Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Who Rules Cooper Union?--Part 2

WHO RULES COOPER UNION?—Part 2: A Look at Cooper Union’s MITRE/Pentagon, Con Ed, and Real Estate/Gambling Industry Connections Historically

(A shorter version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of the Lower East Side underground/alternative newspaper, “The Shadow”)

Most students and Lower East Side community residents are opposed to the Democratic Obama Administration’s use of Pentagon and CIA drone weapons to wage endless drone war against civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and other foreign countries or to spy on U.S. citizens domestically.

Yet since 2011 the trustees of Cooper Union—who recently undemocratically decided to transform Cooper Union from a free-tuition college to one that will require its entering students in the Fall of 2014 to start coughing-up nearly $20,000 in tuition for each academic year of study—have been paying--in yearly installments of over $178,000--$1,071,000 in “compensation” to former Cooper Union President George Campbell. And, coincidentally, since 2011 former Cooper Union President Campbell has been a member of the board of trustees of The MITRE Corporation, which develops weapons technology for the Obama Administration, Pentagon and CIA’s endless drone war abroad and for drone spying on U.S. citizens at home. As The MITRE Corporation’s website notes:

“Just about all of MITRE's engineering and science disciplines are involved with improving our sponsors' intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) activities.

“Engineers and scientists working in disciplines ranging from artificial intelligence to sensors are helping our military…For example, our human factors engineers are using artificial intelligence and automation techniques to help Air Force ISR collection managers make faster, better decisions, such as: in a number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying missions, which one should be retasked when a new target pops up?

“Whether it's improving the use of UAVs or keeping track of terrorists crossing borders, MITRE is helping our military services keep the upper hand in ISR operations. For example, we originated the ISR Information Service (ISRIS), which offers live streaming video, searchable archived video, and other services to warfighters engaged in UAV operations...We then leveraged ISRIS by combining it with another MITRE development called Cursor on Target (CoT). CoT is a process that automates the exchange of targeting data across a variety of platforms. ISRIS/CoT can run on Web browsers or in any CoT-enabled application to link UAV full-motion video operations in support of joint missions, time-critical targeting efforts, and mission handover. ISRIS/CoT is being used today to support Predator operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“When terrorists or persons of interest cross borders, our military intelligence groups would like to know their identity so they can be tracked. One promising surveillance technology is a biometrics system that uses automated methods for identifying a physiological or a behavioral characteristic that either identifies a person or authenticates a person's claimed identity. And what about our warfighters who have to go into hostile cities? Is it possible for them to efficiently survey the area without setting foot in it? The solution may be autonomous robots that take 3D videos that are combined with simultaneous localization and mapping methods developed by MITRE engineers to give a virtual 3D view from any position….

“Some of our projects in this area include:

“Simultaneous localization and mapping in 3D to enable unmanned vehicles to provide situational awareness in dangerous urban settings…

“Creating new radar tracking algorithms that combine synthetic aperture radar and surface moving target information techniques

“MITRE manages Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) for our sponsors: the Department of Defense (Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration…and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)….Our newest FFRDC, the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute, allows us to continue and enhance our support of DHS and its mission partners…

“MITRE has a long history of supporting the development and evolution of command and control (C2) systems. For more than three decades, MITRE has collaborated with Department of Defense (DoD) sponsors to develop C2 functions that help sponsors plan, direct, and control operations to accomplish their mission.

“The corporation's range of DoD sponsors, from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are served by MITRE's Command and Control Center (C2C), which places special emphasis on creating a joint command, control, and communications system...MITRE has deep expertise in advancing the C2 concept… MITRE has contributed its engineering proficiency to the Air Force's airborne Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) program, performing much of the systems engineering work on the platform's technology.

“Specific work underway includes:

“Cursor on Target (CoT), a machine-to-machine automation that makes time-sensitive targeting quicker and significantly more accurate.

“The Theater Battle Management Core System (TBMCS), a large-scale, software-intensive system that enables an air component commander to plan, direct, and control all theater air operations and to coordinate operations with land, maritime, and special operations elements.

“The Joint Battlespace Infosphere (JBI), an interoperable combat information system that aggregates, integrates, fuses, and intelligently disseminates decision-quality information to all echelons of a Joint Task Force….

“Enhanced C2 capabilities for many organizations, including an upgraded technological and business infrastructure that allows integration with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies. …”

According to The MITRE Corporation’s Form 990 financial filing for the year beginning October 1, 2010 and ending September 30, 2011, Cooper Union President Emeritus Campbell spends 10 hours a week working as a trustee of the MITRE Corporation--at the same time he’s apparently still being paid over $178,000 a year by the trustees of Cooper Union. And, coincidentally, sitting next to former Cooper Union President Campbell on the MITRE Corporation board of trustees are folks like the chairman of the board of The MITRE Corporation, former CIA Director and former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger—who currently is also a Department of Defense and State Department consultant, a Defense Policy Board member, a director of the Sandia National Corporation, and a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Nixon Center.

Also sitting next to former Cooper Union President Campbell on The MITRE Corporation board of trustees is Alfred Grasso, the president and CEO of The MITRE Corporation, who, according to The MITRE Corporation website, is also “director of MITRE’s National Security Engineering Center, responsible for delivering transformational solutions for the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community,” a former “technical director for the Battlefield System Division at MITRE’s Fort Monmouth, New Jersey site,” and an appointed member of the Defense Science Board.” According to The MITRE Corporation’s Form 990 financial filing, Grasso was paid a base annual salary of over $439,000 and a total annual compensation of over $900,000 in 2011 by the “non-profit” MITRE Corporation.

In 2009, The MITRE Corporation on whose board of trustees former Cooper Union President Campbell sits was the recipient of over $694 million worth of Pentagon war contracts, which made it the 45th-largest Department of Defense war contractor in 2009. And in 2011, the total revenues taken in by the “non-profit” MITRE Corporation exceeded $1.3 billion.
(end of part 2)

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