Military, Security & Surveillance
A federal jury here Wednesday convicted one former Blackwater contractor of murder and three of his colleagues of voluntary manslaughter in the deadly shootings of 14 unarmed civilians killed in Baghdad's Nisour Square seven years ago.
Near the town of La Jagua, overlooking the Magdalena River, the landscape is dotted with concrete markers declaring the land, river, and everything else a "public utility" that Colombia has given to the energy company Emgesa as part of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project. A construction permit was granted in May, with the dam scheduled for full operation by 2014.
Time and again, there was little or no competition for the huge contracts the US administration awarded, and repeatedly, it seemed that senior army people were stepping in to overrule attempts by the highest-ranking civilian in the US Army Corps of Engineers to make KBR accountable.
The Obama administration's push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts. Nearly all of the largest military companies - including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon - have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies.
Why would "criminals" set fire to millions worth in mine equipment? How was it that these "intruders" had an estimated 3,000 people backing them up? In what appears to be a spontaneous civilian movement against Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold miner, thousands of people invaded Barrick`s North Mara Gold Mine this week in Tarime District and destroyed equipment worth $15 million.
Global Response Staff is a new unit set up by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) to hire private security contractors to accompany dangerous spying missions. Unlike Jason Bourne - the fictional character on which they appear to be modeled on - this gang cannot shoot straight.
Ted Koppel says "There is something terribly seductive about the notion of a mercenary army. Perhaps it is the inevitable response of a market economy to a host of seemingly intractable public policy and security problems."
Taking the place of enlisted troops in every American army before this one, contract employees in Iraq cook meals, wash clothes, deliver fuel and guard bases. And they die and suffer alongside their brothers and sisters in uniform. About 1,000 contractors have been killed in Iraq since the war began; nearly 13,000 have been injured. The consequences of the war will be lasting for many of them and their families, ordeals that are largely invisible to most Americans.
A new U.S. intelligence institution will allow government spy agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the country for the first time. Contractors like Boeing, BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation are already lining up for possible work.
Mike Furlong, a top Pentagon official, is alleged to have hired a company called International Media Ventures to supply information for drone strikes and assassinations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a complaint filed by the CIA and revealed by the New York Times on March 15.