One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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- A ‘Drain The Swamp’ Test: Will The Trump Admin Reward Amazon’s Killer Cronyism? - July 11, 2019
An ironic thing about government cronyism. Only the hugest companies who need the government help the least – can afford to bribe and buy it.
(This is NOT a call for Little Guy cronyism. We’d like everyone treated equally by the government and the law – per the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.)
Monster company Amazon (Market Cap: $979 billion) seems to have spent its entire existence building to get big enough to cash in on cronyism. A business model that is working wonders. Wherever there is government, there is Amazon getting cronyism.
And prospectively looming before us – is the most monstrous of monster crony deals ever.
“‘According to an internal strategy document…the Pentagon aims to award a 10-year ($10 billion) cloud computing contract…to a single company.…’
The Department of Defense (DoD) is about to outsource the entirety of its digital backup, and they’re about to do it to but one company. Does ANYONE think a single backup is sufficient?
The DoD doesn’t send a single paratrooper out of a plane with just one chute (except for ridiculously low drops – the exception to the rule).
Yet the DoD is about to put every single military man and woman way out on a single-backup, very thin limb. Military men and women in harm’s way, relying on data to stay alive, will only have one backup on which to rely.
When we called this killer cronyism, we weren’t kidding. How on Earth did the DoD arrive at this nonsensical place? Massive Amazon cronyism, natch. Get this from April 2018:
“…makes it much more likely you’ll get government contracts….
“Meet Deap Ubhi….Ubhi’s LinkedIn headline says he works for USDS (a Defense Department sub-agency) – but his employment history says he works as ‘Product Director’ for Defense’s DDS. Sounds like procurement to me.
“And where did Ubhi work immediately prior to government? Why look…uber-Big Tech company Amazon….And Ubhi didn’t just work for Amazon. He worked for Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon’s cloud storage company.”
Get that? Obama’s DoD hired Ubhi…from Amazon’s cloud computing company. And put him in charge of…the DoDs cloud computing outsource contract.
When Ubhi arrived – the contract wisely called for multiple providers. Ubhi transmogrified it – to one provider. And then drafted the contractor description in such a way – only Amazon qualified.
When caught by the Donald Trump Administration, Ubhi recused himself from the contract process – long after he’d already done the requisite Amazon damage.
And two weeks after that, Ubhi quit the DoD – and went back to work for Amazon’s cloud company.
This isn’t cronyism bread crumbs. These are whole loaves strewn between Amazon and the DoD.
The Trump Administration did well catching Ubhi. Most unfortunately, they have otherwise allowed this crooked, crony train to continue rambling down the rails.
We are currently looking at an August awarding of the DoD cloud contract. It is still sole source – and Amazon is still looking like the runaway winner.
And the DoD – chock full of Deep Staters – is surreptitiously, disingenuously defending its cronyism.
“Some of the Pentagon’s leading tech officials warn that further delays in the department’s planned $10 billion cloud contract could damage overall national security posture.”
Get that crooked DoD framing of the issue?
They are passive-aggressively asserting those of us opposed to their cronyism – are opposed to cloud outsourcing.
No…we are opposed to the crony titanic mess you’ve made of it.
And there is a very easy way to end the delay of the contract award.
Un-crony the contract award process.
This is a huge opportunity for the Trump Administration – to keep its very many promises to “Drain the Swamp” of the Deep State cronyism so thoroughly on display here.
Clearly, the DoD is pretending this mess is Situation Normal – and ignoring the All Fouled Up.
Someone in the White House needs to intervene and override the DoD process as currently constituted to end the cronyism and to restore the sanity of multiple providers for the safety of our military men and women. When the Situation is truly Normal we’ll stop opposing. And the delays will end.
[Originally Published at RedState]