Military, Security & Surveillance
The State Department has interceded in a congressional investigation of Blackwater USA, the private security firm accused of killing Iraqi civilians last week.
As executive pay packages have rocketed in recent years, their defenders have contended that because most are tied to company performance, they are both earned and deserved. But as the Las Vegas Sands example shows, investors who plow through company filings often find that executive compensation exceeds the amounts allowed under the performance targets set by the directors.
A Virginia judge has been asked to decided whether or not Custer Battles, an upstart security company assigned to guard Baghdad airport, had defrauded its customers by as much as $50 million. But company lawyers are arguing that the United States government did not control the Iraqi oil money, seized during the occupation, used to pay the company.
When the Army last year awarded a contract worth up to nearly $300 million to a tiny Miami Beach munitions dealer to supply ammunition to Afghanistan's army and police forces, it was in spite of a very checkered past.
The U.S. sends weapons to Egypt, Russia sends weapons to to Syria and the European Union to Saudi Arabia, according to new reports from Amnesty and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. This is despite conclusive evidence that these weapons are being used for human rights abuse.
A once secret Halliburton oil contract raked in billions long after the Army said the work would be competitively bid. As of September 2004 Halliburton billed over $2.5 billion. A Bechtel whistleblower calls the bidding process to break up the work, "a sham."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded on Thursday that there was a "hole" in United States law that had allowed Blackwater USA employees and other armed contractors in Iraq to escape legal jeopardy for crimes possibly committed there.