Privatization & Procurement

Disks containing what appears to be software code used in Maryland's touchscreen voting machines in 2004 were delivered anonymously to a former state legislator, raising fresh concerns about the reliability of the voting system.
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.
Top military officials continue to rely on a secret network of private spies set up by Michael D. Furlong, despite concerns about the legality of the operation. A New York Times review found Mr. Furlong's operatives still providing information, with contractors still being paid under a $22 million contract, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by a Pentagon office.
The Bush brand of competitive sourcing, with its get-rich-quick schemes and do-little jobs for administration pals, spread like a cancer throughout the executive branch. It explains why tens of thousands of displaced victims of Katrina are still living in trailer shantytowns all these months later. It explains why New York City and Washington just lost 40 percent of their counterterrorism funds. It helps explain why American troops are more likely to be slaughtered than greeted with flowers more than three years after the American invasion of Iraq.
Two years ago, rioters protesting increased water rates forced a Bechtel, U.S. company, in Bolivia to pack its bags and leave. Now, in a harbinger of the loss of local control through globalization, the corporation is striking back in secret proceedings.
President Obama will almost certainly touch down in Baghdad and Kabul in Air Force One sometime in the coming year to meet his counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he will just as certainly pay a visit to a U.S. military base or two. Should he stay to eat with the troops, he will no less certainly choose from a menu prepared by migrant Asian workers under contract to Houston-based KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton.
Most of that came from a core group of seven of the nation's largest water companies and the industry association that represents them, said the article.
For Emad Hatabah, the war in Iraq became a business opportunity. As AIG's chief representative in Jordan, he was responsible for coordinating the care for hundreds of Iraqis who had been injured while working under contract for U.S. troops. He fulfilled his functions by sending business to himself, his friends and business associates, according to interviews and records.
Some 15,000 lobbyists work in Brussels where they meet secretly with European Union officials to try and influence the rules that govern the 27 countries that together form the world's most powerful economic bloc. New guidelines will attempt to make this lobbying more public and reveal conflicts of interest.