Wayne A. Downing

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Wayne Allan Downing (1940- July 2007) was a former U.S. Army general and director of military-related companies such as Metal Storm Limited. He took part in the Pentagon military analyst program, and was a media adviser and commentator for NBC News. [1]

The Pentagon's military analyst program

After learning of his death, NBC News's Brian Williams wrote that "Downing was a brilliant warrior, a true patriot and a great friend. He was also a trusted adviser to NBC News."[2]

In April 2008 documents obtained by New York Times reporter David Barstow revealed that Downing had been recruited as one of over 75 retired military officers involved in the Pentagon military analyst program. Participants appeared on television and radio news shows as military analysts, and/or penned newspaper op/ed columns. The program was launched in early 2002 by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke. The idea was to recruit "key influentials" to help sell a wary public on "a possible Iraq invasion." [1]

Corporate director

After his retirement Downing was appointed as a director of Metal Storm in October 1999. However he "resigned from the Board in October 2001 following his appointment as U.S. National Director and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism. Following completion of this service, he was re-appointed a director of Metal Storm in October 2002."[3]

A 2005 biographical note states that he "is the Chair of West Point's Combating Terrorism Center and a director of the U.S. based technology company,Science Applications International Corporation.[3]

Lobbying

The U.S. Senate Office of Public Records lists Downing on one lobbying contract: [4]

  • With the firm the SPECTRUM Group, for the client Robertson Aviation. An estimated $80,000 was spent on the lobbying contract in 2003, which involved lobbying the U.S. Senate, House and Defense Department on three bills: S. 1050, H.R. 1588, and H.R. 2658.

Downing also served as an "unpaid lobbyist and adviser to the Iraqi National Congress, an Administration-backed (and bankrolled) opposition group that stands to profit from regime change in Iraq." [5]

War in Iraq

  • "'The Iraqis really have got plans prepared,' said retired US Gen. Wayne Downing, a former commander in chief of the US Special Operations Command, at a recent symposium on Iraq. 'They are ready to take the war ... overseas. They would use whatever means they have to attack us.'"
"Downing also cites the fact the Al Qaeda network believes it is entirely responsible for the economic downturn in the US. That view of its own power, he contends, as well as the US unleashing a military attack against another Muslim country, might lead other terrorist groups to join in. Those could include Hizbullah - the Lebanon-based anti-Israel group that's backed by Iran and Syria - and Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement in the Palestinian territories." October 11, 2002, Christian Science Monitor
"General Wayne A. Downing, U.S. Army (Retired) is a highly decorated combat veteran who retired after a 34-year career in the U.S. Army. While on active duty he served in a variety of command assignments in infantry, armored, special operations, and joint units, culminating in his appointment as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command. He commanded the special operations of all services during the 1989 invasion of Panama and commanded a joint special operations task force operating deep behind the Iraqi lines during Operation DESERT STORM. Following retirement, General Downing was appointed by the President to assess the 1996 terrorist attack on the U.S. base at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and to make recommendations on how to protect Americans and U.S. facilities worldwide from terrorist attack. From 1999-2000, General Downing served as member of the congressionally mandated National Commission on Terrorism (the Bremer Commission) charged with examining the terrorist threat to the US, evaluating America's laws, policies, and practices for preventing and punishing terrorism directed at US citizens, and recommending corrective actions. Most recently, General Downing served in the White House as National Director and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism (Department of Homeland Security). As the President's principal advisor on matters related to combating terrorism, he was responsible for coordinating, developing and executing a strategy that draws on and integrates all elements of national power."[1]
  • On June 27, 2002, the White House announced that General Wayne A. Downing, U.S. Army (Ret.) had resigned his position as Deputy Assistant to the President, National Director and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism:
"Coming out of retirement, General Downing joined the National Security Council staff in October, 2001 with a mandate to organize and staff the NSC's Office of Combating Terrorism and the Office of Homeland Security's Intelligence and Detection Directorate following the attacks of September 11.
"In this position, General Downing coordinated the military, diplomatic, law enforcement, intelligence, financial, and strategic information activities designed to deter, disrupt, and destroy terrorists and those who harbor, protect, or support them. He also worked with the Office of Homeland Security to ensure that our national counterterrorism efforts, domestic and international, are seamless."

Military service

A biographical note states that Downing "retired from active service in the military in 1996 after a distinguished 34-year career in the U.S. Army. He served two combat tours in Vietnam as a junior infantry officer. His career included commands in infantry, armored, airborne, special operation and joint units. He commanded all U.S. special operations forces during the 1989 invasion of Panama and commanded a joint special operations task force during the first Gulf War. General Downing culminated his career as Commander in Chief of the U.S Special Operations Command, where he was responsible for all special operations forces in the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force." [3]

Other affiliations

SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 David Barstow, "Behind Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand," New York Times, April 20, 2008.
  2. Brian Williams, GEn. Wayne A. Downing, 1940-2007: In Memoriam", July 17, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Metal Storm, "Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees", Annual Report 2004, June 15, 2005.
  4. Senate Office of Public Records online database, accessed April 2008.
  5. Daniel Benaim, Priyanka Motaparthy & Vishesh Kumar, "TV's Conflicted Experts," The Nation, April 21, 2003.

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