Military, Security & Surveillance

The quick fix may involve sending in the National Guard. But to really patch up the broken border, President Bush is preparing to turn to a familiar administration partner: the nation's giant military contractors.
Ringed by barbed wire, a futuristic tent city rises from the Rio Grande Valley in the remote southern tip of Texas, the largest camp in a federal detention system rapidly gearing up to keep pace with Washington's increasing demand for stronger enforcement of immigration laws.
For nearly five years George Bush has infuriated much of the world by refusing to take action on global warming. Instead, he has called for more study. In a way, he got what he wanted with Hurricane Katrina.
Iraqi commandos are being training by USIS, a Virginia-based company that was once owned by the Carlyle Group. One of multiple "security" forces being created with $20 billion in U.S. funds, these Emergency Response Units may be stoking civil unrest as they accompany U.S. troops on raids.
Britain is to supply Saudi Arabia with Typhoon jets in a massive deal reported to be worth up to 70 billion dollars, that primarily benefits British company BAE Systems, the Ministry of Defence said.
What remains under-reported and under-appreciated is the fact that this war has afforded a vast collection of corporations to reap the benefits of lucrative government contracts. A number of such companies are involved in supervising, maintaining, and providing support for the numerous prisons in Iraq in the areas of interrogation, interpretation, and translation.
The Prince Group, the holding company that owns Blackwater Worldwide, has been building an operation that will sniff out intelligence about natural disasters, business-friendly governments, overseas regulations and global political developments for clients in industry and government.
The U.S. government on Tuesday said it had approved up to $330 million in three separate arms deals for Israel, and sources tracking a much bigger deal for 25 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets said that agreement could be approved later this month.
DHS attempts to address concerns over contractor accountability.
The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and intelligence activities.