SERCO – The Biggest Company You’ve Never Heard Of
From Australian television [2:49]
If one single company had to be chosen as the exemplar of the military/industrial complex, esnl’s pick would be Serco, a British company created in 1929 as a local branch of Radio Corporation of America.
Today the firm runs air traffic control towers in the U.S., immigration detention centers in Australia, schools and the anti-missile defense system in Britain, and much, much more.
Of special interest to us is the company’s growing role in the espionage world and intelligence world, especially here in the U.S., where it is based in Reston, Virginia, the nation’s capital of corporate spookery.
According to Crocodyl, the company holds contracts with an alphabet soup of three- andfour-letter agencies, including the National Security Agency [NSA}, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency [NGA], the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Office of Naval Intelligence, the Air Force Information Warfare Center, and the Department of Defense.
Here’s an example of the folks who work for Serco, from a new hire announcement posted by the company two years ago:
Serco Inc., a provider of professional, technology, and management services to the federal government, announced today that Maureen Baginski has been named Vice President of the intelligence business and National Security Advisor at Serco.
From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Baginski served as the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence where she was responsible for establishing and managing the FBI’s first-ever intelligence program. Her mission was to adapt FBI intelligence capabilities with information technologies to create an intelligence-sharing operation that could identify threats before they became attacks.
From 1979 to 2003, Ms. Baginski served at the National Security Agency (NSA), where she held a variety of positions, including Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Director, Senior Operations Officer in the National Security Operations Center; Executive Assistant to the Director of NSA/Central Security Service, Chief Officer of the Director; Assistant Deputy Director of Technology and Systems; and lead analyst for the Soviet Union. As SIGINT Director, Ms. Baginski successfully established and directed a unified program to exploit encrypted or denied information on global networks. Leading the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, the Nation’s high technology cryptology organization, she managed a complex and geographically dispersed distributed information production enterprise.
The company’s CEO is an India-born pentecostal Christian [shades of Dinesh D’Souza], and is profiled here by The Guardian’s Janice Martinson in 2006.
The London Daily Telegraph ran a piece about the company last year under this headline:
Have you heard about the company that runs Britain?
It inspects schools, trains our armed forces,
helps protect our borders, maintains our nuclear weapons,
runs our trains and operates our prisons.
And, as Telegraph reporter Graham Ruddick notes, Serco’s CEO is a bloke who sees crises as corporate opportunities:
The financial crisis and subsequent economic slowdown means that governments around the world are contending with increasing demand for high quality services whilst also facing a sharp deterioration in public finances. They continue to experience growing demand for quality services from their citizens.
We believe this is also leading to a greater acceptance of innovative ways of achieving these changes, a broader range of markets to be addressed, and an increase in the size and term of change programmes in order to achieve the scale of efficiencies required.
The outfit’s none too popular with folks at the Linux Magazine Forum, as you’ll see here.
Given that the company runs Britain’s anti-missile program, maintains control of it’s nukes, and has connections at the heart of the American military/industrial complex, the only question we see is this: Is Serco more a sovereign power than it is a typical corporation?
Inquiring minds want to know.