census alert

"Lockheed Martin doesn't run the United States. But it does help run a breathtakingly big part of it."

World's number one military contractor and arms exporter
Involvement in Iraq and the 'War on Terror'
Involvement in Echelon global surveillance network

Formed in March 1995 with the merger of two of the world's premier technology companies, Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta Corporation, Lockheed Martin is the largest provider of IT services, systems integration, and training to the US Government.

In 2006, they reported sales of $39.6 billion, a backlog of $75.9 billion, and free cash flow of $3.8 billion.

Lockheed Martin UK, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, is a leader in systems integration working on major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors. Lockheed Martin employs over 1,500 people at 15 sites across the UK.

World's number one military contractor and arms exporter

Lockheed builds the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, F-16 and F/A-22 jet fighters, Hellfire and Javelin missiles, the F-117 stealth attack fighters used at the beginning of the US invasion of Iraq and the PAC-3 Patriot missile.

In late 2001 the company was awarded the world's largest weapons contract ever; a $200 billion deal to build the Joint Strike Fighter, a "next-generation" combat jet that eventually will replace aircraft used by the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

A New York Times profile of the company in 2004 opened with the sentence: "Lockheed Martin doesn't run the United States. But it does help run a breathtakingly big part of it."

US Vice President Dick Cheney's son-in-law, Philip J. Perry, is a registered Lockheed lobbyist and represented Lockheed with the Department of Homeland Security. He was also nominated by Bush to serve as general counsel to the Department of Homeland Security. His wife, Elizabeth Cheney, serves as deputy assistant secretary of state for Middle Eastern affairs.

Vice President Cheney's wife served on the board of Lockheed, receiving deferred compensation in the form of half a million dollars in stock and fees until her husband took office.

President Bush, as governor of Texas, attempted to give Lockheed a multimillion-dollar contract to reform the state's welfare system. (See Corpwatch)

Involvement in Iraq and the 'War on Terror'

Lockheed's former vice-president Bruce Jackson chaired the Coalition for the Liberation of Iraq, a bipartisan group formed to promote Bush?s plan for war in Iraq.

Bruce Jackson was also involved in corralling support for the war from Eastern European countries, going so far as helping to write their letter of endorsement for military intervention.

Not surprisingly, Lockheed also has business relations with these countries. In 2003 Poland shelled out $3.5 billion for 48 F-16 fighter planes, which it was able to buy with a $3.8 billion loan from the US.

Military Interogators stationed in Iraq prisons received $2,000 from Lockheed Martin in 2005. The prisons included Abu Ghraib, Camp Cropper, a prison at Baghdad International Airport, and Camp Whitehorse, near Nasariyah.

Lockheed Martin first got involved in the interogation contracting business immediately after September 11 2001. They bought Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), a small company with a General Services Administration (GSA) technology contract.

In November 2002 they used GSA to employ private interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The contract was then transferred to a Department of Interior office in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Lockheed Martin's involvement in military interogations is through the company Sytex which it bout for $462 million. Through Sytex, they provide "personnel and technology solutions to government customers including the Pentagon's Northern Command, the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, and the Department of Homeland Security." (Quote from Congressional Quarterly)

After the Abu Ghraib scandal the Pentagon began awarding 'no-bid' contracts to Lockheed.

Lockheed's Keyhole and Lacrosse satellites beam images from the war back to the military; its U-2 and the SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, F-16, F/A-22 jet fighters, and F-117 stealth attack fighters were used to "shock and awe" the Iraqis at the start of the US invasion; and ground troops employed its Hellfire air-to-ground missiles and the Javelin portable missiles in the invasion of Fallujah.

Involvement in Echelon global surveillance network

The ECHELON system is a global surveillance network that uses intercept stations all over the world to capture all satellite, microwave, cellular and fiber-optic communications traffic.

Echelon was set up during the Cold War to provide the US government with intelligence data about Russia. One of the main contractors is Raytheon. Lockheed Martin has been involved in writing software for it.

Echelon processes the billions of communications it captures using advanced voice recognition and optical character recognition (OCR) programs, looking for code words or phrases that will prompt computers to flag the message for recording and transcribing for future analysis.

Intelligence analysts at each of the respective 'listening stations' then analyze any conversation or document flagged by the system, which is then forwarded to intelligence agency headquarters.

Former Lockheed Martin employee, Margaret Newsham, designed programs for Echelon. But when asked to work on a project in 1984, she refused, saying it could harm the US government. Shortly after, she was fired. Newsham immediately sued her former employer for wrongful dismissal and contacted the Internal Security Commission, which arranged closed hearings.

She says:

"On the day at Menwith Hill when I realised in earnest how utterly wrong it was, I was sitting with one of the many 'translators'. He was an expert in languages like Russian, Chinese, and Japanese. Suddenly he asked me if I wanted to listen in on a conversation taking place in the US at an office in the US Senate Building. Then I clearly heard a southern American dialect I thought I had heard before. 'Who is that?' I asked the translator, who told me that it was Republican Senator Strom Thurmond. 'Oh my gosh!' I thought. 'We?re not only spying on other countries, but also on our own citizens.' That?s when I realised in earnest that what we were doing had nothing to do with national security interests of the US."

Newsham continues, "But they were also involved in actual swindling. Lockheed Martin undercut other companies to get NSA project contracts, after which they illegally transferred money and manpower to meet the contract. Since they could swindle others for hundreds of millions of dollars, they were capable of anything."