25 September 2007
*Read also part 1: "Iraq: Security Companies and Training Camps" (Sarah Meyer, 17 May 2006)
There is an uncanny resemblance between the the WW2 Italian Squadristi , Blackwater and the thousands of other “security” forces.
SECURITY, OED. "The condition of being
protected from or not exposed to danger; freedom from doubt; Now, chiefly,
well-founded confidence, certainty; freedom from care, anxiety or
There is no such thing as "security". "Security" companies were formed to make money on our anxieties, just as pharmaceutical companies financially thrive on anxiety about health and have a vested interest in illness.
Dirk Adriaensens has been involved with Iraq for 17 years. He is on the executive committee of the BRussels Tribunal and is the coordinator of SOS Iraq. He writes:
"Security guys and gals don't have to abide by the Geneva Conventions. They do as they wish. No rules, no regulations. They can operate with impunity.
As such these "security companies" can be called "death squads". Not "Angels of Death" but "Devils of Death". For this, they make a lot of money. Privatization of war is big, big business."
The documentation by The BRussells Tribunal in The Salvador Option Exposed asks "Who is Blowing up Iraq?" There is a full list of articles concerning death squads published on The BRussells Tribunal website.
We have to ask what is the motive for violent occupation, for violence in one's own country as well as in another's country. Security Company Death Squads Timeline is a follow - up to Sarah Meyer's original article, Iraq Security Companies and Training Camps (17.05.06). This first research contained the history with lists of security companies. The present article is resource material which has been collected since May 2006.
6. CONTROL RISKS
7. CRESCENT SECURITY GROUP
8. CTU SECURITY CONSULTING INC.
14. HALLIBURTON/ KBR
15. NORTHROP GRUMMAN
19. TRIPLE CANOPY
Security Contracts to Continue in Iraq
04.02.07. Walter Pincus, Washington Post. New Top Commander Counts Hired Guards Among His Assets. … Aegis Defence Services Ltd., a British security firm, has about 1,000 employees in Iraq, about 250 of them Iraqis, under a $300 million contract that began in 2004. … A sample check of the personnel records of 20 of 125 Iraqi nationals then on the payroll found no evidence of an interview for six, no evidence of a police background check on 18 and no records at all on two. "As a result, there is no assurance that the Iraqi national employees do not pose an internal security threat," the inspection report said. … Another contract up for bids is the operation of the Counterinsurgency Center for Excellence (COIN CFE) for up to three years at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, in a section called the Phoenix Academy, which is devoted to joint U.S.-Iraqi training. Established in 2005 by Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq then, it will now operate under Petraeus, who recently rewrote the Army's counterinsurgency manual.
Iraq's Mercenary King.
15.03.07. R. Baer, ICH. As good as John le Carre novel! "According to a February 2006 Government Accountability Office report, there were approximately 48,000 private military contractors in Iraq, employed by 181 different companies. There may now be many more."'As a former C.I.A. agent, the author knows how mercenaries work: in the shadows. But how did a notorious former British officer, Tim Spicer, come to coordinate the second-largest army in Iraq—the tens of thousands of private security contractors (AEGIS)?' ... Article also mentions Blackwater, Dyncorp, Hart Security, Erinys ... "Private military companies—companies providing security in the field—make up a $30-billion-a-year industry globally ..."
U.S. Pays Millions In Cost Overruns For Security in Iraq.
12.08.07. S. Fainaru, Washington Post. The U.S. military has paid $548 million over the past three years to two British security firms that protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction projects, more than $200 million over the original budget, according to previously undisclosed data that show how the cost of private security in Iraq has mushroomed./ The two companies, Aegis Defence Services and Erinys Iraq, signed their original Defense Department contracts in May 2004. By July of this year, the contracts supported a private force that had grown to about 2,000 employees serving the Corps of Engineers. The force is about the size of three military battalions. ... The size of this force and its cost have never been documented. The Pentagon has said that about 20,000 security contractors operate in Iraq, although some estimates are considerably higher. ... Aegis and Erinys work side-by-side in Baghdad's Green Zone.
How BAE and a rather mysterious Labour peer get rich as our troops die
02.09.07. Craig Murray, uruknet. To you and me, the Iraq and Afghan wars may look like unmitigated disasters. Hundreds of our young soldiers have died, as have untold thousands of local civilians, but to what end? Even the minority who supported the invasion of Iraq are inclined to agree that the subsequent occupation has been catastrophically handled. Iraq is more than ever a failed state, with an abysmal decline in the most basic water, energy and health services for the majority of the population. Armed militias control their little fiefdoms, sometimes actually constituting the laughably named Iraqi security services. Nowhere is that more true than in Basra, now controlled from Tehran, while our troops hunker in ditches under mortar fire and take casualties whenever they venture out on patrol. Last month, for the second time, the Iraqi governor of one of the provinces we had declared secure and 'handed over' to Iraqi forces was murdered, almost certainly not by Al Qaeda but by the very warring factions to whom we have handed control. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, the drugs warlords we promoted to the Karzai government preside over massively increased opium harvests and busy heroin factories (...) These wars have also introduced us to the new phenomenon of 'legitimate' mercenary companies such as Aegis Defence Services . There are currently up to three times as many British mercenaries as British troops in Iraq. Tony Blair's favourite mercenary soldier, Colonel Tim Spicer, famed for his involvement in failed coups with Sandline and Executive Outcomes and now boss of Aegis Specialist Risk Management, has added many millions to his private fortune. But the biggest British beneficiary has been BAE Systems – formerly British Aerospace – highlighting its extraordinary and poisonous relationship with New Labour...
U.S. Army Awards Iraq Security Work To British Firm.
14.09.07. A. Klein, Washington Post. The U.S. military confirmed yesterday that it awarded the largest security contract in Iraq to a private British firm, Aegis Defence Services, in a deal worth up to $475 million over two years.
Headed by the Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, earned 50% of its £129m
revenues from Iraq last year. See Guardian story below, 'General' (02.04.07)
Second British Firm Bids for Iraq Security Contract.
12.05.07. Klein / Fainaru, Washington Post. Armourgroup has bid for what is believed to be the largest U.S. security contract in Iraq, Worth about $475m. ArmorGroup already is one of the largest security firms in Iraq, with more than 1,200 employees. It says it is the largest convoy escort contractor in Iraq -- accounting for about 30 percent of convoys -- including about 1,200 missions last year. … the potential bidders also include Aegis Defence Services.
Three Iraqi contractors killed in southern Iraq.
25.06.07. Reuters. Three Iraqi security contractors working for the British-based ArmorGroup were killed in a roadside bomb attack on their convoy near the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Monday. Two foreign contractors were wounded in the attack, said Major David Gell, a British military spokesman in Basra, quoting a statement from the company. He did not give their nationality.
3. BEARING POINT
BearingPoint Gets Contested Iraq Contract.
Sourcewatch. " In July of 2003, BearingPoint was awarded a contract by USAID worth $79.5 million to facilitate Iraq's economic recovery with a two-year option worth a total of $240,162,688."
HHS Selects BearingPoint to Provide HSPD-12 Credentialing Services.
01.08.07. Business wire. Pilot and Full Capability Project to Be Implemented Immediately. BearingPoint, Inc. (NYSE:BE), one of the world’s largest management and technology consulting firms, today announced it has been selected to perform an Identity and Access Management Pilot and Full Capability implementation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The objective of the pilot is to validate a process for supplying secure identification or “smart cards” to 112,000 HHS employees and contractors.
Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans.
19.09.05. JEREMY SCAHILL, truthout. Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms. They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force.
Surviving At The Pleasure Of The President
27.03.07. Sheila Samples, ICH. "Blackwater is in place to become this nation's shadow police force and is its current shadow army. Go back to the "dry run" of Katrina and take a look at the heavily armed force that laid seige to New Orleans, that sped through the streets rounding up hurricane victims, packing them into a "detention" arena where they were forced to stay for days without food or water or assistance. Go back even further -- the bodies hanging from the bridge in Fallujah were not US soldiers, but Blackwater mercenaries -- death squad troops 100,000 strong who roam the Iraqi streets at will and stir up violence and hatred against the uniformed US military."
New Orleans After 24 Months
01.09.08. Greg Palast, ICH. We needed an answer to a weird, puzzling and horrific discovery. Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing "Blackwater" badges: "Try to go into your home and we' 'll arrest you."
Beating the Drums of War. US Troop Build-up: Army & Marines authorize "Involuntary Conscription..
23.08.06. Mahdi D. Nazemroaya, Global Research. U.S. Army & Marines are recalling thousands of Inactive Servicemen; The Timing of the U.S. Troop Build-up: Iran, and the Broader Middle East; The Role of Mercenaries in Iraq; The Build-Up of U.S. troops in Baghdad and the Green Zone; The Mystery of Coalition Casualty Figures, the Inverse Relationship(s) between Civilian Deaths and Coalition Deaths, Sectarian Violence, and Balkanization; Deceiving the Public on the Military Agenda from Woodrow Wilson to Bush Jr.; The Authority to involuntarily conscript individuals in the Ongoing War: What does that mean?; All Signs lead to more Militarization and possibility for Conflict in the Middle East
Blackwater Shot Down in Federal Court.
24.08.06. The Nation / Truth Out. In a major blow to one of the most infamous war profiteers operating in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, a federal appeals court has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the mercenary firm Blackwater USA can proceed in North Carolina's state courts. The suit was brought by the families of the four Blackwater contractors ambushed and killed in Falluja, Iraq on March 31, 2004.
Revolving Door to Blackwater Causes Alarm at CIA..
12.09.06. K. Silverstein, Harpers. …today, Blackwater reportedly has revenues of about $100 million annually, almost all of it from government contracts, and maintains “a compound half the size of Manhattan and 450 permanent employees,” … on Monday, the Washington Post had a front-page story saying that CIA counterterrorism officers have “signed up in growing numbers for a government-reimbursed, private insurance plan that would pay their civil judgments and legal expenses if they are sued or charged with criminal wrongdoing . . .
In Iraq, contractor deaths near 650, legal fog thickens
10.10.06. Reuters. The legal cases involve Blackwater Security and Halliburton.
Waxman opens fire on Blackwater
12.12.06. J. Holland, Alternet.
Rep Price (NC) calls for war contractor accountability
10.01.07. southern studies. North Carolina calls itself "the most military-friendly state in the country." It's home to several key military bases that have been engaged in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and it's also home to private contracts like Blackwater International and Research Triangle Institute. This makes it especially noteworthy that Rep. David Price (D-4th District) today has announced legislation to boost oversight of military contractors overseas. Here's the announcement from Price's office: ...
Security firm sues lawyer over lawsuit in Iraq death case
20.01.07. Star Bulletin. Private security contractor Blackwater USA is seeking $10 million from the attorney representing the estates of four employees killed and mutilated in Iraq, arguing their families breached the security guards' contracts by suing the company for wrongful death. … The insurgents burned and mutilated the guards and strung two of the bodies from a bridge. The gruesome scene, caught on camera and broadcast worldwide, prompted the U.S. military to launch a three-week siege of Fallujah. The families said yesterday that Blackwater also has asked a federal court to move the dispute into arbitration, having failed so far in its ongoing efforts to have the lawsuit dismissed. Arbitration is necessary "in order to safeguard both (Blackwater's) own confidential information as well as sensitive information implicating the interest of the United States at war," attorneys for Blackwater Security Consulting, a unit of Moyock-based Blackwater USA, wrote in a petition filed December 20. ... Dan Callahan, a California-based attorney representing the families, called the claim "appalling." … "This is a shock-and-awe tactic," Callahan said yesterday.
Blackwater silent after helicopter crashes in Iraq, killing five
23.01.07. AP,MIKE BAKER. This page is no longer available. 'Officials at security contractor Blackwater USA were silent Tuesday after a company helicopter crashed in central Baghdad, killing five American civilians onboard and rekindling memories of the brutal slaying and mutilation of four employees in 2004'.
4 Americans in Iraq Crash Shot in Head
Our mercenaries in Iraq
25.01.07. J. Scahill, LA Times / Fairuse. Now, Blackwater is back in the news, providing a reminder of just how privatized the war has become.
Outsourcing Iraq war a grave threat to democracy
25.01.07. J. Scahill,chron.com. This article no longer available: Summary: 'We should say no to the wider use of mercenaries. … They were highly trained mercenaries deployed to Iraq by a secretive private military company based in North Carolina — Blackwater USA. … From Iraq and Afghanistan to the hurricane-ravaged streets of New Orleans to meetings with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about responding to disasters in California, Blackwater envisions itself as the FedEx of defense and homeland security operations. Such power in the hands of one company, run by a neocrusader bankroller of the president, embodies the "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned against in 1961. Further privatizing the country's war machine — or inventing new back doors for military expansion with fancy names like the Civilian Reserve Corps — would represent a devastating blow to the future of American democracy.'
Bush's "Private Military Contractors" Fight and Die Unchecked in Iraq: The Blackwater Story
Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
Jeremy Scahill, Nation Books, 2007
Blackwater contractors linked by common threads
01.02.07. Hampton Roads.
New Congress to shine a spotlight on Blackwater USA
05.02.07. Hampton roads.
After many denials, US Army confirms private security contract in Iraq
07.02.04. AP /topix. Blackwater is named as being involved in a 'hidden' contract which "perhaps might have bern illegal."
Blackwater -- Bush’s Republican Guard
01.03.07. Yuram Weiler, Tehran Times.
White Hot Rage
21.03.07. C. Sheehan, ICH. "I have long suspected that Blackwater Security and L. Paul Bremer (what’s his nickname? Scooter? Pookie?) were responsible for the insurgency in Iraq and subsequently the death of my son, Casey. I am reading Jeremy Scahill’s new book: Blackwater and it is doing nothing to decrease my suspicions, only confirm them."
Making a Killing: America's Private Army and the Business of War
25.03.07. D. Zlutnick, Area Intermedia / uruknet. These private companies are part of a huge surge in the outsourcing of war, which is extremely evident in Iraq, as well as Afghanistan, Colombia, Haiti, and numerous other countries. Private contractors are the second-largest con- tingent of the "Coalition of the Willing" with a ratio of about one armed con- tractor for every two American soldiers.
Jeremy Scahill on Soldiers of Fortune.
30.03.07. Truthdig, transcript and audio file
Massive security contractor faces growing protest in rural California town over 842-acre base.
03.04.07. M. Rafferty / M. Kane, Raw Story. But if private security contractor Blackwater USA gets its way, this 850-strong community will soon host an 824-acre military training base, replacing the erstwhile chicken ranch with fifteen firing ranges and an emergency vehicle operator’s course the length of ten football fields. . A RAW STORY investigation has already led to the removal of one lawyer connected to the project. The inquiry has also discovered that California congressman and current presidential candidate Duncan Hunter -- who is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee -- is a client of the firm, Blackwater USA, a massive US security contractor in Iraq.
02.05.07. UPI/legitgov. The world's most controversial security service is now open for business in Illinois... According to critics, Blackwater is nothing more than a corporate warlord, based in North Carolina, with a payroll of hired gunslingers-- hundreds of them now protecting diplomats and contractors in Iraq... The firm has received hundreds of millions of dollars in State Department security contracts the past few years. But Blackwater also has a law enforcement training division. And the company says the facility it just opened in northern Illinois is for police training.
US: Blackwater lawsuit accuses ex-employee of stealing secrets.
10.05.07. Bill Sizemore, The Virginian-Pilot /Corpwatch. Blackwater USA is accusing an ex-employee of stealing trade secrets in a case featuring allegations of false imprisonment, gun-waving commandos, cloak-and-dagger contracts and a late-night police raid.
New Scrutiny for Iraq Contractors.
Wall Street Journal Free Preview. ‘A Blackwater USA contractor's killing of an Iraqi security guard is putting new pressure on the Bush administration to prosecute private-company employees accused of crimes in Iraq, and highlighting the murky legal status of the 130,000 foreign contractors working there.’
Blackwater lawsuit over U.S. security contractors killed in Iraq headed for private arbitration
Lawsuit in Outsourced US War Is Moved Out of Court
25.05.07. Reuters / Truth out. After years of high-stakes legal wrangling, a lawsuit stemming from the gruesome deaths of four U.S. contractors in Iraq is moving behind closed doors in an action seen as an important precedent for the booming private security industry.
U.S. Security Contractors Open Fire in Baghdad
27.05.07. Fainaru / Saad al-Izzi, Washington Post. Blackwater Employees Were Involved in Two Shooting Incidents in Past Week
What if our mercenaries turn on us?.
03.06.07. ***Chris Hedges, Philly.com, anti-war.com. “Armed units from the private security firm Blackwater USA opened fire in Baghdad streets twice in two days last week. It triggered a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, a reminder that the war in Iraq may be remembered mostly in our history books for empowering and building America's first modern mercenary army. … Mercenary units are a vital instrument in the hands of despotic movements. Communist and fascist movements during the last century each built rogue paramilitary forces. And the appearance of Blackwater fighters, heavily armed and wearing their trademark black uniforms, patrolling the streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, may be a grim taste of the future. In New Orleans Blackwater charged the government $240,000 a day. … And the thugs with automatic weapons, black uniforms and wraparound sunglasses who appeared on the streets in New Orleans could appear on our streets.”
Blackwater Heavies Sue Families of Slain Employees for $10 Million in Brutal Attempt to Suppress Their Story.
08.06.07. Daniel J. Callahan, Marc P. Miles, AlterNet The lawyers representing the families of four American Blackwater contractors killed in Fallujah make the case that the company's executives are suing the families to keep them quiet and to avoid an accountability.
July 2007: AWOL
A very private war.
01.08.07. J. Scahill, Guardian. There are 48,000 'security contractors' in Iraq, working for private companies growing rich on the back of US policy. But can it be a good thing to have so many mercenaries operating without any democratic control? ... While there is ongoing outrage between Iraqis and the military over such deadly incidents, this one came with a different, but increasingly common, twist: The Americans involved in the shooting were neither US military nor civilians. They were operatives working for a secretive mercenary firm based in the wilderness of North Carolina. Its name is Blackwater USA.
The Mercenary Revolution: Flush with Profits from the Iraq War, Military Contractors See a World of Business Opportunities.
10.08.07. J. Scahill, Independent / uruknet. There are now almost 200,000 private "contractors" deployed in Iraq by Washington. This means that U.S. military forces in Iraq are now outsized by a coalition of billing corporations whose actions go largely unmonitored and whose crimes are virtually unpunished.' Sections on: There's no democratic control; An Arm of the Bush Administration; A Marketplace for Warfare; New World Disorder; The Spy Who Billed Me; Multinational Mercenaries
Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
19.08.07. Review. R. Liddle, timesonline.
Blackwater Buys Brazilian Bombers.
27.08.07. strategypage. Security company Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work. The aircraft can carry up to 1.5 tons of weapons, including 12.7mm machine-guns, bombs and missiles. … The aircraft is also used for border patrol.
Blackwater Offers Classes To Combat Active Shooters.
27.08.07. wtkr. Private security contractor Blackwater USA has developed an intensive training course to prepare law enforcement officers for active shooters like the one that killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.
Blackwater Starts Active-Threat Classes.
28.08.07. AP-forbes – legitgov. Private security contractor [Waffen-SS] Blackwater USA has developed an intensive training course to prepare law enforcement officers to handle active shooters such as the one who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. The five-day session, advertised Monday, will put trainees into simulated [false flag] scenarios at a mock high school and a 5,000-square-foot tactical house, among other facilities at Blackwater's sprawling campus in northeastern North Carolina.
Iraqi police say security contractors open fire in western Baghdad, killing at least 9
16.09.07. AP-IHT. That is, “9 civilians and wounding 18,” Iraqi police said.
US security firm banned from Iraq
17.09.07. rte.ie / legitgov. US security firm Blackwater has been banned from operating in Iraq after eight civilians were killed inBaghdad yesterday.
Will Iraq Kick out Blackwater
U.S. bans diplomatic ground movements in Iraq outside protected Green Zone
17.09.07. IHT. The United States on Tuesday suspended all land travel by U.S. diplomats and other civilian officials in Iraq outside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone amid mounting public outrage over the alleged killing of civilians by the U.S. Embassy’s security porvider Blackwater USA.
Blackwater Guards Accused of Past Deaths
17.09.07. AP / legitgov. In the past year, employees of the Blackwater USA security firm have been involved in other incidents in which they were accused of killing civilians and security forces in Iraq. … [some details]
Rice apologises for US security firm shootings
18.09.07. E. MacAskill, Guardian. · Move to prevent Iraq government expulsions · Blackwater guards blamed for deaths of eight civilians
Differences emerge over Blackwater shooting
18.09.07. news.com. [surprise, surprise]
What happens to private contractors who kill Iraqis? Maybe nothing.
18.09.07. A. Koppelman, M. Benjamin, Salon.com.
Checkbook Imperialism: The Blackwater Fiasco
18.09.07. Robert Shee, Truthdigg. Please, please, I tell myself, leave Orwell out of it. Find some other, fresher way to explain why “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is dependent upon killer mercenaries. Or why the “democratically elected government” of “liberated” Iraq does not explicitly have the legal power to expel Blackwater USA from its land or hold any of the 50,000 private contractor troops that the U.S. government has brought to Iraq accountable for their deadly actions.
Repugnant Black Water ...
18.09.07. Imad Khadduri, Free Iraq/uruknet. "Lawyer Hassan Jaber Salman Al-Mayahi, who is one of the wounded in this incident told Agence France-Press from his Yarmouk hospital bed "an explosion occurred near the Al-Nisoor roundabout" as he was heading to the Ministry of Justice for an appointment. He added " Four of the mercenary cars completely blocked the streets and shouted to everybody in English to back away. There were only two civilian cars in front of me as we turned around and managed to move to ! about a distance of 150 meters from them. Immediately after that, (and as our backs were to them) they started shooting directly at us from their elevated positions in their SUVs with medium and heavy machine guns. My car was hit from the back by 12 bullets and was completely destroyed. I was hit with four bullets in the back and a bullet in my arm." The lawyer added that "the explosion was very far from the roundabout and there was no reason whatsoever for this atrocity by the mercenaries. They even killed the policeman standing in the roundabout in front of my eyes. I also saw an elderly woman who was trying to get her son who was killed from inside his car when they shot and killed her, too. I saw tens of civilians crawling on their stomachs moving away from their cars with bullets streaming over their heads."...
Wounded Iraqis: 'No one did anything' to provoke Blackwater
Shooting shines light on murky world of Iraq security
19.09.07. Reuters / ICH. The Iraqi government might find it difficult to prosecute the case, and even harder to revoke Blackwater's licence because it most probably does not have a current one.
Iraqi prime minister disputes Blackwater USA's version of deadly shooting
19.09.07. newspress.com / ICH. A preliminary review by the Interior Ministry found Blackwater security guards fired at a car when it did not heed a policeman's call to stop, killing a couple and their infant. The report said Blackwater helicopters also had fired - a finding the company denied. The Defense Ministry said 20 Iraqis were killed, considerably higher than the 11 dead reported before.
Maliki Blasts Blackwater Firm
19.09.07. McClatchy / Truthout. Leila Fadel of the McClatchy Newspapers reports, "Blackwater security guards who protect top U.S. diplomats in Iraq have been involved in at least seven serious incidents, some of which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said Wednesday."
Despite Repeated Incidents, Blackwater, Others 'Rarely' Investigated
Congress weighs rules for private security firms in iraq.
19.09.07. McClatchy. [odds nothing happens here!]
Blackwater's 'Drug War' Bonanza
19.09.07. Village voice / legitgov.org. $15 billion of your money up in smoke for under-fire mercenary company, other defense contractors. By Harkavy 19 Sep 2007 While Blackwater's mercenaries beg for mercy for killing a baby and 19 other people in Baghdad on Sunday, they're already working on another lucrative government contract on yet another foreign adventure: the "war on drugs." In a major new outsourcing deal reported by only a few outlets, including the Army Times, Blackwater will divvy up a $15 billion pot of government gold, along with four huge defense contractors: Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Arinc.
Armed Guards in Iraq Occupy a Legal Limbo
20.09.07. NY Times.
Where Military Rules Don't Apply
20.09.07. S. Fainaru, Washington Post. Blackwater's Security Force in Iraq Given Wide Latitude by State Dept. … authority that exempted the company from U.S. military regulations governing other security firms, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and industry representatives.
George W. Bush's Thug Nation
20.09.07. Robert Parry, Consortium News/ uruknet. Overseas, it now appears that Bush has authorized "rules of engagement" that have transformed U.S. Special Forces into "death squads," much like those that roamed Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s identifying "subversives" and murdering them.
"Blackwater has no respect for the Iraqi people," an Iraqi Interior Ministry official told the Washington Post. "They consider Iraqis like animals, although actually I think they may have more respect for animals. We have seen what they do in the streets. When they’re not shooting, they’re throwing water bottles at people and calling them names. If you are terrifying a child or an elderly woman, or you are killing an innocent civilian who is riding in his car, isn’t that terrorism?" [Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2007]
The highhandedness of the Blackwater mercenaries on the streets of Baghdad or the contempt for traditional rules of war in the hills of Afghanistan also resonate back to the marble chambers and well-appointed salons of Washington, where swaggering tough-guyism reigns from the Oval Office to the TV talk shows to Georgetown dinner parties.
On Sept. 19, Senate Republicans blocked an up-or-down vote on a bill seeking to restore habeas corpus rights against arbitrary imprisonment for people whom Bush unilaterally has designated "unlawful enemy combatants."
Bush’s supporters portrayed those who favored habeas corpus restoration as impractical coddlers of America’s enemies.
Senate Dems Hear Whistleblower Claims of Abuse
21.09.07. Robert Brodsky, govexec.com. No government officials or contractors appeared before the committee to tell their side of the story. The Defense Department has declined to comment on some of the cases because of pending lawsuits. Several of the contract companies cited no longer exist and another (Blackwater) was asked to appear but declined. Vance said his only crime was telling the FBI that his employer, Shield Group Security, a now-defunct military contractor in Iraq, was selling weapons to terrorists, bribing Iraqi officials and trading weapons and ammunition to U.S. soldiers in exchange for liquor."The guards would threaten me and physically assault me," Vance said. "For the first few weeks I was at Camp Cropper I was denied a phone call. No one in my family knew where I was, if I was alive or if I was dead."
Blackwater: Hired Guns, Above the Law
21.09.07. J. Scahill, The Nation / globalresearch.ca. This is an edited transcript of the prepared testimony of Jeremy Scahill before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, September 21, 2007. Video.
The real story of Baghdad's Bloody Sunday
21.09.07. K. Sengupta, Independent. The eruption of gunfire was sudden and ferocious, round after round mowing down terrified men women and children, slamming into cars as they collided and overturned with drivers frantically trying to escape. Some vehicles were set alight by exploding petrol tanks. A mother and her infant child died in one of them, trapped in the flames.
Feds Target Blackwater in Weapons Probe
21.09.07. AP/legitgov. Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm [Waffen-SS] Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday. Blackwater denies allegations
Blackwater working again in Iraq
21.09.07. BBC. The US security firm Blackwater has resumed limited operations in the Iraqi capital Baghdad four days after a deadly shootout involving the company.
US Embassy Resumes Some Travel With Help of Blackwater Security Firm
21.09.07. VOA. Includes Randall Report download. The U.S. Embassy resumed limited travel by road with Blackwater USA protection in Baghdad on Friday. As VOA's Jim Randle reports, the move came just days after all travel by land by U.S. officials was suspended amid public outrage over the killing of civilians by private guards from the American company.
Iraq Probe of U.S. Security Firm Grows
22.09.07. Washington Post
Rice, Al-Maliki Keep Distance at Meeting
22.09.07. MATTHEW LEE, The Associated Press / uruknet.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki kept a polite distance Saturday as they attended a group meeting and avoided discussion of a deadly Baghdad shootout involving guards from a U.S. company protecting American diplomats. The two greeted each other before the meeting, but in a brief exchange of pleasantries, the issue of the shootout didn't come up, deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey said. W! ith tensions soaring over the Sept. 16 incident, Rice and al-Maliki chose not to speak about it at a United Nations gathering at which they were among senior diplomats and officials from Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria, weighing future assistance to Iraq....
Security Firm Faces Criminal Charges in Iraq
23.09.07. Glanz, Tavernise, NY Times. The Iraqi government expects to refer criminal charges to the Iraqi courts within days in the killing of at least eight Iraqis by a private American security company, the state minister for national security affairs said Saturday, and he said that the government had received little information so far from the American side of the joint investigation... National Security Ministry and Defense Ministry stated that "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 operations."
U.S. Repeatedly Rebuffed Iraq on Blackwater Complaints
23.09.07. Raghavan / Fainaru, Washington Post. Senior Iraqi officials repeatedly complained to U.S. officials about Blackwater USA's alleged involvement in the deaths of numerous Iraqis, but the Americans took little action to regulate the private security firm until 11 Iraqis were shot dead last Sunday, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.
Iraq: Videotape of Blackwater Attack — Jaafari Maneuvers in Najaf — Pentagon Report
23.09.07. Juan Cole, Informed Comment/uruknet.
Iraqi authorities said Saturday that they have a videotape of the shootings in Nisur Square last Sunday by Blackwater security guards, which shows that they fired without provocation. The company has maintained that its personnel were responding to incoming fire. There is now talk in Baghdad of trying the guards, though a decree by US viceroy Paul Bremer may hold the US nationals harmless. Meanwhile, c! harges surfaced that Blackwater employees had shipped weapons to Iraq without proper paperwork, which could be interpreted as a form of arms smuggling.
The company denies the charges....
Is Anyone Surprised?
Iraq says won't move to expel Blackwater
23.09.07. Dominic Evans and Paul Tait, uruknet. Iraq will not take immediate steps to expel U.S. security firm Blackwater, under investigation over a shooting which killed 11 Iraqis a week ago, a government security official said on Sunday. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had vowed to freeze the work of Blackwater, which employs about 1,000 people guarding the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, after the shooting in western Baghdad last Sunday but it was back at work five days later. The Iraqi government! and U.S. officials have agreed to set up a joint inquiry into the work of private security companies like U.S.-based Blackwater, which many Iraqis see as private armies acting with impunity....
Iraq Expands Blackwater Investigation
23.09.07. AP, Guardian. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said the Moyock, N.C.-based company has been implicated in six other incidents over the past seven months, including a Feb. 7 shooting outside Iraqi state television in Baghdad in which three building guards were fatally shot. Khalaf said other incidents include: a Sept. 9 shooting in front of Baghdad's municipal government building that killed five people and wounded 10; a Sept. 12 shooting that wounded five on the capital's Palestine Street; a Feb. 4 shooting near the Foreign Ministry, in which Iraqi journalist Hana al-Ameedi died; a May shooting near the Interior Ministry that claimed the life of a passer-by and a Feb. 14 incident in which Blackwater employees allegedly smashed windshields by throwing bottles of ice water at cars.
The Deadly Game of Private Security
23.09.07. NY Times.
Iraqi PM Fears for Nation's Sovereignty
24.09.07. AP. In a half-hour talk conducted in his Manhattan hotel suite, the 57-year-old politician from Iraq's Shiite heartland said it is unacceptable that U.S. security contractors would kill Iraqi civilians, a reference to a Sept. 16 shooting incident involving company Blackwater USA that left at least 11 Iraqis dead. He also decried a recent arrest by U.S. forces of an Iranian citizen who had been invited into the country by Iraqi officials.
Maliki insists Blackwater must pay for shootings
24.09.07. E. MacAskill, Guardian. The Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, showed an unexpected streak of stubbornness yesterday in his stand-off with the US over the Blackwater shootings, insisting that action had to be taken against the private security firm. In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr Maliki, who is in New York for the United Nations general assembly, said Blackwater posed "a serious challenge to the sovereignty of Iraq and cannot be accepted". … A new point of tension emerged yesterday over the US military forces' arrest of an Iranian on Thursday. Mr Maliki, a Shia Muslim who has a good relationship with Tehran, said the man had been invited to Iraq. "The government of Iraq is an elected one and sovereign. When it gives a visa it is responsible for the visa. We consider the arrest ... of this individual who holds an Iraqi visa and a [valid] passport to be unacceptable."
Expert: Prosecution Just Cost of Biz For Iraq Security Contractors
24.09.07. Spencer Ackerman, tpmuckraker.com.
BLACKWATER AND 'RENDITION'
The picture that proves 'torture flights' are STILL landing in the UK
10.06.07. Daily Mail. "Records show the plane is owned by Blackwater USA, a CIA contractor described as "the most secretive and powerful mercenary army on the planet". An eyewitness, who previously worked as an RAF electronic warfare expert, said that as the plane - a CASA-212 Aviocar - taxied to a stop on the runway it was met by a US military Humvee.
Hot Air Department
Blackwater Goes Down the Rabbit Hole .
04.09.07. S. Weinberger, Wired. Uh-oh, there's a new pro-Blackwater blog at www.blackwaterblogger.com -- dubbed The White Rabbit -- dedicated to defending truth, justice and the reputation of the world's most notorious (merc outfit) private security contractor.
Blackwater:The Shadow War
Video shows Blackwater guards fired 1st
VIDEO: JEREMY SCAHILL, BLACKWATER SHADOW ARMY.
Abu Ghraib abuse firms are rewarded.
16.01.05. Observer. As prison ringleader awaits sentence, defence contractors win multi-million Pentagon contracts
Pentagon Spends Billions To Outsource Torture.
07.09.06. J. Holland, Alternet.
In Washington, Contractors Take on Biggest Role Ever
03.02.07. SCOTT SHANE / RON NIXON, LA Times/fairuse. It did not matter that the company they chose, CACI International, had itself recently avoided a suspension from federal contracting; or that the work, delving into investigative files on other contractors, appeared to pose a conflict of interest; or that each person supplied by the company would cost taxpayers $104 an hour. Six CACI workers soon joined hundreds of other private-sector workers at the G.S.A., the government’s management agency.
CACI gets $35 million contract to support Louisville operation
19.04.07. Charlotte biz journals.
6. CONTROL RISKS
Abducted contractors appear in videotape
03.01.07. C. Torchia, AP, San Diego.com.
Cutting Costs, Bending Rules, And a Trail of Broken Lives
29.07.07. S. Fainaru, Washington Post. Ambush in Iraq Last November Left Four Americans Missing And a String of Questions About the Firm They Worked For. The convoy was ambushed in broad daylight last Nov. 16, dozens of armed men swarming over 37 tractor-trailers stretching for more than a mile on southern Iraq's main highway. The attackers seized four Americans and an Austrian employed by Crescent Security Group , a small private security firm. Then they fled.
8. CTU SECURITY CONSULTING INC.
Security company sued over deaths of contractors in Iraq
04.05.07. Salt Lake Tribune. Don Feeney is a legendary special forces operative and entrepreneurial mercenary known for putting together crack teams of security contractors for difficult and dangerous assignments. ... And when those risks resulted in the deaths of Utah native Brandon Thomas and Colorado-born contractor Todd Venette, the families claim, Feeney failed to honor promises to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars in life insurance. ... KBR, which owned the contract with CTU for providing protected transportation for company officials, has not been named in the Utah suit.
Dyncorp gets extension to train police officers in Iraq.
DynCorp Dynamite On New High.
07.06.07. Forbes. While greed may be good, war is better. Security contractors have benefited from a dangerous world: one with non-stop news coverage of military campaigns and casualties. One company that has done especially well is DynCorp, which turned in financial results Thursday morning that blew by Wall Street expectations.
Private security force isn't desirable.
10.09.07. elpasotimes. DynCorp 'International is a a private international security contractor that has sent more than 5,000 private security personnel and police trainers to 11 different countries for the U.S. State Department. Now the officials at DynCorp have another bright idea -- why not train and deploy 1,000 private "agents" to bolster Border Patrol forces along the Mexican border until the Patrol is able to achieve its mandate of hiring and training thousands of new agents. That's a really bad idea.'
09.04.07. Larisa Alexandrovna, uruknet. Former spook Bob Baer has a tremendous piece in Vanity Fair (see Blackwater) about the private military now running amok in Iraq, including Erinys. Just to remind you, the former Russian KGB agent - Alexander Litvinenko - murdered with polonium-210 while living in London was an employee of Erinys. If you remember, Erinys was also one of the radiation sites investigators picked up on their trail of the polonium assassins. While Erinys does not figure into the this piece in any big meaningful way, it still adds an interesting series of questions in the world of private mercenaries.
12. GARDA WORLD
5 BRITONS CAPTURED. The British government said five British nationals had been kidnapped, while the Canadian security firm Garda World confirmed that the captives were four Britons employed as a security detail and their client.
Five Britons kidnapped in Baghdad.
29.05.07. Channel 4 news. With video.
Note: Mr. Andy Bearpark, a large man who would be formidable in a dark alley, was one of those interviewed on Channel 4. Mr. Bearpark spoke a year ago at the London School of Economics. He – like Mr. Blair - used the word ‘transparency’ innumerable times. His talk, and his answers to questions, were mostly oblique, much in the style of Prime Minister Blair – both thus sounding as if they are saying a great deal but upon further examination much of it is fluff and bluster. Mr. Bearpark is a perfect front-man for mercenaries. However, my notes quote his following comment; "Laws are insufficient. "The objective is to control." This is ominous, as the concept follows the obstruction of law by the Bush as well as the Blair government. War crimes are committed. For further details on the kidnapping, see Five Britons kidnapped in Baghdad ambush (30.05.07. J. Borger / A. Gillan, Gaurdian) "Gunmen in police uniforms seize four security guards and a finance expert. The security guards were working for GardaWorld, a Canadian-based firm employing mainly British ex-soldiers. The finance expert was working for BearingPoint, a US management consultancy based in Virginia which won a contract in 2003 to help rebuild the Iraqi financial system. A further Guardian story: Elaborate operation inside ministry stirs fears of new tactics
A multibillion dollar industry built on the most dangerous jobs in the world.
30.05.07. D. Pallister, Guardian. Following recent kidnappings, this is an Information-full article about security companies in Iraq, including Gardaworld, Blackwater, Dyncorp and Vinnell, Aegis, ArmorGroup, Control Risks.
Intelligence in Iraq: L-3 Supplies Spy Support.
09.08.06. P. Chatterjee, Corpwatch. Government Services Incorporated (GSI) supplies staff for an operation that spreads over 22 military bases in the Middle East. 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. Details on subcontractors. Riveting, informative article.
(most material on Halliburton Watch)
Contractors Sue Over Deaths in Iraq
15.09.06. CBS. KBR Employees Say Attack That Killed 7 U.S. Civilians In Iraq Could've Been Prevented.
Halliburton paid $4 million to politicians for 600% gain on contracts since 2000
26.09.06. Halliburton Watch. Meanwhile, a VIDEO was released (20.09.06) of a Halliburton convoy under Iraqi fire. Halliburton’s advice is to wear clothing that hides U.S. citizenship and ties to KBR.
Pfizer, Halliburton Grab Democrats as Hearings Loom (Update2)
31.01.07. Bloomberg. Pharmaceutical companies and Iraq war contractors, both heavy Republican contributors, are among the companies scrambling to hire lobbyists with Democratic ties as they prepare for congressional investigative hearings next week.
Washington's $8 Billion Shadow.
20.02.07. Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Vanity Fair / ICH. 'Mega-contractors such as Halliburton and Bechtel supply the government with brawn. But the biggest, most powerful of the "body shops"—SAIC, which employs 44,000 people and took in $8 billion last year—sells brainpower, including a lot of the "expertise" behind the Iraq war.'
Contractor could lose $400 million.
04.03.07. Jay Price News observer/Truthout. Military contracting giant KBR Inc. could be docked up to $400 million for improperly using private security companies in Iraq, the company disclosed this week.
Halliburton bails out of Iraq, KBR and now America.
12.03.07. Halliburton Watch. Halliburton is moving to UAE at a time when it is being investigated in the U.S. for bribery, bid rigging, defrauding the military and illegally profiting in Iran. It is currently in the process of divesting all of its ownership interest in the scandal-plagued KBR subsidiary, notorious for overcharging the military and serving contaminated food and water to the troops in Iraq. Although Halliburton will still be incorporated inside the United States, moving its corporate headquarters to UAE will make it easier to avoid accountability from federal investigators.
Lawmakers Rail Against Halliburton Unit for Alleged Abuses .
19.04.07. AP / Truthout. U.S. lawmakers on Thursday railed against senior Army officials and defense contractor KBR Inc. over persistent allegations of fraud and contract abuse on a multibillion-dollar deal to provide food and shelter to U.S. troops in Iraq.
Goodbye Houston: An Alternative Annual Report on Halliburton.
15.05.07. Chatterjee, Corpwatch. ‘The new report (the fourth in the series) is being issued on the eve of Halliburton 's annual general meeting in Woodlands, Texas, on Wednesday, May
16th, 2007. An in-depth, hard-hitting report, "Goodbye Houston," provides a detailed look at Halliburton's military and energy operations around the world as well as its political connections. It includes a series of recommendations for the company and its shareholders as well as for the United States policymakers.
Iraq convoy was sent out despite threat.
03.09.07. LA Times – legitgov.org. Unarmored trucks carrying needed supplies were ambushed, leaving six drivers dead. Records illuminate the fateful decision.
15. NORTHROP GRUMMAN
Northrop sees growth ahead in homeland security.
19.09.07. Reuters. Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) generates about $1 billion in homeland security revenues each year and says it expects annual growth of over eight percent in the sector over the next three years. … Northrop is already one of the biggest U.S. homeland security contractors, given its role with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) as prime contractor on the U.S. Coast Guard's $24 billion, 25-year Deepwater modernization effort. … t is also a key player in other areas, including detection of anthrax for the U.S. Postal Service, and use of biometrics for citizenship and visa services . Biometrics refers to use of measurable physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, irises, and even veins, to authenticate identities.
Parsons Corp. under fire for Iraq work
10.10.06. AP / Seattle pi. ‘shoddy work recently prompted the U.S. Corps of Engineers to cancel its $75 million contract to renovate a critical police training academy in Baghdad. Parsons also lost deals to build a prison and dozens of medical clinics in that country after the government cited missed deadlines and cost problems. … Along with Pasadena, Calif.-based Parsons, companies that enjoy the lion's share of the big government contracts include Bechtel Corp. of San Francisco, Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Fluor Corp., and Houston-based oil services contractor Halliburton Co.’
VIDEO NBC. FLEECING OF AMERICA: PARSONS IN IRAQ .
07.09.06. T. McKelvey, Prospect. 'One December night in 2003, Adel L. Nakhla, a chunky, broad-shouldered Egyptian American interpreter with a soft, almost feminine voice, went to Cell 43 in Abu Ghraib's Tier 1A. He was accompanied by Army Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr., a reservist convicted in January 2005 of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, to the cell where a former Baath Party member, A.A. (his attorney asked that his name not be used for safety reasons) was lying on a mattress. A.A. had been classified as a “high-value target” because of suspected terrorist activities. ... On May 7, 2004, shortly after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Brownlee said they would make sure individuals “responsible for the shameful and illegal acts of abuse are held accountable.” Eighty-nine members of the U.S. military have been prosecuted for detainee-related misconduct since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom. And recent reports of rape, murder, and other crimes in Haditha, Mahmudiya, and other Iraqi towns indicate that some soldiers responsible for such acts will be held accountable. ( they wern't
A Translators Tale.
09.08.06. P. Chatterjee, Corpwatch.
A total of 199 Titan translators have been killed in Iraq and another 491 have been injured, according to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the highest of any company in Iraq. AIG refuses insurance. Gripping stories.
VIASPACE Expands Scope of Security Business with New Industry Applications, Teaming Agreements, Resources & International Focus
04.09.07. money.cnn.com. VIASPACE is broadening its focus to include potential customers in Asia and the Middle East, working with new teaming agreement partners, expanding its business development and marketing resources, and developing new software upgrades for established security systems. The company is also exploring security and surveillance applications with Raytheon Net Centric Systems per a jointly executed teaming agreement. The company recently signed a teaming agreement for collaboration on software development of VIASPACE Security products with Tokai Bussan Co., Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan, which has strong marketing capabilities, a substantial distribution channel and the trust of many government and commercial customers in Japan. … “Our security division is focusing on the growing market for commercial and military security solutions in the United States as well as Asia and the Middle East …”
19. TRIPLE CANOPY
Did an American fire on Iraqis unprovoked?
22.12.06. NBC. U.S. security contractors allege their supervisor was ‘out of control.’ ‘But Shepard and Schmidt acknowledge they waited almost two days, by which time their supervisor left Iraq, to report the incidents to their company, Triple Canopy.
The men were fired, along with their supervisor, who has denied wrongdoing, according to the company. Shepard and Schmidt are now suing Triple Canopy.’
Four Hired Guns in an Armored Truck, Bullets Flying, and a Pickup and a Taxi Brought to a Halt. Who Did the Shooting and Why?
15.04.07. Steve Fainaru, Washington Post. 'The full story of what happened on Baghdad's airport road that day may never be known. But a Washington Post investigation of the incidents provides a rare look inside the world of private security contractors, the hired guns who fight a parallel and largely hidden war in Iraq. The contractors face the same dangers as the military, but many come to the war for big money, and they operate outside most of the laws that govern American forces. ... Not a single case has been brought against a security contractor, and confusion is widespread among contractors and the military over what laws, if any, apply to their conduct. Private contractors were granted immunity from the Iraqi legal process in 2004 by L. Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S. occupation government. ... The only known inquiry into the July 8 incidents was conducted by Triple Canopy, a 3 1/2 -year-old company founded by retired Special Forces officers and based in Herndon. Triple Canopy employed the four guards. After the one-week probe, the company concluded that three questionable shooting incidents had occurred that day and fired Washbourne and two other employees, Shane B. Schmidt and Charles L. Sheppard III.
Fuller list of security companies here .
GAO Report on Iraq Reconstruction Contracts (PDF file)
Military Conflict Becoming a Private Enterprise
Pentagon Spends Billions To Outsource Torture.
07.09.06. J. Holland, Alternet.
07.09.06. T. McKelvey, Prospect.
How US merchants of fear sparked a $130bn bonanza..
10.09.06. P. Harris, Observer. The homeland security market has an army of lobbyists working for its interests in Washington. Seven years ago there were nine companies with federal homeland security contracts. By 2003 it was 3,512. Now there are 33,890. The money is huge. Since 2000, $130bn (£70bn) of contracts have been dished out. By 2015 annual federal spending on the industry could be $170bn.
Documentary slams corporate profits in Iraq war..
15.09.06. Reuters. Iraq for Sale, R. Greenwald.
Spy Agencies Outsourcing to Fill Key Jobs..
17.09.06. LA Times. “Some of the work being outsourced is extremely sensitive. Abraxas Corp., a private company in McLean, Va., founded by a group of CIA veterans, devises "covers," or false identities, for an elite group of overseas case officers, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the arrangement. Contractors also are turning up in increasing numbers in clandestine facilities around the world. … In Baghdad, site of the agency's largest overseas presence, contractors have at times outnumbered full-time CIA employees … ”
As Army Adds Interrogators, It Outsources Training
23.09.06. W. Pincus, Washington Post. HUMINT. …”the number of people training to be interrogators is to rise again. The Army is gearing up for the effort by hiring private companies to handle the training. Last month, the service awarded contracts that could grow to more than $50 million in the next five years to three private firms to provide additional instructors to the 18-week basic course in human-intelligence interrogation at Fort Huachuca.” ... The firms winning this new Rumsfeld device for increased corporate profit are: Integrated Systems Improvement Services Inc. in Sierra Vista, Ariz.; MTC Technologies Inc. of Dayton, Ohio; Oak Grove Technologies Inc. of Raleigh, N.C.
Official: Guard Force Is Behind Death Squads
14.10.06. E. Knickmeyer, Washington Post. "Whenever we capture someone, we rarely find anyone is an employee of the government ministries," Bolani said. When they are, "they've turned out to be mostly from the FPS …”
IRAQ: WHAT DOES ‘JOB DONE’ MEAN?.
19.10.06. S. Meyer, Index Research. With regard to the disintegration of Iraq, a recent Washington Post article (14.10.06) spoke of Iraqi death squads and their connection with the Facilities Protection Service (FPS). Ms. Knickmeyer neglected to mention that Donald Rumsfeld, with the enthusiastic support of President Bush, was the originator of the FPS.
Iraq: End Interior Ministry Death Squads
29.10.06.Human Rights Watch. “Evidence suggests that Iraqi security forces are involved in these horrific crimes, and thus far the government has not held them accountable.”
Are 70,000 Pentagon Mercs Killing Iraqis? (Is Grass Green?)
30.10.06. War on Want. “Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) sell security and military services at home and overseas. Over the last 10 years these companies have moved from the periphery of international politics into the corporate boardroom, becoming a ‘normal’ part of the military sector. … The British government today comes under attack for its growing use of mercenaries in conflict zones while failing to introduce legislation to tackle their human rights abuses. A new report launched today by the charity War on Want reveals that no prosecutions have followed hundreds of accounts of personnel from private military and security firms committing abuses in Iraq.”
Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq.
05.12.06. R. Merle, Washington Post.
U.S. to Armor-Plate Iraqi Police Vehicles
16.12.06. W. Pincus, Washington Post.
U.S. to triple number of military trainers in Iraq
Navy vet says he was tortured by U.S. forces
18.12.06. ABC. “Suit filed against Rumsfeld. Twenty-nine year old Donald Vance was a private security employee in Baghdad.”
Law Catches up to Private Militaries
04.01.07. Military.com. Since the start of the Iraq war, tens of thousands of heavily-armed military contractors have been roaming the country -- without any law, or any court to control them. That may be about to change, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow P.W. Singer notes in a Defense Tech exclusive.
The Living Reality of Military-Economic Fascism.
20.01.07. By Robert Higgs, Mises. In countries such as the United States, whose economies are commonly, though inaccurately, described as "capitalist" or "free-market," war and preparation for war systematically corrupt both parties to the state-private transactions by which the government obtains the bulk of its military goods and services: Garden-variety Corruption of Officials; Legal Corruption of Officials; Absence of Proper Accounting Invites Theft; PAC Contributions Are Bribes; How Government Corrupts Business. Can Anything Be Done. References
Gangsters for Capitalism
27.01.07. Clinton L. Cox, ICHblog. 01/27/07 -- -- “Although benign U.S. intentions are an article of faith among many Americans, theft, murder and oppression have always been central to U.S. policies and practices in the non-white world. George Bush’s crusade for ‘democracy’ is yet another chapter in the shameful saga. The U.S. has routinely destroyed democracy throughout the globe while its leaders spout words about spreading democracy.”
Petraeus' Iraq testimony unsettling
27.01.07. John Aloysius Farrell, Denver Post . U.S. Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week on Capitol Hill, during hearings on his nomination to be general and commander of the multi-national forces in Iraq. Some interesting questions not answered .. eg., Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., asked Petraeus if he could tell the Senate what percentage of the Iraqi security forces are reliable. The general said, "Sir, I cannot."
If They Pay We Kill Them Anyway
27.01.07. Ghaith Abdul Ahad, Guardian. Fadhel and other Mahdi Army commanders describe an intimate relationship with Iraqi security services, especially the commandos of the Iraqi interior ministry. He says the Mahdi Army often uses these official forces in conducting its own operations against Sunni "terrorists". … "We control most of Baghdad, our main enemy is the Americans,"
U.S. Plan for Iraqi Force Surprises Senator
27.01.07. W. Pincus, Washigton Post. The WPost should read this blog about the FPS, as should all members of the Senate and Congress. Then perhaps there would not be such ‘careful’ language. Mr Pincus writes: “H. Petraeus, the new top U.S. commander in Iraq, told Congress that he might supplement efforts to secure Baghdad using the Iraqi Facilities Protection Service, a 150,000-man force that guards Iraqi government agencies. But that service is widely considered unreliable, and elements were described in July by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as "more dangerous than the militias," according to Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.).' "The prime minister said he wanted to get rid of the FPS as fast as possible," Reed said this week, recalling his meeting with Maliki in Baghdad last summer. There are "bad elements" in FPS units that "are carrying out murders and kidnappings . . . [and] attacking the infrastructure that they are supposedly protecting," Reed said in his trip report about what Maliki had told him. "Because of the FPS," Reed wrote, Maliki said that "some governmental ministries' guards are more dangerous than the militias." ...
Contractor deaths in Iraq nearing 800
Meet the CIA's New Baghdad Station Chief
28.01.07. K. Silverstein, Harpers. Unfortunately, several sources have informed me that the CIA has nominated a man who has been widely criticized within the agency and seen as a bad fit for the role. Furthermore, I'm told, the new station chief is closely associated with detainee abuses, especially those involving “extraordinary renditions”—the practice of covertly delivering terrorist suspects to foreign intelligence agencies to be interrogated. The name of the person (with minimal research) is easily found.
"The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, From Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush"
30.01.07. Barry Lando on Democracy Now.
Reports Fault Oversight of Iraq Police Program
31.01.07. Witte / Merle, Washington Post. In one case, contractors building a camp for American trainers constructed an Olympic-size swimming pool that hadn't been ordered. In another, human waste reportedly continues to leak from plumbing fixtures at a barracks for Iraqi police recruits, a year after the problem was first identified and despite assurances from the contractor that the problem was being fixed. Together, the reports offer a revealing glimpse at one aspect of the $38 billion American-led reconstruction effort. Dyn Corps International and Parsons at Baghdad Police College are tagged. … Parsons was ultimately paid $5.3 million for substandard work, auditors found.
Security in Iraq takes a bite out of contractor’s budgets
In Washington, Contractors Take On Biggest Role Ever
04.02.07. NY Times. Without a public debate or formal policy decision, contractors have become a virtual fourth branch of government. On the rise for decades, spending on federal contracts has soared during the Bush administration, to about $400 billion last year from $207 billion in 2000, fueled by the war in Iraq, domestic security and Hurricane Katrina, but also by a philosophy that encourages outsourcing almost everything government does
Former - Generals Are Deeply Involved In War Industry
04.02.07. N. Mottern, Consumers for Peace / ICHBlog. CONFLICT OF INTEREST: There appear to be no laws or regulations preventing former military personnel from testifying on issues of war and peace before Congress. But, there is a question about whether their testimony should be accepted at face value when they are employed by firms benefiting from war.
Reviewing the testimony of Mr. Keane and three other former generals on January 18 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, there is a distinct pattern. Those most involved in the military industry, Mr. Keane and former four-star army general Barry McCaffery, endorsed, respectively, escalation and continued investment in the Iraq War. Those with the least involvement in the military industry, former Marine General John P. Hoar and former army Lt. Gen. William Odom were for withdrawal. …
JOHN M. Kean: ABC News / General Dynamics, URS Corps ($4billion sales), Allied Barton Security, Kholberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. (KKR), Keane Advisors LLC;
BARRY R. McCAFFREY: Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Southern Command when he retired in 1996; NBC news; DynCorps; 2006 - $2billion); McNeil Technologies; HNTB Federal Services; The Wornick Company; JOHN P. HOAR, ex- Commander in Chief of the U.S. Central Command: J.P. Hoar & Associates Inc; CNA Corporation …
Iraq Water Deal Illuminates Murky World of Secret Contracting
06.02.07. AP / Truth Out. CIA officers operating in northern Iraq bought drinking water from a bottling plant there for years prior to the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. That changed soon afterward. A CIA officer handling logistics for the Middle East and other regions recommended that an American company provide water and other supplies, according to former government officials.… Federal prosecutors in San Diego are preparing to seek indictments against Foggo and Wilkes on charges of honest services fraud and conspiracy, two government officials familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press last week.
US Congress probes Iraq War contracting.
Eisenhower's Worst Nightmare Now Harsh Reality For U.S.A.
20.02.07. John Hachette, Niagara Falls Reporter / ICH. 'Consider this mind-twisting equation from a well-researched article in the current issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine: Private federal contractors now "absorb the taxes paid by everyone in America with incomes under $100,000."
The US favourite and PNAC document signer Ahmed Chalabi back on the scene.
Alleged intel fixer Chalabi to assume new role as part of 'surge'
21.02.07. Brent Beutler, Raw Story. 'Mr. Chalabi will serve as an intermediary between Baghdad residents and the Iraqi and U.S. security forces mounting an aggressive counterinsurgency campaign across the city.'
Iraqi Police Commit Rape – ˇArmed, Trained, and Funded by the US
23.02.07. Y. Susskind, anti-war.com
AP: Nearly 800 Iraq Contractors Killed
23.02.07. M. Roberts, Truth Out. ' In a largely invisible cost of the war in Iraq, nearly 800 civilians working under contract to the Pentagon have been killed and more than 3,300 hurt doing jobs normally handled by the U.S. military, according to figures gathered by The Associated Press.'
War Contractor Suffers Setback in Suit
26.02.07. Washington Post. 'A private security company sued by the families of four employees slain in Iraq suffered a setback Monday when the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case.'
Contractors rarely face disciplinary action in Iraq
15.03.07. T. McKelvey, Nieman Watch. There are 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq – and 100,000 contractors. More than 269 soldiers and officers have faced disciplinary action for detainee-related incidents since October 2001. Only one contractor has. Why have troops been held accountable for crimes but contractors have not?
25% of UK Iraq aid budget goes to security firms
02.04.07. D. Pallister, Guardian. · £165m bill includes guards for staff and police training · Leading beneficiary is company headed by MP. 25% of UK Iraq aid budget goes to security firms. The big beneficiaries have been the New York-based risk consulting company Kroll and the UK companies ArmorGroup and Control Risks. ArmorGroup, which is headed by the Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, earned 50% of its £129m revenues from Iraq last year. ... The rising cost of security at the expense of development aid reflects the American experience. According to the latest audit of US spending, 34% of the $21bn (£10.6bn) allocated for Iraqi reconstruction has been diverted to security - an increase from $4.56bn to $6.31bn. For private contractors, the cost of security is now running at an average of 12% for each contract.
Uniform Code of Military Justice
(from Secrecy News). '"In November 2006, Congress expanded UCMJ [Uniform Code ofMilitary Justice] authority over contractor personnel authorized to accompany the force. However, as of February 2007, DOD has provided no implementation guidance for this change in law." As of mid-March, there was still no such implementation guidance.
"The liability and accountability of contractor personnel in most cases is already provided for in U.S. law, international agreements, conventions, treaties, and Status of Forces Agreements."
"However, in some cases a gap may emerge where the contractor personnel are not subject to the UCMJ (only in time of declared war) and the contractor commits an offense in an area that is not subject to the jurisdiction of an allied
government (for example, an offense committed in enemy territory)."
"In such cases, the contractor's crime may go unpunished unless other federal laws, such as the military extraterritorial jurisdiction act (MEJA) or the war crimes act (WCA) apply, or the contractor is otherwise subject to the UCMJ (for example, a military retiree)." See Contractors Accompanying the Force - Training Support Package (12.03.07) and related explanatory material .
The Future of the Military in the Private Sector
McCaffrey: 600 U.S. Mercenaries Have Been Killed in occupied Iraq
16.04.07. Defense News / ICH. There are roughly 130,000 Mercenaries in Iraq, said McCaffrey; about 4,000 of them have been wounded and 600 have been killed, he said.
Pentagon prevents military from testifying before House panel
20.04.07. Goveexec.com. Pentagon lawyers abruptly blocked mid-level active-duty military officers from speaking Thursday during a closed-door House Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee briefing about their personal experiences working with Iraqi security forces.
Mission Accomplished in Iraq by Bremer and CPA
22.04.07. Evelyn Pringle, Sierra Times. 'When President Bush announced “Mission Accomplished,” and the end of the war in May 2003, he also said we would help the citizens of Iraq rebuild their country. "Now that the dictator's gone,” he stated, “we and our coalition partners are helping Iraqis to lay the foundations of a free economy." .. Apparently he was referring to the Coalition Provisional Authority that took up residence in Saddam's luxurious palace in May 2003, with the newly appointed King, Paul Bremer. The CPA was granted the authority to award reconstruction contracts in Iraq and it used that authority to implement what will go down in the history books as the most blatant war profiteering scheme of all time.' http://
Government Keeps a Secret After Studying Spy Agencies
26.04.07. S. Shane, NY Times. 'Ronald P. Sanders, chief human capital officer for the director of national intelligence, said that because personnel numbers and agency budgets were classified, he could not reveal the contractor count. ... Steven Aftergood of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said the decision not to reveal the numbers was a sign of dysfunctional policies.'
Who Will Stop the U.S. Shadow Army in Iraq?
29.04.07 Tom Gram ; Jeremy Scahill. Important article. “there is another disturbing fact which speaks volumes about the Democrats' lack of insight into the nature of this unpopular war -- and most Americans will know next to nothing about it. Even if the President didn't veto their legislation, the Democrats' plan does almost nothing to address the second largest force in Iraq -- and it's not the British military. It's the estimated 126,000 private military "contractors” who will stay put there as long as Congress continues funding the war. / The 145,000 active duty U.S. forces are nearly matched by occupation personnel that currently come from companies like Blackwater USA and the former Halliburton subsidiary KBR, which enjoy close personal and political ties with the Bush administration. Until Congress reins in these massive corporate forces and the whopping federal funding that goes into their coffers, partially withdrawing U.S. troops may only set the stage for the increased use of private military companies (and their rent-a-guns) which stand to profit from any kind of privatized future "surge" in Iraq. / According to the Government Accountability Office, there are now some 48,000 employees of private military companies in Iraq. / … "These private contractors are really an arm of the administration and its policies," argues Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has called for a withdrawal of all U.S. contractors from Iraq.” The ‘case for Blackwater’ is discussed.
Firms Protest Exclusion From Iraq Security Bid
05.05.07. Klein / Fainaru, Washington Post. ‘Three years ago, DynCorp International challenged the awarding of the first security contract, worth $293 million, to Aegis, a firm led by Tim Spicer … Aegis is in the running for the new contract, but Blackwater Security Consulting is challenging the Army over the process. … Blackwater wrote that the Army's decision to exclude it was "defective" and "meaningless," in part because the military did not explain how it evaluated the contractor's offer. … Erinys Iraq is also challenging the Army's decision to exclude its offer …’
Author and DN! Correspondent Jeremy Scahill Testifies in Landmark House Hearing on Defense Contracting
11.05.07. Democracy Now transcript. There are over 120,000 private contractors currently deployed in Iraq and yesterday, a House panel put some of the harshest criticisms of this privatization of war into the congressional record for the first time. Democracy Now! correspondent and The Nation magazine investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill testified before a House Appropriations hearing on defense contracting. Scahill is author of the book “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” [includes rush transcript]
Former collaborator discloses details of US-ordered assassinations, sectarian bomb attacks targeting Iraqi civilians
11.05.07. Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq/ uruk. An Iraqi who asked not to be identified had disclosed some of the US activities such as assassinations and bombings in markets that aim at sparking sectarian fighting among Iraqis so as to facilitate the partition of the country (...) The former collaborator said that the Americans have a unit for "dirty jobs." That unit is a mix of Iraqis, Americans, a! nd foreigners and of the security detachments that are deployed in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. This unit doesn’t only carry out assassinations, but some of them specialize in planting bombs and car bombs in neighborhoods and markets. This unit carries out operations in which wanted people whom the American army does not want killed are arrested. The former collaborator said that "operations of planting car bombs and blowing up explosives in markets are carried out in various ways, the best-known and most famous among the US troops is placing a bomb inside cars as they are being searched at checkpoints. Another way is to put bombs in the cars during interrogations...
Contractor Deaths in Iraq Soar to Record
19.05.07. Broder, Risen: NY Times. At least 917 mercenaries killed; more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job. Casualties among private contractors [mercenaries] in Iraq have soared to record levels this year, setting a pace that seems certain to turn 2007 into the bloodiest year yet for the 'civilians' who work alongside the American military in the war zone, according to new government numbers.
In privatized US war, foreigners do most of dying
23.05.07. Reuters/ICH. The war in Iraq is killing nine civilian contractors a week on average, roughly three times the rate of last year, and U.S. government statistics show that non-Americans do most of the dying.
Outside the gate, it's the wild west. We are basically a taxi service with guns'
31.05.07. Guardian. A day in the life of a security guard in Iraq. This UK (unnamed) security guard earns £90,000 a year, tax free.
Security staff who make up a private army in Iraq
30.05.07. K. Sengupta, Independent. There are 44,000 private security contractors in Iraq, forming what the US Senate dubbed the "largest private army in the world". .. About 21,000 of those private guards are British - approximately three times the total number of British troops in the country.
Judge Halts Award of Iraq Contract
02.06.07. Klein, Fainaru, Washington Post. The case, which is being heard by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, puts on trial one of the most controversial and least understood aspects of the Iraq war: the outsourcing of military security to an estimated 20,000 armed contractors who operate with little oversight. … Scott's challenge set off a domino effect, prompting the Government Accountability Office to dismiss protests brought by two major private security contractors the Army had removed as potential bidders -- Erinys Iraq, a British firm, and Blackwater USA of North Carolina. … The Army has been narrowing the field of candidates for the Iraq security contract. One is Aegis Defence Services, a British security firm. Aegis won the initial Iraqi security contract in 2004. That contract, worth $293 million, was set to expire in May but has been extended as others have filed protests. Scott said he was indifferent that his court claim had complicated the Erinys and Blackwater protests. "They're just trying to get a piece of the mercenary action," he said.
Mercenary firms fear bloodbath in Iraq
03.06.07. B.Brady, Scotsman.
Iraq's mercenaries - with a licence to kill
04.06.07. *** Johann Hari, Independent/uruk. 'These private contractors can get away with murder... They aren't subject to any laws at all' … These men are not "security contractors", nor are they "civilian operatives", nor "reconstruction workers". There are now more of them in Iraq than there are professional soldiers: Britain alone has 21,000 in the country, raking in $1.6bn a year. (Bremer’s) Order 17 … exempted all mercenaries operating in the country from having to obey the law.” … Cheney ’s involvement in starting ‘security ‘ companies; Blackwater The US right has a slew of reasons to privatise the US military so rapidly. The most obvious is simple corruption. It funnels money to companies in which they have a huge stake, and who in turn donate a fortune to the Republican Party. This is justified in public by a market fundamentalist conviction that governments can never run anything properly, so their functions must always be sold off. … In mercenary wars, all citizens are asked to give is money, not blood. The Cheney model of mercenary warfare being tried out in Iraq is, in fact, a way of making possible his vision of a 21st century in which wars for resources will be "necessary" on a "regular basis".
The security industry: Britain's private army in Iraq
05.06.07. Johnson / Woolf / Whitaker, Independent. The British security guards taken hostage in Baghdad are just four among a foreign legion paid for by you. Yet as we grow more reliant on them, their future is perilous in a country without rules
Killing the Patient: Ira's Security Forces are Part of the Problem
11.06.07. B. Katulis, New American Progress.
Iraq Contractors Face Growing Parallel War
16.06.07. S. Fainaru, Washington Post. As Security Work Increases, So Do Casualties. Wayne (Reconstruction Logistics Directorate of the Corps of Engineers) described security contractors as "the unsung heroes of the war." She said she believed the military wanted to hide information showing that private guards were fighting and dying in large numbers because it would be perceived as bad news.
CRS Views Private Security Contractors in Iraq
July '07, Secrecy News. CRS Report. 'The extensive reliance by the U.S. government on private security contractors to support military forces in Iraq poses numerous policy and legal questions that are explored in a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.'
Private Security Contractors in Iraq: Background, Legal Status, and Other Issues
(updated) 11.07.07. CRS Report.
In outsourced U.S. wars, contractor deaths top 1,000
04.07.07. Bernd Debusmann, Reuters. The death toll for private contractors in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has topped 1,000, a stark reminder of the risks run by civilians working with the military in roles previously held by soldiers.
A further 13,000 contractors have been wounded in the two separate wars led by the United States against enemies who share fundamentalist Islamic beliefs and the hit-and-run tactics that drain conventional armies.
More contractors than troops in Iraq
04.07.07. T. Christian Miller, LA Times / uruknet. U.S. relies heavily on corporations. More than 180,000 civilians -- including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis -- are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense Department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
NOT ONLY SECURITY COMPANIES NEED A CLOSER LOOK!
PRIVATE SPIES: Who Runs the CIA? Outsiders for Hire
08.07.07. R. J. Hillhouse, Washington Post. Red alert: Our national security is being outsourced. The most intriguing secrets of the "war on terror" have nothing to do with al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers. They're about the mammoth private spying industry that all but runs U.S. intelligence operations today. ... The director of national intelligence has put our security at risk by classifying the study on outsourcing and keeping the truth about this inadequately planned and managed system out of the light. Much of what has been outsourced makes sense, but much of the structure doesn't, not for the longer term. It's time for the public and Congress to demand the study's release. More important, it's past time for the industry -- an industry conceived of and run by some of the best and brightest the CIA has ever produced -- to come up with the kind of innovative solutions it's legendary for, before the damage goes too deep.'
Silent Surge in Contractor Armies
18.07.07. CS Monitor. There are two coalition armies in Iraq: the official one, which fights the war, and the private one, which supports it. ... Estimates of the number of private security personnel and other civilian contractors in Iraq today range from 126,000 to 180,000 – nearly as many, if not more than, the number of Americans in uniform there. Most are not Americans. ...
Mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan: Have Gun, Will Travel
19.07.07. CONN HALLINAN, CounterPunch. Widespread use of mercenaries in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Latin America by the Bush Administration has drawn the attention of the United Nations Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries, according to upsidedownworld.com. The Working Group found that mercenaries were recruited from throughout Latin America and then flown to Ecuador to train at the huge U.S. base at Manta. Others were trained in Honduras at a former training camp used during the Reagan Administration's war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua./ According to the Working Group, mercenaries working for a subsidiary of an Illinois-based company, Your Solutions Inc., suffered "irregularities in contracts, harsh working conditions, wages partially paid or unpaid, ill-treatment and isolation and lack of basic necessities such as medical treatment and sanitation." / A major reason for using private security companies is that they are not subject to Congressional oversight.
2 British Firms Are Finalists for U.S. Job in Iraq
28.07.07. A. Klein, Washington Post. Contract Outsourcing Weighed. In what has become a contentious competition, Aegis Defence Services and ArmorGroup International are considered top contenders for a contract worth up to $475 million to provide intelligence services to the U.S. Army and security for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction work in Iraq. Aegis won the initial contract in 2004, a three-year, $293 million deal.
Contractors in Iraq operating with few restraints
12.08.07. AP - Boston Globe. There are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are US soldiers -- and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters, and bulletproof trucks.
D A N G E R
Defense Agency Proposes Outsourcing More Spying
19.08.07. W. Pincus, Washington Post. Contracts Worth $1 Billion Would Set Record. The Defense Intelligence Agency is preparing to pay private contractors up to $1 billion to conduct core intelligence tasks of analysis and collection over the next five years, an amount that would set a record in the outsourcing of such functions by the Pentagon's top spying agency.
Contractors in Iraq Have Become U.S. Crutch
20.08.07. W. Pincus, Washington Post. A Congressional Research Service report published last month (see above, Report) titled "Private Security Contractors in Iraq: Background, Legal Status, and Other Issues," puts it this way: "Iraq appears to be the first case where the U.S. government has used private contractors extensively for protecting persons and property in potentially hostile or hostile situations where host country security forces are absent or deficient."
Mercenaries in Iraq Have Become U.S. Crutch .
20.08.07. W. Pincus, Washington Post / ICH. The expanded contractor use has evoked new attention to a 1995 criticism of the practice. According to the study, a Defense Department Commission on Roles and Missions found then that depending on contractors was detrimental and that it kept the Pentagon "from building and maintaining capacity needed for strategic or other important missions."
Private Security Contractor behavior in Iraq is detrimental and unacceptable
22.08.07. M. Adame, American chronicle.
The Great Iraq Swindle
23.08.07. The Rolling Stone / legitgov.org. How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury --How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended, the other wrapped around a chilled martini? Ask Earnest O. Robbins -- he knows all about being a successful contractor in Iraq. (Issue 1034, The Rolling Stone) According to the most reliable estimates, we have doled out more than $500 billion for the war, as well as $44 billion for the Iraqi reconstruction effort. And what did America's contractors give us for that money? They built big steaming shit piles, set brand-new trucks on fire, drove back and forth across the desert for no reason at all and dumped bags of nails in ditches... But what happened in Iraq went beyond inefficiency, beyond fraud even. This was about the business of government being corrupted by the profit motive to such an extraordinary degree that now we all have to wonder how we will ever be able to depend on the state to do its job in the future.
Private security contractors' role grows in Iraq
04.09.07. usatoday-legitgov.org. The number of times that private security contractors [mercenaries] working for the U.S. military fired warning or deadly shots at Iraqis nearly doubled during the past year, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq. In the year ending May 2007, there were 207 reported incidents of mercenaries firing shots, up from 115 during the same period the year prior, according to the Multi-National Force-Iraq. The incidents resulted in four deaths of Iraqis in separate shootings.
Baghdad's New High-Security Complex
08.09.07. AP. The compound is guarded by patrols including former Ugandan Army guards and other security contractors from EODT Technology Inc., based in Lenoir City, Tenn. Incoming prisoners are given jumpsuits with a five-digit number over the left breast and are kept in the intake prison known as Rusafa 5. .. The Rusafa complex is filling up — having gone from about 2,500 prisoners in February to 6,300 today. The complex can hold 7,300, which it is expected to hit within 8 to 10 weeks.
Iraq a boon to US Arms Industry
16.09.07. Filasteen, uruknet. “What a surprise! Significantly, in 2007, Iraq will, as in 2006, spend more on its security forces than it will receive in security assistance from the United States. In fact, Iraq is becoming one of the United States’ larger foreign military sales customers, committing some $1.6 billion to FMS already, with the possibility of up to $1.8 billion more being committed before the end of this year. And I appreciate the attention that some members of Congress have recently given to speeding up the FMS process for Iraq." - General David H. Petraeus.”
'Help Wanted' Ad Belies Report on Iraq Security
17.09.07. Walter Pincus, Washington Post. A week ago today, Gen. David H. Petraeus started his rounds on Capitol Hill, reporting that security in Iraq was improving to the point that a small number of troops could begin coming home by year's end. But 10 days ago, his commanders in Baghdad began advertising for private contractors to work in combat-supply warehouses on U.S. bases throughout Iraq because half the soldiers who had been working in the warehouses were needed for patrols, combat and protection of U.S. forces.
New Military Report Acknowledges Signs of Police State in Baghdad
18.09.07. Huffington Post. Virtually ignored in last week's national debate on the US military surge was a report by military experts recommending that the Iraqi police service be scrapped because of its brutal sectarian character. The scathing report stopped short of acknowledging that continuing US support for the Iraqi Security Forces is in violation of the 1997 Leahy Amendment barring assistance to known human rights violators. … Called "The Report of the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq", the Sept. 7, 2007 report was issued by Marine Gen. James Jones [ret.] and a panel of some 30 top military experts, many with 30 years' experience. The media noted its primary assessment, that the Iraqi army was progressing but would require another 12 to 18 months before being combat-ready. The explosive sections of the 130-page, single-spaced report were ignored. They are quoted here extensively ...
180,000 Private Contractors Flood Iraq
20.09.07. AP. The United States has assembled an imposing industrial army in Iraq larger than its uniformed fighting force and responsible for a such a broad swath of responsibilities the military might not be able to operate without its private-sector partners. More than 180,000 Americans, Iraqis, and nationals from other countries work under a slew of federal contracts to provide security, gather intelligence, build roads, forge a financial system, and transport needed supplies in a country the size of California. That figure contrasts with the 163,100 U.S. military personnel, according to U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., the organization responsible for military operations in the Middle East. The Pentagon puts the military figure at 169,000. There are another 12,400 coalition forces in Iraq.
Making a killing: how private armies became a $120bn global industry
21.09.07. Independent. There is nothing new about soldiers for hire, the private companies simply represent the trade in a new form. "Organised as business entities and structured along corporate lines, they mark the corporate evolution of the mercenary trade," according to Mr Singer, who was among the first to plot the worldwide explosion in the use of private military firms.
In many ways it mirrors broader trends in the world economy as countries switch from manufacturing to services and outsource functions once thought to be the preserve of the state. Iraq has become a testing ground for this burgeoning industry, creating staggering financial opportunities and equally immense ethical dilemmas. … According to some estimates, more than 800 private military employees have been killed in the war so far, and as many as 3,300 wounded.
These numbers are greater than the losses suffered by any single US army division and larger than the casualties suffered by the rest of the coalition put together.
Bush's Free World and Welcome to It
23.09.07. Tom Englehardt, Tom Dispatch. Freedom as Theft
Honoring American LiberatorsM . Taking a trip down memory lane.
Homeland Security's Jackson Resigns
24.09.07. E. Sullivan, Washington Post/truthout. The Homeland Security Department's second-in-command resigned Monday, citing personal financial reasons.
Video. Oursourcing Victory. Mark Fiore, 1 min.
Video.. Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers. 75 min.
Iraq for Sale: Banned Excerpts
Video History of the US “Death Squads”
Video Iraq’s “Death Squads” supported by the US (30.03.07, uruknet)
Armies for Hire.
Video 14.05.07. Peter Snow. BBC. Since the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan there has been a staggering boom in the demand for civilian soldiers who carry arms for private companies. . Part I: the Dogs of Peace.
Read about new video, Iraq – Shadow Company here
Video.. Mercenaries in Iraq (12.06.07, Jazeera.) This is 'Aljazeera Inside Iraq' (09-06-’07), good debate about mercenaries in Iraq, Phyllis Bennis author of "Challenging Empire" is really great.
Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism , Vintage 2005, pp 58 - 62
Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in the UK. She is a member of the BRussells Tribunal.
The url to Security Company Death Squads Timeline is:
The shorter url is: http://tinyurl.com/2b476w
If you are going to use information from this site, as more than some have, please have the courtesy to credit Index Research. Thank you. Sarah Meyer