Privatization & Procurement
Disaster profiteers make millions while local companies and laborers in New Orleans and the rest of the Katrina-devastated Gulf Coast region are systematically getting the short end of the stick, according to a major new report from the nonprofit CorpWatch.Click here for the press release, to read the text version or to download the report.
American companies have been arriving in Iraq to pursue an expected multibillion-dollar bonanza of projects to revive the country's petroleum industry. But there are questions about the Iraqi government's capacity to police the companies. "These are for-profit concerns and they are trying to make as much money as they can," said Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch.
The Senate is investigating the role of private investment banks in the Enron scandal. Could public institutions, like the World Bank and the Export-Import Bank be next?
Rwandan and Nigerian soldiers will arrive in western Sudan this week as the first deployment of a five nation 4,500 strong peacekeeping force dispatched from the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa to stem the violence in Darfur. Providing logistical support for the mission will be two private contractors from California, both of whom have mixed records carrying out similar enterprises in the past.
Blackwater North, as the North Carolina-based firm calls its new site, is designed primarily as a tactical training ground for domestic law enforcement and contractors. Using civilians schooled in military warfare, the site offers training in weaponry, hostage dealings and terror reaction. Still, the sudden appearance of Blackwater is attracting criticism and questions from miles around. Anti-war activists and locals are wary about the new training site.
CorpWatch discusses industry's efforts to cash in on public schools with Professor Molnar, Author of Giving Kids the Business and director of the Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in Education.
BAE Systems has been accused of operating a $33.4 million slush fund to procure prostitutes, sports cars, and other enticements in connection with the biggest transaction in UK history -- the Al-Yamamah arms-for-oil deal with the Saudi royal family. Listen online here via FSRN!
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.