John Poindexter

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John Poindexter : biography

August 12, 1936 –

Currently he serves on the board of Saffron Technology Inc, which he joined in 2000, and Bright Planet Corporation, which he joined in 2007. With Saffron, Poindexter played a role in Iraq, building a tool to run entity analysis on insurgent networks in the struggle against IEDs.

After 2007 Poindexter branched out from National Security and worked to promote Associative Memory Base technology to civilian government agencies such as the IRS for fraud detection.

Recall to public service

From January 2002 to August 2003, Poindexter served as the Director of the DARPA Information Awareness Office (IAO). The mission of the IAO was to imagine, develop, apply, integrate, demonstrate and transition information technologies, components, and prototype closed-loop information systems. This aimed to counter asymmetric threats (most notably, terrorist threats) by achieving total information awareness and thus aiding preemption; national security warning; and, national security decision making.

Poindexter faced criticism from the media and some politicians about the Policy Analysis Market project, a theoretical prediction market that would have rewarded participants for accurately predicting geopolitical trends in the Middle East. This was portrayed in the media as allowing participants to profit from the assassination of heads of state and acts of terrorism due to such events being mentioned on illustrative sample screens showing the interface. The controversy over the proposed futures market led to a Congressional audit of the IAO in general, which revealed a fundamental lack of concern for privacy protection of American citizens. Funding for the IAO was subsequently cut and Poindexter retired from DARPA on August 12, 2003.

Senior naval career

While commander of a destroyer squadron, he was surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare commander of battle groups in the Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, and he developed new tactics and battle management procedures under the Composite Warfare Commander concept. As the commanding officer of , he pioneered the shipboard use of computers to manage the ship’s force portion of yard overhauls.

He was also an executive officer and a chief engineer of destroyers.

As Deputy Commander of the Naval Education and Training Command, his duties included commanding the United States Navy’s extensive education and training programs, for which he initiated a project to develop a distributed data management system for more efficient management of training pipelines.

His significant staff assignments included: Executive Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and Special Assistant for Systems Analysis to the Secretary of Defense. He reached the temporary rank of Vice Admiral but was allowed to retire in 1987 at the lower rank of Rear Admiral as a result of his role in the Iran–Contra affair.

Iran–Contra affair

Poindexter was convicted on April 7, 1990, of five counts of lying to Congress and obstructing the Congressional investigation into the Reagan Administration’s covert arms sales to Iran and the diversion of proceeds to insurgents fighting the Marxist Government in Nicaragua, later known as the Iran–Contra affair. The convictions were reversed in 1991 on appeal.