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Comentari :: corrupció i poder
No Princes After All
28 abr 2010
On May 14, 2007 at a Defense Intelligence Agency conference the US government admitted roughly 70% of all US intelligence work was being handled by private corporations. That's right. Our nation's most secret and sensitive work placed in the hands of individuals with some background in intelligence/ black ops all for a price tag.
The individuals responsible for the work were not there because they wanted to be involved in public service. They could have stayed spec ops or intelligence personnel had that been their interest. These were individuals driven to parlay their training paid for by US taxpayers into them making a buck.

We are talking big bucks. Salon.com reports, "the total value of intelligence contracts more than doubled, from about $18 billion in 1995 to about $42 billion in 2005." (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/06/01/intel_contractors/) These are folks who have found a niche post 9/11 and have been milking it for every penny. They have stayed busy recruiting from the CIA and raising concerns regarding "poaching" of government employees to leave public service.

The LA Times reported, "poaching became such a problem that former Director Porter J. Goss had to warn several firms to stop recruiting employees in the agency cafeteria… One recently retired case officer said he had been approached twice while in line for coffee." (http://articles.latimes.com/2006/sep/17/nation/na-contractors17) But, the extent to which major players are now active in what's been termed a "revolving door" goes deep.

Salon.com reported, "In March 2006, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., who had resigned from Congress several months earlier, was sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of accepting more than $2 million in bribes from executives with MZM, a prominent San Diego defense contractor… The MZM case deepened… when Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the former deputy director of the CIA, was indicted for conspiring with former MZM CEO Brent Wilkes to steer contracts toward the company." (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/06/01/intel_contractors/)

According to CorpWatch.com, "Richard Wilhelm, a former CIA and NSA officer who once served as national security adviser to former Vice President Al Gore and now leads Booz Allen’s business with the CIA and the Office of the DNI." Also, "Marty Hill, who came to (Booz Allen) after a 35-year career in signals intelligence and electronic warfare and previously served as an expert on 'information operations capabilities and policy' for Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon. He leads of team of 1,200 professionals engaged in all aspects of 'signals intelligence.'" (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14963)

Former CIA director George Tenet, responsible for much of the flawed intelligence leading into the Iraq War, as revealed by Salon.com, "is a director and advisor to four corporations that earn millions of dollars in revenue from contracts with U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense." The article goes on to reveal,"Tenet has received at least $2.3 million from those corporations in stock and other compensation." In fact one of these corporations gave him, "access to a highly secured room where he could work on classified material for his book." (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/06/01/intel_contractors/)

The problems go beyond well connected middlemen their well placed contacts, their reach and taint. There are many surveillance and information gathering positions carried out by private contractors. There are also other duties including recruiting informants in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Private contractors have been involved in interrogation of captured enemies and terrorist suspects.

The CIA had to stop using private interrogators after they were found to be unreliable, lawbreaking and overstepped bounds. It happened with waterboarding and other instances including with David Passaro a former Connecticut policeman with a record of lawless conduct. Passaro, during one investigation, told "at least three paratroopers from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division (who) watched Passaro, working under contract to the CIA, beat (a prisoner) during two days of questioning in June 2003… they couldn't touch (the prisoner), but that he could, 'because I have special rules.'" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/07/AR200608)

Perhaps the most extensive use of private intelligence contractors was revealed this month when Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater Security [now Xe (pronounced Z) Security], revealed he had been hired and paid for by the government not just for security using tax dollars, but working in a private intelligence capacity. He was being paid to carry out assassinations, get people into 'denied areas' and to spy. (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001)

It becomes precarious when private citizens have such access and connections to the most high level secrets our government holds not the least of which concerns the leaking of top secret material. In this article Prince admitted he felt he had been 'sold out' by our government at some point and that was part of the reason he was talking. Of course some of the information had been revealed by sources in the government already, but he kept it going.

We are talking about someone working as a spy. Part of that role is to accept being an asset and as such being expendable. Prince himself has said regarding his operations, "we were building a unilateral, unattributable capability… If it went bad, we weren't expecting the chief of station, the ambassador, or anyone to bail us out." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/02/AR200912)

One must question the wisdom of having private firms working both for the government and private companies due to access to top secret material. Why in the world would we even allow people who have some of the most sensitive US government secrets in their heads to employ that information for anyone besides us (private companies are not us)? Why are they allowed to take that knowledge and apply it elsewhere?

Take Blackwater as an example. We now know what many have speculated. They were handling some of the most secret operations for the CIA. We know this for sure because since Erik Prince feels slighted he has gone on record confirming this. But the danger here goes far beyond his talking to the press.

"In April 2006, Prince quietly began building Total Intelligence Solutions, which boasts that it 'brings CIA-style' services to the open market for Fortune 500 companies. Among its offerings are 'surveillance and counter surveillance, deployed intelligence collection, and rapid safeguarding of employees or other key assets.'" (http://www.alternet.org/world/87200/)

So here it is what so many have worried about. "'This is the magnet now. Everything is being attracted to these private companies in terms of individuals and expertise and functions that were normally done by the intelligence community,' says former CIA division chief and senior analyst Melvin Goodman. 'My major concern is the lack of accountability, the lack of responsibility. The entire industry is essentially out of control. It's outrageous.'"(http://www.alternet.org/world/87200/)

At this point it is a matter of time before one of these private intelligence firms flips. The line is being walked everyday in the halls of buildings they are headquartered in as they carry files around some of which contain the most sensitive US Government secrets. The line is walked in the accessing of databases everyday. Public servants have already done it and it is only due to government accountability we know about it. Here there is no accountability. Selling this information to the highest bidder only requires a decision that money outweighs public service. Of course the employees started down that road the minute they left us took our secrets and experience and crossed the street for a sweaty wad of cash.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.
Mira també:
http://www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com

This work is in the public domain
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