Military Contractors

Controversial Commando Wins Iraq Contract
Military Contractors

Occupation authorities in Iraq have awarded a $293 million contract effectively creating the world's largest private army to a company headed by Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer, a former officer with the SAS, who has been investigated for illegally smuggling arms and planning military offensives to support mining, oil, and gas operations around the world. On May 25, the Army Transportation command awarded Spicer's company, Aegis Defense Services, the contract to coordinate all the security for Iraqi reconstruction projects.

Bush Floods the World Market with Weapons
Military Contractors

"Colin Powell okayed the arms deal with a tap of a finger, unveiling the State Department's new D-Trade, a fast, paperless process for granting licenses to US military contractors for arms sales... The global arms market is fiercely competitive, and sellers are always looking for an edge. Although the US is the world's largest arms exporter, controlling nearly half of the international market of about US$30 billion a year, both the government and industry have been pushing for the better part of a decade to increase this market share. One way of boosting exports is to make it easier for sellers to get licenses... Last month, the administration designated Pakistan a 'major non-NATO ally'. Once a pariah state because of its nuclear program with potential military uses, Pakistan now has access to a wide range of US military goods, even though it remains under a cloud for selling advanced military technology to such countries as North Korea and Libya."

SAS Fears Losing Men to American 'Mercenary' Forces
Military Contractors

"Britain's special forces could be facing an exodus because of a new American 'mercenary' deal in Iraq offering up to three times the military's rate of pay for SAS or SBS veterans with combat experience... The contract is for guarding the four-square-mile Green Zone... which houses coalition headquarters and the Iraqi governing council The Pentagon plans to withdraw its own troops to six bases on the outskirts of Baghdad to minimise casualties inside the city in a US presidential election year, leaving protection of the vulnerable nerve-centre in the hands of a private security company."

The Rise of the Pentagon's Corporate Mercenary Army
Military Contractors

Corporate mercenaries employed by the Pentagon need not abide by military law. By definition these companies are frequently operating in "failed states" where national law is notional. ...employees can literally get away with murder. Or lesser, but appalling crimes. Dyncorp, a Pentagon favourite, has the contract worth tens of millions of dollars to train an Iraqi police force. It also won the contracts to train the Bosnian police and was implicated in a grim sex slavery scandal, with its employees accused of rape and the buying and selling of girls as young as 12. A number of employees were fired, but never prosecuted. The only court cases to result involved the two whistleblowers who exposed the episode and were sacked." -Guardian

In Wake of Scandal, BushFeld Put Boeing Air Tanker Deal on Hold
Military Contractors

AP reports: "Boeing announced Nov. 24 it had fired its chief financial officer, Mike Sears, and a vice president, Darleen Druyun, a former Air Force official. A Boeing investigation found that Sears approached Druyun about joining the company while Druyun was overseeing Boeing contracts for the Air Force. Boeing said Sears and Druyun were fired for violating company policies on hiring and they tried to cover up the misconduct. Condit resigned unexpectedly Monday, saying 'the controversies and distractions of the past year were obscuring the great accomplishments and performance of this company.' On the day that Sears and Druyun were fired, President Bush signed a $401.3 billion defense bill that authorized the plan to lease and buy the tankers. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the next day that he had asked senior Pentagon officials to examine whether it should be delayed."

Plans for Hypersonic Jets that Can Bomb Anywhere in Two Hours
Military Contractors

"Northrop Grumman Corporation will help the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force develop a concept for a high-speed, unmanned aircraft and related 'glide weapons' that could deliver conventional, non-nuclear weapons from the U.S. to anywhere on the globe in about two hours. This hypersonic cruise weapon system would allow the U.S. to conduct effective, time-critical strike missions on a global basis without relying on overseas military bases... The vision for FALCON is to develop, by 2025, a reusable hypersonic cruise vehicle that could take off from a conventional military runway and strike targets 9,000 nautical miles away in less than two hours. Flying at speeds up to eight times the speed of sound (Mach 8), the hypersonic cruise vehicle would carry a 12,000-pound payload comprising several unpowered, maneuverable, hypersonic glide vehicles called common aero vehicles; cruise missiles; small diameter bombs or other munitions."

A Private Army Grows around Bush's War
Military Contractors

AP: "By paying civilians to handle military tasks, the Bush administration is freeing up U.S. troops to fight. But the use of contractors also hides the true costs of war. Their dead aren't added to official body counts. Their duties - and profits - are hidden by close-mouthed executives who won't give details to Congress. And as their coffers and roles swell, companies [such as Halliburton/Kellogg Brown & Root and Dyncorp] are funneling earnings into political campaigns and gaining influence over military policy - even getting paid to recommend themselves for lucrative contracts. To the consternation of U.S. lawmakers, there is little or no Congressional oversight of contractors hired by the executive branch of government - whether through the State Department, Pentagon or the CIA. Many, like San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., which trains Iraqi journalists, police and soldiers, are privately held firms employing ex-soldiers and spies."

US's Frightening 'Private Army' Grows in Colombia and Around the World
Military Contractors

The US is increasingly relying on an "unofficial army of private US contractors working in Colombia, doing everything from spraying coca fields to training a Colombian antikidnapping squad. It's a formula the US has repeated from here to Afghanistan to Iraq: employing civilians to do jobs historically carried out by the armed forces. Contractors are performing 'the entire spectrum of military services,' says Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution.... He says US civilians...do everything from handling mail services and feeding troops to training foreign troops and devising war games. Most are retired military personnel or former special forces. In theory, US law mandates that no more than 400 civilian contractors can be on the ground in Colombia at any one time. But since US law also caps the number of US troops at 400, contractors are in even higher demand. Experts say that the US often hires nationals from places like Brazil and Central America who don't count toward the cap."

Leaked E-mail Exchanges Show Collusion Between Boeing Co., Air Force, and Pentagon
Military Contractors

"Dozens of e-mail exchanges among Boeing Co., the Air Force and the Pentagon...raised fresh questions about a controversial $22.5 billion deal to lease, then buy 100 Boeing 767 tankers.... The documents...show a close relationship between Boeing and Air Force officials, including AF Sec. James Roche, as well as details of a rival bid by Airbus SA. For instance, Gerald Daniels, then head of Boeing's military aircraft and missile systems, told Chairman Phil Condit he had 'excellent discussions' with Roche and his chief of staff a week earlier. 'Question is the terms of the deal, not if there will be a deal...All are willing to fight for this,' Daniels wrote. In other memos, Boeing officials say Air Force officials gave them details of the size and price of the Airbus 330 bid.... [Keith Ashdown with Taxpayers for Common Sense said,] 'Instead of the Air Force acting as an independent reviewer of this nearly $30 billion deal, they've acted as a silent business partner of Boeing.'"

Indonesian Military Uses Bush-Supplied F16 Planes to Destroy Schools in Aceh
Military Contractors

From Misna.org in Indonesia: "The number of school buildings set on fire has risen to 507 in ten different districts of Aceh, since the start of the military offensive on May 19 against the separatist rebels active for decades in this western province of Indonesia.... Local authorities specified that the destroyed buildings include 4 kindergartens, 361 primary schools, 60 Islamic primary schools, 52 public secondary schools, 12 Islamic secondary schools, 12 public high-schools, 5 Islamic high-schools and a building that hosts schools of various levels. The situation was rendered more dramatic in Aceh by the use of F-16 war planes by the Indonesian military."

Bombings Bring U.S. 'Executive Mercenaries' Into the Light'
Military Contractors

William Hartung writes: "Vinnell was founded in 1931 as a small Los Angeles-area construction firm... the firm's early growth was tied to the building of the L.A. freeway system, work on the Grand Coulee Dam and the construction of Dodger Stadium. But by the end of World War II, the company was already dabbling in military work, funneling guns to Chiang Kai-shek to fuel his efforts to displace the communist regime in Beijing. In a memoir, former CIA operative Wilbur Crane Eveland described using his title as Vinnell vice president as a cover while working in Africa and the Middle East in the early 1960s. Vinnell's military contracts took off after that... At the height of the Vietnam conflict, Vinnell had 5,000 personnel in country. According to a March 1975 article in the Village Voice that quoted an anonymous Pentagon source, the company did everything from base construction to military operations. The source described Vinnell as 'our own little mercenary army in Vietnam.'"

The Military-Industrial Complex: 'It's No Longer Possible to Tell Where the Corporate World Ends and Government Begins'
Military Contractors

Bill Moyers writes: "The poster boy for this new elite is Richard Cheney. As the head of Halliburton, he made a fortune from the influence and access gained through his earlier service in government. Then Halliburton Corporation gets favored and confidential treatment soon after Mr. Cheney becomes George Bush's vice president. This week the big construction company Bechtel receives a contract that could pay three quarters of a billion dollars for work in post-war Iraq. Bechtel gives lots of money to politicians, mostly to Republicans. On its board is George Schultz, who ran Bechtel before he became President Reagan's Secretary of State. One of Bechtel's Senior Vice Presidents is a former general who serves on the Defense Policy Board along with other hawks like Richard Perle and James Woolsey who wanted war with Iraq and got it. They advise the Pentagon and then turn around and make money out of their defense contacts."

Selling Death: How the Bush-Masters of War Make a Killing, Coming and Going
Military Contractors

Cheryl Seal writes, "There is no doubt about it, war is great business. To make sure that it stays that way, the US government and weapons manufacturers have colluded to insure that the least stable areas in the world have access to the most weapons. Thus out of the 10 biggest outlets for US weapons, seven of them are in unstable areas: Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Israel, South Korea, and Greece (it lies within striking distance of Bosnia, et al.). These countries' less stable neighbors are abundantly supplied by blackmarket US arms, a multi-billion dollar annual business that is facilitated by the intentional failure of the industry to curtail it. Thanks to their US-made arsenals, these areas will remain destabilized. In fact, I think this whole US policy ought to have an official name: Strategic Destabilization."

GOP Pork Peddler Tom Davis Wants to Eliminate Oversight of Defense Contracts
Military Contractors

Fasxist News reports, "Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., a committee chairman who for the last four years led the GOP's fund-raising efforts in the House, is circulating draft legislation that could sharply expand the number of contracts that are not subject to stringent government oversight. The longtime safeguards were put in place after Pentagon contracting scandals in the 1960s. Davis' proposal also would apply to defense companies which have long manufactured unique products for the government for which there is no competitive bidding. To ensure taxpayers are protected, these contractors now must turn over confidential cost and pricing data to government auditors and adhere to tight accounting standards." But Davis, Bush and the other GOP piggies at the trough have no interest in protecting taxpayers or adhering to ANY accounting standards.

Under Bush, War and Terror Have become Earth's Most Lucrative Businesses
Military Contractors

"War - the more destructive the better - has become the most lucrative source of revenue for the same corporations that have the closest ties to the Bush administration. Not only do these companies get to supply the troops (the more massive the mobilization the better!), they also get to supply the equipment for trashing a country, then the contractors for rebuilding what they have destroyed. All the while, G.W. Bush gets to scoop up on increased approval ratings as a 'war time president.' It's a win-win situation all around for the greedy destroy-and-rebuild empire. As of early 2002, Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Cheney's co. Halliburton, 'owned' roughly 37% of the U.S. government's global business." Cheryl Seal Reports.

Why Did US & Europe Sell WMD to Iraq?
Military Contractors

Paul Joseph Watson writes, "The purpose of this article is to ascertain how Iraq acquired its arsenal of weapons that eventually led to it being declared as a 'rogue state'... It is necessary to understand why the Globalists arm rogue nations only to overthrow them ten or fifteen years later. Obviously it makes significant amounts of money for giant defense contractors, which often have tentacles into government itself, like the Carlyle Group. Any such rogue state will not be provided with the latest advanced weaponry but will receive enough arms to make it a threat to its neighbors, thus destabilizing its geographic region. This provides the pretext for the Globalists to later invade the country in the name of saving the region from collapse, citing dangerous weapons of mass destruction that the Globalists provided the rogue state with in the first place. The name of the game is geopolitical chess. A move is only made after the subsequent twenty moves have already been mapped out."

US Military-Industrial Complex Wants License to Sell Death Without Restriction
Military Contractors

John Stanton writes, "In 2001, the US weapons industry controlled approximately 50% of the world arms market. The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) reports that for fiscal year 2001, the US government exported $12.2 billion in weapons and was awarded $13.1 billion in new foreign contracts through its Foreign Military Sales program. That excludes the $36 billion in direct commercial sales by US weapons manufacturers to foreign nations. FAS indicates that the weapons industry is second only to the US agriculture industry in its receipt of US taxpayer subsidies. Yet, the weapons industry still whines about export restrictions and pesky public disclosure requirements that actually make them somewhat accountable to the US Congress and the American people. So it's no surprise that in 2003, the weapons industry will be busy lobbying ... for more subsidies, fewer restrictions on what can be sold and to whom, and exemptions from public accountability and long standing agreements."

Making A Killing: The Business of W-ar
Military Contractors

Follow the series offered by The Center for Public Integrity on the business of making war. "At least 90 companies that provide services normally performed by national military forces - but without the same degree of public oversight - have operated in 110 countries worldwide, providing everything from military training, logistics, and even engaging in armed combat. Amid the global military downsizing and the increasing number of small conflicts that followed the end of the Cold War, governments have turned increasingly to these private military companies to intervene on their behalf around the globe, a new investigation by the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has found." Read the whole series!

Bush Caves in to his Defense Industry Patrons; Seeds W-ar for Years
Military Contractors

William Safire writes: "Washington. They never learn. Remember, a couple of years ago, the scandals about the way corporate giants like Hughes Electronics and Loral Space, led by big Democratic contributors, sold secret U.S. satellite technology to Chinese aerospace companies and semiconductor manufacturers? Remember how right-wingers like me got all worked up about our shortsighted government and venal executives placing the interests of international trade over the needs of national defense? I am ashamed to report that the Bush administration is getting ready to let our ever-hungry multinationals do the same thing. This time, however, it would all be legalized. If current legislation (Senate 149, the Export Administration Act) being urged by the White House passed, American executives would be encouraged to sell the fruits of their most advanced research to foreign nationals who may not wish us well."

The Weapons Industry Uses Front Groups to Lobby for Massive Increases in Weapons Spending
Military Contractors

William Hartung writes in The Nation, "There has been little criticism of the Bush-Putin nuclear accord from within the military-industrial complex, and for good reason. The arms lobby helped to develop the Bush nuclear policy, and it stands to profit from its implementation. The centerpiece of the Bush nuclear doctrine is a 'New Triad' of long-range strike systems, missile defenses and a revitalized nuclear weapons complex that will involve at least $33 billion in new spending over the next five years. Far from impinging on this new nuclear buildup, the Bush-Putin agreement will help to facilitate it by creating a smokescreen behind which a new generation of nuclear weapons will be developed. The major themes and many of the specific details of the Bush nuclear policy were developed by corporate-backed conservative think tanks like the National Institute for Public Policy and the Center for Security Policy."

J.C. Watts Bitterly Rebukes Bu$h for Stiffing Him on the Crusader Program, Warning Congress: 'This could be YOU!'
Military Contractors

Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) was "described as 'very upset' over the administration's handling of its decision...to kill the Crusader artillery system, refused to attend a Capitol Hill meeting with Bush Wednesday...'They gave me no heads up about this,' an aide quoted Watts as saying. 'I had to read developments in the paper.'...He stood in front of the crowded room and pointed his finger at individual members, cautioning them about their future dealings with the White House. 'This could be you or this could be you,' he warned. Watts went on to explain he thinks the White House is overstepping its bounds by trying to control the purse strings and dictate to Congress what it should do...As GOP Conference chairman, Watts spearheads his party's 'message' operation. 'I've said we have to be decent with each other, we have to be a team.' Watts reportedly told the conference. 'The way they've treated me, the way they've handled this was indecent. This is the thanks I get.'"

Vast Weapons Industry Runs on OUR Money
Military Contractors

"The U.S. defense industry is one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the world. Trillions of dollars have been spent since the beginning of the Reagan military buildup in 1981, to research, develop, and purchase weapons systems for U.S. military forces. The vast majority of these funds were given to private companies like Lockheed Martin and McDonnell Douglas, and thousands of other smaller firms that make up the U.S. military industry. Many of these top firms in the industry derive as much as 75 to 80 percent of their revenues from Pentagon contracts, making them virtual wards of the state, depending on the government for their very survival." So writes Diane S. McAteer.

Pentagon Plans to Increase Contractors' Profit Margins
Military Contractors

The Pentagon plans to increase defense contractors' profit margins from the current 15% cap to possibly as high as 45% or more. "We have to make profitability in the Defense Department (market) at least competitive with profitability in the commercial marketplace," Under Secretary of Defense Edward Aldridge told an aerospace conference. The Pentagon hopes "to attract to work on chemical and biological warfare threats typically sought 45 percent margins to offset their research and development costs." So investors in defense industries, like the Carlyle Group, will reap even greater profits…at YOUR expense. What ever happened to Congressional hearings and legislation? Where is the outrage???