Military, Security & Surveillance
Iraqi ministries will now be able to borrow billions of dollars to buy much-needed equipment from overseas suppliers, but only by mortgaging the national oil revenues through a bank managed by JP Morgan Chase.
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.
Now those promises -- and the public's perception of the Air Force's ability to spend its money prudently -- are being tested by new contracting and public relations challenges. The Air Force is about to award two key contracts worth a total of about $55 billion, and Boeing is in the running for both deals.
A Democratic Policy Committee hearing spurred by a lawsuit has renewed attention on Halliburton Co., which has come under intense scrutiny as the largest U.S. contractor in Iraq.
Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel supplies over 2,000 translators to the Pentagon in Afghanistan, who play a critical role in protecting local and military lives. These interpreters are a key communications link. But if they are wounded or killed, they are often left to fend for themselves. This special features video of CorpWatch interviews with three Afghan whistleblowers, recorded in country in April. Click through to hear their story.
U.K. asylum seekers have gone on hunger strike to protest living conditions at Harmondsworth immigration detention centre, which is run by Mitie, a British outsourcing company. The protests come months after Mitie took over from the Geo Group whose contract was canceled after prison authorities found repeated problems.
The U.S. military has always relied on private contractors for basic services, but today nearly 10 percent of the emergency U.S. army operations overseas are contracted out to unaccountable private corporations.
President Gloria Arroyo has ordered an investigation into reports that Filipino workers were forced to go to Iraq to work on the U.S. embassy there despite a ban on them traveling there. A report from the watchdog organization CorpWatch said that "other South Asians" were indeed working for First Kuwait Trading and Contracting in Iraq.
Invoking security concerns, President Bush has issued an executive order barring union representation at United States attorneys' offices and at four other agencies in the Justice Department.