News Release

Biden Transition: War Profiteers, Beltway Chickenhawks and Corporate Consultants

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, kevin@shadowproof.com@kgosztola
Managing editor of Shadowproof, Gosztola just wrote the piece “Biden’s transition team is filled with war profiteers, Beltway chickenhawks, and corporate consultants” for The Grayzone.

Writes Gosztola: “An eye-popping array of corporate consultants, war profiteers, and national security hawks have been appointed by President-elect Joe Biden to agency review teams that will set the agenda for his administration. …

“A prime example of the interventionist-minded establishment-oriented figures filling the Biden-Harris Defense Department agency team is Lisa Sawyer. She served as director for NATO and European strategic affairs for the National Security Council from 2014 to 2015, and worked for Wall Street’s JPMorgan Chase as a foreign policy adviser. Sawyer was part of the Center for a New American Security’s ‘Task Force on the Future of U.S. Coercive Economic Statecraft,’ which essentially means she participated in meetings that focused on methods of economic warfare that could be used to destabilize countries that refused to bow to American empire. …

“Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada noted that Farooq Mitha, a former Pentagon official in the Obama administration, has been appointed to Biden’s Pentagon transition team. Mitha was a board member of Emgage, a Muslim American PAC which has fostered ties to the Israel lobby, provoking angry condemnation from Palestine solidarity advocates. Mitha has reportedly attended AIPAC conferences. …

“Kelly Magsamen, the vice president of national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress and a former Pentagon and State Department official, is on the Biden-Harris NSC team. When Representative Ilhan Omar grilled Elliott Abrams, the special envoy to Venezuela, Magsamen rushed to the defense of her former boss, calling Abrams a ‘fierce advocate for human rights.’ (Abrams supported death squads in Central America in the 1980s.) …

“The Biden-Harris intelligence team features Greg Vogle, the former CIA head of station in Afghanistan and a former partner at the McChrystal Group consulting firm founded by former commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) Stanley McChrystal. Both JSOC and the CIA, as well as the paramilitary forces they trained, have committed war crimes in Afghanistan. …

“Matt Olsen, the former National Counterterrorism Center director for Obama and briefly, the general counsel for the National Security Agency … is a defender of backdoor searches of Americans’ internet communications, having argued that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy is too cumbersome for the FBI to follow. He spent the months after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed mass surveillance programs working to discredit Snowden by accusing the whistleblower of aiding terrorists. …

“Half dozen or so of the appointees have links to Big Tech companies. Perhaps the most significant figure is Seth Harris, a lobbyist and former Obama Labor Department official who wrote a policy paper for the neoliberal Hamilton Project.

“This paper provided the framework for the passage of Proposition 22 in California. Uber, Doordash, and Lyft spent around $200 million to campaign for the passage of this bill, which exempted them and other corporations from paying their employees benefits and blocked Uber and Lyft drivers from organizing a union. … And like the interventionists that dominate the foreign policy review teams, Moran embodies Biden’s pledge to big money donors: ‘Nothing will fundamentally change.'”