Carlyle Group

Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups

Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups
By James Ridgeway - Friday 11 April 2008
Mother Jones

Meet the private security firm that spied on Greenpeace and other environmental outfits for corporate clients. A tale of intrigue, infiltration, and dumpster-diving.

A private security company organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings. According to company documents provided to Mother Jones by a former investor in the firm, this security outfit collected confidential internal records - donor lists, detailed financial statements, the Social Security numbers of staff members, strategy memos - from these organizations and produced intelligence reports for public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental controversies.

In addition to focusing on environmentalists, the firm, Beckett Brown International (later called S2i), provided a range of services to a host of clients. According to its billing records, BBI engaged in "intelligence collection" for Allied Waste; it conducted background checks and performed due diligence for the Carlyle Group, the Washington-based investment firm; it provided "protective services" for the National Rifle Association; it handled "crisis management" for the Gallo wine company and for Pirelli; it made sure that the Louis Dreyfus Group, the commodities firm, was not being bugged; it engaged in "information collection" for Wal-Mart; it conducted background checks for Patricia Duff, a Democratic Party fundraiser then involved in a divorce with billionaire Ronald Perelman; and for Mary Kay, BBI mounted "surveillance," and vetted Gayle Gaston, a top executive at the cosmetics company (and mother of actress Robin Wright Penn), retaining an expert to conduct a psychological assessment of her. Also listed as clients in BBI records: Halliburton and Monsanto.

BBI, which was headquartered in Easton, Maryland, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, worked extensively, according to billing records, for public-relations companies, including Ketchum, Nichols-Dezenhall Communications, and Mongoven, Biscoe & Duchin. At the time, these PR outfits were servicing corporate clients fighting environmental organizations opposed to their products or actions. Ketchum, for example, was working for Dow Chemical and Kraft Foods; Nichols-Dezenhall, according to BBI records, was working with Condea Vista, a chemical manufacturing firm that in 1994 leaked up to 47 million pounds of ethylene dichloride, a suspected carcinogen, into the Calcasieu River in Louisiana.

Continued...
http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/04/firm-spied-on-environmental-groups.html

Research: James Schlesinger, Bob Kerrey and Dov Zakheim and "Landmark Aviation Airport Services"

Landmark Aviation plans on divesting its FBO (fixed base operation) "Landmark Aviation Airport Services" and upon consultation with Merrill Lynch has placed the "Airport Services" division in a management trust operated and overseen by trustee's James Schlesinger, the former Secretary of Defense, Energy and CIA Director; former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska (9/11 Commission); and Dov Zakheim, the former Pentagon comptroller.

(Background: Landmark Aviation was recently sold by the Carlyle Group to (DAE) Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd.) Landmark Aviation and its "Airport Services" have also been suspected of running rendition flights out of Dulles Airport. (Links Below)

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"DAE has placed Airport Services in a management trust. The FBO division is separated from the rest of DAE, and has its own infrastructure and support network. The trustees were selected in consultation with Merrill Lynch and include: James Schlesinger, the former Secretary of Defense; former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; and Dov Zakheim, the former Pentagon comptroller."