CACI's J.P. London: War Profiteer

After criticizing the authors for including him in anreport, London argued that defense executives deserve much more pay than military generals.
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One of the most brazen war profiteers, CACI CEO J. P. London, has threatened to take legal action against groups that have reported on the company's involvement at Abu Ghraib, but that hasn't deterred Robert Greenwald from singling him out for ridicule.

Civil lawsuits have been filed against the company with the help of The Center for Constitutional Rights, CACI employees have avoided any criminal charges for their involvement with the horrific treatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison, despite the fact that Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba reported in an internal Army report that two CACI employees "were either directly or indirectly responsible" for abuses at the prison, including the use of dogs to threaten detainees and forced sexual abuse and other threats of violence. Taguba reported that Stefanowicz "allowed and/or instructed MPs (military police), who were not trained in interrogation techniques, to facilitate interrogations by setting conditions' ... he clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse."

Another internal Army report suggested that Steven Stefanowicz, one of 27 CACI interrogators working for the Army in Iraq, "clearly knew [that] his instructions" to soldiers interrogating Iraqi prisoners "equated to physical abuse."

London has since responded that CACI "does not condone or tolerate or endorse in any fashion (sic) any illegal, inappropriate behavior on the part of its employees in any circumstances at any time anywhere."

Although the L.A. Times reported in May 2004 that the feds were considering barring the company from future contracts, just months later the Army gave CACI another $15 million no-bid contract to continue providing interrogation services for intelligence gathering in Iraq.

Which suggests that CACI's lobbyists were doing their job back in Washington. The company paid $40,000/yr to The Livingston Group between 2001 and 2003, and retained the services of former Rep. Vin Weber's firm for $200,000.

For his part, London's base compensation increased from $2.5 million in 2003 to nearly $4 million in 2005, while his stock options rose to $27.5 million by the end of 2005. Recall that compensation plans that relied heavily on stock (the "steroids of corporate greed") was one reason so many executives have been caught cooking the books. It might also explain why an executive like London might be particularly sensitive to any adverse publicity or charge that has the potential to dent the company's stock value.

London sent a blistering seven-page letter in response to "Executive Excess 2005," the CEO pay report issued each year by United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies. After criticizing the authors for including him in the report, London argued that defense executives deserve much more pay than military generals:

"Generals are responsible for their command, just as CEOs are responsible for work they perform and the livelihoods of their employees and respective families. However, CEOs of publicly owned companies also bear additional fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders, financial markets and federal oversight groups. Generals do not. Companies are accountable for profitable performance and sustained customer satisfaction. Generals are not. CEOs are responsible for the growth of their organizations. Generals are not. Because of the varied and differing, and additional responsibilities, CEOs are currently rewarded additional compensation."

But the claim that he has to answer to so many different stakeholders is also an admission of what Greenwald's movie is driving at: The loyalty of companies like CACI may be divided between profits and patriotism.

Thus, it might "satisfy" some of London's stakeholders (esp. shareholders) that CACI announced a pullout of all interrogation personnel from Iraq as of September 2005. But for other "customers" - i.e. U.S. taxpayers - the damage from Abu Ghraib has already been done. (And that's not to mention the individuals who were tortured).

As the head of Amnesty International told the NY Times: "Illegal behavior of contractors and of those who designed and carried out U.S. torture policies and the reluctance of the government to bring perpetrators to justice are tarnishing the reputation of the United States, hurting the image of American troops and contributing to anti-American sentiment."

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