Judge William Hedgcock Webster is a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1987-91) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1978-87). Until 2005 he was a senior partner in the law offices Millbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Washington, DC., where he specializes in arbitration, mediation and internal investigation. Webster was appointed to the FBI in the wake of the investigations of the FBI in the mid-1970's, similarly President Reagan called upon him in 1987 as the Iran-Contra investigations were ongoing, and the CIA was facing new and intense pressures. He is a director of the American Arbitration Association and the advisory board of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution and the corporate consultancy Diligence. He is a trustee of Washington University in St. Louis.
In 2006 Webster was appointed as the Chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). According to Naomi Klein as a brand-new arm of the state created by the Bush regime, the HSAC is the clearest expression of a 'wholly outsourced mode of government:
Although the stated goal was fighting terrorism, the effect was the creation of the disaster capitalism complex - a fully fledged new economy in homeland security, privatised war and disaster reconstruction tasked with nothing less than building and running a privatised security state, both at home and abroad. The economic stimulus of this sweeping initiative proved enough to pick up the slack where globalisation and the dotcom booms had left off. Just as the internet had launched the dotcom bubble, 9/11 launched the disaster capitalism bubble. "When the IT industry shut down, post-bubble, guess who had all the money? The government," said Roger Novak of Novak Biddle Venture Partners, a venture capitalism firm that invests in homeland security companies. Now, he says, "Every fund is seeing how big the trough is and asking, 'How do I get a piece of that action?'"
Webster's business interests undermined his credibility to serve in position supposedly crucial to restoring faith in integrity of the US's financial system. Webster was on the board of U.S. Technologies Inc., (UST) a once high-flying Washington firm, which "ceased to exist as a publicly traded company when its stock was de-registered, four months after chief executive C. Gregory Earls was convicted of defrauding investors of $13.8 million." UST used prison labour to manufacture its products and according to the Washington Post:
William H. Webster was chosen to head the federal accounting board panel created in the wake of the scandals at Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. Following news reports that U.S. Technologies had been sued for fraud by investors, Webster withdrew his name from consideration. The brouhaha helped prompt the resignation of Webster's sponsor, Harvey L. Pitt, who was chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission at the time.
According to Nathan Newman, a union lawyer and vice president of the NYC National Lawyers Guild:
Webster also managed to get appointment in the early 1990s to the three-member government panel overseeing corruption in the Teamsters. Yet despite being paid $100,000 per year for the job, paid out of hardworking Teamsters' dues, many union officials have argued that Webster has been doing very little to earn his money. In serving on the board, Webster has clear conflicts of interest, since he serves on the corporate board of Anheuser-Busch, which negotiates contracts with the Teamsters. As well, Webster serves on the board of Pinkerton Security and Investigations Services, notorious in labor history for its strikebreaking. Unions and affiliated groups like the Labor Party have passed resolutions condemning the Teamster review board for allowing Webster to serve in such a position.