Being the president of the Pentagon’s tax-exempt, “non-profit” weapons research think-tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses [IDA], is an even more lucrative job than being the president of the tax-exempt, “non-profit” Teachers College of Columbia University. Between Sept. 2004 and Sept. 2005, for instance, the then-Columbia University Teachers College President, Arthur Levine, was paid a $315,600 annual salary. Yet as early as 2002, the President of IDA, Retired U.S. Air Force General Larry Welch, was being paid an annual salary of $323,979, according to IDA’s Form 990 for the year beginning Sept. 29, 2001 and ending Sept. 27, 2002.
At least ten other IDA executives were also paid annual salaries of over $140,000 in 2002. For instance, the IDA Vice-President for Administration and Finance, Ruth Greenstein, was paid an annual salary of $261,212, while the IDA Vice-President for Planning and Evaluation was paid $212,554. Annual salaries of between $196,889 and $231,076 were also paid to the directors of IDA’s five weapons research divisions in 2002.
In addition, the chairman of the IDA board of trustees, former University of South Carolina President John Palms, was paid an additional $27,100 in 2002 by IDA for his work as IDA board chairman. MIT Professor Sheila Widnall, a former Clinton Administration Secretary of the Air Force, also was paid an additional $10,800 in 2002 by IDA for apparently representing MIT on IDA’s board of trustees in 2002.
Although IDA claims to be a “non-profit” and a “public charity”, from its Pentagon weapons research contracts in 2002 it earned total revenues of $145 million that were $4 million more than the $141 million it had to spend on its weapons research think-tank activity. According to IDA’s 2006 Annual Report, between 1996 and 2006, “Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom was examined” by IDA researchers “for lessons for future joint military operations and for operational test and evaluation programs.”
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