George John Tenet
George Tenet was the director of the CIA from 1997 to 2004. He resigned after the
blame game over intelligence to justify the Iraq war, the outing of formerly
undercover agent Valerie Wilson, and the failure of the CIA to prevent the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001.
Under Tenet, Deutsche Bank CEO “Buzzy” Krongard joined the CIA and helped launch In-Q-Tel, the agency’s “not-for-profit” venture capital fund, reportedly to accelerate the agency’s technological advances. For instance, In-Q-Tel funded SRA International to apply its “NetOwl” text mining technology to the CIA’s daily briefing reports. In-Q-Tel has also funded the IT contractor SafeWeb, which was acquired by Symantec in 2003. In-Q-Tel’s for-profit affiliate, In-Q-Tel Employees Fund LLC, often bought the same funds as In-Q-Tel, reaping profits as high as 1,400 percent on questionable penny-stock and pump-and-dump investments in corporations such as Ionatron and Electro-Energy.
Several months after his resignation, Tenet spoke at a conference where William Bonner, president of Agora Publishing, Inc., was also speaking. Agora touted the Ionatron stock and sometimes sent out promotional material that included the name of William Colby, the former CIA director who died in1996, in a mysterious “canoeing accident” on the Chesapeake Bay. In 2007 Agora was found guilty of fraud and fined $1.5 million for selling fake insider information in its newsletters.
Tenet also sits on the board of Viisage, a biometrics corporation led by Robert LaPenta with government contracts for passport and identity systems. LaPenta was a senior vice president at Loral Corporation in 1996 when a Chinese army space launch vehicle crashed with a Loral satellite aboard. (The ensuing investigation accused Loral of giving away missile secrets to China, and for that Loral paid a $14 million fine in 2002.) LaPenta founded L-1 after leaving L-3 Communications, which he founded in 1997 from a buyout of ten Lockheed Martin business units and where he served as CFO, president, and director.Tenet also serves on the boards of American Online (AOL) and Guidance Software, the self-proclaimed “world leader in computer investigations.” Guidance added Tenet to its board on March 22, 2006. In 2003, Guidance entered a strategic alliance to provide computer forensics to the government, with I2 Inc., a British technology firm with FBI contracts that was acquired by ChoicePoint in early 2005. Guidance also has strategic alliances with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Verisign. Amit Yoran joined Guidance Software’s board on September 14, 2005. (Yoran started cybersecurity firm RipTech, which Symantec bought in 2002 for $145 million. After serving as head of cybersecurity for DHS, Yoran was appointed as CEO of CIA-created In-Q-Tel on January 4, 2006. Yoran resigned after three months, shortly after hiring old friend and Carlyle Venture Partners veteran and Secure Elements director Mark Frantz.
Secure Elements, an enterprise security software vendor, is a major holding of The Carlyle Group and DCM (Doll Capital Management). (Carlyle also holds SemGroup, which bought Greyhawk from Falcon Gas Storage, an Arcapita holding.) Secure Elements has strategic partnerships with Juniper Networks, a California company that provides routers to China Telecom, and with Intellitactics, which partners with Verisign-owned iDefense.
Dixon Doll, Robert Grady, Ned Miller, and Mark Frantz—all key figures in major CIA contracts—sit on the Secure Elements board. Grady, a managing director at Carlyle, is a former Associate Director of OMB under George H.W. Bush. Miller was an executive at Recourse Technologies, which was backed by DCM and was acquired by Symantec for $135 million in 2002. Frantz was the Associate Director of President George H.W. Bush’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
- Robert LaPenta summary
- “SEC'S AGORA-PHOBIA: FRAUD SUIT RESPONDS TO FEARS OVER INTERNET TOUT SHEETS,” The New York Post, April 21, 2003, Christopher Byron
- “PENNY STOCK SPIES - CIA FUND INSIDERS LURKED BEHIND THREE SHAKY STOCKS,” The New York Post, April 25, 2005, Christopher Byron