Investment banker Maurice Sonnenberg was appointed this week by the Speaker of the House to lead the National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Maurice Sonnenberg is one of those people deeply entrenched in the industrial-military complex, who keep a low public profile yet wield a lot of power in Washington circles [There are few photos of him; here he is seen attending a Gala event at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown.].

He was senior international advisor to global investment bank Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. until its collapse in 2008, which sparked a financial crisis of global proportions. This respectable institution had loaned up to 100 times more money than there was available.

Now that Bear, Stears & Co., Inc. has been purchased by JP Morgan Chase, thanks to a Federal Reserve loan, Maurine Sonnenberg is back at the top of the ladder. Alongside Jean-Louis Bruguière and Sir John Scarlett, he is also adviser to the Chertoff Group, the "risk management" firm owned by his friend Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

Mr Sonnenberg ranks among the key historic figures of neoconservatism. At the end of the 1980s, he was a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM) founded by Democratic senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson to bolster rearmament. Unlike the majority of neoconservatives, he didn’t oscillate opportunistically from one party to the other; but while remaining loyal to his initial preference, he nevertheless embraced the policies promoted by those on the other side of the aisle. In 2003, for example, he was a leading member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq that orchestrated a pro-war campaign predicated on outrageous lies.

In reality, Maurice Sonnenberg is a former U.S. intelligence agent and - at the very least - a close Mossad "sympathiser". In particular, he sat on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during Bill Clinton’s tenure. He is regarded as one of the masterminds of globalisation and economic espionage.

He served uninterruptedly under five U.S. presidents (Carter, Reagan, Bush father, Clinton, Bush junior). He took part in several advisory commissions, including the National Commission on Terrorism on which Paul Bremer III served as chairman and Sonnenberg as vice-chairman. It was there that he had the opportunity to speculate on the consequences of a possible new "Pearl Harbor" and to thrash out ideas on ways to curb terrorism. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, he emerged as an expert sought after by the television media. His recommendations had long since been incorporated in the Anti-Terrorism Code, secretly framed by the Federalist Society and adopted by Congress, emotionally distraught by 9/11, under the label of USA Patriot Act.