The Brothers Blue, rolling in green:
... Linden Stanley Blue and James Neal Blue were born to a wealthy family in Colorado during the Great Depression, went to Yale, served as Air Force pilots, and have been involved in some very heavy business activities since then: They've enriched uranium, dumped radioactive waste on a Native American reservation, infiltrated and spied on environmental activists, operated plantations with one of the South America's most brutal dictator clans and tried to turn Telluride, the quaint Colorado ski town, into a giant McTractHome development.
Today the Blue brothers reside in separate mansions in the wealthy, pasty-white beach enclave of La Jolla -- the Beverly Hills of San Diego -- not far from the headquarters of General Atomics. The brothers are both approaching 80, and are extremely wary of the press.
.... But the Blue brothers really came into their own after buying General Atomics from Chevron in 1986 for a reported $60 million.
At the time, General Atomics was a struggling company primarily involved in building civilian nuclear reactors, and losing out to bigger, badder nuclear behemoths like Westinghouse.
After packing their company's "advisory panel” with big names like Reagan's loopy Secretary of State, Gen. Alexander Haig, the Blue brothers began expanding into nuclear-related technologies: nuclear waste disposal, maglev trains and, most lucratively, mining and enriching uranium.
They acquired the largest known uranium deposit in the United States, located in New Mexico. They also bought a decrepit uranium processing facility in Oklahoma that had had a radioactive leak the size of Three Mile Island just a few years earlier. But General Atomics kept operating the leaky facility, cranking out specialized uranium metal used in fuel rods and armor-piercing munitions for five more years before finally shutting it down after the plant experienced yet another major release of radioactive material. An investigation found that ground water near the plant was 35,000 times above the legal limit, and that the company had known the plant was leaking radioactive waste but did nothing.
But cornering the uranium stockpile market for probably nickels on the dollar and dumping U tailings all over were mere chicken scratch, when in 1992 -- below the fold:
The Brothers Blue
Knew that unmanned aerial behicals, UAVs, drones, were going to be the next big thing.
Happens that back in the 1980s an Israeli, Abroham Karem, helped design Israel's first drones for use in the Yom Kippur war. Karem set up a small shop with DARPA funding to replicate and improve the technology on U.S, soil. Karem's little thingamabob was called "The Predator". But the Predator was going nowhere until the Blues, Neal and Linden, came along with their man, former Navy admiral Thomas J. Cassidy Jr.
Guv'ment lobbying big time:
A 2006 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that General Atomics was among the biggest sponsors of congressional trips, outspending other defense contractors by 50 times or more--and that's not counting the roughly $2.5 million a year it spends on lobbying.
Paying off big time: public data show General Atomics took in just under $5 billion from U.S. taxpayers from 2000 to 2009, with current annual revenue estimated at between $600 million and $1 billion, about 80 percent coming from government defense contracts.
General Atomics now dominates 25% of the UAV market. And they are headed to dominate more with a stealth jet bomber drone that will compete with Lockheed Martin's RQ–170 Sentinel.
According to James Risen, Pay Any Price: greed, power and endless war, 2014:
The Blue brothers are among the oligarchs of 9/11, the people who have earned vast wealth from businesses involved in the nation's most controversial counterterror policies and programs. There is an entire class of wealthy company owners, corporate executives, and investors who have gotten rich by enabling the American government to turn to the dark side. But they have done so quietly. They have largely avoided the scrutiny and infamy that dragged down the post 9/11 operators who garnered too much attention, like Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater. The new quiet oligarchs just keep making money.