Richard Armitage rarely saw eye-to-eye with the Bush administration on the Iraq war, but these days he may be more sanguine. That’s because Armitage has profited handsomely from his own national security consulting firm, as well stakes in a dozen private defense and intelligence companies that do business with the CIA, NSA, and others. Across Washington, top spies and officials are jumping to private sector gigs, writes Tim Shorrock in his new book Spies for Hire.
Seven of every 10 dollars America now spends on intelligence actually goes to private corporations, where ex-government employees often do the same jobs they used to do—for double the salary. “It's unseemly, and what's worse is that it has become normal,” said one intelligence expert. “The Intelligence Community and the contractors are so tightly intertwined that their interests are identical.”