Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 22, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Tags

Tag: Contractors


army.arch (CC BY 2.0)

What Is the U.S. Military Building in Israel?

At an Israeli air force base not far from Tel Aviv, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will supervise construction of a $100 million five-floor underground facility for the Israel Defense Forces termed “Site 911,” and no one in the press, including The Washington Post’s national security reporter, seems to know its precise purpose.

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 READ MORE


Sadr City protest
AP / Karim Kadim

Sadr Delivers an Ultimatum to U.S.

Moqtada al-Sadr is back, issuing an ultimatum to American troops and contractors: Leave Iraq by the end of the year or he will revive his Mehdi Army and relaunch attacks on the United States’ post-withdrawal presence in the country.

Posted on Apr 9, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Karzai Shows Security Contractors the Door

In your face, foreign community! Afghan President Hamid Karzai has begun dissolving foreign private security companies, including the firm formerly known as Blackwater, as he moves to make good on a promise to ban the private contractors by year’s end.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE



AP / May Alleruzzo

Contractors Move Into the Gap in Iraq

With the last American combat brigade pulling out of Iraq this week, the U.S. is turning much of the security effort there over to a small army of civilian contractors under the State Department. 

Posted on Aug 19, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force

Cloak and Dagger Inc.

The U.S. military, despite reports to the contrary, has continued to rely on a secret private spy network, akin to a Blackwater with brains, that has provided a stream of intelligence to military forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than a year.

Posted on May 16, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Nathan Gallahan

Deaths Among Contractors in Afghanistan Accelerating as They Outnumber Soldiers

There are now more civilian contractors in Afghanistan than U.S. soldiers. Using civilian contractors to haul food, prepare meals and act as bodyguards has kept the Pentagon’s official casualty figures lower than they would have been in past conflicts, where contractors were not as heavily used.

Posted on Apr 14, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Fareed Khan

The Terror-Industrial Complex

The conviction of the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui in New York last week of trying to kill American military officers and FBI agents illustrates that the greatest danger to our security comes not from al-Qaida but the thousands of shadowy mercenaries, kidnappers, killers and torturers our government employs around the globe.

Posted on Feb 8, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Hadi Mizban

Biden Promises to Appeal Blackwater Dismissals

Vice President Joe Biden expressed his personal regrets to Iraqi leaders and promised that the U.S. will appeal the dismissal of manslaughter charges against five Blackwater security contractors over a bloody Baghdad shooting in 2007 that killed 17 people.

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 READ MORE


Blackwater’s CIA Connection

Reports are coming out that mercenaries from Blackwater Worldwide played central roles in some of the CIA’s most sensitive missions, including clandestine raids and the transport of detainees. Many guards claimed that Blackwater’s participation was so routine that the lines between military and contractor were blurred.

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 READ MORE



Project on Government Oversight

Kabul Contractor Parties Aren’t the Half of It

Much of the furor over the conduct of private embassy guards in Kabul appears preoccupied with what one whistle-blower describes as the “gay shit” rather than the exploitation of young Afghan women or the deteriorating security situation at the embassy. The latter, after all, was the major focus of the complaint that blew this story open.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Blackwater Founder ‘Implicated in Murder’

Jeremy Scahill reports in The Nation that a “former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine ... claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Afghan Trap

Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war? The Obama regime is gunning for more fighting in Afghanistan at a time when the U.S. should be seeking more talk.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE



CIA

Obama Picks Top Spies

The president-elect has reportedly chosen Leon Panetta to head the CIA and retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence. Both men bring a mixed bag. Panetta is an experienced bureaucrat, but he’s no James Bond. Blair has been praised for his terrorist-fighting skills, but he was criticized for a supposed conflict of interest that benefited defense contractors.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug

The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it’s probably the exact opposite.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Blackwater Guards Indicted for Shootings

Five Blackwater guards were indicted on charges of manslaughter on Monday in a case that will test the legal accountability of private contractors in Iraq. A sixth guard pleaded guilty. The Blackwater employees killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians without justification at a Baghdad traffic circle, the Justice Department alleges.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Jeff Kubina

Can You Hear Me Now? Telecoms Paid to Give Team McCain More Bars

It’s hard to get cell reception in an out-of-the-way place like Sedona, Ariz., but it helps if you sit on the Senate committee that oversees the telecommunications industry. The Washington Post has learned that AT&T and Verizon, both of which have lobbying ties to the McCain campaign, provided cell towers for the McCains’ ranch at no charge to the couple.

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 READ MORE


Maliki Bush
whitehouse.gov

Immunity Issue Snags U.S.-Iraq Agreement

We tearfully regret to inform you that an agreement that would legally extend the U.S. imperial occupation of Iraq is at risk of falling apart, as Iraqi officials continue to make the audacious demand that U.S. soldiers and mercenaries be subject to Iraqi law for crimes committed outside the scope of military operations.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE


The Private Contracting Games

Share
Posted on Aug 24, 2008 READ MORE


Avi Lewis Mexico

The U.S. Role in Mexico’s Drug War

Washington’s role in Mexico’s drug war, from the $400 million in annual military aid to the U.S. security contractors teaching torture techniques to Mexican police, is often ill-reported in the mainstream media. Canadian journalist Avi Lewis and the “Inside USA” television crew look critically into the conflict that has killed 1,800 people so far this year alone.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Halliburton Sign
pjvoice.com

Private Contractors ‘Mismanaged’ $23 Billion in Iraq

A BBC investigation on U.S. war profiteering estimates that $23 billion of taxpayer funds has been “lost, stolen, or not properly accounted for in Iraq.”

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Big Squeeze’

A new book by New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse argues that the plight of American workers, both white-collar and blue-collar, is growing worse, putting the American dream out of the reach of tens of millions of citizens.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Maya Alleruzzo

The Unsung Victims of the Emerald City

There’s a group of contractors working in Baghdad’s Green Zone that we don’t often hear about: The cleaners, cooks and construction workers from places like Uganda who toil and die in obscurity.

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE


Defense Auditors Can’t Keep Up

Thanks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the privatization of the military and the surge in defense spending since 9/11, individual Pentagon auditors now have to keep track of more than three times as much money as they did 10 years ago. Because of limited resources, the Defense Department inspector general revealed in a recent report, about half of the military’s $316 billion weapons budget went under the radar last year.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Ryan Maseth
post-gazette.com

Warning Fails to Prevent Electrocution of U.S. Soldiers

More than a dozen American soldiers have died or received severe electrical shocks in Iraq, reportedly as a result of faulty electrical work often done by ill-trained Iraqis and Afghans under the supervision of Houston-based contractor KBR.

Posted on May 9, 2008 READ MORE


Rubber-Stamping ‘Failed’ Iraq Projects

The special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction has found a disturbing trend among Iraq rebuilding projects. Far too often, when work is incomplete, U.S. officials will revise or “descope” the terms of the contract to list the project as completed. One example: A $35-million children’s hospital in Basra that is marked completed despite the fact that it’s only 35 percent up and running.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE


Nisour square
nytimes.com

FBI Blames Blackwater in 14 Civilian Deaths

The FBI, which is still investigating Blackwater’s Sept. 16 killing rampage in Baghdad, has determined that at least 14 of the 17 shootings were unjustified and in violation of deadly-force rules. The Justice Department is looking into whether to press charges, if it even has the authority, which means that Blackwater could very well get away with murder.

Posted on Nov 14, 2007 READ MORE


Rice Takes a Licking in Congress

Typically cool as a cucumber, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice struggled to hold it together Thursday as members of the House Oversight Committee let her have it on everything from the enormous, expensive and incomplete U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Blackwater’s killing spree.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Li’l Happy Logos

Share
Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


A State Dept. Band-Aid for Blackwater Problem

The State Department will implement new measures to guard against a repeat of last month’s Blackwater slaughter of 17 Iraqi civilians, but some of the new rules, including more cultural awareness training, feel like a Band-Aid on a serious head wound. In addressing this issue, the Iraqi government has chosen to make a point of its sovereignty, and so far the U.S. has done little to allay the Iraqi concerns.

Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


mercenaries
news.bbc.co.uk

Iraq Demands Blackwater Exit Strategy

Iraqi authorities have given the U.S. six months to cut ties with Blackwater, and are demanding custody of the private security guards who, according to a government investigation, recklessly opened fire on Iraqi civilians while escorting a State Department convoy.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE


Bush’s Advisers

Share
Posted on Oct 8, 2007 READ MORE


Congress Tries to Close Blackwater Loophole

The House voted 389 to 30 to pass a bill that would make private contractors working for the U.S. government in Iraq subject to United States law. It’s the second time Congress has attempted to apply some sense to the legal vacuum created by the Bush administration and its Coalition Provisional Authority, which pushed through what amounts to blanket immunity for mercenaries.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE


Report Points to Blackwater’s Excessive Violence

According to a devastating new report from the House Oversight Committee, Blackwater USA employees engaged in at least 195 “escalation of force” incidents since 2005, with the private security firm firing 80 percent of the first shots (despite its purely defensive mandate). What’s worse, the State Department has provided little if any oversight, instead assisting the company as it carried out damage control.

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE


Security Crew in Deadly Baghdad Shootout

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials have condemned the actions of security contractors who were guarding a State Department convoy that came under fire in downtown Baghdad on Sunday. The unnamed contractors are accused of firing indiscriminately and escalating the violence, which killed nine civilians. Update: The security firm in question was Blackwater USA.

Posted on Sep 16, 2007 READ MORE


Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Iraq

According to data from the State and Defense departments, there are more than 180,000 civilian contractors on America’s payroll in Iraq.  That’s about a surge’s worth more than the current troop count, and it doesn’t fully include private security contractors.  The L.A. Times takes an exhaustive look at the “coalition of the billing.”

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater Opens Fire in Baghdad

Security contractor Blackwater USA was involved in two shootings in Baghdad last week. After firing on and killing an Iraqi driver, Blackwater guards found themselves in a standoff with heavily armed Iraqi Interior Ministry forces. A senior U.S. adviser said Iraq-American relations at the ministry have suffered greatly since the incident.

Posted on May 28, 2007 READ MORE


Kingston

Congressman Defends War Profits

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., objects to the notion that it is improper to pay a private contractor four times as much as a U.S. soldier doing the same job: “It’s actually somewhat of an insult, if I go down to Fort Stewart and tell ‘em they’re underpaid, because they’re really not motivated by pay as much as they are by patriotism.” If only Halliburton felt the same way.

Posted on May 16, 2007 READ MORE


Trucks

‘Legal Stealing’

This is the four-minute highlight reel from “Iraq for Sale” that documentarian Robert Greenwald wanted to screen for Congress as part of his testimony. Republicans blocked him from doing so. If you haven’t been following the outrageous war profiteering going on in Iraq—like many of our elected officials—this is a must-see clip.

Posted on May 10, 2007 READ MORE


gun
salon.com

Iraq’s ‘Hidden War’

Private U.S. contractors roam the battle zones of Iraq with impunity, and the Bush administration doesn’t even know if the actions of these hired guns are governed by any code of law.

Posted on Apr 15, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater
amazon.com

Jeremy Scahill on Soldiers of Fortune

The writer speaks with Truthdig about his new book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,” privatization in America and abroad, and our dysfunctional democracy.

Posted on Mar 30, 2007 READ MORE


Powell: How America Supports the Troops

Share
Posted on Feb 9, 2007 READ MORE


Oversight Hearing Reveals Contractor Abuses

Last year, the Army vehemently denied allegations that Halliburton had hired Blackwater, another private contractor, to provide security in Iraq, but in a hearing before the House Government Oversight Committee on Wednesday, the military reversed itself. The committee also made public an e-mail from a Blackwater employee who frantically demanded that the firm properly equip its guards, four of whom were killed hours after the message was written.

Posted on Feb 8, 2007 READ MORE


Military Fed Up With Civilian Agencies

The Pentagon has had it with picking up the slack from civilian agencies in Iraq, grumbling its concerns to the president and even Congress. The military has been forced to fill jobs that otherwise would be performed by civilians, mainly from the State Department, which, unlike the Army, can’t force people to work under the nightmarish conditions it helped to create.

Posted on Feb 6, 2007 READ MORE


Spy Satellite
news.bbc.co.uk

Satellite Spy Agency Gets Bilked

Spy satellites provide much of the intelligence community’s raw data, whether snapshots of Iran’s nuclear facilities or al-Qaida training camps. David Kaplan has the story on how the National Reconnaissance Office, the $7.5-billion-a-year agency that builds and operates the satellites, has had to contend with potentially massive fraud among its many contractors.

Posted on Feb 6, 2007 READ MORE


reconstruction
dw-world.de

Tens of Millions Wasted in Iraq

The latest report from the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction says tens of millions of dollars have been wasted because of failure and fraud. Among other abuses, the report cites a never-used $48.3-million housing facility, complete with an Olympic-size swimming pool. If Willie Sutton were alive today, he’d head straight to Baghdad.

Posted on Jan 31, 2007 READ MORE


Canadian coins
unbsj.ca

Canadian Coins Signal Mysterious Espionage Plot

The Defense Department says it has learned of a plot to spy on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances traveling through Canada. Though it released few other details, the U.S. Defense Security Service says it found tiny transmitters hidden in Canadian coins.

Posted on Jan 11, 2007 READ MORE


Iraqi contractors
AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed

Robert Scheer: Ike Was Right

Many critics of the war suggest that the U.S. remains in Iraq because it wants that nation’s petroleum. But oil is not the primary reason.  Instead, look to the military-industrial complex, a threat that President Eisenhower warned of in the 1960s.

Posted on Dec 26, 2006 READ MORE


Bodyguard
alternet.org

The Shadow Army

When debating troop levels in Iraq, one ought not to forget the countless bodyguards, interpreters, truck drivers and mercenaries scattered around the country. Apparently not even Central Command has a firm grasp of just how many civilian contractors are employed in Iraq—a number that could be as high as 100,000.

Posted on Dec 22, 2006 READ MORE


Powell - Mexican Border Fence

Share
Posted on Apr 1, 2006 READ MORE


Why_we_Fight

Why We Fight

If you are troubled by the symbiotic relationship between military contractors and military planners—as Eisenhower was—don’t miss the acclaimed documentary, “Why We Fight.”
Check out:

  • the trailer
  • an interview with the film’s creator
  • a New Yorker article on the film’s screening at a military academy
  • a Walter Cronkite column on the film
  • movie reviews here, here and here
  • Posted on Mar 23, 2006 READ MORE


    View older articles:  1 2 >

    View the most popular tags overall?

     
    Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
    Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
     
    Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
    Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
     
    Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
     
     
     

    A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
    © 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.