You'd think that transporting cocaine and heroin via its false-flag airline Air America would leave them pretty much rolling around like Scrooge McDuck in piles of unreported cash income, but apparently that's not enough of a cash cow for the CIA. It seems that they are also a player on Wall Street.
The unltra-patriotic New York Post is reporting trouble for In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital fund...
Launched in 1999 by CIA director George Tenet as a Wall Street venture fund to finance new technologies for the spy world, In-Q-Tel quickly found friends on Capitol Hill, where policymakers seized on the fund as a way to remind constituents that the ghost of Vietnam no longer walked the land. The attacks of 9/11 gave In-Q-Tel even more stature in Congress, where the fund came to be seen as an essential element in the war effort.
A year ago, this column drew back the curtain on a fishy In-Q-Tel investment, fianced out of the black box budget of the CIA, in a defense-sector start-up called Ionatron Inc.
Run by a longtime Wall Street regulatory violator named Robert Howard, Ionatron used a cash infusion from In-Q-Tel to promote itself around Washington as the developer of a laser-equipped, remotely controlled device the size of a golf cart that could patrol the highways of Iraq, ferreting out and detonating insurgent land mines ahead of troop movements.
We warned in this space that the technology being trumpeted by Ionatron was not only unproven, but had been obtained by Howard and some midlevel researchers at Raytheon Corp.under highly irregular circumstances designed to persuade a West Coast laser researcher into turning over his research to Howard's group.
Nonetheless, Sen. Hillary Clinton and her Democratic colleague from California, Barbara Boxer, quickly embraced the Ionatron program, which eventually devoured more than $12 million in government funding before the Pentagon finally concluded last week that the devices are not reliable and cancelled plans to deploy them.
Ionatron's stock price has tumbled more than a third in the last three weeks, leaving the company's largest investor - prominent hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, run by Steven A. Cohen of Connecticut - sitting with millions in paper losses.
It gets more interesting. Read for yourself.