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The Emperor of Ice... (2)
kliuless (2)

the difference between power and electricity

The failure to fix electricity infrastructure in Afghanistan. IEEE Spectrum published a damning investigation into the ongoing incompetence, corruption, and waste of the USAID and its murky cost-plus contracts, some 'so vague that it did not require the contractor to provide "specific deliverables with concrete delivery dates."' [from here] Not surprisingly, they spend a lot of money. previously
posted by thandal on Oct 8, 2011 - 5 comments

The Invisible Army

The U.S.'s military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly staffed by Third Country Nationals (TCN), who are often victims of human trafficking. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 22, 2011 - 37 comments

Deal of the Century

How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
posted by kliuless on Mar 21, 2011 - 69 comments

It's A Racket

The U.S. governmental Commission on Wartime Contracting held hearings today regarding the corruption, mismanagement, massive financial waste and lack of oversight among private defense contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream on Feb 28, 2011 - 47 comments

The Case of Raymond Davis in Pakistan

The mystery of American Raymond A. Davis, currently imprisoned in the custody of local police in Lahore, Pakistan and charged with the Jan. 27 murder of two young men, whom he allegedly shot eight times with pinpoint accuracy through his car windshield, is growing increasingly murky. Also growing is the anger among Pakistanis that the US is trying to spring him from a Punjab jail by claiming diplomatic immunity. from The Deepening Mystery of Raymond Davis and Two Slain Pakistani Motorcyclists [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream on Feb 8, 2011 - 107 comments

Defense firms lure retired generals

From the Pentagon to the private sector - In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 10, 2011 - 56 comments

Hamid Karzai had heard enough

"If I had to choose sides today, I'd choose the Taliban," [Hamid Karzai] fumed.
posted by klue on Dec 13, 2010 - 48 comments

"What have we got to lose?"

We welcome anyone to visit our town! There are no commandos in the streets. There is no fence or gate being built around Hardin. People are free to come and go as they please. APF is not running our town or our police force. [more inside]
posted by mek on Oct 1, 2009 - 128 comments

Outsourcing Intelligence

The numbers are classified, the dollars are classified, but there's no doubt that the number of "Green Badgers" are catching up to, and sometimes surpassing, that of "Blue Badgers" in some of the US's most sensitive national security positions. Bob Baer is talking about it. Others have been, too. R.J. Hillhouse has been writing a blog for roughly six months now on the phenomenon: The Spy Who Billed Me.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze on Jul 8, 2007 - 17 comments

The Life and Death of a Warrior in Iraq

I am sullied -- no more. Colonel Ted Westhusing was a soldier's soldier -- a multilingual West Point graduate, tough as nails, who was committed to the ancient Greek warrior's ideal of ἀρετή ("arete," excellence). He volunteered to go to Iraq, where he was commanded by another outstanding rising-star officer, counterinsurgency expert David Petraeus. (Westhusing's widow, Michelle, recalls that her husband thought his country was doing "a great thing" there.) After working with one of the shadowy contractors the US has relied on to train Iraqi security forces, USIS, Westhusing became increasingly despondent. In May 2005, investigators say, he put a 9mm bullet in his brain after writing a note that said, "Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it." Westhusing died, as was previously discussed here, and his former "cdr" is now running the war. Lots of new information in this article from the Texas Observer.
posted by digaman on Mar 10, 2007 - 114 comments

Heads up, KBR!

Newsfilter: Contractors in war zones lose immunity. American civilian contractors are now subject to military law.
posted by psychoticreaction on Jan 9, 2007 - 38 comments

we're paying them to report, and they take it from blogs?

A daily intelligence brief on Iraq, prepared by a private contractor for the U.S. military and companies working in Iraq--SOC-SMG Inc --paints a grim picture of life in Baghdad. The information in large sections of the brief? It came from this blog: Iraq the Model
posted by amberglow on Jul 7, 2006 - 129 comments

Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor

Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor
"A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away, according to those involved and Defense Department records." ...this is "zero tolerance" ?
posted by specialk420 on Dec 27, 2005 - 42 comments

Traffic control, post Saddam.

A trophy film of what appears to be civilian defense contractors shooting innocent Iraqi civilians has appeared on the internet. Investigations are ongoing. (via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire)
posted by darkstar on Nov 28, 2005 - 104 comments

hearts and minds

Physically and sexually mistreating detainees at Abu Ghraib under orders... 10 years.
Abusing prisoners, raping a young Iraqi boy, and lying under oath(allegedly) because you're a "go-getter"... $164 million, $16 to $85 million.

Knowing the President and members of congress on both sides of the aisle have your back so long as you're not enlisted(wouldn't have covered corporate types, but what the hey, thought I'd toss it in)... Priceless!
posted by rocket_skates on Jan 15, 2005 - 76 comments

He runs the department that protects all of us. Isn't that swell?

Tom Ridge's war profiteering. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has been reported to hold investments in at least seven different companies directly benefiting from new Homeland Security projects. "In response to a late afternoon telephone inquiry, DHS spokesman Brian Roehrkasse first said the department did not have enough time to answer questions ... Pressed further, he shouted an expletive to a reporter and hung up. "
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 25, 2004 - 26 comments

Oh, and don't pack your camera.

You too can apply to become a private interrogater in Baghdad! [Via Randi Rhodes on Air America]

Assists the interrogation support program team lead to increase the effectiveness of dealing with Detainees, Persons of Interest, and Prisoners of War (POWs) that are in the custody of US/Coalition Forces...
posted by moonbird on May 7, 2004 - 44 comments

Modern Mercenaries on the Iraqi Frontier

Modern Mercenaries on the Iraqi Frontier In his own way, Stevie is a modern soldier-of-fortune, paid by a private security firm to lead a 44-man unit that is protecting American officials in charge of rebuilding the infrastructure of Iraq. He left his native Glasgow, Scotland, to join the British army at 16, served for 24 years in conflicts around the globe, about half that time as a member of the special forces. In the shadowy tradition of his trade, he asked that only his first name be used and declined to say much about the wars he has fought. "That is one topic I'd rather not talk about," he said in his rich brogue, speaking by phone from the Baghdad villa run by Kroll Inc., the company that employs him. Some bloggers have gotten in trouble of late for using the M-word, but now a wider conversation on Kroll, Blackwater, and friends seems to be emerging. Is the presence of mercenaries --both nationals of coalition countries and foreign nationals-- in Iraq part of Rumsfeld's broader transformation policy? Is their presence in Iraq even legal in the first place?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Apr 3, 2004 - 30 comments

April is the cruelest month

A mob attacked a group of foreign contractors, shooting four people to death, burning their two vehicles, dragging their bodies through the streets and hanging the charred corpses from a bridge. Another day in the American occupation of Iraq.
posted by the fire you left me on Mar 31, 2004 - 134 comments

Making A Killing - The Business of War

A Private Army Grows Around the U.S. Mission in Iraq and Around the World As Report Shows Iraq Contractors Politically Active
--see also Making A Killing - The Business of War, and on the inside...
posted by y2karl on Oct 30, 2003 - 21 comments

War profiteering

Can it be called war profiteering? The size and scope of the government contracts awarded to Halliburton in connection with the war in Iraq are significantly greater than was previously disclosed and demonstrate the U.S. military's increasing reliance on for-profit corporations to run its logistical operations. Independent experts estimate that as much as one-third of the monthly $3.9 billion cost of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq is going to independent contractors.
posted by dejah420 on Aug 28, 2003 - 66 comments

Halliburton Contract

Halliburton Handed No-Bid Iraqi Oil Firefighting Contract You still believe this war is about nothing more then WMD's? I wonder how many other of Bush and Cheney's friends are benefiting from this war? The US government didn't even bother to give other companies a chance to bid for this contract. While on the topic of WMD's you might want to check out this, about the lack of skepticism when it comes to the media making claims for weapons in Iraq. Remember Fox and their claim of a "HUGE" chemical weapons stash? How are we to get accurate news on this war if the journalist's we rely on are nothing more then puppets for this administration?
posted by tljenson on Mar 25, 2003 - 40 comments

US Now Relying on Mercenaries in Afghanistan

Can Mercenaries Protect Hamid Karzai? The US govt is hiring private mercenaries to do it's dirty work overseas. In short, by hiring private military contractors such as DynCorp, the U.S. government has found an effective way to conduct foreign policy by proxy and in secret. These proxies cannot be monitored, are effectively immune from all criminal sanctions, and are dangerously hard to control since they answer to corporate bosses, not military brass. (easy registration required)
posted by Coop on Nov 20, 2002 - 12 comments

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