First Nominee for Corporate Death Penalty: ITT
So I was watching the (inadequate but spectacular by network Nightly standards) NBC report on the ITT Gives Military Secrets to ChiComs By Outsourcing To Make More Profits story:
The agreement caps a bitter years-long investigation by the Department of Defense into the company’s practices — government officials accused ITT and its legal team of delaying the process and failing to fully cooperate.
“In this case, senior leadership in the profit center created an unfriendly atmosphere in compliance,” said John Schoeneweis, a senior agent of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, in an interview on Tuesday. DCIS is a unit of the Defense Department
[snip]The government discovered that ITT (Night Vision) managers created an atmosphere where U.S. export laws were viewed as obstacles to getting business done,” John Brownlee, a U.S. Attorney said in a statement on Tuesday.
Go read, it's fascinating. In a sick, I'm-pretty-sure-I'm-having-a-bad-dream-but-I-can't-seem-to-wake-up sort of way.
But one of those little bells kept ringing at the repeated name "ITT."
I finally got it to shut up when the name Dita Beard floated upwards like a "Reply Hazy: Ask Again Later" tile in a Magic 8-Ball. Sure enough, asking again later turned up (okay, from People's Almanac, but jibes with what I recall from the period)
In May or June, 1971, ITT offered the Nixon Administration $400,000 to finance the Republican national convention in San Diego. In a memo made public the following February by columnist Jack Anderson, lobbyist Dita Beard said that only President Nixon, Attorney General John Mitchell, Bob Haldeman, and California's Lieut. Gov. Edward Reinecke knew of the $400,000 offer.
Oh, the reason was to fend off threatened antitrust charges (children, ask Grandpa was an "antitrust charge" used to be. I know you've never heard the word and they probably don't teach it in school anymore either.) But that's from 1972. Does this convince anyone here that this firm as Learned Its Lesson and will be a good corporate citizen from now on?
Check out the penalty: big headlines said it was "$100 million." It isn't. It's like maybe $50 mil now, or fairly soon, if they remember--and the rest "forgiven on a dollar for dollar basis" if they do some sort of good deed shit on new technology development. Bah.
I say we give this outfit the Niven Jigsaw Treatment, but that may just be me.