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The Carlyle Group: The Most Powerful Company You've Never Heard of

StoryJanuary 04, 2002
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Phil Berrigan

is a longtime peace time activist and a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore.He was just released from prison where he served some 2 years for an anti-nuclear plowshares action in which he andseveral other people hammered on A-10 warthog attack planes. These warplanes generally drop depleted uranium.

We turn now to a story about one of the most powerful companies you’ve never heard of. The company is called TheCarlyle Group and in the wake of the events of September 11th, its power and influence have become significantlystronger. The company operates within the so-called iron-triangle of industry, government and the military. Its listof former and current advisers and associates includes a vast array of some of the most powerful men in America andindeed around the world. It has also brought together the current Secretary of State Colin Powell, former PresidentGeorge Bush, and a man named Bakr Bin Laden-Osama bin Laden’s half brother.

In just a moment we are going to be speaking to Dan Briody from Red Herring magazine. He’s written anextensive piece on the company called: "Carlyle’s Way: Making a Mint Inside "The Iron Triangle" of Defense,Government and Industry." It begins:

"Like everyone else in the United States, the group stood transfixed as the events of September 11 unfolded. Presentwere former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former secretary of state James Baker III, and representatives ofthe bin Laden family. This was not some underground presidential bunker or Central Intelligence Agency interrogationroom. It was the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., the plush setting for the annual investor conference of one ofthe most powerful, well-connected, and secretive companies in the world: the Carlyle Group. And since September 11,this little-known company has become unexpectedly important."

"That the Carlyle Group had its conference on America’s darkest day was mere coincidence, but there is nothingaccidental about the cast of characters that this private-equity powerhouse has assembled in the 14 years since itsfounding… And as the Carlyle investors watched the World Trade towers go down, the group’s prospects went up."


  • Dan Briody, is a Senior Writer for Red Herring Magazine.

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