Military, Security & Surveillance
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.
U.S. defence contractors are riding high these days, buoyed by rising Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the high cost of homeland security in the U.S.-declared war on terror. The fiscal 2006 defence budget is set to climb to 441 billion dollars, an increase of 21 billion dollars over 2005. It envisions an additional 50 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The paparazzi hide in bushes and use telephoto lenses to snap pictures of celebrities. The "cyberazzi" parachute into web browsers and sneak up behind mobile phones to spy on ordinary people. Nine such data mining companies must report what personal information they gather for sale by next week.
U.S. military has paid $548 million over the past three years to two British security firms that protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction projects, more than $200 million over the original budget, according to previously undisclosed data that show how the cost of private security in Iraq has mushroomed.
Efforts by defense contractor KBR to repair hurricane-damaged Navy facilities were deemed shoddy and substandard, and one technical adviser alleged that the federal government "certainly paid twice" for many KBR projects because of "design and workmanship deficiencies," the Pentagon's inspector general reported in an audit released yesterday.
Rioting and threats of work stoppages at critical transportation hubs needed to rebuild the war-torn Iraq have erupted in recent months following payment disputes between contractors originally hired by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi officials skeptical of the billings and the CPA's handiwork.
With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, became the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan's army and police forces. Since then, the company has provided ammunition that is more than 40 years old and in decomposing packaging, according to an examination of the munitions by The New York Times and interviews with American and Afghan officials.
"Is Rioting a Form of Urban Terrorism?" The headline for a press release was a provocative introduction to the annual Counter Terror Expo in Olympia, London, which opens this week. (April 25 & 26) Eight thousand visitors are expected to descend on 400 exhibitions of counter-terrorism technologies and services.
A Boeing Co. unit falsified flight plans to disguise the Central Intelligence Agency's transporting of terrorism suspects to secret prisons overseas, the American Civil Liberties Union claims in an updated lawsuit.
On Tuesday, 22 top-level arms industry executives, including a senior sales executive at Smith & Wesson, were arrested in what Justice Department officials called the first undercover sting ever aimed at violations of the federal ban on corporate bribes paid to get foreign business. The individuals are being prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.