View Full Version : Private Military Contractors - Data Dump

Magda Hassan
09-01-2009, 09:07 AM
From Ed. More to come.

War is a Racket: Private Military Contractors


Key early elements of this post are taken from a “data dump” here: http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board/viewtopic.php?t=8573 :

Here is a list of private military contractors. It is not intended to be complete, or definitive. Others may use this for further research or follow-up.

Aegis Defence Services Ltd
Olive Group FZ LLC
International Charters, Inc. (ici)
Blackwater usa
Titan Corp
Zapata Engineering (ordinance handling)
Armor Holdings Inc
Cochise Consultancy
DynCorp International LLC
SAIC-Science Applications Intl Corp.
Special Operations Consulting LLC
Triple Canopy Inc.
Triple Options
MPRI-Military Professional Resources Incorporated
BDM International Inc.
Sandline Ltd.
Executive Outcomes

“The Government Accountability Office reviewed U. S. contracts last year [2005] in an attempt to evaluate the size of the private security business in Iraq. The GAO found that the 22 contracts it reviewed were worth more than $ 766 million, but said none of the principal agencies responsible for Iraq reconstruction had complete data on their security costs. Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association, a Washington-based trade group, estimated that the roughly 100 companies providing support to the military in Iraq are making a total of about $ 20 billion a year. He said some $ 2 billion of that goes to companies, such as Olive, that strictly provide security. Olive Group pulled in more than $ 100 million of it last year — not bad for a company in business only since 2001…”

The trade association in this industry in America is the International Peace Operations Association; Wikipedia has a list of its members:

There is an interview with Doug Brooks, IPOA founder…

Here are some other “snapshots” from the data dump:

“Most of the private security companies are privately held, though DynCorp International LLC, owned by Veritas Capital Fund LP, is planning to sell stock to the public. DynCorp, which has provided security to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, received about 37 percent of its $1.9 billion in revenue in fiscal 2005 from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Triple Canopy, formed in 2003 by military veterans, has made several changes in recent months. It named a new president, Roger A. Young, a former senior executive at Maximus Inc., and established a strategic advisory board, which includes Catherine Yoran, a former assistant general counsel at the CIA. It also unveiled a new strategic plan, which includes expanding its training facility in West Virginia, traditionally used for its own employees.”

in St Bernard Parish

Storm-battered parish considers hired guns
Contractors in Louisiana would make arrests, carry weapons
By Renae Merle
The Washington Post
Updated: 1:06 a.m. ET March 14, 2006

ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. - Maj. Pete Tufaro scanned the fenced lot packed with hundreds of stark white trailers soon to be inhabited by Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Shaking his head, he predicted the cramped quarters would ignite fights, hide criminals and become an incubator for crime, posing another test for his cash-strapped sheriff's department, which furloughed 206 of its 390 officers after the storm.

Tufaro thinks the parish has the solution: DynCorp International LLC, the Texas company that provided personal security to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is one of the largest security contractors in Iraq. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency approves the sheriff's department's proposal, which would cost $70 million over three years, up to 100 DynCorp employees would be deputized to be make arrests, carry weapons, and dress in the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Department khaki and black uniforms.

"You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between us and them," said Tufaro, who developed the proposal.

Blackwater USA, which protected the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and lost four employees in a brutal ambush in Fallujah in 2004, earned about $42 million through the end of December on a contract with Federal Protective Service, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, to provide security to FEMA sites. Most of the 330 contract guards now working in Louisiana are employed by the company.

The Homeland Security Department's Inspector General said the company's costs in its FEMA contract -- it earns $950 a day for each employee -- were "clearly very high," and it expressed hope that competition would lower them. But costs are not the only concerns raised by critics of the companies.

"Katrina broke all of the rules. It was the first time you had the deployment of armed private security contractors in the U.S.," said Peter W. Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of "Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry." That book is savailable online here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=VyIl3fdeadIC&dq=Corporate+Warriors:+The+Rise+of+the+Privatized+ Military+Industry&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=u4KYSqj0NsOy8QaM9fzABQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#v=onepage&q=&f=false

or at Amazon

Here is its Amazon description: “Singer describes three categories of privatized military systems. "Provider firms" (the best known being the now reorganized Executive Outcomes) offer direct, tactical military assistance ranging from training programs and staff services to front-line combat. "Consulting firms," like the U.S.-based Military Professional Resources Inc., draw primarily on retired senior officers to provide strategic and administrative expertise on a contract basis. The ties of such groups to their country of origin, Singer finds, can be expected to weaken as markets become more cosmopolitan. Finally, the overlooked "support firms," like Brown & Root, provide logistic and maintenance services to armed forces preferring (or constrained by budgetary factors) to concentrate their own energies on combat. Singer takes pains to establish the improvements in capability and effectiveness privatization allows, ranging from saving money to reducing human suffering by ending small-scale conflicts. He is, however, far more concerned with privatization's negative implications. Technical issues, like contract problems, may lead to an operation ending without regard to a military rationale. A much bigger problem is the risk of states losing control of military policy to militaries outside the state systems, responsible only to their clients, managers, and stockholders, Singer emphasizes. So far, private military organizations have behaved cautiously, but there is no guarantee will continue. Nor can the moralities of business firms be necessarily expected to accommodate such niceties as the laws of war. Singer recommends increased oversight as a first step in regulation, an eminently reasonable response to a still imperfectly understood development in war making.”
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

“Boasts MPRI executive retired Army Lt. Gen. Harry E. Soyster, most prominent of the private contractors: "We've got more generals per square foot here than in the Pentagon."

“MPRI, founded in 1988 by former Army Chief of Staff Carl Vuono & 7 other retired generals, has trained militaries throughout the world under contract to the Pentagon. It counts 20 former senior military officers on its board of directors. The firm operates from a bland office building in Alexandria, VA., its halls as hushed as an insurance firm. Decor betrays its founders' tough credentials . A statue of a knight in armor stands in a corner of the lobby. MPRI's emblem is an unsheathed sword.

"These guys are not about to destroy reputations they've spent 30 years building just for a buck," said Soyster, who once headed the Defense Intelligence Agency. "We go someplace because we are either sent there by the U. S. govt or we're contracted by another govt. We do it for the money, I'm not ashamed to say. But we do it right."
The financial rewards presumably beat Pentagon salaries. Since 9.11.01, per-share price of stock in L3 Communications, which owns MPRI, has more than doubled. The top 5 executives at Science Applications Intl Corp. of San Diego made between $825,000 and $1.8 million in salaries in 2001, and each held more than $1.5 million worth of stock options.

Revenues from the global international security market, of which the firms are a part, are expected to rise from $55.6 billion in 1990 to $202 billion in 2010, according to a 1997 study by Equitable Services Corp., security industry analyst. Renting trained killers dates back hundreds of years; privately recruited regiments were common in the U. S. Civil War. But selling military expertise has roots in Vietnam, when commercial teams funded by the Pentagon provided military & police training to South Vietnamese forces.
In 1975, McLean, VA based Vinnell Corp. won a $77-million contract to train Saudi Arabian infantry & artillery battalions to defend oil fields. It was the first time American civilians were permitted to sell military training directly to a foreign military. The job was controversial, and Senate Democrats held hearings. But the contract stuck. Other similar firms began to emerge. End of cold war led to dramatic growth. Suddenly, there was a pool of skilled former officers, some from Special Forces units, eager to sell the expertise they had developed as relatively low-paid soldiers. They found a ready market at the Pentagon, and in dozens of countries in Africa, Asia and the former Soviet sphere eager to professionalize their militaries.

The major U. S. firms in the field include MPRI, Vinnell, BDM International Inc. of Fairfax, Va., Armor Holdings Inc. of Jacksonville FL.; DynCorp of Reston, Va., and SAIC. Armor Holdings was among Fortune magazine's 100 fastest-growing companies in 1999 and 2000, one of the few firms on the list not related to technology. The people they hire are hardly soldiers of fortune. They are generally former military officers with 20 to 30 years of experience, generously pensioned retirees for whom the money is just part of the allure.

Many describe their work as public service, a way to practice military diplomacy. Often they freelance, taking on contracts that send them abroad for a year or so. They train armies how to use such complex hardware as armored personnel carriers, surface-to-air missiles, shoulder-fired antitank missiles, ships and aircraft, and other equipt typically sold to foreign armies by U.S.. They prep officers in military strategy, run battle simulation centers, and have helped support peacekeeping efforts in troubled regions under contract to the Pentagon & State Dept.

MPRI has trained military forces in dozens of countries, including Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Colombia. DynCorp trained the Haitian police force after the 1994 U. S. intervention in the island nation. MPRI & several other firms, under contract to the State Dept, established the African Ctr for Strategic Studies to teach fledgling democracies how to run professional armies. French Foreign Legion they are not. "One leitmotif of the business is how boring the individual jobs can be on almost all of the contracts that the big U. S. firms have. It is like being in the peacetime Army, Navy or Air Force," said one Special Forces former member, airborne infantry who for more than 2 decades has trained foreign militaries in Indochina & the MidEast. "I'm not a mercenary," this trainer said. "I like excitement, but I have to be on the side of angels. Do not look for me to look for excitement working on the side of vicious people."

But even the most polished of the firms have blemished histories. Employees of DynCorp were fired after being accused 2 years ago of keeping Bosnian women as concubines. Companies hired by the CIA in the 1980s trained foreign fighters later charged with atrocities in El Salvador and Honduras. When the firms are hired by the Pentagon or State Dept, as they would be in Afghanistan, their work is audited and sometimes supervised by U.S. military personnel, a process the State Dept says helps prevent abuse. But when they sell their services directly to other countries, there are minimal controls.
The only U. S. regulation of such foreign contracts is through the State Dept, which issues export licenses under the Arms Export Control Act. The law regulates the sale of military services just as it does the export of a crate of guns.

The dept reviews applications to ensure that no sales are made or services performed that would "undercut U. S. interests," spokesman Jason Greer said. The firms say this prevents them from working with govts that the U. S. disapproves of. When MPRI tried to get a license to train the Angolan army in 1994, for example, the State Dept turned it down.

But Congress is notified only of contracts worth more than $50 million. Sometimes there are conflicting views of what is in the U. S. interest. Once a license is granted, there are no reporting requirements or oversight of work that typically lasts years and takes the firms' employees to remote, lawless areas. In 1998, MPRI applied for a license to help the govt of Equatorial Guinea build its coast guard. The tiny African country is run by a military dictator who has been implicated in human rights abuses. It has no U. S. Embassy. The contract was initially rejected by 2 State Dept desks, according to a dept official & Soyster. But the decision was reversed 2 years later after MPRI lobbyists argued that if it was not allowed to do the job, a competitor from another country would.
"There are people who think you should not help people, that they don't deserve to be helped, even though they want to make a change," Soyster said. "We say, don't let past mistakes get in the way of doing something that should be done today." Even when doing the job they describe, the firms' role is sometimes cloudy. In 1995, during a UN embargo on arms sales to Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia, MPRI persuaded the State Dept to grant it a license to train Croatia's military, pledging that it would teach only leadership skills, budgeting and military ethics. When the Croatian military, in a highly effective offensive called Operation Storm, captured the Serb-held Krajina enclave later that year, there were suspicions that MPRI instructors must have been directly involved. The operation played a key role in reversing the tide of war against the Serbs and, consistent with American policy, in bringing both sides to the negotiating table. But the same Croatian military was subsequently implicated in uprooting more than 150,000 Serbs from their homes.

The company denies that its employees played any direct role in the Croatian army's sudden transformation into an effective fighting force. "I can assure you if we had the capability to train an army in a month to turn it around that fast, I wouldn't be talking to you, I'd be flying you over to the Riviera on the way to see it for yourself," Soyster said. "If we could do that to Croatia, we could straighten out Afghanistan in a couple of months." But critics charge that the help MPRI provided the Croatians may have allowed the U. S. to secretly influence events in the war while maintaining its neutral posture and without sending U. S. troops, advisors or trainers.

"MPRI had all these different meetings with top Croatian defense officials right before the offensive. It's inconceivable that they did not have some kind of impact," said one military analyst who has followed the company's involvement in the Balkans. "It was followed by massive ethnic cleansing. Now, had American troops been on the ground, we would have been held accountable for that. The fact that it was a private company made the connection a lot less clear." The line between training foreign troops and fighting with them sometimes blurs.”

“… the government is in the midst of its most radical privatization in history, and companies like Blackwater are becoming ever more deeply embedded in the war apparatus. Until this system is brought down, the world's the limit for Blackwater Worldwide--and as its rebranding campaign shows, Blackwater knows it.”

www.sjcite.info/gurkha.html (http://www.sjcite.info/gurkha.html) 23 Nov 2005

There is a thread on the Blackwater Case here:


From SourceWatch (most of the links stay within SourceWatch):
“… the phenomena of private companies offering services (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Outsourcing) on the world market that have normally been duties of national military forces or involve armed security detail for business in unstable regions.

These services include risk advisory, training of local forces, armed site security, cash transport, intelligence services, workplace and building security, war zone security needs, weapons procurement, personnel and budget vetting, armed support, air support, logistical support, maritime security, cyber security, weapons destruction, prisons (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Prison-industrial_complex), surveillance (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Surveillance), psychological warfare (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Psyops), propaganda tactics (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Propaganda), covert operations (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Covert_operations), close protection and investigations.

The industry is growing with some estimating annual contracts in the $10-$20 billion range and others citing numbers as high as $100 billion.

The single largest issue introduced by the evolution of military services by the private sector is the degree to which corporations (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Corporation) are now transcending the power of governments, rising as an influential variable within international and regional diplomacy, and redefining sovereignty in the 21st century. Advocates of the industry claim they are economically efficient and point towards the failure of the UN (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=UN) and the system of world governments to cease violence, genocide (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Genocide) and civil war around the world. Those who are cautious of the emerging industry see this market as an encroachment into inherent government functions and question the real economic efficiency heralded as a true result of privatization (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Privatization). And there are, of course, many in between, who see benefits and drawbacks to the variety of services out there now on the world market.
The war in Iraq (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=2003_invasion_of_Iraq) and Afghanistan (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Operation_Enduring_Freedom) along with the promised long global war against terror (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=War_on_terror) has created a boom (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Globalization_of_Iraq) in the security and risk advisory market. Trained and experienced military personnel from Special Forces units in the US, UK, Israel (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Israel) and South Africa (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=South_Africa) are retiring to take part. The same is true for the intelligence agencies (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=List_of_intelligence_agencies) as companies aiding business ventures in Iraq like GlobalOptions (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Global_Options%2C_Inc.) and Diligence (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Diligence%2C_LLC) see executives on the boards from the CIA (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=CIA), DIA (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=DIA), FBI (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=FBI), the Secret Service (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Secret_Service), FEMA (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=FEMA) and MI6 (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=MI6&action=edit).
Many companies are subsidiaries of larger firms. MPRI and Titan (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Titan_Corporation) were bought by L-3 Communications (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=L-3_Communications) which is traded on the NYSE. Defence Systems Limited was bought by Armor Holdings, Inc. (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Armor_Holdings%2C_Inc.), renamed ArmorGroup (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ArmorGroup) than bought out by its board. Group 4 Securicor (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Group_4_Securicor) is a merger between Group 4 Falck and the Wackenhut Corporation (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Wackenhut_Corporation) providing services from armed prison guards to guarding embassies to supplying electronic surveillance. Computer Sciences Corporation (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Computer_Sciences_Corporation) acquired DynCorp (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=DynCorp).
Many of these companies, while paid with taxpayer money when working under government contracts, are often registered offshore somewhere, escaping tax on many profits (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Socialization_of_costs_and_privati zation_of_profits) from re-entering (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Corporate_inversion) the representative, public Treasury (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Department_of_the_Treasury).


"Since 1994, the U.S. Defense Department (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Defense_Department) has entered into 3,061 contracts with 12 of the 24 U.S.-based PMCs identified by ICIJ, a review of government documents showed. Pentagon records valued those contracts was more than $300 billion. More than 2,700 of those contracts were held by just two companies: Kellogg Brown & Root (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Kellogg_Brown_and_Root) and Booz Allen Hamilton (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Booz_Allen_Hamilton). Because of the limited information the Pentagon (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Pentagon) provides and the breadth of services offered by some of the larger companies, it was impossible to determine what percentage of these contracts was for training, security or logistical services." [10] (http://www.publicintegrity.org/bow/report.aspx?aid=148)

The Center for Public Integrity (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_Public_Integrity): Making A Killing: The Business of Wa (http://www.publicintegrity.org/bow/default.aspx)r

In 2002, Peter W. Singer wrote the following in "Corporate Warriors: The Rise and Ramifications of the Privatized Military Industry" (http://www.brook.edu/views/articles/singer/20020128.htm) by Peter W. Singer. (Links to 91K/46 page .pdf file.)

"With the rise of the privatized military industry, actors in the global system can access capabilities that extend across the entire spectrum of military activity-from a team of commandos to a wing of fighter jets-simply by becoming a business partner."? (pg. 1-2)

"Many PMFs operate as "virtual companies." Similar to Internet firms that limit their expenditure on fixed (brick and mortar) assets, most PMFs do not maintain standing forces but draw from databases of qualified personnel and specialized subcontractors on a contract-by-contract basis." (pg. 15)

"The unrestricted access to military services ushered in by the rise of the privatized military industry has clearly enhanced the role of nonstate groups which at one time had been at a disadvantage in a system dominated by states. PMFs provide these groups with new options and new paths to power not imagined until very recently." (pg. 31)

"The ultimate problem with PMFs is that they diffuse responsibility. Questions about who monitors, regulates, and punishes employees or companies that go astray are still to be fully answered. That many of these firms are chartered in offshore accounts (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Tax_and_Investment_O rganization) complicates the matter further." (pg. 34)

In "Transfering Costs of War to Latin America is Morally, Politically Wrong" (http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/10763907.htm?1c) in The Miami Herald, January 29, 2005, Geoff Thale observes:

"In El Salvador, the security firms are said to be pleased with the candidates they have found. Many of them served in the Salvadoran armed forces; they are highly motivated, because they are being paid several times what they could earn in the Salvadoran economy; and they are cheap, because even paying five times what an average Salvadoran earns means that the security firms are paying far less than they would have to pay to recruit U.S. civilians to do this work."

"The U.S. military contracts out elements of security operations to U.S. companies, who recruit relatively low-cost Latin Americans to fill the jobs. The contractors keep labor costs down, thus helping their bottom line. The Latin Americans are poor, need the work and benefit from what are -- by their standards -- high salaries."

"Latin America and other less-developed regions shouldn't serve as a cheap labor pool to recruit people for dangerous jobs that are part of the U.S. military mission in Iraq. It may be tempting to pay others to take risks for us. It may be particularly tempting to pay people from foreign countries such as El Salvador, Colombia or Chile, so that we don't experience the human cost of casualties or deaths ourselves. But it's not morally acceptable."

"U.S. military and government officials are attempting to avoid paying the political cost in the United States of the war in Iraq by hiring poor Latin Americans to do part of the fighting and the dying in place of U.S. citizens. Whether one supports or opposes the U.S. war in Iraq, one can agree that it is the U.S. military that ought to bear the burden of fighting a war that the United States initiated. Allies may join in and send their own troops in support if they so choose. But U.S. contractors working for the Pentagon shouldn't be recruiting civilians in Latin America to bear the burden of carrying out a U.S. military mission."

"When a U.S. soldier is wounded or killed in combat, his or her family, neighbors and community feel the weight of the war and ask themselves, Is it worth it? In a democracy such as the United States, it is important for citizens to share the burden related to military action abroad, feel the impact and make the judgment about whether it's worthwhile."

Creating distance

The July 3, 2003 cover feature, Soldiers of Good Fortune (http://www.indyweek.com/durham/2003-07-23/cover.html) by Barry Yeoman for The Independent Weekly makes the following assertions:

"Private military corporations become a way to distance themselves and create what we used to call 'plausible deniability,'" says Daniel Nelson, a former professor of civil-military relations at the Defense Department's Marshall European Center for Security Studies. "It's disastrous for democracy."

"The lack of oversight alarms some members of Congress. "Under a shroud of secrecy, the United States is carrying out military missions with people who don't have the same level of accountability," says Rep. Jan Schakowsky (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Jan_Schakowsky) (D-Ill.), a leading congressional critic of privatized war. "We have individuals who are not obligated to follow orders or follow the Military Code of Conduct. Their main obligation is to their employer, not to their country."

"An analysis shows that 17 of the nation's leading private military firms have invested more than $12.4 million in congressional and presidential campaigns since 1999."

"In 2001, according to the most recent federal disclosure forms, 10 private military companies spent more than $32 million on lobbying (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Lobbying)."

"Federal law bans U.S. soldiers from participating in Colombia's war against left-wing rebels and from training army units with ties to right-wing paramilitaries infamous for torture and political killings. There are no such restrictions on for-profit companies, though, and since the late 1990s, the United States has paid private military companies an estimated $1.2 billion, both to eradicate coca crops and to help the Colombian army put down rebels who use the drug trade to finance their insurgency."

"The Pentagon has become so dependent (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Operation_Iraqi_Freedom:_U.S._mili tary_readiness) on private military companies that it literally cannot wage war without them. Troops already rely on for-profit contractors to maintain 28 percent of all weapons systems."

"There are some weapons systems that the U.S. military forces do not have the capability to do their own maintenance on," concedes David Young, a deputy commander at the Defense Contract Management Agency."

[edit (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Private_Military_Corporations&action=edit&section=8)]

Lt. Col. Tim Spicer (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tim_Spicer) makes the following remarks in his book, An Unorthodox Soldier: Peace and War and the Sandline Affair:

"Another frequent allegation about PMCs is that they are "not accountable." Not accountable to whom? World opinion? Outside politicians? I can only speak for Sandline (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Sandline_International), but we are always accountable, to our own policies and ethos and to our client government, with whom we always have a binding contract."? (pg. 24)

"[T]he majority of legitimate PMCs are quite capable of continuing to operate and grow without the introduction of a regulatory regime (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Deregulation). PMCs will accept external regulation if it is manageable and adds to their commercial aspirations and operational effectiveness. [ ] I would suggest that since PMCs operate in an international setting and in high-risk, volatile situations, the sort of heavy-handed regulation employed in other areas of public concern might not be entirely appropriate." (pg. 27)

"Any PMC must adhere to the law of armed conflict, as defined by the Geneva Convention (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Geneva_Conventions), and show a respect for human dignity and human rights. Although our operatives are always enlisted in the forces of the governments who employ us, not least to ensure a clear chain of command, if one of our people were told, for example, to attack a village, an action which would unnecessarily endanger innocent lives, he would not do it." (pg. 53)

Related SourceWatch articles

Abu Ghraib (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Abu_Ghraib)
Blackwater Watch (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Blackwater_Watch)
British Association of Private Security Companies (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=British_Association_of_Private_Sec urity_Companies)
Coalition Provisional Authority (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Coalition_Provisional_Authority)
Col. Theodore S. Westhusing (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Col._Theodore_S._Westhusing)
Coup Attempt in Equatorial Guinea (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Coup_Attempt_in_Equatorial_Guinea)
Defense contractors (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Defense_contractors)
DESECON (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=DESECON) - Defence and Security Consultants
Facilities engineering (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Facilities_engineering)
International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Convention_Against_t he_Recruitment%2C_Use%2C_Financing_and_Training_of _Mercenaries)
International Peace Operations Association (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Peace_Operations_Ass ociation)
Loose Cannon Pentagon (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Loose_Cannon_Pentagon)
Military-industrial complex (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Military-industrial_complex)
Northrop Grumman (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Northrop_Grumman)
Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Office_of_the_Coordinator_for_Reco nstruction_and_Stabilization)
Post-war Iraq (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Post-war_Iraq)
Prison-industrial complex (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Prison-industrial_complex)
Private Security Company Association of Iraq (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Private_Security_Company_Associati on_of_Iraq)
Privatization of Iraq (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Privatization_of_Iraq)
Reconstruction of Iraq contractors (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Reconstruction_of_Iraq_contractors )
Simon Mann (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Simon_Mann)
Surveillance-industrial complex (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Surveillance-industrial_complex)
Joe Ryan Abu Ghraib diary April 2004 (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Joe_Ryan_Abu_Ghraib_diary_April_20 04)
Tim Spicer (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tim_Spicer)
War in Iraq (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=War_in_Iraq)
War profiteering (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=War_profiteering)

Corporate warriors: the rise of the privatized military industry

By Peter Warren Singer




Private Military Contractors Writing the News?
The Pentagon's Propaganda at Its Worst
By Liliana Segura (http://www.alternet.org/authors/8550/), AlterNet (http://www.alternet.org/). Posted October 17, 2008.

“the so-called "War on Terror" has cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in propaganda costs alone.”

http://www.alternet.org/world/103345/private_military_contractors_writing_the_news_the_ pentagon%27s_propaganda_at_its_worst/

Senator Barack Obama then introduced companion legislation in the Senate, the Security Contractor Accountability Act of 2007 (S. 2147). ... but it died in committee.

Contractor Accused of Death Threats (http://www.military.com/news/article/August-2009/contractor-accused-of-death-threats.html) 28 Aug 2009 A military contractor under investigation on allegations he overbilled and did faulty repair work on Navy and Army aircraft has been charged with threatening to kill witnesses in the case, according to a complaint unsealed Thursday. Keith E. Shaw, owner of Shaw Aero in Louisville, traveled to Tennessee to buy explosives as part of a plot to blow up his former business partner's plane, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by an investigator for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Remember also the role of the private firms CACI and Titan in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.

See also


At http://www.american-buddha.com (http://www.american-buddha.com/) (requires registration)
There is also a list of CIA cut-out companies (? Age and accuracy) as well as other files on “the invisible government (ontelligence community)”


by John Connolly

SPY Magazine - Sept 1992 - Volume 6


“What? A big private company -- one with a board of former CIA, FBI and Pentagon officials; one in charge of protecting Nuclear-Weapons facilities, nuclear reactors, the Alaskan oil pipeline and more than a dozen American embassies abroad; one with long-standing ties to a radical right-wing organization; one with 30,000 men and women under arms -- secretly helped IRAQ in its effort to obtain sophisticated weapons? And fueled unrest in Venezuela? This is all the plot of a new best-selling thriller, right? Or the ravings of some overheated conspiracy buff, right? Right?

“George Wackenhut had two personal attributes that were instrumental in the company's growth. First, he got along exceptionally well with important politicians. He was a close ally of Florida governor Claude Kirk, who hired him to combat organized crime in the state; and was also friends with Senator George Smathers, an intimate of John F. Kennedy's. It was Smathers who provided Wackenhut with his big break when the senator's law firm helped the company find a loophole in the Pinkerton law, the 1893 federal statute that had made it a crime for an employee of a private detective agency to do work for the government. Smathers's firm set up a wholly owned subsidiary of Wackenhut that provided only guards, not detectives. Shortly thereafter, Wackenhut received multimillion-dollar contracts from the government to guard Cape Canaveral and the Nevada nuclear-bomb test site, the first of many extremely lucrative federal contracts that have sustained the company to this day.

The second thing that helped make George Wackenhut successful was that he was, and is, a hard-line right-winger. He was able to profit from his beliefs by building up dossiers on Americans suspected of being Communists or merely left-leaning -- "subversives and sympathizers," as he put it -- and selling the information to interested parties. According to Frank Donner, the author of "Age of Surveillance", the Wackenhut Corporation maintained and updated its files even after the McCarthyite hysteria had ebbed, adding the names of antiwar protesters and civil-rights demonstrators to its list of "derogatory types." By 1965, Wackenhut was boasting to potential investors that the company maintained files on 2.5 million suspected dissidents -- one in 46 American adults then living.”

“It is not possible to overstate the special relationship Wackenhut enjoys with the federal government. It is close. When it comes to security matters, Wackenhut in many respects *is* the government. In 1991, a third of the company's $600-million in revenues came from the federal government, and another large chunk from companies that themselves work for the government, such as Westinghouse.
Wackenhut is the largest single company supplying security to U.S. embassies overseas; several of the 13 embassies it guards have been in important hotbeds of espionage, such as Chile, Greece and El Salvador. It also guards nearly all the most strategic government facilities in the U.S., including the Alaskan oil pipeline, the Hanford nuclear-waste facility, the Savannah River plutonium plant and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Wackenhut maintains an especially close relationship with the federal government in other ways as well. While early boards of directors included such prominent personalities of the political right as Captain Eddie Rickenbacker; General Mark Clark and Ralph E. Davis, a John Birch Society leader, current and recent members of the board have included much of the country's recent national-security directorate: former FBI director Clarence Kelley; former Defense secretary and former CIA deputy director Frank Carlucci: former Defense Intelligence Agent director General Joseph Carroll; former U.S. Secret Service director James J. Rowley; former Marine commandant P. X. Kelley; and acting chairman of President Bush's foreign-intelligence advisory board and former CIA deputy director Admiral Bobby Ray Inman. Before his appointment as Reagan's CIA director, the late William Casey was Wackenhut's outside legal counsel. The company has 30,000 armed employees on its payroll.
We wanted to know more about this special relationship; but the government was not forthcoming. Repeated requests to the Department of Energy for an explanation of how one company got the security contracts for nearly all of America's most strategic installations have gone unanswered.”

“We have spoken to numerous experts, including current and former CIA agents and analysts, current and former agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and current and former Wackenhut executives and employees, all of whom have said that in the mid-1970's, after the Senate Intelligence Committee's revelations of the CIA's covert and sometimes illegal overseas operations, the agency and Wackenhut grew very, very close. Those revelations had forced the CIA to do a housecleaning, and it became CIA policy that certain kinds of activities would no longer officially be performed. But that didn't always mean that the need or the desire to undertake such operations disappeared. And that's where Wackenhut came in.
Our sources confirm that Wackenhut has had a long- standing relationship with the CIA, and that it has deepened over the last decade or so. Bruce Berckmans, who was assigned to the CIA station in Mexico City, left the agency in January 1975 (putatively) to become a Wackenhut international-operations vice president. Berckmans, who left Wackenhut in 1981, told SPY that he has seen a formal proposal George Wackenhut submitted to the CIA to allow the agency to use Wackenhut offices throughout the world as fronts for CIA activities. Richard Babayan, who says he was a CIA contract employee and is currently in jail awaiting trial on fraud and racketeering charges, has been cooperating with federal and congressional investigators looking into illegal shipments of nuclear-and-chemical-weapons-making supplies to Iraq. "Wackenhut has been used by the CIA and other intelligence agencies for years," he told SPY. "When they [the CIA] need cover, Wackenhut is there to provide it for them."
“We have uncovered considerable evidence that Wackenhut carried the CIA's water in fighting Communist encroachment in Central America in the 1980s (that is to say, during the Reagan administration when the CIA director was former Wackenhut lawyer William Casey, the late superpatriot who had a proclivity for extralegal and illegal anti-Communist covert operations such as Iran-contra). In 1981, Berckmans, the CIA agent turned Wackenhut vice president, joined with other senior Wackenhut executives to form the company's Special Projects Division. It was this division that linked up with ex-CIA man John Phillip Nichols, who had taken over the Cabazon Indian reservation in California, as we described in a previous article ["Badlands," April 1992], in pursuit of a scheme to manufacture explosives, poison gas and biological weapons -- and then, by virtue of the tribe's status as a sovereign nation, to export the weapons to the contras.”

“In addition to attempted weapons supply, Wackenhut seems to have been involved in Central Americain other ways. Ernesto Bermudez who was Wackenhut's director of international operations from 1987 to '89, admitted to SPY that during 1985 and '86 he ran Wackenhut's operations in El Salvador, where he was in charge of 1,500 men. When asked what 1 ,500 men were doing for Wackenhut in El Salvador, Bermudez replied coyly, "Things." Pressed, he elaborated: "Things you wouldn't want your mother to know about." It's worth noting that Wackenhut's annual revenues from government contracts -- the alleged reward for cooperation in the government's clandestine activities -- increased by 150 million, a 45 percent jump, while Ronald Reagan was in office.”

“Wackenhut's connection to the CIA and to other government agencies raises several troubling questions:
First, is the CIA using Wackenhut to conduct operations that it has been forbidden to undertake? Second, is the White House or some other party in the executive branch working through Wackenhut to conduct operations that it doesn't want Congress to know about? Third, has Wackenhut's cozy relationship with the government given it a feeling of security-or worse, an outright knowledge of sensitive or embarrassing information-that allows the company to believe that it can conduct itself as though it were above the law? A congressional investigation into Wackenhut's activities in the Alyeska affair last November began to shed some light on Wackenhut's way of doing business; clearly it's time for Congress to investigate just how far Wackenhut's other tentacles extend.”


“Having expanding into providing food services (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_service) for U.S. prisons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisons) in the 1960s, Wackenhut in 1984 launched a subsidiary to design and manage jails (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison) and detention centers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detention_center) for the burgeoning private prison (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_prison) market. Wackenhut then became that nation's second largest for-profit prison operator. Although the corrections division was financially successful, critics claimed that the company's guards abused inmates in Florida (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida), Texas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas), New Mexico (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico), and Louisiana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana).[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]
In 1999, Wackenhut was stripped from a $12-million-a-year contract in Texas and fined $625,000 for failing to live up to promises in the running of a state jail; moreover, several guards were indicted for having sex with female inmates.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] In Fort Lauderdale, Florida (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Lauderdale,_Florida), five guards at a Wackenhut work-release (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work-release) facility were fired or punished for having sex with inmates.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] In April 1999 the state of Louisiana took over the running of Wackenhut's 15-month-old juvenile prison (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Juvenile_prison&action=edit&redlink=1) after the U.S. Justice Department (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Justice_Department) accused Wackenhut of subjecting its young inmates to "excessive abuse and neglect."[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] In the same year a New Mexico legislative report called for a near-total revamp of prison operations, including two run by Wackenhut.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] U.S. journalist Gregory Palast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Palast) commented on the case: "New Mexico's privately operated prisons are filled with America's impoverished, violent outcasts — and those are the guards."[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wackenhut#cite_note-palast-1)[ http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=868 ] He catalogued lax background checks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_check) before hiring guards, which led to several alleged cases of guards physically and sexually abusing inmates. In the U.S., Wackenhut has appeared in the federal courts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_courts) 62 times since 1999, largely resulting from prisoners' claims of human rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights) abuses.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wackenhut#cite_note-palast-1) The company has been accused of trying to maximise profits in its private prisons at the expense of drug rehabilitation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_rehabilitation), counselling and literacy programs. In 1995 Wackenhut was investigated for diverting $700,000 intended for drug treatment programs at a Texas prison.”
“Frequent rumors that his company was in the employ of the Central Intelligence Agency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency), particularly in the 1960s, were never substantiated, but Wackenhut, who was obsessive about high-tech security gadgets in his private life, did not discourage the suggestion. Several of his senior executives were former CIA operatives, and his company's board of directors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_of_directors) included former FBI director Clarence M. Kelley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_M._Kelley), former National Security Agency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency) director Bobby Ray Inman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Ray_Inman), and former Defense secretary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary_of_Defense) and deputy CIA director Frank Carlucci (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Carlucci).[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] On rare occasions, the company's clandestine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clandestine_operation) work did land in the headlines.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)] In 1991, a U.S. House of Representatives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._House_of_Representatives) committee investigated charges that a Wackenhut executive, working for a consortium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consortium) of oil companies, illegally spied on a whistleblower (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower), former independent oil executive Chuck Hamel (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chuck_Hamel&action=edit&redlink=1), exposing environmental damage caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill).[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wackenhut#cite_note-O.27Don-3) The executive, who had also discussed trying to implicate a California (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California) congressman in his sting, resigned immediately after a meeting with George Wackenhut.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]”

'They were war crimes.' Blackwater Founder Accused in Court of Intent to Kill (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/28/AR2009082803782.html) 29 Aug 2009 The founder of Blackwater USA deliberately caused the deaths of innocent civilians in a series of shootings in Iraq, attorneys for Iraqis suing the security contractor mercenaries told a federal judge Friday. The attorneys singled out Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL who is the company's owner, for blame in the deaths of more than 20 Iraqis between 2005 and 2007. Six former Blackwater guards were criminally charged in 14 of the shootings, and family members and victims' estates sued Prince, Blackwater (now called Xe Services LLC) and a group of related companies. "The person responsible for these deaths is Mr. Prince,'' Susan L. Burke, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. [B]"He had the intent, he provided the weapons, he provided the instructions, and they were done by his agents and they were war crimes.''
Contractor Accused of Death Threats (http://www.military.com/news/article/August-2009/contractor-accused-of-death-threats.html) 28 Aug 2009 A military contractor under investigation on allegations he overbilled and did faulty repair work on Navy and Army aircraft has been charged with threatening to kill witnesses in the case, according to a complaint unsealed Thursday. Keith E. Shaw, owner of Shaw Aero in Louisville, traveled to Tennessee to buy explosives as part of a plot to blow up his former business partner's plane, according to an affidavit filed in federal court by an investigator for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Blackwater Tapped Foreigners on Secret CIA Program (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/WireStory?id=8446378) --Nearly a dozen Blackwater 'surrogates' were recruited to join the Blackwater-CIA death squad program. 30 Aug 2009 When the CIA revived a plan to kill or capture terrorists in 2004, the agency turned to the well-connected security company mercenaries then known as Blackwater USA... The former senior CIA official said that close to a dozen Blackwater "surrogates" were recruited to join the death squad program. The recruits, the former official said, were not told they were working for the CIA. The program reportedly cost millions of dollars over an eight-year span.

April 02, 2009 (http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2009/4/2)

AMY GOODMAN: Who heads up Triple Canopy?
JEREMY SCAHILL: It was founded by former Special Forces operatives from the US Army. They were minor contributors to the Bush/Cheney campaign, but not real big political players. They clearly started the company as a result of the US invasion in Iraq. They started it in 2003. By 2004, they got one of the primary contracts in Iraq.
An interesting fact about Triple Canopy is that it was one of the big three US companies. Triple Canopy, DynCorp, and Blackwater shared this mother contract. Blackwater had the biggest share of it, to guard US officials in the Baghdad area. DynCorp had the north of Iraq. Triple Canopy had the south of Iraq.
Triple Canopy also, though, did a very lucrative business servicing other war contractors like KBR, and Triple Canopy was also known for being the company that brought in the largest number of so-called third country nationals, non-Iraqis, non-Americans. They hired, for instance, former Salvadoran commandos who were veterans of the bloody counterinsurgency war in El Salvador that took the lives of 75,000 Salvadorans, minimum. Chileans—they used the same recruiter, Jose Miguel Pizarro Ovalle, that Blackwater used when they hired Chileans. This was a former Pinochet military officer…..
The news that I’m breaking on Triple Canopy, though, is that I obtained federal contracts that were signed in February and March by the Obama administration with Triple Canopy to act as a private paramilitary force operating out of Jerusalem. And this is also part of a very secretive State Department program called the Worldwide Personal Protective Service, which was started under the Clinton administration as a privatized wing of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security division. Triple Canopy was paid $5 million in February, March by the Obama administration to provide, quote, "security services” in Israel.
In congressional testimony in 2007, Ambassador David Satterfield, who was an Under Secretary of State, said that he had been guarded by private security companies when he traveled in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Triple Canopy had the contract, has had this contract since 2005, the Obama administration continuing it.
I think that the Obama administration should be required to explain to US taxpayers, particularly with the atrocious human rights abuses that we’ve been seeing in Israel, why he’s using a US mercenary company to protect US officials when they potentially come in contact with civilians. And we’ve seen how deadly that’s been in Iraq. And before May 7th, his administration should be required to explain to the American people why he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are continuing the Bush administration’s policy of using deadly paramilitary forces in Iraq.
AMY GOODMAN: The alternative?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I mean, the alternative, as Representative Jan Schakowsky has said, is to not use these companies, to ban their use in the war zone and to scale down the scope of what you classify as civilians or diplomats in Iraq.


· From


· Blackwater’s World of Warcraft | Mother Jones (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/03/blackwaters-world-warcraft?page=2)
· The Spy Who Billed Me: Not Blackwater, but Xe, as in Xena Warrior (http://www.thespywhobilledme.com/the_spy_who_billed_me/2009/02/not-blackwater-but-xe-as-in-xena-warrior-princess.html)
· Blackwater in Liberia – Deena Metzger, CounterPunch, April 2009 (http://www.counterpunch.org/metzger04062009.html)
· The dark truth about Blackwater | Salon News (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/10/02/blackwater/)
· Justice Department Grapples with Blackwater Case (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16717292) : NPR
· EXCLUSIVE – Family Members of Slain Iraqis Sue Blackwater USA for Murder (http://www.democracynow.org/2007/10/11/exclusive_family_members_of_slain_iraqis)
· Blackwater guards still at work in Iraq despite lacking license to operate (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2009091962_blackwater21.html) – M.Lee & M.Baker. Armed guards from the security firm once known as Blackwater Worldwide are still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, even though the company has no license to operate there and has been told by the State Department its contracts will not be renewed two years after a lethal firefight that stirred outrage in Baghdad.
· U.S. Colonel: Blackwater “Actually Drew Their Weapons On U.S. Soldiers.” (http://crooksandliars.com/2007/10/12/us-colonel-blackwater-actually-drew-their-weapons-on-us-soldiers#comment-190509)
· Blackwater (Xe) Scours War Torn Africa For New Hires – The American Conservative (http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2009/03/08/blackwater-xe-scours-war-torn-africa-for-new-hires/)
· Blackwater’s Private Spies (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080623/scahill) – Jeremy Scahill (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080623/scahill), This article appeared in the June 23, 2008 edition of The Nation – While the firm is quietly maintaining its Iraq work, it is aggressively pursuing other business opportunities.
…In September it was revealed that Blackwater had been “tapped” by the Pentagon’s Counter Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office to compete for a share of a five-year, $15 billion budget “to fight terrorists with drug-trade ties.” According to the Army Times, the contract “could include antidrug technologies and equipment, special vehicles and aircraft, communications, security training, pilot training, geographic information systems and in-field support.” A spokesperson for another company bidding for the work said that “80 percent of the work will be overseas.” As Richard Douglas, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, explained, “The fact is, we use Blackwater to do a lot of our training of counternarcotics police in Afghanistan. I have to say that Blackwater has done a very good job.”
Such an arrangement could find Blackwater operating in an arena with the godfathers of the war industry, such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. It could also see Blackwater expanding into Latin America, joining other private security companies well established in the region. The massive US security company DynCorp is already deployed in Colombia, Bolivia and other countries as part of the “war on drugs.”. …
· Hillary’s Blackwater Connection (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/hillarys-blackwater-conne_b_67412.html) – RJ Eskow , HuffPo
· Blackwater gunboats will protect ship (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/blackwater-gunboats-will-protect-ships-1024582.html), By Kim Sengupta, The Independent, Wed.19.Nov.08
The American security company Blackwater is planning to cash in on the rising threat of piracy on the high seas by launching a flotilla of gunboats for hire by the shipping companies.
The firm, which gained international notoriety when its staff killed civilians in Iraq, has already equipped one vessel, called The McArthur (http://www.moc.noaa.gov/mt/), which will carry up to 40 armed guards and have a landing pad for an attack helicopter.
· Blackwater’s New Frontier: Their Own Private Africa | Mother Jones (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/03/blackwaters-new-frontier-their-own-private-africa)
Will military contractors blur the line between aid workers and hired guns?
By Bruce Falconer and Daniel Schulman, Mother Jones, 2 Mar 2009
“You give me money, I don’t care who you are.” It was late October, and Zimbabwe’s defense attaché, a soft-spoken, thick-shouldered lieutenant colonel, was explaining his country’s freewheeling approach to business in the banquet room of the Liaison hotel on Capitol Hill. Mingling around him were representatives from some of the world’s best-known private security and military contracting firms, gathered to explore their prospects in the industry’s next frontier: Africa.
None betrayed any eagerness to do business with Robert Mugabe, notwithstanding assurances from the beaming attaché that Zimbabwe—“the second-largest economy in southern Africa”—remains strong despite 231 million percent annual inflation. But there were plenty of other avenues to explore, including a recent shake-up in the US military’s command structure that seemed to promise new demand for firms like Blackwater (which recently changed its name to Xe), Triple Canopy, and DynCorp.
…To companies seeking entrée to the continent, the military’s new Africa command could provide a key foothold. To pursue its mission of security, diplomacy, and development, AFRICOM’s outreach and partnership director, Paul Saxton, told a packed audience at the conference, the command plans to enlist the help of the private sector. “We’re reaching out.” Reliance on contractors, though, could add to the controversy already engulfing AFRICOM, especially the fears that the military’s forays into development work could blur the line between aid workers and soldiers or hired guns. Taylor, the former Blackwater executive, downplayed such concerns. AFRICOM, he says, will likely train “partner nations” to provide a secure environment for humanitarian projects. “It doesn’t mean that a bunch of dudes with guns are going to show up with bags of rice.”
Perhaps not, but critics have also accused the Pentagon of using AFRICOM as a fig leaf for broader geopolitical objectives; they view the command as little more than a strategic maneuver to counter China’s pursuit of Africa’s natural resources. “I want to see it succeed,” said the security director of a well-known NGO who is nonetheless wary of AFRICOM’s mission. “I want to see development that is focused on empowerment, not as some tactic for US interests. That’s not development. That’s manipulation.”
Africans, too, have greeted the Pentagon’s plans with suspicion. As US officials toured the continent in search of a location for the new command’s headquarters, they met with so much opposition that they eventually decided to operate from Germany for the time being. This frosty reception should have come as no surprise, Eeben Barlow, the former South African soldier who founded Executive Outcomes, commented on his blog in November. “Looking at…US administrations’ record in Africa, it is one long script of betrayal, destabilisation, political blackmail and even worse.” African nations, he noted, “remain extremely reluctant and wary to allow the wolf to guard their sheep.”

Tactical Training Tales on a New Dimension

By Matthew W. McNamara

“Founded by former members of the Army’s Special Operations Unit commonly known as Delta Force, Triple Canopy has grown to more than 1200 employees worldwide in less than three years. The company’s executive management team, operational team and cadre of operators include personnel who were formerly active Army Special Operations, SEAL Team 6, Ranger, Force Recon and Law Enforcement Tactical Officers.”
Examples of some of Triple Canopy’s course offerings to both the military and commercial markets are as follows:

Advanced Urban Combat
Convoy Security
Military Protective Details
Sniper Integrated Assaults
Advanced Hostage Rescue
Assault Team Leader
Shoot House Instructor
Advanced Tactical Marksmanship
Personal Defense Measures
Surveillance Detection
Protective Intelligence
Protective Security Details
Guard Force
Protective Detail Advances and Site Surveys
Defensive Handgun
Tactical Pistol
Personal Security Awareness
Surveillance Awareness
Surveillance Detection


May 7, 2009


BAGHDAD (AFP) — US security firm Blackwater ended its operations in Iraq on Thursday, closing a controversial era for the company whose guards shot dead 17 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.
"The task order for security protection operations held by Blackwater comes to an end today in Baghdad," American embassy spokeswoman Susan Ziadeh said, adding that Triple Canopy will replace it.
The US State Department on March 31 awarded Virginia-based Triple Canopy a contract reportedly worth nearly a billion dollars to take over protection of US government personnel in Iraq.


“A little over a year ago, it seems, a new industrial facility sprang up on the edge of town. It was in a remote industrial zone and appeared to be a bus depot. The new enterprise was surrounded by an imposing security fence and bore no outward signs identifying its services. However, it soon became apparent that the compound was in the business of outfitting a fleet of prison buses. Thirty or so secondhand city buses were being reconfigured with prison bars in the windows and a coat of fresh paint bearing the “Wackenhut G4S” logo on the side.
The new Wackenhut operation is shrouded in mystery. It has been running its fleet of empty prison buses night and day, apparently logging miles on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract. Multiple buses can be seen driving all over town and even on remote desert back roads. Oddly, except for the driver and one escort guard seated in front, these buses appear to be empty. …
Al Martin, a retired naval intelligence officer and former contributor to the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors, has linked the remilitarization of FEMA to the civil unrest anticipated along with economic collapse. He wrote in a November 2005 newsletter called “Behind the Scenes in the Beltway”:
“FEMA is being upgraded as a federal agency, and upon passage of PATRIOT Act III, which contains the amendment to overturn posse comitatus, FEMA will be re-militarized, which will give the agency military police powers. . . . Why is all of this being done? Why is the regime moving to a militarized police state and to a dictatorship? It is because of what Comptroller General David Walker said, that after 2009, the ability of the United States to continue to service its debt becomes questionable. Although the average citizen may not understand what that means, when the United States can no longer service its debt it collapses as an economic entity. We would be an economically collapsed state. The only way government can function and can maintain control in an economically collapsed state is through a military dictatorship.” [Al Martin, “FEMA, CILFs and State Security: Shocking Updates,” www.almartinraw.com (http://www.almartinraw.com) (November 28, 2005)].

Ellen Brown, January 22, 2009
www.webofdebt.com/articles/wackenhut.php (http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/wackenhut.php)

The Project on Government Oversight was told by DOE experts of a “total” failure by Wackenhut during a September 1 security drill at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Earlier this year, DOE’s Inspector General found that Wackenhut managers had been cheating on such force-on-force exercises for two decades at the Y-12 nuclear facility in Oak Ridge , TN.
CSC DynCorp & the Economics of Lawlessness

16 April 2003

Catherine Austin Fitts


Scahill debates DynCorp CEO on Katrina

DynCorp’s Drug Problem

By Jason Vest (http://www.alternet.org/authors/3152/), The Nation (http://www.thenation.com/). Posted July 10, 2001.


Google to learn more about the ENRON-BUSH-HARVARD-WTC-OIL-CONNECTION
From 911review.org:
On the list (http://click.adbrite.com/mb/click.php?sid=32798&banner_id=10289017&variation_id=4973&uts=1251708431&cpc=302e30373534&keyword_id=42043&inline=y&ab=168362112&sscup=73d2096d477f1ca4f9a7da0ac1cfdec8&sscra=3f14bad4bd23a6dc3c977dd6484b73c3&ub=1283447%20) of DynCorp clients from the public sector :
U.S. Postal Service (USPS), Centers for Disease Control, Department of Defense etc.. http://www.dyncorp.com/world/public.htm

1) Enron (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Enron.shtml) executive Herbert S. "Pug" Winokur was on the board of DynCorp from 1988 to 1997, Winokur was the Chairman and CEO of DynCorp. It was said, that ENRON (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Enron.shtml) worked (http://click.adbrite.com/mb/click.php?sid=32798&banner_id=13057413&variation_id=1582678&uts=1251708471&cpc=302e323337&keyword_id=20632&inline=y&ab=168362038&sscup=db451420535a77d61dfb96b1c8e8dac6&sscra=3f14bad4bd23a6dc3c977dd6484b73c3&ub=128344%20) with 20 CIA agents to bribe business deals. DynCorp is one of the lead contractors for the new phony War on Drugs in South America called "Plan Colombia".
2) James Woolsey (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Woolsey,James.shtml), former CIA director and friend of Pentagon advisor Richard Perle (Hollinger Inc.= Daily Telegraph, Jerusalem Post etc..) was director of DynCorp.
3) DynCorp is connected with the CIA as the nation's twenty-second largest defense contractor with 1998 U.S. Government contract revenues of $475 million. DynCorp, which currently has between 300-600 contracted employees in Colombia, is performing functions like crop eradication (using defoliants like Vietnam), to sophisticated aerial reconnaissance, to combat advisory roles training military and possibly even paramilitary forces.
4) On Nov. 12, 2001, DynCorp, major government contractor for data processing, military operations and intelligence work, was awarded a $322 million contract to develop, produce and store vaccines for the Department of Defense ( DynPort (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Dynport.shtml) Vaccine Company -- A joint venture of DynCorp and Porton International Ltd. ->)
5) DynCorp and Hadron (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Hadron.shtml), both defense contractors connected to classified research programs on communicable diseases, have been linked to a software program known as Promis (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Promis.shtml). Source: http://www.copvcia.com/free/ww3/02_14_02_microbio.html
6) From the list of DynCorp clients from the public sector:
Centers for Disease Control Department of Defense Bureau of Census Department of Defense Department of Education Department of Energy Department of Health and Human Services Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) U.S. Air Force (USAF) U.S. Army U.S. Navy U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Source: http://www.dyncorp.com/world/public.htm
7) Back to ENRONs Herbert "Pug" Winokur (->) and a report from Etherzone (Uri Dowbenko->):
"Pug" Winokur has been such a permanent fixture in the Washington Old Boy Network that he's even mentioned in a 1978 book by Daniel Guttman called "The Shadow Government.".. Historically Winokur's Capricorn Holdings was used as an investment vehicle in NHP, an apartment management firm headed by Roderick Heller III. In turn, NHP's assets included oft-purloined and defaulted HUD Section 8 subsidy housing, a notorious and well-known vehicle for fraud and money laundering. Winokur was on the Board of Directors of Harvard Endowment Fund, which purchased 50 percent of NHP, making the prestigious Harvard a prototypical, but very low-profile, slum landlord. (See Bushwhacked: HUD Fraud, Spooks and the Slumlords of Harvard" http://www.conspiracydigest.com/bushwhacked1.html
It should be noted that George Bush Jr. attended Harvard Business School. Later, after Bush joined Harken Energy Corp (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/HarkenEnergy.shtml) and became a director, the largest stock position and seat on the board was acquired by Harvard Management Co. Since DynCorp had a contract from the Department of Justice, Winokur would have profited from the DoJ Asset Seizure Program, as well as HUD's Operation Safe Home seizures which targeted low-income tenants and mortgage holders in the inner cities. ENRON (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Enron.shtml)s help by the CIA Enron dealmaker Frank Wisner Jr (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/WisnerJr.,Frank.shtml). muscled the company into lucrative overseas contracts, most notably in India and the Philipines. Enron's deal to manage a power plant in the Philippines was due largely to Wisner's efforts. Based in Subic Bay, a former US military outpost, the power planet was taken over by Enron in 1993, two months after the last US troops left the base. Wisner is credited with helping Enron win a $2.8 billion deal in India, building a power plant near Bombay. Now the project is under heavy fire for being over-priced, and the deal continues to simmer with allegations of bribery.
Wisner Jr. must have learned his tradecraft from his father Frank Wisner Sr (http://911review.org/Wiki/OperationMockingbird.shtml)., one of the CIA's prime operatives. Wisner Sr., who worked at CIA from 1947 until just before his "suicide" in 1965, was involved in:
1) the 1954 CIA coup in Guatemala, toppling the goverment of Jacobo Arbenz for United Fruit Company,
2) the 1953 overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq, and
3) the secret operations against Indonesian President Sukarno.
Unlike his spooky father, Frank Wisner Jr (http://911review.org/Wget/www.bilderberg.org/ccf.htm)., however, was a former Pentagon official before his job at Enron.
8) http://www.narconews.com/rarey1.html May 25, 2001 "..The name of Dyncorp surfaced once more in connection with the shoot down of the missionary plane in Peru. Early news reports identified the American "spotters" who fed the Peruvian pilots the targets as under contract to the CIA. It turns out they were actually contracted by Dyncorp which may or may not have had a contract with the CIA. Dyncorp "employees" are involved in the "defoliating" campaign in Peru and Columbia reminiscent of the Agent Orange debacle in Vietnam. Dyncorp is only one of a number of government "fronts" or "proprietaries" involved as surrogates around the world. Almost allof its $1.4 billion in 1999 revenue came from the U.S. Government. http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=676> (http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=676%3E)
CorpWatch (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/CorpWatch.shtml) May 23, 2001 "..Corpwatch has acquired a copy of a $600 million dollar contract between DynCorp and the U.S. State Department. The company carries crop fumigation and eradication against coca farmers in Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. In Colombia it is involved in drug interdiction, transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue missions, medical evacuation and aircraft maintenance, among other operations.." http://www.corpwatch.org/upload/document/dyncorpsec1c.pdf
DynCorp-State Department Contract
dyncorp-sucks death squad (http://www.dyncorp-sucks.com/deathsquad.htm) "...The information below is from CIABASE files on Death Squads supported by the CIA. Also given below are details on Watch Lists prepared by the CIA to facilitate the actions of Death Squads. After September 11th, another major client of DynCorp became the FBI. DynCorp promised to do a $51 million upgrade of the FBI network for the information technology and transport network components of its Trilogy program, a $300 million, three-year initiative to update the FBI backbone network. Compare: http://elitewatch.netfirms.com/DynCorp.html
Harvard Corp: http://elitewatch.netfirms.com/Harvard_Corporation.html
("Pug" Winkour ) www.dyncorp-sucks.com/ (http://www.dyncorp-sucks.com/)
DynCorp (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Dyncorp.shtml) has best contacts to the most important military and intelligence scientists.
From June 2-3rd, 1998, Dr. Joe Furman, DynCorp supported a workshop on "Medical Surveillance" regarding possible bio/nuclear attacks.
The workshop was organised by the US Department of Energy and was furthermore supported by Argonne National Laboratory, Lockheed (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Lockheed.shtml) Martin, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Battelle (http://911review.org/Sept11Wiki/Battelle.shtml)-Pantex and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (-->) tis.eh.doe.gov/be/agda_fin.PDF (http://web.archive.org/web/*/http:/tis.eh.doe.gov/be/agda_fin.PDF)


Dr. Kaminski DEFENSE MAPPING - General Dynamics, DynCorp (http://911review.org/Alex/DEFENSE_MAPPING.html)

DynCorp From Kosovo to Peru

By Jim Rarey

Dyncorp is only one of a number of government "fronts" or "proprietaries" involved as surrogates around the world. Almost allof its $1.4 billion in 1999 revenue came from the U.S. Government. Its 1999 annual report stated a $4.4 billion backlog of government contracts. Its "extensive sampling" of public sector clients listed in the report includes almost every government agency except the CIA. Of course, it was not portrayed as a complete list. It also belongs to some interesting associations including The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, and the Society for Epidemiological Research.


The Rise of Mercenary Armies: A Threat to Global Security

Help White House Thwart Peace Movement

by Sherwood Ross

The growing use of private armies not only subjects target populations to savage warfare but makes it easier for the White House to subvert domestic public opinion and wage wars.
Americans are less inclined to oppose a war that is being fought by hired foreign mercenaries, even when their own tax dollars are being squandered to fund it.
“The increasing use of contractors, private forces, or, as some would say, ‘mercenaries’ makes wars easier to begin and to fight---it just takes money and not the citizenry,” said Michael Ratner, of New York’s Center for Constitutional Rights. “To the extent a population is called upon to go to war, there is resistance, a necessary resistance to prevent wars of self-aggrandizement, foolish wars, and, in the case of the United States, hegemonic imperialist wars.”
Indeed, the Pentagon learned the perils of the draft from the massive public protests it provoked during the Viet Nam war. Today, it would prefer, and is working toward, an electronic battlefield where the fighting is done by robots guided by sophisticated surveillance systems that will minimize U.S. casualties. Meanwhile, it tolerates the use of private contractors to help fight its battles.
Iraq offers a heart-breaking example of a war in which contract fighters so inflamed the public they were sent to “liberate” that when fighting broke out in Fallujah the bodies of privateer Blackwater’s four slain mercenaries were desecrated by enraged mobs. This horrific scene was televised globally and prompted the U.S. to make a punishing, retaliatory military assault upon Fallujah, causing widespread death and destruction.
Just as the American colonists despised the mercenary Hessians in the Revolutionary War, Iraqis came to hate Blackwater and its kindred contractors worse than U.S. soldiers, who often showed them kindness, according to a journalist with experience in the war zone.
“It wasn’t uncommon for an American soldier, or even an entire company, to develop a very friendly relationship with an Iraqi community. It didn’t happen every day, but it wasn’t unheard of,” writes Ahmed Mansour, an Egyptian reporter and talk show host for Qatar-based al-Jazeera, the Middle East TV network.
“It was also definitely not uncommon to see American troops high-fiving Iraqi teenagers, holding the arm of an elderly woman to help her cross a street, or helping someone out of a difficult situation…This was not the case with mercenaries. They knew they were viewed as evil thugs, and they wanted to keep it that way.”

In his book “Inside Fallujah”(Olive Branch Press), Mansour says, “Mercenaries were viewed as monsters, primarily because they behaved monstrously. They never spoke to anyone using words---they only used the language of fire, bullets, and absolute lethal force. It was fairly common to see a mercenary crush a small civilian Iraqi car with passengers inside just because the mercenaries happened to be stuck in a traffic jam.”
Mansour, best known as host of the talk show “Without Limits,” says his viewing audience was “outraged by the mere idea that a political superpower like the United States would hire mercenaries to do their unpleasant work instead of employing soldiers who believe in their country and its mission. Viewers were also obviously outraged over the horrendous war crimes committed by the mercenaries.”
Blackwater was finally censured after its forces mowed down 17 civilians on Sept. 16, 2007, in what Iraqi officials said was an unprovoked assault in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, after which they refused to renew its operating license. The Moyock, N.C.-based security outfit changed its name to Xe Services and, according to The Nation magazine, was still allowed to ink a $20 million renewal pact good through Sept. 3rd, to guard State Department officials. Part of its work, though, has been assumed by Triple Canopy, of Herndon, Va., a firm also with a blemished history.
Triple Canopy employs “private security guards (who) have allegedly targeted Iraqi civilians for sport, attempting to kill them, while doing work for Halliburton/KBR,” claims Pratap Chatterjee in his book, “Halliburton’s Army”(Nation Books). Speaking of mercenaries as a group, Brig. General Karl Hors, an advisor to the U.S. Joint Force Command, once observed, “These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There is no authority over them, so you can’t come down on them when they escalate in force. They shoot people and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place.”
On June 27, 2004, the day before L. Paul Bremer III, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional authority, left Baghdad, he issued Order 17 that barred the Iraqi government from prosecuting contractor crimes in domestic courts. Result: When the Iraq government probed Nisour Square, it reported “the murder of citizens in cold blood in the Nisour area by Blackwater is considered a terrorist action against civilians just like any other terrorist operation.” As the Associated Press reported last April 1, “The company does not face any charges. But the Baghdad incident exacerbated the feelings of many Iraqis that private American security contractors have operated since 2003 with little regard for Iraqi law or life.” Baghdad also charged Blackwater was involved in at least six deadly incidents in the year leading up to Nisour Square, including the death of Iraqi journalist Hana al-Ameedi.
By Spring, 2008, there were 180,000 mercenaries operating in Iraq. How many of them have been killed is not known. Their deaths do not appear on Pentagon casualty lists. Since many perform non-combat duties, it is not likely they have suffered as many deaths and wounds as GI’s. By some estimates, perhaps 1,000 perished in Iraq, about one mercenary for every four GI’s killed.
According to Mansour, an Iraqi group, Supporters of Truth, claims that low-flying U.S. helicopters dropped the bodies of slain mercenaries into the Diyala River near the Iranian border. Another group, the Islamic Army of Iraq, “uncovered mass graves for mercenaries who worked for the U.S. forces….He said uncovering mass graves of mercenaries had become common in Iraq…” Whether these were local mercenaries or imported fighters was not clear.
Many soldiers of fortune on private payrolls previously served dictators in South Africa, Chile, and elsewhere. “In Iraq, the private security firms that are the second-large component of the ‘coalition of the willing’ are dipping into experienced pools of trained fighters, almost 70 percent from El Salvador, it is estimated, Noam Chomsky writes in “Failed States”(Metropolitan/Owl). “The trained killers from the Reagan-run state terrorist apparatus can earn better pay pursuing their craft in Iraq than in what remains of their societies at home.”
Other mercenaries have been recruited from the Iraqi population itself. Sociologist James Petras, in his “Rulers and Ruled in the U.S. Empire,”(Clarity Press) writes, “The use of local mercenaries creates the illusion that Washington is gradually handing over power to the local puppet regime. It gives the impression that the puppet regime is capable of ruling, and propagandizes the myth that a stable and reliable locally-based army exists. The presence of these local mercenaries creates the myth that the internal conflict is a civil war instead of a national liberation struggle against a colonial power.”
Petras also writes, “the failure of the US policy of using Iraqi mercenaries to defeat the resistance is evident in the escalation of US combat military forces in Iraq in the spring of 2007, after five years of colonial warfare---from 140,000 to 170,000 troops, not counting the presence of some 100,000 mercenaries from American firms such as Blackwater.” He said the Iraqi mercenary force is plagued by high levels of desertion.
In “The Sorrows of Empire”(Metropolitan/Owl), Chalmers Johnson wrote, “The use of private contractors is assumed to be more cost-effective, but even that is open to question when contracts go only to a few well-connected companies and the bidding is not particularly competitive.” Blackwater Security got a $27 million no-bid contract to guard L. Paul Bremer III, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional authority in 2003. According to Joseph Stiglitz in “The Three Trillion Dollar War” (W.W. Norton), that was expanded to $100 million a year later and by 2007, Blackwater held a $1.2 billion contract for Iraq, where it employed 845 private security contractors.
Stiglitz notes that in 2007 private security guards working for firms like Blackwater and Dyncorp were earning up to $1,222 a day or $445,000 a year. By contrast, an Army sergeant earned $140 to $190 a day in pay and benefits, a total of $51,100 to $69,350 a year.
Since U.S. taxpayers are underwriting private soldiers’ paychecks, where’s the savings? It is money from taxpayer’s pockets that has made these shadow armies great.
In his bestseller “Blackwater: The Rise of The World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army(Nation Books) reporter Jeremy Scahill writes: “Its seven-thousand-acre facility in Moyock, N.C., has now become the most sophisticated private military center on the planet, while the company possesses one of the world’s larget privately held stockpiles of heavy-duty weaponry. It is a major training center for federal and local security and military forces in the United States, as well as foreign forces and private individuals….It is developing surveillance blimps and private airstrips for its fleet of aircraft, which include helicopter gunships.” Company officials say they have been training about 35,000 “law enforcement” and military personnel a year.
The idea of the Pentagon outsourcing much of its work, from kitchen police to war zone truck drivers, came largely from then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in the early 1990s, when he was tasked by Congress to reduce Pentagon spending after the Cold War thawed. And after leaving his Defense post to become CEO of Halliburton, Cheney also oversaw the use of contractors to support the military then engaged in the former Yugoslavia. As Pratap Chatterjee reminds in “Halliburton’s Army” (Nation Books), “Approximately one in one hundred people on the Iraqi battlefield in the 2001 Operation Desert Storm were contractors, compared to today in Operation Enduring Freedom, where the number of contractors are roughly equal to those of military personnel.”
And since mercenaries can work in civvies, they are useful to the Pentagon when it seeks to build a military presence in a country without attracting undue attention. As Scahill writes, “Instead of sending in battalions of active U.S. military to Azerbaijan, the Pentagon deployed ‘civilian contractors’ from Blackwater and other firms to set up an operation that would serve a dual purpose: protecting the West’s new profitable oil and gas exploitation in a region historically dominated by Russia and Iran, and possibly laying the groundwork for an important forward operating base for an attack against Iran.”
Scahill says “Domestic opposition to wars of aggression results in fewer people volunteering to serve in the armed forces, which historically deflates the war drive or forces a military draft. At the same time, international opposition has made it harder for Washington to persuade other governments to support its wars and occupations. But with private mercenary companies, these dynamics change dramatically, as the pool of potential soldiers available to an aggressive administration is limited only by the number of men across the globe willing to kill for money. With the aid of mercenaries, you don’t need a draft or even the support of your own public to wage wars of aggression, nor do you need a coalition of ‘willing” nations to aid you. If Washington cannot staff an occupation or invasion with its national forces, the mercenary firms offer a privatized alternative---including Blackwater’s 21,000-man contractor database….If foreign governments are not on board, foreign soldiers can still be bought.”
In Jan., 2008, the UN working group on mercenaries found an emerging trend in Latin America of “situations of private security companies protecting transnational extractive corporations whose employees are often involved in suppressing the legitimate social protest of communities and human rights and environmental organizations of the areas where these corporations operate.” And South Africa’s Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, termed mercenaries “the scourge of poor areas of the world, especially Africa. These are killers for hire. They rent out their skills to the highest bidder. Anybody that has money can hire these human beings and turn them into killing machines or cannon fodder.”
Mincing no words, Ratner warns, “These kinds of military groups bring to mind Nazi Party brownshirts, functioning as an extrajudicial enforcement mechanism that can and does operate outside the law.”
Of course, contract warrior firm officials see themselves in a nobler light. Blackwater’s Vice-Chairman Cofer Black in one speech compared his company to King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, asserting they “Focus on morals and ethics and integrity. This is important. We are not fly-by-night. We are not tricksters. We believe in these things.” For all such claims, the final judgment on the performance of contract military firms must come from the people these noble knights purport to serve. And if Blackwater is any example, they are hated.

The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (American Empire Project)

We Need a Special Prosecutor
for Blackwater and Other CIA "Contractors"

By Jeremy Scahill

August 31, 2009

“When you hear reports that a “private” company was hired to do clandestine work, remember that this particular “private” company, Blackwater, is, in part, being run by Agency veterans, including several of the top people running the torture and assassination programs under Bush. At the end of the day, using Blackwater and/or other companies represents taking covert, lethal operations even further away from anything vaguely resembling oversight by the Congress. By using ex-Agency people instead of “current” Agency personnel, yet another barrier is thrown up and the case for “plausible deniability” becomes stronger. When you are dealing with a billionaire like Erik Prince who apparently viewed himself as a crusader tasked with eliminating muslims and Islam globally, as has been alleged by a former Blackwater official, it is not difficult to imagine how all of this could remain—at least in part— off the books. Would it be a great shock if we learn that Prince volunteered some of his men or his company’s time to lethal missions for the CIA free of charge? “I’m not a financially driven guy,” Prince told Congress in October 2007. Take that with a grain of salt, but it is probably not flat out false. He was a believer in the crusade.
That is why it is essential (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090914/scahill) that Congress dig deep into all aspects of the CIA assassination program and Blackwater’s total involvement. But it is important to remember that it is so much bigger than this one company and certainly bigger than one clandestine program.
Also, it is very important to remember this: Blackwater is hardly alone. Salon’s Tim Shorrock obtained documents in 2007 from the office of the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) showing that Washington spends some $42 billion annually on private intelligence contractors, up from $17.5 billion in 2000. That means 70 percent of the US intelligence budget is going to private companies. “This is the magnet now. Everything is being attracted to these private companies in terms of individuals and expertise and functions that were normally done by the intelligence community,” former CIA division chief and senior analyst Melvin Goodman told me a year ago. “My major concern is the lack of accountability, the lack of responsibility. The entire industry is essentially out of control. It’s outrageous.”

“Blackwater’s Private Spies: A Bush-era CIA Who’s Who
As for Blackwater’s role, I wrote (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080623/scahill/print) about Prince’s private CIA last summer for The Nation in a piece called “Blackwater’s Private Spies (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080623/scahill/print),” but thought it would be relevant to repost some of what I laid out then because it is extremely relevant to what is happening right now. [One note: Robert Richer recently left Prince’s employ…]. Excerpt:
Total Intelligence, which opened for business in February 2007, is a fusion of three entities bought up by Prince: the Terrorism Research Center, Technical Defense and The Black Group—Blackwater vice chair Cofer Black’s consulting agency. The company’s leadership reads like a Who’s Who of the CIA’s “war on terror” operations after 9/11. In addition to the twenty-eight-year CIA veteran Black, who is chair of Total Intelligence, the company’s executives include CEO Robert Richer, the former associate deputy director of the agency’s Directorate of Operations and the second-ranking official in charge of clandestine operations. From 1999 to 2004, Richer was head of the CIA’s Near East and South Asia Division, where he ran clandestine operations throughout the Middle East and South Asia. As part of his duties, he was the CIA liaison with Jordan’s King Abdullah, a key US ally and Blackwater client, and briefed George W. Bush on the burgeoning Iraqi resistance in its early stages.
Total Intelligence’s chief operating officer is Enrique “Ric” Prado, a twenty-four-year CIA veteran and former senior executive officer in the Directorate of Operations. He spent more than a decade working in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center and ten years with the CIA’s “paramilitary” Special Operations Group. Prado and Black worked closely at the CIA. Prado also served in Latin America with Jose Rodriguez, who gained infamy late last year after it was revealed that as director of the National Clandestine Service at the CIA he was allegedly responsible for destroying videotapes of interrogations of prisoners, during which “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, were reportedly used. Richer told the New York Times he recalled many conversations with Rodriguez, about the tapes. “He would always say, ‘I’m not going to let my people get nailed for something they were ordered to do,’” Richer said of his former boss. Before the scandal, there were reports that Blackwater had been “aggressively recruiting” Rodriguez. He has since retired from the CIA.
The leadership of Total Intelligence also includes Craig Johnson, a twenty-seven-year CIA officer who specialized in Central and South America, and Caleb “Cal” Temple, who joined the company straight out of the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he served from 2004 to ‘06 as chief of the Office of Intelligence Operations in the Joint Intelligence Task Force—Combating Terrorism. According to his Total Intelligence bio, Temple directed the “DIA’s 24/7 analytic terrorism target development and other counterterrorism intelligence activities in support of military operations worldwide. He also oversaw 24/7 global counterterrorism indications and warning analysis for the U.S. Defense Department.” The company also boasts officials drawn from the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI.
Total Intelligence is run out of an office on the ninth floor of a building in the Ballston area of Arlington, Virginia. Its “Global Fusion Center,” complete with large-screen TVs broadcasting international news channels and computer stations staffed by analysts surfing the web, “operates around the clock every day of the year” and is modeled after the CIA’s counterterrorist center, once run by Black. The firm employs at least sixty-five full-time staff—some estimates say it’s closer to 100. “Total Intel brings the…skills traditionally honed by CIA operatives directly to the board room,” Black said when the company launched. “With a service like this, CEOs and their security personnel will be able to respond to threats quickly and confidently—whether it’s determining which city is safest to open a new plant in or working to keep employees out of harm’s way after a terrorist attack.”
“Black and other Total Intelligence executives have turned their CIA careers, reputations, contacts and connections into business opportunities. What they once did for the US government, they now do for private interests. It is not difficult to imagine clients feeling as though they are essentially hiring the US government to serve their own interests. In 2007 Richer told the Post that now that he is in the private sector, foreign military officials and others are more willing to give him information than they were when he was with the CIA. Richer recalled a conversation with a foreign general during which he was surprised at the potentially “classified” information the general revealed. When Richer asked why the general was giving him the information, he said the general responded, “If I tell it to an embassy official I’ve created espionage. You’re a business partner.”


The Secret History of Hurricane Katrina (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/08/secret-history-hurricane-katrina) By James Ridgeway 28 Aug 2009 The Blackwater operators described their mission in New Orleans as "securing neighborhoods," as if they were talking about Sadr City. When National Guard troops descended on the city, the Army Times described their role as fighting "the insurgency in the city." Brigadier Gen. Gary Jones, who commanded the Louisiana National Guard's Joint Task Force, told the paper, "This place is going to look like Little Somalia. We're going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control." ...And while the government couldn't seem to keep people from dying on rooftops or abandoned highways, it wasted no time building a temporary jail in New Orleans.

This is an attempt to compile a list of members of large companies, “think tanks”, lobby groups and other organizations which promote right wing, `military-industrial complex’ ideologies.
Whilst not all of the organizations that will be covered fall neatly into this category, it is useful to gauge who is doing our thinking for us, and what affiliations they have.

CSC and DynCorp Combine to Create Federal IT Powerhouse
http://www.csc.com/features/stories/12270-csc_and_dyncorp_combine_to_create_federal_it_power house

Friday, July 31, 2009

DynCorp Takes Afghanistan (http://aconstantineblacklist.blogspot.com/2009/07/dyncorp-takes-afghanistan.html)

Who's winning the Afghan War?: "DynCorp has emerged as one of the big winners of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which now generate 53% of DynCorp's $3.1 billion of annual revenue. ... "

Nathan Vardi
More here:

The DynCorp file at Windfalls of War, at the Center for Public Integrity (home link: http://projects.publicintegrity.org/wow/ )

Just in case you missed it Veritas Capital (connected to the Carlyle Group) and current owners of DynCorp is buying Kroll's Government Services from Marsh & McLennon.


The DynCorp file at Elite Watch:
The CIA 500 on ABOL bulletin board

http://www.american-buddha.com/invisible.govt.htm#THE%20INVISIBLE%20GOVERNMENT%20 INTELLIGENCE%20COMMUNITY

Ed Jewett
09-02-2009, 08:18 AM
Thanks, Magda. I've have gotten to it (it's that important). Sorry it was a little sloppy. But it can be expanded and polished and updated...

I should have thought to include the thoughts of Peter Dale Scott (indeed, they probably triggered the focus) in his recent piece entitled

"The Real Grand Chessboard and the Profiteers of War"...

when, in talking about those "who are authorized to commit violence in the name of their employers", he said:

"These corporations are reminiscent of the marauding condottieri or private mercenary armies contracted for by the wealthy city states of Renaissance Italy.*

With the hindsight of history, we can see the contribution of the notoriously capricious Condottieri to the violence they are supposedly hired to deal with. Some, when unemployed, became little more than predatory bandits."

When you consider this in conjunction with the sub rosa control of finance by banker-totalitarianism, the likely access by the mercenaries to dcorporate and personal data surveilled through the other security state apparatus and its economic espionage and civil rights abuse potentials, you begin to wonder if these rabid para-military types carry red shields, and you probably begin to have nightmares and even daytime fear.

* He footnotes two others who saw the same parallels, including this: "The New Condottieri and US Policy: The Privatization of Conflict and Its Implications," U.S. Army War College, Parameters, Winter 2002,
www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/02winter/smith.pdf (http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/02winter/smith.pdf), 104.


Added on edit:

From WikiPedia:

"In the year 1812, a large quantity of provisions for the army were purchased at Troy, N.Y., by Elbert Anderson, a government contractor. The goods were inspected by two brothers, Ebenezer and Samuel Wilson. The last named was invariably known among the workmen as "Uncle Sam." The packages were marked E.A.-U.S. On being asked the meaning of these initials, a workman jokingly replied that he did not know unless they meant Elbert Anderson and Uncle Sam. So the title became current among the workmen, soldiers, and people, and the United States Government is known now by those who affectionately call it Uncle Sam [3]"

"The most famous image of the Uncle Sam persona was a World War I recruiting image that depicted a stern Sam pointing his finger at the viewer and declaring, "I want you." It was painted by artist James Montgomery Flagg in 1917, just prior to US involvement in World War I."

Ed Jewett
09-03-2009, 03:23 AM
Mercenaries in Afghanistan: “Lord of the Flies Environment” (http://cryptogon.com/?p=10717)

September 2nd, 2009 Via: New York Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2009/09/02/2009-09-02_afghan_embassy_patrol_in_deviant_parties_report .html):
Secretary of State Clinton ordered an investigation on Tuesday into the Animal House revels of private guards at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan – including booze, hookers and other “deviant behavior.”
“These are very serious allegations, and we are treating them that way,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said of photo and e-mail evidence of the “climate of fear and coercion” at the living quarters of ArmorGroup guards.
The investigation by the State Department’s inspector general follows a shocking report to Clinton by the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight detailing a “Lord of the Flies environment” at the Camp Sullivan compound a few miles from the embassy in Kabul. Prostitutes allegedly were brought in for birthday parties, drunken guards engaged in brawls and boozy lawn parties turned into naked affairs where guests urinated on one another, according to photos and videos obtained by the nonprofit group.
Clinton has “zero tolerance” for the behavior described and has directed a “review of the whole system” for farming out security to private contractors that may have threatened the safety of embassy personnel, Kelly said.
Earlier, hearings in June by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), head of the subcommittee on contractor oversight, questioned whether the contract with ArmorGroup, now owned by Wackenhut Services Inc., should be renewed.
In a separate letter to Clinton, McCaskill said the Project on Government Oversight report “calls into question the ability of the contractor to provide sufficient security for the embassy.”
Wackenhut did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The report found sleep-deprived guards regularly logging 14-hour days, language barriers that impair critical communications and a failure by the State Department to hold the contractor accountable.
About 300 of the 450 ArmorGroup guards employed to protect 1,000 personnel at the embassy are Nepalese Gurkhas and the rest are a mix of Australian, South African and American expats, the oversight project report said.
Although the Gurkhas were described as “serious about their jobs,” their difficulty with English had forced the English speakers to “use pantomime in order to convey orders or instructions,” the report said.
“One guard described the situation as so dire that if he were to say to many of the Gurkhas, ‘There is a terrorist standing behind you,’ those Gurkhas would answer ‘Thank you, Sir, and good morning,’” the report said.

Ed Jewett
09-03-2009, 03:36 AM
Kabul U.S. Embassy Guard: Sexual Deviancy Required for Promotion (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=8474937) --Whistleblower Says Bosses Required Sex Acts for Guards Seeking Best shift, Promotion 02 Sep 2009 Private security guards mercenaries at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul were pressured to participate in naked pool parties and perform sex acts to gain promotions or assignment to preferable shifts, according to one of 12 guards who have gone public with their complaints. In an interview with ABC News, the guard, a U.S. military veteran, said top supervisors of the ArmorGroup were not only aware of the "deviant sexual acts" but helped to organize them.


Ed Jewett
09-03-2009, 03:54 AM
Group 4 Falck (http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,807093,00.html) owns a controlling stake in Hashmira, an Israeli security company which has close links with the Israeli Government. Until exposed in this Guardian report (9 October 2002) it supplied over 100 security guards to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, supporting IDF troops in the military occupation. Group 4 Falck also owns the major controversial US private military contractor Wackenhut.

Ed Jewett
09-03-2009, 04:05 AM

Mercs Gone Wild at U.S. Embassy Kabul (Updated, Without Photos)

Guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul sounds like a high-risk, war zone job with lots of responsibility, right? Well, according to recent Congressional reports and an investigation by government watchdogs, it’s more like Animal House with automatic weapons.
The Project on Government Oversight yesterday fired off a letter (http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/letters/contract-oversight/co-gp-20090901.html) to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton complaining of a “pervasive breakdown in the chain of command and guard force discipline and morale” in the contracted security force at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. But that’s putting it politely. According to evidence compiled by POGO, the misbehavior by guards includes “peeing on people, eating potato chips out of ass cracks, vodka shots out of ass cracks” and other fratboy-style antics.
An e-mail from a whistleblower — posted on the POGO website — spells it out (http://www.pogoarchives.org/m/co/state-dept/attachment-2.pdf). “You will see that they have a group of sexual predators, deviants running rampant over there,” the whistleblower wrote. “No, they are not jamming guys in the ass per say [sic], but they are showing poor judgenment [sic].”
Guards were also kind enough to provide photo evidence (http://gawker.com/5350465/our-embassy-in-afghanistan-is-guarded-by-sexually-confused-frat-boys/gallery/?skyline=true&s=x), which POGO released to Gawker.
It’s not the first time that investigators have raised questions about the management of embassy security (http://mccaskill.senate.gov/pdf/061009/Mosertestimony.pdf) in Kabul. In Senate testimony last year, William Moser, deputy assistant secretary of State for logistics management, conceded that there were “deficiencies in personnel, training, equipment, and performance” by security contractors. Security for the Embassy in Kabul is provided by ArmorGroup North America, now owned by Wackenhut Services; the previous contract, held by MVM, was cancelled due to poor performance.
It’s yet another black eye for the private security industry — but it raises even bigger questions about the Department of State’s ability to manage and monitor its hired guns. After the jump, another image (semi-NSFW), and the State Department’s lame response. Update: Allegations of poor contractor performance surfaced over two years ago. For laughs, read the transcript (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2009/sept/128554.htm) of yesterday’s State Department briefing, in which spokesman Ian Kelly struggles to explain why the department has failed to take serious action, despite repeat warnings. A few excerpts from the press conference really are eye-opening:
“QUESTION: If I might, I’d like to quote from a letter from the State Department to the contractor in June of 2007. So this was two years ago that you recognized that some of these deficiencies exist and you said these deficiencies endanger the performance of the contract to such a degree that the security of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is in jeopardy, and that you threatened to terminate the contract.
Yet over the last two years, there are about 11 letters that have been released not just by the project, but by Senator [Claire] McCaskill’s office, who is in charge of the Subcommittee on Government Oversight, that you continued to warn the contractor about these deficiencies and that you said that the security of the Embassy is in jeopardy, yet why did you continue to extend the contract?
MR. KELLY: Well, as I say, these are serious allegations. What you just read me, I would – I think they’re very serious too.
QUESTION: These aren’t allegations. These are your own words. These are your own words.

QUESTION: But over the last two years, you’ve been continuing to warn this contractor about its performance. So does it take an independent nongovernment organization to cast light on what you’ve been kind of overlooking for the last two years?
MR. KELLY: Yeah. I mean, look, as I understand it, we have – we’ve been investigating this organization for some time now. We understand that we have made some – we have pointed out to them some of the deficiencies. And I can’t answer right now from this podium exactly what they have done in response to this letter.
Well. I guess it takes pictures of contractors’ ass cracks to get the State Department to start exercising oversight.

David Guyatt
09-03-2009, 09:25 AM
Thanks for all this Ed. A very important resource.

Jan Klimkowski
09-03-2009, 11:39 AM
The geopolitics sucks.

The piggies snaffling at the taxpayer trough suck.

And so it appears do private military contractors.

Turn on blender.

Add unregulated megalomaniac control freaks with uniform fetishes and an authoritarian environment worthy of Pavlov and his hounds.

Consult unit documentation and confirm that "Yes Sir" is the only acceptable phrase for 98% of employees to utter 100% of the time. Sign language deference such as getting on their knees and grinning like a dog at the white man in uniform is considered acceptable for Gurkhas.

Add propaganda about "rag heads" being subhuman and Taliban/Al Qaeda being responsible for all evil in the world.

Turn on blender.

Empty contents all over US Embassy lawn.

Voila - a bunch of taxpayer funded boys, in possession of heavy weaponry, committing deviant sexual acts whilst pissing on each other.

It's a metaphor alright.

Ed Jewett
09-04-2009, 04:25 AM
Thanks you, David. And than you, Jan, for your quotable commentary; I couldn't agree more.

Ed Jewett
09-12-2009, 01:43 AM
Whistleblowers vs. the 101st Tequila Brigade

By Nathan Hodge http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/wp-content/themes/wired/images/envelope.gif (nohodge@gmail.com)
September 11, 2009 |
10:38 am |
Categories: Af/Pak (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/category/afpak/), Miscellaneous (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/category/uncategorized/)
[picture deleted by poster]

Last week, allegations surfaced that the contracted guard force at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul had descended into a booze-soaked debauch (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/09/mercs-gone-wild-at-us-embassy-kabul/). The drunken antics weren’t the worst part: An investigation by the Project on Government Oversight and previous congressional testimony raised larger concerns about the State Department’s management of its private security guards in Afghanistan, and ArmorGroup, which holds the $187 million embassy security contract, was accused of cutting corners (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1921648,00.html) to put in the winning bid.
Now the whistleblowers are coming forward. This week, two former employees of ArmorGroup fired a lawsuit against the firm claiming they were forced out (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gToH9pDp9NUK_rs3JcBnE6DAituQD9AKPTR80) for blowing the whistle on employee misconduct and other problems. But the most shocking allegation was raised by whistleblower James Gordon, former director of operations at ArmorGroup, who claimed that the firm quashed an investigation into employees frequenting brothels in Kabul that housed trafficked women.
Spencer Ackerman has this key paragraph (http://washingtonindependent.com/58491/whistleblowers-unveil-more-armorgroup-allegations):
Perhaps most seriously, Gordon said that he found out that both guards and even ArmorGroup program manager Nick Du Plessis were regularly frequenting brothels in Kabul. “Many of the prostitutes in Kabul are young Chinese girls who were taken against their will to Kabul for sexual exploitation,” Gordon said. Federal contracting regulations designed to support the Trafficking in Victims Protection Act prevents contractors from “procuring commercial sex acts during the period of performance of the contract,” meaning that ArmorGroup could lose its contract if State learned of the violation. Yet Gordon’s lawsuit alleges he was shut out of an investigation into the solicitation of prostitutes at the behest of Armor Group’s London-based parent company, despite recurring evidence that ArmorGroup employees continued to solicit prostitutes and perhaps even run their own prostitution services. A trainee boasted to Gordon “that he could purchase a girl for $20,000 and turn a profit after a month.”
It’s strongly reminiscent of the decade-old DynCorp scandal in Bosnia. The company became embroiled in a controversy over military contractors buying and “owning” young women (http://dir.salon.com/news/feature/2002/06/26/bosnia/index.html), many of whom had been forced into prostitution. Two DynCorp employees were fired (http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2002/08/06/dyncorp/index.html) after they complained that co-workers were involved in Bosnia’s sex-slave trade. While several DynCorp employees were dismissed, none were brought up on criminal charges; the whistleblowers were later vindicated (http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2002/08/06/dyncorp/index.html) in whistleblower-relation lawsuits. DynCorp remains a top security provider to the State Department.

See Also:

Party Ends for Kabul Embassy’s Booze-Soaked Guard Force (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/09/party-ends-for-kabul-embassys-booze-soaked-guard-force/)
Mercs Gone Wild at U.S. Embassy Kabul (Updated, With Photos … (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/09/mercs-gone-wild-at-us-embassy-kabul/)
U.S. Plans $200 Million Expansion for Kabul Embassy (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/02/us-plans-200-mi/)
Lethal Cocktail: Vodka, Guns and Contractors (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/08/lethal-cocktail-vodka-guns-and-contractors/)


Jan Klimkowski
09-12-2009, 11:16 AM
Ed -thanks for posting this.

But the most shocking allegation was raised by whistleblower James Gordon, former director of operations at ArmorGroup, who claimed that the firm quashed an investigation into employees frequenting brothels in Kabul that housed trafficked women.
Spencer Ackerman has this key paragraph:
Perhaps most seriously, Gordon said that he found out that both guards and even ArmorGroup program manager Nick Du Plessis were regularly frequenting brothels in Kabul. “Many of the prostitutes in Kabul are young Chinese girls who were taken against their will to Kabul for sexual exploitation,” Gordon said. Federal contracting regulations designed to support the Trafficking in Victims Protection Act prevents contractors from “procuring commercial sex acts during the period of performance of the contract,” meaning that ArmorGroup could lose its contract if State learned of the violation. Yet Gordon’s lawsuit alleges he was shut out of an investigation into the solicitation of prostitutes at the behest of Armor Group’s London-based parent company, despite recurring evidence that ArmorGroup employees continued to solicit prostitutes and perhaps even run their own prostitution services. A trainee boasted to Gordon “that he could purchase a girl for $20,000 and turn a profit after a month.”

It’s strongly reminiscent of the decade-old DynCorp scandal in Bosnia. The company became embroiled in a controversy over military contractors buying and “owning” young women, many of whom had been forced into prostitution. Two DynCorp employees were fired after they complained that co-workers were involved in Bosnia’s sex-slave trade. While several DynCorp employees were dismissed, none were brought up on criminal charges; the whistleblowers were later vindicated in whistleblower-relation lawsuits. DynCorp remains a top security provider to the State Department.

I remember the DynCorp Balkans incident. There were allegations of human trafficking for finanical and sexual purposes made against other PMCs in the Balkans too.

Nothing was done. The PMCs are still thrusting their snouts gleefully into the trough of taxpayer money.

Of course, some of the business of drug, gun and human trafficking through the Balkans into western Europe has now been subcontracted to the client gangster state of Kosovo, and the murdering thugs of the KLA.

Ed Jewett
09-14-2009, 04:07 AM
Judges Shame America

By Sherwood Ross

September 13, 2009 "Information Clearing House (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/)" --- The federal Appeals Court decision to toss a lawsuit claiming contractors tortured detainees in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison is what you’d expect from a tyranny.

The new ruling brushes off the charges by 212 Iraqis who said they or their late husbands were abused by U.S. personnel at Abu Ghraib. The suit charged private security firm CACI International Inc., of Arlington, Va., of crimes inside the Baghdad hellhole.

Yet in a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals said CACI “is protected by laws barring suits filed as the result of military activities during a time of war,” the Associated Press reported. This opinion was written by Judge Laurence Silberman, a Reagan appointee, and supported by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a Bush appointee.

"During wartime, where a private service contractor is integrated into combatant activities over which the military retains command authority, a tort claim arising out of the contractor's engagement in such activities shall be pre-empted," Silberman wrote. If so, with about as many U.S.-led contract mercenaries as regular army involved in the Iraq conflict, this decision preposterously exempts some 150,000 fighters from legal action for any crimes they commit. It gives a shoot-to-kill pass to privateers such as Blackwater, whose operatives on one occasion are said to have gunned down 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

“This abuse and torture of these prisoners detained during war time constituted war crimes and torture in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the U.S. War Crimes Act, the Convention against Torture, and the U.S. Federal Anti-torture Statute---felonies, punishable by death if death results as a violation thereof,” said Francis Boyle, an international law authority at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

“Judges Silberman and Kavanaugh have now become Accessories After the Fact to torture, war crimes and felonies in violation of United States federal law and international criminal law,” Boyle asserted. (See if they are ever prosecuted!)

Dissenter Judge Merrick Garland, appointed by President Bill Clinton, argued the law does not protect independent contractors, particularly when they are accused of acting outside the rules or instructions of their military overseers. But where Silberman said most of the claims were limited to “abuse” or “harm,” not war crimes or torture, according to Courthouse News Service, Garland “found the claims much more alarming.”

“The plaintiffs in these cases allege they were beaten, electrocuted, raped, subjected to attacks by dogs, and otherwise abused by private contractors working as interpreters and interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison,” Garland said.

“No act of Congress and no judicial precedent bars the plaintiffs from suing the private contractors---who were neither soldiers nor civilian government employees,” he wrote.

"Neither President Obama nor President Bush nor any other Executive Branch official has suggested that subjecting the contractors to tort liability for the conduct at issue here would interfere with the nation's foreign policy or the Executive's ability to wage war,” Garland pointed out.

"To the contrary, the Department of Defense has repeatedly stated that employees of private contractors accompanying the Armed Forces in the field are not within the military's chain of command, and that such contractors are subject to civil liability," he wrote.

Judge Silberman was named to the Federal bench in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan and in 2008 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from (surprise!) President George W. Bush, the man who launched the Afghan and Iraq aggressions.

Silverman was supported in his opinion by Kavanaugh, a former legal aide to President Bush who was later appointed by Bush to the Federal bench. In July, 2007, Senators Patrick Leahy(D-Vt.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) accused Kavanaugh of "misleading" the Senate during his nomination.

In a statement issued at the time opposing the appointment, Sen. Durbin prophesied, “By every indication, Brett Kavanaugh will make this judgeship a gift that keeps on giving to his political patrons who have rewarded him richly with a nomination coveted by lawyers all over America.” And that, of course, is exactly what happened. Here’s what aroused Durbin’s concern:

“For example, he (Kavanaugh) would not tell us his views on some of the most controversial policy decisions of the Bush administration--like the issues of torture and warrantless wiretapping. He would not comment. He would not tell us whether he regretted the role he played in supporting the nomination of some judicial nominees who wanted to permit torture as part of American foreign policy… It would have been so refreshing and reassuring if Brett Kavanaugh could have distanced himself from their extreme views. But a loyal White House counsel is not going to do that. And that is how he came to this nomination.” And that is how he came to dismiss the torture charges against contractor CACI. Surely, Kavanaugh’s decision in the CACI case is proof he misled the Senate and merits impeachment.

In Jan., 2005, The New York Times reported testimony suggesting that guards and/or interrogators at Abu Ghraib were urinating on detainees, pouring phosphoric acid on them, sodomizing them with a baton, tying ropes to their penises and dragging them across the floor, and jumping on their wounds. Some prisoners were hung with their hands tied behind their back until they died. It should be remembered that the Abu Ghraib inmates were suspects, imprisoned without due process or trials. Abu Ghraib’s commanding officer Brig. General Janis Karpinski estimated that 90 percent of them were innocent.

According to an article by Jeffrey Toobin in the September 21 issue of The New Yorker, President Obama already has the chance to nominate judges for 21 seats on the federal appellate bench---more than 10 percent of the 179 judges on those courts, and at least half a dozen more seats should open in the next few months.

In a Detroit speech, Obama said the role of our courts “is to protect people who don’t have a voice…the vulnerable, the minority, the outcast, the person with the unpopular idea, the journalist who is shaking things up…And if somebody doesn’t appreciate that role, then I don’t think they are going to make a very good justice.”

Surely, hundreds of foreign prisoners tortured in an illegal war made by the U.S., or their survivors, are supplicants entitled to a fair hearing, not non-persons to be brushed aside as judges Silberman and Kavanaugh have done this past week. Their ruling that, essentially, injured parties cannot sue the Warfare State and its contractors, drives a tank through the Constitution. Americans had better pray Obama’s judicial choices will aspire to a higher standard. #

(Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based media consultant who has written for major dailies, wire services, and national magazines. To reach him or support his Anti-War News Service contact him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com. )


Jan Klimkowski
09-14-2009, 06:07 PM
The suit charged private security firm CACI International Inc., of Arlington, Va., of crimes inside the Baghdad hellhole.

Yet in a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals said CACI “is protected by laws barring suits filed as the result of military activities during a time of war,” the Associated Press reported. This opinion was written by Judge Laurence Silberman, a Reagan appointee, and supported by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a Bush appointee.

"During wartime, where a private service contractor is integrated into combatant activities over which the military retains command authority, a tort claim arising out of the contractor's engagement in such activities shall be pre-empted," Silberman wrote. If so, with about as many U.S.-led contract mercenaries as regular army involved in the Iraq conflict, this decision preposterously exempts some 150,000 fighters from legal action for any crimes they commit. It gives a shoot-to-kill pass to privateers such as Blackwater, whose operatives on one occasion are said to have gunned down 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians.

Judge Silberman was named to the Federal bench in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan and in 2008 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from (surprise!) President George W. Bush, the man who launched the Afghan and Iraq aggressions.

Silberman was supported in his opinion by Kavanaugh, a former legal aide to President Bush who was later appointed by Bush to the Federal bench. In July, 2007, Senators Patrick Leahy(D-Vt.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) accused Kavanaugh of "misleading" the Senate during his nomination.

Bought and paid for scum providing legal immunity for war crimes perpetrated by private military contractors.

They disgrace America.

My mind is drawn to the resonant ending of Cimino's masterly The Deer Hunter:


Ed Jewett
09-15-2009, 08:36 AM
Prosecutors: Blackwater Guards Opened Fire to 'Instigate Gun Battles' (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/world/middleeast/14contractors.html) 14 Sep 2009 Private security guards Terrorists who worked for Blackwater repeatedly shot wildly into the streets of Baghdad without regard for civilians long before they were involved in a 2007 shooting episode that left at least 14 Iraqis dead, federal prosecutors charge in a new court document. While traveling through Baghdad in heavily armored vehicles, at least one of the guards, under contract with the State Department to provide security for United States Embassy personnel, fired an automatic weapon "without aiming" while another deliberately fired into the streets to "instigate gun battles in a manner that was inconsistent with the use of force and escalation of force policies that governed all Blackwater personnel in Iraq," the federal prosecutors stated. [Looks like CLG was right all along for stating that Blackwater/Xe carries out acts of terrorism so that they are 'needed' to stop attacks that they are blaming on so-called insurgents. --LRP]

14 Sep 2009

http://www.legitgov.org (http://www.legitgov.org/)

Magda Hassan
09-15-2009, 08:56 AM
Just showing a bit of entrepreneurship there Ed. Other wise all these people would just be peacefully getting on with their lives and there is no money in that is there? Without Blackwater and co. to be their sheltered workshop what would happen to all the angry losers of this world? They'd be left to roam the streets and cause trouble, that's what.

Ed Jewett
09-16-2009, 07:40 PM
Floyd J. McKay / Guest columnist
Blackwater: bulging biceps fueled by ideological purity

BLACKWATER, the secretive private army now emerging into public view, is a perfect hinge linking two key elements of the Republican political...

BLACKWATER, the secretive private army now emerging into public view, is a perfect hinge linking two key elements of the Republican political base: America's war machine and a muscular form of fundamentalist Christianity.
Military contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater are the brainchild of Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A major goal of Cheney when he was secretary of defense in the first Bush administration was to privatize as much military work as possible, ostensibly to make it more efficient. He commissioned a study by Halliburton, which predictably liked the idea and wound up as America's largest military contractor. Cheney was hired as Halliburton's chief officer, awaiting the return of a Republican administration.
When that occurred, Cheney and Rumsfeld enthusiastically promoted privatization, and went so far as to include private contractors in the "Total Force" of the American military, standing never before given to contractors. When Rumsfeld left the Pentagon in 2006, there were nearly as many private contractors in Iraq (100,000) as American troops (130,000). Contractors provided food, fuel, housing and, in the case of Blackwater, heavily armed soldiers with a license to kill and an aggressive attitude.
Blackwater operated basically without oversight since proconsul Paul Bremer gave it a no-bid $27.7 million security contract in 2003, with immunity from Iraqi law. In 2004, four of its soldiers were ambushed in Fallujah and their bodies desecrated, bringing retaliation that killed hundreds of Iraqis, leveled the city and fueled the insurgency. A month ago, Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians, in an incident that has drawn the attention of Congress and the FBI.
Blackwater soldiers, often with Navy SEAL or Army Special Operations backgrounds, are paid from $500 to $1,500 a day, far more than regular-duty troops. Their image is straight from central casting: young men, tanned biceps bulging from black T-shirts, wearing wraparound sunglasses and brandishing automatic weapons. For young veterans who loved military action but couldn't afford to stay in, Blackwater offered big money and plenty of opportunities to order people around. Blackwater's aggressive guards became the image of American cultural insensitivity, sometimes erasing the best efforts of our uniformed soldiers.
Blackwater is the private empire of billionaire Erik Prince, a major Republican fundraiser and bankroller of several fundamentalist Christian organizations. His private army employs some 2,300 active gunners and boasts a register of 21,000 ready to serve on call. He has the largest privately held arsenal in the country and the expertise and firepower to bring down a small country.
In 2006, Prince expanded internationally, forming a new subsidiary in Barbados, outside American taxes and regulation, to train foreign forces, often funded by American military aid. Elite Blackwater soldiers have conducted secretive "black jobs" for the CIA or other spy agencies.
Despite its financial success, Blackwater is under fire from two sides: Democratic critics who want accountability and families of the four men killed in Fallujah in 2004. The families have sued, alleging negligence.
Blackwater's lawyers assert it cannot be sued because it is part of the "Total Force." But, while Congress demands that it be subject to American military codes and international treaties, Blackwater takes the opposite view — it is not military, it's a civilian contractor. Big money has gone into D.C. lawyers, lobbyists and public-relations spinners to sell this apparent contradiction.
There have always been mercenaries, and a case can be made for limited use of contractors, but the Bush administration has erased the line between a national military and a private war machine. Iraq is our first outsourced war, siphoning billions of taxpayer dollars into the private war machine.
Military contractors have become an integral part of the American military, allowing the White House to understate troop numbers and avoid a military draft. Unpopular wars for oil or ideology can be waged without calling on middle-class families to send their children; mercenaries will fill the jobs if volunteers don't come forth.
In Prince, the Republicans' radical Christian base is wed to the war-machine base, the one providing votes and manpower, the other providing campaign funds.
The resulting combination is one of rigid ideology and eagerness to solve any problem with overwhelming force. The Bush administration convinced itself its views on Iraq were right, pushing aside contrary evidence, then failed to think beyond "shock and awe," with resultant horrors.
In a world of nuance and gray areas, ideological purity and bulging biceps will cause as many problems as they solve. Blackwater seems to epitomize a dark side of our psyche that should be troubling to all Americans.
Floyd J. McKay, a journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University...


Ed Jewett
09-17-2009, 01:25 AM
Another lawsuit targets founder of Blackwater

By Bill Sizemore (http://hamptonroads.com/2007/10/bill-sizemore)
The Virginian-Pilot
© September 16, 2009
Yet another civil lawsuit accuses Blackwater guards of driving through the streets of Baghdad randomly shooting innocent Iraqis.
The latest case accuses Blackwater founder Erik Prince of personally directing murders from a 24-hour remote monitoring "war room" at the private military company's Moyock, N.C., headquarters.
Prince "personally directed and permitted a heavily-armed private army... to roam the streets of Baghdad killing innocent civilians," alleges the suit, filed by four Iraqi citizens.
Prince was well aware that his men, including top executives, "viewed shooting innocent Iraqis as sport," the suit says. In fact, "those who killed and wounded innocent Iraqis tended to rise higher in Mr. Prince's organization than those who abided by the rule of law."
Prince's top executives openly discussed "laying Hajjis out on cardboard" and "bragged about their collective role in killing those of the Islamic faith," the suit alleges.
On more than one occasion, the suit says, Prince's men went "night hunting" in helicopters after 10 p.m. over the streets of Baghdad, wearing night goggles, killing at random.
The lawsuit says Prince caused murders to occur on at least 11 occasions, including one and perhaps more in the United States.
The suit describes one case in which a young man, not identified in the court papers, died after photographing Anna Bundy, a Blackwater executive, packaging illegal weaponry outfitted with silencers for shipment to Iraq.
One employee is said to have warned the young man that such photographs "are what get people killed." Lawyers for the plaintiffs plan to use the legal discovery process to learn whether Prince participated in the events leading to his death.
The latest suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, is the sixth civil case brought against Prince and his company, now known as Xe, by the Washington law firm Burke O'Neil on behalf of more than 60 Iraqis or their estates.
Many of them were injured or killed two years ago today - Sept. 16, 2007 - in Baghdad's Nisoor Square in a shooting incident that left 17 Iraqis dead and ultimately led to the loss of Blackwater's diplomatic security contract.
Five former Blackwater guards face criminal charges of voluntary manslaughter in that incident. Last week, federal prosecutors filed papers alleging a yearlong pattern of hostile action against Iraqis by the defendants leading up to that shooting.
In one episode described in those papers, one of the five defendants, Evan Liberty, allegedly drove through Baghdad on Sept. 9, 2007, a week before the Nisoor Square incident, randomly shooting Iraqis through the porthole of an armored vehicle.
The latest civil suit is an apparent outgrowth of that event. The plaintiffs are four Iraqis who operated a shop in Baghdad and were allegedly injured by Liberty's "wanton shooting."
Xe had no immediate comment on the new allegations.


Peter Presland
09-17-2009, 05:39 PM
My mind is drawn to the resonant ending of Cimino's masterly The Deer Hunter:


Agreed, an impressive, even masterly film - on its own terms - dealing as it does with lost innocence and the desperate clinging to patriotism through grave hurt and loss; values that had hitherto always been an unquestioned part of life.

But its those 'terms' that I have an issue with.

To make its point the Vietnamese are portrayed as primitive savages and mere props to the angst of America and Americans trying to do the right thing and being killed, crippled and mentally disabled in the process (Shades of the 'Indian Wars' all over again). Not even a hint that the Vietnamese might have similar issues. I agree there is an attempt at a wider anti-war perspective but IMHO it is largely vitiated by total failure to deal with the war's context and the Vietnamese as human beings racked and savaged by war too - and in their OWN country by invaders to boot. In many ways it epitomises the inability of Hollywood to deal intelligently with America's place in a world. Everything has to be presented through American eyes and judged according to 'American values'.

Similar considerations apply to those other, and otherwise exceptional, films: 'Platoon' and 'Full Metal Jacket'.

There are exceptional films where such issues are less ruinous (The Godfather - 1 & 2 being a couple of my favourites) but these days I have to have a film on major recommendation from someone I trust before I will give any Hollywood output the time of day.

Jan Klimkowski
09-17-2009, 05:58 PM
Peter - to keep this thread about PMCs, I've started a new thread about The Deer Hunter at the link below. Mea culpa for introducing movie endings into this discussion:


Ed Jewett
09-20-2009, 05:59 PM
Maybe we can contact some mogul and have them make a movie about what is discussed in this thread, or here at DPF ... it'd make the Godfather series look like Sesame Street. Meanwhile:

From the CorpWatch e-mailed newsletter:

Holding Corporations Accountable

"In The Informant!, opening September 18, Matt Damon portrays real-life whistleblower Mark Whitacre, a rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), who in the mid-1990s, helped the FBI expose one of the largest price-fixing cases in U.S. history. What I find especially fascinating about Whitacre's story is that it's so different from those of other whistleblowers portrayed on film such as Erin Brockovich or The Insider's Jeffrey Wigand."

NEW RELEASES: CrocTail and CorpWatch open API
http://croctail.corpwatch.org (http://croctail.corpwatch.org/)
http://api.corpwatch.org (http://api.corpwatch.org/)

We're excited to announce another new release: the CorpWatch Community portal! http://community.corpwatch.org (http://community.corpwatch.org/)

This page brings together our growing tool-kit of free, online resources for
non-profit investigative research and journalism to hold corporations
accountable and push for transparency. Watch for coordinated reporting and company profiles on these themes in the lead up to December's climate negotiations in Copenhagen...and as the debate around private military and intelligence contractors in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continues to rage.

This summer we released two new, innovative web-based tools.

The CrocTail corporate subsidiaries database provides ways to understand the multinational corporate chain that are accessible (and a lot more fun than poring through SEC 10-K Form Exhibits 21). We hope you've checked it out!

Through our Open API we are sharing this data with like-minded groups. Most significantly yet, our data has been integrated with the RDF data project, http://rdfabout.com/demo/sec/, and keys have been requested by allies like the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and LittleSis.org. We're now looking at ways to make more of the wealth of data in Crocodyl.org available through this feed, and assessing who else's data we can pull in.

Next week (delayed but almost here!) we will release the SpiesforHire.org
database, providing analysis of the array of U.S.-based private intelligence contractors, with “Spies for Hire” author, and periodic CorpWatch contributor, Tim Shorrock.


Ed Jewett
09-30-2009, 03:21 AM
There is also apparently a "phenomenon" underway inside American involving the 'privatization' of localized police functions (long since seen in the prison industry), and perhaps exemplifed by the company "American Police Force". Please feel free to google for the company name and related issues, now reverberating and echoing around discussion boards.

I will here offer up two specific links, the first the company web site (note the logo) [ http://www.americanpolicegroup.com/ ] and the second an early article at Cryptogon: http://cryptogon.com/?p=10995.


Magda Hassan
09-30-2009, 03:41 AM

Where do they get their ideas from???? A fascist's wet dream. This is such a racket.

Ed Jewett
10-01-2009, 03:27 PM
APF Leader Exposed As Career Criminal As Hardin Patrols Labeled Unconstitutional (http://www.prisonplanet.com/apf-leader-exposed-as-career-criminal-as-hardin-patrols-labeled-unconstitutional.html)

Founder of private paramilitary force patrolling Montana town exposed as a lifetime crook
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com (http://prisonplanet.com/)
Thursday, October 1, 2009

The mystery surrounding the paramilitary force patrolling the streets of a town in Montana deepened last night after American Police Force founder “Captain” Michael Hilton was exposed as a career criminal and a convicted fraudster who has operated under numerous different aliases.

As we reported this week, (http://www.prisonplanet.com/paramilitary-force-to-boss-internment-camp-in-montana.html)Hardin Montana is currently being patrolled by a private organization completely outside the purview of the law as local authorities wait to seal a contract that will also see APF boss a $27 million dollar detention center located in the town.

APF’s founder, Michael Hilton, who ascribes himself the title “Captain” and speaks with an eastern European accent, has been at the center of the controversy after initially refusing to reveal his surname to reporters or even officials he was negotiating contracts with.

It has now emerged that “Michael Hilton” is merely the latest incarnation of a man previously known as Miodrag Dokovich, Michael Hamilton, Hristian Djokich and Michael Djokovich.

Hilton, who was born in the south-eastern European country Montenegro, is a “convicted felon with a number of aliases, a string of legal judgments against him, two bankruptcies and a decades-long reputation for deals gone bad,” according to an Associated Press report. (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ifOx0LPKy5B_0KAyPHyNTEqdQz6QD9B269SG0)

Hilton was sentenced to 6 years in jail in 1993 for “Such schemes you cannot believe,” according to Joseph Carella, an Orange County, Calif. doctor, namely a dozen counts of grand theft. Hilton has defrauded numerous different individuals to the tune of $1.1 million dollars over the past 20 years.

“Fraud cases include luring investors into a fake real estate development project, convincing a couple to give him a silver statue worth $100,000 dollars, and pocketing construction funds,” reports KURL 8 News (http://www.kulr8.com/news/local/63026202.html).

Carella expressed his shock that authorities had even entertained Hilton’s proposal to have his paramilitary outfit take over the newly built detention camp while allowing his men to patrol the town.

“I didn’t even sleep last night because of the memories that it conjured up, he’s the reason I had to go bankrupt. I lost my practice, I had some mental issues because of this. He was using up other people’s money, mainly mine, and other people, like a Ponzi scheme,” said Carella.


Hilton’s claim to have advised forces in Iraq and Afghanistan also appears to be a lie, according to the AP.

Both Al Peterson, vice president of Hardin’s Two Rivers Authority, and Becky Shay, the former Billings Gazette reporter who first broke the story but was bizarrely lured to become APF’s spokesperson after she was given a brand new car and a massive pay raise, dismissed questions about Hilton’s criminal past.

Meanwhile, Livingstone State Representative Robert Ebinger told KURL 8 t (http://www.kulr8.com/news/local/62994352.html)hat APF may have violated article 2 section 33 of the Montana Constitution Titled Importation of Armed Persons, which states, “No armed person or persons or body of men shall be brought into the state for the presentation of the peace or the suppression of domestic violence unless the application of the legislature or of the governor when the legislature cannot be convened.”

“They talk about people being able to come in at a moments notice to put forces together and I think if we’re having statements like that made we should figure out who these people are what the deal is over there in Hardin,” said Ebinger.

The FBI refused to acknowledge that they were looking into APF’s occupation of Hardin but said they were aware of the situation.

Alex Jones will be on the ground reporting from Hardin Montana over the next two days to try and get to the bottom of the story and prevent what could be repeated across America, with at least 30 other towns and cities targeted for occupation by APF, if the paramilitary force is allowed to continue its business in Hardin.

The American Police Force is completely violating the Constitution and should be kicked out of the area immediately. No private organization, never mind a secretive paramilitary group headed up by a lifetime crook, should be allowed to conduct law enforcement duties in America.

Watch the two latest reports on American Police Force from KURL 8 News below.


Keith Millea
10-01-2009, 04:46 PM
I wonder what the Northern Cheyenne Tribe thinks about this.Hardin is very very close to their Rez.I would imagine they are NOT HAPPY.I certainly am Not Happy about this.Man,it's getting scary here in the US...........

Magda Hassan
10-02-2009, 02:07 AM
Explains where the double headed eagle comes from then.

Ed Jewett
10-02-2009, 03:16 AM
(((APF = American Police Force = U.S. Training Center = Blackwater = Xe))) (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x6667901)

Whois (http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2009/10/american-police-force-us-training.html)

Magda Hassan
10-02-2009, 04:36 AM
Nice work!

Helen Reyes
10-02-2009, 11:03 AM
I wonder what the Northern Cheyenne Tribe thinks about this.Hardin is very very close to their Rez.I would imagine they are NOT HAPPY.I certainly am Not Happy about this.Man,it's getting scary here in the US...........
Hardin is right on the border with the Crow Nation. The Crow Nation had a coup d'etat where pro-BIA Indians illegally rewrote the 1948 constitution last summer. This mirrors the conflict in Hardin itself where the "port authority" Two Rivers Authority is staging an economic coup to take over the town. Obama courted at least one Crow faction during the election and there is probably stimulus money involved here. ?okovi? is a disposable clown.

Blackwater is doing something on the Flathead Salish rez up north.

Jan Klimkowski
10-02-2009, 04:24 PM
(((APF = American Police Force = U.S. Training Center = Blackwater = Xe))) (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x6667901)

Whois (http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2009/10/american-police-force-us-training.html)

Excellent find.

We really need a Blackwater/Xe/Manchurian Global emoticon. I would suggest perhaps a Robocop figure, clad in ebony black armour with an SS cut, firing an automatic weapon with one hand and clutching a piece of paper in the other. When magnified, the piece of paper would reveal the words: "IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION IN ALL JURISDICTIONS FOREVER. AMEN."

I'm going to copy the contents of the link below, for the historical record, as these things have a habit of disappearing:

debbierlus (1000+ posts) Wed Sep-30-09 08:43 PM
Original message
UPDATE: The 'Mysterious' Firm Policing Montana & hired to fill its empty jail is BLACKWATER

I posted earlier that the following article with links from Rawstory & an AP Story:


Unknown private security company has been hired to fill the empty 27 million dollar jail. They showed up and started to police small Montana town....(go to the above link for full story)...

Well, a little sleuthing and a nod and cough/cough from Torn_Scorned_Ignored (thank you!)pointed to the formerly unknown company's (American Police Force) webpage:


This is the text and the giveaway:

OUR (my emphasis) extensive tactical firearms training facility, THE U.S. TRAINING CENTER (my emphasis) is capable of providing a wide range of instruction and training for all types of law enforcement organizations. From basic firearms training to complex SWAT tactics our corps of instructors can meet all your training requirements.

So, I went to the U.S. Training Center site:


Well, the U.S. Training Center while careful to not use the Blackwater name throughout the U.S. Training Center site (other then a mention about Blackwater having no wrongdoing in overcharging the government for contracting, otherwise, the name Blackwater is strangely absent. But, when I saw the one reference to Blackwater, I did a yahoo search under U.S. Training Center & Blackwater with the following result:

Contact page for Blackwater.
US Training Center. PO Box 1029. Moyock, NC 27958. Xe Services, LLC. Moyock, NC ... US Training Center North. PO Box 33. Mount Carroll, IL 61053. E-Mail Directory ...
www.blackwaterusa.com/contact_us.html - Cached (NOTE CACHED MEANS HIDDEN FROM MAIN SITE - MY NOTE)

Go to the website, and what do you find....

You are right at the U.S. Training Center's Contact Page.

U.S. Training Center being the training facility for the new BLACKWATER front group, American Police Group.

Blackwater has been hired to fill an empty prison in Montana. No one knows where the prisoners are going to come from according to the article linked at the top in my journal.

You must read the full article to comprehend the full horror & implications.




Keith Millea
10-02-2009, 04:31 PM
I wonder what the Northern Cheyenne Tribe thinks about this.Hardin is very very close to their Rez.I would imagine they are NOT HAPPY.I certainly am Not Happy about this.Man,it's getting scary here in the US...........
Hardin is right on the border with the Crow Nation. The Crow Nation had a coup d'etat where pro-BIA Indians illegally rewrote the 1948 constitution last summer. This mirrors the conflict in Hardin itself where the "port authority" Two Rivers Authority is staging an economic coup to take over the town. Obama courted at least one Crow faction during the election and there is probably stimulus money involved here. ?okovi? is a disposable clown.

Blackwater is doing something on the Flathead Salish rez up north.

Thanks for this information Helen.The N.Cheyenne Rez.also borders the Crow Nation.My youngest son is a N. Cheyenne member.I'm really sorry to hear about all this stuff.The N. Cheyenne also have their share of tribal corruption.Lots of coal in this area.Can you explain more on what is going on up at the Flathead Rez?

Ed Jewett
10-02-2009, 09:54 PM
Lovely idea for an emoticon, or a thread logo, or perhaps something else. Who knows a good graphic arist?

Maybe we should also do a "send-up" of the same idea and sell it as a patch or bumper sticker to raise more money for DPF's second anniversary.


Martial Law Is Their Business – and Business Sure Is Swell - "Hardin may well be the first of many economically devastated communities to be given a lifeline by the burgeoning military-homeland security-prison-industrial complex"

http://www.prisonplanet.com/martial-law-is...e-is-swell.html (http://www.prisonplanet.com/martial-law-is-their-business-%E2%80%93-and-business-sure-is-swell.html)

Investigation Could Sink American Police Force: Montana Attorney General orders secretive paramilitary group to turn over all its records

http://www.prisonplanet.com/investigation-...lice-force.html (http://www.prisonplanet.com/investigation-could-sink-american-police-force.html)

Blackwater Claims APF Illegally Using Logos, Material
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, October 1, 2009

A caller to the Alex Jones Show today said that he called Blackwater, who told him that American Police Force were illegally using their material and logos and that they were considering taking legal action against the paramilitary organization currently conducting law enforcement duties in Hardin, Montana.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/blackwater-cla...s-material.html (http://www.prisonplanet.com/blackwater-claims-apf-illegally-using-logos-material.html)

APF Refuses To Divulge Parent Company Amidst Blackwater Accusation

Exposed: American Police Force Is A Blackwater Front Group

APF web page admits it runs Blackwater-controlled U.S. Training Center, proving that the two organizations are one and the same

http://www.prisonplanet.com/exposed-americ...ront-group.html (http://www.prisonplanet.com/exposed-american-police-force-is-a-blackwater-front-group.html)

Hardin jail lands contract: From American Police Force

http://www.mtstandard.com/articles/2009/09...ajaihhgjhjc.txt (http://www.mtstandard.com/articles/2009/09/19/business/hjjajaihhgjhjc.txt)

Group sues to validate Montana gun law


Ed Jewett
10-06-2009, 03:15 AM
Nearly 30 minutes of Peter Dale Scott in a video interview discussing the Hardin, Montana privatization of police, the source of the double-headed eagle logo, the G20 Pittsburgh protests and LRAD, COG, and more.

"... and I just don't see any opposition to it..."


Peter Presland
10-06-2009, 11:19 AM
Nearly 30 minutes of Peter Dale Scott in a video interview discussing the Hardin, Montana privatization of police, the source of the double-headed eagle logo, the G20 Pittsburgh protests and LRAD, COG, and more.

"... and I just don't see any opposition to it..."


Also: "... cumulatively, these Deep events [ JFK, MLK, Iran Contra, 9-11 etc) are having a far greater influence on shaping our world than Congress and the whole of public politics combined...." That's paraphrased from memory but about right.

Thanks Ed. Good interviews and well worth tuning into - though Jason Bermas is a bit too full of himself for my taste


Ed Jewett
10-06-2009, 02:31 PM
Yes, I would think interviewing technique ought be to let someone as well-versed and authoritative as Scott have most of the air-time but perhaps Bermas felt the need to overly lead and inform an audience that likely hasn't yet gotten to know of Scott's works or the depth (pardon the pun) of his research. Many of that audience know there are 'Spanish galleons' down in the murky depths but, if I had in front of me the man who has brought back the gold bars from the sunken galleons of history, I'd ask well-designed leading questions and shut up.

Ed Jewett
10-20-2009, 08:57 PM
With a tip of the cap to Snuffysmith:

David Isenberg, an adviser to the Straus Military Reform Project, has written an important new report about the use of contractors "to circumvent ... public skepticism about the United States' self-appointed role as global policeman." The report addresses issues that Americans clearly prefer not to think about, but need to. Indeed, there are many in and out of government who would prefer that we not think about these issues.

The report, "Private Military Contractors and U.S. Grand Strategy," is written for the International Peace Research Institute (also identified as PRIO) in Oslo, Norway.

David has long studied the executive branch's use of contractors to perform services once considered the exclusive role of the federal government. He is the author of "Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq" (Praeger, 2008). He addresses issues far beyond just the dollar cost of these contractors; they go to the heart of the question of America's role in the world, and what it should and should not be. It is an important report.

The full report can be found at http://www.prio.no/Research-and-Publicatio...n/?oid=49870671 (http://www.prio.no/Research-and-Publications/Publication/?oid=49870671),
and the executive summary appears below.

THE DEBATE OVER WHETHER and how to utilize private military and security contractors generates much heat but not much light. In many case the level of discourse resembles children's name calling, i.e., "You're a mercenary." "No I'm not." Such rhetoric is silly and distracting and prevents people from facing underlying realities which are rarely dealt with publicly.

The truth is that the United States is by far the world's largest consumer of such services. While contractors have worked with the government since the country's founding their role has grown as Washington has reduced the size of the U.S. military in the post-Cold War era, and as those forces have become strained by the demands of U.S. grand strategy. This did not happen by accident. Decades ago the government made a deliberate decision to both privatize and outsource military functions and activities that had traditionally been done in the public sector. One can argue for and against such contractors but what nobody wants to discuss is that the U.S. government's huge and growing reliance on private contractors constitutes an attempt to circumvent or evade public skepticism about the United States' self-appointed role as global policeman. The U.S. government has assumed the role of guarantor of global stability at a time when the American public is unwilling to provide the resources necessary to support this strategy. Private contractors fill the gap between geopolitical goals and public means The low visibility and presumed low cost of private contractors appeals to those who favor a global U.S. military presence, but fear that such a strategy cannot command public support. And by using contractors the United States also shift responsibility and blame for its actions. As the United States relies more heavily upon military contractors to support its role as world hegemon, it reinforces the tendency to approach global crises in a unilateral, as opposed to multilateral manner, further ensuring that the burdens will be carried disproportionately by U.S. taxpayers. U.S. use of PMCs is inevitable until people grasp the key point, which is that that contracting is both part of war and part of maintaining a global military hegemonic presence.

A different link to the full report is http://www.prio.no/sptrans/-1720057691/Ise...rt%201-2009.pdf (http://www.prio.no/sptrans/-1720057691/Isenberg%20Private%20Military%20Contractors%20PRIO %20Report%201-2009.pdf)

Magda Hassan
10-24-2009, 01:57 AM

Ed Jewett
11-11-2009, 04:52 PM
Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraqi Officials After Murder of 17 Civilians (http://cryptogon.com/?p=12065)

November 11th, 2009 Via: New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/world/middleeast/11blackwater.html?_r=2&th&emc=th):
Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.
Blackwater approved the cash payments in December 2007, the officials said, as protests over the deadly shootings in Nisour Square stoked long-simmering anger inside Iraq about reckless practices by the security company’s employees. American and Iraqi investigators had already concluded that the shootings were unjustified, top Iraqi officials were calling for Blackwater’s ouster from the country, and company officials feared that Blackwater might be refused an operating license it would need to retain its contracts with the State Department and private clients, worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Four former executives said in interviews that Gary Jackson, who was then Blackwater’s president, had approved the bribes and that the money was sent from Amman, Jordan, where the company maintains an operations hub, to a top manager in Iraq. The executives, though, said they did not know whether the cash was delivered to Iraqi officials or the identities of the potential recipients.


David Guyatt
11-11-2009, 06:14 PM
Disgraceful, but Blackwater are far too powerful in Washington - let alone Baghdad (or elsewhere for that matter) - to have anything serious happen to them over this.

Oh what a lovely war!

Ed Jewett
11-12-2009, 06:24 AM
Scahill: Obama may be afraid of Blackwater

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer (http://rawstory.com/2009/author/raw227/)
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 -- 3:30 pm

Despite news reports that the security contractor formerly known as Blackwater has seen its contracts dry up and its influence wane, the company continues to do brisk business in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and the Obama administration may be too afraid of the firm to do anything about it, says investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill. "You know who's guarding Hillary Clinton in Afghanistan right now? Blackwater," Scahill told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Tuesday night. "You know who guards members of Congress? Blackwater. They have half a billion dollars in contracts in Afghanistan right now. CIA, State Department, Defense Department. Why is President Obama keeping these guys on the payroll? There has never been a company in recent history that made the case that corporations are corrupt, evil organizations than Blackwater."
Scahill was on The Rachel Maddow Show discussing the New York Times' revelation (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/world/middleeast/11blackwater.html) that senior Blackwater executives allegedly arranged for bribes of up to $1 million for Iraqi politicians in a bid to retain its contracts and silence criticism of the company in the wake of the Nissour Square massacre in 2007, in which 17 Iraqi civilians died after Blackwater guards opened fire.
Though the Times report stated that it's unknown if the approved bribes ever reached their targets -- Iraqi politicians -- Scahill drew a connection between the alleged bribes and the fact that, after the Nissour Sqaure massacre, the Iraqi government first decided to bar Blackwater from operating in the country, and then reversed its position.
"You had the Iraqi government saying Blackwater was banned from that country, then suddenly doing an about face, and Blackwater remains in Iraq to this day," Scahill said.

That sentiment was echoed by Spencer Ackerman at the Washington Independent, who also suggested a link between the alleged bribes and Blackwater's continued presence in Iraq. "Now we have some inkling of why the Iraqis allowed the firm to stay," Ackerman blogged (http://washingtonindependent.com/67363/well-now-we-know-why-it-took-so-long-for-iraq-to-kick-blackwater-out).
Scahill suggested that the security firm's deep and continued involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars means the company could potentially embarrass any administration with the things it can reveal.
"Another way of looking at this is Blackwater knows where a lot of bodies are buried," Scahill told Maddow. "These are guys who worked on the CIA assassination program (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090831/scahill1), the drone bombing campaign (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/us/21intel.html), and regarding all of the senior officals, they know a heck of a lot about what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those are not guys that you want on the other side of the fence if you're running Washington."
Scahill dismissed as "nonsense" the idea that Blackwater continues to have contracts because its services can't be carried out by regular military forces.
This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Nov. 10, 2009.

{The video is an embedded Flash of Rachel Maddow's reporting on the story of the bribery plan noting the Times' citing four Blackwater executive soruces and her interview of Scahill }

Download video via RawReplay.com (

Among the comments:

fred Scahill is going to wind up face down in a ditch with a few slugs in the back of his head, or, equivalently, a footnote to a light-aircraft accident.
[B]schmice It will no doubt be ruled a suicide.
Barack Obama has small children. He loves his wife.... There will be no meaningful reform during his adminstration(s). The CIA, MIC, and Corporatist Oligarghs have informed him in no uncertain terms that he will not survive any meaningful threat to their power. For more information see JFK, RFK, and MLK.
miggy The notion that a newly-elected president is taken to a back room and "talked to" by state security and/or shadow government operatives is attractive. In fact, it's part of popular culture:
"I walked into El Presidente’s office two days after he was elected and congratulated him… I said “Mr. President, in here I got a couple hundred million dollars for you and your family, if you play the game – you know, be kind to my friends who run the oil companies, treat your Uncle Sam good.” Then I stepped closer, reached my right hand into the other pocket, bent down next to his face, and whispered, “In here I got a gun and a bullet with your name on it – in case you decide to keep your campaign promises.” I stepped back, sat down, and recited a little list for him, of presidents who were assassinated or overthrown because they defied their Uncle Sam: from Diem to Torrijos – you know the routine. He got the message." – John Perkins, quoting an anonymous source in his new book, “The Secret History of the American Empire – Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption”.
"No matter what promises you make on the campaign trail, blah blah blah, when you win (the U.S. Presidency), you go into this smoky room with the 12 industrialist, capitalist scumfucks that got you in there, and this little screen comes down...and its a shot of the JFK assassination from an angle you've never seen before, which looks suspiciously like the grassy knoll, and then the screen comes up and the lights go on, and they ask the new president "any questions?" – Comedian Bill Hicks


Magda Hassan
11-12-2009, 07:15 AM
Who isn't afraid of Blackwater? Of course he would be afraid. And they know where the bodies are buried and Obama does not want any zombies in Washington. As for who is looking after Hilary in Afghanistan I am sure she is in good hands. I think there is zero chance of her meeting an unexpected end. I am sure she is the preferred 'leader' but for now Obama is doing just fine. But if he doesn't she certainly will.

Ed Jewett
11-17-2009, 07:54 AM
WHAT'S NEW ON CORPWATCH: Holding Corporations Accountable

NEW RELEASE: CorpWatch Community Portal
http://community.corpwatch.org (http://community.corpwatch.org/)

CorpWatch Releases Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors

Joint project with SPIES FOR HIRE author Tim Shorrock
Now available at SPIES FOR HIRE.org (http://www.crocodyl.org/spiesforhire)

* Tim Shorrock: E-mail: timshorrock@gmail.com Tel: 901/361-7441
* CorpWatch: Tonya Hennessey: E-mail: tonya@corpwatch.org
Tel: 650/273-2475

For immediate release
November 16, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Starting today, journalists, activists, and corporate researchers will be able to use the Internet site SpiesForHire.org (http://www.crocodyl.org/spiesforhire) to track the nation’s most important intelligence contractors.

Increasingly, secret drone attacks in Pakistan, CIA prisons in Guantanamo, and domestic surveillance of American citizens, have drawn public scrutiny to U.S. intelligence. These and other policies have triggered calls for criminal investigations and congressional commissions to investigate possible abuses in the post-9/11 "war on terror."

But there's a big piece missing from the national debate about spying: the role of private intelligence contractors. After journalist Tim Shorrock's 2008 investigation, U.S. officials confirmed that 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget goes directly to private companies working under contract to the CIA, the NSA, and other agencies. With the U.S. intelligence budget estimated at $60 billion a year, the outsourced business of intelligence is a $45 billion annual industry.

To help the public and media understand this new phenomenon, CorpWatch is joining today with Shorrock, the first journalist to blow the whistle on the privatization of U.S. intelligence, to create a groundbreaking database focusing on the dozens of corporations that provide classified intelligence services to the United States government.

This database expands on Shorrock's 2008 book, SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.

SpiesForHire.org's detailed descriptions and histories of the companies that make up this new class of mercenaries will make it your guide to the new U.S. Intelligence-Industrial Complex.

Included are defense giants such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon; along with lesser-known but still influential companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, and CACI International; and dozens of Beltway Bandits that have set up shop in D.C. and environs to feed the government's insatiable appetite for contract intelligence.

http://www.crocodyl.org/spies_for_hire/lockheed_martin_information_systems_and_global_ser vices
http://www.crocodyl.org/spies_for_hire/saic_science_applications_international_corporatio n

These contractors, database users will find, do it all:

* At the CIA, they conduct interrogations at Guantanamo, run stations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hotspots, and help transport suspected terrorists -- including some later found innocent—to countries known to practice torture.

* At the NSA, they work alongside agency employees at listening posts in Maryland, Georgia, Hawaii, the UK, and elsewhere to monitor telephone calls and emails between U.S. citizens and targeted foreigners.

* From bases in Nevada and Virginia, they control the military and CIA Predators that launch missiles at suspected terrorist bases in Pakistan
and Afghanistan.

* Contractors also run covert operations, write intelligence reports that are passed up the line of command all the way to the president, and advise agencies on how to spend taxpayer dollars.

SpiesForHire.org (http://www.crocodyl.org/spiesforhire) is a component of CorpWatch's existing Crocodyl database on global corporations. Based on Shorrock's research for his book and for CorpWatch, Salon, Mother Jones,
and other publications, the site will feature essential information about each major contractor, such as its key executives for intelligence operations, its major intelligence clients, and an analysis of its role in the U.S. intelligence system.

The database is an ongoing project. Starting from a base of a dozen companies and intelligence agencies, it will eventually include all the major private sector players in the business of U.S. government spying. Each profile will be regularly updated. Unlike Crocodyl, which registered users can augment, SpiesForHire.org will be edited exclusively by Shorrock and the CorpWatch staff, who will also vet and fact check any volunteer or whistleblower contributions.

Since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. government's use of private sector contractors for tasks of war has made headlines: Halliburton’s lucrative Iraqi reconstruction contracts, CACI International's civilian interrogators at Abu Ghraib, and Blackwater’s (now Xe) shooting of noncombatants in Baghdad -- to name a few. Less well known is U.S. contractor involvement in Latin America, for example in executing the U.S. war on drugs in countries like Colombia.

This site will, for the first time, expose the size and scope of the private sector’s influence on U.S. intelligence agencies -- and the government’s unsettling efforts to hide the facts.

ABOUT CORPWATCH and CROCODYL (http://community.corpwatch.org (http://community.corpwatch.org/))

A global community of non-profit, independent investigative research, journalism and advocacy around issues of multinational corporate accountability and transparency, the CorpWatch community of sites provides tools and resources for critical vigilance and advocacy through a global effort of NGOs, journalists, activists, whistleblowers and academics.

Through its family of websites and social media, we seek to expose multinational corporations that that profit from war, fraud, environmental, human rights and other abuses, and to provide critical information to foster a more informed public and an effective democracy.

CorpWatch.org provides non-profit investigative research and journalism to expose corporate malfeasance and to advocate for multinational corporate accountability and transparency.

Crocodyl.org is an evolving compendium of critical research, posted to the
public domain as an aid to anyone working to hold corporations increasingly accountable. Crocodyl enables disparate groups and individuals to pool our knowledge about specific corporations in order to reduce the high cost of corporate research.

ABOUT TIM SHORROCK (http://www.timshorrock.com (http://www.timshorrock.com/))

Tim Shorrock is an investigative journalist who has spent a quarter-century researching the intersection of national security and business. SPIES FOR HIRE, his groundbreaking book on the privatization of U.S. intelligence, was published to great acclaim in 2008 by Simon & Schuster, and released in paperback in May 2009. Shorrock's work has appeared in many publications in the United States and abroad, including The Nation, Salon, Mother Jones, Harper’s, Inter Press Service, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Progressive, The Journal of Commerce, Foreign Policy in Focus, and Asia Times. He appears frequently as a commentator on U.S intelligence and foreign policy, and has been interviewed on Pacifica's "Democracy Now," Air America, and CBS Radio. Shorrock grew up in Japan and South Korea, and now lives in Washington, D.C., where he researches government contracts for an AFL-CIO union representing federal employees.

Ed Jewett
11-24-2009, 11:20 AM
Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan

By Jeremy Scahill (http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/jeremy_scahill)

November 23, 2009

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, "snatch and grabs" of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help run a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater's involvement. He spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so "compartmentalized" that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence. The White House did not return calls or email messages seeking comment for this story. Capt. John Kirby, the spokesperson for Adm. Michael Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Nation, "We do not discuss current operations one way or the other, regardless of their nature." A defense official, on background, specifically denied that Blackwater performs work on drone strikes or intelligence for JSOC in Pakistan. "We don't have any contracts to do that work for us. We don't contract that kind of work out, period," the official said. "There has not been, and is not now, contracts between JSOC and that organization for these types of services." The previously unreported program, the military intelligence source said, is distinct from the CIA assassination program that the agency's director, Leon Panetta, announced he had canceled in June 2009. "This is a parallel operation to the CIA," said the source. "They are two separate beasts." The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the United States has not declared war--knowledge that could further strain the already tense relations between the United States and Pakistan. In 2006, the United States and Pakistan struck a deal that authorized JSOC to enter Pakistan to hunt Osama bin Laden with the understanding that Pakistan would deny it had given permission. Officially, the United States is not supposed to have any active military operations in the country. Blackwater, which recently changed its name to Xe Services and US Training Center, denies the company is operating in Pakistan. "Xe Services has only one employee in Pakistan performing construction oversight for the U.S. Government," Blackwater spokesperson Mark Corallo said in a statement to The Nation, adding that the company has "no other operations of any kind in Pakistan."
A former senior executive at Blackwater confirmed the military intelligence source's claim that the company is working in Pakistan for the CIA and JSOC, the premier counterterrorism and covert operations force within the military. He said that Blackwater is also working for the Pakistani government on a subcontract with an Islamabad-based security firm that puts US Blackwater operatives on the ground with Pakistani forces in counter-terrorism operations, including house raids and border interdictions, in the North-West Frontier Province and elsewhere in Pakistan. This arrangement, the former executive said, allows the Pakistani government to utilize former US Special Operations forces who now work for Blackwater while denying an official US military presence in the country. He also confirmed that Blackwater has a facility in Karachi and has personnel deployed elsewhere in Pakistan. The former executive spoke on condition of anonymity.
His account and that of the military intelligence source were borne out by a US military source who has knowledge of Special Forces actions in Pakistan and Afghanistan. When asked about Blackwater's covert work for JSOC in Pakistan, this source, who also asked for anonymity, told The Nation, "From my information that I have, that is absolutely correct," adding, "There's no question that's occurring."
"It wouldn't surprise me because we've outsourced nearly everything," said Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2002 to 2005, when told of Blackwater's role in Pakistan. Wilkerson said that during his time in the Bush administration, he saw the beginnings of Blackwater's involvement with the sensitive operations of the military and CIA. "Part of this, of course, is an attempt to get around the constraints the Congress has placed on DoD. If you don't have sufficient soldiers to do it, you hire civilians to do it. I mean, it's that simple. It would not surprise me."
The Counterterrorism Tag Team in Karachi
The covert JSOC program with Blackwater in Pakistan dates back to at least 2007, according to the military intelligence source. The current head of JSOC is Vice Adm. William McRaven, who took over the post from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC from 2003 to 2008 before being named the top US commander in Afghanistan. Blackwater's presence in Pakistan is "not really visible, and that's why nobody has cracked down on it," said the source. Blackwater's operations in Pakistan, he said, are not done through State Department contracts or publicly identified Defense contracts. "It's Blackwater via JSOC, and it's a classified no-bid [contract] approved on a rolling basis." The main JSOC/Blackwater facility in Karachi, according to the source, is nondescript: three trailers with various generators, satellite phones and computer systems are used as a makeshift operations center. "It's a very rudimentary operation," says the source. "I would compare it to [CIA] outposts in Kurdistan or any of the Special Forces outposts. It's very bare bones, and that's the point."
Blackwater's work for JSOC in Karachi is coordinated out of a Task Force based at Bagram Air Base in neighboring Afghanistan, according to the military intelligence source. While JSOC technically runs the operations in Karachi, he said, it is largely staffed by former US special operations soldiers working for a division of Blackwater, once known as Blackwater SELECT, and intelligence analysts working for a Blackwater affiliate, Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), which is owned by Blackwater's founder, Erik Prince. The military source said that the name Blackwater SELECT may have been changed recently. Total Intelligence, which is run out of an office on the ninth floor of a building in the Ballston area of Arlington, Virginia, is staffed by former analysts and operatives from the CIA, DIA, FBI and other agencies. It is modeled after the CIA's counterterrorism center. In Karachi, TIS runs a "media-scouring/open-source network," according to the source. Until recently, Total Intelligence was run by two former top CIA officials, Cofer Black and Robert Richer, both of whom have left the company. In Pakistan, Blackwater is not using either its original name or its new moniker, Xe Services, according to the former Blackwater executive. "They are running most of their work through TIS because the other two [names] have such a stain on them," he said. Corallo, the Blackwater spokesperson, denied that TIS or any other division or affiliate of Blackwater has any personnel in Pakistan.
The US military intelligence source said that Blackwater's classified contracts keep getting renewed at the request of JSOC. Blackwater, he said, is already so deeply entrenched that it has become a staple of the US military operations in Pakistan. According to the former Blackwater executive, "The politics that go with the brand of BW is somewhat set aside because what you're doing is really one military guy to another." Blackwater's first known contract with the CIA for operations in Afghanistan was awarded in 2002 and was for work along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
One of the concerns raised by the military intelligence source is that some Blackwater personnel are being given rolling security clearances above their approved clearances. Using Alternative Compartmentalized Control Measures (ACCMs), he said, the Blackwater personnel are granted clearance to a Special Access Program, the bureaucratic term used to describe highly classified "black" operations. "With an ACCM, the security manager can grant access to you to be exposed to and operate within compartmentalized programs far above 'secret'--even though you have no business doing so," said the source. It allows Blackwater personnel that "do not have the requisite security clearance or do not hold a security clearance whatsoever to participate in classified operations by virtue of trust," he added. "Think of it as an ultra-exclusive level above top secret. That's exactly what it is: a circle of love." Blackwater, therefore, has access to "all source" reports that are culled in part from JSOC units in the field. "That's how a lot of things over the years have been conducted with contractors," said the source. "We have contractors that regularly see things that top policy-makers don't unless they ask."
According to the source, Blackwater has effectively marketed itself as a company whose operatives have "conducted lethal direct action missions and now, for a price, you can have your own planning cell. JSOC just ate that up," he said, adding, "They have a sizable force in Pakistan--not for any nefarious purpose if you really want to look at it that way--but to support a legitimate contract that's classified for JSOC." Blackwater's Pakistan JSOC contracts are secret and are therefore shielded from public oversight, he said. The source is not sure when the arrangement with JSOC began, but he says that a spin-off of Blackwater SELECT "was issued a no-bid contract for support to shooters for a JSOC Task Force and they kept extending it." Some of the Blackwater personnel, he said, work undercover as aid workers. "Nobody even gives them a second thought."
The military intelligence source said that the Blackwater/JSOC Karachi operation is referred to as "Qatar cubed," in reference to the US forward operating base in Qatar that served as the hub for the planning and implementation of the US invasion of Iraq. "This is supposed to be the brave new world," he says. "This is the Jamestown of the new millennium and it's meant to be a lily pad. You can jump off to Uzbekistan, you can jump back over the border, you can jump sideways, you can jump northwest. It's strategically located so that they can get their people wherever they have to without having to wrangle with the military chain of command in Afghanistan, which is convoluted. They don't have to deal with that because they're operating under a classified mandate."
In addition to planning drone strikes and operations against suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Pakistan for both JSOC and the CIA, the Blackwater team in Karachi also helps plan missions for JSOC inside Uzbekistan against the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, according to the military intelligence source. Blackwater does not actually carry out the operations, he said, which are executed on the ground by JSOC forces. "That piqued my curiosity and really worries me because I don't know if you noticed but I was never told we are at war with Uzbekistan," he said. "So, did I miss something, did Rumsfeld come back into power?"
Pakistan's Military Contracting Maze
Blackwater, according to the military intelligence source, is not doing the actual killing as part of its work in Pakistan. "The SELECT personnel are not going into places with private aircraft and going after targets," he said. "It's not like Blackwater SELECT people are running around assassinating people." Instead, US Special Forces teams carry out the plans developed in part by Blackwater. The military intelligence source drew a distinction between the Blackwater operatives who work for the State Department, which he calls "Blackwater Vanilla," and the seasoned Special Forces veterans who work on the JSOC program. "Good or bad, there's a small number of people who know how to pull off an operation like that. That's probably a good thing," said the source. "It's the Blackwater SELECT people that have and continue to plan these types of operations because they're the only people that know how and they went where the money was. It's not trigger-happy fucks, like some of the PSD [Personal Security Detail] guys. These are not people that believe that Barack Obama is a socialist, these are not people that kill innocent civilians. They're very good at what they do."
The former Blackwater executive, when asked for confirmation that Blackwater forces were not actively killing people in Pakistan, said, "that's not entirely accurate." While he concurred with the military intelligence source's description of the JSOC and CIA programs, he pointed to another role Blackwater is allegedly playing in Pakistan, not for the US government but for Islamabad. According to the executive, Blackwater works on a subcontract for Kestral Logistics, a powerful Pakistani firm, which specializes in military logistical support, private security and intelligence consulting. It is staffed with former high-ranking Pakistani army and government officials. While Kestral's main offices are in Pakistan, it also has branches in several other countries.
A spokesperson for the US State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which is responsible for issuing licenses to US corporations to provide defense-related services to foreign governments or entities, would neither confirm nor deny for The Nation that Blackwater has a license to work in Pakistan or to work with Kestral. "We cannot help you," said department spokesperson David McKeeby after checking with the relevant DDTC officials. "You'll have to contact the companies directly." Blackwater's Corallo said the company has "no operations of any kind" in Pakistan other than the one employee working for the DoD. Kestral did not respond to inquiries from The Nation.
According to federal lobbying records, Kestral recently hired former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega, who served in that post from 2003 to 2005, to lobby the US government, including the State Department, USAID and Congress, on foreign affairs issues "regarding [Kestral's] capabilities to carry out activities of interest to the United States." Noriega was hired through his firm, Vision Americas, which he runs with Christina Rocca, a former CIA operations official who served as assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 2001 to 2006 and was deeply involved in shaping US policy toward Pakistan. In October 2009, Kestral paid Vision Americas $15,000 and paid a Vision Americas-affiliated firm, Firecreek Ltd., an equal amount to lobby on defense and foreign policy issues.
For years, Kestral has done a robust business in defense logistics with the Pakistani government and other nations, as well as top US defense companies. Blackwater owner Erik Prince is close with Kestral CEO Liaquat Ali Baig, according to the former Blackwater executive. "Ali and Erik have a pretty close relationship," he said. "They've met many times and struck a deal, and they [offer] mutual support for one another." Working with Kestral, he said, Blackwater has provided convoy security for Defense Department shipments destined for Afghanistan that would arrive in the port at Karachi. Blackwater, according to the former executive, would guard the supplies as they were transported overland from Karachi to Peshawar and then west through the Torkham border crossing, the most important supply route for the US military in Afghanistan.
According to the former executive, Blackwater operatives also integrate with Kestral's forces in sensitive counterterrorism operations in the North-West Frontier Province, where they work in conjunction with the Pakistani Interior Ministry's paramilitary force, known as the Frontier Corps (alternately referred to as "frontier scouts"). The Blackwater personnel are technically advisers, but the former executive said that the line often gets blurred in the field. Blackwater "is providing the actual guidance on how to do [counterterrorism operations] and Kestral's folks are carrying a lot of them out, but they're having the guidance and the overwatch from some BW guys that will actually go out with the teams when they're executing the job," he said. "You can see how that can lead to other things in the border areas." He said that when Blackwater personnel are out with the Pakistani teams, sometimes its men engage in operations against suspected terrorists. "You've got BW guys that are assisting... and they're all going to want to go on the jobs--so they're going to go with them," he said. "So, the things that you're seeing in the news about how this Pakistani military group came in and raided this house or did this or did that--in some of those cases, you're going to have Western folks that are right there at the house, if not in the house." Blackwater, he said, is paid by the Pakistani government through Kestral for consulting services. "That gives the Pakistani government the cover to say, 'Hey, no, we don't have any Westerners doing this. It's all local and our people are doing it.' But it gets them the expertise that Westerners provide for [counterterrorism]-related work."
The military intelligence source confirmed Blackwater works with the Frontier Corps, saying, "There's no real oversight. It's not really on people's radar screen."
In October, in response to Pakistani news reports that a Kestral warehouse in Islamabad was being used to store heavy weapons for Blackwater, the US Embassy in Pakistan released a statement denying the weapons were being used by "a private American security contractor." The statement said, "Kestral Logistics is a private logistics company that handles the importation of equipment and supplies provided by the United States to the Government of Pakistan. All of the equipment and supplies were imported at the request of the Government of Pakistan, which also certified the shipments."
Who is Behind the Drone Attacks?
Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated, the United States has expanded drone bombing raids in Pakistan. Obama first ordered a drone strike against targets in North and South Waziristan on January 23, and the strikes have been conducted consistently ever since. The Obama administration has now surpassed the number of Bush-era strikes in Pakistan and has faced fierce criticism from Pakistan and some US lawmakers over civilian deaths. A drone attack in June killed as many as sixty people attending a Taliban funeral.
In August, the New York Times reported that Blackwater works for the CIA at "hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the company's contractors assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft." In February, The Times of London obtained a satellite image of a secret CIA airbase in Shamsi, in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, showing three drone aircraft. The New York Times also reported that the agency uses a secret base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to strike in Pakistan.
The military intelligence source says that the drone strike that reportedly killed Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, his wife and his bodyguards in Waziristan in August was a CIA strike, but that many others attributed in media reports to the CIA are actually JSOC strikes. "Some of these strikes are attributed to OGA [Other Government Agency, intelligence parlance for the CIA], but in reality it's JSOC and their parallel program of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] because they also have access to UAVs. So when you see some of these hits, especially the ones with high civilian casualties, those are almost always JSOC strikes." The Pentagon has stated bluntly, "There are no US military strike operations being conducted in Pakistan."
The military intelligence source also confirmed that Blackwater continues to work for the CIA on its drone bombing program in Pakistan, as previously reported in the New York Times, but added that Blackwater is working on JSOC's drone bombings as well. "It's Blackwater running the program for both CIA and JSOC," said the source. When civilians are killed, "people go, 'Oh, it's the CIA doing crazy shit again unchecked.' Well, at least 50 percent of the time, that's JSOC [hitting] somebody they've identified through HUMINT [human intelligence] or they've culled the intelligence themselves or it's been shared with them and they take that person out and that's how it works."
The military intelligence source says that the CIA operations are subject to Congressional oversight, unlike the parallel JSOC bombings. "Targeted killings are not the most popular thing in town right now and the CIA knows that," he says. "Contractors and especially JSOC personnel working under a classified mandate are not [overseen by Congress], so they just don't care. If there's one person they're going after and there's thirty-four people in the building, thirty-five people are going to die. That's the mentality." He added, "They're not accountable to anybody and they know that. It's an open secret, but what are you going to do, shut down JSOC?"
In addition to working on covert action planning and drone strikes, Blackwater SELECT also provides private guards to perform the sensitive task of security for secret US drone bases, JSOC camps and Defense Intelligence Agency camps inside Pakistan, according to the military intelligence source.
Mosharraf Zaidi, a well-known Pakistani journalist who has served as a consultant for the UN and European Union in Pakistan and Afghanistan, says that the Blackwater/JSOC program raises serious questions about the norms of international relations. "The immediate question is, How do you define the active pursuit of military objectives in a country with which not only have you not declared war but that is supposedly a front-line non-NATO ally in the US struggle to contain extremist violence coming out of Afghanistan and the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan?" asks Zaidi, who is currently a columnist for The News, the biggest English-language daily in Pakistan. "Let's forget Blackwater for a second. What this is confirming is that there are US military operations in Pakistan that aren't about logistics or getting food to Bagram; that are actually about the exercise of physical violence, physical force inside of Pakistani territory."
JSOC: Rumsfeld and Cheney's Extra Special Force
Colonel Wilkerson said that he is concerned that with General McChrystal's elevation as the military commander of the Afghan war--which is increasingly seeping into Pakistan--there is a concomitant rise in JSOC's power and influence within the military structure. "I don't see how you can escape that; it's just a matter of the way the authority flows and the power flows, and it's inevitable, I think," Wilkerson told The Nation. He added, "I'm alarmed when I see execute orders and combat orders that go out saying that the supporting force is Central Command and the supported force is Special Operations Command," under which JSOC operates. "That's backward. But that's essentially what we have today."
From 2003 to 2008 McChrystal headed JSOC, which is headquartered at Pope Air Force Base and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where Blackwater's 7,000-acre operating base is also situated. JSOC controls the Army's Delta Force, the Navy's SEAL Team 6, as well as the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and the Air Force's 24th Special Tactics Squadron. JSOC performs strike operations, reconnaissance in denied areas and special intelligence missions. Blackwater, which was founded by former Navy SEALs, employs scores of veteran Special Forces operators--which several former military officials pointed to as the basis for Blackwater's alleged contracts with JSOC.
Since 9/11, many top-level Special Forces veterans have taken up employment with private firms, where they can make more money doing the highly specialized work they did in uniform. "The Blackwater individuals have the experience. A lot of these individuals are retired military, and they've been around twenty to thirty years and have experience that the younger Green Beret guys don't," said retired Army Lieut. Col. Jeffrey Addicott, a well-connected military lawyer who served as senior legal counsel for US Army Special Forces. "They're known entities. Everybody knows who they are, what their capabilities are, and they've got the experience. They're very valuable."
"They make much more money being the smarts of these operations, planning hits in various countries and basing it off their experience in Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Ethiopia," said the military intelligence source. "They were there for all of these things, they know what the hell they're talking about. And JSOC has unfortunately lost the institutional capability to plan within, so they hire back people that used to work for them and had already planned and executed these [types of] operations. They hired back people that jumped over to Blackwater SELECT and then pay them exorbitant amounts of money to plan future operations. It's a ridiculous revolving door."
While JSOC has long played a central role in US counterterrorism and covert operations, military and civilian officials who worked at the Defense and State Departments during the Bush administration described in interviews with The Nation an extremely cozy relationship that developed between the executive branch (primarily through Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) and JSOC. During the Bush era, Special Forces turned into a virtual stand-alone operation that acted outside the military chain of command and in direct coordination with the White House. Throughout the Bush years, it was largely General McChrystal who ran JSOC. "What I was seeing was the development of what I would later see in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Special Operations forces would operate in both theaters without the conventional commander even knowing what they were doing," said Colonel Wilkerson. "That's dangerous, that's very dangerous. You have all kinds of mess when you don't tell the theater commander what you're doing."
Wilkerson said that almost immediately after assuming his role at the State Department under Colin Powell, he saw JSOC being politicized and developing a close relationship with the executive branch. He saw this begin, he said, after his first Delta Force briefing at Fort Bragg. "I think Cheney and Rumsfeld went directly into JSOC. I think they went into JSOC at times, perhaps most frequently, without the SOCOM [Special Operations] commander at the time even knowing it. The receptivity in JSOC was quite good," says Wilkerson. "I think Cheney was actually giving McChrystal instructions, and McChrystal was asking him for instructions." He said the relationship between JSOC and Cheney and Rumsfeld "built up initially because Rumsfeld didn't get the responsiveness. He didn't get the can-do kind of attitude out of the SOCOM commander, and so as Rumsfeld was wont to do, he cut him out and went straight to the horse's mouth. At that point you had JSOC operating as an extension of the [administration] doing things the executive branch--read: Cheney and Rumsfeld--wanted it to do. This would be more or less carte blanche. You need to do it, do it. It was very alarming for me as a conventional soldier."
Wilkerson said the JSOC teams caused diplomatic problems for the United States across the globe. "When these teams started hitting capital cities and other places all around the world, [Rumsfeld] didn't tell the State Department either. The only way we found out about it is our ambassadors started to call us and say, 'Who the hell are these six-foot-four white males with eighteen-inch biceps walking around our capital cities?' So we discovered this, we discovered one in South America, for example, because he actually murdered a taxi driver, and we had to get him out of there real quick. We rendered him--we rendered him home."
As part of their strategy, Rumsfeld and Cheney also created the Strategic Support Branch (SSB), which pulled intelligence resources from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA for use in sensitive JSOC operations. The SSB was created using "reprogrammed" funds "without explicit congressional authority or appropriation," according to the Washington Post. The SSB operated outside the military chain of command and circumvented the CIA's authority on clandestine operations. Rumsfeld created it as part of his war to end "near total dependence on CIA." Under US law, the Defense Department is required to report all deployment orders to Congress. But guidelines issued in January 2005 by former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone stated that Special Operations forces may "conduct clandestine HUMINT operations...before publication" of a deployment order. This effectively gave Rumsfeld unilateral control over clandestine operations.
The military intelligence source said that when Rumsfeld was defense secretary, JSOC was deployed to commit some of the "darkest acts" in part to keep them concealed from Congress. "Everything can be justified as a military operation versus a clandestine intelligence performed by the CIA, which has to be informed to Congress," said the source. "They were aware of that and they knew that, and they would exploit it at every turn and they took full advantage of it. They knew they could act extra-legally and nothing would happen because A, it was sanctioned by DoD at the highest levels, and B, who was going to stop them? They were preparing the battlefield, which was on all of the PowerPoints: 'Preparing the Battlefield.'"
The significance of the flexibility of JSOC's operations inside Pakistan versus the CIA's is best summed up by Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "Every single intelligence operation and covert action must be briefed to the Congress," she said. "If they are not, that is a violation of the law."
Blackwater: Company Non Grata in Pakistan
For months, the Pakistani media has been flooded with stories about Blackwater's alleged growing presence in the country. For the most part, these stories have been ignored by the US press and denounced as lies or propaganda by US officials in Pakistan. But the reality is that, although many of the stories appear to be wildly exaggerated, Pakistanis have good reason to be concerned about Blackwater's operations in their country. It is no secret in Washington or Islamabad that Blackwater has been a central part of the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that the company has been involved--almost from the beginning of the "war on terror"--with clandestine US operations. Indeed, Blackwater is accepting applications for contractors fluent in Urdu and Punjabi. The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, has denied Blackwater's presence in the country, stating bluntly in September, "Blackwater is not operating in Pakistan." In her trip to Pakistan in October, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dodged questions from the Pakistani press about Blackwater's rumored Pakistani operations. Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik, said on November 21 he will resign if Blackwater is found operating anywhere in Pakistan.
The Christian Science Monitor recently reported that Blackwater "provides security for a US-backed aid project" in Peshawar, suggesting the company may be based out of the Pearl Continental, a luxury hotel the United States reportedly is considering purchasing to use as a consulate in the city. "We have no contracts in Pakistan," Blackwater spokesperson Stacey DeLuke said recently. "We've been blamed for all that has gone wrong in Peshawar, none of which is true, since we have absolutely no presence there."
Reports of Blackwater's alleged presence in Karachi and elsewhere in the country have been floating around the Pakistani press for months. Hamid Mir, a prominent Pakistani journalist who rose to fame after his 1997 interview with Osama bin Laden, claimed in a recent interview that Blackwater is in Karachi. "The US agencies think that a number of Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders are hiding in Karachi and Peshawar," he said. "That is why [Blackwater] agents are operating in these two cities." Ambassador Patterson has said that the claims of Mir and other Pakistani journalists are "wildly incorrect," saying they had compromised the security of US personnel in Pakistan. On November 20 the [I]Washington Times, citing three current and former US intelligence officials, reported that Mullah Mohammed Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, has "found refuge from potential U.S. attacks" in Karachi "with the assistance of Pakistan's intelligence service."
In September, the Pakistani press covered a report on Blackwater allegedly submitted by Pakistan's intelligence agencies to the federal interior ministry. In the report, the intelligence agencies reportedly allege that Blackwater was provided houses by a federal minister who is also helping them clear shipments of weapons and vehicles through Karachi's Port Qasim on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The military intelligence source did not confirm this but did say, "The port jives because they have a lot of [former] SEALs and they would revert to what they know: the ocean, instead of flying stuff in."
The Nation cannot independently confirm these allegations and has not seen the Pakistani intelligence report. But according to Pakistani press coverage, the intelligence report also said Blackwater has acquired "bungalows" in the Defense Housing Authority in the city. According to the DHA website, it is a large gated community established "for the welfare of the serving and retired officers of the Armed Forces of Pakistan." Its motto is: "Home for Defenders." The report alleges Blackwater is receiving help from local government officials in Karachi and is using vehicles with license plates traditionally assigned to members of the national and provincial assemblies, meaning local law enforcement will not stop them.
The use of private companies like Blackwater for sensitive operations such as drone strikes or other covert work undoubtedly comes with the benefit of plausible deniability that places an additional barrier in an already deeply flawed system of accountability. When things go wrong, it's the contractors' fault, not the government's. But the widespread use of contractors also raises serious legal questions, particularly when they are a part of lethal, covert actions. "We are using contractors for things that in the past might have been considered to be a violation of the Geneva Convention," said Lt. Col. Addicott, who now runs the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. "In my opinion, we have pressed the envelope to the breaking limit, and it's almost a fiction that these guys are not in offensive military operations." Addicott added, "If we were subjected to the International Criminal Court, some of these guys could easily be picked up, charged with war crimes and put on trial. That's one of the reasons we're not members of the International Criminal Court."
If there is one quality that has defined Blackwater over the past decade, it is the ability to survive against the odds while simultaneously reinventing and rebranding itself. That is most evident in Afghanistan, where the company continues to work for the US military, the CIA and the State Department despite intense criticism and almost weekly scandals. Blackwater's alleged Pakistan operations, said the military intelligence source, are indicative of its new frontier. "Having learned its lessons after the private security contracting fiasco in Iraq, Blackwater has shifted its operational focus to two venues: protecting things that are in danger and anticipating other places we're going to go as a nation that are dangerous," he said. "It's as simple as that."


Jan Klimkowski
11-24-2009, 08:53 PM
Ed - thanks for posting.

Another excellent piece from the scourge of Xe, Jeremy Scahill.

So, McChrystal was boss of US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) from 2003 to 2008, and - it's alleged - effectively took his orders directly from Rumsfeld & Cheney. There was thus very little oversight of special ops, even of the lethal sort with "collateral damage".

However, when the neocons didn't want to bother with even the barest oversight, the claim is that McChrystal/JSOC would simply hire Blackwater/Xe/Manchurian Global.

Now, McChrystal is basically running the show for the entire US military in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The days of Willoughby (aka Adolf Karl Tscheppe-Weidenbach), LeMay and the like have never gone away.

Ed Jewett
12-03-2009, 02:27 AM
From http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001

Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy

Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial of five ex-employees, set for next month. Lashing back at his critics, the wealthy former navy seal takes the author inside his operation in the U.S. and Afghanistan, revealing the role he’s been playing in America’s war on terror.

By Adam Ciralsky

January 2010

Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater security firm (recently renamed Xe), at the company’s Virginia offices. Photograph by Nigel Parry.

Iput myself and my company at the C.I.A.’s disposal for some very risky missions,” says Erik Prince as he surveys his heavily fortified, 7,000-acre compound in rural Moyock, North Carolina. “But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus.” Prince—the founder of Blackwater, the world’s most notorious private military contractor—is royally steamed. He wants to vent. And he wants you to hear him vent.
Erik Prince has an image problem—the kind that’s impervious to a Madison Avenue makeover. The 40-year-old heir to a Michigan auto-parts fortune, and a former navy seal, he has had the distinction of being vilified recently both in life and in art. In Washington, Prince has become a scapegoat for some of the Bush administration’s misadventures in Iraq—though Blackwater’s own deeds have also come in for withering criticism. Congressmen and lawyers, human-rights groups and pundits, have described Prince as a war profiteer, one who has assembled a rogue fighting force capable of toppling governments. His employees have been repeatedly accused of using excessive, even deadly force in Iraq; many Iraqis, in fact, have died during encounters with Blackwater. And in November, as a North Carolina grand jury was considering a raft of charges against the company, as a half-dozen civil suits were brewing in Virginia, and as five former Blackwater staffers were preparing for trial for their roles in the deaths of 17 Iraqis, The New York Times reported in a page-one story that Prince’s firm, in the aftermath of the tragedy, had sought to bribe Iraqi officials for their compliance, charges which Prince calls “lies … undocumented, unsubstantiated [and] anonymous.” (So infamous is the Blackwater brand that even the Taliban have floated far-fetched conspiracy theories, accusing the company of engaging in suicide bombings in Pakistan.)

In Hollywood, meanwhile, a town that loves nothing so much as a good villain, Prince, with his blond crop and Daniel Craig mien, has become the screenwriters’ darling. In the film State of Play, a Blackwater clone (PointCorp.) uses its network of mercenaries for illegal surveillance and murder. On the Fox series 24, Jon Voight has played Jonas Hodges, a thinly veiled version of Prince, whose company (Starkwood) helps an African warlord procure nerve gas for use against U.S. targets.
But the truth about Prince may be orders of magnitude stranger than fiction. For the past six years, he appears to have led an astonishing double life. Publicly, he has served as Blackwater’s C.E.O. and chairman. Privately, and secretly, he has been doing the C.I.A.’s bidding, helping to craft, fund, and execute operations ranging from inserting personnel into “denied areas”—places U.S. intelligence has trouble penetrating—to assembling hit teams targeting al-Qaeda members and their allies. Prince, according to sources with knowledge of his activities, has been working as a C.I.A. asset: in a word, as a spy. While his company was busy gleaning more than $1.5 billion in government contracts between 2001 and 2009—by acting, among other things, as an overseas Praetorian guard for C.I.A. and State Department officials—Prince became a Mr. Fix-It in the war on terror. His access to paramilitary forces, weapons, and aircraft, and his indefatigable ambition—the very attributes that have galvanized his critics—also made him extremely valuable, some say, to U.S. intelligence. (Full disclosure: In the 1990s, before becoming a journalist for CBS and then NBC News, I was a C.I.A. attorney. My contract was not renewed, under contentious circumstances.)
But Prince, with a new administration in power, and foes closing in, is finally coming in from the cold. This past fall, though he infrequently grants interviews, he decided it was time to tell his side of the story—to respond to the array of accusations, to reveal exactly what he has been doing in the shadows of the U.S. government, and to present his rationale. He also hoped to convey why he’s going to walk away from it all.
To that end, he invited Vanity Fair to his training camp in North Carolina, to his Virginia offices, and to his Afghan outposts. It seemed like a propitious time to tag along.
Split Personality

Erik Prince can be a difficult man to wrap your mind around—an amalgam of contradictory caricatures. He has been branded a “Christian supremacist” who sanctions the murder of Iraqi civilians, yet he has built mosques at his overseas bases and supports a Muslim orphanage in Afghanistan. He and his family have long backed conservative causes, funded right-wing political candidates, and befriended evangelicals, but he calls himself a libertarian and is a practicing Roman Catholic. Sometimes considered arrogant and reclusive—Howard Hughes without the O.C.D.—he nonetheless enters competitions that combine mountain-biking, beach running, ocean kayaking, and rappelling.
The common denominator is a relentless intensity that seems to have no Off switch. Seated in the back of a Boeing 777 en route to Afghanistan, Prince leafs through Defense News while the film Taken beams from the in-flight entertainment system. In the movie, Liam Neeson plays a retired C.I.A. officer who mounts an aggressive rescue effort after his daughter is kidnapped in Paris. Neeson’s character warns his daughter’s captors:
If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills … skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you [don’t] let my daughter go now … I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
Prince comments, “I used that movie as a teaching tool for my girls.” (The father of seven, Prince remarried after his first wife died of cancer in 2003.) “I wanted them to understand the dangers out there. And I wanted them to know how I would respond.”
You can’t escape the impression that Prince sees himself as somehow destined, his mission anointed. It comes out even in the most personal of stories. During the flight, he tells of being in Kabul in September 2008 and receiving a two a.m. call from his wife, Joanna. Prince’s son Charlie, one year old at the time, had fallen into the family swimming pool. Charlie’s brother Christian, then 12, pulled him out of the water, purple and motionless, and successfully performed CPR. Christian and three siblings, it turns out, had recently received Red Cross certification at the Blackwater training camp.
But there are intimations of a higher power at work as the story continues. Desperate to get home, Prince scrapped one itinerary, which called for a stay-over at the Marriott in Islamabad, and found a direct flight. That night, at the time Prince would have been checking in, terrorists struck the hotel with a truck bomb, killing more than 50. Prince says simply, “Christian saved Charlie’s life and Charlie saved mine.” At times, his sense of his own place in history can border on the evangelical. When pressed about suggestions that he’s a mercenary—a term he loathes—he rattles off the names of other freelance military figures, even citing Lafayette, the colonists’ ally during the Revolutionary War.
Prince’s default mode is one of readiness. He is clenched-jawed and tightly wound. He cannot stand down. Waiting in the security line at Dulles airport just hours before, Prince had delivered a little homily: “Every time an American goes through security, I want them to pause for a moment and think, What is my government doing to inconvenience the terrorists? Rendition teams, Predator drones, assassination squads. That’s all part of it.”
Such brazenness is not lost on a listener, nor is the fact that Prince himself is quite familiar with some of these tactics. In fact Prince, like other contractors, has drawn fire for running a company that some call a “body shop”—many of its staffers having departed military or intelligence posts to take similar jobs at much higher salaries, paid mainly by Uncle Sam. And to get those jobs done—protecting, defending, and killing, if required—Prince has had to employ the services of some decorated vets as well as some ruthless types, snipers and spies among them.
Erik Prince flies coach internationally. It’s not just economical (“Why should I pay for business? Fly coach, you arrive at the same time”) but also less likely to draw undue attention. He considers himself a marked man. Prince describes the diplomats and dignitaries Blackwater protects as “Al Jazeera–worthy,” meaning that, in his view, “bin Laden and his acolytes would love to kill them in a spectacular fashion and have it broadcast on televisions worldwide.”
Stepping off the plane at Kabul’s international airport, Prince is treated as if he, too, were Al Jazeera–worthy. He is immediately shuffled into a waiting car and driven 50 yards to a second vehicle, a beat-up minivan that is native to the core: animal pelts on the dashboard, prayer card dangling from the rearview mirror. Blackwater’s special-projects team is responsible for Prince’s security in-country, and except for their language its men appear indistinguishable from Afghans. They have full beards, headscarves, and traditional knee-length shirts over baggy trousers. They remove Prince’s sunglasses, fit him out with body armor, and have him change into Afghan garb. Prince is issued a homing beacon that will track his movements, and a cell phone with its speed dial programmed for Blackwater’s tactical-operations center.
http://www.vanityfair.com/images/politics/2010/01/blackwater-1001-02.jpg Prince in the tactical-operations center at a company base in Kabul. Photograph by Adam Ferguson.

Once in the van, Prince’s team gives him a security briefing. Using satellite photos of the area, they review the route to Blackwater’s compound and point out where weapons and ammunition are stored inside the vehicle. The men warn him that in the event that they are incapacitated or killed in an ambush Prince should assume control of the weapons and push the red button near the emergency brake, which will send out a silent alarm and call in reinforcements.
Black Hawks and Zeppelins

Blackwater’s origins were humble, bordering on the primordial. The company took form in the dismal peat bogs of Moyock, North Carolina—not exactly a hotbed of the defense-contracting world.
In 1995, Prince’s father, Edgar, died of a heart attack (the Evangelical James C. Dobson, founder of the socially conservative Focus on the Family, delivered the eulogy at the funeral). Edgar Prince left behind a vibrant auto-parts manufacturing business in Holland, Michigan, with 4,500 employees and a line of products ranging from a lighted sun visor to a programmable garage-door opener. At the time, 25-year-old Erik was serving as a navy seal (he saw service in Haiti, the Middle East, and Bosnia), and neither he nor his sisters were in a position to take over the business. They sold Prince Automotive for $1.35 billion.
Erik Prince and some of his navy friends, it so happens, had been kicking around the idea of opening a full-service training compound to replace the usual patchwork of such facilities. In 1996, Prince took an honorable discharge and began buying up land in North Carolina. “The idea was not to be a defense contractor per se,” Prince says, touring the grounds of what looks and feels like a Disneyland for alpha males. “I just wanted a first-rate training facility for law enforcement, the military, and, in particular, the special-operations community.”
Business was slow. The navy seals came early—January 1998—but they didn’t come often, and by the time the Blackwater Lodge and Training Center officially opened, that May, Prince’s friends and advisers thought he was throwing good money after bad. “A lot of people said, ‘This is a rich kid’s hunting lodge,’” Prince explains. “They could not figure out what I was doing.”
Blackwater outpost near the Pakistan border, used for training Afghan police. Photograph by Adam Ferguson.

Today, the site is the flagship for a network of facilities that train some 30,000 attendees a year. Prince, who owns an unmanned, zeppelin-esque airship and spent $45 million to build a fleet of customized, bomb-proof armored personnel carriers, often commutes to the lodge by air, piloting a Cessna Caravan from his home in Virginia. The training center has a private landing strip. Its hangars shelter a petting zoo of aircraft: Bell 412 helicopters (used to tail or shuttle diplomats in Iraq), Black Hawk helicopters (currently being modified to accommodate the security requests of a Gulf State client), a Dash 8 airplane (the type that ferries troops in Afghanistan). Amid the 52 firing ranges are virtual villages designed for addressing every conceivable real-world threat: small town squares, littered with blown-up cars, are situated near railway crossings and maritime mock-ups. At one junction, swat teams fire handguns, sniper rifles, and shotguns; at another, police officers tear around the world’s longest tactical-driving track, dodging simulated roadside bombs.
In keeping with the company’s original name, the central complex, constructed of stone, glass, concrete, and logs, actually resembles a lodge, an REI store on steroids. Here and there are distinctive touches, such as door handles crafted from imitation gun barrels. Where other companies might have Us Weekly lying about the lobby, Blackwater has counterterror magazines with cover stories such as “How to Destroy Al Qaeda.”
In fact, it was al-Qaeda that put Blackwater on the map. In the aftermath of the group’s October 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, in Yemen, the navy turned to Prince, among others, for help in re-training its sailors to fend off attackers at close range. (To date, the company says, it has put some 125,000 navy personnel through its programs.) In addition to providing a cash infusion, the navy contract helped Blackwater build a database of retired military men—many of them special-forces veterans—who could be called upon to serve as instructors.
When al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. mainland on 9/11, Prince says, he was struck with the urge to either re-enlist or join the C.I.A. He says he actually applied. “I was rejected,” he admits, grinning at the irony of courting the very agency that would later woo him. “They said I didn’t have enough hard skills, enough time in the field.” Undeterred, he decided to turn his Rolodex into a roll call for what would in essence become a private army.
After the terror attacks, Prince’s company toiled, even reveled, in relative obscurity, taking on assignments in Afghanistan and, after the U.S. invasion, in Iraq. Then came March 31, 2004. That was the day insurgents ambushed four of its employees in the Iraqi town of Fallujah. The men were shot, their bodies set on fire by a mob. The charred, hacked-up remains of two of them were left hanging from a bridge over the Euphrates.
“It was absolutely gut-wrenching,” Prince recalls. “I had been in the military, and no one under my command had ever died. At Blackwater, we had never even had a firearms training accident. Now all of a sudden four of my guys aren’t just killed, but desecrated.” Three months later an edict from coalition authorities in Baghdad declared private contractors immune from Iraqi law.
Subsequently, the contractors’ families sued Blackwater, contending the company had failed to protect their loved ones. Blackwater countersued the families for breaching contracts that forbid the men or their estates from filing such lawsuits; the company also claimed that, because it operates as an extension of the military, it cannot be held responsible for deaths in a war zone. (After five years, the case remains unresolved.) In 2007, a congressional investigation into the incident concluded that the employees had been sent into an insurgent stronghold “without sufficient preparation, resources, and support.” Blackwater called the report a “one-sided” version of a “tragic incident.”
After Fallujah, Blackwater became a household name. Its primary mission in Iraq had been to protect American dignitaries, and it did so, in part, by projecting an image of invincibility, sending heavily armed men in armored Suburbans racing through the streets of Baghdad with sirens blaring. The show of swagger and firepower, which alienated both the locals and the U.S. military, helped contribute to the allegations of excessive force. As the war dragged on, charges against the firm mounted. In one case, a contractor shot and killed an Iraqi father of six who was standing along the roadside in Hillah. (Prince later told Congress that the contractor was fired for trying to cover up the incident.) In another, a Blackwater firearms technician was accused of drinking too much at a party in the Green Zone and killing a bodyguard assigned to protect Iraq’s vice president. The technician was fired but not prosecuted and later settled a wrongful-death suit with the man’s family.
Those episodes, however, paled in comparison with the events of September 16, 2007, when a phalanx of Blackwater bodyguards emerged from their four-car convoy at a Baghdad intersection called Nisour Square and opened fire. When the smoke cleared, 17 Iraqi civilians lay dead. After 15 months of investigation, the Justice Department charged six with voluntary manslaughter and other offenses, insisting that the use of force was not only unjustified but unprovoked. One guard pleaded guilty and, in a trial set for February, is expected to testify against the others, all of whom maintain their innocence. The New York Times recently reported that in the wake of the shootings the company’s top executives authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi higher-ups in order to buy their silence—a claim Prince dismisses as “false,” insisting “[there was] zero plan or discussion of bribing any officials.”
Nisour Square had disastrous repercussions for Blackwater. Its role in Iraq was curtailed, its revenue dropping 40 percent. Today, Prince claims, he is shelling out $2 million a month in legal fees to cope with a spate of civil lawsuits as well as what he calls a “giant proctological exam” by nearly a dozen federal agencies. “We used to spend money on R&D to develop better capabilities to serve the U.S. government,” says Prince. “Now we pay lawyers.”
Does he ever. In North Carolina, a federal grand jury is investigating various allegations, including the illegal transport of assault weapons and silencers to Iraq, hidden in dog-food sacks. (Blackwater denied this, but confirmed hiding weapons on pallets of dog food to protect against theft by “corrupt foreign customs agents.”) In Virginia, two ex-employees have filed affidavits claiming that Prince and Blackwater may have murdered or ordered the murder of people suspected of cooperating with U.S. authorities investigating the company—charges which Blackwater has characterized as “scandalous and baseless.” One of the men also asserted in filings that company employees ran a sex and wife-swapping ring, allegations which Blackwater has called “anonymous, unsubstantiated and offensive.”
Meanwhile, last February, Prince mounted an expensive rebranding campaign. Following the infamous ValuJet crash, in 1996, ValuJet disappeared into AirTran, after a merger, and moved on to a happy new life. Prince, likewise, decided to retire the Blackwater name and replace it with the name Xe, short for Xenon—an inert, non-combustible gas that, in keeping with his political leanings, sits on the far right of the periodic table. Still, Prince and other top company officials continued to use the name Blackwater among themselves. And as events would soon prove, the company’s reputation would remain as combustible as ever.
http://www.vanityfair.com/images/politics/2010/01/blackwater-1001-03.jpg Prince at a Kandahar airfield. Photograph Adam Ferguson.

Spies and Whispers

Last June, C.I.A. director Leon Panetta met in a closed session with the House and Senate intelligence committees to brief them on a covert-action program, which the agency had long concealed from Congress. Panetta explained that he had learned of the existence of the operation only the day before and had promptly shut it down. The reason, C.I.A. spokesman Paul Gimigliano now explains: “It hadn’t taken any terrorists off the street.” During the meeting, according to two attendees, Panetta named both Erik Prince and Blackwater as key participants in the program. (When asked to verify this account, Gimigliano notes that “Director Panetta treats as confidential discussions with Congress that take place behind closed doors.”) Soon thereafter, Prince says, he began fielding inquisitive calls from people he characterizes as far outside the circle of trust.
It took three weeks for details, however sketchy, to surface. In July, The Wall Street Journal described the program as “an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives.” The agency reportedly planned to accomplish this task by dispatching small hit teams overseas. Lawmakers, who couldn’t exactly quibble with the mission’s objective, were in high dudgeon over having been kept in the dark. (Former C.I.A. officials reportedly saw the matter differently, characterizing the program as “more aspirational than operational” and implying that it had never progressed far enough to justify briefing the Hill.)
On August 20, the gloves came off. The New York Times published a story headlined cia sought blackwater’s help to kill jihadists. The Washington Post concurred: cia hired firm for assassin program. Prince confesses to feeling betrayed. “I don’t understand how a program this sensitive leaks,” he says. “And to ‘out’ me on top of it?” The next day, the Times went further, revealing Blackwater’s role in the use of aerial drones to kill al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders: “At hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan … the company’s contractors assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft, work previously performed by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.”
Erik Prince, almost overnight, had undergone a second rebranding of sorts, this one not of his own making. The war profiteer had become a merchant of death, with a license to kill on the ground and in the air. “I’m an easy target,” he says. “I’m from a Republican family and I own this company outright. Our competitors have nameless, faceless management teams.”
Prince blames Democrats in Congress for the leaks and maintains that there is a double standard at play. “The left complained about how [C.I.A. operative] Valerie Plame’s identity was compromised for political reasons. A special prosecutor [was even] appointed. Well, what happened to me was worse. People acting for political reasons disclosed not only the existence of a very sensitive program but my name along with it.” As in the Plame case, though, the leaks prompted C.I.A. attorneys to send a referral to the Justice Department, requesting that a criminal investigation be undertaken to identify those responsible for providing highly classified information to the media.
By focusing so intently on Blackwater, Congress and the press overlooked the elephant in the room. Prince wasn’t merely a contractor; he was, insiders say, a full-blown asset. Three sources with direct knowledge of the relationship say that the C.I.A.’s National Resources Division recruited Prince in 2004 to join a secret network of American citizens with special skills or unusual access to targets of interest. As assets go, Prince would have been quite a catch. He had more cash, transport, matériel, and personnel at his disposal than almost anyone Langley would have run in its 62-year history.
The C.I.A. won’t comment further on such assertions, but Prince himself is slightly more forthcoming. “I was looking at creating a small, focused capability,” he says, “just like Donovan did years ago”—the reference being to William “Wild Bill” Donovan, who, in World War II, served as the head of the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of the modern C.I.A. (Prince’s youngest son, Charles Donovan—the one who fell into the pool—is named after Wild Bill.) Two sources familiar with the arrangement say that Prince’s handlers obtained provisional operational approval from senior management to recruit Prince and later generated a “201 file,” which would have put him on the agency’s books as a vetted asset. It’s not at all clear who was running whom, since Prince says that, unlike many other assets, he did much of his work on spec, claiming to have used personal funds to road-test the viability of certain operations. “I grew up around the auto industry,” Prince explains. “Customers would say to my dad, ‘We have this need.’ He would then use his own money to create prototypes to fulfill those needs. He took the ‘If you build it, they will come’ approach.”
According to two sources familiar with his work, Prince was developing unconventional means of penetrating “hard target” countries—where the C.I.A. has great difficulty working either because there are no stations from which to operate or because local intelligence services have the wherewithal to frustrate the agency’s designs. “I made no money whatsoever off this work,” Prince contends. He is unwilling to specify the exact nature of his forays. “I’m painted as this war profiteer by Congress. Meanwhile I’m paying for all sorts of intelligence activities to support American national security, out of my own pocket.” (His pocket is deep: according to The Wall Street Journal, Blackwater had revenues of more than $600 million in 2008.)
Clutch Cargo

The Afghan countryside, from a speeding perch at 200 knots, whizzes by in a khaki haze. The terrain is rendered all the more nondescript by the fact that Erik Prince is riding less than 200 feet above it. The back of the airplane, a small, Spanish-built eads casa C-212, is open, revealing Prince in silhouette against a blue sky. Wearing Oakleys, tactical pants, and a white polo shirt, he looks strikingly boyish.
A Blackwater aircraft en route to drop supplies to U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan in September. Photograph by Adam Ferguson.

As the crew chief initiates a countdown sequence, Prince adjusts his harness and moves into position. When the “go” order comes, a young G.I. beside him cuts a tether, and Prince pushes a pallet out the tail chute. Black parachutes deploy and the aircraft lunges forward from the sudden weight differential. The cargo—provisions and munitions—drops inside the perimeter of a forward operating base (fob) belonging to an elite Special Forces squad.
Five days a week, Blackwater’s aviation arm—with its unabashedly 60s-spook name, Presidential Airways—flies low-altitude sorties to some of the most remote outposts in Afghanistan. Since 2006, Prince’s company has been conscripted to offer this “turnkey” service for U.S. troops, flying thousands of delivery runs. Blackwater also provides security for U.S. ambassador Karl Eikenberry and his staff, and trains narcotics and Afghan special police units.
Once back on terra firma, Prince, a BlackBerry on one hip and a 9-mm. on the other, does a sweep around one of Blackwater’s bases in northeast Afghanistan, pointing out buildings recently hit by mortar fire. As a drone circles overhead, its camera presumably trained on the surroundings, Prince climbs a guard tower and peers down at a spot where two of his contractors were nearly killed last July by an improvised explosive device. “Not counting civilian checkpoints,” he says, “this is the closest base to the [Pakistani] border.” His voice takes on a melodramatic solemnity. “Who else has built a fob along the main infiltration route for the Taliban and the last known location for Osama bin Laden?” It doesn’t quite have the ring of Lawrence of Arabia’s “To Aqaba!,” but you get the picture.
Going “Low-Pro”

Blackwater has been in Afghanistan since 2002. At the time, the C.I.A.’s executive director, A. B. “Buzzy” Krongard, responding to his operatives’ complaints of being “worried sick about the Afghans’ coming over the fence or opening the doors,” enlisted the company to offer protection for the agency’s Kabul station. Going “low-pro,” or low-profile, paid off: not a single C.I.A. employee, according to sources close to the company, died in Afghanistan while under Blackwater’s protection. (Talk about a tight-knit bunch. Krongard would later serve as an unpaid adviser to Blackwater’s board, until 2007. And his brother Howard “Cookie” Krongard—the State Department’s inspector general—had to recuse himself from Blackwater-related oversight matters after his brother’s involvement with the company surfaced. Buzzy, in response, stepped down.)
As the agency’s confidence in Blackwater grew, so did the company’s responsibilities, expanding from static protection to mobile security—shadowing agency personnel, ever wary of suicide bombers, ambushes, and roadside devices, as they moved about the country. By 2005, Blackwater, accustomed to guarding C.I.A. personnel, was starting to look a little bit like the C.I.A. itself. Enrique “Ric” Prado joined Blackwater after serving as chief of operations for the agency’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC). A short time later, Prado’s boss, J. Cofer Black, the head of the CTC, moved over to Blackwater, too. He was followed, in turn, by his superior, Rob Richer, second-in-command of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service. Of the three, Cofer Black had the outsize reputation. As Bob Woodward recounted in his book Bush at War, on September 13, 2001, Black had promised President Bush that when the C.I.A. was through with al-Qaeda “they will have flies walking across their eyeballs.” According to Woodward, “Black became known in Bush’s inner circle as the ‘flies-on-the-eyeballs guy.’” Richer and Black soon helped start a new company, Total Intelligence Solutions (which collects data to help businesses assess risks overseas), but in 2008 both men left Blackwater, as did company president Gary Jackson this year.
Prince in his Virginia office. His company took in more than $1 billion from government contracts during the George W. Bush era. Photograph by Nigel Parry.

Off and on, Black and Richer’s onetime partner Ric Prado, first with the C.I.A., then as a Blackwater employee, worked quietly with Prince as his vice president of “special programs” to provide the agency with what every intelligence service wants: plausible deniability. Shortly after 9/11, President Bush had issued a “lethal finding,” giving the C.I.A. the go-ahead to kill or capture al-Qaeda members. (Under an executive order issued by President Gerald Ford, it had been illegal since 1976 for U.S. intelligence operatives to conduct assassinations.) As a seasoned case officer, Prado helped implement the order by putting together a small team of “blue-badgers,” as government agents are known. Their job was threefold: find, fix, and finish. Find the designated target, fix the person’s routine, and, if necessary, finish him off. When the time came to train the hit squad, the agency, insiders say, turned to Prince. Wary of attracting undue attention, the team practiced not at the company’s North Carolina compound but at Prince’s own domain, an hour outside Washington, D.C. The property looks like an outpost of the landed gentry, with pastures and horses, but also features less traditional accents, such as an indoor firing range. Once again, Prince has Wild Bill on his mind, observing that “the O.S.S. trained during World War II on a country estate.”
Among the team’s targets, according to a source familiar with the program, was Mamoun Darkazanli, an al-Qaeda financier living in Hamburg who had been on the agency’s radar for years because of his ties to three of the 9/11 hijackers and to operatives convicted of the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in East Africa. The C.I.A. team supposedly went in “dark,” meaning they did not notify their own station—much less the German government—of their presence; they then followed Darkazanli for weeks and worked through the logistics of how and where they would take him down. Another target, the source says, was A. Q. Khan, the rogue Pakistani scientist who shared nuclear know-how with Iran, Libya, and North Korea. The C.I.A. team supposedly tracked him in Dubai. In both cases, the source insists, the authorities in Washington chose not to pull the trigger. Khan’s inclusion on the target list, however, would suggest that the assassination effort was broader than has previously been acknowledged. (Says agency spokesman Gimigliano, “[The] C.I.A. hasn’t discussed—despite some mischaracterizations that have appeared in the public domain—the substance of this effort or earlier ones.”)
The source familiar with the Darkazanli and Khan missions bristles at public comments that current and former C.I.A. officials have made: “They say the program didn’t move forward because [they] didn’t have the right skill set or because of inadequate cover. That’s untrue. [The operation continued] for a very long time in some places without ever being discovered. This program died because of a lack of political will.”
When Prado left the C.I.A., in 2004, he effectively took the program with him, after a short hiatus. By that point, according to sources familiar with the plan, Prince was already an agency asset, and the pair had begun working to privatize matters by changing the team’s composition from blue-badgers to a combination of “green-badgers” (C.I.A. contractors) and third-country nationals (unaware of the C.I.A. connection). Blackwater officials insist that company resources and manpower were never directly utilized—these were supposedly off-the-books initiatives done on Prince’s own dime, for which he was later reimbursed—and that despite their close ties to the C.I.A. neither Cofer Black nor Rob Richer took part. As Prince puts it, “We were building a unilateral, unattributable capability. If it went bad, we weren’t expecting the chief of station, the ambassador, or anyone to bail us out.” He insists that, had the team deployed, the agency would have had full operational control. Instead, due to what he calls “institutional osteoporosis,” the second iteration of the assassination program lost steam.
Sometime after 2006, the C.I.A. would take another shot at the program, according to an insider who was familiar with the plan. “Everyone found some reason not to participate,” says the insider. “There was a sick-out. People would say to management, ‘I have a family, I have other obligations.’ This is the fucking C.I.A. They were supposed to lead the charge after al-Qaeda and they couldn’t find the people to do it.” Others with knowledge of the program are far more charitable and question why any right-thinking officer would sign up for an assassination program at a time when their colleagues—who had thought they had legal cover to engage in another sensitive effort, the “enhanced interrogations” program at secret C.I.A. sites in foreign countries—were finding themselves in legal limbo.
America and Erik Prince, it seems, have been slow to extract themselves from the assassination business. Beyond the killer drones flown with Blackwater’s help along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (President Obama has reportedly authorized more than three dozen such hits), Prince claims he and a team of foreign nationals helped find and fix a target in October 2008, then left the finishing to others. “In Syria,” he says, “we did the signals intelligence to geo-locate the bad guys in a very denied area.” Subsequently, a U.S. Special Forces team launched a helicopter-borne assault to hunt down al-Qaeda middleman Abu Ghadiyah. Ghadiyah, whose real name is Badran Turki Hishan Al-Mazidih, was said to have been killed along with six others—though doubts have emerged about whether Ghadiyah was even there that day, as detailed in a recent Vanity Fair Web story (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2009/10/al-sukariya-200910) by Reese Ehrlich and Peter Coyote.
And up until two months ago—when Prince says the Obama administration pulled the plug—he was still deeply engaged in the dark arts. According to insiders, he was running intelligence-gathering operations from a secret location in the United States, remotely coordinating the movements of spies working undercover in one of the so-called Axis of Evil countries. Their mission: non-disclosable.
Exit Strategy

Flying out of Kabul, Prince does a slow burn, returning to the topic of how exposed he has felt since press accounts revealed his role in the assassination program. The firestorm that began in August has continued to smolder and may indeed have his handlers wondering whether Prince himself is more of a liability than an asset. He says he can’t understand why they would shut down certain high-risk, high-payoff collection efforts against some of America’s most implacable enemies for fear that his involvement could, given the political climate, result in their compromise.
He is incredulous that U.S. officials seem willing, in effect, to cut off their nose to spite their face. “I’ve been overtly and covertly serving America since I started in the armed services,” Prince observes. After 12 years building the company, he says he intends to turn it over to its employees and a board, and exit defense contracting altogether. An internal power struggle is said to be under way among those seeking to define the direction and underlying mission of a post-Prince Blackwater.
He insists, simply, “I’m through.”
In the past, Prince has entertained the idea of building a pre-positioning ship—complete with security personnel, doctors, helicopters, medicine, food, and fuel—and stationing it off the coast of Africa to provide “relief with teeth” to the continent’s trouble spots or to curb piracy off Somalia. At one point, he considered creating a rapidly deployable brigade that could be farmed out, for a fee, to a foreign government.
For the time being, however, Prince contends that his plans are far more modest. “I’m going to teach high school,” he says, straight-faced. “History and economics. I may even coach wrestling. Hey, Indiana Jones taught school, too.”

Jan Klimkowski
12-03-2009, 06:53 PM
Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy

Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial of five ex-employees, set for next month. Lashing back at his critics, the wealthy former navy seal takes the author inside his operation in the U.S. and Afghanistan, revealing the role he’s been playing in America’s war on terror.

By Adam Ciralsky

January 2010

Ed - many thanks for posting. This piece definitely belongs in this thread, with its examination of PMCs.

However, I consider it such an important article that I've started a new thread about the piece as a psyop deliberately constructing a mythos around Prince and Blackwater here:


Ed Jewett
12-04-2009, 11:18 AM
Yes, Jan, I agree that this piece is/was partly psyop or PR or propaganda, and thanks for discerning that out to a new thread etc.

Sometimes we learn something by seeing their psy op material, and we need -- four our own use as well as perhaps as a means of educating/informing the greater world -- a more precise labeling and filing mechanism or -- without further burdening our exemplary DPF computer wizards -- a cross-tagging system. There is a tagging system here which I have thus far refrained from using because I am not clued in to any guidelines or agreements, but I have no problem with anyone tagging anything I've posted. I tend to function more as a retriever or bird-dog, doing some thinking and analysis on the run, but all the 'laundry" needs to be assembled, sort, treated, washed, bleached, treated, folded, and stored for more effective use in the long run by DPF member snd DPF readers.

Who should be performing what function is also fodder for discussion without getting into anal-retentive or controlling modes, or imposing too much on any one or the system/web site as a whole.

Ed Jewett
12-06-2009, 06:46 PM
Pakistan legal plea to search US embassy for Blackwater weapons, explosives (http://www.legitgov.org/price_obusha_afpak_war_031009.html) --Interior secretary issued notice in Blackwater plea 05 Dec 2009 Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif served notice on the Interior secretary for not replying to a petition against the alleged activities of Blackwater in the federal capital... The CJ also called a detailed report from the Foreign Ministry on a plea to order the search of the US Embassy to recover illegal weapons. The counsel also said that the Sihala Police Training Centre commandant had also complained that explosives were being heaped in the centre and he was not allowed to visit the sites. Seeking search of the US embassy, Barrister Zafarullah [the petitioner’s counsel] said the day Blackwater had stepped into Pakistan, terror acts and suicide attacks had been scaled up. The counsel also alleged that in the US embassy illegal arms and ammunition were being stored, which were being used for "sabotage acts" in the country.


Ed Jewett
12-07-2009, 10:16 PM
US: DynCorp Fires Executive Counsel

Magda Hassan
12-07-2009, 11:06 PM
Pakistan legal plea to search US embassy for Blackwater weapons, explosives (http://www.legitgov.org/price_obusha_afpak_war_031009.html) --Interior secretary issued notice in Blackwater plea 05 Dec 2009 Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif served notice on the Interior secretary for not replying to a petition against the alleged activities of Blackwater in the federal capital... The CJ also called a detailed report from the Foreign Ministry on a plea to order the search of the US Embassy to recover illegal weapons. The counsel also said that the Sihala Police Training Centre commandant had also complained that explosives were being heaped in the centre and he was not allowed to visit the sites. Seeking search of the US embassy, Barrister Zafarullah [the petitioner’s counsel] said the day Blackwater had stepped into Pakistan, terror acts and suicide attacks had been scaled up. The counsel also alleged that in the US embassy illegal arms and ammunition were being stored, which were being used for "sabotage acts" in the country.


Best case scenario: These officials will have a bright future as toilet cleaners and rickshaw drivers. Worst case scenario: They will disappear or be the victim of a suicide bomber.

Magda Hassan
12-07-2009, 11:07 PM
US: DynCorp Fires Executive Counsel
Wonder what sort of sociopath will replace them?

Ed Jewett
12-12-2009, 07:06 AM
Blackwater’s Black Ops: Batman Begins

By Nathan Hodge (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/author/nathanhodge/) http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/wp-content/themes/wired/images/envelope.gif (nohodge@gmail.com)
December 11, 2009 |
12:26 pm |
Categories: Miscellaneous (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/category/uncategorized/), Paper Pushers, Beltway Bandits, Politicians (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/category/paper-pushers-beltway-bandits-politicians/)

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2009/12/helloblacky.jpg (http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2009/12/helloblacky.jpg)Erik Prince, the founder of the security firm formerly known as Blackwater, has undergone more image changes than Madonna. First there was Prince as Bruce Wayne, the billion-dollar heir to a Michigan auto parts fortune who quietly turned his target manufacturing business into a first-rate private army. Then there was Prince the war profiteer, a scary right-wing Christian with a severe haircut who would become the poster child for George W. Bush-era recklessness.
And now onto the third act: Erik Prince as outed CIA asset, fighting to save his good name.
Vanity Fair last week unveiled a profile of Prince (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001) in which the Blackwater founder cops to working for the CIA. “I put myself and my company at the CIA’s disposal for some very risky missions,” Prince tells reporter Adam Ciralsky. “But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus.”
According to Ciralsky’s article, Prince “road-tested” the viability of sensitive CIA operations, sometimes on his own dime. Prince supposedly researched ways to penetrate “hard target” countries where the agency has trouble getting access, and was until recently helping run intelligence-gathering operations in an unnamed “Axis of Evil” country.
Crusading journalist and Blackwater nemesis Jeremy Scahill — who I’m guessing will be played by a bearded Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie version of all this — suspects the profile is really a sneaky info op by Prince (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091221/scahill2). “In the article, Prince is revealed not just as owner of a company that covertly provided contractors to the CIA for drone bombings and targeted assassinations, but as an actual CIA asset himself,” he wrote. “While the story appears to be simply a profile of Prince, it might actually be the world’s most famous mercenary’s insurance policy against future criminal prosecution. The term of art for what Prince appears to be doing in the VF interview is graymail: a legal tactic that has been used for years by intelligence operatives or assets who are facing prosecution or fear they soon will be.”
To add to the intrigue, James Risen and Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times — who have produced a steady trickle of stories on Blackwater’s ties to the CIA — have a new story (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/us/politics/11blackwater.html?hp) that casts light on the “brotherly relationship” between the CIA and Blackwater, now renamed Xe. According to their story, Blackwater personnel played a central roles in the agency’s “snatch and grab” operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Several former Blackwater guards said that their involvement in the operations became so routine that the lines supposedly dividing the Central Intelligence Agency, the military and Blackwater became blurred,” they write. “Instead of simply providing security for CIA officers, they say, Blackwater personnel at times became partners in missions to capture or kill militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, a practice that raises questions about the use of guns for hire on the battlefield.”

Wow, this is all starting to sound like the new season of Burn Notice (http://www.usanetwork.com/series/burnnotice/). But the Times story gives us a bit more detail on something we’ve actually known for a while: Blackwater got its start in the protective services racket as a CIA contractor.
Let’s revisit: Prince and Jamie Smith, one of Blackwater’s early employees, snared a “black” contract from the CIA in early 2002 to provide protective details for the agency’s newly established Kabul station. Blackwater’s team would provide security for the CIA end of Kabul airport and “the Annex” (the CIA’s Kabul station, based out of the Ariana hotel). Prince would even travel out to Skhin, a firebase on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where he would spend a few weeks playing CIA paramilitary.
All this is laid out in intricate detail in Robert Young Pelton’s book, Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror (http://www.amazon.com/Licensed-Kill-Hired-Guns-Terror/dp/1400097819), which was published back in 2006. While the recent reporting has filled in more of the gaps — and the Times has revealed new information about the firm’s role in the drone war over Pakistan — it’s worth asking a larger question: Why is the U.S. government so hopelessly dependent on hired guns? Blackwater may be the company everyone loves to hate, but as the Government Accountability Office reported this week (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10156.pdf), the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security — one of the primary customers for companies like Blackwater — has proven completely incapable of handling the growth in its contracted workforce.
See Also:

Blackwater Takes Our Advice, Adopts Inscrutable, Opaque Name … (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/02/blackwater-foll/)
Russian Mercs: We’ll Out-Blackwater Blackwater (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/10/russian-mercs-well-out-blackwater-blackwater/)
Layoffs at Blackwater Worldwide Xe (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/02/more-trouble-at/)
Iraq Deal Dead, Blackwater Now Faces A’stan Scrutiny (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/02/blackwater-out/)
Blackwater Chief is a Super Villian: Ex-Employees (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/08/blackwater-founder-accused-of-murder-gun-running-holy-war/)
Blackwater’s Pirate-Fighting Ops Sunk After Discrimination Suits … (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/05/blackwaters-pirate-fighting-ops-sunk-after-discrimination-suits/)

Tags: Cash Rules Everything Around Me (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/tag/cash-rules-everything-around-me/), Info War (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/tag/info-war/), Mercs (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/tag/mercs/), Shhh!!! (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/tag/shhh/)


Ed Jewett
12-16-2009, 06:00 AM
Global Strike Force: The Real Story Behind, Blackwater, JSOC and the CIA's Private Army of Elite Assassins

This month Eric Prince has resigned (http://rawstory.com/2009/12/blackwaters-prince-cia-role/) from the scandal ridden Xe inc. formerly know as Blackwater, revealing a decade long relationship as a deep cover CIA operative specifically tasked with building and mobilizing an elite army of private assassins for the CIA.
For the past six years, Prince "appears to have led an astonishing double life," writes Adam Ciralsky (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001). "Publicly, he has served as Blackwater's CEO and chairman. Privately, and secretly, he has been doing the CIA's bidding, helping to craft, fund, and execute operations ranging from inserting personnel into 'denied areas' places US intelligence has trouble penetrating to assembling hit teams targeting Al-Qaeda members and their allies."
file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Ed/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_image001.jpgBlackwater is, and has been from the onset, a private army or extension of the CIA (http://rawstory.com/2009/12/blackwater-extension-cia/). An army that has been implicated in killing civilians (http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/01/29), bombing mosques [VIDEO] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG9p1qibeW4&feature=player_embedded), torture (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/53723/), smuggling weapons (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297677,00.html), dressing up as aid workers (http://war.change.org/blog/view/blackwater_assassins_posing_as_aidworkers), CIARaids (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/us/politics/11blackwater.html?_r=1&ref=global-home), and even running child prostitution rings [VIDEO] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GgIXyTPRkE) only to be unsuccessful at paying off Iraqi officials in an attempt to cover up their crimes. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/6541644/Blackwater-sent-money-to-pay-off-Iraqi-officials-angry-at-civilian-deaths.html)
As barbarically unnecessary and costly as Blackwater is, the media has tried to dismiss a lot of these reports as just another one of Dick Cheney's Frankenstein monster hold overs from the Bush administration that is slowly being dismantled. Unfortunately, Obama has also been utilizing the ever-eager Blackwater (http://rawstory.com/2009/11/report-obama-admin-blackwater-assassinations-pakistan/) special operatives for the Pakistani drone program that has been an absolute PR disaster due to the civilian casualties that stain headlines on a weekly basis.
With these startling revelations, it is little wonder the U.S. government can't seem to stop using, or separate itself from an obviously mismanaged and brutal element of their supposed war on terror. This death squad role and relationship can be traced back to Israel and the training they gave these special forces in the lead up to the major ground assaults in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In fact, it was reported in 2003 Israel had been training special forces units as assassination squads (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5364.htm), and why not considering Bush adviser and future 9/11 cover-up artist Philip Zelikow stated right around that same time period that we invaded Iraq with the sole purpose of protecting Israel? (http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=23083)
The Pakistani drone program (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091207/scahill) Jeremy Scahill writes in the nation is really a top-secret Joint Strategic Operation Command (JSOC) program.
The previously unreported program, the military intelligence source said, is distinct from the CIA assassination program that the agency's director, Leon Panetta, announced he had canceled in June 2009. "This is a parallel operation to the CIA," said the source. "They are two separate beasts." The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the United States has not declared war--knowledge that could further strain the already tense relations between the United States and Pakistan. In 2006, the United States and Pakistan struck a deal that authorized JSOC to enter Pakistan to hunt Osama bin Laden with the understanding that Pakistan would deny it had given permission. Officially, the United States is not supposed to have any active military operations in the country.
file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Ed/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_image002.gifThey are a compartmentalized group of elite operatives which have been tasked with finding and killing Al-Qaeda militants is what we are being told, but what we really see here is a covert, military backed force, circumventing the oversight and constitutional authority of our elected officials (http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=113512&sectionid=351020401) in congress, and is shaping up to be one of the biggest scandals of the decade.
Allowing the CIA, the masters of overthrowing Governments and staging coups to have it's own private army, stationed in training facilities on American soil has got to be the greatest threat to liberty America has seen in recent years.
Just Al-Qeada Really?
Numerous reports state Al-Qaeda has been reduced to a handful of scattered pockets (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/07/al-qaida-showing-smaller_n_311985.html) and even an acknowledgment by the Obama administration that Osama Bin Laden has been known to be dead since Dec. 13, 2001. (http://www.veteranstoday.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9641) In fact it has been reported that the JSOC is running the show in both Afghanistan and Pakistan by two high ranking Navy officers Vice Admirals William McRaven and Robert Harward (http://washingtonindependent.com/67136/special-operations-chiefs-quietly-sway-afghanistan-policy)

"Two senior military officers from the shadowy world of Special Operations are playing a large and previously unreported role in shaping the Obama administration's Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, a move that underscores that the internal debate has moved past a rigid choice between expansive missions to provide security for Afghan civilians and narrowly tailored missions to find and kill terrorists."
The Big Picture
So besides protecting the Opium (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE51I2II20090219) and Oil fields, what is the strategic objective of funding a Blackwater staffed JSOC organized, covert operations against middle eastern targets of the United States? Especially when Al-Qaeda is nothing more than an admitted specter.
file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Ed/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_image003.jpgThe answer is given to us through the suspiciously precognitive writing of former Sen. Gary Hart (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-hart/a-national-security-act-f_b_355282.html) who writes in a Huffington post article this past Nov. 11, 2009
"Among the early lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq, however, is that 21st century conflict demands Special Forces and small unit capabilities even more than traditional big divisions, large carrier task groups, and long range strategic bombers. Historic nation-state wars, though always plausible, are declining. Irregular, unconventional warfare involving dispersed terrorist cells, stateless nations, insurgencies, and tribes, clans, and gangs are increasing dramatically."
He then asks,
"...are our present and planned force structures configured for new military threats; are weapons procurement programs continuation of traditional acquisitions or focused on future requirements; is the intelligence community properly coordinated and focused on emerging realities; for non-military concerns--such as failed states, radical fundamentalism, pandemics, climate degradation, energy dependence, and resource competition--are new international coalitions needed; are existing alliances adequate to anticipate and respond to these crises or are new ones required; most of all, does our government require new legislative authority to achieve national security under dramatically changing conditions?"
We see here that Hart, who also wrote a book on the subject called Under the Eagles Wings: A National Security Strategy of the United States for 2009, has easily just expanded the use and role of these rogue assassination units from foreign operations against terrorists, to operations against what he terms as "non-military threats" or "stateless nations" inside the United States and abroad.
He goes further in his book stating,
"We will be required to conduct multinational training exercises between our special forces and those of other nations. We must operate jointly and collectively against Jihadi and other terrorist groups that endanger the security of all. We will find it necessary to integrate communications systems and databases among law enforcement and public safety agencies of liberal democratic nations. Pg. 17"
Isn't this exactly what we are seeing with the reported CIA/Blackwater operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? They're not over their just fighting Al-Qaeda, but using the war on terror as a front operation to train multinational privatized commandos and integrating the fighting forces of the developed nations? We have Delta Force, Rangers, CIA, Green Beret, S.E.A.L's, IDF, Mossad, Mi5, SAS, Marines etc. etc., all being utilized and training as rapid deployment forces and occupation forces to better serve as a cohesive militarily force in a increasingly globalized world.
In the Homeland
It would be one thing if it was only Al-Qaeda and militants on foreign shores they were after, but in a incredibly revealing article from the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/23/national/nationalspecial3/23code.html?_r=1&ei=5065&en=da865789fda33413&ex=1107061200&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print&position=) we see that they were operational in the United States during the 2005 Bush inauguration in direct violation of Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 as stated in the article.
"These commandos, operating under a secret counter-terrorism program code-named Power Geyser, were mentioned publicly for the first time this week on a Web site for a new book, "Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operation in the 9/11 World," (Steerforth Press). The book was written by William M. Arkin, a former intelligence analyst for the Army.
The precise number of these Special Operations forces in Washington this week is highly classified, but military officials say the number is very small. The special-missions units belong to the Joint Special Operations Command, a secretive command based at Fort Bragg, N.C., whose elements include the Army unit Delta Force."

If you count Blackwaters apperance in Katrina, they are used to training and operating on American soil and conducting training exercises that run into unfortunate deaths like what happened on a Colorado Mountain top (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/08/21/crash_of_army_helicopter_in_colorado_kills_four_so ldiers/) in August
The Blackwater story is the actualized realization of Gary Hart's book, and it all happened in 2009 just like the title suggested.
So if Al-Qaeda is Gone, Who is the New Enemy?
The answer to that question is simply you, by expanding the definition of terrorist over the last decade DHS has increasingly been issuing report after report that middle America is potentially terrorists. According to the MIAC report, property rights activist, tax evaders, gun owners, home schoolers, Christians, and people angry about the economy are all potential terrorists (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/2778261/Next-US-terror-attack-could-be-by-white-Americans-or-Europeans.html).
MIACReport (http://www.scribd.com/doc/13290698/The-Modern-Militia-MovementMissouri-MIAC-Strategic-Report-20Feb09-)
Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism (http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/_files/IslamistReport.pdf)
Things to Come
file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Ed/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_image004.jpgYou can be sure that things will not stay the same, an economic collapse that could degrade into a full blown civil war is currently being planned for by the Obama administration as reported by the EU Times (http://www.eutimes.net/2009/11/obama-orders-1-million-us-troops-to-prepare-for-civil-war/), and expanded upon by Chuck Baldwin in his latest column (http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin554.htm).
The simple fact is while America has been sleeping, the groundwork to totally and finally break the American people into accepting global government as a solution to war, climate change, food, pandemics, and natural disasters is in place.
Think about how many drills you have heard about in the past months of American soldiers training with foreign forces, and with the overly hyped swine flu being declared a level six pandemic (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14543) recently we have the perfect cover to train and deploy multinational peace keeping forces all over America and the World, as shown in the NLE 2009 massive training drills (http://www.fema.gov/media/fact_sheets/nle09.shtm) conducted over the summer.
If you speak out against this rogue government after the collapse and clamp down (http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/06/23/ron-paul-obamas-goal-is-economic-collapse/), you will go to one of the hundreds of FEMA re-education and work camps (http://news.pacificnews.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=eed74d9d44c30493706fe 03f4c9b3a77) that have gone up around the country.
Those who choose to fight against it in an armed resistance, whether a nation state or an individual will be targeted by multinational private mercenary squads who have cut their teeth in the lawless deserts of Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and will have the full backing of both the military and intelligence apparatus of these United States when it comes to tracking down and killing those it deems enemies of the state.
They want a Global Government (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/opinion/26iht-edban.html) and the United States middle class won't stand for it unless major panic ensues. The security state is ready to take the velvet gloves off in everything from...
NSA Wiretapping and domestic surveillance (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE51I2II20090219), $5 Billion for Pentagon Funded Propaganda Campaigns (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/02/05/pentagon-spending-billions-pr-sway-world-opinion/), Militarized Police Forces (http://www.newswithviews.com/Evensen/greg.htm) , and mobilizing a youth corp against veterans and patriots (http://www.infowars.com/government-readies-youth-corps-to-take-on-vets/), it is a nightmare to contemplate but very, very real.
Now if you want a real ugly glance at just how bad things have gotten with the use of mercs, look into Hardin, Montana (http://rawstory.com/blog/2009/10/revealed-american-police-force-founder-an-ex-con/)and how a foreigner and felon with 17 aliases bought out the city, took over the jail and staffed it with foreign mercenaries.
With the planned collapse of our Economy by the Fed, the war on the Mexican border that is quickly spilling over into American cities (http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/18/mexico.us.cartels/index.html) nationwide, and the increasing militarized security grid that has invaded every aspect of American life we are faced with a choice as red blooded Americans as we come to the end of 2009. We either stand up and fight for the values of our constitutional republic by outing every criminal in government and reclaiming or nations capital and military, or we allow them to be integrated into the New World Order system that will violently suppress all opposition via Blackwater type hit teams.
Your call America will you heed the warning signs all around you or will you drown out your conscience with football, and Friday night movies? As a final thought we have the newly announced Air force's Global Strike Brigade being assembled for rapid deployment of nuclear munitions anywhere in the world (http://www.opednews.com/populum/) the architects of this global society are ruthless killers and deadly serious and will utilize any means necessary to assure success. Those of us who are awake are desperately praying the public can wake up in time, because this reality is being forced on us like it or not.


Ed Jewett
12-27-2009, 04:17 AM
Obama Continues to Privatize America's Imperial Wars

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

http://www.uruknet.de/pic.php?f=blackwater_mercs.jpg (http://www.uruknet.de/pic.php?f=blackwater_mercs.jpg) December 24, 2009

http://www.blackagendareport.com/images/stories/mic.png (http://media.libsyn.com/media/blackagendareport/20091223_gf_Mercs.mp33)
The Pentagon has methodically insulated its wars from most of U.S. civil society. "For the United States, war has devolved to a matter of contracts, a multi-trillion dollar cash cow for corporations, a self-perpetuating financial bubble that feeds the planet’s most dangerous and nonproductive, useless classes." The mercenary is the ideal corporate warrior.
Obama Continues to Privatize America's Imperial Wars
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"The mercenary war is a simple commercial transaction – a private affair between employee and management."
It is now beyond question that civilian military contractors – mercenaries – are permanently embedded in the structure and longterm planning of the United States Armed Forces. In recent years, about half the U.S. personnel in the combined South Asia theaters of war – Afghanistan and Pakistan – have been civilians, according to Pentagon figures. The one-to-one ratio of military to civilians – a percentage that would have been unthinkable prior to the invasion of Iraq – may become even more lopsidedly mercenary with President Obama’s troop escalation in Afghanistan. The Congressional Research Service (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/15/AR2009121504850_pf.html) estimates that as many as 56,000 civilian contractors may accompany the 30,000 uniformed troops scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan. That’s a ratio of almost two-to-one civilian to military. The Afghanistan/Pakistan theater has become the modern world’s first large scale corporate/civilian war.
The official statistics on civilians in the war zones do not include covert operations, or "black ops," which have been steadily increasing since President Obama took office, especially in Pakistan. The Pakistani military is extremely sensitive to the influx of thousands of American mercenaries. Much of the Pakistani press and public believe the Americans are sneaking in mercenaries to threaten the Pakistani state and seize its nuclear arsenal (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/world/asia/17visa.html), which is likely one reason the Pakistanis have systematically delayed the processing of American travel documents. The mercenary outfit formerly known as Blackwater is one of the most hated names in Pakistan.
For the United States, war has devolved to a matter of contracts, a multi-trillion dollar cash cow for corporations, a self-perpetuating financial bubble that feeds the planet’s most dangerous and nonproductive, useless classes.

"Those who are most likely to be killed in U.S. wars are from families and towns that are least likely to complain."
Ever since the near disintegration of the U.S. military in Vietnam, the rulers of the United States have schemed to make war an activity that directly touches only a small proportion of the population. In 1972, the all-volunteer system made it possible for the Pentagon to socially engineer the demographics of the military. In the post-9/11 era, as any viewer of PBS News Hour can observe, the troops most likely to die are small town whites and Latinos – demographics that are not prone to political protest and, at any rate, wield little power in American society. To put it bluntly, those who are most likely to be killed in U.S. wars are from families and towns that are least likely to complain, and are in no positioned to protest effectively, anyway. Recent brown immigrants and white kids from nowheresville are precious to the Pentagon precisely because they present so few political problems.
Mercenaries are even better – ideal. The vast majority have already been trained in the combat arms. They are separate from the military chain of command, which can always disavow their crimes with no prejudice to the honor of the uniformed services. Most importantly, the mercenary war is a simple commercial transaction – a private affair between employee and management, and none of the general public's business. Notions of democracy, shared national culpability, citizen's obligations to one another and to the human species – none of this enters the equation in corporate war-making. It is pure killing for profit – or pure profit for killing – on an industrial scale.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com (http://www.blackagendareport.com/).
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

:: Article nr. 61428 sent on 25-dec-2009 04:33 ECT
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Link: www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obama-continues-privatize-americas-imperial
-wars (http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obama-continues-privatize-americas-imperial-wars)

Magda Hassan
12-30-2009, 12:12 AM
Xe, Formerly Blackwater, Poses Biggest Threat to Pakistan's Nukes

Dr Shahid Qureshi

December 28, 2009

Is America out to hurt her trusted ally?


Main photo of Blackwater courtesy: opinion-maker.org (http://www.opinion-maker.org/)

(LONDON) - Lawyers from the local bar associations protested outside the 'secret base' of US mercenaries (Xe/Blackwater) inside the 'Sehala’ Police Training College, a few miles from the Kahuta Nuclear Plant. Why did Pakistani media ignore the story?
http://www.salem-news.com/gphotos/1261972369.jpgKahuta Nuke Plant
As the propaganda that Pakistani nukes are likely to fall into the hands of the Taliban continues in the American press, one wonders what might be the U.S. intent.
Seen in the light that American mercenaries have become overt operationally, it appears that the intent is to use them to 'lift’ the Pak Nukes using the threat from the Taliban as an excuse.
It is a most ridiculous statement that the Taliban are going to walk into Pakistani nuclear sites and take control. Are nuclear weapons toys that can be taken away from an errant kid?
It is common knowledge that different sections of the system are stored in different places; "how can Taliban take over all sites and put them together" was my response to a question by Adam Brooks, BBC’s Washington correspondent, in a live program on BBC World Service TV on 23rd December 2009.
http://www.salem-news.com/gphotos/1261972786.jpgTehrik Taliban in Pakistan,
face covered, holding AK-47
Some analysts believe that Blackwater is a bigger threat to Pakistan’s nuclear sites than real Taliban. There are reports that (TTP) 'Tehrik Taliban Pakistan’ is co-sponsored by CIA-Raw-Mossad and perhaps some other interested parties.
In fact TTP is created to fight Taliban in Afghanistan and may be entrapments. The attacks on Pakistan's sensitive institutions are serving the purpose of the enemies of Pakistan including India.
The Al-Qaida threat is like a 'swine flu’ which can be used anywhere from Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and FATA depending on the aims, purpose and objectives of the Neoconic emerging policies in the concerned areas.
Al-Qaida is a trump card in the hands of the defence contractors and war profiteers, main benefactors of Global War on Terror and of 9/11 terrorism. Pakistan’s spy chief Lt. General Shuja Pasha reportedly gave proof of the CIA’s involvement into destabilising/terrorist activities in Pakistan.
According to some assessments U.S. mercenaries with support of 'locally recruited agents’ are behind the targeted killings of senior Pakistani military officers in the past few months.
ILIM TV - Blackwater / Xe in Pakistan - Full Version

In the current scenario it is irrelevant who gave permission, freedom of movement and a base in the Police Training College a few miles from the "Kahuta Nuclear Plant" to US private mercenaries (Blackwater/Xe) in Pakistan. The most important question is what Rehman Malik and Zardari are doing about it?
According to reports, four U.S. nationals, who were dressed in Taliban clothes, speaking Pashto, were arrested by the police approximately 1.5 miles from the Kahuta Nuclear Plant. They were carrying explosives and dozens of hand grenades in a 4x4 jeep with some kind of spying and jamming equipments.
When they were brought to the police station, people from Rehman Malik’s Interior Ministry and allegedly Salman Faruqui Zardari’s NRO partner and beneficiary got these criminals released without charge and handed over to the US embassy."
Lawyers from the local bar associations protested outside the secret base of US mercenaries (Xe/Blackwater) placed inside 'Sehala’ Police Training College. Even the head of the college, a senior DIG, was not allowed in the US facility.
That reminded me of the reported incident where military dictator General Ayub Khan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs - none other than Zulifkar Ali Bhutto, father in law of President Zardari, wanted to visit a U.S. Base in Peshawar.
His request was turned down by the base commander and he was turned away from the canteen. Soon after, a U.S. spy plane U2 was shot down in the Soviet air space and the pilot was taken into custody. Which obviously resulted in shutting down of the base as well as daily U2 flights.
http://www.salem-news.com/gphotos/1261973213.jpgGeneral Ayub Khan

In the current scenario without making corruption a moral or political issue, Pakistan is facing two major internal threats from two individuals. Asif Zardari and Rehman Malik are two major threats to Pakistan’s security and sovereignty.
Rehman Malik is responsible for providing safe passages to Blackwater mercenaries via corrupt police officials day in day out. When there is overwhelming evidence that Blackwater/Xe are involved in terrorism and anti-state activities against Pakistan’s armed forces, nuclear program and assassination of Benazir Bhutto, according to former Army Chief General Aslam Baig (whom she awarded with a medal).
Rehman Malik should be tried in open court for aiding, abetting and procuring for all the incidents when foreign mercenaries, who were released on the orders of his interior ministry. In mid September 2009 a senior police officer Nasir Aftab was sacked by Rehman Malik because he arrested and apprehended armed Blackwater agents. The incident took place in Islamabad when Superintendent intercepted some officers of an intelligence agency and marines of a powerful country riding in a vehicle. He took them to the Margala police station where a brawl took place.
The SP later lodged an FIR against some officials of the intelligence agency. The Acting Chief of Islamabad Police DIG (Operations) Bin Yamin said, "reasons of officers' removal were not mentioned in the letter". So the responsibility comes down to Mr. Rehman Malik. He should be questioned. There is a dire need to identify 'local collaborators’ and 'enemies of the state’ in Pakistan.
http://www.salem-news.com/gphotos/1261974006.jpg According to a report filed by Fawad Ali of 'The Nation’ on 14th December 2009, "17 Top Pakistani officials are protecting US interests in (NWFP) province neighbouring Afghanistan. Seventeen officials serving in NWFP on various important posts are active members of the notorious American Khyber Club (AKC) that is believed to be a hotbed of conspiracies against Pakistan; highly placed sources informed The Nation. These officials are facilitating American diplomats, operatives of CIA and mercenaries of Blackwater in their activities stretched across the province and FATA. In reciprocation, the local officials get full support in getting lucrative postings, transfers and getting away with inquiries, etc, sources disclosed and added they are taken care of by Americans who have tons of money at their disposal."
"Those who stand out in serving US interests are posted on the posts of their own choice despite lapse of tenure, and this speaks of increasing American influence in our internal matters," an official said.
Their nominees get U.S. visas in no time and the children as well as siblings of some officials are getting free educations in prestigious institutions abroad.
"These days serving American interests is more fruitful for anyone than serving interests of Pakistan," an official who was made OSD for an unforgivable crime of non-cooperation with foreigners told The Nation.
The top 17 officials who have made American Khyber Club their second home include nine from the District Management Group (DMG), six officers representing the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), while two are in the Office Management Group (OMG). The PSP officers who take pride in having personal relations with American operatives hail from Peshawar, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Waziristan and Kohat.
They have been spotted roaming around with foreigners in their bulletproof cars and holding secret meetings with them in their offices, which is an open violation of rules and regulations, sources informed.
The DMG officials who are protecting U.S. interests in the region hail from Peshawar, Nowshehra, Swabi, Mardan and Charsadda. They also use the American Khyber Club as their unofficial secretariat.
The officials belonging to OMG and PSC Executive Group hail from Waziristan and Shabqadar. Orders have been repeatedly circulated that government officials can’t meet foreigners (Americans) without prior approval from the authorities concerned but no one seems to be interested in abiding by the rules.
On the other hand, those who are not in the good books of the American Consulate have been given insignificant posts or have simply been made Officers on Special (Spiritual) Duty (OSDs). The sources informed that Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency has reported the matter to the highest authorities in Islamabad.
While talking to the writer the above-mentioned senior journalist, Mr. Fawad Ali confirmed that he has "been threatened by the notorious Blackwater," which forced him to go public to save his life. It looks likes a failed attempt to recruit him? So what did Rehman Malik do as all the police service officers are accountable to his ministry?
Rehman Malik is toeing a "U.S. Plan of using minorities" which is becoming more and more visible - which Iranians clearly understand. The questions one should be asking Mr Malik are:
(a) Why majority of the people and companies hired by Xe/Blackwater are Shias?
(b) Why he always names Sunni sectarian groups/organisations minutes after the incidents.
(c) Is he settling scores for someone in the name of counter terrorism?
(d) Why he never mentioned Indian Raw after the attack on a Sri Lankan team in Lahore, when Punjab CID warned of India's plan long before the incident?
On the one hand they are supporting Shia minority elements in private security agencies business, but on the other making majority Sunnis realize that less then 5% Shias of Pakistan are ruling the country from Presidency, State Bank, and media.
The so called Shia left pseudo intellectuals have jumped on the U.S. bandwagon everywhere, both Pakistan and Iran should be careful with them. The US strategy of creating sectarianism failed in Iraq and it was allegedly Blackwater and private mercenaries bombing both Sunnis and Shia mosques.
The Obama Administration must bring to justice those 'friendly spies’ arrested in the U.S., who were releasing information about U.S. troop movements in Iraq as IED's were planted on those routes.
A senior based in the region told me that sometimes these private mercenaries establish fake checkpoints, take people away for search, plant remote control bombs in their cars, tell them to collect their papers from the place where explosion is intended, when vehicles get there, devices are exploded.
These people did not know that they were carriers. Private mercenaries are terrorizing people with the help of the locals. The people who killed senior Pakistani military officers were allegedly re-trained by Xe/Blackwater.
It is a fact that soldiers and officers retire at a young age due to type of profession and need to join other professions. Exposure of these snakes in the grass, aiders and abettors of these foreign mercenaries is important.
Blackwater in Pakistan for "Targeted Killings"

According to a report, "The security company of Ikram Sehgal, MD of Pathfinder and Security Management Services (SMS) was brought into the spotlight for being security providers of American embassy, and the strength of 20,000 plus security guards employed in that organization armed with sophisticated weapons and armoured vehicles were discussed."
The cause of frustration is solely based on suspicious activities of foreign agencies and their agents in Pakistan with local backing. It is important to analyze what owners of these agencies are up and to and where they are going. For Example as reported in the media, Mr Ikram Sehgal’s statement, "No harm in recognizing Israel", is not only treacherous but against the state of Pakistan. Mr Ikram Sehgal, chief editor of the Defence Journal, said on Saturday that there would be no harm in Pakistan’s recognition of Israel if Tel Aviv could be pursued to refrain from a pro-Indian policy.
In a lecture at the Department of International Relations at Karachi University, he said if Jordan and Egypt could recognize Israel, why not Pakistan? He does not understand the legality of the issue and historical stands of the father of the nation on the issue. Should this man be allowed to continue run his 'private army’ which could be converted into Israeli army at any time? A few years back Brinks USA was also among those who jumped into the local security business, but a major cause of panic is the recent recovery of weapons during a raid on the residence of Capt. Zaidi of InterRisk security agency and the discovery of illegal prohibited weapons. It was recently reported that an international company SkyPlan is delivering NATO supplies via Sialkot airport. Why has this matter not been fully investigated as to who is behind these activities?
Did Pakistan Armed Forces train Black water/Xe’s local recruits to work against the national interests of the state? As far as Zardari and Rehman Malik are concerned, they have converted Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party into (PPPP) Pimping, Pleasuring and Profiteering Party.
Source: opinion-maker.org (http://www.opinion-maker.org/)
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is an award winning journalist and writer on foreign policy & security based in London)

:: Article nr. 61555 sent on 29-dec-2009 03:57 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=61555 (http://www.uruknet.info/index.php?p=61555)

Link: www.salem-news.com/articles/december272009/blkwtr_pak.php (http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december272009/blkwtr_pak.php)

Magda Hassan
01-03-2010, 02:27 PM
The Privatisation of Violence: New mercenaries and the state

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif Christopher Wrigley, March 1999


Introduction: the Old Mercenarism (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#1) | The Private Military Companies (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#2) | The Sandline Nexus (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#3)
The South African Connection (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#4) | UK Government Connection: the Affair of Sierra Leone (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#5)
The Case for the Companies (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#6) | The Case Against: the Special Rapporteur (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#7)
The Case Against: the Impact on Africa (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#8) | Private Armies and the State (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#9) | Notes (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#10)
Introduction: the Old Mercenarism

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif Mercenarism is almost as old as war; but it has always been looked at askance. Fighting qualities were given to men for the defence of the hearth, so those who put them at the service of strangers for hire have been regarded rather like prostitutes, who do for money what they ought to do for love. The feeling became more pronounced with the rise of the democratic nation-state and its patriotic armed forces, and was given formal recognition in the UK by the Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870, which remains in force.
However, mercenaries really came into prominence during the turbulence of decolonisation and its aftermath in Africa, where they complicated already difficult situations in the Congo, Biafra and Sudan. A little later they were especially active in the small island republics of the Seychelles, Maldives and Comoros, where they have made and unmade governments almost at will. Some of their leaders, such as "Mad" Mike Hoare, the Belgian Christian Tavernier and the Frenchman Bob Denard, acquired international notoriety. The nadir of this kind of mercenarism was reached in late 1974, when a psychopathic ex-corporal recruited a number of London goons and took them off to fight for rebels in Angola. When they discovered the chaos in which they were supposed to serve, some of them wanted to go home, whereupon the leader had them tried for mutiny and shot, before falling himself into the hands of government forces.
Such activities caused anger in Africa and embarrassment in Western capitals and there was pressure to outlaw them. The Angolan government put their captives on trial for mercenarism, but no such crime was then recognised in international law. Several attempts were made to fill this gap: Article 47 of the 1977 Additional Protocols of the Geneva Conventions; the Organisation of African Unity’s Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa, also of 1977; and eventually the UN’s International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries of 1989. None of these measures has proved effective. Article 47, which was never ratified by France or US, piles up so many criteria for the identification of mercenaries that it is legally unusable. As one authority has remarked, ‘any mercenary who cannot exclude himself from this definition deserves to be shot – and his lawyer with him’1 The OAU and UN Conventions condemn only those who bear arms against recognised governments, and the latter is so little regarded that only 11 states – six African, four East European and Germany – have thought it worth ratifying, and so it is not yet in force.
The UK government in fact moved in the opposite direction, towards the decriminalisation of mercenary activity. A Committee appointed by Harold Wilson in 1975 and headed by the distinguished jurist Lord Diplock reported that the Act of 1870 was archaic and inappropriate and should be repealed. For various reasons, including Wilson’s retirement, this did not happen and the Act remains technically in force. However, the Foreign Office position stated in 1991 was that it was "not in itself reprehensible to serve a foreign government in a military capacity". Policy in a given instance "would reflect the varying circumstances and the moral issues involved."2 In December 1995, referring to the use of mercenaries in Sierra Leone, Baroness Chalker pronounced that "the details of any contract with foreign companies are a matter for the Sierra Leone government". 3 The UN was equally complacent, the Secretary-General simply noting the employment of "non-Sierra Leone advisers to improve the fighting skills of its troops, instil discipline and upgrade command and control". 4
The Private Military Companies [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif First Steps

The change in attitude partly reflected an equal change in the character of the Europeans who engage in what may be regarded as mercenary activity. The warriors who infested Africa in the 1960s and 1970s were for the most part individual adventurers without corporate backing, who sought excitement as well as money by joining in mayhem in troubled corners of the earth. It is true that Denard and some others were initially serving French policy in Africa, but they became freelances pursuing their own agendas. (Denard was recently put on trial in France on a charge of murdering the Comorian head of state he was contracted to protect.)5. Now, however, a different breed has come to the fore: the organisers of "private military companies", who operate from smart offices, purport to be carrying on legitimate, indeed virtuous businesses like overseas versions of Group 4 or Securicor, move in highly respectable circles and have access to government departments.
One of the first of these, Gurkha Security Guards, registered in Guernsey, continued a long-established tradition whereby young Nepalese hill men had served the British Empire as highly respected mercenary soldiers. After the demise of the Raj some Gurkha units were retained as units of the British Army. One was stationed in Brunei, and when this territory finally became independent in 1983 the Sultan, who did not trust his own armed forces, insisted on re-hiring it. Many Gurkhas, however, became redundant and some of them were recruited into the private sector. This enterprise suffered a serious setback in 1995. Hired by the government of Sierra Leone, it lost a number of men, including its Canadian commander, in a rebel ambush, and retired from the scene.6
Another early, and much more successful, venture was Defence Services Limited, founded in 1981 by Colonel Alistair Morrison and now run by Richard Bethell, like Morrison a former SAS officer. DSL is probably the largest UK-based organisation of its kind, operating in at least a dozen countries from Canada to Kazakhstan. It offers its clients, who include police forces, large mining corporations and UN bodies, protection and advisory services, guarding oil installations, embassies and VIPs (such as Diana, Princess of Wales during her visit to Angola). Its personnel are unarmed, and it relies on local forces for its own security, telling them what to do and how to do it. It claims that it "never gets involved in other people’s wars" 7. Some of its activity is nevertheless controversial, especially its role as the security department of BP in its highly vulnerable Colombian operation. Colombia has extremely valuable oil deposits, far in the interior. It is also the scene of a very dirty three-way war between drug barons, left-wing guerrillas and national military and paramilitary forces which are not under firm political control. BP openly hired one Colombian battalion to protect its assets. In addition, however, the DSL employee who acted as security manager for the Ocensa pipeline, in which BP has a stake, was recently sacked after allegations of supplying military equipment to another battalion notorious for the massacre of civilians8. It is probably true, however, that DSL does not directly engage in violence, and so on some definitions it would escape the "mercenary" label.
The Sandline Nexus [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif A much more problematic development took place in 1989 with the formation of the blandly named Executive Outcomes in South Africa. By that time the apartheid regime was beginning to dissolve. The wars it had waged in Angola and Namibia had come to an end, and there would soon be drastic cuts in the South African Defence Force, many of whose white officers and black other ranks were seeking alternative uses for their redundant skills. The first leader of EO, Eeben Barlow, was a special forces officer, reputedly a member of the Civilian Co-operation Bureau, another bland name for an organisation which, among other duties, carried out the assassination of the regime’s more dangerous opponents. His second-in- command Lafras Luitingh had also been a member of the Bureau. Barlow, however, spent most of his time in western Europe, where "he undoubtedly developed many of his corporate connections"9. Among these, it seems, was the British businessman Tony Buckingham who, with his associate Simon Mann, is credited with the setting up of Executive Outcomes.
Buckingham (the name is said to be a nom de guerre) was formerly an officer in the Special Boat Squadron. Mann served in the SAS and is described as an intelligence specialist. Buckingham is the creator and supervisor of a complicated business network devoted to the exploitation of Africa’s mineral wealth. He is Chairman and Chief Executive of Branch Energy, a company, registered in the Isle of Man, that owns mining properties in Angola, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Uganda. It was sold in 1996 to Diamond Works of Vancouver, in which it holds a 30 per cent stake. Buckingham is also the founder and President of Heritage Oil and Gas, formerly British, now registered in the Bahamas and heavily involved in the development of Angola’s offshore oil, in co-operation with the state oil company and another Canadian company called Ranger Oil. Another associated company, Ibis Air of Malta, operates a fleet containing several Boeing 727s as well as Russian helicopters, and has provided Executive Outcomes with indispensable mobility10.
In 1993 Buckingham, Mann and Barlow registered Executive Outcomes (UK). In order to avoid too open a South African connection, however, they later added a new organisation, Sandline International, which established itself in plush offices in Chelsea, which it shared with Heritage Oil and Branch Energy. To head this, they recruited Colonel Tim Spicer, a recently retired Scots Guards and SAS officer who had been wounded in the Falklands, commanded a battalion in Northern Ireland, for which he was awarded the OBE, and served as director of special operations in Bosnia. In December 1996 Sandline was formally incorporated in London by Buckingham, Mann, Barlow, Spicer, Michael Grunberg and Nic van der Berg, who later took over from Barlow as head of EO. The military network was controlled by shadowy holding companies, called Plaza 107 in the UK (controlled by Grunberg) and the Strategic Resources Corporation in South Africa11.
The nexus was now complete. South Africans, among whom there were still many people poor enough to risk their lives for money, provided the military muscle, Sandline the organisation and the respectable front. The object of the exercise was to provide security for Western business in Africa and other disturbed parts of the world, guarding its properties and if necessary propping up those governments best able to supply the order that business requires. The beneficiaries would be, in the first place, the intermediaries who linked owners of capital and of military expertise, whose companies would acquire a privileged position in the pacified countries (Buckingham is reputed to be "fabulously rich"12, and secondly the Western intelligence organisations, from which the intermediaries were drawn and with which they kept close links13.
The South African Connection [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif Executive Outcomes scored spectacular successes. Its first breakthrough came in Angola, where the war between the MPLA government and the rebel organisation UNITA flared up again in 1994 after a peace settlement had seemingly been reached. Many of the EO people had previously served in South African forces supporting UNITA (indeed some of the rank and file were Angolans), but in the new climate they were willing to change sides and take on a contract for the Angolan government. Though there is no evidence for a close link between EO and Pretoria, they were undoubtedly going with the grain of the new government’s policy, and also with the wishes of Western governments and business. No longer Marxist (at any rate in practice), the MPLA was eager to throw the country’s oil and diamond resources open to Western capital; and UNITA had therefore become expendable.
EO was originally hired by Ranger Oil to protect its installations. It was so successful in this that the Angola government, hard pressed by UNITA, gave it a contract to provide training, equipment and men for its army. It is commonly credited with turning the tide of battle and providing the conditions for a precarious peace: "hired guns", it has been said, "succeeded where the United Nations failed"14. Others consider this claim exaggerated 15. The Angolan army was not a negligible force; in 1987, admittedly with Cuban help, it had won a significant victory over the redoubtable South African Defence Force, and both the President, dos Santos, and the Chief of Staff, de Matos, are men of substance.
Be that as it may, the reputation of EO was now made. In March 1995 it was invited to Sierra Leone to help the government of Captain Valentine Strasser, which was struggling to contain an insurrection by guerrillas known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Again it was strikingly successful, regaining control over the precious diamond fields and helping to drive the RUF to the conference table. Early in 1997, however, the newly elected government of Ahmed Kabbah asked it to leave, though many of its men stayed on to protect key sites under other labels.
Whatever may be true of other "military companies", there is no doubt that Executive Outcomes was a fighting force. It did provide training, logistic support and static security, but if necessary it also went into battle. Its casualties have been few, because it relied on sudden strikes made possible by its helicopters, which provided both transport and covering fire; but some of its men have been killed in action.
The tentacles of EO spread widely through Africa. It has provided military training in Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Madagascar and Algeria. Barlow has set up a security company in Kenya in partnership with Raymond Moi, son of the President. A subsidiary called Saracen has been established in Uganda in co-operation with Major-General Salim Saleh, half-brother of the President. It guards the gold-mining activities of Branch Energy, in which the Major-General also has a stake. Saracen is also thought to have taken part in operations against the "Lord’s Resistance Army" in the north of the country. In 1998 Sandline and Branch Energy were believed to be expanding into Sudan.16
On the other hand, the organisation’s first significant venture outside Africa ended in fiasco. Late in 1996 Sandline was hired by the government of Papua New Guinea to help restore its rule in Bougainville, an island territory which for some years had been in the hands of a separatist movement. Bougainville contains one of the world’s richest copper mines, owned by the Australian arm of Rio Tinto Zinc but rendered inactive by the rebel forces. Colonel Spicer took charge of the operation, bringing with him 70 EO soldiers as well as two helicopters. The newcomers were fiercely resented by the PNG soldiers, whose pay was less than 1 per cent of theirs, and the general who had invited Spicer turned against him, provoking a political crisis. The EO men were deported and Spicer was arrested at gunpoint and briefly imprisoned.
Two points were clarified by this adventure. First, it disproved the claim of mineral extraction companies such as Buckingham’s Heritage Oil and Gas that they have no link with Sandline and that neither they nor Sandline are linked to Executive Outcomes. In strictly corporate terms this is no doubt true, but, as has been remarked by a well-informed and generally well-disposed commentator, "the paths of all three – and many other subsidiaries besides – have not only crossed on numerous occasions during this decade but, as in the case of Papua New Guinea, were sometimes thoroughly enmeshed"17. In February 1997 an advance payment of $A18m, half the contract fee, was paid into the Hong Kong bank account of Sandline Holdings, of which the signatories were Buckingham, Mann, Barlow and Luitingh. Although the operation was to be paid for in cash, other benefits were expected to accrue. The PNG inquiry into the affair quoted a letter from Spicer to a minister proposing "a joint venture with your government, ourselves and RTZ-CRA to re-open and operate the Bougainville mine once recovered". Tony Buckingham had advised the PNG government to buy back the mine and then get "responsible groups" (presumably his own) involved in its development.18
The incident also discloses that military competence and commercial backing are not sufficient; political support is necessary as well. In this case the important backing would have been from the government of Australia, and this, in spite of the Australian interest in Bougainville, was emphatically lacking. The UK government was silent, but almost certainly not supportive. It is of some interest that a little later Sandline was approached by the tottering government of President Mobutu in Zaire. It consulted the UK government and was told to stay away; Mobutu had outlived his usefulness to the West.19. In desperation he turned to another South African company and to the now unemployed fighters of former Yugoslavia, recruiting both Serbs and Croats, who proved equally ineffective. More recently Sandline has been instructed not to interfere in Kosovo20.
The UK Government Connection: the Affair of Sierra Leone [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif More successful but even more controversial than its PNG operation has been the activity of Sandline in the troubled republic of Sierra Leone, where the elected President, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, was overthrown in May 1997 in a military putsch led by one Major "Johnny" Koroma, who made common cause with the guerrillas of the RUF. Both the Sierra Leone Army and the rebels were mainly recruited from disaffected "street kids", and the rule of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, commonly known as the junta, was by all accounts disorderly and brutal. The United Nations, with the UK government strongly supportive, called for the restoration of Kabbah. This was also the aim of the Economic Organisation of West African States (ECOWAS), whose military arm, known as ECOMOG, was already engaged in the neighbouring state of Liberia and had been called on for help by the Strasser government. The coup took place in spite of the presence of a substantial, mainly Nigerian force. 300 Nigerian soldiers were in fact taken prisoner in Freetown (to be later extricated by the Red Cross), but the Nigerians retained control of their main barracks and of the airport, both situated a few miles from the capital.
It was in these circumstances that discussions took place in Guinea between the exiled President, the Nigerian military and representatives of Sandline, with the UK High Commissioner, Peter Penfold, an ardent supporter of Kabbah, in close attendance. For the sum of $10m, which was to be provided by a Vancouver-based businessman, Rakesh Saxena, in return for the promise of mineral concessions worth many times more, Sandline undertook to provide "adequately equipped forces" to ensure the restoration.21 In the event Saxena, who was arrested shortly afterwards in Canada, could furnish only $1.5m, so the operation had to be scaled down. It took two distinct forms. First, Sandline provided logistic support to the ECOMOG command, notably helicopters which enabled it to lift troops and equipment over the difficult country between their bases and Freetown. Secondly, it arranged for the shipment of 35 tonnes of Bulgarian small arms, mortars and ammunition. These were intended not for the Nigerians but for the Kamajors, tribal militias based on traditional social-control organisations of the Mende people, who were among Kabbah’s most loyal supporters, as they had previously been of Strasser. The Kamajors are sworn enemies of the RUF and they take no prisoners.
As it turned out, the Kamajor project was forestalled by the Nigerian Army, which on February 1998, without waiting to see whether the junta would honour its promise to step down, without express UN authority and, it seems, without the consent of the other members of ECOWAS, launched an attack on Freetown, which was captured after a week’s fighting. The Bulgarian arms arrived a few days later and were impounded by the Nigerians, who were at this time wary of the Kamajors, accusing them of being more interested in diamonds than in democracy. Later, however, they had to enlist their help in pacifying the interior, and it seems that the Bulgarian weaponry did eventually come into their hands.
Discussion of this matter has focused mainly on legal and procedural matters: to what extent did UK officials and/or ministers collude in the breach of a UN embargo (actually drawn up by Foreign Office lawyers) which forbade the supply of arms to any of the Sierra Leone parties and included a ban on brokerage, i.e. the transfer of material from a third party such as Bulgaria? It is not clear whether the ban applied also to the ECOMOG forces - UN sources have been quoted as saying that it did not22 – but these may have been subject to the separate EU embargo on Nigeria. Less attention has been given to a more substantive charge: the apparent willingness of some officials to arm irregular forces. The attraction of the Kamajor option is clear, and was certainly clear to Penfold23. The UK government wanted President Kabbah to be restored but did not want him to owe his restoration solely to General Abacha of Nigeria, who would have gained a new legitimacy by such a signal service to the democratic cause24. Anyone who made this calculation was surely being gravely irresponsible. As one commentator has noted, "had the weapons gone as intended to the Kamajors, the likeliest effect would have been the opposite [to restoring democracy]: it would have given Kabbah a weapon over which there would have been no constitutional control, and would have increased the prospect of violence in the longer term".25 Indeed it was precisely because of unease about the Kamajors that the Foreign Office had procured a comprehensive embargo26. In the ensuing months, however, it seems to have lost sight of that wise restraint. Moreover, it seems at least possible that the Nigerian operation was brought forward to pre-empt a Sandline/Kamajor coup, and the intrigue thus removed any possibility of a peaceful settlement. In negotiations with ECOWAS during the autumn the junta had undertaken to stand down in April 199827. Some observers believe that it knew its position to be untenable and would have settle for an amnesty. Its good faith was certainly open to serious question, but the matter was never put to the test.
The report of the Legg inquiry, set up by the Foreign Secretary in response to parliamentary and public criticism, concluded that the trouble, in so far as there was any, was to be ascribed to overworked officials and faulty office procedures. It mildly rebuked Peter Penfold, whose complicity with Sandline was beyond dispute, for not being "sufficiently conscious of political and public unease about mercenaries". It cleared other officials in slightly ambiguous language: "we do not find that" they gave Sandline encouragement or approval, but concedes that they did not explicitly warn it off. 28 Given the known desire of the government that the junta be removed, Sandline (though the Report does not put it like this) could well have assumed that they had been given a "Thomas a’ Becket" commission.
The terms of the Report allowed Robin Cook to claim that there was "no ministerial conspiracy or connivance within Whitehall to breach the arms embargo".29 It is indeed almost certain that ministers had no idea of what was going on, but "Whitehall" is another matter; and Sir John Stanley, a member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee that tried to investigate the affair, was justified in asking whether there was one government policy or two30. The initial response of the government to the Sierra Leone coup had been to work for the "peaceful" restoration of Kabbah, to be achieved by a combination of economic pressure and diplomatic negotiation. This was still the public line taken at a Foreign Office conference in October (attended by two of Buckingham’s executives) on "Restoring Sierra Leone to Democracy" but by then "military intervention was being whispered around the edges"31. Early in the new year the Foreign Office seemed to be resigned to its necessity; a memo of 4 February 1998 recommended that the Conakry peace accord (with the junta) should be implemented by ECOMOG, under cover of a UN resolution, monitored by the UN, using limited necessary force to ensure compliance.32 This was on the eve of the Nigerian assault, which did not fulfil any of these conditions. There was no mention of Sandline or the Kamajors.
As in earlier scandals such as Matrix Churchill and the Iraqi supergun, there is a clear impression that parts of the civil service were pursuing their own agenda. (There is even a clear echo of those episodes in the intervention of the Customs and Excise Department, unwelcome enforcers of the law.) In particular, a number of observers have seen the hand of the intelligence services in the Sierra Leone affair.33 A key role is said to have been played on the ground by Rupert Bowen, a former FO man but by then an executive of Branch Energy, who had remained close to Penfold. Bowen was an officer of MI6 who had worked under diplomatic cover in various capitals.34 Of the other key figures in the Sandline complex, Buckingham, Mann and Spicer all had a background in UK intelligence. There also appear to have been links with its US counterparts. Certainly Barlow and Spicer were "guests of honour" at a Defense Intelligence Agency conference in October 199735.
The Legg Report treated "private military companies" simply as commercial organisations which "are entitled to carry on their business within the law and, for that purpose, to have the access and support which Departments are there to provide British citizens and companies"36 All the indications are, however, that some of them are much more than that. "Sandline and its bedfellows" an informed commentator has concluded, "whether we like it or not, have become a tool with which Her Majesty’s Government can implement aspects of its policy that are best kept at arms’ length".37
ARGUMENT: The Case for the Companies [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif According to Legg, the companies "are on the scene and likely to stay on it".38 They themselves claim to be public benefactors, serving only recognised governments, bringing peace and order where there was anarchy and violence, creating the basic conditions for development. One spokesman remarked scornfully that "bunny-lovers and tree-huggers" might disapprove of them, but "the real world is a violent, unpleasant place and we are trying to make things better".39 Their case has been accepted by many who are not militarists or interested parties. David Shearer, author of the International Institute for Strategic Studies essay Private Armies and Military Intervention, formerly headed a Save The Children operation, and his distress at the disorder prevalent in Africa led him to accept the necessity of such bodies as Executive Outcomes and to recommend that Western governments and the UN should "engage" with them.40 He wrote before the affair of Sandline and the Sierra Leone embargo, but many commentators on that episode have likewise taken the view that the ends – peace and democracy – justified the irregular means.
Given the desperate weakness of many post-colonial states, whose security forces are often either ineffectual or oppressive or both, and given the prevailing faith in private enterprise, the appeal of the military companies, both to African politicians and to Western businesses and governments, is very obvious. If a few hundred highly professional, well-organised and well-equipped soldiers can crush insurrections and get mineral exports going, who is going to worry overmuch about their motives or their methods?
The Case Against: the Special Rapporteur [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif One who has questioned these things is the UN Special Rapporteur Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, who was appointed in accordance with a General Assembly resolution of 12 December 1996 to report on "the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination". He quickly saw that the problem had changed. Not only had "gangs of misfit professional soldiers" been replaced by "private security companies", but their services were now rendered to recognised governments more often than to rebels. He concluded that, within the restrictive terms adopted by the UN, outfits such as Executive Outcomes "have some mercenary traits but cannot be described as being wholly mercenary".41 He was nevertheless in no doubt that such firms, "which present a more modern façade and engage in activities which are apparently legal but are no less dangerous for the independence, economies, democracy and self-determination of the African peoples".42
Nor was he impressed by the seductive arguments deployed in favour of the use of such companies by African governments, which he described as "formally tolerated mercenary intervention". "Making internal order, the security of the individual and control over the exercise of civil liberties the responsibility of private international security companies is simply unacceptable". It would be inconceivable in developed countries, so "why should poor countries affected by instability have to add to their sufferings a situation in which private companies, in return for vast earnings … take over security and control in practice the most important decisions of the state?"43
Ballesteros further asks what will happen when the companies have carried out their immediate tasks. If they stay on indefinitely, the independence of the employing state will have disappeared. But if they withdraw, the problems that brought them there "will, in substance, persist and become worse".44 The condition of both Angola and Sierra Leone at the beginning of 1999 provides eloquent support to this conclusion.
He himself relied partly on an analysis of the Sierra Leone example, written after the deposition of Kabbah but before his restoration. As we have seen, thanks to the presence of 300 EO personnel and 2000 Nigerian troops as well as the Kamajors, the RUF guerrillas signed a peace accord with the Kabbah government in November 1996. A condition of the accord was that EO should withdraw, and formally it did so in February 1997. 100 of its men, however, remained under another name to protect the diamond fields it had helped to recapture. Ballesteros suggests that the Army’s resentment of their presence helped to trigger the coup of May 1997, and more generally that they "created an illusion of governability but left intact some substantive problems which could never be solved by a service company".45
In other words, Kabbah, relying on foreign military force, made no real attempt to heal the wounds of civil war or to address its causes.
The Case Against: the Impact on Africa [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif It is clear that hiring samurai is no answer to the problems of African states. For one thing, modern samurai are not content with three bowls of rice a day. No doubt African citizens would gladly pay their much higher fees in return for peace and order. In addition, however, the people find their permanent resources handed over to the samurai’s capitalist friends. Few will believe it to be a coincidence that Strasser’s decision to employ Executive Outcomes (actually announced by Rupert Bowen!) was followed within four months by the granting of a concession, said to be worth $1bn, to Branch Energy/Diamond Works.46 As the Observer’s Africa correspondent David Beresford remarked some time ago, EO is "the advance guard for major business interests engaged in a latter-day scramble for the mineral wealth of Africa".47 It is true that that wealth is no use to Africans unless it is exploited and that at present this cannot be done without Western capital, technology and marketing organisation. But truly independent and unobligated governments would be able to drive a much harder bargain.
In other ways too the influence of the military companies on Africa is pernicious. Their relationships with members of East Africa’s ruling families is clearly corrupting. And to claim, as they do, that they support only recognised governments is to beg large questions: are recognised governments necessarily legitimate, and what, in African conditions, is legitimacy? Are they not propping up regimes which do not deserve to survive – much as Swiss Guards and the like helped to prolong the despotisms of 18th-century Europe and Hessians tried to keep Americans subject to King George? Ballesteros points out that the "recognised" government of Zaire, i.e. the Mobutu tyranny, "endangered the lives of Zairians and the right to self-determination" by hiring mercenaries – Yugoslav, Bosnian, French, South African and others – in the attempt to stave off its fall.48 In Sierra Leone Executive Outcomes was credited with rescuing the government of Captain Strasser from the RUF insurgents, who were close to capturing Freetown in 1995. However, though recognised by Western governments, Strasser was a military usurper who ruled with a heavy hand. It is true that an RUF victory would not have been a pleasant outcome. Even before its recent exploits, the Front had a long record of atrocity. Its fighters were recruited from the social elements that are both symptom and cause of Africa’s sickness: rootless, jobless, hopeless youths, whose adolescent taste for violence was given free reign by political breakdown, and whose essential nihilism was covered by a veneer of radical ideology, derived at second hand from the works of Colonel Ghadaffi and black American militants; Ghadaffi also supplied more material help.49 Yet all these things were also true of the guerrilla movement led by Charles Taylor in neighbouring Liberia, and Taylor now heads the recognised government, having been accepted by ECOMOG as the least of the available evils.
Ballesteros is right: samurai make things worse, not better. They encourage African leaders to seek military rather than political solutions, to engage in the zero-sum, winner-takes-all approach to politics that is the root of Africa’s troubles. And the solutions they offer are at best partial and short-term. Four years after EO’s victory over UNITA – if that is what it was – the civil war rumbles on in Angola. Less than two years after EO’s 1995 successes in Sierra Leone, the RUF did take Freetown, in alliance with the disgruntled Army, and in January 1999 they came back and burned it down. This was notwithstanding the continuing presence of Sandline and many EO personnel, not to mention the Nigerian troops. It is even suggested that mining companies jealous of the privileges enjoyed by Diamond Works have been covertly backing the rebels.50 Peace and democracy have certainly not returned to Sierra Leone.
Private Armies and the State [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif The Ballesteros Report focuses on the consequences of the new mercenarism for the people of Africa and other parts of the Third World. It does not engage with the most disturbing aspect for UK citizens, the close relationship between private military companies and Western governments and their use as agents of, or substitutes for, foreign policy.
In the United States this role is more or less overt. The US contingent of the NATO monitoring group in Kosovo, for example, is to be supplied, not by the US Army, but by a commercial company called Dyncorp. This is not a new development. When Yugoslavia broke up in 1991 the Serb population of the Krajina district, which was constitutionally part of the Federal Republic of Croatia (as Kosovo is of Serbia), refused to recognise the authority of the newly independent Croatian state, and upheld their refusal for nearly four years. In 1995, however, they were overrun in days by a Croat force which had been specially trained by a US company called Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI). This company also has a contract to train and equip the Bosnian Army, presumably for a renewal of the war. These activities are undoubtedly in accord with US government aims in former Yugoslavia, and MPRI’s board is full of recently retired US generals. Another company, called BDM, which is linked with the former Secretary of State James Baker, has a huge contract for the training of the armed forces of Saudi Arabia. Again it is clearly in the US interest that the Saudi military should be able to make better use of their lavish armament than they did in the Gulf War.51
The US government’s use of private initiatives is transparent, whereas the UK government’s relationship with military companies is opaque, deniable, veiled from public and parliamentary view. And the first requirement is that these veils should be removed and that the government should state clearly what it intends to do about the companies.
It is necessary to distinguish. It would doubtless be impossible to prohibit the functioning of those organisations, now very numerous, that merely provide security consultancies and unarmed security guards to overseas clients. In the present state of the world it would be difficult for businesses, humanitarian agencies or even UN agencies to function without such services. The example of DSL’s activity in Colombia, however, suggests the need for supervision and regulation of their work. But the main problem is with companies which go beyond protection to intervention, which supply foreign governments with military training, logistic support and armed men.
The present government, like its predecessor, has declined to sign or ratify the UN Convention of 1989 against mercenaries.52 Its argument is that there is little prospect of the Convention coming into force and it would need much amendment to make it truly effective. But why not sign it, and then work for its amendment? There are vast numbers of unemployed soldiers in the world, capable of wreaking enormous harm, and the need for international control is urgent and glaring. Moreover, if it were desired to outlaw such activities as Sandline’s, the instrument is ready to hand in domestic legislation: the Act of 1870 makes the recruitment of mercenaries, whether in the UK or elsewhere, a criminal offence. It is not quite true that the Act has never been used. The section dealing with "expeditions" was invoked in 1896 against the organisers of the Jameson Raid on the Transvaal; and warnings of prosecution are said to have deterred some people from taking part in the Spanish Civil War. However, for many years it has certainly been treated as a dead letter, and it is only by inertia that it remains on the statute book. But on the statute book it remains, and there is no good reason why it should not be reactivated. The reasons given for deeming it too archaic for use are mostly trivial. For instance, the framers naturally did not foresee that mercenaries might leave the UK by air rather than by ship. That, however, could be dealt with by judicial common-sense, or failing that by simple amendments.53 The real obstacle is more likely to be the lack of political will.
At present the government appears to be thinking in terms, not of suppression, but of regulation. Thus Baroness Symons told the House of Lords in June 1998 that it is "examining a number of options for national domestic regulation of so-called private military companies operating out of the United Kingdom. As part of this process, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently looking at measures taken by other governments, including recent South African legislation"54. Without making Executive Outcomes and other such enterprises illegal, the South African law now requires that specific approval be obtained from a designated government body before any operation is embarked upon. This is an undoubted advance. In fact EO felt its style so far cramped that it wound itself up at the end of 1998.55 Provided that this dissolution is real, and not just a tactical manoeuvre, a long step has been taken towards the cessation of mercenary activity. However, legislation on the South African model does leave open the possible use of such organisations to pursue strategic aims without committing their own armed forces – in other words that regulation may be combined with "engagement", as Shearer’s IISS paper recommends for the UN as well as for national governments.
Given that member-states of the UN are plainly unwilling to risk their soldiers’ lives in conflicts that do not directly affect them (witness the flight of UN peace-keepers from Rwanda in 1994), Shearer clearly has a point. But for the body responsible for world order to hire private enforcers would surely be a final abdication, and most would agree that a similar delegation of responsibility by the UK government would be a privatisation too far.
Ultimately, CAAT seeks an end to all mercenary activities. But if the government does opt for regulation, there are minimum requirements that need to be met.

All dealings between government departments and agencies and the military companies, other than operational details, must be in the public domain. There must be no repetition of the shabby intrigue that took place over Sierra Leone, involving mercenary organisations, concession-hunting companies, Bulgarian weaponry, rogue financiers and conniving or absent-minded officials.
The existing links between private violence and predatory capitalism are absolutely unacceptable. Any contract entered into between a military company and a foreign government should stipulate a cash fee and no other benefit. No other business sharing directors or offices with the providers of security should be allowed to have any dealings with the foreign government concerned for a period of, say, five years. It would be necessary that the ownership of the military companies be made transparent. (Sandline’s owners are reported as being ‘Adson Holdings’ of Guernsey, which is not illuminating.)
The companies should be made responsible under UK law for any breaches of human rights or of the laws of war that may be committed by their employees.
Since some of the companies are also concerned with arms brokerage, this should be brought within the export licensing system without delay. The urgency of this matter is suggested by the report (Times, 11.2.98) that two (unnamed) UK-based companies have been supplying the Sierra Leone rebels with Slovakian weapons. If this is true, then, saving the Nigerian presence, a civil war is being fought in that country by two irregular forces, neither of which has heard of the laws of war, and both of which are being or have been armed by British citizens with weapons bought from cash-strapped Eastern Europe.

Finally CAAT welcomes the recommendation of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee that the Government should publish "a Green Paper outlining legislative options for the control of private military companies which operate out of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and the British islands". The Committee, however, sets a target date of 18 months for this paper, which seems rather long.
However, legislation will not be effective without the determination of progressive ministers to make their principles effective in every corner of the State apparatus.
The latest situation on mercenaries and CAAT's position can be found in the issues section (http://www.caat.org.uk/issues/mercenaries.php)
Notes [top] (http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/publications/government/mercenaries-1999.php#top)

http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif http://www.caat.org.uk/images/iconsandlogos/spacer.gif

Professor Geoffrey Best, quoted by David Shearer, Private Armies and Military Intervention (London: International Institute of Strategic Studies, Adelphi Paper No 316), p.18. The present essay, though it comes to different conclusions, is heavily dependent on Shearer’s work.
Mark Lennox-Boyd to Audrey Wise, 31.7.91.
Hansard, 12.12.95, col.WA 101.
Daily Telegraph, 1.5.98
Africa Confidential, 31.3.95. It will become evident that this excellent newsletter is a major source of the information contained here.
Jane’s International Defence Review, 3, 1998
Guardian, 17.10.98
Shearer, Private Armies, op.cit., p.41.
Financial Times, 15.9.97; Independent, 5.10.98
Accounts of this network include Observer, 19.1.97, Jane’s Defence Weekly, 13.11.96, Jane’s International Defence Review 3, 1998, Independent 13.5.98, Africa Confidential, 29.5.98, 23.10.98. The most comprehensive description is in Africa Confidential, 15.5.98
Indep., 13.5.98
The intelligence connection is probed or hinted at in Afr.Conf., 29.5.98 and 23.10.98, Indep., 5.10.98, Sunday Times, 7.6.98.
Jane’s International Defence Review 3, 1998
Afr.Conf., 6.10.95, which claims that EO "has always been an overrated force".
Afr.Conf., 23.10.98
Jane’s IDR 3, 1998
Indep., 4.4.97. For accounts of the adventure see Shearer, pp.11-12, Guardian, 18.3.97, Sunday Times, 23.3.97
Afr. Conf., 23.10.98
Financial Times, 18.11.98
Report of the Sierra Leone Arms Investigation (London: Stationery Office, 27.7.98) (‘The Legg Report’), p.27; Africa Confidential, 6.3.98; Observer, 8.3.98
Daily Mail, 25.5.98; Financial Times, 27.5.98
In his letter of 30.12.98 to the Foreign Office he welcomed Sandline’s plans to arm and train the ‘civil defence militia’, ‘not least because it means that Sierra Leoneans will be more directly involved in getting their legitimate government back’ (Legg Report, p.40.)
Afr. Conf., 18.7.97, quotes the Nigerian Foreign Minister as saying that when Nigerian restored democracy in Sierra Leone it would have to be welcomed back into the Commonwealth fold.
Chris Allen, ‘Britain’s Africa policy: ethical or ignorant?’, Review of African Political Economy 77 (1998), 405-07
Legg Report, p.16.
Afr.Conf., 9.11.97; West Africa, 22.12.98-11.1.99
Legg Report, p.107
Times, 1.7.98
Guardian, 26.9.98
Indep., 13.5.98
Legg Report, p.60
See n.13 above. Those who suspect that the intelligence role has been concealed range from Sir Douglas Hurd via Menzies Campbell MP to Tam Dalyell, MP.
Afr.Conf., 6.3.98; Indep., 5.10.98
Afr.Conf., 29.5.98
Legg Report, p.115
Defence Industry, June 1998
Legg Report, p.115
Sunday Times, 27.7.97
Shearer, Private Armies, op.cit., pp.73-77. See also his article in the Financial Times, 19.5.98
UN General Assembly A/52/495. Report by Mr Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, Special Rapporteur on the question of the use of mercenaries, 16.10.97, para 71.
Ibid., para 18, cf.para 47.
Ibid., paras 58, 61.
Ibid., para 61.
Ibid., para 29.
Financial Times, 15.9.97; Afr.Conf., 15.5.98
Observer, 19.1.97
Ballesteros, op.cit., para 35
Ibrahim Abdullah, ‘Bush path to destruction: the origin and character of the Revolutionary United Front’, Journal of Modern African Studies 36 (1998) 203-35.
Afr.Conf., 23.10.98
Shearer, op.cit., pp. 56-63; Jane’s IDR 3, 1998; Daily Telegraph (John Keegan) 15.5.98; Financial Times 19.5.98.
Hansard, 27.1.95, col. 426; 30.7.98, col.528
This paragraph derives from a research paper by Jonathan Dames
Hansard, 30.6.98, col. 30.6.98
Financial Times, 11.12.98

Ed Jewett
01-08-2010, 02:51 AM
Blackwater and the Khost Bombing: Is the CIA Deceiving Congress?

Submitted by Chip on Thu, 2010-01-07 17:13.

Afghanistan (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/110)
Congress (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/congress)
Corporatism and Fascism (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/148)
Middle East (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/126)
Military Industrial Complex (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/122)

Blackwater and the Khost Bombing: Is the CIA Deceiving Congress? (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100111/scahill2)
By Jeremy Scahill | The Nation (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100111/scahill2)

"It's just astonishing that given the track record of Blackwater, which is a repeat offender endangering our mission repeatedly, endangering the lives of our military and costing the lives of innocent civilians, that there would be any relationship," Schakowsky said. "That we would continue to contract with them or any of Blackwater's subsidiaries is completely unacceptable."
A leading member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has told The Nation that she will launch an investigation into why two Blackwater contractors were among the dead in the December 30 suicide bombing at the CIA station at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan. "The Intelligence Committees and the public were led to believe that the CIA was phasing out its contracts with Blackwater and now we find out that there is this ongoing presence," said Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky, chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in an interview. "Is the CIA once again deceiving us about the relationship with Blackwater?"

In December, the CIA announced that the agency had canceled its contract with Blackwater to work on the agency's drone bombing campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan and said Director Leon Panetta ordered a review of all existing CIA contracts with Blackwater. "At this time, Blackwater is not involved in any CIA operations other than in a security or support role," CIA spokesman George Little said December 11.
But Schakowsky said the fact that two Blackwater personnel were in such close proximity to the December 30 suicide bomber--an alleged double agent, who was reportedly meeting with CIA agents including the agency's second-ranking officer in Afghanistan when he blew himself up--shows how "deeply enmeshed" Blackwater remains in sensitive CIA operations, including those CIA officials claim it no longer participates in, such as intelligence gathering and briefings with valuable agency assets. The two Blackwater men were reportedly in the room for the expected briefing by the double agent, Humam Khalil Muhammed Abu Mulal al-Balawi, who claimed to have recently met with Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.

"It's just astonishing that given the track record of Blackwater, which is a repeat offender endangering our mission repeatedly, endangering the lives of our military and costing the lives of innocent civilians, that there would be any relationship," Schakowsky said. "That we would continue to contract with them or any of Blackwater's subsidiaries is completely unacceptable."

Under the Obama administration, Blackwater continues to work for the Department of Defense, the State Department and, as evidenced by the December 30 bombing, the CIA in Afghanistan. The company even maintains its own forward operating bases in Afghanistan, including one along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. "This is the closest base to the [Pakistani] border," Blackwater's owner Erik Prince recently bragged to Vanity Fair. "Who else has built a fob along the main infiltration route for the Taliban and the last known location for Osama bin Laden?"
Blackwater has been working for the CIA since at least April 2002. Prince recently claimed he was personally a CIA asset, conducting clandestine black operations around the globe. In June, Leon Panetta reportedly told Congress he had canceled the CIA assassination program involving Blackwater.

While the CIA said in December that Blackwater only continues its security and support role for the CIA, NBC News reported that the Blackwater men were not doing security at the time of the blast. The two Blackwater operatives killed in the bombing have been identified as Jeremy Wise, a 35-year old ex-Navy SEAL, and 46-year-old Dane Clark Paresi.

Original at


Ed Jewett
01-09-2010, 09:41 PM
"An Absolute Bargain": Blackwater Settles Massacre Lawsuit
by Paying Families of Dead Iraqis $100,000 Each
Posted by Jeremy Scahill (http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/scahill/), Rebel Reports (http://rebelreports.com/) at 11:11 AM on January 7, 2010.

Blackwater says it is "pleased" with the outcome.

http://www.alternet.org/images/icons/icn-talk.gif 20 COMMENTS (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/world/145001/%22an_absolute_bargain%22%3A_blackwater_settles_ma ssacre_lawsuit_by_paying_families_of_dead_iraqis_% 24100%2C000_each#comments)

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Two sources with inside knowledge of Blackwater’s settlement with Iraqi victims of a string of shootings, including the Nisour Square massacre, have confirmed to me that Blackwater is paying $100,000 for each of the Iraqis killed by its forces and between $20-30,000 to each Iraqi wounded. One source said it was "an absolute bargain" for Blackwater. Based on the number of dead and injured named in the civil lawsuits, the total amount paid by Blackwater is likely in the range of $5 million. Blackwater has made more than $1.5 billion in “security” contracts in Iraq alone since 2003.

Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince, recently said his company is spending $2 million a month in legal fees to battle civil and criminal cases and investigations.

Blackwater released a statement saying the company was "pleased" with the ruling. “This enables Xe’s new management to move the company forward free of the costs and distraction of ongoing litigation, and provides some compensation to Iraqi families,” the company said, using its new moniker, Xe.

The Nisour Square massacre was the single deadliest incident involving private US forces in Iraq. Seventeen civilians were killed and more than 20 wounded by Blackwater forces in a shooting the US military labeled a “criminal” action. Among the dead were women and children and some victims were shot in the back as they fled Blackwater’s gunfire.

The settlement was finalized last night in court papers filed by the attorney for the Iraqis, Susan Burke, who brought the suit with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Blackwater is still facing a separate civil lawsuit in North Carolina filed by more victims of the Nisour Square shootings.

I have heard that two of the injured Iraqi plaintiffs received higher payments than the others, including the families of the deceased.

Tagged as: iraq (http://www.alternet.org/tags/iraq/), blackwater (http://www.alternet.org/tags/blackwater/), erik prince (http://www.alternet.org/tags/erik%20prince/), nisour square (http://www.alternet.org/tags/nisour%20square/), xe (http://www.alternet.org/tags/xe/)

Jeremy Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

Ed Jewett
01-12-2010, 08:15 PM
Dave Lindorff talks about the Execution of Afghan Kids
by the US with Pat Thurston of KGO Radio
the interview starts at the 8-minute mark

http://members.kgoradio.com/kgo_archives/p...y=0&hour=06 (http://members.kgoradio.com/kgo_archives/player.php?day=0&hour=06)

Keith Millea
01-13-2010, 05:23 PM
Dave Lindorff talks about the Execution of Afghan Kids
by the US with Pat Thurston of KGO Radio
the interview starts at the 8-minute mark

http://members.kgoradio.com/kgo_archives/p...y=0&hour=06 (http://members.kgoradio.com/kgo_archives/player.php?day=0&hour=06)

Thanks for that interview Ed.It's a really hard story to listen to,but everyday people need to hear it.Kudos for KGO.

Ed Jewett
01-13-2010, 08:48 PM
Keith, you're welcome, I think (?). You are right; it is a difficult interview to listen to, a difficult concept/event to get own's head around. It is further amplified for me because I am currently reading James Douglass' '72 book entitled "Resistance and Contemplation" while I wait for the mailman to bring me his ""JFK & The Unspeakable". He had it right in '72 in describing the nation's capitalist world-eating machine and, now, we can now know that our nation's leaders are war criminals and that our collective leadership and citizenry have approached a nadir of morality and Spirit. Douglass is apparently also writing books about the assassination of RFK and MLK; his '72 effort -- I will order the others he has written serially -- gives a hint, and is deeply challenging on a personal level.

Keith Millea
01-13-2010, 10:46 PM
nadir of morality and Spirit.

In WAR there is NO morality or Spirit.Only self-preservation....


Ed Jewett
01-14-2010, 08:06 AM
Erik Prince: American Bin Laden - CIA Asset, Money & Gunmen

by leveymg (http://leveymg.dailykos.com/)

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Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:21:35 AM PST

Erik Prince is the American Osama Bin Laden: a CIA asset with a lot of money and gunmen working for him.

The parallels extend further than recent reports that Prince was a paid CIA agent. See, http://www.theatlanticwire.com/... (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/Blackwater-CEOs-CIA-Paycheck-Unravels-Key-Mysteries-1788)
The top people at Blackwater were CIA managers that ran a number of double-agents within al-Qaeda as Agency assets until 9/11. Before he headed a Blackwater subsidiary, Cofer Black was CIA Chief of Station in Khartoum in the mid-1990s at the time that bin Laden, Abu Zubaydeh, KSM and many of the other principal 9/11 plotters were running CIA-assisted paramilitary operations against the Serbs and Russians from bases in Sudan. Al-Qaeda continued to operate against the Russians until 9/11, and at least thirteen of the 19 hijackers were originally recruited and trained to fight in Bosnia and Chechnya.(1)
But, that's just the beginning of the strange network that binds together a group of CIA alumni, Blackwater, and al-Qaeda. MORE, below . . .

leveymg's diary (http://leveymg.dailykos.com/) :: ::

1991 - 2001: The CIA-al Qaeda Relationship From Afghanistan to 9/11
The U.S. has never officially acknowledged its role in covert operations that occurred inside the breakaway Muslim areas of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Aside from the open U.S. military intervention that followed the November 2005 Dayton Peace Accord that ostensibly ended major hostilities in Bosnia, U.S. intelligence operations in the region remain classified. It is an open secret, however, that in the civil wars that followed in Bosnia, Kosovo, Dagestan, and Chechnya, the Central Intelligence Agency worked with several Islamic states, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Iran, and had a cooperative role in arming, financing, and training their paramilitaries and allied mercenary groups and various Jihadist organizations, including what we know today as al-Qaeda.
Because the CIA role is still classified, important details about the relationships between Jihadist groups and U.S. intelligence remain obscured, particularly the contacts with Usama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda figures. This is an important part of trying to piece together a more accurate picture of the events and motives that led up to the 9/11 and related attacks. It is simply impossible to understand why 9/11 and the USS Cole attacks happened as they did without knowing more about the details of the relationship between U.S. intelligence and non-state actors, such as bin Laden, as well as other private intelligence contractors and paramilitary splinter groups.
As anyone who has tried to put together the pieces must acknowledge, there are huge gaps in the official record. The narrative must remain provisional unless and until key individuals involved reveal what they know. Some of them never will. What facts we do know have been assembled below.
1993-95 - Cofer Black and Bin Laden in Khartoum
Black has admitted in Congressional testimony that in 1995 he met bin Laden in Sudan. He is the only CIA officer who admits to having direct contact with UBL since the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan ended in 1989. By Black's telling, it was an angry, armed mano-a-mano, shortly after which they both left the country.[2]
Larger events indicate that Osama bin Laden had a far more cooperative and recent relationship with the CIA than is publicly acknowledged. The partnership did not end with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Indeed, Bin Laden was central to the secret U.S. war against the Serbs and in the oil-rich region of the former Soviet Republics in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia that followed the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. It is not by coincidence that the head of covert Saudi paramilitary forces moved to Sudan in 1991. That man was Osama bin Laden, and his distancing from the Royal Court at Riyadh gave both room to operate more freely at a time of tension over the U.S. presence inside Saudi Arabia.
Numerous accounts point to the conclusion that bin Laden never fully severed his ties with his Saudi intelligence handlers. Far from it. Given the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi intelligence establishments, and their coordinated paramilitary operations against Russia and its allies throughout the 1990s, the separation between al-Qaeda and the CIA can be measured as only a fraction of a degree, and overall can be characterized as more cooperative than hostile for most of the decade.
This conclusion is backed up by the fact that Bin Laden was allowed to leave Saudi Arabia in 1991 with his own private fortune intact, accompanied by several hundred of his loyal Mujaheddin fighters. In secret, the Saudi Royals continued to fund bin Laden and his forces, allegedly with the understanding that they would direct their wrath at targets outside Saudi Arabia. By striking that deal, Bin Laden effectively acted as a double-agent for the ruling regime, diverting the fundamentalist opposition from internal overthrow. [Posner, 2003, pp. 40-42] Posner states the Saudis "effectively had on their payroll since the start of the decade." [Time, 8/31/2003] This arrangement is reaffirmed by the additional tranches paid to bin Laden in 1996 and 1998. Alain Chouet, head of French counter-terrorism, echoes the conclusion that bin Laden’s 1994 "loss of Saudi nationality is nothing but a farce." [Le Monde (Paris), 4/15/2007] Martin Indyk, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs under President Clinton, writes in Foreign Affairs,
"The Saudis had protected themselves by co-opting and accommodating the Islamist extremists in their midst, a move they felt was necessary in the uncertain aftermath of the Gulf War. ... [O]nce Crown Prince Abdullah assumed the regency in 1996, the ruling family set about the determined business of buying off its opposition." The regime allowed global charities to be "subverted," turning them into channels for diverting unofficial funds to bin Laden's paramilitaries and allied Jihadist groups. "[T]he Clinton administration indulged Riyadh’s penchant for buying off trouble as long as the regime also paid its huge arms bills, purchased Boeing aircraft, kept the price of oil within reasonable bounds, and allowed the United States to use Saudi air bases to enforce the southern no-fly zone over Iraq and launch occasional military strikes to contain Saddam Hussein." [Foreign Affairs, 1/1/2002]
In 1993, a new CIA station chief arrived in Khartoum. Cofer Black arrived with an intense focus on bin Laden, and that would be his primary mission for most of the the rest of his CIA career. Bin Laden was not then considered to be the worldwide terrorist mastermind that he would come to be portrayed after 9/11. After the February 26, 2003 WTC bombing, Bin Laden's name came up as one of the associates of Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman and as the financial backer of the Martyr Azzam Hostel in Peshawar where Ramzi Yousef had stayed. Bin Laden's name, along with names of more than 118 others (plus the Sudanese mission to the United States), was included on a list, distributed by federal prosecutors, of potential unindicted co-conspirators. But, the US never sought his extradition from Sudan, and the CIA station in Khartoum never actually made any effort to snatch him, as occurred in 1993 to Carlos the Jackal, who had also taken refuge in Khartoum.
Rather than being isolated and besieged in Sudan at the time Black was Chief of Station, UBL freely moved in and out of Sudan during his time there. He was part of an official Saudi delegation to Albania in 1994. Bin Laden shuttling to Bosnia on numerous occasions even after the Dayton Peace Agreement (which bin Laden violently opposed) was initialed on November 20, 1995. Bin Laden frequently flew in and out of Khartoum International Airport aboard an executive jet purchased for him in the United States in 1993, and used several satellite phones also bought in the U.S.; 1100 calls from these phones were deencrypted and analyzed by U.S. intelligence before bin Laden stopped using them regularly in 1998. All this while, Al-Qaeda continued large scale paramilitary operations in Kosovo, Chechnya, Dagestan and elsewhere in the former southern Soviet and Yugoslav region.
Six days before the Bosnia Accord was signed, a powerful truck bomb ripped through the offices of the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh, killing five U.S. citizens and wounding 34 other Americans in an attack for which bin Laden denied involvement but was later indicted by a U.S. Grand Jury. A few days later, several gunmen were killed as they failed to storm bin Laden's Khartoum compound. Billy Waugh, a CIA contract agent posted in Khartoum, approached Black with an alternative idea -- which Black "loved" but rejected -- of killing bin Laden and dumping his body on the grounds of the Iranian Embassy, so that Iran would be blamed.
Getting Osama bin Laden just was not a CIA priority at that time. As Steve Coll acknowledges in Ghost Wars , which includes an account of bin Laden and Black in Sudan, "American strategy in 1995," Coll writes, "was to contain and frustrate Iran and Iraq." Coll continues at p. 277, http://books.google.com/... (http://books.google.com/books?id=Dc4kRClTViIC&pg=PA271&lpg=PA271&dq=Cofer+Black+bin+Laden+Sudan&source=bl&ots=B7-v8LI3-F&sig=2mqmdYaoPkeEBV1fae56LcnXyoQ&hl=en&ei=6E5HS-z1BIj0sgOvtcX1Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CCoQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Cofer%20Black%20bin%20Laden%20Sudan&f=false)
"In this mission, Saudi Arabia was an essential but illusive ally. Then, too, there was the crucial importance of Saudi Arabia in the global oil markets . . . There was little impetus to step back and ask, big uncomfortable questions about whether Saudi charities represented a fundamental threat to American national security. The Saudis worked assiduously to maintain contacts with the CIA, outside of official channels. Several retired Riyadh station chiefs and senior Near East Division managers went on the Saudi payroll as consultants during the mid-1990s."
Until shortly before he left Sudan, bin Laden was still seen and treated by the CIA primarily as a Saudi intelligence asset and as a valuable liaison with Islamist paramilitary groups around the world. If there was a falling out with the Agency while Cofer Black was station chief in Khartoum, it resulted from bin Laden's refusal to toe the American line in the Bosnian cease-fire, the bombing in Riyadh, and bin Laden's own diminished role as global commander of covert Saudi paramilitary forces after Crown Prince Abdullah took power. Whatever actual conflict occurred between Black and bin Laden did not happen until late in the game, and was likely a result of much larger events and decisions taken about bin Laden at a very high level, rather than anything that Black and Waugh might have dreamed up.
The official acquiescence of the Saudi regime with the 1995 Bosnia accord signaled a severe blow to bin Laden's own power, prestige and funding. Wherever Saudi Arabia and its allies had challenged the Russians, al-Qaeda fighters had been the point of the Sunni spear, a Holy Warrior's role that bin Laden relished, and all sources acknowledge, did not willingly give up.
The confluence of two events are pivotal in the decision to distance bin Laden further from the Saudi court. On November 29, 1995, nine days after the Dayton Accord was initialed, King Faud suffered a massive stroke, and his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah assumed power. Faud lingered in a vegetative state for a decade, during which time succession remained in question. On August 1 2005, Faud died and Abdullah officially ascended to the throne. Bin Laden did not come out ahead in this untidy transition of power, but he was not altogether abandoned by the regime, either. He remained under the wing of Prince Turki al Faisal, who at the time of his sudden retirement and departure from Washington on September 4, 2001, had just renewed his 25-year tenure as Director of the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate (GID).
Cofer Black left Sudan in late 1995 shortly before bin Laden removed himself, eventually arriving in Afghanistan the following May after reportedly shopping for political asylum in London. Black has never publicly specified the exact dates of his departure or the terminal confrontation with bin Laden. One clue about when this happened may be that in October 1995 the FBI received a volume of 40 CIA files on bin Laden, thick with NSA and CIA telephone intercepts of bin Laden's communications in Khartoum acquired over several years.Miller, Stone, and Mitchell, 2002, pp. 148-149; Wright, 2006, pp. 242-244, cited at (http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a96monitoringsudan#a96monitorings udan) UBL would not be placed on the FBI's international Wanted List until just months before the August 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings.
But, just as bin Laden continued to serve Saudi intelligence interests after his "exile" to Sudan, so too did that role follow him into Afghanistan, after Pakistani ISI with the backing of Saudi GID intelligence pushed the Taliban into power in Afghanistan.
In a little-noted coincidence in early 1995, Ahmed Badeed, chief of staff to GID head Prince Turki, flew into Kandahar airport to meet with Mullah Omar, the spiritual head of the Taliban, who would soon become bin Laden's right-hand man after his arrival in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Cofer Black was appointed Task Force Chief in the CIA Near East and South Asia Division, still focused on bin Laden, a role he would hold for the next three years.
[B]Blowback: Bin Laden Works With the U.S. in Bosnia
Bin Laden had been a critical component in the paramilitary capability of intelligence services of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, as well as the CIA. His network played a central, coordinated role with the U.S. in Bosnia. In November, 1994, bin Laden met with the Bosnian President after delivering hundreds of fighters and tonnes of arms from bases in Sudan, at the same time that US envoy Richard Holbrooke and then head of the US European Intelligence Directorate Gen. Michael Hayden were in Bosnia on the same mission. U.S. Special Forces and bin Laden's Mujahedin carried out joint military operations for a short period in the area around Ploce, Croatia. The CIA facilitated travel and training inside the U.S. for a number of Jihadist figures, including bin Laden "Services" operation, later known as al-Qaeda. Persons known by U.S. intelligence to be al-Qaeda paramilitary and financiers continued traveling to and operating inside the U.S. with apparent impunity until 9/11.
Bin Laden was also key to financing the Bosnian War, as well as the offensives that sprung up in Kosovo, Chechnya, and in other strategic assets that the west worked with the Saudis to strip away from the Russian sphere in the 1990s. Author Adam Robinson notes that bin Laden took over the leading role in financing Islamist militias after BCCI collapsed in 1991. Bin Laden had just just moved to Sudan, ruled by Hassan al-Turabi. Robinson observes, "Without a system by which money could be transferred around the world invisibly, it would be relatively simple for terrorist funds to be traced. Dealing with this crisis fell to al-Turabi. In desperation he turned to Osama.... The future of the struggle could come to rest on Osama’s shoulders." After his arrival in Sudan, bin Laden led a small team of financial experts who developed a plan to replace the functions of BCCI. Bin Laden had previously developed contacts with many of the main Islamist backers during the Afghan war. "During the summer of 1991 he discreetly made contact with many of the wealthiest of these individuals, especially those with an international network of companies.... Within months, Osama unveiled before an astonished al-Turabi what he called ‘the Brotherhood Group.’" This is apparently a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which overlaps "The Golden Chain" that finances al-Qaeda, after a document describing that network was seized in March 2002 raid by Bosnian police authorities of the premises of the Benevolence International Foundation in Sarajevo. Robinson says this group is made up of 134 Arab businessmen with a collective wealth of many billions of dollars. The network will effectively replace BCCI for Islamist militants. [Robinson, 2001, pp. 138-139]
While bin Laden and Black were in Sudan, that country became the center for financing and supporting the Saudi paramilitary forces abroad. The Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), the primary conduit for worldwide financing of Bosnian Serb arms imports, was based in Khartoum with an office in Vienna, was intimately interlinked with al-Qaeda's own financial ties to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Some $200 million flowed through TWRA accounts going to the Bosnian President and his party, much of it originating from Saudi Prince Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz, one of the co-directors of Saudi intelligence, and the leader of the Sudaairi Seven, the primary rival for power with Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah. See, http://www.nytimes.com/... (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/world/middleeast/24saudi.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss)
Many of the details of Saudi financing of the 9/11 attack remain redacted in the 28-page blacked-out section of the Commission Report. While some AQ-Saudi intelligence agency affiliated charities were shut down after 9/11, TWRA continues operating to this day.
Fallout: The post-9/11 Assassination Program
You can draw your own conclusions about whether Black was UBL's CIA control officer in Sudan, but it has to at least be considered as a possibility. Black would have been ideally placed in Sudan to deal with bin Laden, both in the less confrontational stage early after his arrival and later. Black's thorough familiarity with bin Laden and his network would also explain his appointment in 1999 to head CIA counter-terrorism at a time it was reorganized to focus on Al-Qaeda.
The story advances to the next stage when just before his 2002 CIA retirement as head of CTC, which was charged with killing or capturing bin Laden, Blackwater was given a global CIA contract to assassinate al-Qaeda figures, an assignment that may be connected to the killings of three prominent Saudis and the commander of the Pakistani Air Force reported by Richard Posner. See, http://www.time.com/... (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,480240,00.html)
Possibly related, Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, son of the Saudi intelligence chief, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack on July 22, 2002. That death has been identified as part of a series of killings that resulted from statements reportedly made by Abu Zubaydeh after his capture in late March, 2002 in which he reportedly revealed the names of a number of prominent Saudi and Pakistani figures behind the attack.
If you want to understand 9/11, you have to understand the political context within Saudi Arabia, especially the split within the Saudi Royal family and the succession struggle that many anticipated would turn into a violent civil war in Saudi Arabia. In November 1997, oil prices collapsed, accompanying a financial blowout in the Asian economies. Saudi Arabia experienced severe economic crises during 1998 and early 1999, when crude oil dipped below 10 dollars a barrel, prompting a slash in spending to counter a 12-billion-dollar deficit. It was at that time that significant domestic insurgency, centered in the Wahhadist clergy, emerged that threatened the rule of the Royal family, that was itself split after King Faud's 1995 debilitating stroke.
Bin Laden was a wild card in several decks, even after his exile. Bin Laden's paramilitaries remained loyal to him, so al-Qaeda continued to be an instrument of various intelligence agencies, and also a tool of contesting factions within the Royal Family. The actual outcome of consolidated power by the Abdullah circle after 9/11 may or may not necessarily have been the intended outcome.
Also, in the late 1990s, interested outside parties saw a range of political and economic opportunities in a destabilized Saudi Arabia. So, despite many opportunities, bin Laden was never done away with, even after the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings. If for no other reason that U.S. and other intelligence agencies harvested such a rich load of information about each other and the Saudi opposition from monitoring UBL, he was worth far more alive. So long as he retained his potential usefulness, there was ample reason to keep him in operation.
1999: Black Brought Back In From the Field
After the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings, Black was brought in from the field by CIA Director George Tenet to head the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center (CIA/CTC), along with a Tenet protege Richard Blee. They worked closely with Rob Richer, promoted in 1999 to Head of the CIA's Near East Division, who later also went over to Blackwater.
In late December 1999, the NSA picked up a communication from Khalid al-Midhar through an AQ message center run by his father-in-law in Yemen. That communique indicated that a summit meeting of al-Qaeda figures was being convened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the first two weeks of January, 2000.
The CIA/CTC had ten days to prepare surveillance, including videotape, of that meeting. According to the 9/11 Commission, both the 9/11 Planes Operation and the USS Cole attacks were planned there. According to his testimony before the 2002 Joint Intelligence Committee, CIA Director Tenet received more than one briefing at the time about that al-Qaeda planning summit.
January 2000: Black and Blee Let the Flt. 77 Hijackers Into the U.S., Withhold Files from FBI
In the second week of January, al-Midhar and his partner Nawaf al-Hazmi departed Kuala Lumpur in the company of "Khalad" bin-Atash, who headed bin Laden's personal security detail in Sudan.
On January 15, 2000, al-Hazmi and al-Midhar entered the US at Los Angeles, and immediately met Omar al-Bayoumi, an air attache working under civilian cover (Dallah-AVCO Air Services) out of the Saudi Consulate in LA. Al-Bayoumi gave the pair funds from a Riggs Bank account held in the name of the wife of Saudi Ambassador Bandar bin Sultan and drove them to San Diego, installing them in a rental unit under the supervision of several figures (including an Imam at that mosque who would again emerge as a person of interest in a high-profile terrorist attack in 2009).
The entry into the US of the pair, who went on to hijack AA Flt 77 that crashed into the Pentagon was noted at CTC. A warning cable was drafted by the FBI liaison officer, but withheld at the direct order of the CTC Assn't Director, Richard Blee, Cofer Black's No. 2.
Black and Blee ran CTC and the Bin Laden unit Alec Station during the next 20 months that the Flt. 77 hijackers were allowed to run free inside the US, taking flight training and meeting frequently with other 9/11 attack cell members. During that time, the FBI I-49 National Security Unit, under the command of John O'Neill -- which was charged with monitoring AQ inside the US, and had been frustrated in its investigation of the Cole attack - was kept in the dark. O'Neill resigned from the FBI shortly before 9/11. He was killed during the collapse of the World Trade Center, where he had taken the job as head of security. In the summer of 2001, O'Neill and I-49 officers had repeatedly clashed with Black and Blee over the CIA's refusal to turn over CIA files about the AQ cells the FBI knew from other sources were plotting attacks inside the US. FBI warrants for electronic surveillance requested by field agents were blocked by ranking officials in Washington.
What would explain these extraordinary actions by CTC commanders? One possible explanation is "The Plan" to penetrate Al-Qaeda with double-agents. Tenet has testified that this was part of his own 1998 initiative to "make war" on al-Qaeda following the East Africa Embassy bombings. Cofer Black tells it differently. The Plan was Black's own idea, approved by Tenet, Black claimed in a magazine interview. See, http://www.mensjournal.com/... (http://www.mensjournal.com/cofer-black) . Intelligence writer and author Joe Trento has stated that he was told by a U.S. intelligence officer that al-Hazmi and al-Midhar has been treated as operatives working for a friendly intelligence service, the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate. On the other hand, James Risen cautions that in 1997 the CIA’s bin Laden unit Alec Station sent a memo to CIA Director George Tenet warning him that the Saudi intelligence service should be considered a "hostile service" with regard to al-Qaeda. Alec Station Chief Michael Scheuer, who had founded the "virtual station", was replaced shortly thereafter by Richard Blee. At the very least, the CIA-GID relationship remained as convoluted and ambivalent as the Agency's dealings with bin Laden, himself. The Agency was, in fact, dealing with both factions within the split Saudi intelligence apparatus, while President Bush and his backers also hedged their bets.
July-August, 2001: Black and Tenet Try to Talk Bush Into Terminating the Planes Operation
By July, it was clear what the targets of the hijackers were and the time-frame they would be hit. On the 10th, Tenet, Black, and Blee got into a CIA SUV, and visited National Security Advisor Condi Rice, and had a tense meeting with her about al-Qaeda. According to Tenet, she seemed to understand the threat, but was ambivalent in her response. Finally, in mid August, Tenet boarded a CIA jet for an unscheduled meeting at the Bush ranch in Crawford, where the President had been deposited for safe-keeping since returning in late July from Genoa, Italy. During that G-8 Conference, US agencies and civil aviation were on high alert over reported Al-Qaeda attacks, and ground-to-air missiles were installed to protect Bush from suspected al-Qaeda attack by aircraft. That alert was stood-down after Bush returned to the US.
Tenet went on to perjure himself before the 9/11 Commission, falsely claiming he had had no communication with Bush during the final 60 days before 9/11. In fact, records showed they had talked on at least a dozen occasions, including the face-to-face on either August 15 or the 23rd, the latter being the date the FBI finally got an alert and received some of the contents of the CIA file that detailed the Kuala Lumpur summit and the entry of al-Hazmi and al-Midhar 19 months earlier.
2002-2009, Containment and Cleanup: From CTC to Blackwater
Black resigned from the CIA in April 2002, after interrogation of Abu Zubaydeh revealed the names of leading Saudi and Pakistani figures who had bankrolled the operation, and after the apparently willful failure of Jawbreaker (or, the White House sabotage thereof), the CIA-run operation to capture bin Laden in Afghanistan the previous December.
In early 2002, after Bin Laden escaped across the unguarded Pakistani Border from Tora Bora, Erik Prince was in Afghanistan meeting with CIA Executive Director "Buzzy" Krongard, who handed Blackwater a series of contracts, including one to carry out worldwide assassinations. The sudden emergence and growth of Blackwater, which had little previous military contracting experience, is curious and startling. In recent statements, US Gov't officials have said that while millions were spent, the CIA-funded Blackwater hit teams did not bag any bad guys. Or, maybe they did, and that must now be plausibly denied.
After his departure from CIA, Krongard was, in turn, appointed a Director of the Whitewater/Xe Board last year. It is strange that the same names keep appearing in the same places in the middle of the same "intelligence failures", and that so many of them ended up at Blackwater/Xe.
Apparently, "willful" is the watchword for the negligent and reckless mismanagement by the White House of this element of the CIA, many of whom went on to Blackwater, and in the actions of these individuals in failing to prevent the 9/11 attacks and their failure to capture top terrorist leaders thereafter. Perhaps, Prince has a point when he pleads that he and the others at Blackwater are being made "scapegoats" for decisions taken at a higher pay-grade. If one views 9/11 and the intelligence disasters that followed, it's clear that there was a systemic policy failure that happened in spite of the efforts of those on the ground.
Finally, there is Erik Prince. The Agency always has an ongoing need for wealthy, well-connected adventurers willing and able to provide trained gunmen for off-the-books operations. In the 1990s, that role was filled by Osama bin Laden. During the Bush years, those shoes were tried on by Erik Prince at Blackwater Lodge and Training Center. Behind the legend of the Sheikh and the Prince, is the shadow of Cofer Black and a small clique of covert operation professionals whose job it was to carry out Presidential policy, no matter how criminal, risky or misconceived.

Always, the buck stops at the President's desk. 9/11 happened on George W. Bush's watch, and he is ultimately the one who must be held accountable. But, that does not seem to be in the cards.
In the small, dark world of black operations, everyone indeed knows each other, all too well. It's time the American people learned more about what really happened, even if the system seems to be headed for yet another catastrophic failure of accountability.
(1) See, http://www.historycommons.org/... (http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=alate99sakrayalova#alate99sakraya lova) ; http://s3.amazonaws.com/... (http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/main/alhazmiandalmihdhar.html) ; http://www.meforum.org/... (http://www.meforum.org/744/how-chechnya-became-a-breeding-ground-for-terror)
(2) See, ; http://www.mensjournal.com/... (http://www.mensjournal.com/cofer-black)


[ dailykos (?!) as a source?!]

Ed Jewett
01-14-2010, 07:27 PM
Congressman Prepares Legislation to Ban Blackwater
by Jeremy Scahill (http://original.antiwar.com/author/scahill/), January 14, 2010
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As multiple scandals involving Blackwater continue to emerge almost daily, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (http://schakowsky.house.gov/) (D-IL), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is preparing to introduce legislation aimed at ending the US government’s relationship with Blackwater and other armed contracting companies. “In 2009, the U.S. government employed well over 20,000 armed private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there is every indication that these figures will continue to rise in 2010,” Schakowsky wrote in a “Dear Colleage” letter asking for support for her Stop Outsourcing Security (SOS) Act. “These men and women are not part of the U.S. military or government. They do not wear the uniform of the United States, though their behavior has, on numerous occasions, severely damaged the credibility and security of our military and harmed our relationship with other governments.”
Schakowsky originally introduced the bill in 2007, but it only won two co-sponsors in the Senate: Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Ironically, Clinton—now Secretary of State— is currently the US official responsible for most of Blackwater’s contracts. “The legislation would prohibit the use of private contractors for military, security, law enforcement, intelligence, and armed rescue functions unless the President tells Congress why the military is unable to perform those functions,” according to Schakowsky. “It would also increase transparency over any remaining security contracts by increasing reporting requirements and giving Congress access to details about large contracts.”

Meanwhile, a national coalition of groups opposed to Blackwater have issued an open letter to Congress urging support for Schakowsky’s SOS Act and have called on Congress to investigate the US Justice Department’s handling of the criminal case against the Blackwater operatives alleged to have been responsible for the 2007 Nisour Square massacre. On New Year’s Eve, federal Judge Ricardo Urbina threw out the case alleging prosecutorial misconduct. “Considering all of the millions of tax payer dollars that have gone into funding Blackwater, as well as paying for all of the various investigations into their illegal and unethical activities, the citizens of the United States deserve to know the truth,” said Dan Kenney, co-coordinator of “No Private Armies (http://www.noprivatearmies.org/).” Their letter to Congress and an accompanying petition can be found here (http://www.copswiki.org/w/bin/view/Common/OpenLetterToCongress).
Here is the full text of Schakowsky’s letter:
January 07, 2010

Become an Original Cosponsor of a Bill to Return
Security Functions to Government Personnel
Dear Colleague:
I invite you to join me in cosponsoring a bill which would responsibly phase out the use of private security contractors for functions that should be reserved for U.S. military forces and government personnel.
In 2009, the U.S. government employed well over 20,000 armed private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there is every indication that these figures will continue to rise in 2010. These men and women are not part of the U.S. military or government. They do not wear the uniform of the United States, though their behavior has, on numerous occasions, severely damaged the credibility and security of our military and harmed our relationship with other governments.
In addition, legal jurisdiction over civilian contractors remains murky, leaving the very real possibility that we cannot punish contractors who commit serious crimes while serving the United States government overseas. As illustrated by the recent dismissal of the case against the Blackwater guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, prosecution of private security contractors who commit severe abuses remains exceedingly difficult.
It has been recently reported that at least two of the men killed by the New Year’s Eve suicide attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan was a contractor employed by Xe Services, the company formerly known as Blackwater. If true, this confirms the extent to which private companies have become integrated into not just our military and State Department, but also our intelligence services.
My bill recognizes that our armed forces and security personnel have been so overtaxed that it is not possible to immediately eliminate the use of private contractors for functions that should be reserved for U.S. military personnel. However, it puts us on the path of restoring military functions to the military. The legislation would prohibit the use of private contractors for military, security, law enforcement, intelligence, and armed rescue functions unless the President tells Congress why the military is unable to perform those functions. It would also increase transparency over any remaining security contracts by increasing reporting requirements and giving Congress access to details about large contracts.
To join me as an original cosponsor or for more information, please contact my staff.

Jan Schakowsky
Read more by Jeremy Scahill

Two Blackwater Guards Arrested by FBI on Murder Charges (http://original.antiwar.com/scahill/2010/01/07/two-blackwater-guards-arrested-by-fbi-on-murder-charges/) – January 7th, 2010
Stunning Statistics About the War Every American Should Know (http://original.antiwar.com/scahill/2009/12/18/stunning-statistics-about-the-war-every-american-should-know/) – December 18th, 2009
Why Is the State Department Speaking for JSOC? (http://original.antiwar.com/scahill/2009/11/26/why-is-the-state-department-speaking-for-jsoc/) – November 26th, 2009
Pentagon Instructs Officials to Cancel Contracts with ACORN (http://original.antiwar.com/scahill/2009/10/23/pentagon-instructs-officials-to-cancel-contracts-with-acorn/) – October 23rd, 2009
Where Is the Defund Blackwater Act? (http://original.antiwar.com/scahill/2009/09/25/where-is-the-defund-blackwater-act/) – September 25th, 2009

Ed Jewett
01-19-2010, 08:06 PM
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Outsourcing War: The Rise of Private Military Contractors

Outsourcing War: The Rise of Private Military Contractors (PMCs) - by Stephen Lendman

In The Prince, Machiavelli (May 1469 - June 1527) wrote:

"The mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous, and if anyone supports his state by the arms of mercenaries, he will never stand firm or sure, as they are disunited, ambitious, without discipline, faithless, bold amongst friends, cowardly amongst enemies, they have no fear of God, and keep no faith with men."

In an August 11, 2009 Global Research article titled, "The Real Grand Chessboard and the Profiteers of War," Peter Dale Scott called Private Military Contractors (PMCs) businesses "authorized to commit violence in the name of their employers....predatory bandits (transformed into) uncontrollable subordinates....representing....public power in....remote places."

True enough. Those performing security functions are paramilitaries, hired guns, unprincipled, in it for the money, and might easily switch sides if offered more. Though technically accountable under international and domestic laws where they're assigned, they, in fact, are unregulated, unchecked, free from criminal or civil accountability, and are licensed to kill and get away with it. Political and institutional expediency affords them immunity and impunity to pretty much do as they please and be handsomely paid for it.

So wherever they're deployed, they're menacing and feared with good reason even though many of their member firms belong to associations like the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) and the British Association of Private and Security Companies (BAPSC). Their conduct codes are mere voluntary guidelines that at worst subject violators to expulsion.

When IPOA wanted Blackwater USA investigated (later Blackwater Worldwide, now Xe - pronounced Zee) for slaughtering 28 Iraqis in Al-Nisour Square in central Baghdad and wounding dozens more on September 16, 2007, the company left the association and set up its own, the Global Peace and Security Operations Institute (GPSOI), with no conduct code besides saying:

"Blackwater desires a safer world though practical application of ideas that create solution making a genuine difference to those in need (by) solving the seemingly impossible problems that threaten global peace and stability."

Blackwater, now Xe, makes them far worse as unchecked hired guns. Wherever deployed, they operate as they wish, take full advantage, and stay unaccountable for their worst crimes, the types that would subject ordinary people to the severest punishments.

In his book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," Jeremy Scahill described a:

"shadowy mercenary company (employing) some of the most feared professional killers in the world (accustomed) to operating without worry or legal consequences....largely off the congressional radar. (It has) remarkable power and protection within the US war apparatus" to practice violence with impunity, including cold-blooded murder of non-combatant civilians.

Employing Mercenaries - A Longstanding Practice

Called various names, including mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, dogs of war, and Condottieri for wealthy city states in Renaissance Italy, employing them goes back centuries. In 13th century BC Egypt, Rameses II used thousands of them in battle. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used them. So didn't Alexander the Great, feudal lords in the Middle Ages, popes since 1506, Napoleon, and George Washington against the British in America's war of independence even though by the early 18th century western states enacted laws prohibiting their citizens from bearing arms for other nations. Although the practice continued sporadically, until more recently, private armies fell out of favor.

Defining a Mercenary

Article 47 in the 1977 Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions provides the most widely, though not universally, accepted definition, based on six criteria, all of which must be met.

"A mercenary is any person who:

(a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;

(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities:

(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of the Party;

(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;

(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and

(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces."

This Article's Focus and Some Background

This article covers the modern era of their resurgence, specifically America's use of private military contractors (PMCs) during the post-Cold War period. However, the roots of today's practice began in 1941 in the UK under Captain David Stirling's Special Air Service (SAS), hired to fight the Nazis in small hard-hitting groups. In 1967, he then founded the 20th century's first private military company, WatchGuard International.

Others followed, especially during the 1980s Reagan-Thatcher era when privatizing government services began in earnest. As vice-president, GHW Bush applied it to intelligence, and then defense secretary Dick Cheney hired Brown and Root Services (now KBR, Inc., a former Halliburton subsidiary) to devise how to integrate private companies effectively into warfare.

The Current Proliferation of PMCs

According to PW Singer, author of "Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry:"

Included are companies offering "the functions of warfare....spanning a wide range of activities. They perform everything from tactical combat to consulting (to) mundane logistics....The result is that (the industry) now offers every function that was once limited to state militaries."

Warfare, in part, has been privatized so that "any actor in the global system can access these skills and functions simply by writing a check."

In the 1991 Gulf War, the Pentagon employed one PMC operative per 50 troops. For the 1999 Yugoslavia conflict, it was one for every 10, and by the 2003 Iraq War, PMCs comprised the second largest force after the US military.

They've also been used in numerous civil wars globally in nations like Angola, Sierra Leone, the Balkans throughout the 1990s, Papua New Guinea, and elsewhere. From 1990 - 2000, they participated in 80 conflicts, compared to 15 from 1950 - 1989.

Singer cites three reasons why, combined into "one dynamic:"

1. Supply and demand

Since the Cold War ended in 1991, the US military downsized to about two-thirds its former size, a process Dick Cheney, as defense secretary, called BRAC - Base Realignment and Closure, followed by privatizing military functions. But given America's permanent war agenda, the Pentagon needed help, especially because of the proliferation of small arms, over 550 million globally or about one for every 12 human beings, and their increased use in local conflicts.

2. Changes in the conduct of war

Earlier distinctions between soldiers and civilians are breaking down, the result of low-intensity conflicts against drug cartels, warlords and persons or groups aggressor nations call "terrorists," the same ones they call "freedom fighters" when on their side for imperial purposes.

High-intensity warfare also changed, so sailors aboard guided missile ships, for example, serve along side weapons and technology company personal, needed for their specialized expertise.

In addition, the combination of powerful weapons and sophisticated information technology let the Pentagon topple Saddam with one-fourth the number of forces for the Gulf War. This strategy can be just as effective in other conventional warfare theaters, depending on how formidable the adversary, but it doesn't work in guerrilla wars - the dilemma America faces in Afghanistan, earlier in Iraq and still now as violence there is increasing.

3. The "privatization revolution"

Singer calls it a "change in mentality, a change in political thinking, (a) new ideology that" whatever governments can do, business can do better so let it. The transformation is pervasive in public services, including more spent on private police than actual ones in America. And the phenomenon is global. In China, for example, the private security industry is one of its fastest growing.

By privatizing the military, America pierced the last frontier to let private mercenaries serve in place of conventional forces. Singer defines three types of companies:

1. "Military provider firms"

Whatever their functions, they're used tactically as combatants with weapons performing services formerly done exclusively by conventional or special forces.

2. Military consulting companies

They train and advise, much the way management consulting firms operate for business. They also provide personal security and bodyguard services.

3. Military support firms

They perform non-lethal services. They're "supply-chain management firms....tak(ing) care of the back-end, (including) logistics and technology assistance...." They also supply intelligence and analysis, ordnance disposal, weapons maintenance and other non-combat functions.

Overall, the industry is huge and growing, grossing over $100 billion annually worldwide, operating in over 50 countries. By far, the Pentagon is their biggest client, and in the decade leading up to the Iraq War, it contracted with over 3,000 PMCs, and now many more spending increasingly larger amounts.

A single company, Halliburton and its divisions grossed between $13 - $16 billion from the Iraq War, an amount 2.5 times America's cost for the entire Gulf War. The company profits handsomely because of America's commitment to privatized militarization. More about it below.

Since 2003, Iraq alone represents the "single largest commitment of US military forces in a generation (and) by far the largest marketplace for the private military industry ever."

In 2005, 80 PMCs operated there with over 20,000 personnel. Today, in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, it's grown exponentially, according to US Department of Defense figures - nearly 250,000 as of Q 3, 2009, mostly in Iraq but rising in Afghanistan to support more troops.

Not included are PMCs working for the State Department, 16 US intelligence agencies, Homeland Security, other branches and foreign governments, commercial businesses, and individuals, so the true total is much higher. In addition, as Iraq troops are drawn down, PMCs will replace them, and in Afghanistan, they already exceed America's military force.

According to a September 21, 2009 Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report, as of June 2009, PMCs in Afghanistan numbered 73,968, and a later year end 2009 US Central Command figure is over 104,000 and rising. The expense is enormous and growing with CRS reporting that supporting each soldier costs $1 million annually, in large part because of rampant waste, fraud and abuse, unmonitored and unchecked.

With America heading for 100,000 troops on the ground and more likely coming, $100 billion will be spent annually supporting them, then more billions as new forces arrive, and the Iraq amount is even greater - much, or perhaps most, from supplemental funding for both theaters on top of America's largest ever military budget at a time the country has no enemies except for ones it makes by invading and occupying other countries and waging global proxy wars.

Regulating PMCs

Efforts to do so have been fruitless despite the General Assembly trying in 1989 through the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries. It took over a decade to get the required 22 signatories, but neither
America or other major PMC users were included.

An earlier effort also failed when in 1987 a special UN rapporteur was established to examine "the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination." It was largely ignored, and a 2005 effort won't likely fare better under a working group for the same purpose. Nor will industry associations functioning more for show than a commitment to end bad practices that will always go on as long as rogue firms like Xe and others like it are employed.

Singer noted how PMCs have been involved in some of the most controversial aspects of war - from over-billing to ritual slaughter of unarmed civilians. Yet none of them have ever been prosecuted, convicted or imprisoned, an issue Singer cites in listing five "dilemmas:"

1. Contractual ones - hiring PMCs for their skills, to save money, or do jobs nations prefer to avoid. Yet unaccountability injects a "worrisome layer of uncertainty" into military operations, opening the door to unchecked abuses.

2. PMCs constitute an unregulated global business operating for profit, not peace and security when skilled killers are hired - former Green Berets, Delta Force soldiers, Navy Seals, and foreign ones like the British SAS.

3. Conducting public policy as serious as war through private means is worrisome, including covert operations to avoid official oversight and legislative constraints.

4. Moving private companies into the military sphere creates disturbing gray areas. PMCs can't be court martialed, and international law doesn't cover them. Further, operating in war zones makes them even less accountable as who can prove their actions weren't in self-defense, even against unarmed civilians.

5. Increasing PMC use also "raises some deep questions about the military itself." How do you retain the most talented combat troops when they can sell their skills for far greater pay? Also consider the uniqueness of the military.

"It is the only profession that has its own court system, its own laws; the only profession that has its own grocery stores and separate bases;" its own pensions and other benefits for those staying around long enough to qualify. So what happens when it's transformed into a business with profit the prime motive? Simple - more wars, greater profits. The same idea as privatizing prisons - more prisoners, fatter bottom line.

Another consideration is also worrisome. Given America's imperial ambitions, global dominance, permanent war agenda, and virtual disregard for the law, public distrust is growing for politicians who never earned it in the first place.

Given the Pentagon's transformation since 1991, the number of services it privatized, and America's permanent war agenda, what will conditions be in another decade or a few years? How much more prominent will PMCs be? How much more insecurity will result? How soon will it be before hordes of them are deployed throughout America as enforcers in civilian communities outside of conflict zones, with as much unaccountability here as abroad? What will the nation be like if it happens?


In his book, "Halliburton's Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War," Pratap Chatterjee describes a company tainted by bribes, kickbacks, inefficiency, corruption and fraud, exploitation of workers as near-slaves, and other serious offenses, yet operates with impunity and sticks taxpayers with many billions of dollars in charges.

Before spun off in 2007, KBR won the bulk of Iraq contracts as part of Halliburton, many of them no-bid. Earlier from 2002 to March 2003, it was involved with the Pentagon in planning the war and its role once it ended - the one co-founder George Brown claimed Lyndon Johnson described in the 1960s as a "joint venture (in which) I'm going to take care of politics and you're going to take care of the business side of it." Fast forward, and nothing's changed.

In a February 19, 2009 article, titled "Inheriting Halliburton's Army," Chatterjee writes how their employees are in "every nook and cranny of US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan," yet stateside operations yield additional billions in revenue. He describes their "shoddy electrical work, unchlorinated shower water, overcharges for trucks sitting idle in the desert, deaths of KRB (its former subsidiary) employees and affiliated soldiers in Iraq, alleged million-dollar bribes accepted by KBR managers, and billions of dollars in missing receipts, among the slew of other complaints" that got wide publicity since the beginning of the Iraq war.

He explains that since it got a 2001 contract to supply US forces in combat theaters, KBR grossed over $25 billion. It then got new contracts under Obama, leading Chatterjee to ask: "How did the US military become this dependent on one giant company?"

Tracing its history since the 1960s, he noted its connection to Lyndon Johnson, its profiteering from the Vietnam War, again under Ronald Reagan, then more under GHW Bush and Dick Cheney, his defense secretary who accelerated the Pentagon's privatization agenda, then headed the company as CEO. Bill Clinton continued it, hiring KBR in 1994 to build bases in Bosnia, later Kosovo, and run their daily operations.

Then under Bush/Cheney, outsourcing accelerated further, so today there's one KBR worker for every three US soldiers in Iraq. They build base infrastructure and maintain them by handling all their duties - feeding soldiers, doing their laundry, performing maintenance, and virtually all other non-combat functions.

Despite its abusive practices, KBR is such an integral part of the Pentagon that Chatterjee asks "could Obama dismiss (its) army, even if he wanted to?" Not at all so expect KRB's $150 billion 10-year LOGCAP contract (the Army's Logistics Augmentation Program - beginning September 20, 2008) to continue, and KBR's army to remain on the march reaping billions from the public treasury as the nation's largest PMC war profiteer.

PMCs Under Obama

In February 2007, Senator Obama introduced the Transparency and Accountability in Military Security Contracting Act as an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act, requiring federal agencies to report to Congress on the numbers of security contractors employed, killed, wounded, and disciplinary actions taken against them. Referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee, it never passed.

Then in February 2009 as president, Obama introduced reforms to reduce PMC spending and shift outsourced work back to government. He also promised to improve the quality of acquisition workers - government employees involved in supervising and auditing billions of dollars spent monthly on contracts. Even so, PMCs are fully integrated into national security and other government functions, as evidenced by the massive numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan alone.

Earlier, PMCs were at times used in lieu of US forces. As mentioned above, they helped General Washington win America's war of independence. Later the war of 1812, and in WW II the Flying Tigers fought the Japanese for China's Chiang Kai-Shek. In the 1960s and early 1970s, they were prominent nation builders in South Vietnam. From 1947 through 1976, the CIA's Southern Air Transport performed paramilitary services, including delivering weapons to the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

In 1985, the Army's LOGCAP was a precursor for more extensive civilian contractor use in wartime and for other purposes. It's involved in pre-planned logistics and engineering or construction contracts, including vehicle maintenance, warehousing, base building abroad, and a range of non-combat functions on them.

The Clinton administration's "Reinventing Government" initiative promised to downsize it by shifting functions to contractors as a way cut costs and improve efficiency. Later under George Bush, private companies got to compete for 450,000 government jobs, and in 2001, the Pentagon's contracted workforce exceeded civilian DOD employees for the first time.

In 2002, under Army Secretary Thomas White, the military planned to increase its long-term reliance on contracted workers, a plan known as the "Third Wave" after two earlier ones. Its purposes were to free up military manpower for the global war on terror, get non-core products and services from private sources so Army leaders could focus on their core competencies, and support Bush's Management Agenda.

In April 2003, the initiative stalled when White resigned, among other reasons for a lack of basic information required to effectively manage a growing PMC force, then estimated to be between 124,000 - 605,000 workers. Today, more precise figures are known and for what functions, but a lack of transparency and oversight makes it impossible for the public, Congress, the administration, or others in government to assess them with regard to cost, effectiveness, their services, whether government or business should perform them, and their effect on the nation for good or ill, with strong evidence of the latter.

The 2008 Montreux Document is an agreement obligating signatories with regard to their PMCs in war zones. Seventeen nations ratified it, including America, Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and China, pledging to promote responsible PMC conduct in armed conflicts. Divided in two sections, its first one covers international laws binding on private contractors, explains states can't circumvent their obligations by using them, requires they take appropriate measures to prevent violations, address them responsibly when they do, and take effective steps to prevent future occurrences.

The second section lists 70 practices for helping countries fulfill their legal obligations, including not using PMCs for activities requiring force, implementing effective control, using surveillance and sanctions in case of breaches, and regulating and licensing contracted companies, that in turn, must train their personnel to observe the rules of law.

Given the obvious conflicts of interest, self-regulation won't work. Unchecked, combatant PMCs are accountable only to themselves, operating secretly outside the law - for the Pentagon as an imperial tool.

Given Obama's permanent war agenda and how entrenched PMCs have become, expect little constructive change, save for tinkering around the edges and regular rhetorical promises, followed by new fronts in the war on terror and even greater numbers civilians and soldiers for them.

Then add hundreds more billions diverted from vital homeland needs to enrich thousands of war profiteers, addicted to sure-fire blood money, and expecting plenty more ahead. They'll get it unless enough public outrage demands an end to this madness before it's too late to matter.

Some Final Comments

On January 13 (on antiwar.com), Jeremy Scahill reported that Representative Jan Schakowsky (D. IL and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence member):

"is preparing to introduce legislation (Stop Outsourcing Security Act - SOS) aimed at ending the US government's relationship with Blackwater and other armed contracting companies."

Originally introduced in 2007 but not passed, Schakowsky says:

"The legislation would prohibit the use of private contractors for military, security, law enforcement, intelligence, and armed rescue functions unless the President tells Congress why the military is unable to perform those functions. It would also increase transparency over any remaining security contracts by increasing reporting requirements and giving Congress access to details about large contracts."

Meanwhile on January 12, 2010, a coalition of groups opposed to Blackwater called on Congress to investigate why criminal charges against the company were dismissed on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. They also want to "pull the funding on war profiteers like Blackwater (and) stop them for good."

It's a tall order given how entrenched they are and expanding. In Haiti, for example, reports say Blackwater is there providing security, an indication perhaps of more contingents to follow, from them and other armed contractors, "authorized to commit violence in the name of their employers."

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 3:09 AM (http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/01/outsourcing-war-rise-of-private.html)


Ed Jewett
01-20-2010, 04:47 AM
Blackwater's Owner Has Spies for Hire
Ex-U.S. Operatives Dot Firm's Roster
By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 3, 2007

First it became a brand name in security for its work in Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/iraq.html?nav=el) and Afghanistan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/afghanistan.html?nav=el). Now it's taking on intelligence.
The Prince Group, the holding company that owns Blackwater Worldwide, has been building an operation that will sniff out intelligence about natural disasters, business-friendly governments, overseas regulations and global political developments for clients in industry and government.
The operation, Total Intelligence Solutions, has assembled a roster of former spooks -- high-ranking figures from agencies such as the CIA and defense intelligence -- that mirrors the slate of former military officials who run Blackwater. Its chairman is Cofer Black, the former head of counterterrorism at CIA known for his leading role in many of the agency's more controversial programs, including the rendition and interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects and the detention of some of them in secret prisons overseas.
Its chief executive is Robert Richer, a former CIA associate deputy director of operations who was heavily involved in running the agency's role in the Iraq war.
Total Intelligence Solutions is one of a growing number of companies that offer intelligence services such as risk analysis to companies and governments. Because of its roster and its ties to owner Erik Prince, the multimillionaire former Navy SEAL, the company's thrust into this world highlights the blurring of lines between government, industry and activities formerly reserved for agents operating in the shadows.
Richer, for instance, once served as the chief of the CIA's Near East division and is said to have ties to King Abdullah of Jordan. The CIA had spent millions helping train Jordan's intelligence service in exchange for information. Now Jordan has hired Blackwater to train its special forces.
"Cofer can open doors," said Richer, who served 22 years at the CIA. "I can open doors. We can generally get in to see who we need to see. We don't help pay bribes. We do everything within the law, but we can deal with the right minister or person."
Total Intel, as the company is known, is bringing "the skills traditionally honed by CIA operatives directly to the board room," Black said. Black had a 28-year career with the CIA.
"They have the skills and background to do anything anyone wants," said RJ Hillhouse, who writes a national security blog called The Spy Who Billed Me. "There's no oversight. They're an independent company offering freelance espionage services. They're rent-a-spies."
The heart of Total Intel operations is a suite on the ninth floor of an office tower in Ballston, patterned after the CIA counterterrorist center Black once ran, with analysts sitting at cubicles in the center of the room and glass offices of senior executives on the perimeter.
A handful of analysts in their 20s and 30s sit hunched over Macintosh computers, scanning Web sites, databases, newspapers and chat rooms. The lights are dimmed. Three large-screen TVs play in the background, one tuned to al-Jazeera.
The room, called the Global Fusion Center, is staffed around the clock, as analysts search for warnings on everything from terrorist plots on radical Islamic Web sites to possible political upheavals in Asia, labor strikes in South America and Europe, and economic upheavals that could affect a company's business.
"We're not a private detective," Black said. "We provide intelligence to our clients. It's not about taking pictures. It's business intelligence. We collect all information that's publicly available. This is a completely legal enterprise. We break no laws. We don't go anywhere near breaking laws. We don't have to."
Total Intel was launched in February by Prince, who a decade ago opened a law enforcement training center in Moyock, N.C., that has since grown into a half-billion-dollar business called Blackwater Worldwide. Prince has nine other companies and subsidiaries in his Prince Group empire, offering a broad range of security and training services. (One, Blackwater Security Consulting, is under scrutiny because of a Sept. 16 shooting incident in Iraq that involved some of its armed guards and in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed.) Prince built Total Intel by buying two companies owned by Matt Devost, the Terrorism Research Center and Technical Defense, and merging them with Black's consulting group, the Black Group. Devost, a cyber security and risk management expert, is now president of Total Intel.
Devost runs day-to-day operations, overseeing 65 full-time employees. At the Global Fusion Center, young analysts monitor activities in more than 60 countries. They include a 25-year-old Fulbright scholar fluent in Arabic and another person with a master's degree in international affairs, focused on the Middle East, who tracks the oil industry and security in Saudi Arabia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/saudiarabia.html?nav=el).
Black and Richer spend much of their time traveling. They won't say where. It's a CIA thing. Black called at midnight recently to talk about Total Intel from "somewhere in the Middle East."
"I don't spend a lot of time telling people where I am as part of my business," he said. "I am discreet in where I go and who I see. I spend most of my time dealing with senior people in governments, making connections."
Black, who also serves as vice chairman of Blackwater Worldwide, said he also does "a lot more mundane things like go to conferences and trade shows," looking for business opportunities. "I'm going to have to go," he said. "My guy is motioning for me. I have to go meet people."
Government people? Business people?
All kinds.
The company won't reveal its financial information, the names of its customers or other details of its business. Even looking at an analyst's screen at its Global Fusion Center wasn't allowed.
"No, no," Richer said, putting his hands up. "There may be customers' names on there. We don't want you to see."
In their conference room overlooking the Global Fusion Center, Total Intel executives fired off a list of some of their work. Are some recent bombings at major cities in India (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/india.html?nav=el) isolated incidents or should you pull your personnel out? What are the political developments in Pakistan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/pakistan.html?nav=el) going to mean for your business? Is your company popping up on jihadist Web sites? There's been crime recently in the ports of Mexico (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/mexico.html?nav=el), possibly by rogue police officers. Is the government going to be able to ensure safety?
Since 2000, the Terrorism Research Center portion of the company has done $1.5 million worth of contracts with the government, mainly from agencies like the Army, Navy, Air Force, Customs and the U.S. Special Operations Command buying its data subscription or other services.
To Black and Richer, one of the most surprising things about being in the private sector is finding that much of the information they once considered top secret is publicly available. The trick, Richer said, is knowing where to look.
"In a classified area, there's an assumption that if it is open, it can't be as good as if you stole it," Richer said. "I'm seeing that at least 80 percent of what we stole was open."
As he's no longer with the CIA, Richer said he's found that people are more willing to share information. He said a military general in a country he would not name told him of the country's plan to build its next strike fighter. "I listened," Richer said.
"We talked business and where we could help him understand markets and things like that." At the end of the conversation, Richer said, he asked the man, "Isn't that classified? Why are you telling me this?"
Richer said the man answered, "If I tell it to an embassy official I've created espionage. You're a business partner."
Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.


Ed Jewett
01-20-2010, 05:21 AM
From Blackwater to Xe, the Templar Crusade
Mercenary soldiers and security personnel for the US government.

by Michael Carmichael

Blackwater is a corporation that provides mercenary soldiers and supporting security personnel to the US government.

Erik Prince, the founder and owner of the now infamous US corporation, Blackwater, hails from Holland, Michigan where his family was both powerful and prominent in two institutions - (1) the Republican Party and (2) the evangelical Christian Church. After scandals hit his large and lucrative firm, Prince ordered a curious rebranding that changed its name to Xe.

X is an archaic form of abbreviation for Christ and/or Christian that was derived from the cross and the Greek Alphabet. X or Chi is the Greek letter that is the initial of "Christos" - X - which at the same time served as a symbol for the cross. Sometimes written Chi-Rho, (Xp) is another abbreviation for Christos and his followers, the Christians. From the perspective of medieval Christian symbology, 'Xe' is a combination of the Christic cross and the Greek letter, Epsilon, the first letter in the Greek word, Evangelion, glad tidings or gospel. From the perspective of a modern member of the Knights Templar, Xe is immediately recognizable as it symbolizes Christian Evangelism.

Prince's background

Eric Prince's father owned a thriving automotive parts business and sent his son to Holland Christian School - an evangelical establishment that accepts students from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. Since then, Prince has converted to Roman Catholicism - and may be a member or associate of Opus Dei, a very conservative cult now described as a prelature that is a strong ally of the current pope, Benedict XVI, who - when he was a Cardinal - paved the way for the beatification and canonization of the cult's founder, St. Josemaria Escriva by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

Here is a brief description of Erik Prince's religious background taken from a website (http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/194546-blackwaters-erik-prince-ties-evangelicalism.html) :

The founder and CEO of Blackwater is Erik Prince, son of Edgar Prince, the now deceased businessman from Holland, Michigan. Prince's background as a Western Michigander is not just limited to geography, the brother of Betsy DeVos has also embraced the conservative religious beliefs that his family promoted zealously, particularly with their money. Erik began his political career working as an intern for Gary Bauer at the Family Research Council and also worked in the Bush I White House, although he thought that this administration was too liberal. Prince disapproved of the Bush I administration to the extent that in 1992 he supported Patrick Buchanan for President, something that got him into trouble with his sister Betsy.

Unlike his family, which is part of the Christian Reformed Church, Erik Prince is a Catholic. He most likely became Catholic when he married his first wife, who died of cancer shortly after they were married. Interestingly enough, most of the leadership at Blackwater is also Catholic, albeit a conservative wing of the church that is quite reactionary. Erik Prince is personally connected to conservative Catholic groups like Catholic Answer, Crisis magazine, and a Grand Rapids-based group, the Acton Institute. But Prince has not abandoned his Protestant/Evangelical roots and is a close friend of Watergate criminal turned believer Chuck Colson. They have shared the podium on several occasions, even once at Calvin College. According to Scahill, Prince is aligning himself with a new Catholic/Evangelical alliance called "Evangelicals and Catholics Together." The ECT manifesto states:

"The century now drawing to a close has been the greatest century of missionary expansion in Christian history. We pray and we believe that this expansion has prepared the way for yet greater missionary endeavor in the first century of the Third Millennium. The two communities in world Christianity that are most evangelistically assertive and most rapidly growing are Evangelicals and Catholics."

Prince's relationship to what Scahill calls the "Theocon" movement is not marginal. Prince himself writes about this relationship and it's importance, particularly with the mission of Blackwater. Prince says "Everybody carries guns, just like the Prophet Jeremiah rebuilding the temple in Israel - a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other."
The current Crusade

In 2004, the current pope signed a letter to the Bishops in the United States warning the laity not to vote for Catholic candidates who had voted in favor of women's rights to abortion. Cardinal Ratzinger's letter weakened the campaign of John Kerry and strengthened George W. Bush who had used the term, "crusade," to rally his forces shortly after 9/11. Speaking in Regensburg in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI made insensitive remarks about the Islamic faith that caused outrage in the Muslim world.

Erik Prince's personal Crusade

Among his personnel at Xe, Prince is known to be a high-profile Islamophobe who believes his personal mission in life is to bring about the total extinction of the Muslim population of this planet in what he has described as a global campaign of genocide or a, "Crusade."

Here is an excerpt of an article about Prince that appeared in The Economist (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2009/08/erik_prince_and_the_last_crusa):

In an affidavit lodged with a court in Virginia, one of the witnesses said that Mr Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe." The statement continues

To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.

Mr. Prince operated his companies in a manner that encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life. For example, Mr. Prince's executives would openly speak about going over to Iraq to "lay Hajiis out on cardboard." Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport or game. Mr. Prince's employees openly and consistently used racist and derogatory terms for Iraqis and other Arabs, such as "ragheads" or "hajiis."

Michael Carmichael (http://www.planetarymovement.org/go/newsflash/xe%2c-the-templar-crusade-by-michael-carmichael/archives/2007/michael-carmichael/)is the founder of Planetary.


Jan Klimkowski
01-20-2010, 06:08 PM
From Blackwater to Xe, the Templar Crusade
Mercenary soldiers and security personnel for the US government.

Ed - very interesting.

Opus Dei and Catholic-military-intelligence networks are most likely directly involved here.

Which means SMOM. :evil:

Ed Jewett
01-20-2010, 08:22 PM
I'm not well-studied on the topic but, having just passed through the wiki entry, SMOM doesn't seem like your average social club.

Jan Klimkowski
01-20-2010, 09:01 PM
I'm not well-studied on the topic but, having just passed through the wiki entry, SMOM doesn't seem like your average social club.

Ed - no need for wiki. :dancing:

Try some of these links:

(from post #47 through the Covert Action pieces)

(particularly from post #6 onwards)

And SMOM and Gladio frequently overlap (eg post #17):

Also here:

Ed Jewett
01-20-2010, 09:38 PM
Using WikiPedia is like looking at a topic as if from a plane flying at 5,000 feet; you can discern some features and the general lay of the land.

Using other sites is like going to the library for three-year old travel guides.

If you want a Keyhole-class high-resolution look at a topic,
go to the Deep Politics Forum. :captain:

Ed Jewett
01-21-2010, 04:39 PM
Military Outsources Rescue Operations (http://cryptogon.com/?p=13178)

January 21st, 2010 How much of the military can the CIA spin off into its cutouts?
Via: Wired (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/01/military-outsources-hostage-rescue-to-virginia-firm/):
In the American military, few missions are considered more important than rescuing missing or kidnapped troops. So it’s more than a little odd that U.S. forces in Iraq have decided to outsource that operation to a private company. The military’s Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan on Sunday handed out a one year, $11.3 million, no-bid contract to Blackbird Technologies Inc., declaring that the firm was “the only contractor that can currently provide the subject matter expertise needed” for personnel rescue operations.
It’s hardly the first military contract for Virginia-based Blackbird, originally founded in 1997 as an Internet security firm. In August, Blackbird won a massive, $450 million contract from the U.S. Navy to provide ”tagging, tracking and locating” gear and training to a wide swath of military units. In addition, Blackbird is currently assisting the armed forces in “locating people held captive or hostage under duress and assessing enemy vulnerabilities.” U.S. forces say they need the company to continue to “provid[e] staff and mission area expertise for PR [personnel recovery] operations, serve as a fusion nexus for intelligence operations to support PR, and operational oversight for subordinate operations.” In addition, the military expects Blackbird to provide everything from “crisis action planning” to “non-attributable internet research.”
“We’re not the guys that go out and kick down doors and bring out the Jessica Lynches of the world,” says retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Timur Eads, who serves as Blackbird’s vice president of government relations. “We’re the guys in the background, assembling the forensic information, bringing all the threads together.” Sometimes, Eads tells Danger Room, that entails online research “where you appear to be entering the Internet from somewhere else.”
Beyond that, Eads won’t say much. “I can’t give the specifics of what we do, because the work is classified. But the reason we got this contract is because we have people with very unique skillsets that we can quickly bring together.”
The company says they’ve already got a crack team assembled for their rescue operations. But Blackbird is openly recruiting for “personnel recovery mission officers,” apparently to service this contract. Only applicants with a very specific background need apply. Blackbird wants each of the eight officers to have 10 years of special operations missions and a clearance of “Top Secret/SSBI with SCI eligibility.” But despite the sensitivity of this mission, and despite the exclusive resumes applicants need to provide, these positions are only “part-time.”
Blackbird is headquartered in Herndon, VA, with five branch offices nationwide. Blackbird’s website states that the company is a “technology solutions provider whose mission is to solve challenging problems for customers in the Defense, Intelligence, and Law Enforcement Communities.” They also advertise that the majority of their staff hold high-level clearances and handle “the most sensitive government and commercial matters.”
Various arms of the Department of Defense have awarded at least six different contracts to the company since 2003. The biggest, and most sensitive, of these deals is the nearly half-billion contract for “tagging, tracking, and locating” — military jargon for keeping tabs on troops and their potential enemies through clandestine means.
Posted in Covert Operations (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=27), Outsourced (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=15), War (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=28)


Ed Jewett
01-27-2010, 12:20 AM
Report Faults State Department, DynCorp for Missing $1 Billion

By Josh Rogin

January 25, 2010 "FP (http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/01/25/report_faults_state_department_dyncorp_for_missing _1_billion_0)" -- The State Department cannot account for more than $1 billion it paid out to contractor DynCorp (http://www.dyn-intl.com/) to train police during the first years of the Iraq war, in just one example of management shortcomings that have put at risk $2.5 billion worth of money spent on training policemen around the world, according to a damning new report. The office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) especially laid into the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), known as the "Drugs and Thugs" bureau, in an audit released Monday (http://www.sigir.mil/reports/pdf/audits/10-008.pdf), for mishandling DynCorp.
The report comes at an inconvenient time for DynCorp, which is also doing most of the police training in Afghanistan. The Defense Department, which is taking over that mission soon, will need contractor help, but sources tell The Cable that DOD is trying to exclude DynCorp from that contract competition over the company's vigorous protests.
Special Inspector Stuart Bowen told The Cable that since the problems at INL haven't been corrected in the years that SIGIR has been reporting on the bureau, his office is now working with Deputy Secretary Jack Lew, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's right-hand man on management issues in Foggy Bottom.
"Deputy Secretary Lew is a man who's very familiar and committed to financial management," Bowen said. "He committed to addressing them directly and ensuring that this time the promises of improvements occur."
"I'm concerned about INL's capacity to oversee large-scale projects," Bowen went on. "Whether the department [as a whole] has the capacity to ultimately do that still remains to be seen."
The SIGIR's report on INL contains many damning revelations, including the fact that the first $1 billion spent on the DynCorp contract was overseen by just one person, and that person simply approved the invoices without scrutiny. When challenged, INL couldn't produce the documentation on where that billion went, and is now trying to piece it together --a process that could take several years.
INL Assistant Secretary David Johnson declined to be interviewed about the report, but an INL spokesperson said that there are now three people in Iraq overseeing DynCorp's contract there, with four more on the way this year. The spokesperson said there is now a process in Washington to check invoices that had saved $9 million, but SIGIR isn't satisfied.
"INL continues to exhibit weak oversight of the DynCorp task orders for support of the Iraqi police training program," the report states. "INL lacks sufficient resources and controls to adequately manage the task orders with DynCorp. As a result, over $2.5 billion in U.S. funds are vulnerable to waste and fraud."
INL disputes that $2.5 billion of funds are "vulnerable."
The report also calls into question the relationship between INL and DynCorp in Iraq. Apparently, INL was involved in negotiating leases and building rentals for DynCorp in the Baghdad international zone that somehow resulted in exorbitant rates that kept going up every year. DynCorp then just put that all on INL's tab and charged the bureau 11 percent extra in fees to boot.
The report is filled with examples of abuse and waste by DynCorp that INL paid for. In one example, $450,000 was spent to rent two generators when there were already plenty of generators to go around.
The report also details at length how SIGIR raised staffing and contract management issues with INL several times since 2005. Although INL has tried to address the problem, the results are far from satisfactory, according to SIGIR.
Lawmakers too are getting fed up with DynCorp's handling of the police training mission and INL's lax oversight.
"[INL has]been managing this contract in Iraq since 2004 and, according to this report, they have no idea where any of the money went," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO. "What's even worse is that these are the same people responsible for police training in Afghanistan, so I don't have any confidence that they're doing a better job there."


Magda Hassan
01-27-2010, 12:42 AM
Report Faults State Department, DynCorp for Missing $1 Billion

They should check behind the cushions on the sofa. But just to make sure they should also check their Swiss bank accounts.

Jan Klimkowski
01-27-2010, 06:39 PM
The office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) especially laid into the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), known as the "Drugs and Thugs" bureau, in an audit released Monday, for mishandling DynCorp.

Oh that's just dandy.

One government quango blaming another government quango for not managing DynCorp's contract properly.

Proposed solution: presumably set up a new quango to oversee the next contract.

Meanwhile, DynCorp pockets the billion.


I had no idea who the INL are, but here's wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_for_International_Narcotics_and_Law_Enforce ment_Affairs

The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is a part of the Department of State within the United States government that advises the President, Secretary of State, other bureaus in the Department of State, and other departments and agencies within the U.S. Government on the development of policies and programs to combat international narcotics and crime. The head of the bureau is the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, who is currently David T. Johnson.

The bureau manages the Department of State’s Narcotics Rewards Program in close coordination with the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other interested U.S. agencies.

Which suggests that they are part of the narco/arms/money laundering deep political structure.

"Narcotics Rewards Program", eh? :bandit:

Ed Jewett
01-27-2010, 06:44 PM
The office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) especially laid into the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), known as the "Drugs and Thugs" bureau, in an audit released Monday, for mishandling DynCorp. Oh that's just dandy.

One government quango blaming another government quango for not managing DynCorp's contract properly.

Proposed solution: presumably set up a new quango to oversee the next contract.

Meanwhile, DynCorp pockets the billion.


I had no idea who the INL are, but ... they are part of the narco/arms/money laundering deep political structure.

I think you nailed it: they are the new government quango.

Ed Jewett
03-15-2010, 05:12 AM
The short:

Breaking: 'My Jason Bournes:' US Mercenaries Hired to Track and Kill Suspected Militants (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/world/asia/15contractors.html) --The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work. Roughly $15 million unaccounted for 14 Mar 2010 Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors mercenaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives. The mercenaries, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the officials said. While it has been widely reported that the C.I.A. and the military are attacking operatives of 'Al Qaeda' and others through unmanned, remote-controlled drone strikes, some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy death squad operation.

The long:

Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/03/15/world/15contractors_CA1/15contractors_CA1-articleLarge.jpg From Left: United States Air Force; Robert Young Pelton; Mike Wintroath/Associated Press; Adam Berry/Bloomberg News
From left: Michael D. Furlong, the official who was said to have hired private contractors to track militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Robert Young Pelton, a contractor; Duane Clarridge, a former C.I.A. official; and Eason Jordan, a former television news executive.

By DEXTER FILKINS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/dexter_filkins/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and MARK MAZZETTI (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/mark_mazzetti/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

Published: March 14, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/afghanistan/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) and Pakistan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/pakistan/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States.
The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/central_intelligence_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and Special Forces operatives. The contractors, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the officials said.
While it has been widely reported that the C.I.A. and the military are attacking operatives of Al Qaeda (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/al_qaeda/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and others through unmanned, remote-controlled drone (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/unmanned_aerial_vehicles/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) strikes, some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work.
It is generally considered illegal for the military to hire contractors to act as covert spies. Officials said Mr. Furlong’s secret network might have been improperly financed by diverting money from a program designed to merely gather information about the region.
Moreover, in Pakistan, where Qaeda and Taliban (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/t/taliban/index.html?inline=nyt-org) leaders are believed to be hiding, the secret use of private contractors may be seen as an attempt to get around the Pakistani government’s prohibition of American military personnel’s operating in the country.
Officials say Mr. Furlong’s operation seems to have been shut down, and he is now is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Defense Department for a number of possible offenses, including contract fraud.
Even in a region of the world known for intrigue, Mr. Furlong’s story stands out. At times, his operation featured a mysterious American company run by retired Special Operations officers and an iconic C.I.A. figure who had a role in some of the agency’s most famous episodes, including the Iran-Contra affair.
The allegations that he ran this network come as the American intelligence community confronts other instances in which private contractors may have been improperly used on delicate and questionable operations, including secret raids in Iraq and an assassinations program that was halted before it got off the ground.
“While no legitimate intelligence operations got screwed up, it’s generally a bad idea to have freelancers running around a war zone pretending to be James Bond,” one American government official said. But it is still murky whether Mr. Furlong had approval from top commanders or whether he might have been running a rogue operation.
This account of his activities is based on interviews with American military and intelligence officials and businessmen in the region. They insisted on anonymity in discussing a delicate case that is under investigation.
Col. Kathleen Cook, a spokeswoman for United States Strategic Command, which oversees Mr. Furlong’s work, declined to make him available for an interview. Military officials said Mr. Furlong, a retired Air Force (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/us_air_force/index.html?inline=nyt-org) officer, is now a senior civilian employee in the military, a full-time Defense Department employee based at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Network of Informants
Mr. Furlong has extensive experience in “psychological operations” — the military term for the use of information in warfare — and he plied his trade in a number of places, including Iraq and the Balkans. It is unclear exactly when Mr. Furlong’s operations began. But officials said they seemed to accelerate in the summer of 2009, and by the time they ended, he and his colleagues had established a network of informants in Afghanistan and Pakistan whose job it was to help locate people believed to be insurgents.
Government officials said they believed that Mr. Furlong might have channeled money away from a program intended to provide American commanders with information about Afghanistan’s social and tribal landscape, and toward secret efforts to hunt militants on both sides of the country’s porous border with Pakistan.
Some officials said it was unclear whether these operations actually resulted in the deaths of militants, though others involved in the operation said that they did.
Military officials said that Mr. Furlong would often boast about his network of informants in Afghanistan and Pakistan to senior military officers, and in one instance said a group of suspected militants carrying rockets by mule over the border had been singled out and killed as a result of his efforts.
In addition, at least one government contractor who worked with Mr. Furlong in Afghanistan last year maintains that he saw evidence that the information was used for attacking militants.
The contractor, Robert Young Pelton, an author who writes extensively about war zones, said that the government hired him to gather information about Afghanistan and that Mr. Furlong improperly used his work. “We were providing information so they could better understand the situation in Afghanistan, and it was being used to kill people,” Mr. Pelton said.
He said that he and Eason Jordan, a former television news executive, had been hired by the military to run a public Web site to help the government gain a better understanding of a region that bedeviled them. Recently, the top military intelligence official in Afghanistan publicly said that intelligence collection was skewed too heavily toward hunting terrorists, at the expense of gaining a deeper understanding of the country.
Instead, Mr. Pelton said, millions of dollars that were supposed to go to the Web site were redirected by Mr. Furlong toward intelligence gathering for the purpose of attacking militants.
In one example, Mr. Pelton said he had been told by Afghan colleagues that video images that he posted on the Web site had been used for an American strike in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan.
Among the contractors Mr. Furlong appears to have used to conduct intelligence gathering was International Media Ventures, a private “strategic communication” firm run by several former Special Operations officers. Another was American International Security Corporation, a Boston-based company run by Mike Taylor, a former Green Beret. In a phone interview, Mr. Taylor said that at one point he had employed Duane Clarridge, known as Dewey, a former top C.I.A. official who has been linked to a generation of C.I.A. adventures, including the Iran-Contra scandal.
In an interview, Mr. Clarridge denied that he had worked with Mr. Furlong in any operation in Afghanistan or Pakistan. “I don’t know anything about that,” he said.
Mr. Taylor, who is chief executive of A.I.S.C., said his company gathered information on both sides of the border to give military officials information about possible threats to American forces. He said his company was not specifically hired to provide information to kill insurgents.
Some American officials contend that Mr. Furlong’s efforts amounted to little. Nevertheless, they provoked the ire of the C.I.A.
Last fall, the spy agency’s station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, wrote a memorandum to the Defense Department’s top intelligence official detailing what officials said were serious offenses by Mr. Furlong. The officials would not specify the offenses, but the officer’s cable helped set off the Pentagon investigation.
Afghan Intelligence
In mid-2008, the military put Mr. Furlong in charge of a program to use private companies to gather information about the political and tribal culture of Afghanistan. Some of the approximately $22 million in government money allotted to this effort went to International Media Ventures, with offices in St. Petersburg, Fla., San Antonio and elsewhere. On its Web site, the company describes itself as a public relations company, “an industry leader in creating potent messaging content and interactive communications.”
The Web site also shows that several of its senior executives are former members of the military’s Special Operations forces, including former commandos from Delta Force, which has been used extensively since the Sept. 11 attacks to track and kill suspected terrorists.
Until recently, one of the members of International Media’s board of directors was Gen. Dell L. Dailey, former head of Joint Special Operations Command (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/united_states_special_operations_command/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which oversees the military’s covert units.
In an e-mail message, General Dailey said that he had resigned his post on the company’s board, but he did not say when. He did not give details about the company’s work with the American military, and other company executives declined to comment.
In an interview, Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, the top military spokesman in Afghanistan, said that the United States military was currently employing nine International Media Ventures civilian employees on routine jobs in guard work and information processing and analysis. Whatever else other International Media employees might be doing in Afghanistan, he said, he did not know and had no responsibility for their actions.
By Mr. Pelton’s account, Mr. Furlong, in conversations with him and his colleagues, referred to his stable of contractors as “my Jason Bournes,” a reference to the fictional American assassin created by the novelist Robert Ludlum (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/robert_ludlum/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and played in movies by Matt Damon (http://movies.nytimes.com/person/16762/Matt-Damon?inline=nyt-per).
Military officials said that Mr. Furlong would occasionally brag to his superiors about having Mr. Clarridge’s services at his disposal. Last summer, Mr. Furlong told colleagues that he was working with Mr. Clarridge to secure the release of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, a kidnapped soldier who American officials believe is being held by militants in Pakistan.
From December 2008 to mid-June 2009, both Mr. Taylor and Mr. Clarridge were hired to assist The New York Times in the case of David Rohde, the Times reporter who was kidnapped by militants in Afghanistan and held for seven months in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The reporter ultimately escaped on his own.
The idea for the government information program was thought up sometime in 2008 by Mr. Jordan, a former CNN news chief, and his partner Mr. Pelton, whose books include “The World’s Most Dangerous Places” and “Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror.”
Top General Approached
They approached Gen. David D. McKiernan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/david_d_mckiernan/index.html?inline=nyt-per), soon to become the top American commander in Afghanistan. Their proposal was to set up a reporting and research network in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the American military and private clients who were trying to understand a complex region that had become vital to Western interests. They already had a similar operation in Iraq — called “Iraq Slogger,” which employed local Iraqis to report and write news stories for their Web site. Mr. Jordan proposed setting up a similar Web site in Afghanistan and Pakistan — except that the operation would be largely financed by the American military. The name of the Web site was Afpax (http://www.afpax.com/index.php/post/7758/Mehsud_Fighters_Prepare_for_Pak_Govt_Assault).
Mr. Jordan said that he had gone to the United States military because the business in Iraq was not profitable relying solely on private clients. He described his proposal as essentially a news gathering operation, involving only unclassified materials gathered openly by his employees. “It was all open-source,” he said.
When Mr. Jordan made the pitch to General McKiernan, Mr. Furlong was also present, according to Mr. Jordan. General McKiernan endorsed the proposal, and Mr. Furlong said that he could find financing for Afpax, both Mr. Jordan and Mr. Pelton said. “On that day, they told us to get to work,” Mr. Pelton said.
But Mr. Jordan said that the help from Mr. Furlong ended up being extremely limited. He said he was paid twice — once to help the company with start-up costs and another time for a report his group had written. Mr. Jordan declined to talk about exact figures, but said the amount of money was a “small fraction” of what he had proposed — and what it took to run his news gathering operation.
Whenever he asked for financing, Mr. Jordan said, Mr. Furlong told him that the money was being used for other things, and that the appetite for Mr. Jordan’s services was diminishing.
“He told us that there was less and less money for what we were doing, and less of an appreciation for what we were doing,” he said.
Admiral Smith, the military’s director for strategic communications in Afghanistan, said that when he arrived in Kabul a year later, in June 2009, he opposed financing Afpax. He said that he did not need what Mr. Pelton and Mr. Jordan were offering and that the service seemed uncomfortably close to crossing into intelligence gathering — which could have meant making targets of individuals.
“I took the air out of the balloon,” he said.
Admiral Smith said that the C.I.A. was against the proposal for the same reasons. Mr. Furlong persisted in pushing the project, he said.
“I finally had to tell him, ‘Read my lips,’ we’re not interested,’ ” Admiral Smith said.
What happened next is unclear.
Admiral Smith said that when he turned down the Afpax proposal, Mr. Furlong wanted to spend the leftover money elsewhere. That is when Mr. Furlong agreed to provide some of International Media Ventures’ employees to Admiral Smith’s strategic communications office.
But that still left roughly $15 million unaccounted for, he said.
“I have no idea where the rest of the money is going,” Admiral Smith said.
Dexter Filkins reported from Kabul, and Mark Mazzetti from Washington.


David Guyatt
03-15-2010, 10:20 AM
Why do I find it unlikely that this is the full extent of the story. Perhaps someone should be putting more effort into knowing exactly who in DoD was responsible for supervising this guy, because it sounds awfully like he is being hung out to twist in the wind to me.

Ed Jewett
04-09-2010, 06:23 AM
Blackwater Clone Embedded in FATA, Allegedly Fighting Opium Production (http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/blackwater-clone-embedded-in-fata-allegedly-fighting-opium-production/)

8 04 2010 DynCorp to stay on for anti-narcotics Ops in Pakistan: US (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201048%5Cstory_8-4-2010_pg7_2)

* Assistant secretary David Johnson appreciates Pakistani authorities’ measures to combat drug trafficking
By Irfan Ghauri
ISLAMABAD: DynCorp International will continue to provide maintenance facilities at the Interior Ministry’s Air Wing in Balochistan and does not plan to terminate its contract with the organisation, said David T Johnson, assistant secretary of the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that under an agreement, an anti-narcotics chopper surveillance squad was set up in Quetta in 2002 by the Interior Ministry with US assistance, which includes 14 Huey II helicopters and three Cessna Caravan aircraft. To a question, he disclosed that the Pakistan and US governments had agreed to carry out the maintenance of these helicopters for which Washington had engaged DynCorp.
Regarding Islamabad’s reservations over the presence of DynCorp officials, Johnson clarified that Washington was not considering changing them in the near future.
Drug trafficking: He appreciated the efforts of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies for taking effective measures against drug-trafficking and poppy cultivation, saying poppy still continues to be cultivated at a small scale in FATA due to the poor law and order situation there.
“There are some very small areas in Pakistan where poppy is still being cultivated, but these are relatively very small,” he added.
Johnson said the US is working on a $150-million programme against drug trafficking with the cooperation of Pakistan’s anti-narcotics forces.
He said over 93 percent of the poppy used around the world was being supplied from Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan’s share in the drug’s supply was very low.
On achieving a “poppy-free” status for Pakistan, Johnson said it depended on how soon the law enforcement agencies could regain control of the areas where an anti-terror operation was going on.
The US assistant secretary said political will could play an important role in achieving a “poppy-free” status for Pakistan. He agreed that money earned through drug trafficking was being used to fund terrorist activities, adding that there was a need to keep a check on this type of income.
Acknowledging the processing of cases against drug traffickers, he said the rate of conviction in drug cases in Pakistan is very high. He, however, emphasised the need for scientific methods and explanations to examine evidence in drug cases to punish those responsible.
Highlighting other features of Pak-US cooperation against narcotics, Johnson said it had resulted in completion of 200 outposts in the NWFP and FATA, benefiting the Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary and Levies Force. He said the US had also been providing assistance and cooperation to Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies to cope with drug trafficking.

Ed Jewett
04-09-2010, 06:24 AM
A Dangerous Reliance on Defense Contractors (http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/a-dangerous-reliance-on-defense-contractors/)

8 04 2010 A Dangerous Reliance on Defense Contractors (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/04/defense_contractors.html)

Has the Obama Administration Failed to Learn from Its Predecessor’s Mistakes?

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/04/img/blackwaterhelicopter_onpage.jpg Blackwater security contractors are seen inside a helicopter above central Baghdad, Iraq.

SOURCE: AP/Khalid Mohammed

By Sean Duggan (http://www.americanprogress.org/aboutus/staff/DugganSean.html)

The Bush administration spent the better part of a decade refusing to face up to the manpower implications of its open-ended commitment of forces—particularly in Iraq. And because they didn’t have the courage of their convictions to reinstitute the draft, they were forced to take three disastrous steps: active duty forces have been deployed and redeployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan without sufficient dwell time; the National Guard and Reserve have been transformed from a strategic to an operational reserve, alternating deployments with active forces; and private contractors have been tasked with filling in the gaps, often taking on missions traditionally reserved for uniformed forces.
The disastrous consequences of this final step—the widespread use of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan—are already widely known. Indeed, the incidents that were arguably the most detrimental to the U.S. mission in both countries involved contractors, from the torture at Abu Ghraib and Bagram Air Base to the indiscriminate shootings at Nisour Square in Baghdad in 2007.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration has not fully learned from its predecessor’s mistakes. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced late last month that the Pentagon will begin an internal investigation into the Defense Department’s broader efforts to fund information operations. The inquiry was prompted by a contract funded by the Defense Department that allegedly (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/world/asia/15contractors.html?pagewanted=print) set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan to help track and kill suspected militants.
Revelations of similar contracts under the Bush administration have not been uncommon (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/us/20intel.html), but these new allegations demonstrate the Obama administration’s disconcerting willingness (or acquiescence) to continue its predecessor’s reliance on private contractors to execute wartime operations traditionally carried out only by U.S. special forces, intelligence agencies, and the State Department. Equally troubling is the clear lack of oversight over the ballooning DOD-wide information operations budget despite numerous instances of flagrant contractor abuse in the recent past.
The scale of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan require the United States to employ contractors in logistical and on-base functions such as supply and equipment delivery or food preparation services. But the Obama administration must make a clean break from the Bush administration’s overreliance on private contractors to conduct security and intelligence missions in combat zones.
The New York Times broke (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/world/asia/15contractors.html?pagewanted=print) the story in mid-March that a senior civilian Defense Department employee, Michael Furlong, had inappropriately used $25 million “from the Pentagon’s program against roadside bombs to hire private contractors to gather information on suspected insurgents in Afghanistan—activities that Furlong says were authorized by top U.S. military commanders.” Furlong allegedly hired former Special Forces and intelligence personnel to undertake surveillance on potential targets in both countries—an act that is generally (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/world/asia/15contractors.html?pagewanted=print) considered illegal when carried out by civilian personnel.
Perhaps such instances of abuse were inevitable given the dramatic increase in funding for Department of Defense-wide information operations in the past several years, particularly within the Central Command area of operations. Funding for such operations in that theater (which includes Iraq and Afghanistan) increased (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/26/AR2009122601462.html) from $40 million in 2008 to $110 million in 2009 to a requested $244 million in 2010. And overall information operations throughout DOD in fiscal year 2010 amounted (http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/defense-secretary-robert-gates-orders-review-of-pentagon-information-operations/19412792) to over $528 million. Funds under this broad category have been used to finance news articles, billboards, radio and television programs, and even public opinion polls in several countries.
The high-level priority that the Pentagon’s civilian and military leaders have placed on such operations has created an atmosphere of virtually unconstrained funding in which abuses were bound to occur. In fact, when Congress pressed (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/26/AR2009122601462.html) the Pentagon to report the total amount budgeted for information operations—or strategic communications as they are frequently called—across all services and commands late last year, Secretary Gates “found that no one could say because there was no central coordination.” This realization prompted “multiple studies” in late 2009 that were aimed at getting a better understanding of individual services’ plans for strategic communications this year. It is unclear whether the Furlong program was discovered under one of these studies or through other avenues.
The current administration is wisely following Obama’s campaign commitment to redeploy out of Iraq, which will ease the enormous strain placed on the men and women of our armed forces over the last seven years. But this latest episode reveals that it has yet to fully reverse the dangerous U.S. dependence on private contractors.
Sean E. Duggan is a research associate at the Center for American Progress.

Ed Jewett
04-13-2010, 06:27 AM
DynCorp Owner Cashes Out Of Wartime Investment (http://blogs.forbes.com/streettalk/2010/04/12/dyncorp-owner-cashes-out-of-wartime-investment/)

April 12, 2010 - 3:23 pm

Nathan Vardi (http://blogs.forbes.com/streettalk/author/nvardi/)

Robert McKeon, chief of New York private equity firm Veritas Capital, is on the verge of exiting the most lucrative deal of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For all the talk about Blackwater and Houston oil industry firms connected to Dick Cheney, it took a Wall Street player to truly figure out how to play the war game.
DynCorp International, the Falls Church, Va., provider of services to the U.S. military, announced Monday that it has reached a $1.5 billion deal to be acquired by funds managed by Cerberus Capital Management. If the deal goes through, McKeon will have turned a $48 million personal investment in DynCorp into some $320 million for himself. McKeon’s performance has apparently inspired Stephen Feinberg, chief of Cerberus, to also venture into this sector.
DynCorp has been a defining transaction for McKeon, a Bronx-born son of a Drake's cakes deliveryman who once headed private equity at Wasserstein Perella & Co. But the DynCorp deal has not been without controversy. As I reported last year (http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0803/iraq-afghanistan-obama-wall-street-goes-to-war.html), the deal became the subject of a fierce confrontation between McKeon and his former partner and close friend, Thomas Campbell. The duo spent years together building Veritas, focusing on the defense sector with help from retired generals like Barry R. McCaffrey and Anthony C. Zinni. Now McKeon and Campbell are locked in litigation, accusing each other in dueling lawsuits of deceit and betrayal. Campbell has moved on to start DC Capital Partners, a private equity shop that recently scored (http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/20/ibm-deal-spy-business-ibm.html) its own big exit by selling a company to IBM....

More here:

http://blogs.forbes.com/streettalk/2010/04/12/dyncorp-owner-cashes-out-of-wartime-investment/ (http://blogs.forbes.com/streettalk/2010/04/12/dyncorp-owner-cashes-out-of-wartime-investment/)


Kendall Law Group Begins Investigation of DynCorp International Inc. for Shareholders



DALLAS, Apr 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Kendall Law Group is investigating DynCorp International Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!dcp/quotes/nls/dcp (DCP (http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/DCP) 17.41, +5.66, +48.17%) for shareholders concerning the proposed buyout of DynCorp by Cerberus Capital Management LP. The national securities litigation firm seeks to determine if a fair process was used in shopping the company prior to entering into the agreement and whether the Board of Directors of DynCorp breached their fiduciary duties by not seeking a deal that would provide better value of the company.....



Wolf Haldenstein Investigating DynCorp International, Inc. Board


NEW YORK, Apr 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Attorney Advertising. The law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP is investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duty by the Board of Directors of DynCorp International, Inc. ("DynCorp" or the "Company") /quotes/comstock/13*!dyn/quotes/nls/dyn (DYN (http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/DYN) 1.22, +0.02, +1.67%) arising out of the proposed acquisition of DynCorp by Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. ("Cerberus").
On Monday, April 12, 2010, DynCorp announced that Cerberus will acquire it pursuant to an all cash offer. Under the terms of the agreement, DynCorp stockholders will receive cash of $17.55 in exchange for each share of DynCorp common stock. Cerberus may be underpaying for DynCorp, thus unlawfully harming DynCorp shareholders....

More here:

Jan Klimkowski
04-13-2010, 04:59 PM
Cerberus Capital Management, eh?

CCM is involved in all sorts of nefarious activity - from Madoff to gutting car firms and their "finance" arms, eg Chrysler and GM.

However, as if to prove that being a Dark Lord and self-styled Master Of The Universe requires connections rather than a brain, Dan Quayle "runs" one of CCM's "international arms".

Ed Jewett
04-22-2010, 07:11 AM
Training Special Ops to Handle Civilian Contrators In “Persistent Conflict” (http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/training-special-ops-to-handle-civilian-contrators-in-persistent-conflict/)

21 04 2010 Operational contracting support adds capabilities for (http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/04/20/37641-operational-contracting-support-adds-capabilities-for-special-ops-soldiers/)

special ops Soldiers (http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/04/20/37641-operational-contracting-support-adds-capabilities-for-special-ops-soldiers/)

By Sgt. Tony Hawkins, USASOC PAO (http://search.ahp.us.army.mil/search/articles/index.php?search=Sgt+Tony+Hawkins+USASOC+PAO)

http://www.army.mil/-images/2010/04/20/70488/size0-army.mil-70488-2010-04-21-070413.jpg Photo credit Sgt. Tony Hawkins (http://search.ahp.us.army.mil/search/articles/index.php?search=Sgt+Tony+Hawkins) Lt. Col. Dennis McGowan, commander, 905th Contingency Contracting Battalion, speaks to U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldiers in the Operational Contracting Support Course at Fort Bragg, N.C. The training was sponsored by the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service) — More than 50 U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldiers finished up a new two-week contracting support course designed to enlighten them on procedures for establishing and managing contracts in a deployed environment.
The Operational Contracting Support Course, normally designed to train brigade staff officers in contracting support planning and management, was taught to psychological operations, civil affairs and special forces Soldiers in two classes over a two-week period.
Retired Lt. Col. Robert Gould, a former contracting officer and the instructor of the course, came from the Army Logistics University at Fort Lee, Va., at the request of the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) to present the information to the USASOC Soldiers.
“This course is not for contracting officers, but instead for the brigade-level staff officers of operational units, or any other individuals who may handle contracts,” Gould said. “Of course, we had to tailor it somewhat to the USASOC audience, to gear it for smaller four or five-man teams.”
Many of the students in the course, which was the first of its kind taught to USASOC Soldiers, were part of military information support teams. These teams, which usually consist of four Soldiers or less, deploy independently to foreign nations and work alongside the U.S. State Department in embassies around the world.
“These Soldiers are taught how to integrate contracting into their military decision-making process,” he said. “So at the end of the day, the need for contracting isn’t a surprise and will be an integrated effort which was planned for, not a last minute idea.”
Gould said the course is gaining momentum. So far he has instructed nine classes graduating around 150 people from the course. Week one consists of classroom instruction, and during week two, students participate in a hands-on practical training exercise.
“This course was created in response to the Gansler Commission back in 2007,” Gould said. “Once these Soldiers graduate, they are capable of doing everything from writing a statement of work and filling out funding documents, to managing contracts and contracting officer representatives.”
Once these Soldiers graduate the course and head overseas, they should not feel alone when it comes to contracting support, said Lt. Col. Dennis McGowan, the commander of the 905th Contingency Contracting Battalion.
Contingency contracting teams of the 905th are aligned to USASOC for the purpose of providing operational contracting support and training. The unit is increasing in capability and has been gaining visibility throughout USASOC since it stood up in October 2009.
The 905th is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command.
“Every single day we’re answering the phone with an issue here or there,” McGowan said. “The Army makes contracted support available to units, but we’ve never taught them the specifics of how to use it.”
That’s where the importance of OCSC comes in.
“This would be good training for any USASOC Soldier directly involved in contracts, whether they’re Special Forces, Civil Affairs or PSYOP,” he said. “Much of the time the end result of civil affairs and PSYOP missions is brought to bear through contracting. For example, television or radio airtime, or hard copy products for the PSYOP guys, or some sort of construction project for civil affairs.”
“Our Soldiers and teams often deploy to austere environments where the support structure is extremely limited, and contracting is a vital means in assisting with our development and distribution of PSYOP products to support the mission,” said Col. Carl Phillips, the 4th Psychological Operations Group commander.
With such new information being presented to the Soldiers, who often rely on specific U.S. embassy procedures to establish contracts, there were bound to be questions.
“The biggest question I get is, ‘How do I get contracting support?” McGowan said.
His advice was to try and solve the problem locally first, as nothing happens in a country without the U.S. ambassador’s approval. However, he assured all of the students he is just a phone call or an email away.
“The 905th is USASOC’s operational contracting support provider and advocate,” he said. “We may not always be the ones to provide your support, but we will find the right contracting office to support you. We will make sure USASOC receives the operation contracting support they need.”
As McGowan and Gould begin to receive positive feedback from the students and others within the PSYOP community, there is interest in incorporating some of the contracting support training into the psychological operations advanced individual training at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
“The lessons in this course are incredibly valuable and given the nature of our mission, should at least be introduced in the pipeline,” said Capt. Sherri Fazzio, a tactical PSYOP team leader from 9th Psychological Operating Battalion and one of the students in the course.
With word spreading about the importance of the course, McGowan said it is likely OCSC will become an annual or even bi-annual training opportunity for USASOC Soldiers.

Jan Klimkowski
04-22-2010, 05:26 PM
Hmm - seems the course was heavy on psyops and sub-contracting dirty work, and light on ethics and morality. :deal:

Ed Jewett
04-30-2010, 05:04 PM
Just arrived to occupy space on my bookshelf
until I get one of those round tuits:

"Standard Operating Procedure"

"author and journalist Gourevitch and documentary filmmaker Morris have compiled the complete story of Abu Ghraib"



"Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing"

Tim Shorrock's book on the use of proivate contractors in the US intelligence businesss


Be patient, or inquire.

Ed Jewett
05-03-2010, 06:14 PM
DynCorp Running “Counter-Narcotics” Missions Along Pakistan/Afghanistan Border (http://cryptogon.com/?p=15149)

May 3rd, 2010 Counter-Narcotics. *wink*
Via: Wired (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/04/state-department-flies-mercenary-air-force-over-pakistan/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WiredDangerRoom+%28Blog+-+Danger+Room%29):
The airspace along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border is pretty crowded these days: Along with U.S., Afghan and Pakistani military missions, the CIA is running its own covert drone ops. Less well known, but perhaps equally controversial, is the State Department’s counter-narcotics air force, staffed by mercenaries.
A recently released State Department Inspector General report, however, gave an unusually detailed look at the size and scope of these operations. The report fills in more details about America’s growing and undeclared war in Pakistan.
The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (known by the abbreviation INL) operates an air wing of around 14 aircraft in Afghanistan and another 17 in Pakistan. The aircraft help monitor the border, fly crop-eradication and interdiction missions, and move equipment and personnel around the region.
These kinds of missions aren’t new: The State Department has similar Air Wing programs in Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru. Perhaps more importantly, the State Department has outsourced much of this mission. The INL’s air wing in Afghanistan and Pakistan is operated by private military company DynCorp, and the presence of U.S. contractors in Pakistan has proven extremely controversial (the released IG report, not surprisingly, was originally marked “sensitive but unclassified”).

Magda Hassan
05-04-2010, 01:54 AM
Well, that's a change from running a prostitution and slave trafficking mission in Eastern Europe. But knowing Dynacorp I am yet to be convinced it is COUNTER-narcotic.

Ed Jewett
05-18-2010, 07:29 PM
Torture (http://pubrecord.org/torture/)

APA Scrubs Web Pages Linking Organization to CIA Torture Workshops

By Jeffrey Kaye (http://pubrecord.org/author/valtin/)
The Public Record
May 17th, 2010

http://pubrecord.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/APA-1.jpg (http://pubrecord.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/APA-1.jpg)Like a modern-day Ministry of Truth, the American Psychological Association (APA) has scrubbed the webpage describing “deception scenarios” workshops that were part of a conference it conducted with the CIA and Rand Corporation on July 17-18, 2003. In addition, the APA erased the link to the page, and even all mention of its existence, from another story at its July 2003 Science Policy Insider News website that briefly described the conference.
In May 2007, in an article (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/5/27/145514/697) at Daily Kos, I noted that the workshops were describing “new ways to utilize drugs and sensory bombardment techniques to break down interrogatees.” Quoting from the APA’s description (http://web.archive.org/web/20030802090354/http://www.apa.org/ppo/issues/deceptscenarios.html) (and note, the link is to an archived version of the webpage; emphasis is added):

How do we find out if the informant has knowledge of which s/he is not aware?
How important are differential power and status between witness and officer?
What pharmacological agents are known to affect apparent truth-telling behavior?….
What are sensory overloads on the maintenance of deceptive behaviors? How might we overload the system or overwhelm the senses and see how it affects deceptive behaviors?

In August 2007, in a landmark article at Vanity Fair (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/07/torture200707), journalist Katherine Eban revealed that SERE psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were participants at the APA/CIA/Rand affair. Mitchell and Jessen have since been linked with the implementation of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” in 2001-2002.
Just last November, in an article at Firedoglake, I recalled the issue of the 2003 conference and asked Who Will Investigate CIA/RAND/APA Torture “Workshop”? (http://firedoglake.com/2009/11/19/who-will-investigate-ciarandapa-torture-workshop/) I wrote at that time:
The APA and CIA have a very long history of working together on interrogation techniques, in particular on sensory deprivation (http://valtinsblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/heart-of-darkness-sensory-deprivation.html) and use of drugs like LSD and mescaline in interrogations, and other methods of breaking down the mind and the body of prisoners (http://www.democracynow.org/2006/2/17/professor_mccoy_exposes_the_history_of).
Use of drugs to influence interrogations, in addition to sensory deprivation, distortion and overload or bombardment were signal techniques in a decades-long interrogation research program (http://valtinsblog.blogspot.com/2007/03/frankensteins-children-modern-tortures.html) that came to be known by its most famous moniker, MKULTRA (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=MK-ULTRA) (although these torture techniques were studied and tested by the CIA even earlier, in its 1950s projects Bluebird and Artichoke). Such techniques were codified by the early 1960s in a CIA Counterinsurgency Interrogation Manual, also known by its codename, KUBARK (http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB122/).

The story on the APA/CIA/Rand workshop received a good deal of dissemination on the Internet, and one can imagine that the description of the abusive techniques explored there were an embarrassment to the honchos of the APA, who strive to maintain an organizational aura of liberalism and scientific respectability, while at the same time selling its wares to the Defense Department and intelligence agencies in promoting the “war on terror” and “homeland security.”
The URL for the former webpage — www.apa.org/ppo/issues/deceptscenarios.html (http://www.apa.org/ppo/issues/deceptscenarios.html) — now brings up a message that “the page is not available.” A search of the APA site and a Google search does not retrieve a link to the original page, which can now be accessed (http://web.archive.org/web/20030802090354/http://www.apa.org/ppo/issues/deceptscenarios.html), thankfully, only through a web archive search engine.
The same is true for the webpage for the APA’s July 2003 “Spin” newsletter, which has a story entitled “APA Works with CIA and RAND to Hold Science of Deception Workshop”. Listed at the end of the story is a link telling readers to “View the thematic scenarios from the workshop.” (See archived version (http://web.archive.org/web/20051127200936/http://www.apa.org/ppo/spin/703.html).) The old URL — www.apa.org/ppo/spin/703.html– (http://www.apa.org/ppo/spin/703.html%E2%80%93) brings up another “page not available” message. However, the bulk of the webpage now resides at a new address — www.apa.org/about/gr/science/spin/2003/07/also-issue.aspx (http://www.apa.org/about/gr/science/spin/2003/07/also-issue.aspx) — with the former link now missing from the story.
While the scrubbing of the page describing truth drugs and sensory overload could be attributed to some normal archiving decision, or the victim of a web do-over (and APA does appear to have redesigned their site), the excision of the text and link to the site on the referring page cannot be an accident.
What is APA up to?
Recently, APA has made some noises about finally respecting the decision of its membership in a September 2008 referendum that decisively repudiated (http://psychoanalystsopposewar.org/blog/2008/09/17/apa-members-change-associations-interrogations-policy/) “the APA leadership’s long-standing policy encouraging psychologist participation in interrogations and other activities in military and CIA detention facilities that have repeatedly been found to violate international law and the Constitution.” The referendum voted to prohibit psychologist participation in settings where human rights violations take place. This policy took dead aim against use of psychologists in the Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (or BSCTs) used at Guantanamo and elsewhere.
To date, however, the referendum has had no effect, although the Public Interest Task Force for the APA recently has told APA members involved in passage of the referendum that it is gathering information on offending sites in order to implement the new policy, over a year and a half since the vote on the referendum took place. I will hope, though I have little trust, that APA will take the necessary steps.
But APA has a history of bad faith on such issues. Recently, they rewrote a problematic section of their ethical code, dubbed the Nuremberg loophole by some, which allowed psychologists to violate their ethical rules if done to comply with “law, regulations, or other governing legal authority.” As Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) described (http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/news-2010-03-03.html) it, “The new language restores the 1992 version of the code, which prohibits use of the standard ‘to justify or defend violating human rights.’”
But PHR also noted:
Section 1.02 was inserted into the APA ethics code in August 2002, and was used by both the APA and the Bush Administration to allow the participation of psychologists in the “enhanced interrogation” program, in which detainees were systematically abused and tortured under the supervision of health professionals. PHR is calling for the APA to also reform section 8.05 of the 2002 ethics code (http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx#), which allows research on human subjects without their consent if such research comports with law or regulations.

Section 8.05 allows psychologists to dispense with the use of informed consent in research experiments where “permitted by law or federal or institutional regulations.” The use of informed consent guarantees the voluntary participation of human subjects in research done upon them, and is considered a bedrock of ethical research.
The gyrations of the APA remind one of the razzle-dazzle misdirection of the Obama administration, which trumpets “transparency,” but recently told the Supreme Court to turn down Maher Arar’s appeal (http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/05/u-s-opposes-rendition-review/) of his rendition-torture lawsuit. In addition, President Obama’s own secret black site prisons have now been revealed (http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/46757), over a year since Obama made a big deal out of closing down the CIA black sites. When it comes to hiding the crime of torture, the U.S. government and its contracting agencies have made a fetish out of secrecy, and the promise of an end to torture after the hideous Bush/Cheney years is revealed to be a chimera.
This report was originally published at Firedoglake. (http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/48108)
Jeffrey Kaye is a psychologist living in Northern California who writes regularly on torture and other subjects for The Public Record, (http://www.pubrecord.org/) Truthout (http://www.truthout.org/) and Firedoglake (http://www.firedoglake.com/). He also maintains a personal blog, Invictus (http://www.valtinsblog.blogspot.com/). His email address is sfpsych at gmail dot com


Ed Jewett
06-11-2010, 08:07 PM
Mergers & Acquisitions (http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/category/main-topics/mergers-acquisitions/)

Cerberus to Buy DynCorp for $1.5 Billion

April 12, 2010, 9:54 am http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/dealbook/icon_handshake75x75.jpg
DynCorp International (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/dyncorp-international-inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the private military contractor, said (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100412006033/en/DynCorp-International-Acquired-Cerberus-Capital-Management-L.P.) on Monday it has agreed to sell itself to Cerberus Capital Management (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/cerberus_capital_management/index.html?inline=nyt-org) for $1.5 billion, as the private equity industry continues to return to its core business of deal-making.
Cerberus will pay $17.55 a share for DynCorp, a 49 percent premium to Friday’s closing price of $11.75. DynCorp now has 28 days under a “go-shop” provision within the deal agreement to find a higher and better offer.
While DynCorp has continued to win (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/correcting-and-replacing-dyncorp-international-wins-new-readiness-support-task-order-at-fort-bliss-texas-2010-04-08?reflink=MW_news_stmp) new contracts from the federal government, it has also been the subject of controversy over the years for its assignments in Iraq.
“I believe that under this partnership with Cerberus, DynCorp International will be able to build on our extensive heritage and successful performance to continue to achieve our growth objectives,” William L. Ballhaus, DynCorp’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Importantly, this transaction is a major milestone for DynCorp International’s continued leadership in serving our customers and supporting U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.”
Cerberus is no stranger to companies with ties to the military: it owns Freedom Group, one of the biggest assemblages of gun manufacturers. Freedom is in the process (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1471597/000104746910002644/a2195644zs-1a.htm) of going public.
As part of the transaction, Veritas Capital, DynCorp’s biggest shareholder and its onetime financial sponsor, has agreed to vote its 34.9 percent stake in favor of the Cerberus deal.
As the credit markets have roared back to life, banks have resumed making loans to finance private equity firms, bringing back a fee-laden business (albeit one that hurt them during the financial crisis). Cerberus has received financing commitments from Bank of America (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/bank_of_america_corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org) Merrill Lynch (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/merrill_lynch_and_company/index.html?inline=nyt-org), Citigroup (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/citigroup_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), Barclays (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/barclays_plc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), and Deutsche Bank (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/deutsche_bank_ag/index.html?inline=nyt-org).
DynCorp was advised by Goldman Sachs (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/goldman_sachs_group_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel, while its board was advised by the law firm Richards, Layton & Finger.
Cerberus was advised by Evercore Partners (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/evercore-partners-inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org), the aforementioned lenders and the law firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Jenner & Block.
Go to DynCorp Press Release via Business Wire » (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100412006033/en/DynCorp-International-Acquired-Cerberus-Capital-Management-L.P.)

Ed Jewett
06-11-2010, 10:21 PM
Intel Nominee James R. Clapper Helped Enrich Contractors as ’Spy for Hire’

11th June 2010

By Muriel Kane
Raw Story | June 10, 2010
http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/ss75653012.jpg (http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/ss75653012.jpg)The chickens-for-checkups candidate may have lost in this week’s Nevada primary, but now the country has a potential Director of National Intelligence whose ability to garner federal money for private contractors once caused him to be compared to Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders.
When retired Air Force Lieut. General James R. Clapper was between federal jobs in 2006, he was appointed to the board of directors of a company that had received a $500 million contract from the agency he’d previously headed. The vice president of the firm boasted at the time to journalist Tim Shorrock, “It’s like hiring Colonel Sanders if you’re selling fried chicken.”
Clapper’s nomination to serve as the Obama administration’s next DNI has focused the spotlight on a man who is praised by his supporters for his many years of intelligence experience but who is equally well known for being part of a “revolving door” system in which he has shuttled between government service and working for private intelligence contractors who depend on government contracts.
Clapper has for many years been a solid although relatively undistinguished member of the old boys’ network of intelligence professionals. Since 2007, he has held the post of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, a position to which he was appointed as part of a shake-up which followed Donald Rumsfeld’s departure as Defense Secretary on December 18, 2006 after the Democrats had taken back control of Congress.
But Clapper has also spent many years deeply embedded in a system where former top military officers alternate between federal jobs, in which they are responsible for handing out lucrative contracts to private contractors, and lobbying on behalf of the same private contractors to obtain those federal contracts.
According to Tim Shorrock’s Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, the 2007 shakeup that brought Clapper back into the Pentagon put an end to “the corrosive rivalry between the Pentagon and the CIA” but “for the contractors, however, nothing changed.”
“Gates and Clapper continued to fund the expensive programs in netcentric warfare and information technology started by their predecessors,” Shorrock explains. “One sign of the continuity was the Pentagon’s record spending on secret research and development.”
Prior to his retirement from the Air Force in 1995, Clapper had been in the military for over 32 years, concluding his career with four years as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He then spent the next six years holding executive positions in three successive companies where, according to SourceWatch, “his focus was on the intelligence community as a client.”
In August 2001, Clapper was appointed as director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, later renamed the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). It was while holding that position that he made the claim — for which he is now being mocked — that satellite imagery had “led him to believe that illicit weapons material ‘unquestionably’ had been moved out of Iraq.”
Clapper clashed with Rumsfeld, however, by telling him the NGA could function just as well under the Director of National Intelligence as under the Pentagon, and according to Shorrock that was why he was let go in June 2006. Clapper then spent several months working for yet another military contractor, DeticaDFI, before being appointed Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in April 2007, following Rumsfeld’s resignation.
The potential for conflicts of interest resulting from this alternation between public and private service has earned Clapper the attention of the National Corruption Index (NCI), which describes itself as dedicated to revealing the “substructure of ingrained conflicts of interest, subtly understood quid pro quos and malfeasance/dereliction at the nation’s most vital command posts.”
Clapper’s profile at the NCI website notes that just five months after he left DeticaDFI in 2007, “DeticaDFI was one of 11 contractors chosen by Clapper’s office to share in a five-year contract worth $250 million.”
In addition, according to NCI, as head of the NGA, “Clapper oversaw a program giving a single private contractor $500 million to design, build and launch a next-generation spy satellite. In 2006, he joined the winning company’s board of directors.”
According to Shorrock, that firm was GeoEye, the company whose vice president, Mark E. Brender, said of his decision to bring Clapper on board, “It’s like hiring Colonel Sanders if you’re selling fried chicken.”
The three firms in Virginia that Clapper had worked for between 1995 and 2001 also enjoyed profitable dealings with the federal government during his tenure. In the late 90s, the end of the Cold War was prompting defense contractors to move their corporate headquarters to the Washington, DC suburbs and engage in active lobbying efforts, and all three of Clapper’s employers appear to have been particularly successful at that game.
The first, the Vredenburg IT group, became the beneficiary of an executive order signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995 to accelerate the declassification of National Security Agency documents.
The second, Booz Allen Hamilton, has employed so many former intelligence officers that it is sometimes described as “the shadow intelligence community.” Admiral Mike McConnell, who headed the National Security Agency while Clapper was running the DIA in the early 90s, joined Booz Allen at about the same time as Clapper did, in 1996. Booz Allen won its first multi-million dollar contract on the Total Information Awareness project the following year.
Clapper’s longest stint was with the firm of SRA International, which he joined in 1998. In 1999, SRA was awarded an estimated $22 million task order by the General Service Administration “to provide systems integration services to the Army’s Force Management Support Agency.”
At the same time that he was with SRA, Clapper became president of the Security Affairs Support Association (SASA), the trade group for intelligence contractors, which has since renamed itself the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). “Reading through the lists of speakers at past SASA events is a voyage through the revolving door,” Shorrock notes.
In 2006, in addition to his positions with DeticaDFI and on the board of GeoEye, Clapper held a professorship in the practice of intelligence at Georgetown University, funded by INSA.
When Clapper returned to the Pentagon in 2007, however, he was praised as a consummate intelligence professional. National Journal correspondent Shane Harris, for example, described the shake-up which had begun with Rumsfeld’s resignation as “the return of the grown-up.” Harris saw the turnover as something approaching a coup d’etat by the professional spymasters against Rumsfeld and the Neocons, under whose leadership the Pentagon had waged an ongoing war against the CIA.
“After two years of turnover and uncertainty in the top ranks of the U.S. intelligence establishment,” Harris wrote, “which saw such outsiders as a former congressman and a career ambassador elevated to high posts, four of their own are now in control or soon will be.”
The four high-level intelligence professionals to whom Harris referred were former CIA Director Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, former National Security Agency director Mike McConnell as Director of National Intelligence, another former NSA director, Michael Hayden, as head of the CIA, and James Clapper, who became both an undersecretary in the Defense Department and McConnell’s chief adviser on military intelligence.
Harris described all four men as “professionally close” to one another and noted that “while McConnell was leading the NSA in the early 1990s, Clapper was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Gates was head of the CIA. … Also, when McConnell was the military official in charge of intelligence for Operation Desert Storm, Clapper was the assistant chief of staff for Air Force intelligence and played a leading role in coordinating the air war.”
Michael Hayden and Mike McConnell both left the government after the election of Barack Obama, with McConnell returning to his former job at Booz Allen Hamilton. It was the new administration’s decision, however, that in order to provide continuity, “Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be staying on in the top Pentagon job, for at least the first year of the Obama administration.”
A year and a half later, however, Gates shows no signs of leaving, while Clapper — described by Shorrock as Gates’ partner in bestowing “record spending on secret research and development” upon private contractors — is in line for a far more prominent and powerful position as DNI.


Austin Kelley
06-12-2010, 11:41 AM
Private Contractors and Covert Wars in Latin America

June 12, 2010

By Cyril Mychalejko
Source: Upside Down World

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) threatened to issue subpoenas against the U.S. Defense and State Departments last month if they continue to refuse to accurately account for billions of dollars spent on private contractors assisting Washington in the 'war on drugs' in Latin America. But McCaskill's concerns raise broader questions about oversight and transparency of a controversial industry and its ever expanding role in Washington's foreign policy.

"We asked for this information from the State Department and the Defense Department (DoD) more than three months ago. Despite our repeated requests, neither Department has been able to answer our questions yet," said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill at a Senate hearing on May 20.

The Defense Department, which could only provide an estimate of how much of $5.3 billion it spent on counternarcotics operations in the last decade, actually outsourced what turned out to be an incomplete audit to a private contractor.

Contractors such as DynCorp and Northrop Grumman working in South and Central America are paid to spray drug crops, work with foreign militaries and police, offer intelligence and operational support, and conduct public relations assignments.

McCaskill, who said "there is almost no transparency," added that she "will not hesitate to use subpoenas."

Meanwhile, the United Nations is pushing for a new international convention to regulate Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC's).

"This industry, which deals with heavy weaponry in conflict zones is less regulated than the toy industry," said José Luis Gómez del Prado, chair of the UN's Working Group on the use of mercenaries, in April.

The Working Group, worried about the "increased privatization of war and security," urged Washington last August to allow more public oversight with its use of PSMC's, especially those contracted by U.S. intelligence agencies.

One requirement included in the proposed legal framework for PMSC's would be the termination of immunity agreements covering private security personnel. This would affect Washington's controversial new base agreement with Colombia which grants diplomatic immunity to US military personnel and private defense contractors.

William F. Wechsler, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, used his testimony at the Senate to connect the 'war on drugs' with the 'war on terrorism.'

"Terrorists associated with Islamic Radical Groups (IRGs), as well as narcoterrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), operate sophisticated networks designed to move not only weapons, drugs, and other materials, but people as well. A wealth of intelligence reporting has linked many IRG members to both drug trafficking and alien smuggling. The DoD, through extensively coordinated projects with Federal law enforcement agencies, has developed collaborative and effective methods for detecting, and monitoring, the movement of illegal drugs," said Wechsler. "Such trafficking, in which terrorists with transnational reach commonly engage, is a present and growing danger to the security of the United States, our forces abroad, and our allies."

This should cause particular concern in the region given President Obama's expansion of covert special forces operations in the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Furthermore, contractors that are working in intelligence gathering could be shielded from public or Congressional oversight due to potentially classified designations to their operations.

Unfortunately, McCaskill's tough stance with the Defense and State Departments is more a matter of fiscal concern rather than operational mission. She believes that private contractors' "efforts are crucial to the success of the United States' mission in Latin America."

There needs to be both national and global efforts to legally reign in an industry which was recently exposed for teaching torture to Mexican Police just a day after the 'war on drugs' was officially expanded in Mexico through the Merida Initiative, a joint security agreement between the U.S. and Mexico.

To think that the toy industry is more heavily regulated is no laughing matter.

Cyril Mychalejko is an editor at www.UpsideDownWorld.org.

From: Z Net - The Spirit Of Resistance Lives
URL: http://www.zcommunications.org/private-contractors-and-covert-wars-in-latin-america-by-cyril-mychalejko

Ed Jewett
06-13-2010, 03:10 AM
Thank you, Austin. I was just about to post that when I discovered you already had.

But I have the right graphic...


"...Mr. Toy Safety: With 26 years at Hasbro and 4 years with Marx toys, I have worked with such figure lines such as GI Joe, Transformers, Star Warshttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/2_bing.gif (http://www.figures.com/databases/action.cgi?%0Asetup_file=fignews2.setup&category=actionfigures&topic=106&show_article=133#) and others. Most of these lines were targeted for the mass market but there were also collector lines for the real enthusiasts. I remember several conversations with a GI Joe fan when I first joined Hasbro about the quality of decoration on some of the figures. This provided a clear understanding of what the enthusiasts expect both from the mass market figures, as well as the greater detail and complexity from collector lines.The primary focus of any QA organization working with toys is to ensure they are safe... whether it is a concern over the safety of missile firing weapons on GI Joe or the potential for pinching the child's fingers when articulating the arms and legs. This requires rigorous evaluation of even the apparently simplest product. As you know, the toy industry is heavily regulated with quality expectations and the range of safety requirements becoming more complex every day....."


On the road today on the way to attend the christening of my second grand-child, listening to the news on a popular local AM business-oriented station, I was treated to a story about the local PC outrage and principal's job-threatening comments when a high school teacher silently and unobtrusively held up a sign "End War" while graduating seniors were applauded for having joined the military. As is so often the case, the next story provided great social commentary by accidental juxtaposition when the female newscaster went on to express subliminal disdain in reporting the story about a couple who left their child in a car while they went in to the casino to gamble and were arrested by local police for "reckless endangerment of a child."

Magda Hassan
06-13-2010, 04:45 AM
They wouldn't even notice the irony Ed. Sad indeed.

Ed Jewett
06-14-2010, 07:20 AM
‘Shocking’ Criminal Investigation: Air Force Says L-3 Spied on Military Communications Network

13th June 2010
http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/cyber_attack1.jpg (http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/cyber_attack1.jpg)
“ … Illegal monitoring of traffic in the military communications network is almost unheard of, except in the case of foreign spies. It suggests a complete breakdown of ethical standards at L-3. … There was ‘adequate evidence’ that L-3 ‘committed theft.’ … “

Andrea Shalal-Esa | Jun 10, 2010

(Reuters) – A unit of defense contractor L-3 Communications Holdings (LLL.N) that has been suspended from receiving new federal contracts has admitted to monitoring emails to assist its commercial interests, according to a U.S. Air Force memo obtained by Reuters on Thursday. The Air Force memo said the company’s actions were inappropriate, adding “there is an ongoing federal criminal investigation” into the actions of the L-3 unit. “L-3 is cooperating fully with the government and has no other comment at this time,” the company said in a statement.

New York-based L-3 disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it received notice from the Air Force that its Special Support Programs Division, formerly known as L-3 Joint Operations Group (JOG), has been temporarily suspended from receiving new orders or contracts from U.S. agencies amid a probe of alleged improper use of email.

The June 3 memo from the Office of the Deputy General Counsel of the Air Force said the U.S. Special Operations Command used a third-party vendor to audit email applications used at the command that were managed by L-3 JOG. The audit showed the L-3 unit “purposefully and intentionally” monitored emails of employees of L-3, workers with other contractors and U.S. government employees, it said.

The L-3 unit arranged to have specific emails copied to and kept on an L-3 monitored database, then released and sent to recipients in such a manner that neither the government, nor those whose emails were monitored, would know communications had been copied, according to the memo. “L-3 JOG says it used the SOCOM network willfully and deliberately in an attempt to discover whether its employees had shared its information with another contractor,” it said.


http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/l3logo1.gif (http://www.antifascistencyclopedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/l3logo1.gif)The memo raised eyebrows in Congress and industry circles.

“This is a shocking abuse of contractor discretion,” said Lexington Institute analyst Loren Thompson. “Illegal monitoring of traffic in the military communications network is almost unheard of, except in the case of foreign spies. It suggests a complete breakdown of ethical standards at L-3.” The memo also said L-3 obtained information tied to a competition for follow-on contract work and collected material that involved a bid protest to which the company was a party. T

he Air Force memo did not identify the protest, but L-3 in March 2009 filed a protest with the Government Accountability office against a nine-year, $5-billion logistics deal awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) by Special Operations Command. GAO, the congressional agency that rules on contract protests, said it dismissed the matter a month later after the command said it would reevaluate the submitted proposals. The new competition is still under way, and L-3’s contract continues through the first quarter of 2011. Lockheed declined comment.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on matters under government investigation,” said spokeswoman Nettie Johnson.

The Air Force memo said there was “adequate evidence” to establish that L-3 committed “criminal offenses in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain or performing a public contract or subcontract” and added there was “adequate evidence” that L-3 “committed theft.”

An Air Force letter to L-3 informing it of the suspension said the defense contractor could submit information opposing that move within 30 days after receipt of the notice. A copy of the letter was also obtained by Reuters.

L-3, a provider of explosive detection devices and aviation products that had 2009 sales of $15.6 billion, said in its Wednesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it was providing information to the Air Force. It said it could not assess the outcome or impact of the proceedings, and noted the Air Force was also considering whether to suspend L-3 Communications Integrated Systems LP, the parent of the special support programs division.

JP Morgan analyst Joseph Nadol forecast minimal impact on L-3’s near-term revenue, but said its ability to bid for the recompeted contract was a bigger issue.

“We continue to see the loss of the JOG contract as the largest risk … and L-3 may not be able to bid on the contract recompete as a result of the hold,” he said in an analyst note. He added an expansion of the investigation to the parent would clearly be “an important negative development.”

Jefferies & Co analyst Howard Rubel said the issue underscored the need for improved cybersecurity. The L-3 JOG contract is expected to generate about $450 million in revenue annually, contributing about 2 percent, or 15 cents, to per-share earnings, he wrote in a research note. Shares of L-3 Communications closed nearly 1 percent higher at $79.88 on Thursday, underperforming the broader market which was up about 2.5 percent.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Additional reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Sofina Mirza-Reid)


Also see: Air Force Suspends L-3 Communications Holdings (LLL) (http://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/analyst-color/10/06/326201/air-force-suspends-l-3-communications-holdings-lll) Benzinga


Domestic Spying, Inc.
by Tim Shorrock , Special to CorpWatch
November 27th, 2007

http://www.corpwatch.org/img/pic/11-21-Homeland-Insecutiry.jpg (http://www.corpwatch.org/img/original/11-21-Homeland-Insecutiry.jpg)Cartoon by Khalil Bendib A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world's most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.

The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/l_3_communications) and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.

The NAO was created under a plan tentatively approved in May 2007 by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell. Specifically, the NAO will oversee how classified information collected by the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other key agencies is used within the U.S. during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other events affecting national security. The most critical intelligence will be supplied by the NSA and the NGA, which are often referred to by U.S. officials as the “eyes” and “ears” of the intelligence community.

The NSA, through a global network of listening posts, surveillance planes, and satellites, captures signals from phone calls, e-mail and Internet traffic, and translates and analyzes them for U.S. military and national intelligence officials.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which was formally inaugurated in 2003, provides overhead imagery and mapping tools that allow intelligence and military analysts to monitor events from the skies and space. The NSA and the NGA have a close relationship with the super-secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which builds and maintains the U.S. fleet of spy satellites and operates the ground stations where the NSA’s signals and the NGA’s imagery are processed and analyzed. By law, their collection efforts are supposed to be confined to foreign countries and battlefields.

The National Applications Office was conceived in 2005 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which Congress created in 2004 to oversee the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. The ODNI, concerned that the legal framework for U.S. intelligence operations had not been updated for the global “war on terror,” turned to Booz Allen (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/booz_allen) Hamilton of McLean, Virginia -- one of the largest contractors in the spy business. The company was tasked with studying how intelligence from spy satellites and photoreconnaissance planes could be better used domestically to track potential threats to security within the U.S.. The Booz Allen (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/booz_allen) study was completed in May of that year, and has since become the basis for the NAO oversight plan. In May 2007, McConnell, the former executive vice president of Booz Allen, signed off on the creation of the NAO as the principal body to oversee the merging of foreign and domestic intelligence collection operations.

The NAO is "an idea whose time has arrived," Charles Allen, a top U.S. intelligence official, told the Wall Street Journal in August 2007 after it broke the news of the creation of the NAO. Allen, the DHS's chief intelligence officer, will head the new program. The announcement came just days after President George W. Bush signed a new law approved by Congress to expand the ability of the NSA to eavesdrop, without warrants, on telephone calls, e-mail and faxes passing through telecommunications hubs in the U.S. when the government suspects agents of a foreign power may be involved. "These systems are already used to help us respond to crises," Allen later told the Washington Post. "We anticipate that we can also use them to protect Americans by preventing the entry of dangerous people and goods into the country, and by helping us examine critical infrastructure for vulnerabilities."

Donald Kerr, a former NRO director who is now the number two at ODNI, recently explained to reporters that the intelligence community was no longer discussing whether or not to spy on U.S. citizens: “Our job now is to engage in a productive debate, which focuses on privacy as a component of appropriate levels of security and public safety,'' Kerr said. ''I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity, but [also] what safeguards we want in place to be sure that giving that doesn't empty our bank account or do something equally bad elsewhere.''

What Will The NAO Do?

The plan for the NAO builds on a domestic security infrastructure that has been in place for at least seven years. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the NSA was granted new powers to monitor domestic communications without obtaining warrants from a secret foreign intelligence court established by Congress in 1978 (that warrant-less program ended in January 2007 but was allowed to continue, with some changes, under legislation passed by Congress in August 2007).

Moreover, intelligence and reconnaissance agencies that were historically confined to spying on foreign countries have been used extensively on the home front since 2001. In the hours after the September 11th, 2001 attacks in New York, for example, the Bush administration called on the NGA to capture imagery from lower Manhattan and the Pentagon to help in the rescue and recovery efforts. In 2002, when two deranged snipers terrified the citizens of Washington and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs with a string of fatal shootings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked the NGA to provide detailed images of freeway interchanges and other locations to help spot the pair.

The NGA was also used extensively during Hurricane Katrina, when the agency provided overhead imagery -- some of it supplied by U-2 photoreconnaissance aircraft -- to federal and state rescue operations. The data, which included mapping of flooded areas in Louisiana and Mississippi, allowed residents of the stricken areas to see the extent of damage to their homes and helped first-responders locate contaminated areas as well as schools, churches and hospitals that might be used in the rescue. More recently, during the October 2007 California wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asked the NGA to analyze overhead imagery of the fire zones and determine the areas of maximum intensity and damage. In every situation that the NGA is used domestically, it must receive a formal request from a lead domestic agency, according to agency spokesperson David Burpee. That agency is usually FEMA, which is a unit of DHS.

At first blush, the idea of a U.S. intelligence agency serving the public by providing imagery to aid in disaster recovery sounds like a positive development, especially when compared to the Bush administration’s misuse of the NSA and the Pentagon’s Counter-Intelligence Field Activity (CIFA) to spy on American citizens. But the notion of using spy satellites and aircraft for domestic purposes becomes problematic from a civil liberties standpoint when the full capabilities of agencies like the NGA and the NSA are considered.

Imagine, for example, that U.S. intelligence officials have determined, through NSA telephone intercepts, that a group of worshippers at a mosque in Oakland, California, has communicated with an Islamic charity in Saudi Arabia. This is the same group that the FBI and the U.S. Department of the Treasury believe is linked to an organization unfriendly to the United States.

Imagine further that the FBI, as a lead agency, asks and receives permission to monitor that mosque and the people inside using high-resolution imagery obtained from the NGA. Using other technologies, such as overhead traffic cameras in place in many cities, that mosque could be placed under surveillance for months, and -- through cell phone intercepts and overhead imagery -- its suspected worshipers carefully tracked in real-time as they moved almost anywhere in the country.

The NAO, under the plan approved by ODNI’s McConnell, would determine the rules that will guide the DHS and other lead federal agencies when they want to use imagery and signals intelligence in situations like this, as well as during natural disasters. If the organization is established as planned, U.S. domestic agencies will have a vast array of technology at their disposal. In addition to the powerful mapping and signals tools provided by the NGA and the NSA, domestic agencies will also have access to measures and signatures intelligence (MASINT) managed by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the principal spying agency used by the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

(MASINT is a highly classified form of intelligence that uses infrared sensors and other technologies to “sniff” the atmosphere for certain chemicals and electro-magnetic activity and “see” beneath bridges and forest canopies. Using its tools, analysts can detect signs that a nuclear power plant is producing plutonium, determine from truck exhaust what types of vehicles are in a convoy, and detect people and weapons hidden from the view of satellites or photoreconnaissance aircraft.)

Created By Contractors

The study group that established policies for the NAO was jointly funded by the ODNI and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), one of only two domestic U.S. agencies that is currently allowed, under rules set in the 1970s, to use classified intelligence from spy satellites. (The other is NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.) The group was chaired by Keith Hall, a Booz Allen (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/booz_allen) vice president who manages his firm’s extensive contracts with the NGA and previously served as the director of the NRO.

Other members of the group included seven other former intelligence officers working for Booz Allen, as well as retired Army Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes, the former director of the DIA and vice president of homeland security for L-3 Communications, a key NSA contractor; and Thomas W. Conroy, the vice president of national security programs for Northrop Grumman, which has extensive contracts with the NSA and the NGA and throughout the intelligence community.

From the start, the study group was heavily weighted toward companies with a stake in both foreign and domestic intelligence. Not surprisingly, its contractor-advisers called for a major expansion in the domestic use of the spy satellites that they sell to the government. Since the end of the Cold War and particularly since the September 11, 2001 attacks, they said, the “threats to the nation have changed and there is a growing interest in making available the special capabilities of the intelligence community to all parts of the government, to include homeland security and law enforcement entities and on a higher priority basis.”

Contractors are not new to the U.S. spy world. Since the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the modern intelligence system in 1947, the private sector has been tapped to design and build the technology that facilitates electronic surveillance. Lockheed, for example, built the U-2, the famous surveillance plane that flew scores of spy missions over the Soviet Union and Cuba. During the 1960s, Lockheed was a prime contractor for the Corona system of spy satellites that greatly expanded the CIA’s abilities to photograph secret military installations from space. IBM, Cray Computers and other companies built the super-computers that allowed the NSA to sift through data from millions of telephone calls, and analyze them for intelligence that was passed on to national leaders.

Spending on contracts has increased exponentially in recent years along with intelligence budgets, and the NSA, the NGA and other agencies have turned to the private sector for the latest computer and communications technologies and for intelligence analysts. For example, today about half of staff at the NSA and NGA are private contractors. At the DIA, 35 percent of the workers are contractors. But the most privatized agency of all is the NRO, where a whopping 90 percent of the workforce receive paychecks from corporations. All told the U.S. intelligence agencies spend some 70 percent of their estimated $60 billion annual budget on contracts with private companies, according to documents this reporter obtained (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/06/01/intel_contractors/) in June 2007 from the ODNI.

The plans to increase domestic spying are estimated to be worth billions of dollars in new business for the intelligence contractors. The market potential was on display in October at GEOINT 2007, the annual conference sponsored by the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), a non-profit organization funded by the largest contractors for the NGA. During the conference, which took place in October at the spacious Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, many companies were displaying spying and surveillance tools that had been used in Afghanistan and Iraq and were now being re-branded for potential domestic use.

BAE Systems Inc.

On the first day of the conference, three employees of BAE Systems Inc. who had just returned from a three-week tour of Iraq and Afghanistan with the NGA demonstrated a new software package called SOCET GXP. (BAE Systems Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of the UK-based BAE, the third-largest military contractor in the world.)

GXP uses Google Earth software as a basis for creating three-dimensional maps that U.S. commanders and soldiers use to conduct intelligence and reconnaissance missions. Eric Bruce, one of the BAE employees back from the Middle East, said his team trained U.S. forces to use the GXP software “to study routes for known terrorist sites” as well as to locate opium fields. “Terrorists use opium to fund their war,” he said. Bruce also said his team received help from Iraqi citizens in locating targets. “Many of the locals can’t read maps, so they tell the analysts, ‘there is a mosque next to a hill,’” he explained.

Bruce said BAE’s new package is designed for defense forces and intelligence agencies, but can also be used for homeland security and by highway departments and airports. Earlier versions of the software were sold to the U.S. Army’s Topographic Engineering Center, where it has been used to collect data on more than 12,000 square kilometers of Iraq, primarily in urban centers and over supply routes.

Another new BAE tool displayed in San Antonio was a program called GOSHAWK, which stands for “Geospatial Operations for a Secure Homeland – Awareness, Workflow, Knowledge.” It was pitched by BAE as a tool to help law enforcement and state and local emergency agencies prepare for, and respond to, “natural disasters and terrorist and criminal incidents.” Under the GOSHAWK program, BAE supplies “agencies and corporations” with data providers and information technology specialists “capable of turning geospatial information into the knowledge needed for quick decisions.” A typical operation might involve acquiring data from satellites, aircraft and sensors in ground vehicles, and integrating those data to support an emergency or security operations center. One of the program’s special attributes, the company says, is its ability to “differentiate levels of classification,” meaning that it can deduce when data are classified and meant only for use by analysts with security clearances.

These two products were just a sampling of what BAE, a major player in the U.S. intelligence market, had to offer. BAE’s services to U.S. intelligence -- including the CIA and the National Counter-Terrorism Center -- are provided through a special unit called the Global Analysis Business Unit. It is located in McLean, Virginia, a stone’s throw from the CIA. The unit is headed by John Gannon, a 25-year veteran of the CIA who reached the agency’s highest analytical ranks as deputy director of intelligence and chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Today, as a private sector contractor for the intelligence community, Gannon manages a staff of more than 800 analysts with security clearances.

A brochure for the Global Analysis unit distributed at GEOINT 2007 explains BAE’s role and, in the process, underscores the degree of outsourcing in U.S. intelligence. “The demand for experienced, skilled, and cleared analysts – and for the best systems to manage them – has never been greater across the Intelligence and Defense Communities, in the field and among federal, state, and local agencies responsible for national and homeland security,” BAE says. The mission of the Global Analysis unit, it says, “is to provide policymakers, warfighters, and law enforcement officials with analysts to help them understand the complex intelligence threats they face, and work force management programs to improve the skills and expertise of analysts.”

At the bottom of the brochure is a series of photographs illustrating BAE’s broad reach: a group of analysts monitoring a bank of computers; three employees studying a map of Europe, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa; the outlines of two related social networks that have been mapped out to show how their members are linked; a bearded man, apparently from the Middle East and presumably a terrorist; the fiery image of a car bomb after it exploded in Iraq; and four white radar domes (known as radomes) of the type used by the NSA to monitor global communications from dozens of bases and facilities around the world.

The brochure may look and sound like typical corporate public relations. But amid BAE’s spy talk were two phrases strategically placed by the company to alert intelligence officials that BAE has an active presence inside the U.S.. The tip-off words were “federal, state and local agencies,” “law enforcement officials” and “homeland security.” By including them, BAE was broadcasting that it is not simply a contractor for agencies involved in foreign intelligence, but has an active presence as a supplier to domestic security agencies, a category that includes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI as well as local and state police forces stretching from Maine to Hawaii.

ManTech, Boeing, Harris and L-3

ManTech International, an important NSA contractor based in Fairfax, Virginia, has perfected the art of creating multi-agency software programs for both foreign and domestic intelligence. After the September 11th, 2001 attacks, it developed a classified program for the Defense Intelligence Agency called the Joint Regional Information Exchange System. DIA used it to combine classified and unclassified intelligence on terrorist threats on a single desktop. ManTech then tweaked that software for the Department of Homeland Security and sold it to DHS for its Homeland Security Information Network. According to literature ManTech distributed at GEOINT, that software will “significantly strengthen the exchange of real-time threat information used to combat terrorism.” ManTech, the brochure added, “also provides extensive, advanced information technology support to the National Security Agency” and other agencies.

In a nearby booth, Chicago, Illinois-based Boeing, the world’s second largest defense contractor, was displaying its “information sharing environment” software, which is designed to meet the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s new requirements on agencies to stop buying “stovepiped” systems that can’t talk to each other. The ODNI wants to focus on products that will allow the NGA and other agencies to easily share their classified imagery with the CIA and other sectors of the community. “To ensure freedom in the world, the United States continues to address the challenges introduced by terrorism,” a Boeing (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/boeing) handout said. Its new software, the company said, will allow information to be “shared efficiently and uninterrupted across intelligence agencies, first responders, military and world allies.” Boeing (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/boeing) has a reason for publishing boastful material like this: In 2005, it lost a major contract with the NRO to build a new generation of imaging satellites after ringing up billions of dollars in cost-overruns. The New York Times recently called the Boeing (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/boeing) project “the most spectacular and expensive failure in the 50-year history of American spy satellite projects.”

Boeing’s geospatial intelligence offerings are provided through its Space and Intelligence Systems unit, which also holds contracts with the NSA. It allows agencies and military units to map global shorelines and create detailed maps of cities and battlefields, complete with digital elevation data that allow users to construct three-dimensional maps. (In an intriguing aside, one Boeing (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/boeing) intelligence brochure lists among its “specialized organizations” Jeppesen Government and Military Services. According to a 2006 account by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, Jeppesen provided logistical and navigational assistance, including flight plans and clearance to fly over other countries, to the CIA for its “extraordinary rendition” program.)

Although less known as an intelligence contractor than BAE and Boeing, the Harris Corporation has become a major force in providing contracted electronic, satellite and information technology services to the intelligence community, including the NSA and the NRO. In 2007, according to its most recent annual report, the $4.2 billion company, based in Melbourne, Florida, won several new classified contracts. NSA awarded one of them for software to be used by NSA analysts in the agency’s “Rapidly Deployable Integrated Command and Control System,” which is used by the NSA to transmit “actionable intelligence” to soldiers and commanders in the field. Harris also supplies geospatial and imagery products to the NGA. At GEOINT, Harris displayed a new product that allows agencies to analyze live video and audio data imported from UAVs. It was developed, said Fred Poole, a Harris market development manager, “with input from intelligence analysts who were looking for a video and audio analysis tool that would allow them to perform ‘intelligence fusion’” -- combining information from several agencies into a single picture of an ongoing operation.

For many of the contractors at GEOINT, the highlight of the symposium was an “interoperability demonstration” that allowed vendors to show how their products would work in a domestic crisis.

One scenario involved Cuba as a rogue nation supplying spent nuclear fuel to terrorists bent on creating havoc in the U.S.. Implausible as it was, the plot, which involved maritime transportation and ports, allowed the companies to display software that was likely already in use by the Department of Homeland Security and Naval Intelligence. The “plot” involved the discovery by U.S. intelligence of a Cuban ship carrying spent nuclear fuel heading for the U.S. Gulf Coast; an analysis of the social networks of Cuban officials involved with the illicit cargo; and the tracking and interception of the cargo as it departed from Cuba and moved across the Caribbean to Corpus Christi, Texas, a major port on the Gulf Coast. The agencies involved included the NGA, the NSA, Naval Intelligence and the Marines, and some of the key contractors working for those agencies. It illustrated how sophisticated the U.S. domestic surveillance system has become in the six years since the 9/11 attacks.

L-3 Communications, which is based in New York city, was a natural for the exercise: As mentioned earlier, retired Army Lt. General Patrick M. Hughes, its vice president of homeland security, was a member of the Booz Allen (http://www.crocodyl.org/wiki/booz_allen) Hamilton study group that advised the Bush administration to expand the domestic use of military spy satellites. At GEOINT, L-3 displayed a new program called “multi-INT visualization environment” that combines imagery and signals intelligence data that can be laid over photographs and maps. One example shown during the interoperability demonstration showed how such data would be incorporated into a map of Florida and the waters surrounding Cuba. With L-3 a major player at the NSA, this demonstration software is likely seeing much use as the NSA and the NGA expand their information-sharing relationship.

Over the past two years, for example, the NGA has deployed dozens of employees and contractors to Iraq to support the “surge” of U.S. troops. The NGA teams provide imagery and full-motion video -- much of it beamed to the ground from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) -- that help U.S. commanders and soldiers track and destroy insurgents fighting the U.S. occupation. And since 2004, under a memorandum of understanding with the NSA, the NGA has begun to incorporate signals intelligence into its imagery products. The blending technique allows U.S. military units to track and find targets by picking up signals from their cell phones, follow the suspects in real-time using overhead video, and direct fighter planes and artillery units to the exact location of the targets -- and blow them to smithereens.

That’s exactly how U.S. Special Forces tracked and killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the alleged leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the NGA’s director, Navy Vice Admiral Robert Murrett, said in 2006. Later, Murrett told reporters during GEOINT 2007, the NSA and the NGA have cooperated in similar fashion in several other fronts of the “war on terror,” including in the Horn of Africa, where the U.S. military has attacked Al Qaeda units in Somalia, and in the Philippines, where U.S. forces are helping the government put down the Muslim insurgent group Abu Sayyaf. “When the NGA and the NSA work together, one plus one equals five,” said Murrett.

Civil Liberty Worries

For U.S. citizens, however, the combination of NGA imagery and NSA signals intelligence in a domestic situation could threaten important constitutional safeguards against unwarranted searches and seizures. Kate Martin, the director of the Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit advocacy organization, has likened the NAO plan to “Big Brother in the Sky.” The Bush administration, she told the Washington Post, is “laying the bricks one at a time for a police state.”

Some Congress members, too, are concerned. “The enormity of the NAO’s capabilities and the intended use of the imagery received through these satellites for domestic homeland security purposes, and the unintended consequences that may arise, have heightened concerns among the general public, including reputable civil rights and civil liberties organizations,” Bennie G. Thompson, a Democratic member of Congress from Mississippi and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote in a September letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Thompson and other lawmakers reacted with anger after reports of the NAO and the domestic spying plan were first revealed by the Wall Street Journal in August. “There was no briefing, no hearing, and no phone call from anyone on your staff to any member of this committee of why, how, or when satellite imagery would be shared with police and sheriffs’ officers nationwide,” Thompson complained to Chertoff.

At a hastily organized hearing in September, Thompson and others demanded that the opening of the NAO be delayed until further studies were conducted on its legal basis and questions about civil liberties were answered. They also demanded biweekly updates from Chertoff on the activities and progress of the new organization. Others pointed out the potential danger of allowing U.S. military satellites to be used domestically. “It will terrify you if you really understand the capabilities of satellites,” warned Jane Harman, a Democratic member of Congress from California, who represents a coastal area of Los Angeles where many of the nation’s satellites are built. As Harman well knows, military spy satellites are far more flexible, offer greater resolution, and have considerably more power to observe human activity than commercial satellites. “Even if this program is well-designed and executed, someone somewhere else could hijack it,” Harman said during the hearing.

The NAO was supposed to open for business on October 1, 2007. But the Congressional complaints have led the ODNI and DHS to delay their plans. The NAO "has no intention to begin operations until we address your questions," Charles Allen of DHS explained in a letter to Thompson. In an address at the GEOINT conference in San Antonio, Allen said that the ODNI is working with DHS and the Departments of Justice and Interior to draft the charter for the new organization, which he said will face “layers of review” once it is established.

Yet, given the Bush administration’s record of using U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on U.S. citizens, it is difficult to take such promises at face value. Moreover, the extensive corporate role in foreign and domestic intelligence means that the private sector has a great deal to gain in the new plan for intelligence-sharing. Because most private contracts with intelligence agencies are classified, however, the public will have little knowledge of this role. Before Congress signs off on the NAO, it should create a better oversight system that would allow the House of Representatives and the Senate to monitor the new organization and to examine how BAE, Boeing, Harris and its fellow corporations stand to profit from this unprecedented expansion of America’s domestic intelligence system.

Tim *Shorrock (http://www.timshorrock.com/) has been writing about U.S. foreign policy and national security for nearly 30 years. His book, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence, will be published in May 2008 by Simon & Schuster. He can be reached at timshorrock@gmail.com.

This article was made possible in part by a generous grant from the Hurd Foundation.



See also[I] The Journalists' Guide to Remote Sensing Resources on the Internet , Version 2.2 http://www1.american.edu/radiowave/earthnews.htm

Ed Jewett
06-15-2010, 08:05 PM
I am working my way slowly through Shorrock's "Spies for Hire", a treasure trove but now almost out of date because of the tendency in the corporate world for re-naming, mergers, acquisitions, and the like. At this point, I am still basically scanning, mining it for other sources for the future in terms of books and so on. The reason for this post, then, is simply to note the author's acknowledgment of the assistance of one Raelynn Hillhouse, whose WikiPedia entry, related novel, and apparently-now-inactive blog are noted below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raelynn_Hillhouse (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raelynn_Hillhouse)



Austin Kelley
06-24-2010, 09:28 AM
Hearings Reveal Lapses in Private Security in War Zones

June 24, 2010

By Pratap Chatterjee
Source: Inter Press Service

Washington - Jerry Torres, CEO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, has a motto: "For Torres, failure is not an option." A former member of the Green Berets, one of the elite U.S. Army Special Forces, he was awarded "Executive of the Year" at the seventh annual "Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards" in November 2009.

On Monday, Torres, whose company provides translators and armed security guards in Iraq, was invited to testify before the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC), a body created in early 2008 to investigate waste, fraud and abuse in military contracting services in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Torres was asked to testify about his failure to obtain the required clearances for "several hundred" Sierra Leonian armed security guards that he had dispatched to protect Forward Operating Base Shield, a U.S. military base in Baghdad, in January 2010.

Torres didn't show up.

An empty chair at the witness table was placed ready for him together with a placard with his name on it next to those for representatives of three other companies working in Iraq - the London-based Aegis, and DynCorp and Triple Canopy, both Virginia-based companies.

USAID Ducks Legal Responsibility

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also came in for extended criticism when David Blackshaw, the division chief for overseas security, told the commission that his agency was not legally responsible for the actions of armed guards that accompanied their grantees. "The role of the USAID's SEC's International Security Programmes Division is limited to advice and counsel," Blackshaw told the commissioners.

The commissioners were incensed. Several of them pulled out copies of a USAID Office of Inspector General report on private contracting that was issued last month that stated a third of USAID private security contracts in Afghanistan have no standard security requirements.

Commissioner Christopher Shays, a former Republican member of Congress from Connecticut, alleged that USAID was trying to "wash their hands" of any responsibility.

"God forbid something would happen with a violent accident in Afghanistan that would affect our national policy in Afghanistan and you would try that ridiculous line of argument," said Commissioner Robert Henke, a former Assistant Secretary for Management in the Department of Veterans Affairs, said. "It won't work."

"This commission was going to ask him, under oath, why his firm agreed in January to assume private security responsibilities at FOB Shield with several hundred guards that had not been properly vetted and approved," said Michael Thibault, one of the co-chairs of the commission and a former deputy director of the Defence Contract Audit Agency.

"This commission was also going to ask Mr. Torres why he personally flew to Iraq, to FOB Shield, and strongly suggested that Torres AES be allowed to post the unapproved guards, guards that would protect American troops, and then to 'catch-up the approval process'."

Instead, a lawyer informed the commission staff that Torres was "nervous about appearing".

The failure of a contractor to appear for an oversight hearing into lapses was just one example that the use of some 18,800 armed "private security contractors" in Iraq and another 23,700 in Afghanistan to protect convoys, diplomatic and other personnel, and military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq was not working.

Blackwater's New Afghan Contract

Perhaps the most famous private military contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq - North Carolina-based Blackwater - was not invited to sit at the witness table either, despite the fact that the company had been the subject of several investigations into misconduct.

For example, in September 2007, security guards from North Carolina-based Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square.

Blackwater staff have also been accused of killing other private security contractors - in December 2006, Andrew J. Moonen, was accused of killing a security guard of the Iraqi vice president, Adel Abdul Mahdi. And as recently as May 2009, four Blackwater contractors were accused of killing an Afghan on the Jalalabad road in Kabul.

Members of the commission noted with astonishment that the State Department had awarded Blackwater a 120-million-dollar contract to guard U.S. consulates in Heart and Mazar-i- Sharif in Afghanistan this past Friday.

Asked to explain why Blackwater was awarded the contract, Charlene R. Lamb, deputy assistant secretary for international programmes at the State Department, stated that the competitors for the contract - DynCorp and Triple Canopy - weren't as qualified.

Yet Don Ryder of DynCorp and Ignacio Balderas of Triple Canopy testified that they were both qualified and able to do the contract. The two men said that they would consider lodging a formal protest at the State Department Tuesday after a de-briefing with the government.

The choice of Blackwater, which has been banned by the government of Iraq, left the commissioners with little doubt that the contract award system was flawed. "What does it take for poor contractual performance to result in contract termination or non-award of future contracts?" wondered Thibault.

Inherently Governmental

At a previous hearing of the commission last week, John Nagl, president of the Washington, DC-based Centre for a New American Security, submitted a report on the subject that explained why the government was turning to these companies: "Simple math illuminates a major reason for the rise of contractors: The U.S. military simply is not large enough to handle all of the missions assigned to it."

Yet it appears that the government does not even have the oversight capability to police the companies that it has hired to fill the gap.

Some witnesses and experts said that by definition this work should not be handed out to private contractors in war zone.

"Private security contractors are authorised to use deadly force to protect American lives in a war zone and to me if anything is inherently governmental, it's that," said Commissioner Clark Kent Ervin, a former inspector general at both the State Department and the Homeland Security Department. "We don't have a definitional problem, we have an acknowledgement of reality problem."

Non-governmental expert Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), said: "It has become clear to POGO that the answer is yes, PSCs are performing inherently governmental functions. A number of jobs that are not necessarily inherently governmental in general become so when they are conducted in a combat zone. Any operations that are critical to the success of the U.S. government's mission in a combat zone must be controlled by government personnel."

*This article was produced in partnership with CorpWatch - www.corpwatch.org.

From: Z Net - The Spirit Of Resistance Lives

URL: http://www.zcommunications.org/hearings-reveal-lapses-in-private-security-in-war-zones-by-pratap-chatterjee

Ed Jewett
07-03-2010, 03:32 AM
"...The Washington Post reports on how the US Military's PSYOPS (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/28/AR2010062804830.html) is awash with soft money that gets spent on contractors...."

Link to this post (http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2010/07/20100702_spike_act.html)


"... we can take comfort that the logic of the printing press example must assert itself...." ['Helicopter Ben' Bernanke]


Ed Jewett
07-03-2010, 05:10 AM
Military plans hummingbird-sized spies

Nano Aerial Vehicle will help soldiers fighting in crowded urban areas

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38062588/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38062588/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/)

Jan Klimkowski
07-03-2010, 12:17 PM
Ed - your Washington Post link above deserves further attention.

It contains some pure Comedy Gold.

I particularly enjoyed the nonsense in the parts I've emboldened, including the fact that the PSYOPs specialists were so appallingly bad at communicating the truth that they couldn't even get press releases about their own budget right: it went from over $1billion to $600million to nothing.

They truly are self-obsessed, megalomaniac, wankers.

The Defense Department plans to spend nearly $1 billion on psychological operations (PSYOP) worldwide in fiscal 2011 -- and nearly 40 percent of it will go for contracted services and products.

The purpose of PSYOP is "to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior in a manner favorable to U.S. objectives," according to a report on Defense Department information operations sent to Congress in March.

How? By putting out truthful information through "television, web, posters, leaflets, billboards, radio, literature, drama and other creative means," according to the report. But who in the military is trained to do that?

For the Pentagon, contractors are the answer. Of about $180 million for PSYOP activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 95 percent will be for "large service provider contracts as well as small contracts for local service providers that perform printing and other production activities," according to the Defense Department, in answers to my questions.

Recent PSYOP activities in Afghanistan have included a major advertising campaign to persuade citizens to report suspected makeshift bombs to the military. It was done by contractors; as the March report notes, "DoD makes extensive use of contractors in media services to produce high-quality print, audio and video products."

The report adds, however, that contracted personnel "do not take the place of government and military decision makers who establish communication objectives, define target audiences, and approve all communication methodologies."

Still, there are "concerns about the [Defense] Department's ability to oversee adequately and manage appropriately the large sums of money flowing into a variety of information operations programs," the Senate Armed Services Committee said in its report on the fiscal 2011 Defense Authorization bill released this month. And the dismissal of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal over his comments in a magazine has put a spotlight on one failed aspect of the military's dealings with the media.

One year ago, when Congress asked the Defense Department how much the military was spending on "strategic communications," it first answered about $1 billion, then $626 million. Less than a year later, in the March report, the agency told Congress that things had changed: There was no "strategic communications budget." Rather, that term applied to all Defense Department capabilities and programs "designed to affect perceptions and behavior [domestic and foreign] in a manner that supports U.S. objectives."

Although strategic communications as an activity has ended, the report notes that some combat commands "have established small SC [strategic communications] cells as part of the commander's special staff." It points out that these staff members "function as planners, integrators, and 'dot connectors.' " Here is where the lesson of the McChrystal affair comes in.

Duncan Boothby, who helped arrange Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings's entree with the McChrystal entourage, was an SC staff member. But he was a private subcontractor under a broader prime contract let by the Afghan command for strategic communications management services.

Contracting out these services, whether for strategic communications or PSYOP, is a problem. Remember the investigations into the activities of Michael Furlong, the Strategic Command employee who used money from an information operations program concerning makeshift bombs to contract for services to help identify Afghan insurgents?

Another problem area is when PSYOP activities, directed at foreign audiences, cross with public affairs, the military's traditional outlet for dealing with the news media and domestic and foreign audiences. Oversight of all Pentagon information activities has been under review, although PSYOP activities have drawn their own special team "to ensure that each constitutes a traditional military activity," according to the March report.

The military has expanded into areas where it lacks expertise but has the funds to pay for contractors. PSYOP has been a favorite of Special Operations Command (SOCOM), but with the program's new popularity, particularly in Iraq and now in Afghanistan, it has spread within the Army.

As one result, after approval by top Pentagon officials including Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, SOCOM's commander, Adm. Eric T. Olson, announced last week that the PSYOP name will be dropped because of bad connotations and changed to Military Information Support Operations (MISO).

But name changes, whether dropping "strategic communications" or going from PSYOP to MISO, won't solve the underlying problems. As long as the Pentagon has funds for information activities -- in amounts that other agencies don't have and cannot get -- it will turn to contractors.

Ed Jewett
07-04-2010, 04:01 AM
Thanks, Jan. http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/images/smiliesb/Tip-Hat.gif

Duly noted and added to our PsyOps file at E Pluribus Unum:

Ed Jewett
07-09-2010, 07:51 AM
Former Top CIA Spy: How US Intelligence Became Big Business

Jeremy Scahill | July 7, 2010
Few who have seen the dramatic privatization of US intelligence operations from the inside ever speak about the role private contractors play in covert operations--certainly not in public. In late June, however, the CIA's former top counterterrorism official, Robert Grenier, participated in a rare public discussion on issues ranging from the incredible extent to which the US has relied on contractors to fill sensitive national security positions; to battlefield contractors in Afghanistan; to allegations of contractor involvement in "direct action" (lethal) operations, as well as commenting on Blackwater owner Erik Prince's reported involvement in a secret CIA assassination program. The former spy also criticized what he called attempts by the US military to "overstep their bounds" by conducting intelligence operations that traditionally have fallen under the purview of the CIA.
Grenier was undoubtedly one of the US intelligence community's heavy hitters in the aftermath of 9/11. He was CIA station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan when the 9/11 attacks took place and coordinated the initial incursions by CIA personnel and contractors in the first year of the US invasion of Afghanistan. After a stint in what Grenier jokingly called "our excellent adventure in Iraq," where, as chief of the Iraq Issues Group, he planned covert US actions in the lead up to and ultimate invasion of the country, Grenier was named as director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center (CTC), the unit coordinating the tip of the spear of the CIA's covert activities. In 2006, Grenier left the CIA, reportedly over disagreements with then-CIA director Porter Goss, including the issue of treatment of detainees and prisoners. After leaving the agency, Grenier worked at Kroll Inc., a security consulting firm, and is currently chairman of ERG Partners, a small consulting company.
Grenier and I participated in a frank discussion, along with Professor Katerie Carmola, author of Private Security Contractors and New Wars: Risk, Law, and Ethics, at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, where I had a chance to publicly ask Grenier some specific questions.
Grenier estimated that "many more than half" of the personnel who worked under him at the CIA's counterterrorism center were private contractors. Contractors "were coming in and they were all over the place," Grenier said of his time at CTC. "Often I would go down and talk to people in my work force and I would say, 'Hey, that was a great job and I saw what you did last night, I saw that cable that you turned up, thank you very much.' And I'd be startled when they would give me a business card."
It is difficult to access detailed information about the extent to which US intelligence activities are privatized, primarily because the budgets of the eighteen intelligence agencies operated by the United States are mostly classified. In 2007, journalist Tim Shorrock, who wrote the definitive book on the privatization of intelligence, Spies for Hire (http://timshorrock.com/?page_id=198) [1], obtained and published an unclassified document from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence showing that 70 percent of the US intelligence budget was spent on private contractors. No documents on these classified budgets have been made public since.
Grenier largely defended the use of contractors, primarily because he said he believes that the government, in a time of war, needs to be able to hire skilled, specialized personnel capable of securing the necessary security clearances. "It's far easier to go through the process to get a contractor if time is an issue than it would be to bring somebody on as a regular employee," Grenier said. He said that when he was running CIA operations in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11, he was working with several of his predecessors who had left the CIA, but returned, with their experience and clearances, as independent contractors. Grenier cited another "very prosaic" reason for the reliance on contractors: the federal budgeting process.
Grenier called the system of allocating funds to US agencies the "most illogical process ever devised by the mind of man." He described Congressional funding restrictions that provided huge sums of money to the CIA post-9/11 to purchase goods and services, but not to hire new employees. Instead, he said, Congress provided one year supplemental funding packages to the CIA for "non-personal services." That funding, Grenier asserted, "you can spend for anything."
"You can buy armored vehicles, you can buy drones, or you can buy contractors. Contractors are not considered persons in the context of the federal budgeting process," Genier added. The CIA, therefore, got creative. "So, here was the Congress saying, 'What can we do for you, what can we give you?' Money was not the object—they'd give us anything we asked for and what we got was non-personal services dollars on a supplemental basis. And so, what did we have to do? We went out and bought contractors."
In the early stages of the US war in Afghanistan, Grenier said, many people were hired as individual independent contractors. Then, he says, small companies began popping up that specialized in providing the government and other entities with seasoned veterans of US special forces and intelligence agencies for hire. Within months, companies like Blackwater jumped head first into the rent-a-soldier industry. These companies offered what they called "turnkey solutions" in the war zone.
"Well, they figured out that they could extort—I should say that they could command—more money form the federal government if they somehow banded together," says Grenier, who described the rise of what he called "body shops" providing personnel. "It was like a form of unionization. They got together and they formed these little companies and they could engage in what we might call collective bargaining and thereby raise their salaries."
Shorrock, who analyzes government contracts for an AFL-CIO union, found Grenier's description interesting. "CIA and NSA employees are banned by statute from engaging in collective bargaining. But forming a company might be one way a group of operatives could get a better deal from the CIA on wages, health benefits or insurance," said Shorrock. "That shouldn't be confused with union rights, though."
While Grenier provided a utilitarian rationale for the CIA using contractors, he veered away from discussing the political expediency private forces offer the CIA by providing unattributable forces specializing in plausible deniability.
Several times during our discussion, I asked Grenier about the use of contractors in lethal "direct action" operations, some of which have been characterized as part of a secret CIA assassination program. I specifically asked him about the report (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001?printable=true) [2] in January in Vanity Fair that Blackwater owner Erik Prince had trained a CIA team whose ultimate job would be to "find, fix and finish" suspected terrorists across the globe. Prince's men, according to the article, never "finished" a suspect, but they did do everything but pull the trigger in several countries, including in Germany. Prince claims to have paid for some operations "out of my own pocket.”
Many of the activities alleged to have been carried out by Prince and Blackwater occured while Grenier was director of CTC.
Grenier was visibly uncomfortable discussing the issue of Blackwater and "direct action," saying, "Although some of these things have been revealed and some of what has been revealed is perhaps true and some of it is perhaps untrue and some of it is perhaps exaggerated or misrepresented, but all of it is still classified and so it's difficult for me to speak to it directly to the extent that I know about it." He added: "There were things that frankly were new to me in what I read in that article."
Grenier rejected the notion that Blackwater would have been specifically hired by the CIA for assassination operations, offering a denial that carefully relied on the CIA's contracting process. "CIA would not be soliciting or putting out an RFP [a Request for Proposal] to solicit bids for a company, perhaps for the lowest bidder, to come out and perform services like [direct lethal action]."
While there is little chance that there is a US government contract with Blackwater floating around showing the CIA hired Blackwater to kill people, this type of contracting inherently creates gray areas that ultimately benefit the secrecy of the operations. There is no doubt that Blackwater forces have killed plenty of people in Iraq and Afghanistan and that not all of these "kills" have been defensive security operations.
Without confirming details of Blackwater's involvement in any lethal direct action operations, Grenier did say that to the extent that Prince and his men were potentially involved, they likely were not fully aware of the role they were playing in broader CIA operations. "By [Prince's] own admission those actions have never been carried out," Grenier said. "And certainly, if I had anything to do with it, they would not be carried out by private individuals." He then added: "A Navy SEAL in a buzz cut is probably not the individual that I would put on the street in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon to do surveillance on a potential target."
What Grenier did describe, in a careful and circumspect way, is a major reason why a company like Blackwater would be hired for involvement in such operations: the combination of experienced personnel and the networks of foreign nationals they cultivated over years of government intelligence work. At the time Grenier was running CTC, Blackwater was flush with well-connected CIA veterans who had vast networks of assets and contacts across the globe. In addition to Cofer Black, Prince counted among his most valued employees Enrique "Ric" Prado, a former CIA paramilitary officer who served as chief of operations for the CTC and Robert Richer, former deputy director of operations at the CIA. All of these men were deeply connected in a wide array of countries where the US was operating under the banner of "the war on terror."
"If, let us say, that one wanted to find individuals, probably foreign nationals who can go out and mount an effective surveillance against a particular target for whatever purpose—intelligence collection or whatever—then you are going to be looking for the right group of individuals who provide you with the right combination of skills that you are seeking," said Grenier. "I just wanted the right people with the right skills doing the job. Depending on the operation and what you want to get done, there really is no standard template. Every time is the first time."
According to Vanity Fair, while Grenier was at CTC, "[Erik] Prince was developing unconventional means of penetrating 'hard target' countries—where the C.I.A. has great difficulty working either because there are no stations from which to operate or because local intelligence services have the wherewithal to frustrate the agency’s designs."
Grenier described the value of access to such networks and connections held by some contractors: "It may well be that you're dealing with an individual and let's just say for the sake of discussion that he's a Blackwater employee and perhaps that individual knows some other individual—perhaps foreigners with whom he or she has dealt in the past--that you want to gain access to and bring in on the team. And maybe you want them to know what they're supposed to be doing and maybe you don't. Maybe you're going to have them only partially aware of what they're doing and not aware of what the ultimate purpose for it."
I pressed Grenier on why the CIA might use a company like Blackwater at any stage of a lethal operation instead of using US military special forces teams like those from the Joint Special Operations Command. Grenier pointed to the complicated logistics of preparing such operations. "It's not just a matter of sending in a direct action team, a JSOC squad to go and hit somebody. There's a tremendous amount of preparation, if you will, that has to be done beforehand--most of it having to do with intelligence collection."
As for Erik Prince's claims about his work with covert CIA teams, Grenier said, "The characterization that Erik Prince has provided—to the extent that he fully understood himself what he was saying—I think is easily subject to misinterpretation. I don't know what was in his mind when he spoke."
Overall, Grenier was generally supportive of the use of private contractors, though he did offer some criticisms. He expressed concerned about the "revolving door" between government and the private sector, saying he endorsed moves to ban CIA personnel from returning as contractors less than a year after leaving the agency before official retirement. "Many of these relationships are far too cozy, far too clubby and there are serious risks associated with the revolving door," he said.
He also said he believes that contractors who work with US intelligence agencies should not subsequently or concurrently working with foreign governments. "I can assure you that if the CIA were employing a contractor who had, thereby, access to very sensitive information, [the CIA] would take a very dim view of that same individual working for that company under a different contract, say, for the Israelis or for some other foreign government," said Grenier.
I asked Grenier about the US military classifying operations that might traditionally be considered intelligence operations, such as US special forces activities in countries like Yemen or Somalia, as "preparing the battlefield," making them a military rather than an intelligence operation. Some critics have suggested that such classification is an attempt to avoid Congressional oversight of certain covert operations. "That's a very interesting dodge," Grenier said. "It has not kept the Department of Defense from trying, at least in my view and the view of others in the intelligence community, to at least to some degree overstep their bounds." Grenier also said Congress "is complicit in it," saying, "One of the things that keeps the military from having to report its intelligence-related activities to the relevant intelligence committees is the very jealous armed services committees who don't want to have their military reporting to these other committees."
The Obama administration has continued the US policy of overwhelming reliance on private contractors at every level of the US national security apparatus and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, the administration has dramatically increased the number of contractors from Bush-era levels. In Iraq, while the overall US presence is decreasing, the percentage of contractors within the total US force continues to rise. But it is not just on the battlefield. According to a recent Congressional investigation, some 69 percent of all Department of Defense personnel are private contractors. The CIA's recent $100 million contract with Blackwater for "security" services globally is a clear sign that this trend continues unabated at the agency under Leon Panetta.
The Commission on Wartime Contracting recently examined the issue of the use of contractors in sensitive operations at a hearing called, "Are Private Security Contractors Performing Inherently Governmental Functions?" One of the experts who testified, Dr. Allison Stanger, professor and director of the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs at Middlebury College, said that the government use of contractors has become a necessity, rather than a choice, but she painted a sober picture of the implications of the United States using such forces. It "blurs the line between the legitimate and illegitimate use of force, which is just what our enemies want. Al Qaeda's operatives have no country and are private actors waging war on the United States. Terrorists may receive funding from states, but they are by definition non-state actors," Stanger said. "If the United States can legitimately rely on non-state actors wielding weapons to protect our interests, why can't Al Qaeda or the Taliban, especially when contractor misdeeds appear to go completely unpunished?"

Source URL: http://www.thenation.com/blog/37143/former-top-cia-spy-how-us-intelligence-became-big-business
[1] http://timshorrock.com/?page_id=198
[2] http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001?printable=true

Jan Klimkowski
07-09-2010, 05:24 PM
My emphasis in bold:

Grenier called the system of allocating funds to US agencies the "most illogical process ever devised by the mind of man." He described Congressional funding restrictions that provided huge sums of money to the CIA post-9/11 to purchase goods and services, but not to hire new employees. Instead, he said, Congress provided one year supplemental funding packages to the CIA for "non-personal services." That funding, Grenier asserted, "you can spend for anything."
"You can buy armored vehicles, you can buy drones, or you can buy contractors. Contractors are not considered persons in the context of the federal budgeting process," Genier added. The CIA, therefore, got creative. "So, here was the Congress saying, 'What can we do for you, what can we give you?' Money was not the object—they'd give us anything we asked for and what we got was non-personal services dollars on a supplemental basis. And so, what did we have to do? We went out and bought contractors."

An extremely apt metaphor revealing the hypocrisy and cant of the fraudulent War on Terror....

Ed Jewett
07-16-2010, 03:13 AM
Ms. Sparky aims at KBR, electrifies war-contractor scrutiny with blog

Published: Sunday, July 11, 2010, 8:00 PM Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 8:02 AM

http://media.oregonlive.com/news_impact/photo/mssparkjpg-21f1fb88e3f0d3db_large.jpgBenjamin Brink/The Oregonian

Debbie Crawford manages the mssparky.com website from her Washington home while grandson Keelen Goldsworth studies nearby. The journeyman electrician spent two years working for war contractor KBR in Iraq.

Debbie Crawford was playing with her grandson at her Battle Ground home two years ago when she heard a news report on a Green Beret who died in Baghdad. The water pump in his Army shower was not properly grounded, and when he turned the faucet, a jolt of electricity killed him.

Crawford cried, her worst professional fear realized. She went to her laptop and began to type:

"As a licensed electrician who worked for KBR in Iraq for two years, I find this UNACCEPTABLE!!!! How did this happen? Let me give you my opinion from first-hand experience...."

Five weeks later, after a Senate staffer saw her post, Crawford testified before Congress to poor management and poor workmanship by Kellogg, Brown & Root (http://www.kbr.com/About/) in Iraq, including subcontracting electrical work to locals not skilled to U.S. standards and failing to check electricians' credentials.

Two years later, the blog she started that 2008 day --mssparky.com (http://mssparky.com/) – is the largest online catalog of news articles, opinion, leaks and lawsuits regarding war contractors. The site has drawn more than 10.8 million page hits since Jan. 1. [Emphasis by EJ]

When Oregon veterans of the Iraq war appear in federal court in Portland today in their chemical-exposure lawsuit against KBR, they join a wide group of plaintiffs suing KBR -- over electrocutions, burn pits and sexual assault.

Much of what connects them all is Ms. Sparky.

"She's allowed people to speak that otherwise would be too afraid to do so," says Todd Kelly, a Houston attorney who represents six clients suing KBR alleging they were sexual assaulted while working in Iraq. "I would characterize her as pretty courageous in her own right, being willing to blog about the things she's willing to blog about. She has the sense that someone has to speak out."

Hexavalent Chromium
Read The Oregonian's continuing coverage of the problems with Hexavalent Chromium. (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/hexavalent%20chromium/index.html)
Crawford says, "This just took on a life of its own. My blogging is the least interesting part about it."

Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the federal government has paid private companies $150 billion to do what the military once did -- support daily life for the troops. KBR has been the single largest provider of meals, housing, recreation, mail delivery, laundry and fuel.

KBR maintains there is no evidence that its work caused or contributed to the Green Beret's electrocution and that its military contract for his building was for on-call repairs, not preventative maintenance and inspections. KBR also denies responsibility for exposing troops or employees to carcinogens at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant, "There was no hazardous exposure and there has been no documented illness related to the facility."

Today, Magistrate Judge Paul Papak will hear arguments on whether an Oregon Army National Guard veterans' case against KBR should go forward in U.S. District Court in Oregon. Twenty-six Oregon vets -- and soldiers in three other states -- have sued, saying they were sickened by hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing chemical, as they guarded KBR employees working to restore Iraqi oil in 2003.

Crawford has assembled an online library about the suits.

"This wasn't done so a child could drink safe water. This was done to pump water into wells to get oil flowing. All these soldiers and civilians exposed, for oil."

To meet Ms. Sparky -- the slang for female electrician -- drive past Vancouver's suburban blocks to the hobby farms beneath Mount St. Helen. The 49-year-old wife, grandmother and blogger answers the door in black jeans and a pink plaid cotton top. She homeschools her 7-year-old grandson and takes Tae Kwon Do lessons with him.

Crawford says she is not a disgruntled KBR employee. The journeyman electrician says she went to Iraq six years ago out of patriotism and the same spirit of adventure that took her to contract jobs in Antarctica and China. She did not realize until she returned that problems she saw in Iraq were systemic, including what she saw as poor management and a lack of government oversight.

Growing up near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Crawford applied for an electrical apprenticeship after graduating Benton City High and became the first female journeyman out of IBEW Local 112 in Kennewick. She met her husband, Cal Crawford, at Hanford and talked him into moving to Seaside, then to Portland where she is a member of Local 48.

Crawford liked the math and technology in being an electrician and working with people who can visualize a problem and design solutions. She also liked that she could get a job anywhere. She spent 10 months in Antarctica, then traveled the country with her husband performing maintenance on nuclear plants.

They signed on in 2004 for Iraq. At $14.90 an hour, the salary was less than half what she made at home, but she felt she could contribute to the war effort.

"I thought I was doing the right thing," Crawford says.

The couple were housed at different camps. Both threw themselves into their work, surviving rocket and mortar attacks, heat and family disapproval. (Both of Crawford's parents died while she was overseas and her only daughter Tiffany went in prison for burglary.) Cal returned home after a year, but Crawford reupped for a second, with a raise and management opportunities. She returned to the Northwest July 28, 2006.

She was blogging about her travels and struggles with her daughter, when she heard the news report about Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth's death. Since then, Crawford's writing has almost exclusively focused on war contractors.

She rises every morning at 4:30 and logs on, often working well after her husband and grandson she is raising go to bed. Crawford posts anonymous tips, aggregates related news and videos, expresses her opinion, tips journalists and breaks news such as the death of State Department contractor who was electrocuted in his shower in Iraq in 2009. Categories on her website include "Chemical and other Exposures"; "Contractor Deaths"; "Electrocutions/"; "Indictments, Convictions and Arrests"; "Human Trafficking"; "Rape, Hazing, Discrimination and Harassment"; and "Rants."

Crawford has expanded her scrutiny to include contractors DynCorp (http://www.dyn-intl.com/), Fluor (http://www.fluor.com/pages/default.aspx) and Triple Canopy (http://www.triplecanopy.com/triplecanopy/en/ps/).

She works without pay but takes donations and advertisements on her website. She has had to bring on another person to handle the information flowing through the site. Still, she says the biggest payoff has been meeting all the special people affected by their service or work in the war zones.

Jill Wilkins was a young Florida widow desperate for information after her Air Force reservist husband, a registered nurse, died of a brain tumor in 2008. Wilkins found Ms. Sparky and within weeks of posting her questions about her husband's exposure to burn pits in Iraq on mssparky.com, Wilkins was featured on CNN, found other plaintiffs suing over the use of burn pits and was awarded her husband's veterans benefits.

"It was a lifeline," says Wilkins, who was so inspired she started her own Facebook site (http://www.facebook.com/burnpit) on burn pits.

Crawford says what she wants most is for the federal government to police war contractors.

"I have a 7-year-old who is bound and determined to be a soldier and I have to get this fixed before he is in the Army."

-- Julie Sullivan (juliesullivan@news.oregonian.com)

Related topics: electrocutions (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/electrocutions/index.html), hexavalent chromium (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/hexavalent%20chromium/index.html), Iraq (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/Iraq/index.html), KBR (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/KBR/index.html), Ms Sparky (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/Ms%20Sparky/index.html), Oregon Army National Guard (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/Oregon%20Army%20National%20Guard/index.html), Qarmat Ali (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/Qarmat%20Ali/index.html), sodium dichromate (http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/sodium%20dichromate/index.html)

Ed Jewett
07-17-2010, 03:18 AM
U.S. Special Forces Selected Lockheed Martin for $5 Billion Soup to Nuts Treatment (http://cryptogon.com/?p=16465)

July 16th, 2010 Via: Zacks (http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/36883/Lockheed+Bags+%245B+Contract+):
Lockheed Martin Corp. won a contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command to provide full-scope logistics support to warfighters around the globe. The company will provide a wide range of mission-critical services, from aircraft and vehicle maintenance to IT and electronics support. The contract has a potential value of $5 billion spread over 10 years.
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will repair and maintain the fleet of special operations aircraft, ground vehicles, weaponry and electronics equipment as well as manage a global supply chain of parts, warehouses, and depots. The company will also manage and upgrade the command’s critical infrastructure, from secure IT networks to worldwide facilities. Lockheed Martin will work with the Special Operations Forces Support Activity to implement leaner and more efficient business processes that will deliver more reliable, responsive support at lower costs and on shorter timelines.

Ed Jewett
07-19-2010, 10:53 PM
Dov Zakheim retires from Booz Allen Hamilton (http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_6121.shtml)
http://www.sott.net/images/print_article.png?1224850421 (http://www.sott.net/articles/show/212216-Dov-Zakheim-retires-from-Booz-Allen-Hamilton#)
http://www.sott.net/images/icons/vader.png?1222504982 Jerry Mazza
Online Journal
Fri, 16 Jul 2010 20:22 EDT

http://www.sott.net/image/image/s2/40972/medium/zakheim0.gif (http://www.sott.net/image/image/s2/40972/full/zakheim0.gif)
For those of you who don't know who Dov Zakheim is, let me refresh your memory. The ordained rabbi served as comptroller of the Pentagon from May 4, 2001, to March 10, 2004, when he resigned to go to Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading consulting firm.

I documented his days before, during and after his Pentagon stint, during which a total of $3.2 trillion went missing from Pentagon coffers, in an article for Online Journal, Following Dov Zakheim and Pentagon trillions to 9-11 and Israel (http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1047.shtml), which you should all read in full.

In fact, the second loss of $2.3 trillion was announced on September 10, 2001, by Donald Rumsfeld and the story was buried the next day under the rubble of 9/11.

News of the dual Israel-US citizen/rabbi's retirement came to me from a reader in an email that contained Mr. Zakheim's retirement announcement above the original invitation from his sec EA (Executive Assistant).

Subject: FW: announcement

After more than six years at Booz Allen, I have decided to retire effective July 31st. This has been a most interesting time in my career. I have worked with some wonderful people and made some lasting friends.

I plan to devote more of my time to writing on policy matters, especially international security issues; serving on boards; working with think tanks with which I have had decades-long relationships; and contributing to the important policy debates that will come to the fore in the years to come.

I wish you the best and am sure I will see many of you in the future.

Dov From: Koronowski, Cynthia [USA]
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 11:25 AM
Subject: Dov Zakheim Retirement Celebration
Good Day Everyone -

I hope that you will be able to attend the Celebration. If you have any questions/concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Thank you,

Cynthia As you read, Mr. Zakheim plans to stay politically active:
"I plan to devote more of my time to writing on policy matters, especially international security issues; serving on boards; working with think tanks with which I have had decades-long relationships; and contributing to the important policy debates that will come to the fore in the years to come." God help us. In his lucrative capacity at Booz Allen Hamilton, which I described as "one of the most prestigious strategy consulting firms in the world," "one of its clients then was Blessed Relief, a charity said to be a front for Osama bin laden. Booz Allen Hamilton then also worked closely with DARPA, the Defense Department Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is the research arm of the Department of Defense. So the dark card shifted to another part of the deck."

I also mentioned that "the ordained rabbi had been tracking the halls of US government for 25 years, casting defense policy and influence of Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. He is as I described him earlier, the bionic Zionist." In fact, "Most of Israel's armaments were gotten thanks to him. Squads of Us F-16s and F-15s were classified military surplus and sold to Israel at a fraction of their value."

More important is that "in 2001 Dov was CEO of SPS International, part of System Planning Corporation, a defense contractor majoring in electronic warfare technologies, including remote-controlled aircraft systems, and the notorious Flight Termination System (FTS) that could hijack even a hijacked plan and land or crash it wherever," including the Twin Trade Towers.

Mr. Zakheim is "also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2000 a co-author of the Project for the New American Century's position paper, Rebuilding America's Defenses, advocating the necessity for a Pearl-Harbor-like incident [9/11] to mobilize the country into war with its enemies, mostly Middle Eastern Muslim nations."

Mr. Zakheim's grandfather, "was born in 1870, Julius Zakheim (Zhabinka), in the Ukraine, a Russian rabbi who married a relative of Karl Marx. He was a Menshevik/Bolshevik and played a leading role in the 1905 turmoil that paved the way for the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The Bolshevik master plan called for the state of Israel, which was chosen for its proximity to the world's oil and an area of religious significance."

The torch was carried on by "Dov's father, Rabbi Jacob I. Zakheim, who was born in 1910 and reared in Poland's swarm of Zionist hard guys, read assassins and bombers. His Polish town, near Bilaystok, also brought us Yitzhak Shir, and family friends included Menachem Begin and Moshe Arens. Dov's father was an active member of Betar, formed in 1923 in Riga, Latvia. Its goal was to control the Middle East (and its oil). It was known that the Jewish people needed their own country and they chose Palestine and claimed it a Jewish state 'on both sides of the Jordan.'

"Betar was in essence a terrorist organization formed because Zionists were sick of being chased from and arrested in country after country. They wanted both a place to escape and a base for their power. Betar joined forces with the Haganah (http://www.skrewdriver.net/terror.html), Irgun, and Stern (http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/index.php)gangs. With no prospect of a Jewish state in sight, they argued that armed struggle against the British was the only way. Since Britain occupied Palestine and was containing them they went on a blood feast (http://www.etzel.org.il/english/index.html) of bombings that killed hundreds of British soldiers. The British pulled out, but the Zionists continue to maul the Arabs to this day."

"Returning to Dov: he was born in Brooklyn in 1943 and attended exclusive Jewish schools, spent summers in Israel Zionist camps, which trained the Zionists of the future. As to Dov's formal education, he graduated from Columbia University in 1970 and the University of Oxford in 1972. From 1973 to 75, he attended the London school of Jewish studies, described as a 'Harry Potter' type cauldron; among the subjects Jewish supremacy, Advanced Bible, Talmud, Jewish Mysticism, Holocaust, Anglo-Judaica, and Zionism. After, he was ordained a rabbi. From 1975 to 80, Zakheim was an adjunct professor at the National War College, Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

"As he stepped into the Reagan administration, he talked them into funding development of the Lavi Fighter at a cost of $3 billion. The Lavi was a total flop and Israel dropped it, though it owed $450 million in contract fees that were cancelled. Israel, according to Judicial Inc, also created a story that China was eager to buy the Lavi. Zakheim convinced Reagan that China had to be sandbagged. Reagan gave Israel $500 million for its lost contracts. Reagan then threw in a wing of F-16's as a bonus and sign of good will. Do we see a pattern here, personal, familial, career-wise, of over-the-top Israeli advocacy?

"Again, during Zakheim's tenure as Pentagon controller from May 4, 2001, to March 10, 2004, over $3 trillion dollars were unaccounted for. Additionally, military Information was jeopardized and military contractors billed the US for Israeli items: $50 million dollar fighter jets were rated as surplus and the list rolls on. As the scandal of the missing trillion dollars surfaced and Dov resigned, Israel was handed the finest fighter jets in the US inventory while 15 percent of US jets were grounded for lack of parts. In whose best interest was this?

"But Dov is not alone. He is one of an elite group of Jewish Americans/Israelis who inter-marry and enter government. They and their Christian counterparts are called neocons and their sole purpose is directing US policy. Most of them are dual citizens and few serve in the US military. Think of Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Richard Pearle, Ben Wattenberg, to mention a few. Whether their motivation is anger at the Muslim world, seen as a religious and territorial enemy, or a deep-rooted reaction to the Holocaust, the culmination of European anti-Semitism, their reactionary militarism becomes a world-threatening force unto itself. Hence our concern.

"Dov and the World Trade Center

"Perhaps not coincidentally in May 2001, when Dov served at the Pentagon, it was an SPS (his firm's) subsidiary, Tridata Corporation, that oversaw the investigation of the first 'terrorist' attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. This would have given them intimate knowledge of the security systems and structural blueprints of the World Trade Center. From the '90s through 2001, WTC Security was handled by Securacom, a Kuwait-American firm, on whose board Marvin Bush, the president's brother, sat. After 9/11, Securacom was let go, changed its name to Stratosec, and was delisted from the Stock Exchange in 2002.

"According to Conspiracy News.net writers Shadow and 'Pax' in Dov Zakheim and the 9/11 Conspiracy (http://911review.org/brad.com/batcave/Dov_Zakheim_911.html). (and I suggest you look at this link) "According to the SPC website (4), a recent customer at that time was Eglin AFB, located in Florida. Eglin is very near another Air Force base in Florida-MacDill AFB, where Dov Zakheim contracted to send at least 32 Boeing 767 aircraft, as part of the Boeing /Pentagon tanker lease agreement.

"As the events of September 11, 2001 occurred, little was mentioned about these strange connections, and the possible motives and proximity of Dov Zakheim and his group. Since there was little physical evidence remaining after the events, investigators were left only with photographic and anecdotal evidence.

"There is a photograph of the Flight Termination System module, from their site.(5). Note it has a cylindrical shape, and is consistent with the size and shape of the object observed under the fuselage of flight 175.

"The Boeing lease deal involved the replacement of the aging KC-135 tanker fleet with these smaller, more efficient Boeing 767s that were to be leased by Dov Zakheim's group. The planes were to be refitted with refueling equipment, including lines and nozzle assemblies."

"(Remember both Flight 175, that hit the South Tower, and Flight 11, that hit the North Tower, were Boeing 767s. Flights 77 and 93 were 757s.)

"In the enlargement of flight 175's photo, we can clearly see a cylindrical object under the fuselage, and a structure that appears to be attached to the right underside of the rear fuselage section.

"When seen in comparison, it is obvious that the plane approaching the Trade Center has both of these structures-the FTS module and the midair refueling equipment, as configured on the modified Boeing 767 tankers. Of particular interest is the long tube-like anomalous structure under the rear fuselage area of flight 175-this structure runs along the right rear bottom of the plane, as it also does on the Boeing 767 refueling tanker pictured.

"After considering this information, I [the author/s] am convinced that flight 175, as pictured on the news media and official reports, was in fact a refitted Boeing 767 tanker, with a Flight Termination System attached. Use of this system would also explain the expert handling of aircraft observed in both New York and Washington investigations, which has been officially credited to inexperienced flight school students.

"Since the refitted 767s were able to carry both passengers and a fuel load, as shown in this photo, it is likely that the plane designated Flight 175 was in fact a refitted 767 tanker, disguised as a conventional commercial passenger plane.

"As shown in this photo of a 767 being serviced, the FTS unit, when in position, would be small and unobtrusive enough to be fairly innocuous (at least to casual observers, such as passengers). The smallest circle indicates the size and position of the anomaly depicted in the photos of Flight 175. The larger circle, which is the size of the engine housing, shows the size of the anomaly in relation to the engine. Note the size and position of the open hatches on the engine housing, which would tend to discredit the widely held theory that the anomaly is an open hatch or cargo door.

"As the . . . diagram shows, all flights involved in the events traveled very near many military installations, and appear to have traveled in a manner suggesting guidance and possible transfer of the control of the planes among the bases.

"Since the evidence from the World Trade Center site was quickly removed, there is little concrete evidence of the involvement of Dov Zakheim, who has since left his position at the Pentagon. However, the proximity of Eglin AFB to MacDill AFB in Florida and Dov Zakheim's work via SPC contracts and the Pentagon leasing agreement on both of these installations, combined with SPC's access to World Trade Center structural and security information from their Tridata investigation in 1993 is highly suspicious. Considering his access to Boeing 767 tankers, remote control flight systems, and his published views in the PNAC document, it seems very likely he is in fact a key figure in the alleged terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001."


"In response to some of our readers who have questioned our premise that it was rabbi Dov Zakheim who 'called for' the Pearl Harbor type of incident, we here at Conspiracy News Net acknowledge that the PNAC document was written by the likes of William Kristol and Donald Kagan, and therefore as the real brains behind the agenda they are the ones calling for it in a literal sense. However, we do stand by our assertion that the rabbi called for it as well, insofar that he signed his name onto this document. If he signed it he agrees with it and therefore he is calling for it.

"Some of you have argued that we are singling out rabbi Zakheim because he is Jewish, implying that we are pushing some sort of twisted anti-Semitic agenda while noting that he is not the only one who signed the PNAC document and therefore wondering why our article is about him and not the others. We do not mean to imply that the rabbi acted alone, our article simply points out that rabbi Zakheim had access to things like structural integrity, blueprints and any number of important facets of information about the WTC through his work with TRIDATA CORPORATION in the investigation of the bombing of the WTC in 1993.

"That he had access to REMOTE CONTROL Technology through his work at System Planning Corporation (SPC). That he had access to BOEING AIRCRAFT through a lease deal HE BROKERED while working at the Pentagon.

" . . . Finally that he was part of a group of politically radical Straussian Neo-Conservatives, who, through their association with PNAC, called for restructuring of the Middle East, noting that a Pearl Harbor type of event MAY BE NEEDED to foster the frame of mind required for the American public to accept such a radical foreign policy agenda. In light of all this information we here at Conspiracy News Net stand by our statement that Mr. Zakheim not only called for the slamming of the WTC Towers on 9-11, but he actively took part in their demolition by providing the logistics necessary for such an attack to occur."

"Coda, a bitter frosting on the cake

"Whether or not you agree in whole or in part with these findings, here is an eye-opening article originally from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Milan Simonich. It is titled Army unit piecing together accounts of Pentagon attack (http://www.s-t.com/daily/12-01/12-20-01/a02wn018.htm), and from it comes this striking information in paragraph six . . [I]."One Army office in the Pentagon lost 34 of its 65 employees in the attack. Most of those killed in the office, called Resource Services Washington, were civilian accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. They were at their desks when American Airlines Flight 77 struck. (Itals mine)"

"Apart from the question of whether it was F 77 that struck the Pentagon, it is more than ironic that accountants, bookkeepers and budgets analysts, the very people who could pick up the financial frauds were targeted and struck. Especially since the hit was directed supposedly at the Office of Naval Intelligence."

Returning to the present

Bottom line, Mr. Zakheim was never questioned by the 911 Commission on his activities and beliefs, nor by the Department of Justice or any other government law enforcement or intelligence agency to the best of my knowledge. But one of the websites (located in the UK) in the article that showed the 767 aircrafts was asked by Mr. Zakheim's lawyers to take down the link. The lawyers said that "the information offended Mr. Zakheim." Well, his actions offend me.

Unfortunately, libel laws in England favors the complainant versus the USA's, where the burden of proof of libel rests on the accuser. Even then, Zakheim would need to prove that this was done out of malice rather than informing the public of important information.

So, there sits Mr. Zakheim now, freed of his BAH responsibilities but not of the stigma of this information. And my concern still remains. When is the Department of Justice or a new 911 Commission, the FBI, the CIA, DOD, or someone in any position of power going to sit down and ask Mr. Zakheim about his involvement in the masterminding of 9/11?

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City. Reach him at gvmaz@verizon.net. (http://www.sott.net/articles/show/gvmaz@verizon.net) His new book, "State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on" is available at www.jerrymazza.com (http://www.jerrymazza.com/), Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FState-Shock-Poems-9-11%2Fdp%2F1438906978%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid %3D1220583321%26sr%3D1-1&tag=onlinejourn09-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325)or Barnesandnoble.com (http://www.bn.com/).

Ed Jewett
07-28-2010, 05:00 AM
8-Year-Long Ban on Sex Trafficking in War Zones Never Enforced
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 http://www.allgov.com/Images/eouploader.423f39fd-72bd-4be9-8962-13c43e04be0c.1.data.jpg

U.S. government contractors may be engaging in sex trafficking in Iraq (http://www.allgov.com/nation/Iraq) and Afghanistan (http://www.allgov.com/nation/Afghanistan), but officials in Washington appear to be taking no action despite a law created to discourage the illicit behavior.

According to the law approved eight years ago by President George W. Bush, the government is supposed to prosecute contractors who buy or sell humans, and then ban the contractors from doing federal work.

Agencies claim they don’t have the resources to pursue companies accused of such charges. Human rights groups refuse to believe the inaction on the part of the government is due solely to limited resources.

“Zero prosecutions suggests zero effort to enforce the law,” Martina Vandenberg, a lawyer and former Human Rights Watch investigator, told The Washington Post.

The State Department (http://www.allgov.com/Agency/Department_of_State) has acknowledged allegations of contractors paying for prostitution, but no convictions or contract terminations have come about from them.

About 10 years ago, employees of Dyncorp International (http://www.dyn-intl.com/), a major defense contractor, were accused of buying and selling women throughout Eastern Europe.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

U.S. Policy a Paper Tiger Against Sex Trade in War Zones (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/17/AR2010071701401.html) (by Nick Schwellenbach and Carol Leonnig, Washington Post)
KBR, Partner in Iraq Contract Sued in Human Trafficking Case (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/27/AR2008082703237.html?nav=rss_world/mideast/iraq) (by Dana Hedgpeth, Washinton Post)

http://www.allgov.com/US_and_the_World/ViewNews/8_Year_Long_Ban_on_Sex_Trafficking_in_War_Zones_Ne ver_Enforced_100720

Ed Jewett
07-31-2010, 02:21 AM
SUV with American Embassy Contractors Strikes and Kills Afghans (http://www.legitgov.org/SUV-American-Embassy-Contractors-Strikes-and-Kills-Afghans)

July 30, 2010 by legitgov

ShareThis (javascript:void(0))SUV with American Embassy Contractors Strikes and Kills Afghans (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/world/asia/31afghan.html) 31 Jul 2010 In Kabul on Friday, a crowd of hundreds of Afghans rioted after a sport utility vehicle carrying American Embassy contractors mercenaries struck a car of Afghans, killing at least three of them, the Afghan police said. The riot happened early Friday afternoon on the busy road that connects the American Embassy and military headquarters in Kabul with the city’s airport. The crowd chanted "Death to America" and "Death to foreigners." Four contractors were in the vehicle, the embassy said. An Afghan police officer on the scene said the contractors traded fire with the police, but spokeswomen from their company, DynCorp International, and the United States Embassy said that the contractors did not fire any shots. [Yeah, right! I wouldn't believe anything *DynCorp* said if their tongues came notarized. --LRP]

Ed Jewett
08-02-2010, 12:45 AM
[/URL]'These men were senselessly tortured by a company that profited from their misery.' [URL="http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/07/2010730204554257459.html"]Iraqis to sue US firm at Abu Ghraib (javascript:void(0))31 Jul 2010 A US court has given the green light to 72 Iraqis to proceed with a lawsuit against a private contractor accused of complicity in the alleged abuse of detainees at the US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. US District Judge Peter Messitte ruled that the Iraqis can proceed in their case against L3 Communications and its unit formerly known as Titan Group, which provided interpreters to the US army in Iraq after the US invasion. The 72 former prisoners released after being imprisoned for between one month and four years from 2003 to 2008, accuse L3 employees of beatings, torture, sexual aggression, the use of electric shock, mock executions and hangings from their feet.

Jan Klimkowski
08-02-2010, 04:41 PM
[/URL]'These men were senselessly tortured by a company that profited from their misery.' [URL="http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/07/2010730204554257459.html"]Iraqis to sue US firm at Abu Ghraib (javascript:void(0))31 Jul 2010 A US court has given the green light to 72 Iraqis to proceed with a lawsuit against a private contractor accused of complicity in the alleged abuse of detainees at the US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. US District Judge Peter Messitte ruled that the Iraqis can proceed in their case against L3 Communications and its unit formerly known as Titan Group, which provided interpreters to the US army in Iraq after the US invasion. The 72 former prisoners released after being imprisoned for between one month and four years from 2003 to 2008, accuse L3 employees of beatings, torture, sexual aggression, the use of electric shock, mock executions and hangings from their feet.

L-3 Communications, eh?

L-3 (named for Frank Lanza, Robert LaPenta, and Lehman Brothers) was formed in 1997 from the purchase of ten former business units of Lockheed Corporation when Lockheed merged in 1996 with Martin Marietta[3]; the ten units were those which the new Lockheed Martin was uninterested in owning.

L-3 has continued to grow since then through numerous acquisitions to become one of the top ten U.S. government contractors.


Intelligence in Iraq: L-3 Supplies Spy Support

by Pratap Chatterjee, Special to CorpWatch
August 9th, 2006

The official headquarters for a 300-person intelligence support operation in Iraq is discreetly located in a two-story red building in a business park in Chantilly, Virginia, just outside the border fence of Washington, DC's Dulles airport. From its nondescript corporate offices, Government Services Incorporated (GSI) supplies staff for an operation that spreads over 22 military bases in the Middle East.

Walk through the entrance and to the left of the reception desk, next to a glass case showcasing electronic surveillance gear, is an announcement congratulating employees on winning a $426.5 million intelligence contract from the Pentagon last year.

GSI is a major subsidiary of L-3 Communications, a Fortune 500 company. Retired Lieutenant General Paul Cerjan took GSI's helm in May, after spending a year running Halliburton's multi-billion dollar military logistics contract in Iraq and around the world.

GSI is only one of several L-3 subsidiaries enjoying the Bush administration's largesse. On March 10, Titan won a no-bid contract worth $840 million over 12 months to supply translators for intelligence and regular military operations in the "global war on terror." Yet another L-3 subsidiary, MPRI, manages the recruitment of U.S. military advisors to key Iraqi ministries such as defense and interior.

Military "prime" contractors such as L-3 extend the complex web of contracts by farming out work to smaller subcontractors, sometimes disabled- or minority-owned businesses. Its partners on the intelligence contract include Florida-based, disabled-owned Espial Services and Virginia-based Gray Hawk Systems. Both are currently advertising for interrogators. Other L-3 subcontractors on the project include Future Technologies Incorporated, a South Asian-owned company which is hiring Middle East regional intelligence analysts; and Operational Support and Services, an obscure North Carolina company seeking counter-intelligence agents.

"The government is desperate for qualified interrogators and intelligence analysts so they are turning to industry," says Bill Golden who now runs IntelligenceCareers.com, one of the biggest intelligence employment websites in the business. "Over half of the qualified counter-intelligence experts in the field work for contractors like L-3."

Trends in Military Intelligence

Over the last five years, the Pentagon, in an apparent turf war with the CIA, has been expanding its intelligence work and relying increasingly and heavily on private contractors. Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, for example, created a new high-level office where 100 private contractors work with 130 government employees to oversee domestic counterintelligence, long-range threat planning, and budgeting for new technologies.

Officially, L-3 works for the U.S. generals in Iraq and not with Cambone's office, but some military observers see the arrangement with both the private company and the DOD as part of an effort by senior military officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to sideline the existing Pentagon bureaucracy.

W. Patrick Lang, who used to run worldwide intelligence collection for the Defense Intelligence Agency in the mid 1990s, says that explaining the privatization of military intelligence in Iraq is easy. "The military intelligence bureaucracy is incompetent; many intelligence general officers are mere bureaucrats who are incapable of dealing with real world intelligence problems. Also, many of them are so wrapped up in their own careers that they are afraid to do anything that might be controversial and won't think outside the box," he told CorpWatch.

"The commanders on the ground are reaching out to the private sector to get good people, and I say more power to them. But is this a good trend, the fact that the military is incapable of doing its own work? No, it's a terrible trend."

The possible downside of using private contractors to gather and analyze intelligence ranges from waste and compromised national security, to a deliberate strategy to avoid accountability and establish plausible deniability.

Larry Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense who oversaw most of the Pentagon contracting under Ronald Reagan, is sharply critical. "The privatization of what should be inherently government functions is growing by leaps and bounds. It's one thing to outsource food, but then it was security and now intelligence. What next, private companies running Stryker brigades?" he said, referring to the ubiquitous armored vehicles that patrol Iraq.

Indeed the military increasingly relies on private contractors to do just about everything in Iraq except make decisions and shoot weapons. Halliburton cooks the food and cleans the toilets, Bechtel fixes roads and schools, DynCorp trains the police, Blackwater provides security, and now companies like L-3 are taking over what were once considered core government work such as intelligence.

Who is L-3?

Despite being in business for less than a decade, L-3 is now the sixth-largest military contractor in the nation. Based in Manhattan, it is headquartered on the upper floors of a skyscraper on Third Avenue, a few blocks from the United Nations.

The company was created as a spin-off of several Lockheed Martin and Loral manufacturing units that specialized in advanced electronics. These small business units were having a hard time selling their products to major military manufacturers such as Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrup Grumman and Raytheon, because of perceived competition with Lockheed. L-3 was created as an independent "mezzanine" or middle company, not linked to Lockheed or Loral, that would supply advanced electronics to anyone.

The deal was engineered in 1997 by Wall Street investment bankers, the Lehman brothers, with the help of two former Loral executives, whose name coincidentally began with the letter L: Frank Lanza and Robert LaPenta. (L-3 stands for Lanza, LaPenta and Lehman).

Lanza told a reporter at the time that their plan was "to build one big company, that would be like a high-tech Home Depot."

The company quickly expanded through an aggressive acquisition strategy of buying up some 70 small advanced technology manufacturers. As it grew, it recruited big names to its senior management and board: General John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army and General Carl Vuono, the former deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Army, among others.

Within eight years, this new company had ousted other older companies including General Electric from the list of top ten military contractors. In the last few years, L-3 has been aggressively taking over prime contracts, especially in the field of intelligence. In 2005 alone it won $4.7 billion in Pentagon contracts.

Border Failure, Iraq Bonanza

Along with success has come a record of badly completed projects that makes L-3 an odd choice for intelligence gathering in Iraq. Only three months before the government awarded it the huge $426.5 million contract, it busted the company not once, but twice, for supplying faulty surveillance electronics.

In April 2005, the Pentagon placed L-3 subsidiary Interstate Electronics Corporation under criminal investigation for concealing test failures and providing flawed parts for emergency radios used by Special Forces and Air Force teams in Iraq and elsewhere. The investigation is ongoing.

hen on June 16, 2005, Joe Saponaro, then the head of GSI, was hauled before a Congressional committee to testify about the company's $257 million contract to install cameras and sensors for the Border Patrol along remote areas of the Mexican and Canadian borders. The project not only cost a fortune but the system didn't work. In 2004 for example, investigators found that at three sites on the U.S.-Mexico border–Naco, Nogales, and Tucson, not one of GSI's remote surveillance systems was functioning properly. (see box)

Nonetheless, on July 8, 2005, three weeks after Saponaro testified to Congress, L-3 subsidiary GSI sealed a contract worth $426.5 million over four years for intelligence support in Iraq. The paperwork on the contract was not signed in either the United States or Iraq, but, in a move that made the deal harder to track, by Cindy Higginbotham, operations chief of Division B of the United States Army Contracting Agency office at the Amelia Earhart hotel in Wiesbaden, Germany.

An elated Saponoro issued a press release a week later: "We are very proud to have been selected to support our warfighters in Iraq. This award reflects the U.S. intelligence community's continued confidence in L-3 Communications' ability to solve its complex problems and challenges."

The contract extended L-3's intelligence contracting in Iraq with the Pentagon. That relationship began at least as far back as January 2005, when L-3 was tasked with providing advisors to the Special Forces under an older no-bid contract. It was also one of four companies invited to bid on a five-year, $209 million contract to provide information technology, management, and intelligence support services to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

After L-3 won the $426.5 million intelligence contract for Iraq just over a year ago, the company ramped up its work in Iraq, deploying dozens of people across the battle-scarred nation. The private intelligence analysts report to Major General Richard Zahner, the top intelligence officer in Iraq.

The L-3 contract appears to represent an evolution in the privatization of intelligence. There were almost no private interrogators in Afghanistan or Guantanamo in 2001 and 2002 but with the invasion of Iraq, the government secretly hired CACI, a Virginia-based company, to supply intelligence personnel to Iraq. When one of its employees was implicated in the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, investigators discovered that the government had covered up the outsourcing by hiring the interrogators through an information technology contract with the Department of Interior in southern Arizona.

The ensuing scandal prompted the government to hire Sytex, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which supplied interrogators until late last year. (see CorpWatch article) Both CACI and Sytex apparently dropped out of the business after L-3 signed its new contract and offered to hire their former workers.

Asked to comment on the investigations and the current contract in Iraq, GSI spokesman Rick Kiernan referred queries to Cynthia Swain, L-3 vice president for communications at the company headquarters in New York. Swain did not return multiple calls and emails information.

The military was equally tight-lipped. "We're not going to talk about intelligence contracts," Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson, spokesman for the Multi-National Force Command in Baghdad, told CorpWatch.

Troubling Translators

Four months before L-3 signed the $426.5 million contract for intelligence support in Iraq, it made its biggest acquisition yet, paying $2.65 billion for Titan, a San Diego-based military contractor. "This acquisition is very strategic for L-3 because Titan is a major provider of intelligence services to the Department of Defense and key U.S. intelligence agencies," said Frank Lanza, chief executive officer of L-3 at the time.

Titan's most important contract, providing translators to the U.S. military in Iraq, earned it more than a billion dollars, a sixth of the company's total revenue over the past three years. Titan translators, many of whom were recruited through a sub-contractor, SOS International as far back as November 2002, were part of the initial planning for the invasion of Iraq. (see related story)

Several Titan employees have been implicated in the Abu Ghraib scandal where they translated for the interrogators. A report by Major General George Fay cited one detainee's charge that an interpreter "allegedly raped a 15-18 year old male detainee." According to the report, this same interpreter was also allegedly "present during the abuse of detainees depicted in photographs." A detainee told investigators that this interpreter "hit him and cut his ear, which required stitches."

U.S. Army records show that, of 15 Titan or SOS translators working at Abu Ghraib prison last fall, only one held a security clearance. Most had no military background at all. Khalid Oman WAS a hotel manager in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Emad Mikha, a Chaldean from Basra, managed the meat department at a supermarket in Pontiac, Michigan, before signing on for Iraq.

A Titan supervisor in the Sunni Triangle, interviewed by CorpWatch, says that contract translators underwent little or no background checking and their qualifications varied. "I'd say most of them were just there for the pay check and should never have been involved in military operations because they were incompetent or unqualified. Many of them did a terrible job," the former U.S. soldier said.

Another Titan translator says that the company hired mostly Shiite Muslims and sent them to work for the military where they would interview detainees who were primarily of Sunni heritage, causing potential conflicts.

The media have exposed several examples of Titan's problem hires. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Titan hired an Egyptian, Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, who had flunked out of Army interrogation school and been placed under surveillance by Massachusetts police. He was later arrested with what authorities said appeared to be classified information about Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, the secret detention-and-interrogation operation at the U.S. Navy base on Cuba's southern coast.

Another Titan employee who worked for an intelligence group in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq allegedly faked his name and birth date, according to Army Times. Calling himself Noureddine Malki, he claimed was single and that his parents and siblings had been killed by shelling in Lebanon. The FBI arrested him and said he was Moroccan and married.

Revolving Door

If the translators lack military experience, GSI's new director certainly does not. A 34 year veteran of the U.S. Army, Paul Cerjan retired from active service in 1994 to work for L-3's predecessor, Lockheed and Loral. He stayed in touch with his military roots even after retirement as a trustee of the National Defense University, and did some political work as a board member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

Then for three years, he became president of Christian televangelist Pat Robertson's Regent University. There, the man who had been deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army in Europe and led Pentagon delegations to China, spearheaded student enrollment drives and hosted award presentations to Miss America, Nicole Johnson.

Cerjan returned to a more active military role in spring 2003, when he got a call to assist Jay Garner, the man President Bush first asked to manage the reconstruction of Iraq. Cerjan oversaw the demobilization of the Iraqi army until this project became moot when the Iraqi Army disbanded itself.

But it was not long before Cerjan found use for his military background. In July 2004, Halliburton hired him to run its worldwide military logistics operation, a multi-billion dollar behemoth that was already running into trouble with allegations of cost over-runs in Iraq. He quit the job in July 2005, nine months before he came to work at L-3.

Bleak Future, Big Profits

It is hard to gauge if L-3 is simply supplying "warm bodies" for slots that military recruiters have not been able to fill, or if they represent a sea-change in outsourced intelligence. One things is certain, the government is becoming increasingly reliant on contractors in large part because it no longer has a pool of intelligence analysts who stick around long enough learn the necessary skills.

Bill Golden, who runs IntelligenceCareers.com, told CorpWatch that on an average, people applying for jobs last year had 11 years experience in intelligence; this year they have just eight and next year he expects that the average applicant's experience will drop to five years.

"That's not a sufficient base of expertise when you are fighting a worldwide war on terrorism," says Golden, a former military intelligence analyst with 20 years Army experience.

"We are now entering a new phase. Previously, government exported jobs to industry requiring subject matter expertise because that expertise was being institutionally lost. Now there are indications that industry may be losing some of [this expertise] as well."

L-3 is certainly the main beneficiary from this arrangement. Federal data show that the company drew almost $75 million in the first three months of the contract alone--a sixth of the budget for what is supposed to be a three year contract.


Surveillance Scandal

Congressman Mike Rogers, a Republican from Alabama, and chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Integration and Oversight, conducted a hearing on June 16, 2005, to probe why L-3 has botched a key border surveillance project.

"In 1998, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service launched the Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System, known as ISIS. This system was originally designed to detect illegal aliens and drug traffickers crossing our borders.

"A major component of the system is the Remote Video Surveillance Program. This network integrates multiple color, thermal and infrared cameras, which are mounted on 50- to 80-foot poles along the borders, into a single remote-controlled system.

"In December 2004, the inspector general of the General Services Administration issued an audit. This report found numerous problems with the Border Patrol's contract for the Remote Video Surveillance Program. (download report here)

"For example, the initial $2 million award was made to the International Microwave Corporation, known as IMC, without documented evidence of a competition. Interestingly, however, one year later IMC received a $200 million extension for many of the tasks that had fallen outside the scope of the original contract.

"GSA also found problems with the equipment. At the Border Patrol location in Blaine, Washington, for example, auditors found cameras and other pieces of equipment that did not work. Some needed frequent repair.
"At three other locations, including Detroit, auditors found surveillance sites where no equipment had even been delivered and no work was underway. At other sites in New York, Arizona and Texas, some equipment had been installed, but was not operational.

"GSA also noted these deficiencies: 60-foot poles that were paid for but never installed; sensitive equipment that failed to meet electrical codes; an operations center where contractors, and government employees did little or no work for over a year; and, not surprisingly, numerous cost overruns.

"In September 2004, GSA abruptly halted extending the contract, leaving approximately 70 border sites without monitoring equipment. It also forced the contractor to ship truckloads of equipment back to the Border Patrol. Today, that equipment is gathering dust in a warehouse.

"What we have here, plain and simple, is a case of gross mismanagement of a multimillion dollar contract. This agreement has violated federal contracting rules. And it has wasted taxpayers' dollars.

"Worst of all, it has seriously weakened our border security."

Despite the sub-committee hearing last year, the investigation has since been dropped. Robert Samuels, a spokesman for the General Services Administration, emailed an update to CorpWatch: "The results of the investigation were not sufficient, however, to pursue further legal action."

It might just be coincidence but the manager of the border security project was Rebecca Reyes, who is now director of policy, procedures and administration at L-3 subsidiary, MPRI. She also happens to be the daughter of Silvestre Reyes, a member of the U.S. Congress from Texas, a former Border Patrol agent who is now a senior member of both the Armed Services and Select Intelligence Committees of the House of Representatives.

Download PDF: Department of Homeland Security report on failure of Border Surveilance Camera Project


"Dusty" Foggo and "Nine Fingers"

L-3/GSI's next door neighbor in Chantilly, Virginia, is a company called Archer Logistics run by a man named by Brent Wilkes, headquartered on Thunderbolt Road, also at the south-eastern corner of the Washington Dulles airport.

Archer, which occupies a slightly smaller but more stylish two story red building, was a multi-million dollar contractor to the Pentagon beginning in 1995. In 2003 the company won a contract to supply water to CIA personnel in Iraq during the U.S. invasion. The deal was signed by the CIA's office in Frankfurt, Germany. The company later failed in a bid to provide clandestine flight services to the CIA.

Wilkes has been indirectly named in a lawsuit against San Diego Congressman Randy Cunningham, of using bribery in obtaining his military contracts, although he has not been charged. In March 2006 the CIA opened an investigation into whether his contracts were obtained with the help of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the third highest ranked CIA official and a former CIA officer nicknamed "Nine Fingers." Both men attended poker parties thrown by Wilkes at the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC.

Guests often arrived at the parties in chauffeured Mercedes-Benz limousines charted by Wilkes and were allegedly supplied with Cuban cigars and prostitutes. One frequent visitor was Cunningham, whom Wilkes paid $630,000 in bribes, according to an Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation conducted by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

There are no reported links between L-3 and the scandals involving Archer.

But like any good neighbors, they certainly do business together. Archer Logistics is an approved distributor for L-3's night vision Holographic Weapon Sights for M4 guns, used by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.


Pratap Chatterjee is managing editor of CorpWatch. He can be reached at "pratap@corpwatch.org"


Peter Lemkin
08-15-2010, 02:25 PM
Windfalls of War - The Center for Public Integrity http://publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro

Contractor Value Value FY02 Agency
Abt Associates Inc.
$43,818,278 USAID
Advanced Systems Development, Inc.
$259,958.56 DoD
$21,610,501 DoD
Alexander, Deborah Lynn
$168,625 USAID
AllWorld Language Consultants
$4,051,349 DoD
American International Contractors, Inc.
$1,500,000,000 DoD
American President Lines Ltd.
$5,000,000 USAID
Anteon International Corporation
$6,800,000 DoD
AOS, Inc.
$866,988 DoD
Atlas Case, Inc.
$17,243 DoD
Bald Industries
$35,734 DoD
Baldino, George F.
$263,000 USAID
Bea Mauer, Inc.
$9,920 DoD
BearingPoint Inc.
$64,100,00 USAID
BearingPoint Inc.
$240,162,668 USAID
Bechtel Group Inc.
$2,829,833,859 USAID
Blackwater Security Consulting L.L.C.
$21,331,693 DoD
CACI International Inc.
$66,221,143.19 Interior
Camp Dresser & McKee Inc.
$1,700,000 USAID
Capital Shredder Corporation
$11,803 DoD
Cartridge Discounters
$40,492 DoD
CDW Government, Inc.
$35,174 DoD
Cellhire USA
$1,465,983 DoD
CH2M Hill
$1,528,500,000 DoD
Windfalls of War - The Center for Public Integrity http://publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro
2 de 6 22-11-2007 8:50
Chemonics International Inc.
$167,759,000 USAID
Chugach McKinley, Inc.
$3,068,407 DoD
Comfort Inn
$47,324 DoD
Complement, Inc., The
$3,358 DoD
Contrack International Inc.
$2,325,000,000 DoD
Contrack International Inc.
$500,000,000 DoD
Creative Associates International Inc.
$60,000,000 USAID
Creative Associates International Inc.
$273,539,368 USAID
Cybex International
$4,838 DoD
Dataline Inc.
$1,028,851.89 DoD
Dell Marketing L.P.
$513,678.88 DoD
Detection Monitoring Technologies
$5,584,482 DoD
Development Alternatives Inc.
$39,523,857 USAID
Development Alternatives Inc.
$9,594,000 USAID
DHS Logistics Company
$378,000 $288,000 DoD
DHS Logistics Company
$223,497 DoD
Diplomat Freight Services Inc.
$2,604,276 $2,604,000 State
DynCorp (Computer Sciences Corp.)
$43,559,421 $130,000 State
DynCorp (Computer Sciences Corp.)
$50,000,000 State
Earth Tech, Inc.
$65,449,155 DoD
EGL Eagle Global Logistics
$111,000 USAID
EHI Company
$3,956 DoD
Electric Generator Store, The
$6,974 DoD
Environmental Chemical Corporation
$1,475,000,000 DoD
EOD Technology Inc.
$71,900,000 DoD
Expedited World Cargo Inc.
$55,004 USAID
Explosive Ordnance Technologies Inc.
$1,475,000,000 DoD
Export Depot
$21,182 DoD
Federal Data Corporation
$1,991,770 DoD
Fluor Corp.
$3,754,964,295 DoD
Force 3
$274,651.95 DoD
Windfalls of War - The Center for Public Integrity http://publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro
3 de 6 22-11-2007 8:50
Foster Wheeler Co.
$8,416,985 DoD
General Electric Company
Value Unknown DoD
General Electric Company
$8,525,498 DoD
Giesecke & Devrient America
$72,700 DoD
Global Container Lines Ltd.
$1,850,000 USAID
Global Professional Solutions
$590,232 DoD
Global Services
$910,468 DoD
GPS Store, Inc., The
$19,761 DoD
$70,220 DoD
Hardware Associates
$4,304 DoD
Harris Corporation
$165,000,000 DoD
Inglett and Stubbs LLC
$1,826,974 DoD
Inglett and Stubbs LLC
$6,348,271 DoD
Intelligent Enterprise Solutions
$19,835 DoD
International American Products Inc.
$628,421,252 DoD
International American Products Inc.
$20,080,636 $683,000 DoD
International Global Systems, Inc.
$157,383.40 DoD
International Resources Group
$1,230,000 USAID
International Resources Group
$38,000,000 USAID
J & B Truck Repair Service
$1,353,477 DoD
John S. Connor Inc.
$34,153 USAID
JSI Inc.
$3,376 DoD
Kellogg, Brown & Root (Halliburton)
$10,832,000,000 DoD
Kellogg, Brown & Root (Halliburton)
$599,000,000 $114,999,000 DoD
Kollsman Inc
Kroll Inc.
Value Unknown USAID
Kropp Holdings
$11,880,000 DoD
Lab Safety Supply
$53,379 DoD
Laguna Construction Company, Inc.
$19,536,683 DoD
LandSea Systems, Inc.
$47,750 DoD
Landstar Express America Inc.
$24,396 USAID
Windfalls of War - The Center for Public Integrity http://publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro
4 de 6 22-11-2007 8:50
Liberty Shipping Group Ltd.
$7,300,000 USAID
Logenix International L.L.C.
$29,000 USAID
Louis Berger Group
$10,228,894 -
$5,229,000 USAID
Louis Berger Group
$27,671,364 DoD
Lucent Technologies World Services, Inc.
$75,000,000 DoD
Management Systems International
$14,700,000 USAID
Management Systems International
$15,116,328 USAID
McNeil Technologies, Inc.
$716,651 DoD
Mediterranean Shipping Company
$13,000 USAID
MEI Research Corporation
Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
$1,471,238 DoD
Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
$4,528,328 DoD
Midwest Research Institute
$1,765,000 DoD
Military Professional Resources Inc.
$2,608,794.74 DoD
Miscellaneous Foreign Contract
$3,026,630 DoD
Miscellaneous Foreign Contract
$10,463,180 DoD
Motorola Inc.
$15,591,732 DoD
MZM Inc.
$1,213,632 DoD
NANA Pacific
$70,000,000 DoD
Native American Industrial Distributors Inc.
$123,572 DoD
Night Vision Equipment Company
$153,118 DoD
Nuttall, James S.
$187,000 USAID
Ocean Bulkships Inc.
$5,000,000 USAID
$1,500,000,000 DoD
Outfitter Satellite, Inc.
$33,203 DoD
PAE Government Services Inc.
$7,007,158 $5,714,000 State
Paro, Amy K.
$94,457 $94,000 USAID
Parsons Corp.
$5,286,136,252 DoD
Parsons Energy and Chemicals Group
$43,361,340 DoD
Perini Corporation
$2,525,000,000 DoD
Perini Corporation
$14,000,000 - $25,000,000 DoD
Windfalls of War - The Center for Public Integrity http://publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro
5 de 6 22-11-2007 8:50
Raytheon Aerospace LLC
$91,096,464 $2,044,000 DoD
Raytheon Technical Services
$12,412,573 DoD
Reabold, Miguel (Michael)
$136,603 USAID
Readiness Management Support LC (Johnson Controls
$40,792,343 $828,000 DoD
Readiness Management Support LC (Johnson Controls
$173,965,104 USAID
Red River Computer Company
$972,592.90 DoD
Redcom Laboratories
$24,375 DoD
Research Triangle Institute
$466,070,508 USAID
Ronco Consulting Corporation
$12,008,289.60 DoD
Ronco Consulting Corporation
$12,423,633 $6,771,000 USAID / State /
S&C Electric Company
$34,800 DoD
S&K Technologies Inc.
$4,950,384.80 DoD
Sampler, Donald L.
$81,000 USAID
Science Applications International Corp.
$159,304,219 DoD
Sealift Inc.
$4,000,000 USAID
Segovia Inc.
$320,636 DoD
SETA Corporation
$3,165,765 DoD
Shaw Group/Shaw E & I
$3,050,749,910 DoD
Signature Science
$4,704,464 DoD
Simmonds Precision Products
$4,412,488 DoD
SkyLink Air and Logistic Support (USA) Inc.
$27,344,600 USAID
Smith Office Machines Corporation
$2,961 DoD
Social Impact Inc.
$1,875,000 USAID
Sodexho Inc.
$324,120 $324,000 State
$9,215 DoD
Stanley Baker Hill L.L.C.
$1,200,000,000 DoD
Stanley Consultants
$7,709,767 DoD
Staples National Advantage
$4,194 DoD
Stevedoring Services of America
$14,318,895 USAID
Stratex Freedom Services
$1,978,175 DoD
Structural Engineers
$1,113,000 DoD
Windfalls of War - The Center for Public Integrity http://publicintegrity.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro
6 de 6 22-11-2007 8:50
TECO Ocean Shipping Co.
$7,200,000 USAID
Tekontrol, Inc.
$85,146 DoD
Tetra Tech Inc.
$1,541,947,671 DoD
Titan Corporation
$402,000,000 DoD
Total Business
$4,696 DoD
Transfair North America International
$19,351 USAID
Triumph Technologies
$228,924 DoD
Tryco Inc.
$400,000 DoD
Unisys Corporation
$320,000 DoD
United Defense Industries, L.P.
$4,500,000 DoD
University of Nebraska at Omaha
$7,072,468 USAID
USA Environmental Inc.
$1,541,947,671 DoD
Vinnell Corporation (Northrop Grumman)
$48,074,442 DoD
Ward Transformer Sales & Services
$115,000 DoD
Washington Group International
$3,133,078,193 DoD
Washington Group International
$500,000 - $500,000,000 DoD
$3,040 DoD
Weston Solutions, Inc.
$16,279,724 DoD
World Fuel Services Corp.
$19,762,792 DoD
Young, Brian
$106,150 $39,000 State
Zapata Engineering
$1,478,838,958 DoD

Jan Klimkowski
08-16-2010, 07:55 PM
Karzai's reading from the wrong script...

We shall see how this plays out.

Karzai to scrap foreign security firms in Afghanistan within four months

Afghan president brings forward deadline for handover of many security duties from foreign security firms to national police

Afghanistan's giant private security industry, which guards everything from western embassies to Nato supply convoys, is set to be scrapped within four months under dramatic new plans from Hamid Karzai.

According to Karzai's spokesman, the Afghan president is due to bring forward plans to dissolve all private security companies and hand over responsibility to the country's still ill-trained and often corrupt police force.

In November, Karzai said the firms, which employ tens of thousands of gunmen, would be phased out by late 2011.

The sudden announcement caught the private security industry by surprise, with many western managers in Kabul simply refusing to believe that the international community, which relies heavily on private armed guards to secure embassies and other facilities, would tolerate Afghan police guarding their foreign staff.

"If you go and talk to any of the big donors you will find that none of them will stay in the country if they can't have international security companies protecting them," said one senior executive of a major international security company.

He said his organisation was still absorbing the unexpected news, saying the threat to shut down security companies "seems to be a bit of a cyclical issue coming back every four to six months".

"It seems to be almost every time there is push from the US on anti-corruption, there is push back by the Afghan government saying [corruption] is all the private security companies' fault," he said.

The industry is seen by the Afghan government and its key allies as a source of instability, and indeed many of the companies are little more than private militias operating in their own specific patches of the country.

Currently, there are 52 registered companies with an estimated 30,000 staff. However, there are also huge numbers of unregistered companies, including 22 in the southern province of Kandahar alone.

According to some estimates, there could be as many as 50,000 people working for private security companies in Afghanistan.

A recent study by the US Congress heavily criticised a $2.2bn (Ł1.4bn) US government contract for trucking services, which said some of the security companies involved in protecting road convoys were paying protection money directly to insurgents.

For years, the average pay for Afghans working for private security companies has outstripped rewards for policeman and soldiers, making it difficult for the government to recruit its own security forces.

Yesterday a military spokesman for Nato said the alliance was "in total support of the president of Afghanistan's intent to do away with security companies and to do away with the need for private security companies".

However, he said these should be done "in a logical and sequential manner and as conditions permit."

The government has made various attempts to clamp down on the operations of the private security industry, including the most recent initiative ordering guards at all companies to wear a standardised uniform, which is due to come into effect in the coming weeks. But for all the trouble caused by such companies, the entire military effort in Afghanistan has essentially outsourced most of its logistics requirements to the private sector, making it totally reliant on security contractors to bring in food, fuel and equipment to Nato bases all over the country.

The Afghan army and police are currently experiencing breakneck growth and undergoing reform programmes to try to make them ready to take over from foreign troops by 2014.

Most embassies would not want to be guarded by an Afghan police force that is plagued with corruption and is also largely illiterate.

A western security official predicted that most embassies would find ways to avoid any ban, possibly citing a longstanding agreement between Nato and the Afghan government that gives near-total immunity to contractors working for the international community. Another option would be to issue embassy guards with diplomatic passports.

Karzai first announced his plans in his inauguration speech last November after he was reappointed president in the wake of national elections.

"The goal of a powerful national government can be realised by the strong presence of national security forces in all parts of the country," he said at the time.

"Within the next two years, we want operations by all private national and international security firms to be ended and their duties delegated to Afghan security entities."


Ed Jewett
08-27-2010, 11:27 PM
[/URL][URL="http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/08/27/29933.htm"]KBR Worker Admits Taking Bribes (javascript:void(0)) 27 Aug 2010 A former KBR employee in Afghanistan pleaded guilty today to taking $200,000 in bribes from subcontractors, and laundering the money. Daniel Freeman admitted he took the money while working as a contracts supervisor for KBR, federal prosecutors said. Freeman pleaded guilty to a two-count information accusing him of accepting corrupt payments while working on a federal program, and money laundering.

Ed Jewett
09-06-2010, 02:36 AM
Blackwater: The Cutout Formed Cutouts (http://cryptogon.com/?p=17458)

September 4th, 2010 Via: New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/04/world/middleeast/04blackwater.html):
Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, according to Congressional investigators and former Blackwater officials.
While it is not clear how many of those businesses won contracts, at least three had deals with the United States military or the Central Intelligence Agency, according to former government and company officials. Since 2001, the intelligence agency has awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates, according to a United States government official.
The Senate Armed Services Committee this week released a chart that identified 31 affiliates of Blackwater, now known as Xe Services. The network was disclosed as part of a committee’s investigation into government contracting. The investigation revealed the lengths to which Blackwater went to continue winning contracts after Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September 2007. That episode and other reports of abuses led to criminal and Congressional investigations, and cost the company its lucrative security contract with the State Department in Iraq.
The network of companies — which includes several businesses located in offshore tax havens — allowed Blackwater to obscure its involvement in government work from contracting officials or the public, and to assure a low profile for any of its classified activities, said former Blackwater officials, who, like the government officials, spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Posted in Covert Operations (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=27), Dictatorship (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=22), Economy (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=8), Outsourced (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=15)

Ed Jewett
09-29-2010, 05:15 AM
Surprise, surprise... another center for american security... the new american security... http://www.cnas.org/ ..

pnac cnas


(that's the American Center for New and Improved Security)

Let's see... with 26 letters in the alphabet, we ought to have enough acronyms to last us until the extra-terrestrials get here...

what's that? they're coming? :marchmellow:


the American Center for Who the Flake is the Leader Around Here Anyway

Ed Jewett
09-30-2010, 10:23 PM
Despite Clinton Pledge, State Department to Pay Out Billions More to Mercenaries (http://cryptogon.com/?p=17980)

September 30th, 2010 Via: Wired (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/despite-clinton-pledge-state-department-ready-to-pay-mercs-billions/):
Get ready to meet America’s new mercenaries. They could be the same as the old ones.
A new multibillion-dollar private security contract to protect U.S. diplomats is “about to drop” as early as this week, say two State Department sources, who requested anonymity because the contract is not yet finalized and they are not authorized to speak with the press.
So much for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s one-time campaign pledge to ban “private mercenary firms.”
Neither source would say which private security firms have won the four-year contract or how much it will ultimately be worth. The last Worldwide Protective Services contract, awarded in 2005, went to Blackwater, Triple Canopy and DynCorp. Rough estimates place that contract’s value at $2.2 billion.
This one is likely to be even more lucrative. That’s because this time, the reduction and forthcoming withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq is causing the State Department to splurge on private security.
Posted in Covert Operations (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=27), Outsourced (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=15), War (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=28)

Ed Jewett
10-05-2010, 12:12 AM
Mystery Merc Group Is Blackwater’s 34th Front Company [Updated]

By Spencer Ackerman (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/author/spencer_ackerman/) http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/wp-content/themes/wired/images/envelope.gif (spencerackerman@gmail.com)
October 4, 2010 |
12:01 am |
Categories: Mercs (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/category/mercs/)

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2010/10/800pxcontract_security_baghdad.jpg (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/blackwaters-34th-front-company-wins-big-diplo-jackpot/800pxcontract_security_baghdad-2/)
UPDATE: If International Development Solutions, a mysterious firm partially owned by Blackwater, has its own independent office, it’s hard to find. A business records search (https://www.bpn.gov/CCRSearch/detail.aspx) co-locates (http://www.dhs.gov/xopnbiz/smallbusiness/gc_1198248049694.shtm) one of the jackpot winners of a State Department contract worth up to $10 million with Kaseman LLC, the well-connected private security security firm that partnered with Blackwater arm U.S. Training Center (http://www.ustraining.com/new/index.asp) to win the contract.
That would suggest International Development Solutions — a company few industry experts have heard of, sporting a generic, Google-resistant name — is yet another front group the company set up to win government contracts while concealing its tainted brand. More of a mystery is why the State Department let the company get away with it. Again.
An earlier version of this story reported on the results of a different business records search that turned up a listing for the company in a residential neighborhood of Washington DC. But since it’s more likely that the firm be headquarted in Virginia with Kaseman (http://www.kaseman.com/) — who didn’t return phone calls for this story, like Blackwater — I’m removing information on that house, along with an image of it, and hereby issue a full and frank apology to its owner; IDS; Kaseman; Blackwater/U.S. Training Center; and you, the reader; and a shout-out goes to Scrarcher in comments for calling me out on this.

A months-long investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year found that the Army and Raytheon awarded a multi-million dollar subcontract to a firm called Paravant for the training of Afghan troops. Paravant claimed to have “years” of experience performing such work. As it turned out, Paravant didn’t really exist. “Paravant had never performed any services and was simply a shell company established to avoid what one former Blackwater executive called the ‘baggage’ associated with the Blackwater name as the company pursued government business,” committee chairman Carl Levin said (http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=322765) in March.
If you like Paravant, you’ll love International Development Solutions. Very few people seem to be familiar with it. Hill sources didn’t know what it was. Both critics of and advocates for the private-security industry were just as baffled. “I’ve never heard of IDS,” confesses Nick Schwellenbach, director of investigations for the Project on Government Oversight, in a typical comment.
All of a sudden, though, International Development Solutions is a major player in the private-security field. Last week, Danger Room broke the story (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/exclusive-blackwater-wins-piece-of-10-billion-merc-deal/) of the State Department including it in an eight-company consortium of merc firms, including industry giants like DynCorp, that will hold its elite contract for protecting diplomats and embassies: the Worldwide Protective Services contract. The official announcement of the award (https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=510481d9cc6330df06af3decbed1696a&_cview=0) gives absolutely no indication that International Development Solutions is tied to Blackwater; State only disclosed that fact after Danger Room pressed it.
Diligent work by the Senate Armed Services Committee determined a web of names (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9901E5DD143AF937A3575AC0A9669D8B 63&pagewanted=all) under which Blackwater — renamed Xe last year — did business to avoid such baggage. Among them (deep breath): Total Intelligence Solutions; Technical Defense Inc.; Apex Management Solutions LLC; Aviation Worldwide Services LLC; Air Quest Inc.; Presidential Airways Inc.; EP Aviation LLC; Backup Training LLC; Terrorism Research Center, Inc. All in all, the committee found 33 aliases. International Development Solutions appears to be number 34.
Those other spinoffs are generally up front about the services they offer. Aviation Worldwide Services, for instance, is now part of AAR Corp (http://www.aarcorp.com/), which provides cargo services and “specialized aircraft modifications” to the military. Total Intelligence Solutions (http://www.totalintel.com/) does threat analysis for corporate clients doing business in dicey parts of the world. Its subsidiary, Terrorism Research Center Inc. (http://www.terrorism.com/content/training-catalog), offers clients classes in DIY counterterrorism and threat prevention. (A forthcoming module: “How to Identify a Terrorist Cell in Your Jurisdiction.”) By contrast, International Development Solutions doesn’t have much of an online profile.
The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein provided a clue (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/10/blackwater_firm_partners_with.html) as to how the newcomer might have gotten a foot into the door for the Worldwide Protective Services contract. The board of Kaseman, Blackwater’s partner on the venture, is filled with former State Department, CIA and military notables: State’s one-time anti-terrorism chief Henry Crumpton; former CIA Director Michael Hayden; and retired General Anthony Zinni, to name a few. (The CIA and Blackwater have a looooong history (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/cia-blackwater-whos-playing-who/).)
Blackwater has a lot it might reasonably wish to obscure. To wit: High-profile shootings of civilians in Iraq (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/12/feds-issue-indi/) and Afghanistan (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124239900599924043.html); murder trials (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/murder-mistrial-for-facebook-friendly-blackwater-guards/); allegations of steroid and cocaine abuse (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/aint-no-party-like-a-blackwater-party-cause-a-blackwater-party-got-coke-roids-and-aks/); improper removal of weapons from U.S. weapons depots using the name of a South Park character (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/blackwater-in-kabul-or-eric-cartman-gets-an-ak-47/).
The big question is why the State Department is continuing to do business with this oh-so-classy-group. In the past, government contracting officials have explained that they can’t stop any company that hasn’t been de-certified from federal bidding from seeking contracts. Blackwater, despite everything, somehow has retained its certification.
But that doesn’t explain why State awarded the contract to the Blackwater-tied company. State has always taken notice of the fact that Blackwater has never lost a single diplomat it’s protected. But that sends the implicit message that State considers foreign lives less valuable than American ones — a problematic one for a diplomatic entity to send. The new Worldwide Protective Services contract was, among other things, an opportunity for State to break from the company that caused an international debacle when its guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/world/middleeast/03firefight.html). State stood by Blackwater — or at least a company that didn’t want the public to know it was Blackwater.
For years, numerous internal reviews and external watchdogs have criticized (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/23/washington/23contractor.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1) State for weak oversight over its security contractors — or worse. In March, the New York Times reported (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/world/middleeast/03blackwater.html) that the department’s oversight officials “sought to block any serious investigation” of Nisour Square. After discovering that State failed to correct years’ worth of security violations (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/09/whistleblowers-vs-the-101st-tequila-brigade/) from the company hired to protect the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the Project on Government Oversight’s executive director, Danielle Brian, testified (http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/testimony/contract-oversight/co-gp-20090914.html) last year that the department is “incapable of properly handling a contract.” A former State security official told Mother Jones that a “bigtime revolving door (http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/03/state-department-diplomatic-security-blackwater)” between the department and the contractors accounts for State’s blase attitude.
“The State Department has supported the Department of Justice investigation and prosecution of this case every step of the way,” reads an official answer the State Department provided when Danger Room asked why it did. “We fully respect the independence and integrity of the U.S. judicial system, and we support holding legally accountable any contractor personnel who have committed crimes.”
But that’s not a substantive answer. What experience does International Development Solutions have with providing security for diplomats in war zones? What makes this unknown company more qualified than at least four other established firms that didn’t win part of Worldwide Protective Services? What sort of due diligence did State perform to ensure that International Development Solutions isn’t another Paravant? State has yet to address any of those questions.
Photo: Wikimedia

Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/blackwaters-34th-front-company-wins-big-diplo-jackpot/#ixzz11RG2VnmW

Ed Jewett
10-24-2010, 02:00 AM
US State Dept. will hire another 7,000 security contractors for Iraq (http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2119754) 21 Oct 2010 The US government will hire an additional 7,000 mercenaries once Congress approves the 2011 budget. Speaking at the annual Arab-US Policymakers conference in Washington, Michael Corbin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for State for Iraq said security contractors will help "the Iraqi government improve its police department and other civil agencies." Corbin stated that State Department will hire another 7,000 security contractors once Congress comes through with a 2011 budget, in which the State Department has requested USD 2.6 billion for operations in Iraq.


U.S. Seeks Wider Role for Secret CIA Paramilitary Forces (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304354104575568621818109684.html) 23 Oct 2010 The U.S. is pushing to expand a secret CIA effort to help Pakistan target militants in their havens near the Afghan border, according to senior officials, as the White House seeks new ways to prod Islamabad into more aggressive action against groups allied with al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]... The current efforts to expand CIA presence are meant to expand intelligence collection and facilitate more aggressive Pakistani-led actions on the ground. Some U.S. officials, however, remain hopeful that Islamabad will allow a greater covert presence that could include CIA paramilitary forces.

Ed Jewett
12-30-2010, 02:48 AM
Beyond WikiLeaks: The Privatization of War

Sunday 26 December 2010
by: Jose L. Gomez del Prado, UN Working Group on Mercenaries, t r u t h o u t | Report
(http://www.truth-out.org/beyond-wikileaks-files-the-privatization-war66239) http://www.truth-out.org/files/images/122610pmc.jpg
(Photo: FRVMED (http://www.flickr.com/photos/frvmed/3240829900/))
The United Nation Human Rights Council, under the Universal Periodic Review, started in Geneva on November 5, 2010 to review the human rights record of the United States. The following is an edited version of the presentation given by Jose L. Gomez del Prado in Geneva on November 3, 2010 at a parallel meeting at the UN Palais des Nations on that occasion.
Private military and security companies (PMSC) are the modern reincarnation of a long lineage of private providers of physical force: corsairs, privateers and mercenaries. Mercenaries, which had practically disappeared during the 19th and 20th centuries, reappeared in the 1960s during the decolonization period, operating mainly in Africa and Asia. Under the United Nations, a convention was adopted which outlaws and criminalizes their activities. Additionally, Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions also contains a definition of mercenary.
These non-state entities of the 21st century operate in extremely blurred situations, where the frontiers are difficult to separate. The new security industry of private companies moves large quantities of weapons and military equipment. It provides services for military operations, recruiting former military as civilians to carry out passive or defensive security.
However, these individuals cannot be considered civilians, given that they often carry and use weapons, interrogate prisoners, load bombs, drive military trucks and fulfill other essential military functions. Those who are armed can easily switch from a passive-defensive to an active-offensive role and can commit human rights violations and even destabilize governments. They cannot be considered soldiers or supporting militias under international humanitarian law, either, since they are not part of the army or in the armed forces chain of command, and often belong to a large number of different nationalities.
PMSC personnel cannot usually be considered to be mercenaries, for the definition of mercenaries as stipulated in the international conventions dealing with this issue does not generally apply to the personnel of PMSCs, which are legally operating in foreign countries under contracts of legally registered companies.
Private military and security companies operate in a legal vacuum: they pose a threat to civilians and to international human rights law. The UN Human Rights Council has entrusted the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries, principally via the following mandate:

To monitor and study the effects of the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market on the enjoyment of human Rights 
 and to prepare draft international basic principles that encourage respect for human rights on the part of those companies in their activities.
During the past five years, the Working Group has been studying emerging issues, manifestations and trends regarding private military and security companies. In our reports, we have informed the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly about these issues. Of particular importance are the reports of the Working Group to the last session of the Human Rights Council, held in September 2010, on the Mission to the United States of America, on the Mission to Afghanistan and the general report of the Working Group containing the draft of a possible Convention on Private Military and Security Companies for consideration and action by the Human Rights Council.
In the course of our research, since 2006, we have collected ample information which indicates the negative impact of the activities of "private contractors," "private soldiers" or "guns for hire," whatever denomination we may choose to name the individuals who are employed by private military and security companies as civilians but are also generally heavily armed. In the cluster of human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by employees of the companies the Working Group has examined, one can find: summary executions, acts of torture, cases of arbitrary detention, trafficking of persons and serious health damages caused by PMSC employee activities, as well as attempts against the right of self-determination. It also appears that PMSCs, in their search for profit, neglect security and do not provide their employees with their own basic rights and often put their staff in situations of danger and vulnerability.
Summary executions
On September 16, 2007 in Baghdad, employees of the US-based firm Blackwater [1] were involved in a shooting incident in Nisoor Square in which 17 civilians were killed and more than 20 other persons were wounded, including women and children. Local eyewitness accounts substantiate that the attack included the use of firearms from vehicles and rocket fire from a helicopter belonging to Blackwater.
There are also concerns about the activities and approach of PMSC personnel, their convoys of armored vehicles and their conduct in traffic - in particular, their use of lethal force. The Nisoor Square incident was neither the first of its kind, nor the first involving Blackwater.
According to a Congressional report on the behavior of Xe/Blackwater in Iraq, Xe/Blackwater guards were found to have been involved in nearly 200 escalation-of-force incidents that involved the firing of shots since 2005. Despite the terms of the contracts, which provided that the company could engage in defensive use of force only, the company reported that in over 80 percent of the shooting incidents, its forces fired the first shots.
In Najaf in April 2004 and on several other occasions, employees of this company took part in direct hostilities. In May 2007, another incident reportedly occurred in which guards belonging to the company and forces belonging to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior allegedly exchanged gunfire in a sector of Baghdad.
On October 9, 2007 in central Baghdad, the shooting of employees of the PMSC Unity Resources Group (URG)[2], who were protecting a convoy, killed two Armenian women, Genevia Antranick and Mary Awanis, when their car came too close to a protected convoy. Antranick's family was offered no compensation and has begun court proceedings against URG in the United States.
URG was also involved in the shooting of 72-year-old Australian Kays Juma. Professor Juma was shot in March 2006 as he approached an intersection that was being blockaded for a convoy URG was protecting. Juma, a 25-year resident of Baghdad who drove through the city every day, allegedly sped up his vehicle as he approached the guards and did not heed warnings to stop, including hand signals, flares, warning shots into the body of his car and floodlights. The incident occurred at 10 AM.[3]
Two US-based corporations, CACI and L-3 Services (formerly Titan Corporation), were involved in the torture of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib. CACI and L-3 Services were contracted by the US government and were responsible for interrogation and translation services, respectively, at Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities in Iraq.
Seventy-two Iraqi citizens who were formerly detained at military prisons in Iraq have sued L-3 and Adel Nakhla, a former L-3 employee who served as one of its translators there under the Alien Tort Statute. The plaintiffs allege having been tortured and physically and mentally abused during their detention and maintain that the defendants should be held liable in damages for their actions. They assert 20 causes of action, including: torture; cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; assault and battery; and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[4]
Arbitrary detention
A number of reports indicate that private security guards have played central roles in some of the most sensitive activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), such as the arbitrary detention of and clandestine raids against alleged insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan [5], CIA rendition flights [6], and joint covert operations.[7] Employees of PMSCs would have been involved in transporting detainees in rendition flights from "pick-up points" (such as Tuzla, Islamabad or Skopje) to drop-off points (such as Cairo, Rabat, Bucharest, Amman or Guantanamo) as well as in the construction, equipping and staffing of CIA "black sites."
Within this context, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in May 2007 against Jeppesen DataPlan Inc., a subsidiary company of Boeing, on behalf of five persons who were kidnapped by the CIA and disappeared into US secret services prisons overseas. Jeppesen would have participated in the rendition by providing flight planning and logistical support. The five persons were tortured during their arbitrary detention.[8]
DynCorp International's 2009 annual report refers to four lawsuits on behalf of three Ecuadorian provinces and 3,266 plaintiffs concerning the spraying of narcotic plant crops along the Colombian border adjacent to Ecuador.[9]
From 1991, the US Department of State contracted DynCorp to supply services for this air-spraying program against narcotics in the Andean region. In accordance with the subscribed contract of January 30, 1998, DynCorp provides the essential logistics to the anti-drug Office of Activities of Colombia in conformity with three main objectives: eradication of cultivations of illicit drugs, training of the army and of personnel of the country and dismantling of illicit drug laboratories and illicit drug-trafficking networks.
A nongovernmental organization (NGO) report documented the consequences the spraying, which was carried out within the Plan Colombia framework, had on persons living in the frontier region.[10] One-third of the 47 women in the study exposed to the spraying showed cells with some genetic damage. The study established the relationship between Plan Colombia air fumigations and damage to genetic material. The study demonstrates that when the population is subjected to fumigations, "the risk of cellular damage can increase and that, once permanent, the cases of cancerous mutations and important embryonic alterations are increased, that prompt among other possibilities the rise in abortions in the area."
This example is particularly important given that Plan Colombia has served as the model for the arrangements that the US would apply later to Iraq and Afghanistan. Plan Colombia provides immunity to the employees of the contracted PMSC (DynCorp), just as Order 14 of the Coalition Provisional Authority did in Iraq.
The 2004 attempted coup d'etat perpetrated in Equatorial Guinea is a clear example of the link between the phenomenon of mercenaries and PMSCs as a means of violating the sovereignty of states. In this case, the mercenaries involved were mostly former directors and personnel of Executive Outcomes, a PMSC that became famous for its operations in Angola and Sierra Leone. The team of mercenaries also included security guards who were still employed by PMSCs, as was the case with two employees of the company Meteoric Tactical Systems - which provided security to diplomats of western embassies in Baghdad, including the ambassador of Switzerland - and a security guard who had previously worked for the PMSC Steele Foundation and had given protection to Haiti's President Aristide and escorted him to the plane that took him to exile.[11]
Trafficking in persons
In 2005, 105 Chileans were providing or undergoing military training in the former army base of Lepaterique in Honduras, where they were instructed in anti-guerrilla tactics, such as anticipating possible ambushes and deactivation and avoidance of explosives and mortars. The Chileans had entered Honduras as tourists and their presence in the country was illegal. They used high-caliber weapons, such as M-16 rifles and light machine guns. They had been contracted by a subsidiary of a company called Triple Canopy.
The Chileans were part of a group that also included 189 Hondurans recruited and trained in Honduras. Triple Canopy had been awarded a contract by the US Department of State. The contingent left the country by air from San Pedro Sula, Honduras in several groups, stopping over in Iceland and, upon reaching the Middle East, were smuggled into Iraq.[12]
The majority of the Chileans and Hondurans were engaged as security guards at fixed facilities in Iraq. They had been contracted by Your Solutions Honduras SRL, a local agent of Your Solutions Incorporated, registered in the US state of Illinois. Your Solutions had in turn been subcontracted by the Chicago-based Triple Canopy. Some of the Chileans are presently working in Baghdad, providing security to the Embassy of Australia under a contract with Unity Resources Group (URG).
Human rights violations committed by PMSCs against their employees
PMSCs often put their contracted private guards in vulnerable and dangerous situations, such as the one faced by the Blackwater "private contractors" killed in Fallujah in 2004. Their fate was allegedly due to the lack of the necessary safety means - which Blackwater was supposed to provide - in order to carry out their mission.
It should not be forgotten that this incident dramatically changed the course of the war and of the United States' occupation in Iraq. In fact, it may be considered the turning point in the occupation of Iraq. The incident led to an abortive US operation to recapture control of the city and the successful November 2004 recapture operation, known as Operation Phantom Fury, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,350 insurgent fighters. Approximately 95 American troops were killed and another 560 were wounded.
The US military first denied that it had used white phosphorus as an anti-personnel weapon in Fallujah, but later retracted that denial and admitted to using the incendiary in the city as an offensive weapon. Reports following the events of November 2004 have alleged war crimes and a massacre by US personnel, including indiscriminate violence against civilians and children. This point of view is presented in the 2005 documentary film, "Fallujah, the Hidden Massacre." In 2010, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a leading medical journal, published a study that shows that the rates of cancer, infant mortality and leukemia in Fallujah exceed those reported in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki).[13]
The over 300,000 classified military documents made public by Wikileak's show that the "Use of Contractors Added to War's Chaos in Iraq," (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/world/middleeast/24contractors.html) as has been widely reported by the international media recently.
The United States continues to rely heavily on private military and security contractors in conducting its military operations. The US used private security contractors to conduct narcotics intervention operations in Colombia in the 1990s and recently signed a supplemental agreement that authorizes it to deploy troops and contractors in seven Colombian military bases. During the conflict in the Balkans, the US used a private security contractor to train Croat troops to conduct operations against Serbian troops. Currently, most of the US's massive contracting of security functions to private firms takes place in the context of its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2009, the Department of Defense employed 218,000 private contractor personnel, while there were 195,000 uniformed personnel. According to the figures, about 8 percent of these contractors are armed security contractors, or about 20,000 armed guards. If one includes other theatres of operations, the figure rises to 242,657, a figure comprised of 54,387 United States citizens, 94,260 third-country nationals and 94,010 host-country nationals.
The State Department relies on about 2,000 private security contractors to provide US personnel and facilities with personal protection and guard services in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and Pakistan, and to provide aviation services in Iraq. The contracts for protective services were awarded in 2005 to three PMSCs: Triple Canopy, DynCorp International and the US Training Center, part of the Xe (then-Blackwater) group of companies. These three companies still hold the State Department protective services contracts today.
Lack of transparency
The information accessible to the public on the scope and type of US-PMSC contracts is scarce and opaque. The lack of transparency is particularly significant when contracting companies subcontract to others. Often, despite the US's extensive freedom of information rules, the contracts with PMSCs are not disclosed to the public, either because they contain confidential commercial information or based on the argument that non-disclosure is in the interest of national defense or foreign policy. The situation is particularly opaque when United States intelligence agencies contract PMSCs.
Lack of accountability
Despite their involvement in grave human rights violations, not a single PMSC or PMSC employee has been sanctioned.
In the course of litigation, several recurring legal arguments have been used in the defense of PMSCs and their personnel, including the government contractor defense, the political question doctrine and derivative immunity arguments. PMSCs are using the government contractor defense to argue that they were operating under the exclusive control of the government of the United States when the alleged acts were committed and therefore cannot be held liable for their actions.
It looks as though when acts questionable under international law are committed by agents of the government, they are considered human rights violations, but when these same acts are perpetrated by PMSCs, it is "business as usual."
Human rights violations perpetrated by private military and security companies are indications of the threat posed to the foundations of democracy when inherently public functions - such as the monopoly on the legitimate use of force – become privatized. In this connection, I cannot help but to refer to the final speech of former US president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 1961, Eisenhower warned the American public against the growing danger of a military-industrial complex:

[W]e must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Fifty years later on September 8, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld, in his speech to the Department of Defense, warned the Pentagon military against:

an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America. 
 Let's make no mistake: The modernization of the Department of Defense is 
 a matter of life and death, ultimately, every American's. 
 The adversary [is] the Pentagon bureaucracy. 
 That's why we're here today challenging us all to wage an all-out campaign to shift the Pentagon's resources from bureaucracy to the battlefield, from tail to the tooth. We know the adversary. We know the threat. And with the same firmness of purpose that any effort against a determined adversary demands, we must get at it and stay at it. Some might ask, how in the world could the Secretary of Defense attack the Pentagon in front of its people? To them I reply, I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from itself.
Rumsfeld should have been more specific and cited the shift of the Pentagon's resources from bureaucracy to the private sector. Indeed, that shift had been accelerated by the Bush administration: the number of persons employed by contracts that the Pentagon had outsourced was already four times more than at the Department of Defense.
It is not a military-industrial complex anymore, but, as Noam Chomsky has said, "just the industrial system operating under one or another pretext." Dana Priest and William M. Arkin's July 2010 article in the Washington Post, "Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control," shows the extent that "the top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive, that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work."
The investigation's findings include that some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States, and that an estimated 854,000 people - nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C. - hold top-secret security clearances. A number of private military and security companies are among the security and intelligence agencies mentioned in the Post's report.
The Working Group received information from several sources that up to 70 percent of the US intelligence budget is spent on contractors. These contracts are classified, and very little information is available to the public on the nature of the activities contractors carry out.
The privatization of war has created a structural dynamic that responds to the commercial logic of the industry.
A short look at the careers of the current managers of BAE Systems, as well as at their address books, confirms that we are no longer dealing with a normal corporation, but with a cartel that unites high-tech weaponry (BAE Systems, United Defense Industries, Lockheed Martin), speculative financiers (Lazard Freres, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank) and raw material cartels (British Petroleum, Shell Oil) with on-the-ground, private military and security companies.[14]
The majority of private military and security companies have been created, or are managed by, former military members or ex-police-officers, for whom PMSCs are big business. Just to give an example, Military Professional Resources Incorporation (MPRI) was created by four former United States Army generals when they were due for retirement.[15] The same is true for Blackwater and its affiliate companies or subsidiaries, which employ former directors of the CIA.[16] Social scientists refer to this phenomenon as the revolving door syndrome.
The use of security contractors is expected to grow as American forces shrink. A July report (http://www.wartimecontracting.gov/docs/CWC_SR2010-07-12.pdf)by the Commission on Wartime Contracting (http://www.wartimecontracting.gov/index.php/about), a panel established by Congress, estimated that the State Department alone would need more than double the number of contractors it had protecting the American Embassy and consulates in Iraq.

Without contractors: (1) the military engagement would have had to be smaller - a strategically problematic alternative; (2) the United States would have had to deploy its finite number of active personnel for even longer tours of duty - a politically dicey and short-sighted option; (3) the United States would have had to consider a civilian draft or boost retention and recruitment by raising military pay significantly - two politically untenable options; or (4) the need for greater commitments from other nations would have arisen and with it, the United States would have had to make more concessions to build and sustain a truly multinational effort. Thus, the tangible differences in the type of war waged, the effect on military personnel, and the need for coalition partners are greatly magnified when the government has the option to supplement its troops with contractors.[17]
The military cannot do without them. There are more contractors (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40764.pdf)overall than actual members of the military serving in the worsening war in Afghanistan.
Conclusions of the Senate Armed Services Committee concerning the impact of private security contracting on US goals in Afghanistan[18]
Conclusion 1: The proliferation of private security personnel in Afghanistan is inconsistent with the counterinsurgency strategy. In May 2010, the U.S. Central Command's Armed Contractor Oversight Directorate reported that there were more than 26,000 private security contractor personnel operating in Afghanistan. Many of those private security personnel are associated with armed groups that operate outside government control.
Conclusion 2: Afghan warlords and strongmen operating as force providers to private security contractors have acted against U.S. and Afghan government interests. Warlords and strongmen associated with U.S.-funded security contractors have been linked to anti-Coalition activities, murder, bribery, and kidnapping. The Committee's examination of the U.S.-funded security contract with ArmorGroup at Shindand Airbase in Afghanistan revealed that ArmorGroup relied on a series of warlords to provide armed men to act as security guards at the Airbase.
Open-ended intergovernmental working group established by the HR Council
Because of their impact in the enjoyment of human rights, the Working Group on Mercenaries, in its 2010 reports to the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly, has recommended a legally binding instrument to regulate and monitor PMSC's activities at the national and international level.
The motion to create an open-ended intergovernmental working group has been the object of lengthy negotiations in the Human Rights Council, led by South Africa, in order to accommodate the concerns of the Western Group, but primarily those of the United States and the United Kingdom; considerable pressure was also exerted in the capitals of African countries supporting the draft resolution. The text of the resolution was weakened in order to pass it by consensus, but, even so, the position of the Western States has been a "fin de non recevoir" – a complete demurral.
The resolution was adopted by a majority of 32 in favor, 12 against and 3 abstentions. Among the supporters of this initiative are four out of the five members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) in addition to the African Group, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab Group.
The adoption of this resolution opens an interesting process in the UN Human Rights Council in which civil society can participate in the elaboration of an international framework on the regulation, monitoring and oversight of the activities of private military and security companies. The new open-ended intergovernmental working group will be the forum for all stakeholders to receive inputs - not only the draft text of a possible convention and the elements elaborated by the UN Working Group on mercenaries, but also other initiatives, such as the proposal submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Montreux Document and the international code of conduct being elaborated under the Swiss Initiative.
However, the negative vote of the delegations of the Western Group indicates that the interests of the new staggering security industry – its annual market revenue is estimated to be over USD one hundred billion – have been quite well-defended, as was the case on a number of other occasions. It also shows that Western governments will be absent from the start in a full, in-depth discussion of the issues raised by the activities of PMSCs.
We urge all states to support the process initiated by the Council by designating their representatives to the new open-ended intergovernmental working group, which will hold its first session in 2011, and to continue a process of discussions regarding a legally binding instrument.
The participation of the UK and the US, the main exporters of these activities (it is estimated that these two countries' firms control 70 percent of the security industry), as well as other Western countries where the new industry is expanding is of particular importance.
The Working Group also urges the United States Government to implement the recommendations we made, in particular, to:

Support the US Congress's Stop Outsourcing Security (SOS) Act, which clearly defines the functions that are inherently governmental and that cannot be outsourced to the private sector.
Rescind immunity to contractors carrying out activities in other countries under bilateral agreements.
Carry out prompt and effective investigations of human rights violations committed by PMSCs and prosecute alleged perpetrators.
Ensure that the oversight of private military and security contractors is not outsourced to PMSCs.
Establish a specific system of federal licensing of PMSCs for their activities abroad.
Set up a vetting procedure for awarding contracts to PMSCs.
Ensure that United States criminal jurisdiction applies to private military and security companies contracted by the government to carry out activities abroad.
Respond to pending communications from the Working Group.

1. Blackwater Worldwide abandoned its tarnished brand name in order to shake its reputation, which was battered by its criticized work in Iraq. Blackwater renamed its family of two-dozen businesses under the name "Xe." See Mike Baker, "Blackwater dumps tarnished brand name," AP News Break, February 13, 2009.
2. URG, an Australian private military and security company, uses a number of ex-military Chileans to provide security to the Australian Embassy in Baghdad. Recently, one of those "private guards" shot himself. ABC News, reported by La Tercera, Chile, September 16, 2010.
3. J. Mendes and S. Mitchell, "Who is Unity Resources Group?" ABC News Australia, September 16, 2010.
4. Case 8:08-cv-01696-PJM, Document 103, filed July 29, 2010. Defendants have filed motions to dismiss on a number of grounds. They argue that the suit must be dismissed in its entirety because they are immune under the laws of war, because the suit raises non-justiciable political questions and because they possess derivative sovereign immunity. They seek dismissal of the state law claims on the basis of government contractor immunity, premised on the notion that plaintiffs cannot proceed on state law claims, which arise out of combatant activities of the military. The United States District Court for the district of Maryland Greenbelt Division has decided to proceed with the case against L-3 Services, Inc. It has not accepted the motions to dismiss, allowing the case to go forward.
5. Mission to the United States of America, Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, United Nations document, A/HRC/15/25/Add.3, paragraph 22.
6. James Risen and Mark Mazzetti, "Blackwater guards tied to secret C.I.A. raids", New York Times, December 10, 2009.
7. Adam Ciralsky, "Tycoon, contractor, soldier, spy", Vanity Fair, January 2010. See also Claim No. HQ08X02800 in the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, Binyam Mohamed v. Jeppesen UK Ltd, report of James Gavin Simpson, May 26, 2009.
8. ACLU Press Release: "UN Report Underscores Lack of Accountability and Oversight for Military and Security Contractors", New York, September 14, 2010.
9. The report also indicates that the DynCorp revenues were 1,966,993 USD in 2006 and 3,101,093 USD in 2009.
10 Mission to Ecuador, Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, United Nations document, A/HRC/4/42/Add.2
11. A number of the persons involved in the attempted coup were arrested in Zimbabwe, others in Equatorial Guinea itself, where the coup was intended to overthrow the government and put another in its place in order to gain access to rich resources in oil. In 2004 and 2008, the trials of those arrested in connection with the coup attempt took place in Equatorial Guinea; defendants included British citizen Simon Mann and the South African Nick du Toit. The president of Equatorial Guinea pardoned all foreigners linked to the coup attempt in November 2009. A number of reports indicated that trials failed to comply with international human rights standards and that some of the accused had been subjected to torture and ill-treatment. The government of Equatorial Guinea has three ongoing trials in the United Kingdom, Spain and Lebanon against the persons who were behind the attempted coup.
12 Report of the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, Mission to Honduras, United Nations document A/HRC/4/42/Add.1.
13. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallujah)
14. Mercenaries without borders by Karel Vereycken, September 21, 2007.
15. Including General Carl E. Vuono, Chief of the Army during the Gulf War and the invasion of Panama, General Crosbie E. Saint, former Commander in Chief of the US Army in Europe, and General Ron Griffith. The president of MPRI is General Bantant J. Craddock.
16. Such as Cofer Black, former chief of the Counter Terrorism Center; Enrique Prado, former chief of operations, and Rof Richter, second in command of the Clandestine Services of the company.
17. "Privatization's Pretensions", University of Chicago Law Review, Jon D. Michaels.
18. Inquiry into the role and oversight of private security contractors in Afghanistan, report together with additional views of the Committee on
Armed Services, United States Senate, September 28, 2010.


Ed Jewett
01-10-2011, 03:10 AM
The Privatization of War:
Is Blackwater Heading for the Holy Land?

by Spencer Ackerman

Global Research (http://www.globalresearch.ca/), January 8, 2011
wired.com (http://wired.com/)

Jerusalem: a cauldron of nationalistic and religious acrimony, a persistent flashpoint for global crisis. Exactly where you want to put the world’s most notorious private security firm.
International Development Solutions, a recent joint venture between Blackwater-spinoff U.S. Training Center and a different security company (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/exclusive-blackwater-wins-piece-of-10-billion-merc-deal/), just received a task order under the State Department’s $10 billion Worldwide Protective Services contract to protect Jerusalem-stationed U.S. diplos. Jeff Stein reports that the bid is as much as $84 million (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2011/01/blackwater-linked_firm_scores.html). Israeli drivers, watch out.
But that’s not all. According to Stein, Blackwater — ahem, sorry, Xe Services – isn’t actually part of International Development Solutions anymore. Xe, recently purchased by a surprisingly crunchy group of investors (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/will-blackwater-go-vegan-after-sale-to-hippy-firm/), apparently offloaded U.S. Training Center — although it’s likely that its personnel will continue to train on the same Moyock, North Carolina facilities as Blackwater, and “many of its operatives” are Blackwater people, Stein writes.
If so, it would suggest that Blackwater’s new owners, known as USTC Holdings, meant it when they played down Blackwater’s security tasks. “USTC Holdings, LLC will acquire the Xe companies that provide domestic and international training, as well as security services,” it said in a statement last month. Message: we’re a training company, not a mercenary firm infamous for shooting Iraqi civilians (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/12/feds-issue-indi/)and taking guns intended for Afghan cops (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/blackwater-in-kabul-or-eric-cartman-gets-an-ak-47/).
We’re waiting to hear from USTC Holdings spokespeople precisely what relationship pertains between Xe and International Development Solutions now. It wouldn’t be surprising if, as Jeff’s reporting indicates, there’s still some arrangement between the two — that’s how Blackwater rolls (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/blackwaters-34th-front-company-wins-big-diplo-jackpot/).
On the other hand, if the new owners have really divested themselves of the diplo-guarding business, then it may be the end of an era: Blackwater won’t have any other contracts with State; and it just lost a big police-training contract in Afghanistan to DynCorp. We’ll update when we know more.

Global Research Articles by Spencer Ackerman (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=listByAuthor&authorFirst=Spencer&authorName=Ackerman)

Magda Hassan
01-21-2011, 01:58 AM
Blackwater Founder Is Said to Back African Mercenaries

By MARK MAZZETTI (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/mark_mazzetti/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and ERIC SCHMITT (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/eric_schmitt/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

Published: January 20, 2011

WASHINGTON — Erik Prince, the founder of the international security giant Blackwater Worldwide (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/blackwater_usa/index.html?inline=nyt-org), is backing an effort by a controversial South African mercenary firm to insert itself into Somalia (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/somalia/index.html?inline=nyt-geo)’s bloody civil war by protecting government leaders, training Somali troops, and battling pirates (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/p/piracy_at_sea/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) and Islamic militants there, according to American and Western officials.

The disclosure comes as Mr. Prince sells off his interest in the company he built into a behemoth with billions of dollars in American government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, work that mired him in lawsuits and investigations amid reports of reckless behavior by his operatives, including causing the deaths of civilians in Iraq. His efforts to wade into the chaos of Somalia (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/somalia/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) appear to be Mr. Prince’s latest endeavor to remain at the center of a campaign against Islamic radicalism in some of the world’s most war-ravaged corners. Mr. Prince moved to the United Arab Emirates late last year.
With its barely functional government and a fierce hostility to foreign armies since the hasty American withdrawal from Mogadishu in the early 1990s, Somalia is a country where Western militaries have long feared to tread. The Somali government has been cornered in a small patch of Mogadishu by the Shabab (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/al-shabab/index.html?inline=nyt-org), a Somali militant group with ties to Al Qaeda (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/al_qaeda/index.html?inline=nyt-org).
This, along with the growing menace of piracy off Somalia’s shores, has created an opportunity for private security companies like the South African firm Saracen International to fill the security vacuum created by years of civil war. It is another illustration of how private security firms are playing a bigger role in wars around the world, with some governments seeing them as a way to supplement overtaxed armies, while others complain that they are unaccountable.
Mr. Prince’s precise role remains unclear. Some Western officials said that it was possible Mr. Prince was using his international contacts to help broker a deal between Saracen executives and officials from the United Arab Emirates, which have been financing Saracen in Somalia because Emirates business operations have been threatened by Somali pirates.
According to a report by the African Union (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/african_union/index.html?inline=nyt-org), an organization of African states, Mr. Prince provided initial financing for a project by Saracen to win contracts with Somalia’s embattled government.
A spokesman for Mr. Prince challenged this report, saying that Mr. Prince had “no financial role of any kind in this matter,” and that he was primarily involved in humanitarian efforts and fighting pirates in Somalia.
“It is well known that he has long been interested in helping Somalia overcome the scourge of piracy,” said the spokesman, Mark Corallo. “To that end, he has at times provided advice to many different anti-piracy efforts.”
Saracen International is based in South Africa, with corporate offshoots in Uganda and other countries. The company, which declined to comment, was formed with the remnants of Executive Outcomes, a private mercenary firm composed largely of former South African special operations troops who worked throughout Africa in the 1990s.
The company makes little public about its operations and personnel, but it appears to be run by Lafras Luitingh, a former officer in South Africa’s Civil Cooperation Bureau, an apartheid-era internal security force notorious for killing opponents of the government.
American officials have said little about Saracen since news reports about the company’s planned operations in Somalia emerged last month. Philip J. Crowley, a State Department spokesman, said in December that the American government was “concerned about the lack of transparency” of Saracen’s financing and plans.
For now, the Obama administration remains committed to bolstering Somalia’s government with about 8,000 peacekeeping (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/united_nations/department_of_peacekeeping_operations/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) troops from Burundi and Uganda operating under a United Nations (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/united_nations/index.html?inline=nyt-org) banner.
Indigenous Somali forces are also being trained in Uganda.
Saracen has yet to formally announce its plans in Somalia, and there appear to be bitter disagreements within Somalia’s fractious government about whether to hire the South African firm. Somali officials have said that Saracen’s operations — which would also include training an antipiracy army in the semiautonomous region of Puntland — are being financed by an anonymous Middle Eastern country.
Several people with knowledge of Saracen’s operations confirmed that that was the United Arab Emirates.
A spokesman for the Emirates’s Embassy in Washington declined to comment on Saracen or on Mr. Prince’s involvement in the company.
One person involved in the project, speaking on condition of anonymity because Saracen’s plans were not yet public, said that new ideas for combating piracy and battling the Shabab (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/al-shabab/index.html?inline=nyt-org) are needed because “to date, other missions have not been successful.”
At least one of Saracen’s past forays into training militias drew an international rebuke. Saracen’s Uganda subsidiary was implicated in a 2002 United Nations Security Council (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/security_council/index.html?inline=nyt-org) report for training rebel paramilitary forces in Congo.
That reported identified one of Saracen Uganda’s owners as Lt. Gen Salim Saleh, the retired half-brother of Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni. The report also accused General Saleh and other Ugandan officers of using their ties to paramilitaries to plunder Congolese diamonds, gold and timber.

According to a Jan. 12 confidential report by the African Union (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/african_union/index.html?inline=nyt-org), Mr. Prince “is at the top of the management chain of Saracen and provided seed money for the Saracen contract.” A Western official working in Somalia said he believed that it was Mr. Prince who first raised the idea of the Saracen contract with members of the Emirates’s ruling families, with whom he has a close relationship.

Two former American officials are helping broker the delicate negotiations between the Somali government, Saracen and the Emirates.
Pierre-Richard Prosper, a former United States ambassador at large for war crimes, and Michael Shanklin, a former Central Intelligence Agency (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/central_intelligence_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org) station chief in Mogadishu, are both serving as advisers to the Somali government, according to people involved in the project. Both Mr. Prosper and Mr. Shanklin are apparently being paid by the United Arab Emirates.
Saracen is now training a 1,000-member antipiracy militia in Puntland, in northern Somalia, and plans a separate militia in Mogadishu. The company has trained a first group of 150 militia members and is drilling a second group of equal size, an official familiar with the company’s operations said.
In December, Somalia’s Ministry of Information issued a news release saying that Saracen was contracted to train security personnel and to carry out humanitarian work. That statement said the contract “is a limited engagement that is clearly defined and geared towards filling a need that is not met by other sources at this time.”
For years, Mr. Prince, a multimillionaire former Navy SEAL, has tried to spot new business opportunities in the security world. In 2008, he sought to capitalize on the growing rash of piracy off the Horn of Africa to win Blackwater (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/blackwater_usa/index.html?inline=nyt-org) contracts from companies that that frequent the shipping lanes there. He even reconfigured a 183-foot oceanographic research vessel into a pirate-hunting ship for hire, complete with drone aircraft (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/unmanned_aerial_vehicles/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) and .50-caliber machine guns.
In the spring of 2005, he met with Central Intelligence Agency officials about his proposal for a “quick reaction force” — a special cadre of Blackwater personnel who could handle paramilitary assignments for the agency anywhere in the world.
Mr. Prince began his pitch at C.I.A. headquarters by stating “from the early days of the American republic, the nation has relied on mercenaries for its defense,” according to a former government official who attended the meeting.
The pitch was not particularly well received, said the former official, because Mr. Prince was, in essence, proposing to replace the spy agency’s own in-house paramilitary force, the Special Activities Division.
Despite all of Blackwater’s legal troubles, Mr. Prince has never been charged with any criminal activity.
In an interview (http://www.mensjournal.com/an-american-commando-in-exile) in the November issue of Men’s Journal, Mr. Prince expressed frustration with the wave of lawsuits filed against Blackwater.
Mr. Prince, who said that moving to Abu Dhabi would “make it harder for the jackals to get my money,” said he intended to find business opportunities in “the energy field.”


Ed Jewett
01-23-2011, 12:03 AM
January 22, 2011
Former Spy With Agenda Operates Own Private C.I.A.

By MARK MAZZETTI (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/mark_mazzetti/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

WASHINGTON — Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/central_intelligence_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org) more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies.
Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/pakistan/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) and the desert badlands of Afghanistan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/afghanistan/index.html?inline=nyt-geo). Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/t/taliban/index.html?inline=nyt-org) leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.
Hatching schemes that are something of a cross between a Graham Greene (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/graham_greene/index.html?inline=nyt-per) novel and Mad Magazine (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/m/mad_magazine/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s “Spy vs. Spy,” Mr. Clarridge has sought to discredit Ahmed Wali Karzai (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/ahmed_wali_karzai/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the Kandahar power broker who has long been on the C.I.A. payroll, and planned to set spies on his half brother, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/hamid_karzai/index.html?inline=nyt-per), in hopes of collecting beard trimmings or other DNA samples that might prove Mr. Clarridge’s suspicions that the Afghan leader was a heroin addict, associates say.
Mr. Clarridge, 78, who was indicted on charges of lying to Congress in the Iran-contra scandal and later pardoned, is described by those who have worked with him as driven by the conviction that Washington is bloated with bureaucrats and lawyers who impede American troops in fighting adversaries and that leaders are overly reliant on mercurial allies.
His dispatches — an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports — have been sent to military officials who, until last spring at least, found some credible enough to be used in planning strikes against militants in Afghanistan. They are also fed to conservative commentators, including Oliver L. North (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/oliver_l_north/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a compatriot from the Iran-contra days and now a Fox News analyst, and Brad Thor, an author of military thrillers and a frequent guest of Glenn Beck (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/glenn_beck/index.html?inline=nyt-per).
For all of the can-you-top-this qualities to Mr. Clarridge’s operation, it is a startling demonstration of how private citizens can exploit the chaos of combat zones and rivalries inside the American government to carry out their own agenda.
It also shows how the outsourcing of military and intelligence operations has spawned legally murky clandestine operations that can be at cross-purposes with America’s foreign policy goals. Despite Mr. Clarridge’s keen interest in undermining Afghanistan’s ruling family, President Obama (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/barack_obama/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s administration appears resigned to working with President Karzai and his half brother, who is widely suspected of having ties to drug traffickers (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/afghanistan/drug_trafficking/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier).
Charles E. Allen, a former top intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/homeland_security_department/index.html?inline=nyt-org) who worked with Mr. Clarridge at the C.I.A., termed him an “extraordinary” case officer who had operated on “the edge of his skis” in missions abroad years ago.
But he warned against Mr. Clarridge’s recent activities, saying that private spies operating in war zones “can get both nations in trouble and themselves in trouble.” He added, “We don’t need privateers.”
The private spying operation, which The New York Times disclosed last year (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/world/asia/15contractors.html), was tapped by a military desperate for information about its enemies and frustrated with the quality of intelligence from the C.I.A., an agency that colleagues say Mr. Clarridge now views largely with contempt. The effort was among a number of secret activities undertaken by the American government in a shadow war around the globe to combat militants and root out terrorists.
The Pentagon official who arranged a contract for Mr. Clarridge in 2009 is under investigation for allegations of violating Defense Department rules in awarding that contract. Because of the continuing inquiry, most of the dozen current and former government officials, private contractors and associates of Mr. Clarridge who were interviewed for this article would speak only on the condition of anonymity.
Mr. Clarridge declined to be interviewed, but issued a statement that likened his operation, called the Eclipse Group, to the Office of Strategic Services, the C.I.A.’s World War II precursor.
“O.S.S. was a success of the past,” he wrote. “Eclipse may possibly be an effective model for the future, providing information to officers and officials of the United States government who have the sole responsibility of acting on it or not.”
A Pentagon spokesman, Col. David Lapan, declined to comment on Mr. Clarridge’s network, but said the Defense Department “believes that reliance on unvetted and uncorroborated information from private sources may endanger the force and taint information collected during legitimate intelligence operations.”
Whether military officials still listen to Mr. Clarridge or support his efforts to dig up dirt on the Karzai family is unclear. But it is evident that Mr. Clarridge — bespectacled and doughy, with a shock of white hair — is determined to remain a player.
On May 15, according to a classified Pentagon report on the private spying operation, he sent an encrypted e-mail to military officers in Kabul announcing that his network was being shut down because the Pentagon had just terminated his contract. He wrote that he had to “prepare approximately 200 local personnel to cease work.”
In fact, he had no intention of shuttering his operation. The very next day, he set up a password-protected Web site, afpakfp.com (http://afpakfp.com/), that would allow officers to continue viewing his dispatches.
A Staunch Interventionist
From his days running secret wars for the C.I.A. in Central America to his consulting work in the 1990s on a plan to insert Special Operations troops in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/saddam_hussein/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Mr. Clarridge has been an unflinching cheerleader for American intervention overseas.
Typical of his pugnacious style are his comments, provided in a 2008 interview for a documentary now on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNgCyDsvi84), defending many of the C.I.A.’s most notorious operations, including undermining the Chilean president Salvador Allende (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/salvador_allende/index.html?inline=nyt-per), before a coup ousted him 1973.
“Sometimes, unfortunately, things have to be changed in a rather ugly way,” said Mr. Clarridge, his New England accent becoming more pronounced the angrier he became. “We’ll intervene whenever we decide it’s in our national security interests to intervene.”
“Get used to it, world,” he said. “We’re not going to put up with nonsense.”
He is also stirred by the belief that the C.I.A. has failed to protect American troops in Afghanistan, and that the Obama administration has struck a Faustian bargain with President Karzai, according to four current and former associates. They say Mr. Clarridge thinks that the Afghan president will end up cutting deals with Pakistan or Iran and selling out the United States, making American troops the pawns in the Great Game of power politics in the region.
Mr. Clarridge — known to virtually everyone by his childhood nickname, Dewey — was born into a staunchly Republican family in New Hampshire, attended Brown University (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/b/brown_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and joined the spy agency during its freewheeling early years. He eventually became head of the agency’s Latin America division in 1981 and helped found the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center five years later.
In postings in India, Turkey, Italy and elsewhere, Mr. Clarridge, using pseudonyms that included Dewey Marone and Dax Preston LeBaron, made a career of testing boundaries in the dark space of American foreign policy. In his 1997 memoir, he wrote about trying to engineer pro-American governments in Italy in the late 1970s (the former American ambassador to Rome, Richard N. Gardner, called him “shallow and devious”), and helping run the Reagan administration’s covert wars against Marxist guerrillas in Central America during the 1980s.
He was indicted in 1991 on charges of lying to Congress about his role in the Iran-contra scandal; he had testified that he was unaware of arms shipments to Iran. But he was pardoned the next year by the first President George Bush.
Now, more than two decades after Mr. Clarridge was forced to resign from the intelligence agency, he tries to run his group of spies as a C.I.A. in miniature. Working from his house in a San Diego suburb, he uses e-mail to stay in contact with his “agents” — their code names include Willi and Waco — in Afghanistan and Pakistan, writing up intelligence summaries based on their reports, according to associates.
Mr. Clarridge assembled a team of Westerners, Afghans and Pakistanis not long after a security consulting firm working for The Times subcontracted with him in December 2008 to assist in the release of a reporter, David Rohde, who had been kidnapped by the Taliban. Mr. Rohde escaped on his own seven months later, but Mr. Clarridge used his role in the episode to promote his group to military officials in Afghanistan.
In July 2009, according to the Pentagon report, he set out to prove his worth to the Pentagon by directing his team to gather information in Pakistan’s tribal areas to help find a young American soldier who had been captured by Taliban militants. (The soldier, Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, remains in Taliban hands.)
Four months later, the security firm that Mr. Clarridge was affiliated with, the American International Security Corporation, won a Pentagon contract ultimately worth about $6 million. American officials said the contract was arranged by Michael D. Furlong (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/michael_d_furlong/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a senior Defense Department civilian with a military “information warfare” command in San Antonio.
To get around a Pentagon ban on hiring contractors as spies, the report said, Mr. Furlong’s team simply rebranded their activities as “atmospheric information” rather than “intelligence.”
Mr. Furlong, now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general, was accused in the internal Pentagon report of carrying out “unauthorized” intelligence gathering, and misleading senior military officers about it. He has said that he became a scapegoat for top commanders in Afghanistan who had blessed his activities.
As for Mr. Clarridge, American law prohibits private citizens from actively undermining a foreign government, but prosecutions under the so-called Neutrality Act have historically been limited to people raising private armies against foreign powers. Legal experts said Mr. Clarridge’s plans against the Afghan president fell in a gray area, but would probably not violate the law.
Intelligence of Varying Quality
It is difficult to assess the merits of Mr. Clarridge’s secret intelligence dispatches; a review of some of the documents by The Times shows that some appear to be based on rumors from talk at village bazaars or rehashes of press reports.
Others, though, contain specific details about militant plans to attack American troops, and about Taliban leadership meetings in Pakistan. Mr. Clarridge gave the military an in-depth report about a militant group, the Haqqani Network, in August 2009, a document that officials said helped the military track Haqqani fighters. According to the Pentagon report, Mr. Clarridge told Marine commanders in Afghanistan in June 2010 that his group produced 500 intelligence dispatches before its contract was terminated.
When the military would not listen to him, Mr. Clarridge found other ways to peddle his information.
For instance, his private spies in April and May were reporting that Mullah Muhammad Omar (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/muhammad_omar/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the reclusive cleric who leads the Afghan Taliban, had been captured by Pakistani officials and placed under house arrest. Associates said Mr. Clarridge believed that Pakistan’s spy service was playing a game: keeping Mullah Omar confined but continuing to support the Afghan Taliban.
Both military and intelligence officials said the information could not be corroborated, but Mr. Clarridge used back channels to pass it on to senior Obama administration officials, including Dennis C. Blair (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/dennis_c_blair/index.html?inline=nyt-per), then the director of national intelligence.
And associates said that Mr. Clarridge, determined to make the information public, arranged for it to get to Mr. Thor, a square-jawed writer of thrillers, a blogger (http://biggovernment.com/bthor/2010/05/25/in-afghanistan-u-s-military-was-warned-of-recent-kabul-suicide-attacks/) and a regular guest on Mr. Beck’s program on Fox News.
Most of Mr. Thor’s books are yarns about the heroic exploits of Special Operations troops. In interviews, he said he was once embedded with a “black special ops team” and helped expose “a Taliban pornography/murder ring.”
On May 10, biggovernment.com (http://biggovernment.com/) — a Web site run by the conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/andrew_breitbart/index.html?inline=nyt-per) — published an “exclusive” by Mr. Thor (http://biggovernment.com/bthor/2010/05/10/exclusive-mullah-omar-captured/), who declined to comment for this article.
“Through key intelligence sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Mr. Thor wrote, “I have just learned that reclusive Taliban leader and top Osama bin Laden (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/osama_bin_laden/index.html?inline=nyt-per) ally, Mullah Omar, has been taken into custody.”
Just last week, he blogged about another report — unconfirmed by American officials — from Mr. Clarridge’s group: that Mullah Omar had suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital by Pakistan’s spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/i/interservices_intelligence/index.html?inline=nyt-org).
“America is being played,” he wrote.
Taking on Afghan Leaders
Mr. Clarridge and his spy network also took sides in an internecine government battle over Ahmed Wali Karzai, head of the Khandahar Provincial Council.
For years, the American military has believed that public anger over government-linked corruption has helped swell the Taliban’s ranks, and that Ahmed Wali Karzai plays a central role in that corruption. He has repeatedly denied any links to the Afghan drug trafficking.
According to three American military officials, in April 2009 Gen. David D. McKiernan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/david_d_mckiernan/index.html?inline=nyt-per), then the top American commander in Afghanistan, told subordinates that he wanted them to gather any evidence that might tie the president’s half brother to the drug trade. “He put the word out that he wanted to ‘burn’ Ahmed Wali Karzai,” said one of the military officials.
In early 2010, after General McKiernan left Afghanistan and Mr. Clarridge was under contract to the military, the former spy helped produce a dossier for commanders detailing allegations about Mr. Karzai’s drug connections, land grabs and even murders in southern Afghanistan. The document, provided to The Times, speculates that Mr. Karzai’s ties to the C.I.A. — which has paid him an undetermined amount of money since 2001 — may be the reason the agency “is the only member of the country team in Kabul not to advocate taking a more active stance against AWK.”
Ultimately, though, the military could not amass enough hard proof to convince other American officials of Mr. Karzai’s supposed crimes, and backed off efforts to remove him from power.
Mr. Clarridge would soon set his sights higher: on President Hamid Karzai himself. Over the summer, after the Pentagon canceled his contract, Mr. Clarridge decided that the United States needed leverage over the Afghan president. So the former spy, running his network with money from unidentified donors, came up with an outlandish scheme that seems to come straight from the C.I.A.’s past playbook of covert operations.
There have long been rumors that Hamid Karzai uses drugs, in part because of his often erratic behavior, but the accusation was aired publicly last year by Peter W. Galbraith (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/g/peter_galbraith/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a former United Nations (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/united_nations/index.html?inline=nyt-org) representative in Afghanistan. American officials have said publicly that there is no evidence (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/world/asia/08diplo.html) to support the allegation of drug use.
Mr. Clarridge pushed a plan to prove that the president was a heroin addict, and then confront him with the evidence to ensure that he became a more pliable ally. Mr. Clarridge proposed various ideas, according to several associates, from using his team to track couriers between the presidential palace in Kabul and Ahmed Wali Karzai’s home in Kandahar, to even finding a way to collect Hamid Karzai’s beard clippings and run DNA tests. He eventually dropped his ideas when the Obama administration signaled it was committed to bolstering the Karzai government.
Still, associates said, Mr. Clarridge maneuvered against the Karzais last summer by helping promote videos, available on YouTube, purporting to represent the “Voice of Afghan Youth.” The slick videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyY1m43XA3I) disparage the president as the “king of Kabul” who regularly takes money from the Iranians, and Ahmed Wali Karzai as the “prince of Kandahar” who “takes the monthly gold from the American intelligence boss” and makes the Americans “his puppet.”
The videos received almost no attention when they were posted on the Internet, but were featured in July on the Fox News Web site in a column by Mr. North, who declined to comment for this article. Writing that he had “stumbled” on the videos on the Internet, he called them a “treasure trove.”
Mr. Clarridge, his associates say, continues to dream up other operations against the Afghan president and his inner circle. When he was an official spy, Mr. Clarridge recalled in his memoir, he bristled at the C.I.A.’s bureaucracy for thwarting his plans to do maximum harm to America’s enemies. “It’s not like I’m running my own private C.I.A.,” he wrote, “and can do what I want.”
Barclay Walsh contributed research.


David Guyatt
01-23-2011, 12:13 PM
Due to his illegal activities in the Iran-Contra affair, Clarridge was indicted in November 1991 on seven counts of perjury and false statements. On Christmas Eve 1992 in the waning hours of his presidency, George H. W. Bush pardoned Clarridge before his trial could finish.

Ed Jewett
01-28-2011, 04:36 AM
Will the Last Mercenary Turn Out the Lights On U.S. Empire

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 21:32 — Glen Ford

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The United States’ use of mercenaries is unprecedented in scope for a major power in modern times, and further weakens a decaying empire. Unable to defeat the resistance in two of the poorest nations on the planet, America increasingly depends on high-paid killers-for-profit to man the battlements. In Iraq, where the U.S. is reluctantly making an exit, “President Obama plans to substitute outgoing U.S. troops with mercenaries.” The same may happen, soon, in Afghanistan.

Will the Last Mercenary Turn Out the Lights On U.S. Empire
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“Washington is likely to find out that its privatization of war cannot save the empire’s last toehold in Iraq.”
The soldier of fortune has become an indispensable element of U.S. imperial rule. Mercenaries are a key item in President Obama’s menu for continued American domination of Afghanistan and Iraq, as deadlines arrive for withdrawal of uniformed American troops. With foreign wars going badly for the United States, more and more it looks like the last defenders of America’s imperial Alamo will be murder-for-hire corporations like the one formerly known as Blackwater.
All U.S. troops – whether the Americans call them combat soldiers or not – are scheduled to leave Iraq at the end of this year. The Americans never intended to leave, but were forced on the way out the door by the Iraqis during George Bush’s presidency. Now President Obama plans to substitute outgoing U.S. troops with mercenaries, who would guard remaining U.S. installations, the Green Zone and the U.S. Embassy, the biggest embassy in the world and really a base, itself. But the Iraqis hold a special hatred for the American mercenaries, who roamed the country, killing civilians for pleasure, often in sprees of mass murderous drunkenness. Washington is likely to find out that its privatization of war cannot save the empire’s last toehold in Iraq.
The same moment will come in Afghanistan, where civilian contractors outnumber U.S. soldiers. American mercenaries under arms number 26,000, which is about one and a half times the size of a U.S. Marine division. President Obama has promised to begin the process of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July. It’s quite clear that the Americans never plan to actually leave, but the Afghans want them to go, and for that reason they will be going. The Americans would surely try to dominate the country through their huge mercenary army. However, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, like most people, doesn’t like mercenaries running around his country. He’s already applied a variety of measures to constrain their freedom of movement, and it is difficult to imagine that Karzai or any other Afghan leader would permit the mercenaries to stay on after the U.S. soldiers leave. So, some guy from Blackwater may wind up turning out the lights on the U.S. imperial presence in Afghanistan, a couple of years from now. The most expensive army in the world, supplemented by even more expensive hired killers, cannot defeat one of the world’s poorest countries.
“The Americans would surely try to dominate the country through their huge mercenary army.”
How about two of the world’s poorest countries? Somalia hasn’t had a national government since the early Nineties, but its people refuse to allow foreigners to rule them. The puppet regime set up in Mogadishu by the Americans and Europeans controls only a few city blocks. Soldiers rented by the U.S. from Uganda guard the escape route to the airport. The richest nation on the planet cannot defeat one of the world’s most poorly financed resistance movements, the Islamist Shabab. So, who ya gonna call? Blackwater, whose founder, Erik Prince, was awarded a contract to try to create an army to defend the puppet Somali state. But mercenaries like Erik Prince are incapable of creating armies that will defend a country’s sovereignty. They can only create mercenaries like themselves, who fight for money. And such mercenaries cannot, in the end, defeat genuine people’s movements – in Somalia, or anywhere else. Not anymore.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com (http://www.blackagendareport.com/).
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com (Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com).

embedded audio at the link

Magda Hassan
02-10-2011, 12:47 PM
PNG goldmine acts over allegations of torture and rape

Lindsay Murdoch

February 10, 2011

DARWIN: The operator of the multibillion-dollar Porgera goldmine in Papua New Guinea has sacked five employees over an alleged pattern of violent abuse against villagers, including pack rapes.
Scores of women say they were beaten, tortured or raped by members of Barrick Gold Corporation's 450-strong private security force in abuses dating to 2008.
One woman told how she and three other women were raped by 10 security personnel, one of whom forced her to swallow a used condom that he had used while raping the other victims.
Advertisement: Story continues below
The alleged rape of a 26-year-old woman, who was collecting native vegetables near the mine, occurred last month after Barrick had conducted an internal investigation into alleged abuses and only days before the company issued a statement announcing improved security to protect villagers near the mine.
Because the woman resisted, her genitals were repeatedly burnt with a hot rod, said the Porgera Alliance, a non-government organisation.
Three girls aged 14 were allegedly raped last July. Victims told investigators from Human Rights Watch that after being arrested for illegal mining, guards gave them a choice of submitting to gang rape or facing fines and possible jail.
''The women that Human Rights Watch spoke to said they feared reporting abuses to authorities given the fear of retribution, the threat of punishment for illegal mining and the social stigma that affect rape victims around Porgera,'' the US organisation said in a report.
The Porgera mine is in Enga Province, in a remote part of PNG's restive highlands. It has sparked controversy in the past over its discharge of waste into the nearby Porgera River and accusations of extrajudicial killings by security personnel.
The mine has produced more than 16 million ounces of gold, worth more than $US20 billion at today's prices, and accounted for about 12 per cent of PNG's total exports over two decades.
Responding to accusations by Human Rights Watch, Barrick Gold said it had sacked employees and was upgrading security at the mine after an internal investigation.
''Our deepest concern is for the women who may have been the victims of these alleged crimes,'' Barrick said in a statement released at its headquarters in Toronto.
The company said further dismissals and other disciplinary action may occur pending the results of a police investigation. A company spokesman told the Herald that all of those sacked were PNG nationals. The spokesman said as well as the five sacked employees, eight former employees have been implicated in the allegations.
Human Rights Watch has also warned that small-scale and illegal miners around Porgera are being exposed to mercury poisoning when they attempt to separate gold from ore-bearing rock.
A local doctor said many of the miners were ''zombies'' by the time they reached hospital and added that ''some will recover, some will not''.
Human Rights Watch recommended a public health survey of communities around Porgera to determine the extent of the exposure to dangerous levels of mercury and to identify an appropriate response to the problem.
Barrick's security force arrested 45 people panning gold in the area in a sweep on January 29.
Barrick took over Porgera in 2006 from Placer Dome, the Canadian company that opened the mine in 1990. The mine is expected to continue producing gold until at least 2023.http://www.smh.com.au/world/png-goldmine-acts-over-allegations-of-torture-and-rape-20110209-1an05.html

Ed Jewett
02-11-2011, 12:12 AM
Mercenary Deaths Surpass U.S. Military Losses in Both Iraq and Afghanistan (http://cryptogon.com/?p=20461)

February 10th, 2011 Via: Foreign Policy (http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/09/contractor_deaths_surpass_us_military_losses_in_bo th_iraq_and_afghanistan):

more than 2,000 contractors have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Contractor deaths now represent over 25 percent of all U.S. fatalities” in those conflicts, write Steven Schooner and Collin Swan of the George Washington University Law School.

Ed Jewett
04-26-2011, 04:09 PM
US investigating war contractor con jobs

April 25, 2011 by legitgov

US investigating war contractor con jobs 26 Apr 2011 The US Commission on Wartime Contracting says hired contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan have been caught bilking billions of dollars from the United States government. The commission discovered that billions of dollars are missing, misspent, or defrauded by private contractors in Afghanistan, and questioned why companies caught cheating the US taxpayer have not been barred from doing business with the government, the Press TV correspondent in Washington reported on Monday.


Ed Jewett
05-11-2011, 11:52 AM
WikiLeaks: U.S. saw Israeli firm's rise in Latin America as a threat

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/09/1186739/wikileaks-us-saw-israeli-firms.html#ixzz1M2moHrUI


WASHINGTON — A security company led by the former head of operations for the Israeli military made such inroads into Latin America a few years ago that U.S. diplomats saw it as a security risk and moved to thwart the company's expansion, U.S. diplomatic cables show.

The diplomats' efforts were made easier when an interpreter for the Israeli firm, Global CST, was caught peddling classified Colombian Defense Ministry documents to Marxist guerrillas seeking to topple the state, one cable said.

Still, the ability of the Israeli security consultancy to obtain contracts in Colombia, Peru and Panama in rapid succession speaks to the prowess of retired Israeli military officers in peddling security know-how amid perceptions that they'd bring better results than official U.S. government assistance.

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/09/1186739/wikileaks-us-saw-israeli-firms.html#ixzz1M2mc4WiX

Ed Jewett
05-11-2011, 12:05 PM
A reminder:

"MsSparky.com is an excellent web site and source of information."
~Maj. Glenn MacDonald, USAR (Ret.) editor-in-chief, MilitaryCorruption.com


Magda Hassan
05-11-2011, 12:16 PM
Thanks for that reminder. It is an excellent site :rocker:

Ed Jewett
05-13-2011, 07:47 PM
Former Blackwater Officials Form Global Intelligence Company

Team boasts of “human assets” in Iran and access to “lobbying firms, intelligence officials” in Washington

By Shane Harris

From the team that brought you Blackwater and the pre-9/11 counterterrorism program Able Danger comes “Jellyfish Intelligence.”

That’s the name a group of former US intelligence officials and executives from the controversial security firm have chosen for a new private outfit that offers “predictive intelligence” for Fortune 500 corporations and senior-level executives and that aims to “protect human lives and their business interests throughout the world.


The company blends traditional models of a strategic consulting firm with what it claims is an extensive network of human sources—people who, in an official context, would be called spies. Jellyfish employs a network of “over 200 intelligence assets on the ground” in global hot spots, according to a marketing document, including countries undergoing political upheaval in the Middle East. The company won’t disclose its sources’ identities, but the document calls them “figures inside key circles . . . including within the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, clerical circles in Iran, and tribal leaderships on the Pakistani side of the [Afghanistan-Pakistan] border region.

If true—and none of the claims could be independently verified—that would make Jellyfish a private rival to the CIA. The company also says its assets are “well-connected among key opposition groups throughout the Middle East,” a claim, one company official boldly asserts, that the US spy agencies couldn’t make, as evidenced by its failure to predict political and civic uprisings in Egypt and other countries in the region.

Jellyfish’s network includes people in more than two dozen countries in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. At least one asset is in Tehran, the company says, in a country where US corporations and citizens are officially banned from doing business. An exectuive says that because Jellyfish was employing “foreign nationals,” it didn’t run afoul of the sanctions regime.

The market for high-level, customized intelligence about global political risk isn’t a new one. Companies such as Stratfor and any number of consulting firms staffed by former government officials, including Kissinger Associates, offer some variation on the “private CIA” model. These groups warn companies when to pull their employees out of a dangerous location. They help dig up intelligence on competitors. And they identify problems on the horizon that may affect a company’s ability to do business —either because it can’t physically operate there or because doing so is too difficult politically.

Jellyfish doesn’t shy away from its controversial pedigree. In fact, it leads with Blackwater and Able Danger in the headline of a press release announcing the company’s formation. [See http://press.org/events/operation-jellyfish-news-conference ] Jellyfish CEO Keith Mahoney decided to “put the issue on the table,” because, he says, it wouldn’t be difficult to connect him and his colleagues to their previous employers. Mahoney ran Blackwater’s Total Intelligence Solutions division. And Jellyfish’s vice president for business development, Michael Yorio, is a former sales executive for Xe Services, the name Blackwater chose after it attracted controversy for its military work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blackwater has been implicated in civilian deaths in Iraq and is among the most notorious war contractors of the past decade. Able Danger was an intelligence effort led by the US Army that used pre-Google era search and data-mining technology to map out the global network of al-Qaeda. The operation used publicly available data from the Web, but it ran afoul of privacy regulations that bar collecting personal information about American citizens. Some of its members, two of whom are working with Jellyfish, claim they identified some of the 9/11 hijackers before the 2001 attacks. Other members of Able Danger dispute those claims.

Don’t expect Jellyfish to get into the “gates, guns, and guards” business like Blackwater, Mahoney says. It won’t be providing armed guards or physical security, nor will it be pursuing any contracts with the US government, even though the company is headquartered in DC, or, as the company calls it, “Jellyfish Station Washington.” Most of the business partners live in the city, Mahoney says, and Washington allowed Jellyfish to conduct what the marketing document calls its “Swarm operations,” giving clients access to “political intelligence operatives, lobbying firms, intelligence officials and military strategists” with whom executives said they have relationships.

In addition to its human network, Jellyfish has added technological component to its services, a system for processing large amounts of information and plucking out the most useful nuggets of intelligence. File that attribute under “holy grail,” as it’s precisely what the US intelligence community has been trying do to for years without much success.

It’s difficult to ascertain how successful Jellyfish has been because it won’t disclose its clients, nor will it provide a mockup of the customizable system it offers to high-level executives.

The tech team is headed by former Able Danger contractor J.D. Smith. Another team member, Tony Shaffer, is the military-operations adviser. Shaffer wrote a book about his career as a military intelligence officer called Operation Dark Heart. The Defense Department bought 9,500 copies of the memoir—nearly its entire first print run—and then destroyed them. Officials said Shaffer hadn’t vetted his manuscript with the government and that it contained classified information.


Jan Klimkowski
05-13-2011, 08:03 PM
From the team that brought you Blackwater and the pre-9/11 counterterrorism program Able Danger comes “Jellyfish Intelligence.”

That’s the name a group of former US intelligence officials and executives from the controversial security firm have chosen for a new private outfit that offers “predictive intelligence” for Fortune 500 corporations and senior-level executives and that aims to “protect human lives and their business interests throughout the world.

Jellyfish anatomy: A jellyfish does not have a brain or central nervous system, but rather has a loose network of nerves, located in the epidermis.

Predictive intelligence: a highly sophisticated, ethical and proven method of identifying atrocities before they happen and preventing their occurrence.

I made one of those italicized statements up. The other is factually correct.

Do you know which is which?

Ed Jewett
05-15-2011, 02:39 AM
Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand.

The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom.

Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest or were challenged by pro-democracy demonstrations in its crowded labor camps or democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said. The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.

In outsourcing critical parts of their defense to mercenaries — the soldiers of choice for medieval kings, Italian Renaissance dukes and African dictators — the Emiratis have begun a new era in the boom in wartime contracting that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And by relying on a force largely created by Americans, they have introduced a volatile element in an already combustible region where the United States is widely viewed with suspicion.

The United Arab Emirates — an autocracy with the sheen of a progressive, modern state — are closely allied with the United States, and American officials indicated that the battalion program had some support in Washington.

“The gulf countries, and the U.A.E. in particular, don’t have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help,” said one Obama administration official who knew of the operation. “They might want to show that they are not to be messed with.”

Still, it is not clear whether the project has the United States’ official blessing. Legal experts and government officials said some of those involved with the battalion might be breaking federal laws that prohibit American citizens from training foreign troops if they did not secure a license from the State Department.

Mark C. Toner, a spokesman for the department, would not confirm whether Mr. Prince’s company had obtained such a license, but he said the department was investigating to see if the training effort was in violation of American laws. Mr. Toner pointed out that Blackwater (which renamed itself Xe Services ) paid $42 million in fines last year for training foreign troops in Jordan and other countries over the years.

The U.A.E.’s ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, declined to comment for this article. A spokesman for Mr. Prince also did not comment.

For Mr. Prince, the foreign battalion is a bold attempt at reinvention. He is hoping to build an empire in the desert, far from the trial lawyers, Congressional investigators and Justice Department officials he is convinced worked in league to portray Blackwater as reckless. He sold the company last year, but in April, a federal appeals court reopened the case against four Blackwater guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

To help fulfill his ambitions, Mr. Prince’s new company, Reflex Responses, obtained another multimillion-dollar contract to protect a string of planned nuclear power plants and to provide cybersecurity. He hopes to earn billions more, the former employees said, by assembling additional battalions of Latin American troops for the Emiratis and opening a giant complex where his company can train troops for other governments.

Knowing that his ventures are magnets for controversy, Mr. Prince has masked his involvement with the mercenary battalion. His name is not included on contracts and most other corporate documents, and company insiders have at times tried to hide his identity by referring to him by the code name “Kingfish.” But three former employees, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements, and two people involved in security contracting described Mr. Prince’s central role.

The former employees said that in recruiting the Colombians and others from halfway around the world, Mr. Prince’s subordinates were following his strict rule: hire no Muslims.

Muslim soldiers, Mr. Prince warned, could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims.

A Lucrative Deal

Last spring, as waiters in the lobby of the Park Arjaan by Rotana Hotel passed by carrying cups of Turkish coffee, a small team of Blackwater and American military veterans huddled over plans for the foreign battalion. Armed with a black suitcase stuffed with several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of dirhams, the local currency, they began paying the first bills.

The company, often called R2, was licensed last March with 51 percent local ownership, a typical arrangement in the Emirates. It received about $21 million in start-up capital from the U.A.E., the former employees said.

Mr. Prince made the deal with Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. The two men had known each other for several years, and it was the prince’s idea to build a foreign commando force for his country.

Savvy and pro-Western, the prince was educated at the Sandhurst military academy in Britain and formed close ties with American military officials. He is also one of the region’s staunchest hawks on Iran and is skeptical that his giant neighbor across the Strait of Hormuz will give up its nuclear program.

“He sees the logic of war dominating the region, and this thinking explains his near-obsessive efforts to build up his armed forces,” said a November 2009 cable from the American Embassy in Abu Dhabi that was obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

For Mr. Prince, a 41-year-old former member of the Navy Seals, the battalion was an opportunity to turn vision into reality. At Blackwater, which had collected billions of dollars in security contracts from the United States government, he had hoped to build an army for hire that could be deployed to crisis zones in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He even had proposed that the Central Intelligence Agency use his company for special operations missions around the globe, but to no avail. In Abu Dhabi, which he praised in an Emirati newspaper interview last year for its “pro-business” climate, he got another chance.

Mr. Prince’s exploits, both real and rumored, are the subject of fevered discussions in the private security world. He has worked with the Emirati government on various ventures in the past year, including an operation using South African mercenaries to train Somalis to fight pirates. There was talk, too, that he was hatching a scheme last year to cap the Icelandic volcano then spewing ash across Northern Europe.

The team in the hotel lobby was led by Ricky Chambers, known as C. T., a former agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who had worked for Mr. Prince for years; most recently, he had run a program training Afghan troops for a Blackwater subsidiary called Paravant.

He was among the half-dozen or so Americans who would serve as top managers of the project, receiving nearly $300,000 in annual compensation. Mr. Chambers and Mr. Prince soon began quietly luring American contractors from Afghanistan, Iraq and other danger spots with pay packages that topped out at more than $200,000 a year, according to a budget document. Many of those who signed on as trainers — which eventually included more than 40 veteran American, European and South African commandos — did not know of Mr. Prince’s involvement, the former employees said.

Mr. Chambers did not respond to requests for comment.

He and Mr. Prince also began looking for soldiers. They lined up Thor Global Enterprises, a company on the Caribbean island of Tortola specializing in “placing foreign servicemen in private security positions overseas,” according to a contract signed last May. The recruits would be paid about $150 a day.

Within months, large tracts of desert were bulldozed and barracks constructed. The Emirates were to provide weapons and equipment for the mercenary force, supplying everything from M-16 rifles to mortars, Leatherman knives to Land Rovers. They agreed to buy parachutes, motorcycles, rucksacks — and 24,000 pairs of socks.

To keep a low profile, Mr. Prince rarely visited the camp or a cluster of luxury villas near the Abu Dhabi airport, where R2 executives and Emirati military officers fine-tune the training schedules and arrange weapons deliveries for the battalion, former employees said. He would show up, they said, in an office suite at the DAS Tower — a skyscraper just steps from Abu Dhabi’s Corniche beach, where sunbathers lounge as cigarette boats and water scooters whiz by. Staff members there manage a number of companies that the former employees say are carrying out secret work for the Emirati government.

Emirati law prohibits disclosure of incorporation records for businesses, which typically list company officers, but it does require them to post company names on offices and storefronts. Over the past year, the sign outside the suite has changed at least twice — it now says Assurance Management Consulting.

While the documents — including contracts, budget sheets and blueprints — obtained by The Times do not mention Mr. Prince, the former employees said he negotiated the U.A.E. deal. Corporate documents describe the battalion’s possible tasks: intelligence gathering, urban combat, the securing of nuclear and radioactive materials, humanitarian missions and special operations “to destroy enemy personnel and equipment.”

One document describes “crowd-control operations” where the crowd “is not armed with firearms but does pose a risk using improvised weapons (clubs and stones).”

People involved in the project and American officials said that the Emiratis were interested in deploying the battalion to respond to terrorist attacks and put down uprisings inside the country’s sprawling labor camps, which house the Pakistanis, Filipinos and other foreigners who make up the bulk of the country’s work force. The foreign military force was planned months before the so-called Arab Spring revolts that many experts believe are unlikely to spread to the U.A.E. Iran was a particular concern.

An Eye on Iran

Although there was no expectation that the mercenary troops would be used for a stealth attack on Iran, Emirati officials talked of using them for a possible maritime and air assault to reclaim a chain of islands, mostly uninhabited, in the Persian Gulf that are the subject of a dispute between Iran and the U.A.E., the former employees said. Iran has sent military forces to at least one of the islands, Abu Musa, and Emirati officials have long been eager to retake the islands and tap their potential oil reserves.

The Emirates have a small military that includes army, air force and naval units as well as a small special operations contingent, which served in Afghanistan, but over all, their forces are considered inexperienced.

In recent years, the Emirati government has showered American defense companies with billions of dollars to help strengthen the country’s security. A company run by Richard A. Clarke, a former counterterrorism adviser during the Clinton and Bush administrations, has won several lucrative contracts to advise the U.A.E. on how to protect its infrastructure.

Some security consultants believe that Mr. Prince’s efforts to bolster the Emirates’ defenses against an Iranian threat might yield some benefits for the American government, which shares the U.A.E.’s concern about creeping Iranian influence in the region.

“As much as Erik Prince is a pariah in the United States, he may be just what the doctor ordered in the U.A.E.,” said an American security consultant with knowledge of R2’s work.

The contract includes a one-paragraph legal and ethics policy noting that R2 should institute accountability and disciplinary procedures. “The overall goal,” the contract states, “is to ensure that the team members supporting this effort continuously cast the program in a professional and moral light that will hold up to a level of media scrutiny.”

But former employees said that R2’s leaders never directly grappled with some fundamental questions about the operation. International laws governing private armies and mercenaries are murky, but would the Americans overseeing the training of a foreign army on foreign soil be breaking United States law?

Susan Kovarovics, an international trade lawyer who advises companies about export controls, said that because Reflex Responses was an Emirati company it might not need State Department authorization for its activities.

But she said that any Americans working on the project might run legal risks if they did not get government approval to participate in training the foreign troops.

Basic operational issues, too, were not addressed, the former employees said. What were the battalion’s rules of engagement? What if civilians were killed during an operation? And could a Latin American commando force deployed in the Middle East really be kept a secret?

Imported Soldiers

The first waves of mercenaries began arriving last summer. Among them was a 13-year veteran of Colombia’s National Police force named Calixto Rincón, 42, who joined the operation with hopes of providing for his family and seeing a new part of the world.

“We were practically an army for the Emirates,” Mr. Rincón, now back in Bogotá, Colombia, said in an interview. “They wanted people who had a lot of experience in countries with conflicts, like Colombia.”

Mr. Rincón’s visa carried a special stamp from the U.A.E. military intelligence branch, which is overseeing the entire project, that allowed him to move through customs and immigration without being questioned.

He soon found himself in the midst of the camp’s daily routines, which mirrored those of American military training. “We would get up at 5 a.m. and we would start physical exercises,” Mr. Rincón said. His assignment included manual labor at the expanding complex, he said. Other former employees said the troops — outfitted in Emirati military uniforms — were split into companies to work on basic infantry maneuvers, learn navigation skills and practice sniper training.

R2 spends roughly $9 million per month maintaining the battalion, which includes expenditures for employee salaries, ammunition and wages for dozens of domestic workers who cook meals, wash clothes and clean the camp, a former employee said. Mr. RincĂłn said that he and his companions never wanted for anything, and that their American leaders even arranged to have a chef travel from Colombia to make traditional soups.

But the secrecy of the project has sometimes created a prisonlike environment. “We didn’t have permission to even look through the door,” Mr. Rincón said. “We were only allowed outside for our morning jog, and all we could see was sand everywhere.”

The Emirates wanted the troops to be ready to deploy just weeks after stepping off the plane, but it quickly became clear that the Colombians’ military skills fell far below expectations. “Some of these kids couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn,” said a former employee. Other recruits admitted to never having fired a weapon.

Rethinking Roles

As a result, the veteran American and foreign commandos training the battalion have had to rethink their roles. They had planned to act only as “advisers” during missions — meaning they would not fire weapons — but over time, they realized that they would have to fight side by side with their troops, former officials said.

Making matters worse, the recruitment pipeline began drying up. Former employees said that Thor struggled to sign up, and keep, enough men on the ground. Mr. RincĂłn developed a hernia and was forced to return to Colombia, while others were dismissed from the program for drug use or poor conduct.

And R2’s own corporate leadership has also been in flux. Mr. Chambers, who helped develop the project, left after several months. A handful of other top executives, some of them former Blackwater employees, have been hired, then fired within weeks.

To bolster the force, R2 recruited a platoon of South African mercenaries, including some veterans of Executive Outcomes, a South African company notorious for staging coup attempts or suppressing rebellions against African strongmen in the 1990s. The platoon was to function as a quick-reaction force, American officials and former employees said, and began training for a practice mission: a terrorist attack on the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. They would secure the situation before quietly handing over control to Emirati troops.

But by last November, the battalion was officially behind schedule. The original goal was for the 800-man force to be ready by March 31; recently, former employees said, the battalion’s size was reduced to about 580 men.

Emirati military officials had promised that if this first battalion was a success, they would pay for an entire brigade of several thousand men. The new contracts would be worth billions, and would help with Mr. Prince’s next big project: a desert training complex for foreign troops patterned after Blackwater’s compound in Moyock, N.C. But before moving ahead, U.A.E. military officials have insisted that the battalion prove itself in a “real world mission.”

That has yet to happen. So far, the Latin American troops have been taken off the base only to shop and for occasional entertainment.

On a recent spring night though, after months stationed in the desert, they boarded an unmarked bus and were driven to hotels in central Dubai, a former employee said. There, some R2 executives had arranged for them to spend the evening with prostitutes.

Mark Mazzetti reported from Abu Dhabi and Washington, and Emily B. Hager from New York. Jenny Carolina GonzĂĄlez and Simon Romero contributed reporting from BogotĂĄ, Colombia. Kitty Bennett contributed research from Washington.


Magda Hassan
05-15-2011, 06:23 AM
Just wanted to mention here some similarities of some thing that happened in Austrlaia under the former Howard government. The attempted to break the Maritime Union, one of the better more organised and stronger unions here. This was so once they got the stonger unions down all the other ones could be easily picked off. One of the main stevedoring companies, Patricks, an employer of waterside workers and union members, opened a $2 company and moved all the employees there from the main solvent company with out their knowledge or permission. When the workers arrived for their shift at Easter morning they found the gates locked and security guards and dogs everywhere. Patricks said the company was insolvent but they could be employed again if they worked for a pittance. It was once of the biggest industrial show downs here is decades. In the mean time Patricks had either established or was working with another stevedoring company, Fynwest Pty Ltd, sought to recruit former and current Australian Defence Force members to counter the MUA. In particular, from December 1997, Fynwest began a campaign to recruit former and current members of the Special Air Service (SAS), paratroopers from 3RAR, commandos from 4RAR and other military specialists, to become stevedores. Others were recruited from controversial private military and security consulting companies, such as Sandline International and the Control Risks Group.
Fynwest planned to send these recruits to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where training could be provided. The newly-trained stevedores would then take part in an Australian non-union dock workers training program.
The MUA was 'tipped off' about the planned Fynwest operation and took the matter to the media who met the departing Fynwest employees as they boarded a flight to Dubai and questioned their 'tourist' status. Intense criticism and the spotlight on the visa irregularities and the threat of international industrial retaliation forced the Dubai Government to cancel visas for the Fynwest company employees. The Australian government denied all knowledge of the plan which has since been disproved in Howard's autobiography, despite still-serving defence personnel being involved, and evidence provided by some of these members that the government was actively involved in supporting the plan.

I just found the similarities interesting between this and Balckwaters reincarnation in the desert.

Ed Jewett
05-15-2011, 01:08 PM
Not The Onion: Blackwater Alumni Start Corporate Intelligence Firm Called Operation Jellyfish

May 15th, 2011
I’m standing by to hear that this is a hoax. (Please, tell me this is a hoax.) Until then, why not put these slimy, primitive tentacles to use for all of your corporate intelligence needs?

I think that Operation Cthulhu would have been better.


Cthulhu Awakening Front

Via: Wired: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/blackwater-datamining-vets-want-to-save-big-business

Veterans from the most infamous private security firm on Earth and one of the military’s most controversial datamining operations are teaming up to provide the Fortune 500 with their own private spies.

Take one part Blackwater, and another part Able Danger, the military data-mining op that claimed to have identified members of al-Qaida living in the United States before 9/11. Put ‘em together, and you’ve got a new company called Jellyfish.
Jellyfish is about corporate-information dominance. It swears it’s leaving all the spy-world baggage behind. No guns, no governments digging through private records of its citizens.

“Our organization is not going to be controversial,” pledges Keith Mahoney, the Jellyfish CEO, a former Navy officer and senior executive with Blackwater’s intelligence arm, Total Intelligence Solutions. Try not to make a joke about corporate mercenaries.

Jellyfish’s chief technology officer is J.D. Smith, who was part of Able Danger until lawyers for the U.S. Special Operations Command shut the program down in 2000. Also from Able Danger is Tony Shaffer, Jellyfish’s “military operations adviser” and the ex-Defense Intelligence Agency operative who became the public face of the program in dramatic 2005 congressional testimony.

Posted in COINTELPRO, Covert Operations, Outsourced, Surveillance, Technology, War

Ed Jewett
05-17-2011, 02:26 AM
UAE Hires Blackwater to Establish 800-Member Mercenary Battalion

May 16th, 2011
Via: Washington Post:
The crown prince of Abu Dhabi has hired the founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide to set up an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the United Arab Emirates, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The Times said it obtained documents that showed that the unit being formed by Erik Prince’s new company, Reflex Responses, with $529 million from the UAE would be used to thwart internal revolt, conduct special operations and defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from attacks.
Posted in Dictatorship, Outsourced, War


Ed Jewett
05-22-2011, 06:03 AM

U.S. fines BAE $79 million, Rock Island rewards BAE with $10 million (updated)


Ed Jewett
05-23-2011, 12:23 AM
The Threat of Private Military Companies

by Devon DB

Global Research, May 22, 2011




Private Military Companies (PMCs) have been in the national and international spotlight in recent years, most famously known are the actions of the PMC Blackwater (now renamed Xe Services) in Iraq. There are many mixed feelings about PMCs, some say that they are a "good thing" and that they help countries to save money while others argue that they are not regulated and many times go about killing innocent people.

PMCs are a major problem in that they are a threat to state sovereignty as they threaten the role of the state in overseeing its armed forces. They also have major legality issues that need to be addressed, threaten democracy, and aid in continuing the influence of multinational companies in the third world.

While I will delve into the above issues, I will not be able to give the full picture of the effect that PMCs have on states nor how they operate, thus I recommend that anyone who finds themselves wanting to know more about PMCs read the book Servants of War: Private Military Corporations and the Profit of Conflict by Rolf Uesseler (translated by Jefferson Chase; it also provided the research for this essay), as it provides a comprehensive analysis of PMCs and the manner in which they do business, from interviewing owners of PMCs to discussing how PMCs effect international conflicts and concluding by exploring if there is way to properly handle PMCs.

State Sovereignty

PMCs threaten state sovereignty because they threaten the state’s monopoly on "the use of force". In the German Parliament, the conservative faction submitted a proposal in 2004 which stated that the privatization of the military “could lead to a fundamental shift” between a nation’s armed forces and its government as “the state’s monopoly on force could be called into question or even possibly eradicated.” [1] By bringing PMCs into the picture, it creates a “hollowing out of the state,” where the military itself can become weakened due to its reliance upon private organizations to do things such as gather intelligence.

“A third emphasis of the modern military companies is the area of intelligence, which includes everything from information collecting to outright spying. In the wake of the electronics revolution, many firms have developed techniques for information gathering and analysis that only they are able to master and offer as a service.” [2]
The effect that having PMCs gather intelligence for the military is that people then realize that the real intelligence jobs are with PMCs and use government institutions like the military and the CIA as resume-builders for when they go to apply for a position at a PMC. It also creates a dependency on PMCs to do the intelligence work for the government and thus the influence of PMCs in the Pentagon increases.

This dependence is not only in the area of intelligence gathering, but also extends into what is arguably the most important aspect of warfare: logistics. Companies offer services “from the procurement of toilet paper to the organization of diverse types of vehicles.” Also maintenance of military equipment “represents a huge portion of this spectrum, be it the upkeep and repair of motor vehicles, transport vans, helicopter warships, or other types of military aircraft.” [3]

By supplying US troops, private corporations have increased their influence within the Pentagon to levels in which they hold major sway. Private corporations deeply undermine state authority because due to the fact that they build and supply weapons to our military as well as supply them with the needed materials so that the military can fight wars, they profit from when the US goes to war and may be likely to encourage American military action abroad.

Legality Issues

There are major problems with the legality of private companies and how they operate in countries where they are deployed. One example pertains to Iraq in 2004 when Blackwater employees entered into the city of Fallujah and “under the pretense of looking for terrorists, [they] had carried out nighttime raids, mistreated women and children, and tortured and murdered local men and teenage boys.” [4] Due to this, the local Iraqis took the law into their own hands and killed the Blackwater employees. However, whether one agrees with what the Iraqi people did or not, what occurred would have been the only justice the employees received for their crimes.

It is extremely hard to investigate PMCs due to the secrecy that is guaranteed by government contracts, as well as the fact that they are not accountable to the US military and “receive their orders directly from the Pentagon, and both the Department of Defense and the headquarters of the companies concerned keep their lips strictly sealed.” [5]

The secrecy begins with the contracts themselves where the government leaves out certain legal passages that specify exactly what the companies are supposed to do, how they are supposed to go about doing it, and if they will be held legally responsible for anything that occurs under their watch. Uesseler cites an example of this, one that should be quoted at length:

DynCorp received a contract for more than a million dollars from the US State Department to organize the Iraqi criminal justice system. In June 2004, four of their employees, heavily armed and in battle gear, led Iraqi police on a raid of the former Iraqi leader in exile, Ahmed Chalabi. It is doubtful whether this action was in keeping with the spirit of the original contract. But that fact that DynCorp did not receive an official warning suggests that the contract is vague enough to allow for such “violations.” [6]

The fact that the contracts are so vague as to the point where companies can virtually decide what they want to do has the potential to create serious problems, one example private companies doing night raids which result in the deaths of civilians and thus aggravating the local population and whipping up anti-American sentiment. That would make the job of US solders that much harder because they would bear the brunt of the backlash, not the employees that created the situation in the first place.

The situation gets worse, however, when one goes to the national levels. In the United States, no one is able to hold any private companies accountable. The parties that “issue the contracts are barely capable of doing much in the way of monitoring, because, for example, they are tied down in Washington, and the state military, which would have the capabilities, has little interest in babysitting private soldiers that aren’t part of its chain of command.” [7] Thus the military cannot do it and Congress isn’t much better as they don’t allocate funds to the oversight of private companies. This allows them to “exist in a state of near anarchy and arbitrariness.”

Private companies and their personnel are not “subject to strict regulations that determine to whom they are ultimately accountable.” Private corporations only have to go as far as declarations of intent in which they “maintain that they instruct their personnel to respect national laws and international human rights standards.” [8] Even if major crimes are done, the state cannot do anything as mercenaries enjoy significant protection. “In passing Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 of June 2003, the Iraqi provisional government granted exemption from prosecution to all personnel action on behalf of the coalition- including PMC employees.” [9] This allows for PMCs to go about and do literally whatever they please, without fear of any consequences whatsoever and could potentially have the employees do things that they wouldn’t have done so before if they were under the law, like torturing and killing civilians for example.

Internationally, things have the potential to get complicated quickly. The Geneva Convention clearly distinguishes between civilians and armed combatants. However, the employees of private companies aren’t civilians “since they are involved in the machinery of war, are employed by governments, and frequently carry arms.” Combatants are defined by the Geneva Convention “as people directly and actively involved in hostilities,” yet new forms of warfare muddle this definition. “To take an illustrative question: Is a private solider in Florida who presses a button launching a carpet bomb attack in Afghanistan only indirectly involved in war, while a regular soldier delivering supplies there is directly engaged in hostilities?” [10]

The legality issues of private soldiers need to be solved on an international level as they currently occupy a gray area in the legal system. However, the US government needs to hold these companies accountable for any crimes that their employees are involved in, if not, then situations like the one mentioned at the beginning of this topic will continue.


Private military corporations threaten democracy solely because they are not accountable to anyone and can do as they please. By not having any accountability, private companies undermine democratic institutions.

One of the many roles of government is “to maintain security, which includes democratic control over the use of force.” However, PMCs undermine this because citizens do not have any influence over the services offered by PMCs. For example, “The standards that govern the military, the police, customs officials, border guards, and state intelligence agencies do not apply at all to contracts given to PMCs.” [11]

Due to citizens having no control over the actions of private companies, democracy is put on the line because in a democratic society, there is a need for checks and balances on all forms of power. By not having this, PMCs are able to go and do as they please due to having no restrictions and, as was noted earlier, this could lead to potential problems.

The Third World

PMCs will do business for anyone who has the money to hire them, from governments, to non-governmental organizations, to rebel movements. However, PMCs will also gladly work for other companies and in the process, have aided in US corporations maintaining undue influence in the third world.

One major example is Colombia. From the viewpoint of US corporations, unions, the FARC, and the ELN threaten the status quo. In order to remedy this, “Lobbyists for US firms active in Colombia- above all oil, arms, and military companies- made $6 million in campaign contributions to convince the US Congress to approve of Plan Colombia, which was sold to the public as a humanitarian assistance program for the crisis-ridden Andean nation. Yet of the $1.3 billion initially approved for the program, only 13 percent went to the Colombian government to improve its security infrastructure. The rest flowed into the coffer of US firms.” [12]

Since the majority of the money went to American firms, the question that must be asked is: Exactly what did those PMCs do in Colombia? They did a variety of things that were connected with one another, which all ended up aiding US corporations maintain their influence in Colombia. For example PMCs would “collect via satellite or reconnaissance flights information about guerilla troop movements that they then pass onto the military. They plant informants within the workers’ movement or village populations and share what they learn with the police and paramilitary groups.” [13] This has led to workers being killed, wages decreasing, increased unemployment, and human rights violations, all of which are sanctioned or supported by foreign companies. [14]

A counterargument would be that the FARC and ELN are recognized as terrorist organizations by the US and thus it is in American interests to aid in their destruction, however, this ignores the reasons why the FARC attacks US corporations. “Their attacks against business are largely directed at transnational oil companies and are, they say, aimed at ensuring that some of the profits from Colombia’s petroleum reserves go to the country in general, instead of being siphoned off by oligarchs, members of the government, and high-ranking military leaders.” [15]

By maintaining US corporate interests in Colombia, PMCs are aiding in the destruction of left-wing movements and backing right-wing governments. The situation is reminiscent of how the US, during the Cold War, overthrew left-wing governments and installed and backed military dictators that allowed US corporations to move in, this is just a new version of it.


In conclusion, PMCs are a threat on multiple levels and need to be dealt with. Most pressingly are the legal issues and the international community as well as governments within nations need to establish a new classification in their laws specifically for the employees of PMCs so that they will be held liable for any crimes committed. PMCs, without a doubt, need massive reform as to lead to a better society at large.


1: Rolf Uesseler, Servants of War: Private Military Corporations and the Profit of Conflict, trans. Jefferson Chase (Brooklyn, New York: Soft Skull Press, 2008) 146.

2: Ibid, pg 24

3: Ibid, pgs 25-26

4: Ibid, pg 160

5: Ibid, pg 161

6: Ibid, pg 163

7: Ibid, pg 164

8: Ibid, pgs 168-169

9: Ibid, pg 169

10: Ibid, pgs 170-171

11: Ibid, pg 207

12: Ibid, pg 149

13: Ibid, pg 151

14: Ibid, pg 152

15: Ibid

Devon DB is 19 years old and studies political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University

Ed Jewett
05-23-2011, 12:51 AM
The Spy Who Bilked Me: Meet Bush’s War Profiteering Chief Bin Laden Hunter
Penn Bullock and Brandon K. Thorp

You've probably never heard of Marty Martin. He spent most of his life as an anonymous CIA operative. But he very recently came out of the closet as the man Bush put in charge of finding Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of 9/11, and guess what? It turns out the man Bush put in charge of finding bin Laden is an extremely shady and allegedly corrupt war profiteer. Who would have thought?

More here:


Ed Jewett
05-23-2011, 12:54 AM
In 2006, Darpa, the Department of Defense’s R&D arm, commissioned AeroVironment, a company specializing in remote aircraft, to create an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) small enough to fly through an open window. AeroVironment had already built the 4.5-foot-wingspan Raven, which first saw combat over Afghanistan in 2003, but making a UAV so much smaller took five years and 300 different wing designs.

More here:

Bernice Moore
06-16-2011, 01:20 AM
Sent by someone in the know, dealing with the military.


> You can get lists of military investigations pertaining to a particular
> company or contractor or organization. Then once you have the lists, you
> can ask for the investigation reports themselves.
> This is a very powerful investigative tool, and the materials you will get
> back can be quite stunning.
> Simply write to each of the following agencies, and ask them for a list of
> all investigations pertaining to the particular company, contractor or
> organization. I recommend against combining multiple requests into one
> letter; instead I suggest a separate letter for each company, contractor
> organization.
> In your letter, ask for a printout/listing of investigations/files at the
> agency identified through a search of the DCII for the company XXXXXXX.
> should also mention the Freedom of Information Act and identify if you are
> newsmedia requester. You should mention that you want them to retrieve a
> complete list for all years.
> Note: the term DCII has been used to stand for different words over the
> years, so to prevent the possibility of a no records response, I suggest
> simply use the term DCII rather than spell out the words.
> You should send a letter about any particular company to each of the
> following offices to get a thorough reply.
> DoD IG FOIA Requester Service Center
> Office of Freedom of Information
> 400 Army Navy Drive, Suite 1021
> Arlington, VA 22202-4704
> FAX: 703-602-0294
> http://www.dodig.mil/fo/foia/NEWREQUEST.cfm
> FOIA Office
> P.O. Box 2218
> Waldorf, MD 20604-2218
> FAX: 301-870-1116
> EMAIL: afosi.hq.foia@ogn.af.mil (http://ca.mc881.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=afosi.hq.foia@ogn.af.mil)
> Naval Criminal Investigative Service Headquarters (Code 00LJF)
> 716 Sicard Street SE Suite 2000
> Washington Navy Yard DC 20388-5380
> FAX: 202-433-9242
> EMAIL: NCISFOIA@navy.mil (http://ca.mc881.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=NCISFOIA@navy.mil)
> Department of the Army
> U.S. Army Crime Records Center
> 6010 6th Street, ATTN: CICR-FP
> Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060-5585
> FAX: 703-806-0462
> EMAIL: CRCFOIAPA@conus.army.mil (http://ca.mc881.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=CRCFOIAPA@conus.army.mil)
> ===
> Once you get your list in the mail, which typically takes only 2-3 weeks,
> you can write back to the agency and get copies of the closing memo and
> final report for any of the investigations listed. You should ask for the
> investigations by case number. Don't worry that this will get voluminous
> typically the closing memos and final reports are not more than a couple
> dozen pages. To protect yourself against getting a monster report, you
> of course limit it to the first 50 pages of each report, or the first 100
> pages of each report, etc. The reports take about 4-6 weeks to get.
> ==========

Ed Jewett
06-28-2011, 01:36 AM
2nd ex-Blackwater worker gets 30 months for manslaughter
June 27, 2011 by legitgov

2nd ex-Blackwater worker gets 30 months for manslaughter 27 Jun 2011 A second former Blackwater mercenary was sentenced to prison for involuntary manslaughter today in the 2009 shooting death of a civilian in Afghanistan. Justin Cannon of Corpus Christi, Texas, was sentenced to 30 months by U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar. A Virginia Beach man, Christopher Drotleff, received a 37-month sentence earlier this month for his actions in the same incident.


Ed Jewett
06-28-2011, 08:11 PM
From http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/corporate/dd/ddindex.html which has many, many embedded links....:

The Dirty Dozen
Corporate Partners in Mass Destruction
The Dirty Dozen
The Dirty Dozen Annex
About the Project
The Nuclear Industry
The Aerospace Industry
Space Weapon Technology
Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space
News and Special Features
Also See
The Dirty Dozen
Printable PDF fact sheets are available for seven of the Dirty Dozen corporations.
(See the corporations in bold below.)

Alliant Techsystems
Bechtel Corporation
BAE Systems
British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL)
General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
University of California

The Dirty Dozen Annex
Aerospace Corporation
Analytical Graphics, Inc.
Andrews Space
Ball Aerospace
Booz Allen Hamilton
Carlyle Group
Computer Sciences Corporation
Davidson Technologies
L-3 Communications
Microcosm, Inc.
MicroSat Systems, Inc.
Miltec Corporation
Octant Technologies
Orbital Sciences Corporation
Rafael Aramament Development Authority Ltd.
Schafer Corporation
Science Applications International Cooperation (SAIC)
SI International
Space Development Corporation (SpaceDev)
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
Why the Dirty Dozen?

Reaching Critical Will teamed up with the Arms Trade Resource Center of the World Policy Institute to generate fact sheets, posters, and postcards that expose the complicity of corporations contributing to the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear weapon proliferation, and the associated social, cultural, and environmental harm. We researched and produced profiles of thirteen (a baker's dozen) corporations that are deeply involved in researching, developing, and manufacturing nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Our goal is to uncover and stigmatize the profit these corporations make while sustaining nuclear weapons and nuclear power at a time in history when human dialogue and ingenuity could make both obsolete. We want to provide basic information about these corporations that can serve as a foundation and impetus for informed action that challenges these corporations to revoke their membership in the nuclear club.

In 2007, Reaching Critical Will, the Arms Trade Resource Center, and the Stop the Merchants of Death Network of the War Resisters League collaborated to update these fact sheets. Reaching Critical Will, in coordination with the Secure World Foundation, also produced additional reports on corporate involvement in the aerospace industry. This research covers the original Dirty Dozen corporations, and twenty-three other companies (the Dirty Dozen Annex) involved in developing missile defense and space weapon technology.

News and Special Features

Andrew Lichterman, "Next generation strategic weapons and the possibility of arms races to come," DisarmamentActivist.org, 7 April 2007.

Darwin BondGraham, "Is UC a University, or Just Another Military-Industrial Corporation?," Think Outside the Bomb, 2 April 2007.

Ray Acheson, "Attack on the ASAT Attack," DisarmamentActivist.org, 6 March 2007.

Hampton Stephens, "Pentagon's Plans for 'Space Control'," Defensetech.org, 26 January 2007.

Tom Engelhardt and Frida Berrigan, "How the Pentagon Stole the Future," LewRockwell.com, 11 January 2007.

Space Security 2006, Spacesecurity.org, July 2006.

Jeremy Singer, "Space-Based Missile Interceptors Could Yield Big Opportunity," Space News, 6 April 2006.

Matthew Hoey, "Military space systems: the road ahead," The Space Review, 27 February 2006.

Leonard David, "E-Weapons: Directed Energy Warfare In The 21st Century," Space.com, 11 January 2006.

Andrew M. Lichterman, "The Military Space Plane, Conventional ICBM’s, and the Common Aero Vehicle: Overlooked Threats of Weapons Delivered Through or From Space," Information Bulletin, Western States Legal Foundation, Fall 2002.

Theresa Hitchens, "Weapons in Space: Silver Bullet or Russian Roulette?," Center for Defense Information, 18 April 2002.

Frida Berrigan, "How are Weapons Manufacturers Faring in the War?," World Policy Insitute, 17 December 2001.

Frida Berrigan, "US Weapons Systems in Afghanistan," World Policy Instiute, 7 December 2001.

Carol Brouillet, "Deadly Connections: Corporate Globalization, Space and War," Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space Conference, 13 May 2002.

Also See

Dirty Dozen poster

Mil-Corp Connexion - highlights WILPF's perceptions of the very dangerous connection between the Pentagon and those corporations profiting from weapons production.

Stop the Merchants of Death - uncovers the many ways war-profiteering corporations are literally calling the shots when it comes to deciding what weapons systems to buy, what countries to invade, and what foreign resources to seize. (SMOD is project of the War Resisters League.)

CorpWatch - provides news, investigations, and analysis critical of corporate power.

OpenSecrets.org - presents the actual political positions of the parties and candidates in US politics, and discloses how much campaign money they have raised - especially from corporate donations.

Center for Public Integrity - produces investigative journalism on issues of public concern, including defense contracts and corporate campaign contributions.

Center for Corporate Policy - works to curb corporate abuses and make corporations publicly accountable.

Conscience Canada - explains how to avoid having your federal income tax pay for the military.

777 UN Plaza - 6th Floor - New York, NY - 10017 - Ph: 212.682.1265 - Fax: 212.286.8211 - info@reachingcriticalwill.org

Ed Jewett
06-29-2011, 12:38 AM
Abu Ghraib Inmates Lose U.S. High Court Bid to Sue Torturers

27 Jun 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive a lawsuit that accused two military contractors of abusing torturing inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, turning away an appeal by 26 onetime prisoners. The inmates sought to sue CACI International Inc., which helped interrogate prisoners at the facility, and Titan Corp., which provided translation services. The inmates, who were civilian detainees, said they were subjected to abuses by CACI and Titan employees including beatings, sexual humiliation, exposure to extreme temperatures and rape. In court papers, the inmates said some prisoners were tortured into unconsciousness and several were murdered.




Ed Jewett
07-03-2011, 07:36 AM
Kabul Brothels Continue to Service NATO


Pentagon Contractor Employee Investigated for Human Trafficking, Fired
 But No Prosecutions or Contract Terminations


Ed Jewett
07-13-2011, 03:52 AM
TCIMC Exclusive: Contracts for IntelliDrive MnDOT Military-Industrial/U of M plan to GPS-track all cars

Submitted by HongPong on Thu, 2011-05-19 09:26

Key info about Minnesota's elusive "GPS Mileage Tax" test program has finally turned up. It's actually part of a federal program called "IntelliDrive", as shown by new documents obtained on Wednesday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has entered into a pilot program called the "Mileage Based User Fee Policy Examination" which includes a contract with the huge low-profile military-industrial intelligence contractor SAIC of McLean Virginia, a system intended to pass all GPS data from everyday travel into centralized vehicle databases. The University of Minnesota has a main leading role, along with the Battelle Institute, URS Corporation, Mixon-Hill in Kansas and the local Pierce Pini & Associates. The MnDOT data practices "handler" at headquarters in St Paul didn't like it when these documents were photographed, and they denied a request to simply copy the mileage tax project contracts onto a USB flash drive, which is the only reason we don't have the complete material at hand right now.

With these incomplete documents, it's still perfectly clear that this plan is intended to make Minnesota's roads into a mere part of a national IntelliDrive road monitoring grid - broadcasting tracking devices would be intended for all vehicles....

Much more at the link:


Ed Jewett
08-02-2011, 01:21 AM
U.S. Contractor in Iraq Charges Pentagon $900 for $7 Control Switch, Report Finds --Inspectors seeking to review all Anham contracts with U.S. govt in Iraq and Afghanistan, which total about $3.9 billion

30 Jul 2011

A U.S. government contractor in Iraq charged the Pentagon a whopping amount of money for inexpensive items, including $900 for a $7 control switch, according to a new report from a U.S. watchdog. U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr. said review found that Anham, LLC, which is based in suburban Washington, allowed its subcontractors in Iraq to also charge $3,000 for a $100 circuit breaker, and $80 for a piece of plumbing equipment worth $1.41.



Ed Jewett
08-04-2011, 02:47 AM
Federal judge rules KBR Iraq false claim suit can proceed
03 Aug 2011

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected military contractor KBR Inc's request to dismiss a U.S. government lawsuit seeking to recover more than $100 million for alleged false claims over private security in Iraq. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled the false claims and breach-of-contract claims could proceed, but he dismissed the unjust enrichment and payment-by-mistake counts in the lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in April 2010, claimed Houston-based KBR knowingly included impermissible costs for private armed security in billings to the U.S. Army covering the 2003-2006 time period, the Justice Department has said.

http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2011/08_-_August/Federal_judge_rules_KBR_Iraq_false_claim_suit_can_ proceed/



Jan Klimkowski
08-04-2011, 05:03 PM
My emphasis in bold:

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled the false claims and breach-of-contract claims could proceed, but he dismissed the unjust enrichment and payment-by-mistake counts in the lawsuit.

Royce Lamberth dismissed evidence that KBR had unjustly enriched itself! :mexican:

A glance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royce_C._Lamberth) at his resume reveals the kind of cases this "judge" gets handed....

Bernice Moore
08-14-2011, 03:28 AM

special ops the new face of war.....

Peter Lemkin
08-14-2011, 04:17 AM
See here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?7981-U.S.-Special-Forces-Will-Be-Deployed-in-120-Countries-by-End-of-2011) for more on this. I'd only say it is not 'new'....It has been going on wholesale since WWII and retail before then.....it is just the New Empire going by stealth gobbling up all and eliminating all challengers or 'problems' - small or able to potentially challenge this Amerikan Empire.....angryfire Now, after 911, it is all happening at 'warp speeds' - as was the modus operandi of 911, IMHO. :pirate:

Ed Jewett
08-20-2011, 02:44 AM
Fake Facebook Identity Used By Military Contractors Plotting To Hack Progressive Organizations

August 19th, 2011

Via: ThinkProgress: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/18/298081/hbgary-federal-us-chamber-persona/

Earlier this year, ThinkProgress obtained 75,000 private emails from the defense contractor HBGary Federal via the hacktivist group called Anonymous. The emails led to two shocking revelations. First, that an assortment of private military firms collectively called “Team Themis” had been tapped by Bank of America to conduct a cyber war against reporters sympathetically covering the Wikileaks revelations. And second, that late in 2010, the same set of firms began work separately for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Republican-aligned corporate lobbying group, to develop a similar campaign of sabotage against progressive organizations, including the SEIU and ThinkProgress.

In presentations obtained by ThinkProgress from the e-mail dump detailing the tactics potentially used against progressives, HBGary Federal floated the idea of using “fake insider personas” to infiltrate left-leaning groups critical of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s policies. As HBGary Federal executive Aaron Barr described in several emails, his firm could work with partner companies Palantir and Berico Technologies to manipulate fake online identities, using networks like Facebook, to gain access to private information from his targets. Other presentations are more specific and describe efforts to use social media to hack computers and find vulnerabilities among even the families of people who work at organizations critical of the Chamber.

In one email from the dump, Barr discusses a fake persona he created called “Holly Weber.” She would be born in Portland in 1984, attend Reynolds High School, and work for Lockheed Martin after a stint in the Air Force. Earlier this week, Twitter users actually identified the phony account. Before it was taken down, ThinkProgress snagged screen shots of the fake persona’s Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. (Barr also described his strategy for pretending to be teenagers online). View a screenshot of the fake account below

Posted in Covert Operations, Dictatorship, Economy, Social Engineering, Surveillance, Technology


Ed Jewett
09-05-2011, 03:25 AM
The Top Secret Network of Government and its Contractors

Ed Jewett
09-20-2011, 05:11 AM
Blackwater/Xe’s BAE connection (http://timshorrock.com/?p=1394)Posted on September 15, 2011 (http://timshorrock.com/?p=1394) by Tim Shorrock (http://timshorrock.com/?author=1)
http://timshorrock.com/wp-content/uploads/blackwater-300x225.jpg (http://timshorrock.com/wp-content/uploads/blackwater.jpg)Blackwater, the notorious mercenary company now known as “Xe,” has a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) –Charles (Chuck) Thomas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_General_Charles_W._Thomas_%22Chuck%22), formerly of the British-owned defense and intelligence contractor BAE Systems Inc. According to today’s press release from Blackwater owner USTC Holdings LLC (http://www.freshnews.com/node/428964),

Thomas joined Xe on September 6, 2011, retired as a Major General in the U.S. Army, where he held the position of Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command from 1998 to 2001; Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School and Ft. Huachuca from 1994 to 1998; Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, U.S. Army Europe from 1993 to 1994; Vice Director of Intelligence for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1991 to 1993 and Director of the Joint Intelligence Center, U.S. Central Command in the first Gulf War; and many other leadership positions throughout his military career. He is based at the company’s new headquarters office in Arlington, Va.
Now that’s a pretty deep intelligence background – perfect for a company that is involved in some of the CIA’s most covert operations in Pakistan (http://www.thenation.com/article/secret-us-war-pakistan) and elsewhere. It might take a while for reporters to figure out what this appointment means in the long run. So in the meanwhile let’s take a look at some Twitter postings today from an informed source on all things covert to explain a little about Thomas’ past and how his past jobs will enhance Blackwater’srole in the U.S. wars in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere on the planet (the author of these tweets asked to remain anonymous and I will respect that request).

Thomas at Xe is very bad. For a multitude of reasons. Chief among them, his vast knowledge base in compartmentalization
For starters, Thomas was STO on the Joint Staff under Cheney and Powell. What does that mean? STO, or special technical operations officers, manage and “oversee” — heh — Special Access Programs, of the legal & extra-legal variety
The dude ran pretty much every military intelligence element at every echelon
He ran the Army’s intel schoolhouse at Huachuca
Then, he assumes command of TRADOC and the predecessor to what is now Human Terrain System (Note: see my Daily Beast article on HTS here (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/12/15/counterinsurgency-outsourcing-americas-new-mercenaries-in-afghanistan-middle-east-africa.html))
In summation: Chuck Thomas brings to BW/Xe vast experience in blended operations, special collection and a solid grounding in STO.
It’s also important to understand the role of BAE itself in U.S. intelligence. I wrote quite a bit about the company’s contracts with the CIA and other agencies in my book Spies for Hire (http://timshorrock.com/?page_id=198), and here’s an excerpt that was first published in CorpWatch (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14821) in 2007. Note especially BAE’s extensive work for the CIA, with which Blackwater/Xe is closely identified:

BAE’s services to U.S. intelligence — including the CIA and the National Counter-Terrorism Center — are provided through a special unit called the Global Analysis Business Unit. It is located in McLean, Virginia, a stone’s throw from the CIA. The unit is headed by John Gannon, a 25-year veteran of the CIA who reached the agency’s highest analytical ranks as deputy director of intelligence and chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Today, as a private sector contractor for the intelligence community, Gannon manages a staff of more than 800 analysts with security clearances. (Note: since this was written, Gannon has moved up in BAE to president of the company’s Intelligence and Security division).

A brochure for the Global Analysis unit distributed at GEOINT (http://geoint2011.com/) 2007 – a conference sponsored by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (https://www1.nga.mil/Pages/Default.aspx) and its contractors – explains BAE’s role and, in the process, underscores the degree of outsourcing in U.S. intelligence. “The demand for experienced, skilled, and cleared analysts – and for the best systems to manage them – has never been greater across the Intelligence and Defense Communities, in the field and among federal, state, and local agencies responsible for national and homeland security,” BAE says. The mission of the Global Analysis unit, it says, “is to provide policymakers, warfighters, and law enforcement officials with analysts to help them understand the complex intelligence threats they face, and work force management programs to improve the skills and expertise of analysts.”

At the bottom of the brochure is a series of photographs illustrating BAE’s broad reach: a group of analysts monitoring a bank of computers; three employees studying a map of Europe, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa; the outlines of two related social networks that have been mapped out to show how their members are linked; a bearded man, apparently from the Middle East and presumably a terrorist; the fiery image of a car bomb after it exploded in Iraq; and four white radar domes (known as radomes) of the type used by the NSA to monitor global communications from dozens of bases and facilities around the world.

The brochure may look and sound like typical corporate public relations. But amid BAE’s spy talk were two phrases strategically placed by the company to alert intelligence officials that BAE has an active presence inside the U.S.. The tip-off words were “federal, state and local agencies,” “law enforcement officials” and “homeland security.” By including them, BAE was broadcasting that it is not simply a contractor for agencies involved in foreign intelligence, but has an active presence as a supplier to domestic security agencies, a category that includes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI as well as local and state police forces stretching from Maine to Hawaii.
So there you have it. Thomas brings all his intelligence experience, both in government and at BAE, into Blackwater/Xe. The revolving door turns one more time. And the business of war goes on. When will we ever learn?
Update: Blackwater hires (http://www.whistleblower.org/blog/31-2010/1499-xe-blackwater-hires-disgraced-aig-qcompliance-czarq-suzanne-folsom) disgraced AIG “Compliance Czar” Suzanne Folsom as first chief regulatory/compliance officer and deputy general counsel.

Posted in Corporations (http://timshorrock.com/?cat=10), Intelligence (http://timshorrock.com/?cat=6) | Leave a comment (http://timshorrock.com/?p=1394#respond)

Ed Jewett
10-25-2011, 07:01 PM
Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan seals records for 20 years. (http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Wartime_Contracting_Panel_Seals_Records_for_Next_2 0_Years_111025) Commission discovered between $31 billion and $60 billion in fraud and waste.

WAYNE MADSEN REPORT - Wayne Madsen Report (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/)

Magda Hassan
10-26-2011, 07:05 AM
Loving all this openness and trasparency... :flypig::shutup:

Ed Jewett
01-10-2012, 03:16 AM
Source: http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/monsanto-now-owns-blackwater-xe/

Monsanto Now Owns Blackwater (Xe)

A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation (Blackwater’s Black Ops, 9/15/2010) revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (now called Xe Services) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the opportunity to deny it.
Many military and former CIA officers work for Blackwater or related companies created to divert attention from their bad reputation and make more profit selling their nefarious services-ranging from information and intelligence to infiltration, political lobbying and paramilitary training – for other governments, banks and multinational corporations. According to Scahill, business with multinationals, like Monsanto, Chevron, and financial giants such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, are channeled through two companies owned by Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater: Total Intelligence Solutions and Terrorism Research Center. These officers and directors share Blackwater.
One of them, Cofer Black, known for his brutality as one of the directors of the CIA, was the one who made contact with Monsanto in 2008 as director of Total Intelligence, entering into the contract with the company to spy on and infiltrate organizations of animal rights activists, anti-GM and other dirty activities of the biotech giant.
Contacted by Scahill, the Monsanto executive Kevin Wilson declined to comment, but later confirmed to The Nationthat they had hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and 2009, according to Monsanto only to
keep track of “public disclosure” of its opponents. He also said that Total Intelligence was a “totally separate entity from Blackwater.”
However, Scahill has copies of emails from Cofer Black after the meeting with Wilson for Monsanto, where he explains to other former CIA agents, using their Blackwater e-mails, that the discussion with Wilson was that Total Intelligence had become “Monsanto’s intelligence arm,” spying on activists and other actions, including “our people to legally integrate these groups.” Total Intelligence Monsanto paid $ 127,000 in 2008 and $ 105,000 in 2009.
No wonder that a company engaged in the “science of death” as Monsanto, which has been dedicated from the outset to produce toxic poisons spilling from Agent Orange to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides, hormones and genetically modified seeds, is associated with another company of thugs.
Almost simultaneously with the publication of this article inThe Nation, the Via Campesina reported the purchase of 500,000 shares of Monsanto, for more than $23 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which with this action completed the outing of the mask of “philanthropy.” Another association that is not surprising.
It is a marriage between the two most brutal monopolies in the history of industrialism: Bill Gates controls more than 90 percent of the market share of proprietary computing and Monsanto about 90 percent of the global transgenic seed market and most global commercial seed. There does not exist in any other industrial sector monopolies so vast, whose very existence is a negation of the vaunted principle of “market competition” of capitalism. Both Gates and Monsanto are very aggressive in defending their ill-gotten monopolies.
Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to the state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions. On the contrary, their “donations” finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world. What a coincidence, former Secretary of Health Julio Frenk and Ernesto Zedillo are advisers of the Foundation.
Like Monsanto, Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa” (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM). To this end, the Foundation hired Robert Horsch in 2006, the director of Monsanto. Now Gates, airing major profits, went straight to the source.
Blackwater, Monsanto and Gates are three sides of the same figure: the war machine on the planet and most people who inhabit it, are peasants, indigenous communities, people who want to share information and knowledge or any other who does not want to be in the aegis of profit and the destructiveness of capitalism.
* The author is a researcher at ETC Group
Source: Pravda (http://english.pravda.ru/business/companies/14-10-2010/115363-machines_of_war_blackwater_monsanto_billgates-0/)

Jan Klimkowski
01-10-2012, 05:57 PM
A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation (Blackwater’s Black Ops, 9/15/2010) revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (now called Xe Services) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto.

From the company that created The Terminator seed, a naked imperial power play against Mother Nature, I can only assume that we should now anticipate GMMs.

Genetically Modified Mercenaries.

A Fascist wet dream, if ever I heard one.


Ed Jewett
01-11-2012, 05:25 AM
CACI Awarded $22 Million Task Order to Support U.S. Special Operations Command Tech Needs
11012012[Isn't it strange that the American construction and high-tech firms that have been chosen to build or operate SOCOM's prototype experimental electronic network, like CACI, SAIC and KBR--Consolidated Analysis Centers, Inc., Science Applications International Corporation and Kellogg, Brown and Root--have all been charged in the past with improprieties and have been skirting the edge of bankruptcy, until these Pentagon blessings came their way? (SEE:Manufacturing Justification for the NATO Takeover of Central Asia– (http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/2011/07/21/manufacturing-justification-for-the-nato-takeover-of-central-asia-smashing-greater-central-asia-%e2%80%93-part-one/) Smashing Greater Central Asia – Part One).]
CACI Awarded $22 Million Task Order to Support U.S. Special Operations Command with Wide Array of Training Technologies (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/caci-awarded-22-million-task-order-to-support-us-special-operations-command-with-wide-array-of-training-technologies-2012-01-10?reflink=MW_news_stmp)New Work Will Provide Special Operations Forces with Advanced Modeling and Simulation Technology to Enhance Mission Capability and Reduce Cost
ARLINGTON, Va., Jan 10, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — CACI International Inc CACI +1.35% (http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/CACI?link=MW_story_quote)announced today that it has been awarded a $22 million task order under the Global Battlestaff and Program Support (GBPS) prime contract to support the U.S. Special Operations Forces Planning, Rehearsal and Execution Preparation (SOFPREP) effort. This five-year (one base period with four option periods) award will provide modeling and simulation data for a variety of Special Operations Forces (SOF) rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and other specialized vehicles. CACI’s approach to this work will enhance the U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) capability to conduct critical training more efficiently and to more thoroughly prepare our forces for operational missions.
SOFPREP produces and maintains 3D scene visualization databases and enhanced geospatial data (maps, imagery, and terrain) for SOF simulators in USSOCOM with personnel and facilities located at Hurlburt Field, FL and Fort Campbell, KY. With the new contract, CACI will provide databases in a variety of formats for SOF simulators, and establish and manage a data center to store and archive information. The data in this extensive repository can be accessed throughout the entire USSOCOM community.
Several factors were key to this strategically important win. The CACI team applied its extensive experience in the modeling and simulation and geospatial intelligence arenas to expand and improve SOFPREP capabilities. And, it offered technological enhancements that will enable SOFPREP to better support Special Operations forces.
Dan Allen, CACI President of U.S. Operations, said, “We’re particularly proud of this win because the effort involved contributions from across CACI and our partner companies, emphasizing the broad range of our collective skill sets and capabilities. Our solution blends operational understanding, proven technical experience, and in-depth understanding of SOFPREP programs to ensure full mission capability with no interruptions in mission coverage.”
According to Paul Cofoni, CACI President and Chief Executive Officer, “This award is important to us, as it significantly enhances our wide-ranging portfolio of solutions in the modeling and simulation world. Of equal consequence to all of us at CACI is that this new work with the Special Operations community will directly help our forces prepare for missions, execute them efficiently, and come home safely.”
Celebrating our 50th year in business, CACI sustains an exceptional record of success by providing professional services and IT solutions needed to prevail in the areas of defense, intelligence, homeland security, and IT modernization and government transformation. We deliver enterprise IT and network services; data, information, and knowledge management services; business system solutions; logistics and material readiness; C4ISR solutions; cyber solutions; integrated security and intelligence solutions; and program management and SETA support services. CACI solutions help federal clients provide for national security, improve communications and collaboration, secure information systems and networks, enhance data collection and analysis, and increase efficiency and mission effectiveness. A member of the Fortune 1000 Largest Companies and the Russell 2000 index, CACI provides dynamic careers for approximately 14,300 employees working in over 120 offices in the U.S. and Europe. Visit CACI on the web at www.caci.com and www.asymmetricthreat.net .
There are statements made herein which do not address historical facts, and therefore could be interpreted to be forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated include, but are not limited to, the risk factors set forth in CACI’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, and other such filings that CACI makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Any forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon and only speak as of the date hereof.
CACI — Contract
SOURCE: CACI International Inc


Ed Jewett
01-12-2012, 08:17 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2012Setting the Record Straight: Did Monsanto Really Buy Blackwater (Xe)? (http://www.activistpost.com/2012/01/setting-record-straight-did-monsanto.html)

http://foodfreedom.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/blackwater-m.jpg?w=500 (http://foodfreedom.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/blackwater-m.jpg?w=500)

Source (http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/monsanto-blackwater-and-gm-crop-saboteurs/)

Anthony Gucciardi
Activist Post (http://www.activistpost.com/2012/01/setting-record-straight-did-monsanto.html)

There has been a great deal of publicity over the potential purchase of Blackwater (now known as Academi, and Xe before that) by mega corporation Monsanto.

While the two seem to be a great match, as they both fail to consider the morality and consequence of their actions, it seems that Monsanto is only involved with Blackwater in infiltrating activist groups who are opposed to the biotech giant — an operation quite sinister enough.

The truth of the matter is that Academi (Blackwater) was purchased by private investors, and the heavily sourced article written (http://www.thenation.com/article/154739/blackwaters-black-ops) by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation actually says nothing about Monsanto buying Blackwater.

What the articles does say, however, is that Monsanto and Blackwater are indeed working together to target anti-Monsanto activists and organizations.

Known as far back as 2010, Blackwater’s client list included Monsanto, Chevron, Walt Disney and many more.

According to documents obtained by Scahill (http://www.thenation.com/article/154739/blackwaters-black-ops), it was also revealed that Monsanto was willing to pay upwards of $500,000 in order for Blackwater to join anti-Monsanto activist groups and infiltrate the ranks. Furthermore, a number of Internet-based tactics could be utilized as incognito PR for Monsanto, who undoubtedly knew opposition would mount against their GMO (http://naturalsociety.com/genetically-modified-foods/) crops as more individuals became aware of the dangers.

Amazingly, the document stated that Monsanto was 'concerned about animal rights activists' and that they discussed how Blackwater could 'have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally.'Of course this occurred back in 2008, and Monsanto admitted in e-mails that the relationship lasted until around 2010 — near the time the information came to light. Raw Story reports (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/16/disney-monsanto-discovered-blackwaters-hidden-clients/):

In an
 e-mail to The Nation, Wilson confirmed he met Black in Zurich and that Monsanto hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and worked with the company until early 2010.Even though Monsanto may not have purchased Blackwater, their relationship with them remains quite clear. Both organizations are noted for their crimes against humanity, and they really do have a twisted synergy of sorts, so it is quite easy to see how the topic became viral.

While they may not be owned by the same individuals, one thing is clear: the relationship between these two companies is enough cause for alarm.

Explore More:

Monsanto Discovered Among Blackwater’s Hidden Clients (http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-discovered-among-blackwaters-hidden-clients/)
USDA Steps Back and Gives Monsanto More Power Over GMO Seeds (http://naturalsociety.com/usda-steps-back-and-gives-monsanto-more-power-over/)
Monsanto Admittedly Influences Colorado GMO Ban, Launches Phony ‘GMO Co-Existence’ Protests (http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-admittedly-influences-colorado-gmo-ban-phony-co-existence-protests/)
Leaked: US to Start ‘Trade Wars’ with Nations Opposed to Monsanto, GMO Crops (http://naturalsociety.com/us-start-trade-wars-with-nations-opposed-to-monsanto-gmo-crops/)
Monsanto Declared Worst Company of 2011 (http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-declared-worst-company-of-2011/)
Poland Joins Ranks of Grassroots Anti-Monsanto Activism (http://naturalsociety.com/poland-joins-ranks-of-grassroots-anti-monsanto-activism/)


Magda Hassan
07-15-2012, 03:14 PM
Googlish translation from German into English about Spanish speaking Colombian and Chilean mercenaries employed by the US in Libya, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.

UAE: Spanish in Sirte

Part 2 of privatized war (http://hinter-der-fichte.blogspot.com/2012/07/vereinigte-emirate-privatisierter-krieg.html)

strategy of terror sponsors
The current U.S. strategy in the U.S. "war on terror" is reminiscent in its combination of the "roll-back" and "containment" toward the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Treaty 50 years ago, only a global market, without any qualms. The Cold War aims today remain from the encirclement of Russia and China and led to erosion of the Warsaw Pact, the aggression against Libya until the war against Syria and Iran. Because of the war crime known far and wide in the U.S., its disastrous image because of financial reasons, but also to accomplices to bind, they have started to keep a puppet master in the background. Instead, gradually became a complex political, ideological and military psychokriegerischer camouflage to conceal its aggressive intentions, means and methods applied in the Empire. This includes the collection of the UN and its sub-organizations or the creation or management of pseudo-human rights and NGO organizations such as Amnesty, HRW and Avaaz. A key feature of this insidious erosion of the international spirit of international understanding and peace was the destruction of international law principles such as sovereignty, integrity and self-determination of peoples. They have been replaced by aggressive dogmas as the "responsibility to protect", for their implementation also used the above degenerate by UN organizations to German Green Party. As evidenced by the wars against Libya and Syria, the United States today as a place mainly puppets cannon fodder. The bombing of Libya have been carried out mainly by Britain, France, Canada and Arab allies. "Operation Mermaid Dawn", the raid on Tripoli was a commando action of the special forces of NATO and the GCC countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
This principle of the shadow man is also in direct American policy, where the outside has a screaming Susan Rice (or earlier Condoleezza Rice) and shrill propaganda done by the order to murder ("Gaddafi dead or alive!") Spreading Hillary Clinton, the public dirty work. Obama is always dimly caught offside. From there, but he gives orders to his murder almost every day Amazons, the Pentagon and the CIA. Be confirmed in writing by him directly and executed by his intelligence on the joystick assassinations without trial and judgment - by drones.

Silhouette target and cannon fodder
United States and Great Britain set in Africa and the Middle East like Arab States for their own purposes. This is true for their armies as well as their media like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyah. These mini-states have different reasons neither will nor opportunity to oppose the gangster world, or the former colonial power Britain. Gaddafi said in 2009, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the face (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed-CAjEYrog) :

"You were created by Britain and will be protected by the United States."
The gun in his own neck remains, some GCC states have no choice but to seek ways to the wishes of the "global policeman", who call themselves world "community" to meet somehow. (Of course, other factors play here, as the religious Sunni, Shia, Wahabi, Salafist into it, etc..) The liberation of the sheikhs, is modeled after the blackmail of the United States, in turn, advance silhouette target.
The U.S. had supported the Iraq War, for example by Erik Prince have a private army under the guise of a private security company called "Black Water", and later put together "Xe" and "Academi." Prince's company also provided support for the Emirates (http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/05/16/world/middleeast/16prince.html?ref=blackwaterusa). But on the one hand they wanted to be not entirely on the American judicial persecution of the (http://www.hintergrund.de/20090811460/globales/kriege/blackwater-firmenchef-erik-prince-in-morde-und-kinderprostitution-verwickelt.html)left. On the other hand, the largely helpless public prosecutors and deputies showed, however: atrocities committed by mercenaries can be tracked by such a bad cascade system. Especially can collect on battlefields no evidence. this may have been the key motivation for the Emirates, a) In an emergency, not Muslims to Muslims (in Libya, Syria, Iran) start shooting, but people from across the world and b) intermediaries to use "private" companies. On 15 May 2011 declared General Juma Ali Khalaf Al Hamiri (http://www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite?c=WamLocEnews&cid=1289993531929&p=1135099400124&pagename=WAM%2FWamLocEnews%2FW-T-LEN-FullNews) , Head of Personnel and Administration of the UAE Army :

" The armed forces of the UAE have recently developed a number of third parties 'involved, as, Spectre', provide the academic training, Horizon 'a pilot training partner and R2' operational, supply planning and training support. "" played this third party has an essential role in supporting the UAE Army to train Iraqi and Afghan security forces ... "
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tVMlO9KaUB0/UAJm_tkZgPI/AAAAAAAAAlA/N_q8E-Cj88E/s1600/reflex_responses.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tVMlO9KaUB0/UAJm_tkZgPI/AAAAAAAAAlA/N_q8E-Cj88E/s1600/reflex_responses.jpg)
The New York Times reported on 15 May 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/16/world/middleeast/16prince.html) , at "R2" if it were a company of Blackwater, Erik Prince. Soon, however, were quick to assure everyone that this is not so. "R2" is, we remember, "Reflex Responses Management Consultancy LLC" (http://hinter-der-fichte.blogspot.com/2012/07/vereinigte-emirate-privatisierter-krieg.html), the poaching that Colombian soldiers in their home country and supplying the UAE.

The billion contract
Here (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/CONTRACT.pdf?ref=middleeast) is the entire contract. He shows that by "recently hired" can be no question. The 2-billion-dirham agreement has been 10 months earlier, on 13 7th Signed 2010th We have submitted a copy of specialists in the UAE. They confirm the authenticity of "beyond reasonable probability." The contract lasts from 2010 to 2015 and has a contract value of $ 592,166,745.13 U.S.. 105 million were paid immediately and the remainder in three annual installments to 2015th

Unmistakably had the general who neither before nor after that came back appearance, dashing for the article in The New York Times to the front. Prince was taken out of the firing line. Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/09/blackwater-security-firm-gets-new-leaders-image-makeover/#ixzz1Mj7ghgfu) reported on 9 March 2011, as part of a "revision" was the group of companies, which is now called "Academi" to get new leaders. Only now emerged as the director of "R2" on Abu Dhabi, a certain Michael Roumi.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VpHvf_6q2SY/UAJefaP3TII/AAAAAAAAAkI/DR10zTRThUE/s1600/roumi+quelle+coldcase+update.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VpHvf_6q2SY/UAJefaP3TII/AAAAAAAAAkI/DR10zTRThUE/s1600/roumi+quelle+coldcase+update.jpg)

Michael Roumi

Roumi comes from the software business, and until 2004,"Canadian Bank Note" (http://www.cbnco.com/)worked. His resume includes a hole for 2004 to 2010. According to our research, it was during this time in GNSS "GulfNet Security Systems". It can be assumed that Prince, and therefore know Roumi. Because Roumi works at that time in a high-security ID system for the government of Iraq. Roumi, as an IT man, can neither prove nor experience with Special Forces weapons, which would justify an investment of half a billion dollars in his company. He must have been so as a placeholder, if not a cover for Prince / Xe / Blackwater are considered.
Walks away in May 2011, long before the fall of Tripoli and the murder Gaddafi in Sirte, and Manlio Dinucci on Global Research (http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24952)from.

"As plans will always be the scenario ... aimed at the overthrow of the Libyan government, the US-NATO alliance to use the secret mercenary army. The basic objectives are: 1) The protection of Ölanalagen in the hands of American and European oil companies, 2) the elimination of opponents, 3) keep the country weak and divided. these are the "innovative solutions" that "Xe Services" (formerly Blackwater) is proud to provide the U.S. government. "
In the spring / summer 2011 show many sources in sound and vision, as foreign "Arab" special forces, for example, in Benghazi or Misrata, but also in the hunt for Muammar Gaddafi may be used. Never played the world public as a "rebel" superior sneaker-anarchists on their pickups, often awkwardly, to use a Kalashnikov, any decisive role in the occupation of Libya. In truth, this was a co-ordinated in Washington, Brussels and Langley interaction of NATO's air force, secret of Operating Special Forces of NATO and the GCC states, and Al-Qaeda forces under Belhadj. In the fall of 2011, I showed (including "Compact" (http://compact-magazin.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=200:die-blutige-smeerjungfrau&catid=3:newsflash)) that the taking of Tripoli "an operation of NATO special forces" (http://compact-magazin.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=200:die-blutige-smeerjungfrau&catid=3:newsflash)was.

Spanish in Sirte
As on 20 October 2011 his column before Sirte by NATO airstrikes wiped out and Muammar Gaddafi was killed, were on the ground also NATO forces in action. Even during the war in Libya either silent or lying state media sometimes slips out what.From Brussels Marion says of hair several times in the ARD in those days, that NATO is very cloudy or think about the surgery that they had unofficially confirmed to NATO the use of Special Forces. NATO has every reason to make himself invisible.Verruckelte Video Clips from Libya showed many times, what should remain hidden: Instructor, Sniper, equipment, vehicles and over Special Forces from the West or GCC.The Internet is not - yet - full of them. Only ARD and ZDF in Germany continued valiantly to lie on behalf of NATO:

"Since we have no soldiers on Libyan soil, we can not say who may have been killed in the attack." Said a NATO spokeswoman said. ARD on 20 10th 2011 (http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/gaddafi402.html)
One of the rare moments in which the blanket of secrecy was lifted involuntarily, but it was just the murder Gaddafi and his entourage. Several cell phone videos of the event show Western fighters in special equipment. As to our Youtube Cana (http://www.youtube.com/user/beyerlhartmut?feature=results_main) l to seeing video (http://youtu.be/OUAstnkpAV8) ,distributed by Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiyah, are minutes from 2:23 to 2:30 "deja que lo fusilen" and "vamos", "can shoot," "forward" . hear Uniquely Spanish words that are identified by native speakers from Central America as a Colombian accent.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wDBDnzL5vLk/UAJjdddO-wI/AAAAAAAAAkk/Q65xHBdgKN8/s200/hand+with+pistol.png (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wDBDnzL5vLk/UAJjdddO-wI/AAAAAAAAAkk/Q65xHBdgKN8/s1600/hand+with+pistol.png)

Sirte 20th October 2011: gun aimed at Gaddafi's head, still from Youtube Video "Muammar Gaddafi's arrest on October 20, 2011"

You will now have to prick up their ears, where they speak Spanish in the Middle East now. The use of foreigners in a hybrid model for the army seems to be the case in the Middle East. Syria and Iran are the next areas of operation. The contract with "Reflex Responses" will be at least 2015. . Much can happen until then
, "Behind the spruce" (http://hinter-der-fichte.blogspot.com/2011/08/libyen-goliath-als-meerjungfrau.html) wrote one days after the conquest of Tripoli:

Damascus and Tehran
The war against Libya should pave the way for war against Syria, and finally against Iran. The war against the small Libya is just the beginning. Who the case of Libya as a "freedom" celebrated, has forgotten Afghanistan and Iraq and not look at the logical consequences.
Consider all that now follows in this context. The war changed his face. He is in the media against the masterminds of the NATO led mostly from a distance and at the bottom of most deputies.
The reality has confirmed to us.

Magda Hassan
07-29-2012, 03:10 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6BxCa0BalM&feature=plcp&context=C3ae240fU DOEgsToPDskLIbsDybvGcv8Tt2Y63MtK7
As the Iraqi government threatens to expel all foreign mercenaries following the Blackwater shootout, the role of private military contractors is once again in the spotlight. There's no denying that the rise of the private military contractor is transforming the way we wage war. They earn four times more than regular soldiers, act with impunity and - in Iraq - outnumber all non-US soldiers combined. 'Private Armies' follows the training and deployment of these men. From skidding around a racing track, practising escaping from kidnappers, to dodging bullets in Baghdad, it's an eye-opening look at life as a private soldier.

Ed Jewett
08-12-2012, 03:05 AM
The Role of Private Military and Security Companies in Modern Warfare
Impacts on Human Rights

by Jose L. GĂłmez del Prado

Global Research (http://www.globalresearch.ca/), August 11, 2012

The Brown Journal of World Affairs

Private military and security companies (PMSC) have been involved in grave human rights violations that have attracted international attention and debate over the legitimacy of PMSCs, the norms under which they should operate, and how to monitor their activities. These companies pose a real problem to human rights, to the foundations of the democratic modern state, and to the rule of law[1].

The widespread outsourcing of military and security functions has been a major phenomenon in recent years[2].The new industry that has developed is transnational in nature and has grown very rapidly with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the U.S.S.R., military and security functions, previously considered inherently state functions, have been increasingly contracted out to the private sector. This important change with regard to the monopoly on the legitimate use of force[3] has been primarily implemented in western countries in the context of the anarchical globalization of the world economy. The private military and security industry has taken advantage of the reduction of national armies and the globalization of the economy to find a profitable niche and grow it into a powerful global phenomenon estimated at over $100 billion yearly[4].It has benefitted from the insecurity and fear that followed the terrorist attacks of the early 2000s and within the context of countering terrorism reinvigorated by “the global war on terror”.

The availability of experienced security and military personnel for hire has enabled governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations to circumvent political constraints on the use of force[5]. PMSCs operate in zones of low-intensity armed conflict such as Afghanistan– and post conflict environments-such as Iraq and Colombia. These companies also provide services for extractive industries and multinational corporations operating in unstable environments[6].

The new export security industry expanded primarily, though not exclusively, in Western Europe and North America. The growth has been particularly pronounced in the United States and United Kingdom, where 70 percent of the companies of this new security industry are registered[7]. Parallel to this privatization of warfare, there has also been increased demand for private security at the international level and for protection of property at the domestic level in states all over the world. In many countries, the number of private security personnel is greater than the number of active state police[8].


The use of PMSC as a new instrument of foreign policy, particularly of the USA, may be due to a number of factors such as: (a) the lack of human resources in the armed forces; (b) that they are considered to be more cost efficient; (c) nepotism and/or good contacts with the Administration; (d) to avoid responsibility for the acts committed by PMSC; (e) to avoid the control of democratic institutions; (f) to intervene in the internal affairs of a country. The use of PMSC as a foreign policy tool, however, not only raises a number of dangers but indicates that the State is abdicating to the private sector an essential responsibility.

Heavily armed and operating in situations of conflict, private security companies have been functioning in the absence of national regulatory frameworks to vet the recruitment of their employees, to control their weapons and to monitor their activities. There has also been opacity in their behavior and a lack of transparency which companies have manage to establish through the creation of numerous layers of subsidiaries or subcontracts in diverse countries[9].

The lack of accountability for human right violations that they have committed has been partly due to the difficulties in the application of domestic laws to PMSC actuating in foreign countries as well as to the difficulties in carrying out investigations in failed states. It has also been partly due to the difficulties in establishing responsibilities. Indeed, if the direct responsibility of the State for human rights violations can easily be proved when one of its agents commits a human right abuse, it is much more difficult to establish the link when it is a contracted PMSC or one of its employees. Moreover under international law for human right abuses only the responsibility of natural persons, not legal person, are recognized. To these circumstances also has contributed the immunity granted by governments to PMSC operating in a number of situations[10].

Despite the argument of home or contracting states from which PMSCs operate that they cannot be responsible for human rights violations committed by PMSC employees outside their territories and national jurisdictions, home states[11] should be able to regulate PMSCs at the source because they have the effective territorial control over different activities of PMSCs. Their territorial competence and control should make it possible for the state where PMSCs have their business headquarters or operational seat to discharge its due diligence principle duty. Under International Human Rights Law, states have the responsibility “to take appropriate measures or to exercise due diligence to prevent, punish, investigate or redress the harm caused” by acts of private military companies or their staff that impair human rights[12].”

All these factors have provided a propitious terrain where the human rights of the civilian population have been violated. An additional fact important to bear in mind is that PMSC, in their search for profit, often neglect security putting their employees in dangerous or vulnerable situations which may have disastrous consequences, such as the 2004 Fallujah incident in which four Blackwater private contractors were killed allegedly due to a lack of safety precautions that Blackwater was supposed to provide. That particular incident changed the whole course of the war in Iraq. That incident may be considered as the turning point in the occupation of Iraq. It led to an abortive US operation to recapture control of the city and a successful recapture operation of Fallujah in November 2004, called Operation Phantom Fury, which resulted in the death of over 1,350 insurgent fighters. Approximately 95 America troops were killed, and 560 wounded.

PMSCs, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, have been operating in gray areas without any control or lines of command threatening the lives and security of the civilian population. The following examples, which are not exhaustive, may serve to illustrate the impact of PMSC in the enjoyment of human rights.


29 June 2009, a number of civilian casualties occurred as a result of a shooting incident between an Afghan private entity operating as a security company (Afghan Special Guards) and the Afghan National Police inside the Attorney General’s Office in Kandahar[13].

5 May 2009, two Xe (formerly Blackwater) private security contractors working for the U.S. Army were involved in an incident in Kabul, in which one Afghan civilian was killed and three others injured according to a US military inquest in Kabul.[14] “While stopped for a car accident, the contractors were approached by a vehicle in a manner they felt threatening. The contractors were trainers hired by Paravant LLC, a subsidiary of Xe[15]. There were allegations that they were issued AK-47s despite guidelines from the U.S. Department of Defense specifically indicating that the Xe personnel would not be armed[16]. A US Senate inquiry found that the Blackwater subsidiary Paravant illegally signed out 500 machine guns from a US military store[17].

Iraq 9 October 2007 In central Baghdad, two Armenian women were shot dead when their car came too close to a convoy protected by Unity Resources Group (URG) contractors.[18] URG employees opened fire as they felt threatened that the women’s car approached the convoy at high speed and was not going to stop.[19].

The same company (URG) was also involved in the March 2006 shooting of a 72-year-old Australian professor[20]. This 25-year resident of Baghdad, who drove through the city every day, allegedly accelerated his vehicle as he approached the guards and did not pay attention to warnings to stop[21]

According to a U.S. Congressional memorandum, between 2005 and 2007 Blackwater guards were involved in nearly 200 shootings in Iraq. [22] The document raises serious questions about how State Department officials responded to reports of Blackwater killings of Iraqi civilians. For example, in the case of a shooting of a guard of Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi in December 2006 by a Blackwater contractor, the State Department allowed Blackwater to transport the contractor out of Iraq within 36 hours of the shooting and suggested a $15,000 fine.[23] A similar approach was taken in other cases involving the shooting of innocent Iraqi civilians. Iraq continues to grapple with the legal immunity granted to private security contractors under Order 17 issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Such immunity has prevented prosecutions in Iraqi courts. Nor have prosecutions in the home countries of such companies been successful.

The lack of accountability for violations committed between 2003 and 2009 persists and the victims of such violations and their families are still waiting for justice.[24]The lack of vetting procedures by PMSCs is best illustrated by the case of Danny Fitzsimons, a former British Army paratrooper who fatally shot two colleagues at the U.K. security company ArmorGroup (now part of G4S) and injured an Iraqi security guard in Baghdad. Fitzsimons had been discharged from the British Army in Iraq. Despite having been diagnosed by several psychiatrics as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Fitzsimons was contracted without any vetting procedure. In 2009, 36 hours after arriving in Baghdad, he shot dead two of his colleagues- a British and an Australian- and injured an Iraqi guard. In February 2011, he was tried in Iraq and condemned to 20 years in prison[25].

The most egregious known human rights violation by a PMSC is the shooting massacre perpetrated on 16 September 2007 by Blackwater personnel in Nisour Square, Baghdad. Seventeen people were killed and twenty others were severely injured[26]. Blackwater [27] has also been accused of fabricating documents to acquire unauthorized weapons, defrauding the USA government, and tolerating the widespread use of steroids and cocaine by its personnel.[28] Only after the implementation of a new Status of Forces Agreement in January 2009 and the cancellation of Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17—which had granted immunity to contractors—was the government of Iraq able to deny Blackwater’s application for an operating license. However, the company still had a contract with the U.S. State Department, and some Blackwater personnel were working in Iraq at least until September 2009[29].

Two United-States-based corporations, CACI International and L-3 Services (formerly Titan Corporation), have allegedly been involved in torturing Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.[30] The two companies, contracted by the U.S. Government, were responsible for interrogation and translation services in several facilities in Iraq. The Center for Constitutional Rights and a team of lawyers brought claims against the two companies under the Alien Tort Claims Act in 2004 on behalf of over 250 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs claimed they were “subjected to rape and threats of rape and other forms of sexual assault; electric shocks; repeated beatings, including beatings with chains, boots and other objects; prolonged hanging from limbs; forced nudity; hooding; isolated detention; being urinated on and otherwise humiliated; and being prevented from praying and otherwise abiding by their religious practices.”

Rendition flights

A number of reports have indicated that private security guards have played a central role in some of the most sensitive activities of the CIA. These activities include arbitrary detention and clandestine raids against alleged insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, involvement in CIA rendition flights, and joint covert operations[31]. Employees of PMSCs have been involved in the transport of detainees from pick-up points (such as Tuzla, Islamabad, and Skopje); in rendition flights to drop-off points (such as Cairo, Rabat, Bucharest, Amman, and Guantanamo); and in building, equipping, and staffing the CIA’s “black sites.[32]” In 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against Jeppesen DataPlan, Inc., a subsidiary company of Boeing, on behalf of five persons who had been kidnapped by the CIA and held in overseas secret prisons maintained by the United States[33]. Allegedly, Jeppesen would have participated in the rendition by providing flight planning and logistical support.The US government had petitioned to dismiss the case under the state secrets privilege The plaintiffs petitioned the US Supreme Court on 7 December 2010 asking it to hear an appeal of the dismissal. In May 2011 the Supreme Court declined to hear the plaintiffs appeal[34].

Three Ecuadorian provinces and 3,266 plaintiffs have initiated lawsuits against DynCorp—a private company contracted by the U.S. State Department—concerning grave health problems [35]as a consequence of the spraying of narcotic plants along the Colombian and Ecuadorian border under Plan Colombia[36].

Equatorial Guinea

The 2004 attempted coup d’état perpetrated in Equatorial Guinea is a clear example of the link between mercenaries and PMSCs and violation of the sovereignty of States.[37] In this particular case, the mercenaries involved were mostly former directors and personnel of Executive Outcomes, a PMSC that had become famous for its operations in Angola and Sierra Leone.[38] The team of mercenaries also included two employees of a PMSC, Meteoric Tactical Systems, who at the time were providing security to diplomats of western embassies in Baghdad, including the Ambassador of Switzerland.[39] It also included a security guard who previously worked for the PMSC Steele Foundation, which also provided protection to President Aristide of Haiti[40]. A number of people involved in the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea were arrested in Zimbabwe, others in Equatorial Guinea itself. The coup was intended to overthrow the government and hijack rich oil resources.


PMSCs are the modern reincarnation of a long lineage of private providers of physical force, such as corsairs, privateers, and mercenaries. PMSCs are non-state entities operating in extremely blurred situations, where the lines between what is allowed and what is not are difficult to identify.[41] The new security industry moves large quantities of weapons and military equipment. It provides services for military operations, recruiting former military as civilians to carry out what has been labeled as “passive or defensive security”.

During the French Revolution, Swiss “private soldiers were also exercising passive security to protect Louis XVI and his family in Versailles. They were mercenaries. Today in Iraq, legally registered employees of private military and security companies protect President Kharzai of Afghanistan, U.S. generals, and many other political or diplomatic figures.

Mercenaries have existed throughout history. They have been a constant in all wars, but almost disappeared for nearly one hundred years after privateers were outlawed in the nineteenth century[42], only to reappear in the 1960s during the decolonization period, which took place under the United Nations in Africa and Asia. To a certain extent PMSCs constitute the new corsairs.

The definition of “mercenary” is contained in two universal instruments and one regional convention.[43]. The universal instruments are Additional Protocol I (Article 47) to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, within the context of ius in bello, and the 1989 International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, adopted by the United Nations within the context of ius ad bellum. Under International Humanitarian Law, mercenaries are not given the protection of combatants but are not outlawed. Under the UN convention, mercenaries are criminalized[44].

According to the UN Definition of Aggression[45], one of the obligations of Member States is to prohibit the use of its territory to recruit, train and send “armed bands, groups, irregulars, or mercenaries” abroad to be used in combat operations directed against the “sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of another State.” PMSC personnel are one of the categories covered by the definition.[46] The term “political independence of another State” is a direct reference to the right of self-determination stipulated in Article 1 common to the International Human Rights Covenants.

According to the definition under Article 47 (2) of Additional Protocol I, to be considered a mercenary the person has to fulfill the six conditions set out in that instrument. A mercenary (a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict; (b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities; (c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party; (d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict; (e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and (f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces[47].

The definition of a mercenary under the UN Convention covers all the criteria of Additional Protocol I with the exception of “does in fact take a direct part in the hostilities.” In addition, the UN Convention includes “any other situation” in which a non-national is recruited to take part “in a concerted act of violence aimed at (i) overthrowing a Government or otherwise undermining the constitutional order of a State, or (ii) undermining the territorial integrity of a State.” Whereas Additional Protocol I only applies to international armed conflicts, the UN Convention covers both international and non-international armed conflicts. Furthermore, the UN Convention makes the recruitment, use, financing or training of mercenaries an offense under international law and implies that any foreigner taking part in any violent activity aimed at provoking a change of regime through a coup d’état during peacetime may be considered a mercenary.

A number of the activities fulfilled by PMSC[48] may meet the requirements contained in the international instruments regarding mercenaries. Also, the recruitment of former militaries and law enforcement personnel as “security guards who would be ’exposed to great risks [...] including but not limited to the threats inherent in a war situation,” included as a clause in a number of contracts that the private security contractors signed, is extremely close to the element of the definition that specifies that the mercenary must be specifically recruited “in order to fight in an armed conflict.” [49] Even if they do not conduct offensive operations but have been recruited to protect military objectives, “security guards” may be targeted by the enemy who consider them as being recruited in an armed conflict. A number of activities conducted by PMSC employees may be considered direct participation in hostilities, such as the involvement of Blackwater employees in Najaf, Iraq, on 4 April 2004.

According to the interpretation of some legal experts of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the majority of PMSC employees operating in international armed conflict could be considered civilians. Only a small number are seen as combatants and mercenaries, who would lose protection under International Humanitarian Law when taking “direct part in hostilities.” The UN Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries does not require the direct participation of “security guards” in hostilities.[50].

Even though the main motivation of many of the private contractors engaged by PMSCs may be private gain, it is extremely difficult to prove this in court. Moreover, for many private guards, the motivation is a mixture of monetary gain, the “excitement and adrenaline” of adventure, and the possibility to put in practice all of their training, as. PMSCs usually hire personnel who have been highly trained in dangerous and counterinsurgency operations such as members of US SEALs, or SWCC, the British SAS or the French Legion[51].

The criteria of nationality and residence could not be applied to contractors from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other countries which have been involved in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. It could be applied to nationals of countries such as Peru, Honduras, and Chile that are not parties to the conflict. In the case of Chile, it is interesting to point out that while the government of Chile voted against the UN Security Council resolution to intervene in Iraq Chilean citizens were contracted by PMSCs to provide “passive protection” in Iraq. The requirement that a mercenary must not be a member of the armed forces of a party to the conflict could easily be circumvented by a given state that utilizes PMSCs by incorporating these employees into its own armed forces.

Each of the elements taken individually poses problems to classify PMSCs as mercenaries. For PMSCs and their employees to be considered mercenaries, all the requirements in the definition of the international instruments must be cumulatively met. PMSCs are commercial firms legally registered in their home countries, a large number of which have obtained contracts from governments (the Pentagon and the State Department in the United States).

In addition, only 32 states have ratified the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and most of the governments which contract PMSC are not parties to the Convention.

All these difficulties to apply the 1989 International Convention against mercenaries indicate that this international instrument has become obsolete to deal with the new phenomenon of PMSCs.


Self-Regulation: The Swiss Initiative, the Montreux Document of 2008, and the International Code of Conduct of 2010.

In 2006, in order to address the demand for a clarification of legal obligations under International Humanitarian and International Human Rights Law with regard to PMSCs, the government of Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross launched what has been known as the Swiss Initiative, an international consultation process with main stakeholders: governments, the new industry of PMSCs, and civil society.[52] The Swiss Initiative has been supported domestically and by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, where most of the industry (70 percent) and the lobbyists for the new security industry are located: the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) and the British Association of Private Security Companies (BAPSC).[53]

On 17 September 2008, the process led to a common understanding by 17 states known as the Montreux Document on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States Related to Operations of Private Military and Security Companies during Armed Conflict.[54] This set out what the signatories view as the relevant IHL and IHRL applicable to PMSCs as well as a set of good practices for them. The second phase of the Swiss Initiative is the International Code of Conduct for PMSCs, aimed at setting high standards for the industry worldwide and supporting the establishment of a voluntary enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with such standards. This is, however, still in the process of elaboration.

The United Nations and the proposed draft convention to regulate and monitor PMSCs

In 2005, the United Nations established the Working Group on the use of mercenaries “To monitor and study the effects of the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly the right of peoples to self determination, and to prepare draft international basic principles that encourage respect for human rights on the part of those companies in their activities”. [55]

In the course of five years, the UN Working Group on Mercenaries has found that there is a regulatory legal vacuum covering the activities of PMSCs. It has also discovered a lack of common standards for the registration and licensing of these companies, as well as for the vetting and training of their staff and the safekeeping of weapons. While a number of rules of IHL and IHRL could apply to states in their relations with PMSCs, the Working Group has observed that there are challenges to the application of domestic laws, in particular for international PMSCs operating in a foreign state, and difficulties in conducting investigations in conflict zones. The effect of this situation is that PMSCs are rarely held accountable for violations of human rights.

The military and security services provided by PMSCs are highly specific and dangerous. They should not be considered ordinary commercial commodities left to the self-regulation of the market and internal controls. PMSCs have succeeded in creating diffuse responsibility and a lack of accountability through a labyrinth of contractual and insurance layers and shells.

Moreover, one should not forget that legal responsibilities of states to take appropriate measures to prevent, investigate, punish, and provide effective remedies for relevant misconduct of PMSCs and their personnel fully remain even if states have chosen to contract out certain security functions.

The Working Group has conducted a series of consultations with governments of the five geopolitical regions of the world on the impact of PMSC activities on the enjoyment of human rights, as well as on regulating and monitoring the activities of private military and security companies.

It has also organized a series of consultations with a wide range of stakeholders on the content and scope of a possible draft convention. An initial draft text of the convention was circulated to some 250 experts, academics, and NGOs to collect their input on the contents and scope of the Convention. The Working Group received some 45 written submissions comprising a total of over 400 comments.

In 2010 the Working Group recommended to the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly principles, main elements, and text for a possible International Convention on the Regulation, Oversight and Monitoring of Private Military and Security Companies.[56] Both documents take into consideration the comments received from these stakeholders and feedback from member states.

The proposed binding international instrument aims to reaffirm and strengthen state responsibility for the monopoly on the legitimate use of force, identify inherent state functions that cannot be outsourced to PMSCs under any circumstances, and regulate the use of force and firearms by PMSCs under international human rights standards. It also envisages the development of a national regime of licensing, regulation, and oversight of the activities of PMSCs and their subcontractors. The proposed convention identifies inherent state functions that cannot be outsourced, making a bright line between functions that are permitted, but should be regulated, and functions that belong to the state and cannot be privatized.

The new instrument would establish an international register of PMSCs based on information provided by states. State parties would be compelled to provide data annually for the register on imports and exports of military and security services of PMSCs and standardized information on PMSCs registered in and licensed by the state party. This obligation to share information about companies in an open and transparent way would provide greater public and parliamentary scrutiny. An international committee would monitor the measures taken by state parties to implement the convention.

The proposed convention would apply not only to states, but also to intergovernmental organizations, within the limits of their competence, with respect to PMSCs, their activities, and their personnel. It would apply to all situations where PMSCs operate, regardless of whether the situation is considered to constitute an armed conflict or not.

The fact that PMSC personnel are not usually “mercenaries” is also a strong argument for the adoption of a new instrument to deal with a new type of actor. Contrary to the “dogs of war” mercenaries of the past, private military and security companies are legally registered, and the definition used in international instruments—such as the one contained in Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions and the one in the UN Convention on Mercenaries—typically does not apply to the personnel of PMSCs.

The argument that employing PMSCs is cost-effective may be true in the short term and if a number of socioeconomic variables are not taken into consideration, such as training in the use of weapons and counterinsurgency operations of former militaries and policemen, which is paid by taxpayers. In this regard, it is worth noting the increasing number of military personnel who, attracted by higher salaries, are leaving the army in developed and developing countries to join PMSCs. One way to decrease costs for PMSCs has been to contract more former military members and policemen from developing countries at much lower salaries. Issues of reintegration and post-traumatic stress disorder in individuals returning to their communities from military or security work abroad have not been assessed either. Because of the nature of their contracts, thousands of these disposable “guns for hire” are available in the market and ready to be employed in any conflict situation.

The aphorism that the invisible hand of the market is enough to regulate the activities of PMSCs without outside intervention seems to have been abandoned after a number of events have proved to the contrary.

The Working Group is not the only body calling for a legally binding instrument to regulate and monitor the activities of private military and security companies. This is also the position of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which has adopted two reports recommending “that the Committee of Ministers draw up a Council of Europe instrument aimed at regulating the relations of its member states with PMSCs and laying down minimum standards for the activity of these private companies.”[57] The UN Working Group’s proposals follow the same logic as the “Stop Outsourcing Security Act” proposed by U.S. Congress Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Most UN Member States, upon considering the impact of PMSCs on the enjoyment of human rights, assert the opinion that outsourcing functions related to the legitimate use of force to private contractors requires binding regulatory and monitoring mechanisms at the international level due to the transnational character of the industry. The position of western states, however, is that a binding instrument with regulatory and oversight mechanisms is too premature. The recommendation made by the Working Group to the United Nations to create an open-ended intergovernmental working group to consider an international regulatory framework to monitor PMSCs has been accepted despite the opposition of western states.[58] A process has been set up in the United Nations for political negotiations on this important issue by Member States, Intergovernmental Organizations, and civil society represented by human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.[59]

José L. Gómez del Prado is the former Chairperson of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries. He teaches at the Universities of Deusto (Bilbao), Barcelona and Madrid as an invited professor. His most recent publications include A United Nations Instrument to Regulate and Monitor Private Military and Security Contractors and Private Military and Security Companies and the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries.

Notes[1] The rule of law is a pre-condition for achieving the principles of the United Nations: peace and security, development and human rights.
[2] A number of tasks may be performed by PMSCs in relation to the maintenance of international peace and peaceful coexistence of nations as laid down in the UN Charter. See “Private military and security firms and the erosion of the state monopoly of the use of force,” Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Document 11787 of 22 December 2008.
[3] The monopoly by the state on the legitimate use of force is a cornerstone of sovereignty. The current international political system, constructed in the twentieth century under the UN Charter, is based on a community of sovereign states Article 2.1 “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members, United Nations Charter”.
[4] See Barry Yeoman, “Soldiers of good fortune,” Mother Jones, May/June 2003, http://motherjones.com/politics/2003/05/soldiers-good-fortune
[5] . See Yves Engler, “La privatisation de l’occupation: Les mercenaires et les ONG (Counterpunch)”, HAITI RECTO VERSO (blog), 9 March 2010, http://haitirectoverso.blogspot.com/2010/09/la-privatisation-de-loccupation-les.html.
[6] Human rights abuses are committed by private security guards protecting multinational companies. See Guatemalan women Mayan Q’eqchi’ community living in El Estor against HudBay Minerals and its subsidiary HMI Nickel Inc. The women alleged that the companies were complicit in the gang rapes they suffered at the hands of security personnel. Also lawsuit filed by the widow of a Q’eqchi community leader, who was severely beaten and shot dead during a protest against the Fenix mine by security guards from the Fenix project. http://businesshumanrights.org/Categories/Lawlawsuits/Lawsuitsregulatoryaction/LawsuitsSelectedcases/HudBayMineralslawsuitsreGuatemala#news .
[7] United Nations doc. A/HRC/7/7.
[8] See Chapter 4 of Small Arms Survey 2011, Cambridge University Press.
[9] PMSC are mostly virtual companies with a small staff. They use databases of qualified military/law enforcement and sub-contractors. See P. W. Singer, “Corporate Warriors”, Cornell University Press2004, Chapter V
[10]Plan Colombia between the United States and Colombia allows private military and security companies, such as DynCorp, to carry out operations in Colombian territory with diplomatic immunity. In Iraq, from 2004 and 2007, all private U.S. contractors including PMSC were given immunity status under the Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17. In 2007 the immunity was withdrawn. However, the legal situation of PMSCs operating in the country and in particular if some PMSCs still benefit from the immunity clause contained in CPA Order 17 remains unclear. It is not certain as to whether this removal of immunity covers all contractors employed by the United States Government and as to whether it is fully applied in Iraqi courts. See United Nations Doc. A/HRC/18/32/Add.4. In the United Kingdom, in response to an inquiry from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament the U.K. Foreign Secretary stated, “Some individuals contracted to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in Iraq and Afghanistan to undertake private security contracts for the protection of our diplomatic missions do have certain immunities, including in particular immunity from criminal jurisdiction, under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”. See, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmfaff/557/55708.htm, consulted on 03/05/2011 The diplomatic status has been one of the main arguments of the defense of the five private guards of Blackwater charged with manslaughter and weapons violations and allegedly responsible for the massacre which took place in Baghdad’s Nissour Square, in 2007. In December 2009, Judge Ricardo Urbina of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the Justice Department’s prosecution of the five guards on the basis that the prosecution’s evidence was tainted by the improper use of compelled statements. The Justice Department appealed the ruling and a federal appeals court reinstated the prosecution of the Blackwater guards in April 2011.
[11]The fact remains that if a PMSC decides to place its headquarters in a particular country is because it has already calculated that it is not going to have regulatory difficulties with that government. Many PMSC that have their headquarters in Washington or London are registered in tax havens such as the Bahamas or the Caymans, See P. W. Singer, “Corporate Warriors”, Cornell University Press 2004, Chapter V.
[12] United Nations Human Rights Committee, General Comment 31, paragraph 8, United Nations doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.13 (2004).
[13] Communications sent by UN Working Group on mercenaries and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions to the governments of Afghanistan and United States, United Nations doc. A/HRC 15/25/Add.1.
[14] Jon Boone, “Afghanistan lets Blackwater stay despite shakeup of security contractors”, The Guardian 7 March 2011; CNN, “Security contractors charged in Afghanistan killings to be arraigned”, 17 August 2010 .
[15] August Cole, “US Contractors Fired at Kabul Car”, The Wall Street Journal, 18 May 2009.
[16]Jeremy Scahill, “Blackwater Operating in Afghanistan on Subcontract with Raytheon”, RebelReports, 19 May 2009.
[17] Ibid, Jon Boone, The Guardian.
[18] See José L. Gómez del Prado, The Privatization of War: Mercenaries, Private Military and Security
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21826 .
[19] U.N. Doc. A/HRC/7/7/Add.1 (Feb. 13, 2008)
[20]. Ibid.
[21] Ibid
[22]. “Additional information about Blackwater USA”, memorandum dated 1 October 2007 from Majority Staff to the Members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, p. 2, http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/images/10/01/blackwater.memo.pdf.
[23]. Ibid.
[24] United Nations Doc. A/HRC/18/32/Add.4.
[25] BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-12594245.
[26] United Nations document A/HRC/10/14/Add.1.
[27] Blackwater Worldwide is abandoning its tarnished brand name as it tries to shake its reputation battered by often criticized work in Iraq, renaming its family of two dozen businesses under the name Xe. See Mike Baker, “Blackwater dumps tarnished brand name,”, APNewsBreak, 13 February 2009.
[28]. Democracy Now, 5 May 2011.
[29] Jeremy Scahill, “Blackwater still armed in Iraq”, The Nation, 14 August 2009
[30] United Nations documents A/61/341, paras 69 and 71; A/HRC/4/42 para. 35 and A/HRC/7/7 para 46.
[31] U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/25/Add.3; James Risen & Mark Mazzetti, “Blackwater Guards Tied to Secret C.I.A. Raids,” The New York Times, 10 December 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/us/politics/11blackwater.html?r=1; Adam Ciralsky, “Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy,” Vanity Fair, January 2010, http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001.
[32] Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Doc. AS/JUR(2006) 03 rev. Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Rapporteur Dick Marty and United Nations doc. A/HRC/13/42, Joint Study on Global Practices in Relation to Secret Detention in the Context of Counter Terrorism.
[33] Mohamed v. Jeppesen DataPlan, Inc., 614 F.3d 1070, 1073 (9th Cir. 2010)
[34]Business-Human Rights org.
http://businesshumanrights.org/Categories/Lawlawsuits/Lawsuitsregulatoryaction/LawsuitsSelectedcases/Jeppesenlawsuitreextraordinaryrenditionflights#new s
[35]. An NGO report indicated that one-third of the 47 women exposed to the fumigation showed cells with genetic damage. The study established a relationship between the air fumigations of Plan Colombia and damage to genetic material. Once permanent, the cases of cancerous mutations and important embryonic alterations increased and contributed to a rise in abortions in the area. U.N. Doc. A/HRC/4/42/Add.2.
[36]. DYNCORP INT’LLLC, QUARTERLY REPORT (FORM 10-Q)19, 8 February 2010, http://ir.dyn-intl.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=950123-10-13389.
[37].Human rights are embedded within sovereignty (Jack Donnelly “Human Rights and State responsibility in mysite.du.edu/~jdonnell/papers/hrsov%20v4a.htm). The right to self-determination is proclaimed in Article 1 common to the two International Covenants on Human Rights which stipulates: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. See also Press Release, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N. Experts Visit Equatorial Guinea to Discuss the Menace Posed by the Activities of Mercenaries, U.N. Press Release, 12 August 2010, http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10273&LangID=E.
[38]. The Cold-Blooded Blue Blood, The Guardian, 28 June 2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/may/09/equatorialguinea.world.
[39] .Press Release, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N.
Independent Experts Express Serious Concern at the Execution of Four Men after Concluding
their Mission to Equatorial Guinea, 27 August 2010, http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10293&LangID=E.
[40] Robert Collier, Iraq : Global Security Firms Fill in as Private Armies, CorpWatch 28 March 2004, http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11263
[41]. The U.S. Commission on War Contracting criticized the Government for not having “clear standards and policy on inherently governmental functions”. It called for a single definition ensuring that only officers or employees of the federal Government or members of the armed forces perform inherently governmental functions and other critical functions. See, Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, At what cost? Contingency Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Interim Report (June 2009).
[42] The 1856 Paris Declaration Respecting Maritime Law states in Article 1: “Privateering is,
and remains, abolished.” Declaration of Paris (Apr. 16, 1856), in CONVENTIONS AND
NEUTRALITY 10 (1915) available at http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/105?OpenDocument
[43]. 1977 Organization of Africa Unity (OUA) Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa.
[44] Under Article 2 of the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries stipulates that: “Any person who recruits, uses, finances or trains mercenaries, as defined in article 1 of the present Convention, commits an offence for the purposes of the Convention”. Under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions “Mercenaries, as defined in Additional Protocol I, do not have the right to combatant or prisoner-of-war status”.
[45]. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974.
[46]. Francesco Francioni, “The Role of the Home State in Ensuring Compliance with Human Rights by Private Military Contractors,” War by Contract, eds. Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, Oxford University Press, 2011.
[47] International Humanitarian Law, International Committee of the Red Cross, Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.
[48]. M. Mancini, F. Z. Ntoubandi and Th. Marauhn, “Old Concepts and New Challenges,” in War by Contract, eds. Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, Oxford University Press, 2011. PMSCs have also been contracted for the protection of individuals (security escorts), convoys (convoy security), and high-ranking officials (personal security) as well as to provide military and law enforcement training, intelligence, and interrogation of prisoners.
[49]. UN Doc. A/HRC/7/7, UN Doc. A/HRC/4/42/Add.1
[50] “A mercenary is any person who: (a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict” (
[51] SEALs means Sea, Air, Land; SWCC stands for Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewmen and SAS for Special Air Services. Information collected by members of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries in their country missions through their interviews with private security guards former employed by PMSC working in Iraq and Afghanistan.
[52]. The Montreux Document on Private Military and Security Companies, SWITZERLAND FED. DEP’T. OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (last modified Aug. 10, 2009), http://www.eda.admin.ch/psc.
[53]. The founder of the International Peace Operations Association is Doug Brooks, a specialist in African security issues. He has been an Adjunct Faculty member at American University and an Academic Fellow and Research Associate with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Johannesburg; The Director General of the British Association of Private Security Companies is Andy Bearpark, a former senior Official of Her Majesty’s Government. He has also served as Director of Operations and Infrastructure for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. Andy Bearpark CBE Director General, BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE SECURITIES COMPANIES, 15 March 2011, http://www.bapsc.org.uk/about_us-andy_bearpark.asp.
[54]. Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN, Letter dated 2 October 2008 addressed to the Secretary-General of the Security Council, UN Soc. A/63/467- S/2008/636 (6 October 2008) (by Peter Maurer) (Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iraq, Poland, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom Ukraine, and the United States).
[55]. United Nations, Commission of Human Rights Resolution 2005/2 and Human Rights Council Resolution 7/21.
[56]. United Nations documents, A/HRC/15/25 and A/65/325.
[57]Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Report of Political Affairs Committee, Private Military and Security Firms and the Erosion of the State Monopoly on the Use of Force, Parl. Eur. Doc. 11787 (Dec. 22, 2008) (by Wolfgang Wodarg) and Opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Private Military and Security Firms and the Erosion of the State Monopoly on the Use of Force, § 1, Parl. Eur. Doc.11801 (Jan. 27, 2009) (by Kimmo Sasi). On 11 May, the European Parliament has adopted Resolution 2010/2299 (INI) on the development of the common security and defence policy following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which calls on the Council and the Commission to initiate regulatory measures in the field of PMSCs (paras 53-55).
[58]. United Nations document, A/HRC/RES/15/26.
[59]. The first session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group was held from 23 to 27 May 2011 at the United Nations in Geneva; see United Nations document A/HRC/WG.107CPR.2.

Jose L. GĂłmez del Prado is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Jose L. GĂłmez del Prado (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=listByAuthor&authorFirst=Jose%20L.&authorName=G%C3%B3mez%20del%20Prado)