Privatization & Procurement
Bechtel Corp. helped build the Bay Area subway system, Hoover Dam and a city for 200,000 in the desert of Saudi Arabia. It likes to boast that it can go anywhere, under any conditions and build anything.
Jorge Scientific Corporation, a military contractor with nearly a billion dollars in U.S. government contracts, is being sued by former employees for "shocking misconduct" in Afghanistan. The charges include illegal and reckless use of firearms, abusing alcohol and drugs and billing the government for property destroyed during raucous parties.
Agility, a Kuwait-based multi-billion dollar logistics company spawned by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, is facing criminal charges for over-billing the U.S. taxpayer on more than $8.5 billion worth of food supply contracts in the Iraq war zone. If the lawsuit is successful, the company could owe the U.S. government as much as $1 billion.
The Ugandan parliament will soon have a hearing on the draft Plant Variety Protection Bill, approved by the cabinet early last year. According to an inside government source, seeds companies including Monsanto have been lobbying for such intellectual property protection.
The Missouri Prisoners Labor Union (MPLU) announced today that it is initiating an international boycott against all products produced either directly or indirectly by Colgate Palmolive.
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.
These days, instead of evoking Maine's tranquil forestland and waterways, the Poland Springs brand symbolizes a battle over who owns and controls the water that seeps into the state's permeable rock.