Bush Scandals List

385. Corruption in the missile defense program

Michael Cantrell was an engineer who worked on the Pentagon’s missile defense program (see items 73 and 338) in Hunstville, Alabama. An October 11, 2008 story in the New York Times reports how he and his deputy Doug Ennis got the Pentagon to fund $350 million in worthless projects. Cantrell would pitch his projects to contractors, like Lockheed Martin and pay lobbyists (illegal for civil servants) to sell them to members of Congress. In return, he and Ennis received $1.6 million in kickbacks from contractors and protection from Senators like Ted Stevens (R-AK) (item 223) and Trent Lott (R-MS). Other members of Congress involved in Cantrell’s schemes included Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Representatives Curt Weldon (R-NY) and CW Young (R-FL). At one point, Cantrell supervised a stable of 160 contractors and was handling $120 million worth of business a year for them. His activities spanned the late 1990s to 2007. He and Ennis are currently awaiting sentencing on bribery and conspiracy charges.

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