Looks like our old friends at Defense Solutions are back in the news.
You remember them. They're the Pennsylvania-based defense company
that retained former GOP congressman Curt Weldon
-- who's currently under investigation
for corruption in regard to his ties to his daughter's lobbying firm -- as a strategic advisor
Weldon recently pushed deals
on behalf of Defense Solutions between Russian and Ukrainian weapons suppliers and the Iraqi and Libyan governments. Brokering such deals is legally murky, according to Wired
magazine, because Libya and the Russian arms export agency are on U.S. blacklists.
And Defense Solutions' CEO, Tim Ringgold was accused by a Ukrainian government official of forging his name
on a signed letter officiating that deal.
So we were interested to see the company make a special appearance this weekend in the long New York Times
story on Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey's myriad conflicts of interest.
McCaffrey, the Times
reports, was hired by Defense Solutions on June 15, 2007 to advocate for a similar arms deal. But he didn't mention that affiliation, says the Times
, when he wrote a letter to General David Petraeus "strongly recommending Defense Solutions and its offer to supply Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. 'No other proposal is quicker, less costly, or more certain to succeed,' he said."
The paper continues:
Nor did he disclose it when he went on CNBC that same week and praised the commander Defense Solutions was now counting on for help -- "He's got the heart of a lion" -- or when he told Congress the next month that it should immediately supply Iraq with large numbers of armored vehicles and other equipment.
McCaffrey has had no luck so far getting the deal through for Defense Solutions, but they haven't given up hope yet - the Times
reports that he is currently back advocating in Iraq on a trip sponsored by the Pentagon.