Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welfare for Warriors

Over the years I've written about the out-sourcing of our war efforts to so-called "private contractors" who are, generally speaking, individuals unable to hack it in the real world of warfare. This massive redistribution of money from the public to private sector (aka welfare for the corporatist class) continues unabated during the Obama years, evidenced in this NYT story today on the privatization of spying.

The contractors were still being paid under a $22 million contract, the review shows, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by the Pentagon office in charge of special operations policy[...] The web of private businesses working under the Lockheed contract include Strategic Influence Alternatives, American International Security Corporation and International Media Ventures, a communications company based in St. Petersburg, Fla., with Czech ownership. One of the companies employs a network of Americans, Afghans and Pakistanis run by Duane Clarridge, a C.I.A. veteran who became famous for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal.

In general, according to one American official, intelligence operatives are nervous about the notion of “private citizens running around a war zone, trying to collect intelligence that wasn’t properly vetted for operations that weren’t properly coordinated.”
Welcome to the club.

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