology and technical services solutions to federal government customers. Today, ManTech has grown to become one of the U.S. government’s leading providers of innovative technologies and solutions for mission-critical national security programs supporting the Intelligence Community; the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice; the Space Community; and other federal government agencies. Our expertise covers systems engineering, software development, enterprise security architecture, information assurance, intelligence operations support, network and critical infrastructure protection, information technology, communications integration and engineering support. ManTech’s solutions and support are: Dedicated to performance, deep in domain expertise, diverse in scope.

      Oh my. Looks like Gene Renzi, Ricks dad and one of the the critical owners/directors/executives of ManTech, died Febuary 9. I didn’t know that.

    • bobschacht says:

      “So is there anything to the spec that Renzi has spookish ties and a kindof “missing” 10 years (per Rozen per an Arizona newspaper article)?

      Is he a poker player? “

      Back when I was living in Flagstaff & researching Renzi, IIRC he had CIA training in disinformation. Handy background for a Republican politician, eh?

      Bob in HI

      • emptywheel says:

        Probably comes in handy when you’re trying to launder money to launch a political career.

        Here’s what Renzi’s father was doing during his lost years:

        Gen. Renzi’s tours included duty as a Communications Staff Officer, Military Assistance Command, Republic of Vietnam; Staff Officer, Army Strategy and Tactics Analysis Group, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Washington DC; Senior Management Analyst and Team Chief, Organization Management Branch, Office of the Chief of Staff, Washington DC; Commander 40th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Chief, Signal Corps Branch, Officer Personnel Center, Alexandria Virginia, and Special Assistant to the Project Manager, USA Communication Systems Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

        In 1980, Gen. Renzi became Commander of the Operations Command, Washington DC. He was then assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, USA Communication Command, Fort Huachuca, in 1982.

        In 1984, Gen. Renzi became Chief, Contingency Support Division, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington DC. He was promoted to Brigadier General and became Director, Defense Communications Systems, Washington, DC in 1986.

        In 1987, Gen. Renzi was named the Commanding General, 7th Signal Command at Fort Ritchie, Maryland. He was promoted to Major General in 1988 and became the Director for Command and Control and Communication Systems, United States Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. Major General Renzi retired from the United States Army in 1990.

        After his retirement Gen. Renzi became the Vice President of Resource Development at the United Way of America in Alexandria, Virginia.

        From 2003 to 2006 Mr. Renzi serviced as Chairman of the Board of AFCEA and was highly regarded for his leadership of that organization which represents the top government, industry and military professionals in the IT, communications, and intelligence fields.

        Mr. Renzi joined ManTech International Corporation in August 1993 as Vice President of Corporate Development and Senior Vice President of ManTech Field Engineering Company.

        So he was in and out of Huachuca, and SigInt all the way, not surprisingly.

        I find it really interesting that Renzi Sr. got to ManTech after Renzi Jr. got to Congress. Renzi’s entire Congressional career looks like a bit of a front–all funded from laundered money (which is the picture you get from reading teh indictment, with the extra earlier money laundering. If that’s true, why? Why did they need a COngressman in that time and place? (Though of course, the place was not perfect, since HUachuca is not in Renzi’s district.

        • bmaz says:

          I could be wrong, but I think that Sierra Vista was in Jim Kolbe’s district back then. Kolbe was entrenched and very popular, no way to get him out; and he was no neocon type either. Wasn’t real keen on any of their shenanigans either if I recall correctly; i.e. didn’t sponsor or participate in any of those bills Renzi did for the team in Kolbe’s district.

        • CTuttle says:

          Wow, Renzi Sr. seems to have been a Signal Corps officer from the get go, I’ve seen many of them evolve(devolve?) into Intel officers… Every posting, from MAC-V on, are all Intel sites…

  10. Hugh says:

    I put this up in a thread somewhere at fdl a while ago but it is relevant here. It is my entry on Renzi from my scandals list and is largely drawn from the indictment.

    315. In his first run for the House in 2002 Representative Rick Renzi (R-AZ) received on two occasions $121,000 in corporate checks for his campaign from his real estate partner James Sandlin. He also transferred $400,000 from the premiums account of the ironically named Patriot Insurance Agency of Sonoita, Arizona which he owned. He passed this money through various accounts and on to his campaign. In 2003, he sold his interest in the real estate company to Sandlin for $1 million ($200,000 in cash plus an $800,000 note).
    In 2005, the Resolution Copper company wished to acquire the surface rights to federal land near Superior, Arizona for which it owned the mineral rights. To do so, it proposed a land swap of private land for the land it wanted. This required Congressional legislation and approval by the National Resources Committee on which Rick Renzi sat. The scam worked like this. Renzi needed money. Life in Washington was expensive and he had to pay back the “loan” from his insurance company. Sandlin still owed him some $700,000 from the sale of the real estate company. So Renzi agreed to support the Resolution Copper bid if in return Resolution Copper agreed to purchase a 480 acre alfalfa field owned by Sandlin. Sandlin would get a hefty payment from Resolution Copper, and Renzi would get his money from Sandlin plus a little something extra. However, on April 12, 2005, Resolution Copper not knowing of all the shenanigans going on but probably beginning to smell a rat refused to buy the alfalfa field. On April 16, 2005, just 4 days later, Renzi undeterred proposed a similar land swap involving the alfalfa field to the Petrified Forest Group on an unrelated matter. This time he was successful and Sandlin got $4.6 million for it. On May 5, 2005, Sandlin received a first payment of $1 million from Petrified Forest and on the same day he wrote a check for $200,000 to a Renzi owned winery. On May 20, 2005, Renzi deposited the $200,000 into a Patriot Insurance account. On September 30, 2005, he got the remainder $533,000. On January 10, 2006, he transferred $325,000 of this to Patriot Insurance and back out again on February 10, 2006 to pay back taxes for 2001. In his financial disclosure statement for 2005 to Congress, he did not report either Sandlin’s debt or its repayment as required by law.
    An investigation into Renzi’s deals was begun in June 2005 and was taken up by then US Attorney for Arizona Paul Charlton in September 2006. The Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales, however, did what it could to delay the investigation until after the November 2006 elections by drawing out the granting of search warrants and subpoenas. A wiretap was eventually approved in October 2006 but was rendered largely ineffective when the AP broke the story of the investigation on October 24, 2006. At this time, an aide to Renzi Brian Murray inappropriately contacted Charlton to find out more about the case. The upshot of all this was that Charlton became one of the 8 US Attorneys fired on December 7, 2006. (see item 3)
    On April 19, 2007, the FBI raided Patriot Insurance.
    On August 23, 2007, Renzi announced that he would not seek re-election. On February 22, 2008, a 35 count indictment was unsealed charging Renzi with conspiracy, wire fraud, insurance fraud, money laundering, and extortion. Renzi is not a solitary figure in the Republican culture of corruption. He is just one more example of why the current Republican Party has come to resemble a criminal enterprise more than a political party.

  11. Mary says:

    34 – and the directors/officers of Mantech look to be an interesting bunch, based on a quick wikki (which I wouldn’t rely on for much, but it makes an interesting start point).


    There’s your old friend, Richard Armitage.

    There’s Richard Kerr, who I assume (and there that ass and me there so fwiw) is the same Richard Kerr who is on the BAE systems board http://www.baesystems.com/Worl…../index.htm

    Mr. Kerr served in the U.S. Intelligence community for 32 years – from September 1960 until March 1992. He started as a country analyst in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and ended his career as the senior professional intelligence officer in the U.S. government serving as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

    (he replaced Robert Gates)

    Robert Coleman – who worked at the White House National Security Council Crisis Management Center during the Reagan and elderBush

    Kenneth Minihan – former director of the NSA and a director of the defense intel agency


    • Rayne says:

      And ManTech does SIGINT and HUMINT — has openings for 5 senior intel analysts to work on “(i)ssues include but are not limited to areas of Taliban, Pakistan, and Afghanistan governance analysis, political and military leadership and decision-making; regional ambitions; military capabilities, strategy, doctrine and operational concepts; anti-Coalition activities and capabilities in Afghanistan; Iran’s support to militant groups, and counter-terrorism operations.”

      I cannot believe how much crap they and other contractors disclose in their want ads.

      • Minnesotachuck says:

        I cannot believe how much crap they and other contractors disclose in their want ads.

        R. J. Hillhouse is an ex-intelligence type (don’t know specifics; she’s very cagey about them) who runs the blog The Spy Who Billed Me, that focuses on the black arts, and mainly the trend toward outsourcing. She had a great post up the other day about how much can be inferred from the public info available on those contractors’ websites.h

        • WilliamOckham says:

          It took me less than 5 minutes to track down the company she was referring to. Their jobs page was revealing, to say the least.

          [Oddly enough, searching the job pages of a company’s website has been a technique I’ve used for years to understand what tech companies were up to. When I was a consultant, it was always important to know where the 800lb gorillas of the industry were going.]

          The best entry from this unnamed company’s job’s page is for intel analysts (2 positions) based in St. Petersburg FL who need TS/SSBI clearance and (among other things):

          Must be fluent in one of the following languages: Arabic, Farsi, Persian, Pashto, French

          If you know anything at all about the intelligence field, it’s not hard to figure out what that’s about.

          • Rayne says:

            Heh. We were on the same wavelength. And yes, as a consultant I checked the want ads.

            Clinched it for me about the Google phone.

            You were also far kinder than I was about the firm that Hillhouse hinted at in her post.

            Screw that. If they’re going to compromise our national security as blatantly as that — as stupidly as that — they don’t deserve to be accommodated. Frankly, I’m suspicious of what they are doing with our tax dollar if they aren’t in the least discreet or professional.

        • Rayne says:

          Yup, I’d read that. And it’s REALLY bad when someone without any intel background can figure out she was talking about XXX.

          Not that her reference to “Heckle and Jeckle” wasn’t fairly obvious.

  12. Mary says:

    36 – I didn’t either. You know, if he was pretty ill, on a personal level with the family connections, some of the delay may have been just a group of people with respect for the father and realizing that he was terminal, delaying things so he didn’t have to see his son indicted from his sickbed.

    If it was something like that, I can’t get upset by it.

  13. Mary says:

    39 – so, excepting, mantech wants peopel to work on political ledaership and decision making? That reads oddly – but yes, you’re right about how much gets dumped into ads like that, yet conversely the idiotic things, publically reported all over the world, that get stamped “classified” here.

    • Rayne says:

      What’s interesting is that I wouldn’t have listed ManTech if I were asked to think of intel contractors; it’s only been very recently that we were stopped from seeing the contracts let by DoD for PSC’s/PMC’s and related service providers; wonder if that was to keep us from seeing a greater dispersion of these roles as outsourced to more and different cronies. They classified the data in the middle so we can’t see end-to-end.

  14. emptywheel says:

    The obit lists the MS society as one of his favorite charities. He’s actually pretty old to pass away from MS (at least if my uncle who died of it is any indication, but then my uncle was a steelworker with a tough life, physically). But they would certainly know about MS coming.

            • phred says:

              Yeah but how exactly? Just funneling money to his old man’s operation? Why would Cheney need to set up a guy in the House for this? Seems to me they were managing to control things pretty well in the Executive branch. In the House Renzi’s just one of what 432 (?) people. I don’t get it.

            • phred says:

              Sorry bmaz, I’ve been out all day and maybe I was reading too fast trying to catch up. Who are the “they” you are referring to?

              What I’m trying to understand is why set up a clandestine guy in the House? What specific advantage does that give Cheney that he doesn’t get any other way?

              • emptywheel says:

                IMO, one thing that’s happening is that they’re outsourcing intell to avoid normal scrutiny. If you want to spy on Americans, better to do it with a contractor to avoid nasty oversight (CIFA, the domestic miltiary spying program is one of just two governmental areas immune from Obama/Coburn’s contract database, for example).

                But you need someone in the House to put it in there, to use earmarks to get it in there.

                Remember that no one on the House Intell Committee (save Jane Harman) wanted citizens to see the report on Cunningham, Wilkes, and Wade.

                • phred says:

                  Thanks EW and Rayne. So it’s all about earmarks? You would think with the Pentagon budget they could use the black project money however they wanted with minimal oversight. Plus, $6 million (his solo earmark noted above) isn’t very much in the grand scheme of things, particularly when you take into account salaries, overhead, equipment, etc. needed by contractors. I’m not saying you are wrong. It certainly appears that Renzi was set up to do Cheney’s bidding, I’m just not sure that there wasn’t something more to it than just earmarks.

                  • bmaz says:

                    I can’t say I have any overarching knowledge or theory of how Renzi was placed or why. I know that McCain and Kyl greased a lot of wheels and lent campaign staff and/or help as I recall; it was a set up well funded power play that literally steamrolled every other candidate, both primary and general. I think he outspent his challengers by like 5 or 6 to 1 or something ridiculous like that. A lot of juice for a neophyte cipher. He may have just been like Bush and was a wayward kid that needed something to do; I dunno. He allegedly did go to college at Northern Arizona University (I think there is some dispute as to how much he was really there, but I got nuthin on that).

                    I know this, the cabal needed someone from the Arizona delegation to push through the land deal for the giant intel facilities to be built up at Fort Huachuca in conjunction with ManTech and Jim Kolbe wasn’t interested in screwing over his constituents and the San Pedro Riparian area (Kolbe was actually a pretty decent chap for a Republican); Ed Pastor was a very liberal old school Dem, and JD Hayworth was a blithering idiot with a loud mouth that couldn’t shut up to save his life (so not a good front man for this kind of project). Renzi may well have been place in congress and on those particular committees just for this purpose. That has kind of been an operative theory for some time now here among some of those battling to save the San Pedro.

  15. emptywheel says:


    During fall 2001, a new congressional district was formed in Arizona, and Renzi bought a house in Flagstaff. He established himself as a voter there and, a month later, announced his candidacy. In interviews at the time, Renzi shrugged off the label of outsider, saying, “Let the chips fall where they may if I am a carpetbagger.”

    Renzi’s 2002 platform was, for the most part, conservative Republican. His campaign was bolstered by fundraisers featuring President Bush, Vice President Cheney and others. But his financial advantage over Democrat George Cordova stemmed largely from cash infusions that later were ruled “impermissible” by the Federal Election Commission.

    Investigators found that Renzi improperly shifted $369,090 in corporate loans to his campaign. Most of that money originated from business partner Sandlin, who bought into Renzi’s real-estate company amid the campaign.

    Of course, it should be said, Renzi was a post-9/11 Congressman, which changes everything.

  16. Rayne says:

    gawddamnitall — I have spent a fair chunk of time on this U.S. Attorney crap since December 2006, and I still learn stuff that embarrasses me for missing along the the way.

    Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Renzi on a 24M earmark for some bullshit educational program.

    And Herseth’s a DEM from South Dakota.

  17. Rayne says:

    Letter to Obey as chair of Appropriations, dd. 14-MAR-07:

    “I am requesting funding for Asymetric Threat Response and Analysis Project in fiscal year 2008. The entity to receive funding for this project is University of Arizona located at University of Arizona College of Engineerig, 1127 East James E. Rogers Way, Tucson, Arizona 85721.

    The funding would be used to create computerized military decision aids in collaboration with the Battle Command laboratory at Fort Huachuca Arizona. I certify that neither I nor my spouse has any financial interest in this project.”

    phred — Renzi is simply the right guy for the gig. He’s ex-intel, it’s his family’s “business”, so to speak, and he’s right there. He can ask for the money where none of the other 432 can.

  18. Rayne says:

    So when exactly did his business get raided? I think the 19-APR-07 date is wrong; that’s the day the media reported Renzi stepped down from the House Intel Committee. There’s other media reporting that says Renzi didn’t disclose the raid to Boehner right away, so that when the media reported the raid, Boehner was blindsided.

    Did he write the letter requesting $$ before or after the raid?

    • emptywheel says:

      One of the interesting things about stepping down is that Renzi immediately stepped down from Intell. BUt he took several days to step down from the Resource Committee. Couldn’t tell whether he was still trying ot get these swaps through. Or whether he stepped down from Intell right away to avoid tainting Daddy’s projects.

      • phred says:

        I think Renzi’s committee assignments would have been more valuable to Cheney than earmarks. A mole in committee would be very useful indeed.

  19. JohnLopresti says:

    @74, Sounds like the machine politics that has republicans winning our local district elections; we are nonAZ; they go to outOfState Republ strongholds for fundraisers, then bring the cash back here to outspend the Democratic candidate manyfold; it is a district that voted for Kerry 2:1; it is a pity that kind of machine influence tookover Flagstaff’s representation; NAU is a moderate institution, as is the surrounding community, so a cutout like the description of rrr is sounding seems out of character for a native political ascendancy. But that is AZ politics, xtremE.

    • MadDog says:

      A short summary of that DNI data mining report (pdf):

      1. Oh lawdy, Junya and Deadeye have opened the data floodgates and we, the Secret Guardians of Secrets, be in 7th heaven! While it would be nice if we had Good data, having Bad data is better than having No data.

      2. The 4th Amendment isn’t just quaint, it’s gone! For your protection, as Serfs residing in the good ol’ US of A, you no longer have Privacy Rights! And don’t you never-no-mind, ’cause we be the Government and we know best!

      3. We be spending buckets and buckets of money on all this really cool data mining stuff. You wouldn’t believe how horny it makes us. Knowing all this stuff about you, why it’s almost if we knew you! (ha ha ha…hic)

      4. We be throwing a few shekels towards impossible programs that might, if they could ever work, protect your privacy and civil liberty concerns (ha ha ha…hic) and though its real hard, and to predict if we’ll ever accomplish anything there…well we won’t let that stop us from charging full steam ahead with that good ol’ data mining.

      Can’t wait, so let’s worry about that silly stuff like civil liberties later.

  20. emptywheel says:

    Some security consultants proudly flaunt their clients, hoping a prestigious client list will impress potential customers.


    At XXX, we take these dangers seriously. We disclose few of our client relationships, preferring to let our clients decide to whom they’ll release information about their security efforts, when they’ll release this information, and exactly what details they’ll divulge.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Caveat: I’m not really a hardware guy.

      They appear to be a reputable maker of high-precision timing devices. This is a hugely important and incredibly boring foundational technology for most everything electronic these days. At the risk of oversimplifying things, I’d say they are to the defense, research, satellite, and electronics industry what Radio Shack is to the garage hobbyist.

    • MadDog says:


      I might as well throw my 2 cents worth about Symmetricom/Timing Solutions in the mix too. They, of course, make highly accurate timing widgets.

      Based on both reading their site info and some Google searchs (based on a suspicion of mine), Symmetricom/Timing Solutions widgets are probably involved in such things as:

      GPS Target Designator Widgets – When your ground forces need the utmost in GPS accuracy to target the enemy, portable target designation widgets from Symmetricom/Timing Solutions help guide your GPS munitions to exactly the right spot.

      And most certainly involved in stuff like:

      Nuclear Weapons Trigger Timing Widgets – When you need the utmost in timing accuracy to trigger the most bang for the nuclear weapon buck, Symmetricom/Timing Solutions offers nuclear weapon trigger timing widget solutions to maximize fission effects.

      The US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Department of Commerce fined Symmetricom/Timing Solutions in 2004 for illegally shipping some of these Nuclear Weapons Trigger Timing Widgets abroad. See this link for the coverup details.

      And Symmetricom/Timing Solutions has as some of its US customers, our premier Nuclear Weapons Design folks like Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Labs.

      • CTuttle says:

        And Symmetricom/Timing Solutions has as some of its US customers, our premier Nuclear Weapons Design folks like Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Labs.

        Those Nuclear Timing Widgets had to receive 70+ ‘exceptions’ during the engineer phase to be ‘certified’… Arms Control Wonk had an article awhile back pondering whether they’ll even work…! Our tax payer dollars hard at work… again…!

  21. Rayne says:

    bmaz — interesting company. Very. Wonder how much of their income is military contracts. Brings up a lot more questions, like where do they get their cesium…

    And I wonder if any of their products end up in hands of third-parties for counter-offensive uses.

    Can’t find any donor info on the EVP, whose background is HP and Hughes, so no obvious party affiliation.

    Fill us in when you can, will be dying of curiosity.

    • bmaz says:

      Sydney Hay is a twit. Interestingly, she had ties to McCain and announced her candidacy in 2002 for the new district that Renzi first won that year. Was presumed she would have a decent shot until the Renzi steamroller suddenly appeared.

  22. JohnLopresti says:

    It is too long since I was a telecom analyst to help the Symmetricom succinct background, though if one is ATT and needs to resynch servers after a cable break, the vendor used to be a top gear supplier; background whitepaper from a good source; have yet to find the folks I worked with save one, whose company name remained similar to MT’s transposed though, mon.

  23. rkilowatt says:

    re usefullness, immediate or future, of personnel placed in position:

    L. Fletcher Prouty wrote The Secret Team in the 1970’s outlining just this scenario. Reading it will preclude doing repetitive spadework. The nuggets are there to be used.

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