Private Paramilitaries

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Private Paramilitaries

Postby OnoI812 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:33 pm

This Dump is to outline the activities of the more than 100 private mercenary outfits. Please refrain from commenting here, as I'd like to reserve it for articles and info only. You are free to add any on topic articles you may wish. If you wish to comment on any of the postings, please lift the particular subject to OD#2 start a thread and link back.<br><br>Here is a running list:<br><br>Aegis Defence Services Ltd<br>Olive Group FZ LLC<br>ISI<br>International Charters, Inc. (ici)<br>Blackwater usa<br>Blackstone<br>Titan Corp<br>Zapata Engineering (ordinance handling)<br>Armor Holdings Inc<br>Cochise Consultancy<br>DynCorp International LLC<br>SAIC-Science Applications Intl Corp.<br>Special Operations Consulting LLC<br>Triple Canopy Inc.<br>Triple Options<br>MPRI-Military Professional Resources Incorporated<br>Vinnell<br>BDM International Inc.<br>Sandline Ltd.<br>Executive Outcomes<br><br><br>Here's a good introductory link by P.W. Singer that outlines the problem:<br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Peacekeepers, Inc.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><br>Thank you...Ono<br><br><br><br><br><br> :: Northwest Arkansas' News Source<br>Battlescape shoots for profi t<br><br>BY MARK MINTON<br><br>Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006<br>URL: <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>MARION — Surrounded by cotton, rice and soybean fields, an exotic oasis is rising in east Arkansas:<br>nine square blocks of downtown Fallujah.<br>Builders have begun moving dirt for a streetscape modeled after the war-ravaged city in Iraq, complete<br>with a bazaar, a traffic circle, office buildings and a school, all in Middle Eastern architectural styles.<br>This Little Fallujah will even include the bomb blasts and flying bullets.<br>“We’ve got to give them what they’re going to experience overseas — there’s no pretending,” said Alan<br>Brosnan, the former New Zealand Army assaultgroup commander who is overseeing the transformation<br>of a 700-acre patch of Delta farmland into a training ground for modern urban warfare.<br>Olive Group, a British firm that supplies personnel and combat training for armies and corporations in<br>the world’s scariest hot spots, plans to open the first three blocks of its mock city this summer.<br>It won’t be the only foreign war zone open for business in Arkansas.<br>At “Little Mogadishu” in North Little Rock, students rappel from a helicopter perched on a 40-foot<br>stanchion and work through a maze of concrete huts and alleyways, shooting at targets and blowing<br>open doors.<br>Direct Action Resource Center, which opened the 740-acre urban-combat training facility in 1996, gets<br>nearly all its business from the military and other federal agencies, said founder Richard Mason. He<br>declined to name customers or discuss contracts, but said the business is profitable.<br>“It’s been a major growth industry since 9 / 11,” Mason said.<br>Iraq especially has been a bonanza, as the government agencies and corporations rebuilding the country<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> (1 of 4)23/02/2006 16:10:16<br><br>have spent hundreds of millions on protection.<br>With the windfall have come questions about the conduct of private companies undertaking missions<br>traditionally the province of the military. Critics have also questioned sums paid to some contractors,<br>such as Halliburton, hired to support military operations.<br>The Government Accountability Office reviewed U. S. contracts last year in an attempt to evaluate the<br>size of the privatesecurity business in Iraq. The GAO found that the 22 contracts it reviewed were worth<br>more than $ 766 million, but said none of the principal agencies responsible for Iraq reconstruction had<br>complete data on their security costs.<br>Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association, a Washington-based trade<br>group, estimated that the roughly 100 companies providing support to the military in Iraq are making a<br>total of about $ 20 billion a year. He said some $ 2 billion of that goes to companies, such as Olive, that<br>strictly provide security. Olive Group pulled in more than $ 100 million of it last year — not bad for a<br>company in business only since 2001, Brosnan said.<br>QUIET NEIGHBOR The stocky New Zealander, who sports a mustache as thick as his Kiwi accent,<br>founded the Marion training center 15 years ago, as the Tactical Explosive Entry School. The center<br>occupied only 16 acres and was training SWAT teams and military special-operations personnel when<br>Olive bought it last fall for an undisclosed price. Olive also opened a Washington, D. C., office to help<br>establish a U. S. beachhead for operations that span six continents. The company, which maintains its<br>headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates may not be as well-known as its main U. S. competitor,<br>North Carolinabased Blackwater USA. But, internationally, Olive is one of the largest in the business,<br>touting a client list that includes major multinational corporations in mining, banking, communication<br>and other industries.<br>In Marion, the company quickly acquired 700 acres around the original 16, and is negotiating for 300<br>more. Its facility, which has been renamed Olive Security Training Center, is about four miles from the<br>location identified for a potential Hino Motors commercial-truck plant.<br>“I think people are vaguely aware it’s there,” said Kay Brockwell, economic-development director for<br>Marion, who worked to recruit Hino but said she knew little about the training center. “It’s in an area<br>that’s off the beaten path. Unless you’re going there, you wouldn’t see it.”<br>But the frames of bulletproof shoot houses, firing ranges and other structures are rising on the site. And<br>Olive has already christened the 2-mile track where drivers will learn to shoot guns out car windows,<br>ram enemy vehicles and dodge obstacles such as simulated rocket-propelled grenades and improvised<br>explosive devices.<br>DRIVING AND SHOOTING Alan Minnick, training manager for the driving courses, floored the<br>accelerator, rocketing backward in his police-package Ford as if to escape an unexpected roadblock.<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> (2 of 4)23/02/2006 16:10:16<br><br><br>Suddenly, he slammed on the brakes and wrenched the wheel. The squealing Crown Victoria pivoted<br>sharply and kept going in the same direction — only now pointed forward. A staple of action-adventure<br>movies, Minnick’s “J” turn would appear to be the gut course in the driving curriculum. “Another<br>important, extremely marketable feature is being able to drive and shoot,” the instructor said matter-offactly.<br>Trainees will fire at targets while speeding over a course with a straight-away long enough to hit<br>115 mph in a standard police sedan. But drivers will have to negotiate surprises, such as “off-camber”<br>curves — banked in the wrong direction — and “decreasing-radius” curves that begin gently only to<br>bend sharply at the apex. “This is reality when you get to Third World countries where they don’t really<br>have highway departments,” Minnick said. On a skid pad, drivers will create and correct skids. They<br>will learn to ram enemy cars in such a way that they can break the opposing driver’s axle without<br>disabling their own vehicles. “We tear up some cars in the name of training,” Minnick said. Hidden<br>behind berms in the infield, Minnick can deploy attack vehicles and burning vehicles as part of driving<br>scenarios. The training center plans to combine the work on the track with exercises in the bulletproof<br>“shoot houses” and “breach houses” under construction nearby. There is a school bus for hostage<br>scenarios. Plans call for a model ship for maritime exercises. An existing airstrip — once used by a crop<br>duster — will accommodate landings. But the hub of all operations will be the mock city.<br><br>MEETING A NEED Conducting a military-style briefing in one of the classrooms on site, Brosnan<br>crisply described details of the fullscale streetscape as electric guitars wailed a Sammy Hagar soundtrack<br>and a computer model flashed highlights: a peddler’s cart, a tower, stairwells leading to the rooftops of<br>buildings as tall as four stories.<br>The details are authentic down to the curbs, Brosnan said. The mock city is an extract of Fallujah<br>flavored with architectural impressions that military personnel now working for Olive brought back<br>from other Middle Eastern trouble spots.<br>Burning cars and role players wearing Middle Eastern garb will animate the set.<br>The bullets whizzing in the mock city will be real, as will the explosions. But Brosnan said not to worry:<br>“We don’t set up mininukes here. This is small, surgical stuff.”<br>Gary Laing, vice president of operations, said private versions of such urban-training villages — called<br>“MOUT” sites for Military Operations on Urban Terrain — are in demand partly because the military’s<br>own training facilities are stretched to capacity. “We see the opportunity to provide a service,” he said.<br>The military has its own mock villages on Army and Marine bases, but private companies can win<br>contracts with specialized training that complements what the military does, Laing said. For instance, he<br>said, the military farms out a lot of its specialized driver training. In a recent press release, Olive touted<br>its planned Arkansas center, saying it will be larger than similar training sites on U. S. military bases,<br>and the first to replicate building types and logistical layouts found in the Middle East.<br>AFTER IRAQ ? But people in the business acknowledge demand will fall off when the U. S. pulls out of<br>Iraq. “One of the reasons we came to the States is to diversify, and not be reliant on Iraq as a source of<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> (3 of 4)23/02/2006 16:10:16<br><br><br>funding, because — let’s face it — eventually that has to go away,” said Mike Smith, senior vice<br>president in Olive’s new Washington office.<br>Olive recently won its first U. S. government contract — as a subcontractor to Bechtel Corp. providing<br>security along the Gulf Coast. But the company’s big play in the U. S. is training, said Smith, who like<br>many Olive employees signed on after a stint in the U. S. Special Forces. “They’re outsourcing more of<br>their training — the facilities and instructors,” he said. The military’s own expansion plans eventually<br>may shrink the need for private contractors, however.<br>In Twentynine Palms, Calif., the Marines are building a huge urban-combat center that the February<br>edition of National Defense magazine said may be the biggest in the world. The Marine center, in the<br>Mojave Desert, ultimately will consist of several complexes of buildings all modeled after Iraqi towns<br>and villages.<br>Susan Horsfall, whose California-based Allied Container Systems got the contract to build a 22-squareblock<br>facility on the site last summer, said government purchases of Allied’s steel containers for such<br>training grounds have grown to represent most of her company’s business over the past year.<br>“It’s because of all the new wars we’re having, unfortunately, including the war on terrorism,” Horsfall<br>said. “They’re not being fought on historic-type battlefields. They’re being fought in cities.”<br>Laing said most urban warfare training sites around the country are outdated, however, and the number<br>of soldiers needing the training is still high. He said Olive also hopes its expansion of the Marion<br>training center will build more business with police agencies and attract a corporate clientele that it<br>hasn’t had before.<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> (4 of 4)23/02/2006 16:10:16 <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=>OnoI812</A> at: 5/22/06 6:18 pm<br></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries

Postby OnoI812 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:43 pm

Guardian Sport Pages<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The six-billion dollar sports security industry: Today industry experts and technology firms are gathering in London to discuss global sports events.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br> Andrew Culf<br>19 January 2006<br>The Guardian<br><br>Every year it is estimated that organisers of sports events around the world spend upwards of $2bn (pounds 1.1bn) on security. Two years ago the figure reached $6bn, a record produced in the wake of heightened global terrorism fears and the blanket security required by the Athens Olympics and Euro 2004.<br>Today some 200 practitioners will gather for the second International Sports Security Summit at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. As well as being a talking shop for those with experience of masterminding security at the Olympics, providing VIP protection and gathering intelligence, the conference will provide a showcase for the latest technological innovations.<br>Nigel Rushman, managing director of Rushmans, the security consultancy firm and summit organisers, said: "For obvious reasons, security is a growth industry, but the security industry has not yet woken up to how big sports business is and how important the mass gatherings of people at major sporting events are."<br>Kevin Roberts, editor of SportBusiness International, agreed. "The threat has not gone away," he said. "Big sports events are becoming more and more global, with a huge number of viewers. Individual athletes have a higher profile. These events provide a global platform for anyone with an axe to grind."<br>Sport received its wake-up call at the 1972 Munich Olympics, when Palestinian terrorists were responsible for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes after they were taken hostage in the Olympic village and died in a shoot-out during a bungled rescue attempt at a German airbase. "This is the clearest example of the way terrorists seized on a sporting event," Roberts added, "and it highlighted the authorities' lack of readiness to deal with it."<br>Ensuring the safety of competitors and spectators is the primary objective of all event organisers and today's summit will examine the increasingly sophisticated methods that are being used for assessing threat and risk, developing effective security strategies and coordinating agencies including police, government departments and safety officials.<br>The Athens Olympics passed off without any significant security breach - but that, say experts, was the result of the most complex, exhaustive and costly intelligence and security operation yet mounted. The bill spiralled to $4bn, and included Nato policing a "no-fly-zone", US battleships offshore and underwater sweeps of the harbour. Russian officials were consulted about the tactics of Chechen fighters and Israeli experts gave organisers information on suicide bombers.<br>With London six years away from staging the Olympics, security at the Games will become an increasingly significant issue for Lord Coe and the organising committee. In its bid London allocated more than pounds 200m for security but that is expected to rise, particularly after the terrorist attacks in the capital in July. Coe has already indicated that security underpins every aspect of London 2012.<br>Dr Peter Ryan of Boartes Consulting will give a keynote address today, drawing on his experience as principal security adviser for the Sydney and Athens Games. He was a senior police officer in Britain before becoming commissioner of police in New South Wales, Australia. Ryan is also advising Turin for next month's Winter Olympics and Beijing for the 2008 Games and his expertise is almost certain to be used by London.<br>According to Roberts, London already has advantages: "London is very much a 52-weeks-a-year sports city. Few cities in the world have five or six big professional football games played each weekend, which might coincide with a rugby international and other big events. It has to be helpful that the Metropolitan Police and London 2012 have worked in an environment where security [is] already uppermost in their minds."<br>While terrorism will preoccupy many at the summit, it will not be the only key issue. An examination of the risks faced by sports personalities and their dependants will be given by Richard Knowlton, senior vice-president of the Olive Group, the global security company responsible for the safety of England's cricketers, officials and staff during the recent tour of Pakistan. "There is a concern in sport that<br>athletes are a very valuable commodity and considerable targets," Roberts confirmed. "It is an increasingly important issue."<br>Rory Steyn, security adviser to the 2007 Cricket World Cup who led Nelson Mandela's close protection unit, said the value of the summit was to share expertise. "It is an opportunity to pool knowledge across a section of law enforcement agencies, private security companies and public safety officials."<br>Steyn has the logistical headache of advising on security across nine sovereign countries when the West Indies host the tournament. "There are five currencies, nine telecom providers, nine very autonomous commissioners of police and nine legal jurisdictions," he said. "Cricket supporters are largely different from football supporters - cricket is seven hours in the sun, football lasts 90 minutes. The whole world has learnt an immense amount on safety of football matches from Britain, post-Hillsborough, and matches are superbly stewarded. But how do I apply that to the Cricket World Cup, where everything is uniquely Caribbean? But it is a world tournament and it has to adopt best world practices."<br>Twenty exhibitors, including firms such as Motorola, Siemens and Bosch will also attend the summit, a reflection of the importance of technology to event organisers. Rushmans, one of the acknowledged leaders in accreditation, will show how biometrics can be used to improve security and Elmo-Tech will demonstrate how voice-recognition techniques can be used to prevent supporters breaching banning orders at the World Cup. "Any technology that can be employed can make security more efficient and cost savings can be applied," said Rushman, who will address the conference on the cost implications for event organisers. "There is a huge opportunity for the security industry to engage with the sports world."<br>Police monitor the Waldstadion in Frankfurt prior to a match during the 2005 Confederations Cup using the cutting-edge technology now available to security professionals Torsten Silz/AFP <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries

Postby OnoI812 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:46 pm

<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Security Firms Try To Evolve Beyond The Battlefield</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>By Renae MerleWashington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, January 17, 2006; Page D01<br><br>After building a business defending high-ranking officials in Iraq, Blackwater USA executives think the future may be hovering above the battlefield.<br><br>The North Carolina company is developing an airship -- think Goodyear blimp -- loaded with sensors and surveillance cameras that can quickly relay information about the ground below to clients miles away. "If bad guys are setting up IEDs on the side of the road, we can see real-time what's going on," said Chris Taylor, Blackwater's vice president for strategic initiatives, referring to improvised explosive devices, which have proved deadly against U.S. troops in Iraq.<br>Blackwater's rendering of one of its new battlefield airships. (Blackwater Usa)<br><br>The company's first airship should be ready by the end of the year, he said, though it doesn't have any customers lined up.<br>Blackwater's move is only the most dramatic of the diversification plans private security companies are undertaking. The industry grew rapidly when the government and corporations paid hundreds of millions of dollars for armed guards after Sept. 11, 2001, and the invasion of Iraq. Private guards' unprecedented numbers in Iraq have raised questions about how they should interact with the military and prompted calls for more regulation of the industry.<br>Now many industry insiders reason that demand for private security in Iraq will begin to decline, and they want to expand beyond just toting guns.<br>Herndon-based Triple Canopy Inc., which has about 1,000 employees in Iraq and won part of a State Department contract last year to guard high-risk embassies, has branched out from government work and begun advising commercial clients about potential threats to their office buildings.<br>Nevada-based Special Operations Consulting LLC, founded in 2003, initially built a 100-acre training facility to use for its growing ranks of Iraq-bound guards but began opening it up to competitors that needed sniper training required by the Department of State, as well as U.S. and foreign units in need of the specialized training.<br>Olive Group FZ LLC, a United Arab Emirates-based company with a new office in the District, is selling global positioning systems to clients that want to guard their employees against kidnappings.<br>Some boutique security providers are even buying interest in body armor makers, said Doug Brooks, president of International Peace Operations Association, a trade group for the industry.<br>Most of the private security companies are privately held, though DynCorp International LLC, owned by Veritas Capital Fund LP, is planning to sell stock to the public. DynCorp, which has provided security to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, received about 37 percent of its $1.9 billion in revenue in fiscal 2005 from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.<br>Blackwater, which also makes targets for gun ranges and runs a construction company, has been around since 1997. It didn't become a national name until 2004, when four of its employees were ambushed and brutally killed in Iraq. Now it is entering the crowded field of unmanned aerial vehicles.<br>The U.S. military already has 1,000 drones patrolling the skies of Iraq, some armed with missiles, said Kathy Ellwood, an analyst for Frost & Sullivan Inc., a research group. But airships are a burgeoning market, she said. As the price of unmanned drones, which range in size from a large textbook to a small plane, continues to rise, some military experts see airships as a cheap alternative, she said.<br>Blackwater's 120-foot-long airship could be deployed quickly and stay in the air for four days, while most unmanned drones can last up to only 16 hours, Taylor said. "Because of our experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, we realize the value" of having a better view of the battlefield, he said. "It offers an opportunity to see down the road a little further and around the next bend."<br>Triple Canopy, formed in 2003 by military veterans, has made several changes in recent months. It named a new president, Roger A. Young, a former senior executive at Maximus Inc., and established a strategic advisory board, which includes Catherine Yoran, a former assistant general counsel at the CIA. It also unveiled a new strategic plan, which includes expanding its training facility in West Virginia, traditionally used for its own employees.<br>There has been increasing demand for special training for local law enforcement, said Lee Van Arsdale, chief executive of Triple Canopy. "The first responder has to think in such broader terms now -- you're talking about response to a chemical attack, high explosives, the prevention-and-detection aspect," he said. The firm also acquired a training company in Texas for potential clients in the Midwest and is looking for a facility on the West Coast.<br>Triple Canopy has also begun offering vulnerability assessments to commercial companies, he said. And by 2008, the company forecasts, 30 percent of its revenue will be from commercial business, Van Arsdale added, compared with less than 5 percent now.<br>"We have been wildly successful with what we have done in Iraq, but that is a completely dynamic environment, and we're not going to pin our company's future on always having a lot of work in Iraq," he said. "It would be foolish of us to be a one-dimension company."<br>Olive Group has begun selling GPS it initially developed to track employees and equipment because of demand among clients that wanted to defend employees against kidnappings, said Christopher St. George, the company's managing director.<br>Founded by four former members of the British army in 2003, Olive has about $100 million a year in revenue, he said. It recently set up a North American business unit with a D.C. office and bought the Tactical Explosive Entry School. That company's 700 acres of farmland in Arkansas will be the site of Olive's new training center for law enforcement, military officials, nongovernmental organizations and corporations. The center will include an urban village based on Middle Eastern architecture, including an open market, government buildings and a school.<br>"If or when the bubble in Iraq bursts, we would feel comfortable and have a number of other service offerings," St. George said. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries

Postby OnoI812 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:53 pm

GLOBAL EXPERTS LEAD VIP AND CLOSE PROTECTION SESSION<br>AT INTERNATIONAL SPORTS SECURITY SUMMIT<br>PREMIER PARTNERS<br>MEDIA PARTNERS<br>London, 4th January, 2006 <br>- Two of the world’s leading experts in VIP protection will deliver unique insights into the response to the ever-changing threat to leading sportsmen and teams during a key session at the second International Sports Security Summit at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on January 19 and 20.<br>Richard Knowlton, senior vice president of Olive Group, the global security company responsible for the safety of England’s cricketers, officials and support staff during their recent tour of Pakistan, will examine the role of intelligence and risk assessments in providing security measures commensurate with the risk to the sports personality and their dependents. He will also review case studies of recent attacks on high visibility sports personalities against the intelligence and risk assessment methodology and draw out the lessons from these incidents.<br>Richard Knowlton joined Olive Group in October 2005 to lead the expansion of the company's risk intelligence and assessment business. He had previously spent 32 years as a member of the British Foreign Service, with extensive experience in senior positions in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.<br>His contribution will be complemented by Bob Nicholls, director of South Africa based Nicholls Steyn & Associates which has handled VIP and specialist protection at a<br>PREMIER PARTNERS<br>MEDIA PARTNERS<br>range of major international events around the world and for touring sports teams in southern Africa and the Asian sub-continent.<br>He has numerous instructor qualifications, has been involved in the training of protection personnel for a wide range of organisations and was appointed as the first civilian consultant to the South African Police Services during the restructuring of their VIP Protection Unit after democracy in 1994. Bob headed the security inspection and protection operation for the first cricket tour to Pakistan after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan had caused a two-year cessation of cricket tours to that country.<br>The session will be among the highlights of a summit which brings together many of the thought-leaders in global sports security.<br>The Summit’s speaker line up also includes many of the leading practitioners in sports security and those whose experience and insight shapes strategy and determines the procurement requirements for sports events ranging from domestic competitions to world championships.<br>Peter Ryan, who masterminded security at the Sydney Olympic Games of 2000 and is the International Olympic Committee’s retained security consultant heads a list of speakers which also includes representatives of the United Nations, FIFA, UEFA, the ICC Cricket World Cup, the State of Mississippi Department of Homeland Security, the University of Mississippi and a range of police and intelligence services as well as sports federations and risk sector specialists.<br>Building on the success of the inaugural event in London last year, International Sports Security Summit ’06 is the most comprehensive and authoritative event ever staged for professionals in sports security and those whose technology, systems and services are designed to ensure they succeed in an increasingly challenging and complex task.<br>PREMIER PARTNERS<br>MEDIA PARTNERS<br>International Sports Security Summit ’06 will focus on the continuing security challenges facing event owners, managers, promoters and their partners and associates in local and national government and the intelligence and security services.<br>The International Sports Security Summit is presented by Rushmans and partnered by SportBusiness International, the leading magazine serving the global sports sector.<br>Complimenting the conference will be a select exhibition of leading-edge products and services designed to play critical roles in the battle to ensure the security of the millions of athletes, officials and spectators who attend sports events each year.<br>Details of the Summit programme, speakers, booking and exhibition opportunities can be found at press information from:<br>Kevin Roberts on +44 (0) 1264 852017<br>Note to editors:<br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Olive Group offers a diverse portfolio of security services and cutting edge technology solutions to meet the growing risks, threats and challenges facing businesses, governments and individuals in this highly dynamic and rapidly changing world. The use of the diverse portfolio of services and technological solutions allows Olive to provide bespoke and cost effective security and risk mitigation solutions enabling their clients to succeed commercially, responsibly and ethically. All media enquiries to Mark Harris of Burson-Marsteller on +44 (0) 20 7300 6292 or<br>Nicholls Steyn & Associates offer permanent, temporary and specialised services and utilise the skills of top-quality personnel to ensure protection of the highest calibre. These qualified and experienced individuals understand the discretion and privacy required by our varied client base, which includes Heads of State, royalty, business executives, political figures, key industry personnel, sport personalities and celebrities.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries w/explosives caught in Iraq

Postby OnoI812 » Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:41 pm

<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>American security contractor briefly held in Iraq</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br>Tue Mar 14, 11:45 AM ET <br><br>Iraqi police detained an American private security contractor working at a U.S. military base in northern Iraq for several hours on Tuesday, a U.S. military spokesman said.<br>The spokesman said the man was arrested at a checkpoint in the northern town of Tikrit. He denied initial reports that explosives were found in the car, but said two AK-47 assault rifles were in the vehicle.<br><br>"He was picked up by Iraqi police after being detained at a checkpoint in Tikrit," the spokesman said, adding police later released him. "We are looking at why he left the base unescorted."<br><br>Abdullah Jebara, deputy governor of Salahaddin province, earlier told Reuters the man was arrested in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on Monday and that U.S. forces removed him from the provincial government building on Tuesday.<br><br>The man was stopped by police for violating a daytime curfew in Tikrit, a security source said. American security personnel rarely travel alone.<br><br>A spokesman for the major crimes unit in Tikrit said he was first brought to their headquarters but they refused to take him into custody, adding police were told to take the man to the provincial council building. <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>American arrested with weapons in Iraq-official</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An American described as a security contractor has been arrested by police in a northern Iraqi town with weapons in his car, said a provincial official.<br><br>Abdullah Jebara, the Deputy Governor of Salahaddin province, told Reuters the man was arrested in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on Monday.<br><br>The Joint Coordination Center between the U.S. and Iraqi military in Tikrit said the man it described as a security contractor working for a private company, possessed explosives which were found in his car. It said he was arrested on Tuesday.<br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=>OnoI812</A> at: 3/15/06 12:09 am<br></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries- Dyncorp to wear deputy uniforms

Postby OnoI812 » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:16 pm

<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>in St Bernard Parish</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Storm-battered parish considers hired guns<br>Contractors in Louisiana would make arrests, carry weapons</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>By Renae Merle<br>The Washington Post<br>Updated: 1:06 a.m. ET March 14, 2006<br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. - Maj. Pete Tufaro scanned the fenced lot packed with hundreds of stark white trailers soon to be inhabited by Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Shaking his head, he predicted the cramped quarters would ignite fights, hide criminals and become an incubator for crime, posing another test for his cash-strapped sheriff's department, which furloughed 206 of its 390 officers after the storm.<br><br>Tufaro thinks the parish has the solution: DynCorp International LLC, the Texas company that provided personal security to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is one of the largest security contractors in Iraq. If the Federal Emergency Management Agency approves the sheriff's department's proposal, which would cost $70 million over three years, up to 100 DynCorp employees would be deputized to be make arrests, carry weapons, and dress in the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Department khaki and black uniforms.<br><br><!--EZCODE UNDERLINE START--><span style="text-decoration:underline">"You wouldn't be able to tell the difference between us and them,"</span><!--EZCODE UNDERLINE END--> said Tufaro, who developed the proposal.<br><br>But while the plan is for the DynCorp employees to eat and live with the other deputies in the same trailer camp, the hired guns would earn "significantly more" than the $18,000 annual salary of an entry-level deputy and the $30,000-a-year salary of a seasoned officer.<br><br>For DynCorp and other private security companies, the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, like Iraq, is a land of opportunity. Hired shortly after the storm to protect several New Orleans hospitals, its first domestic security job, the Texas firm has earned about $14 million from work in the Gulf Coast since Katrina, not all of which has involved security.<br><br>Blackwater USA, which protected the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and lost four employees in a brutal ambush in Fallujah in 2004, earned about $42 million through the end of December on a contract with Federal Protective Service, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, to provide security to FEMA sites. Most of the 330 contract guards now working in Louisiana are employed by the company.<br><br>The Homeland Security Department's Inspector General said the company's costs in its FEMA contract -- it earns $950 a day for each employee -- were "clearly very high," and it expressed hope that competition would lower them. But costs are not the only concerns raised by critics of the companies.<br><br>"Katrina broke all of the rules. It was the first time you had the deployment of armed private security contractors in the U.S.," said Peter W. Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of "Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry."<br><br>Pay differences<br>Singer said the proposed contract with DynCorp raises a number of questions, including whether the DynCorp officers will be properly supervised, whether the pay difference will cause tension in the sheriff's department and whether it suggests that even government jobs that assume a level of public service can be done by private corporations.<br><br>Danielle Brian, executive director of Project on Government Oversight, a government watchdog group, said that instead of using the money to hire contractors, the sheriff's department in St. Bernard should invest in training more officers or try to rehire those they furloughed. "Our law enforcement system is based on public service employees and not private contractors pretending to be law enforcement," Brian said.<br><br>Greg Lagana, a DynCorp spokesman, said companies like his with experience in security and logistics have a lot to offer government agencies in emergency situations. "We do a lot of work for government that the government finds, for its own reasons, more convenient or more economical to contract out," he said. "Sometimes it's more efficiently done by the private sector. We don't make those determinations; they do. If there is work we can do, we'll do it."<br><br>To Tufaro and other law enforcement officials, St. Bernard Parish is facing an emergency. Money dried up so fast after Katrina hit that Sheriff Jack Stephens, an imposing, 6-foot-4-inch New Orleans native, took out a loan of more than $4 million on behalf of the department, which he says he would be held personally responsible for if he left office before its repayment. "It is what I had to do," he said.<br><br>Besides being nearly broke, the department has a host of new challenges. The FBI has warned that gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, could come attached to construction crews and establish operations, prompting the department to establish a strike team that has already arrested eight alleged members, police officials said.<br><br>Before the storm, the department tangled with "local toughs, slinging dope," not sophisticated international gangs, Stephens said. Added James Bernazzani, the FBI's special agent in charge in the region: "We would be naive to think that this being perhaps the largest construction boom for a region for a long, long time, we're talking eight to 10 years, that they might not try to take advantage of the situation."<br><br>The officers have also been turned into part-time psychologists as they deal with the 5,000 or so residents who did not leave the parish. There was recently a standoff with a man who threatened to shoot himself unless he spoke to a FEMA representative and another in which someone chained himself to a trailer. There have been five suicides since the storm, compared with one every other year before, they said. "I think that kind of thing will just increase as time goes on," Capt. Darlene Poche said, noting that a traffic stop can turn into an hour-long conversation. "Everybody wants to tell you their story."<br><br>Stretched thin, the department is ready to turn to private contractors to head off what it fears will be an increase in crime as construction in the parish booms and residents adjust to life in cramped trailers.<br><br>"We can hold our own with what we have now, but we're going to be seriously challenged when construction workers begin to arrive," Tufaro said. "The crime wave is knocking on our door."<br><br>Military manner<br>Wearing black polo shirts and khaki pants and carrying pistols, more than a dozen Blackwater employees now patrol FEMA's disaster-assistance center in a Wal-Mart parking lot.<br><br>Their strict style -- "no, sir," for example, instead of "How you boys doing?" -- has come to irritate St. Bernard Homeland Security Director Larry Ingargiola. "They're a little sterner, more military-type" than people from Louisiana, said Ingargiola, recounting how he has been denied entry to several FEMA sites.<br><br>But the sheriff's department has no problems with them. Three Blackwater guards working with FEMA helped patrol a security checkpoint with the deputies, and when the department got a call about a bar fight nearby that could involve a gun, some of the contractors came along to help, said Lt. Jefferson Lee, a 21-year veteran of the department. "They were making $300 a day, but those guys had my back."<br><br>The proposal to work with DynCorp would be a more permanent solution, lasting up to three years. Under the plan, DynCorp employees working for the sheriff's department would take over security at several FEMA trailer sites and establish three highway checkpoints. The DynCorp guards would report directly to a sheriff's deputy, who would be on site to supervise them, said Tufaro.<br><br>The department did not hold a competition before recommending DynCorp for the work but would consider other contactors if FEMA recommended it, said Tufaro. The department thinks DynCorp is the cheapest alternative, noting that it would charge less than $700 per day, compared with the $950 a day charged by Blackwater, he said.<br><br>‘I could use a job’<br>But DynCorp also had an early advantage. The company designed the sheriff's department's trailer camp, a few miles from its former headquarters, under a sole-source contract. The camp houses offices and the deputies, many of whom expect to live there for years.<br><br>The DynCorp employees would be phased out as the parish returned to normal and the department's tax base was restored by the return of businesses and residents, law enforcement officials said.<br><br>It may not be soon enough for residents such as Jefferson Mauve. Standing inside FEMA's disaster-assistance center, Mauve looked for shade as he waited to collect food to take back to a tent he and his family set up in their backyard. His position as a chiropractic assistant washed away with the storm, and when he heard the sheriff's department was shorthanded, he immediately perked up. "I could use a job," Mauve said. "Then, maybe, I could get out of here."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br><br>URL: <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>So just so you have it all straight.<br>The same people caught in 2000 for transporting 200,000 white slaves for the UN, will now be impersonating, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong><!--EZCODE UNDERLINE START--><span style="text-decoration:underline">ELECTED</span><!--EZCODE UNDERLINE END--></strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>Sheriff office personell. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=>OnoI812</A> at: 3/15/06 12:27 pm<br></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:21 pm

(Pre-invasion of Iraq article. Some good background.)<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The war on terrorism is the full employment act for these guys," </strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->said Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency spokesman D. B. Des Roches. A little-known but increasingly essential addition to the modern battlefield, the firms, studded with retired American generals, have been training the world's more ragtag armies since the 1970s when a group of Vietnam veterans discovered that there was money to be made marketing military expertise and sold Saudi Arabia on a plan to teach its army how to guard its oil fields.<br>Business has burgeoned in the messy post-Cold War world. The firms, modern-day mercenary companies armed with Powerpoint presentations instead of weapons, operate today in more than 40 countries, often under contract to the U. S. govt. For the Pentagon, with one-third fewer soldiers than a decade ago but a growing number of entanglements in unlikely places, hiring out foreign armies' training has become indispensable. Every U. S. military operation in the post-Cold War era has involved significant levels of support from private military firms, from the Persian Gulf to Somalia, Zaire, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Croatia. But the industry has met with growing criticism by military experts who charge that the firms work with little oversight and less accountability, particularly when hired by foreign govts.<br><br>Plans to use the firms in Afghanistan are still preliminary. Although training of an Afghan military force has begun, there is no timetable for turning the task over to contractors. With Afghanistan still volatile, Pentagon officials are grappling with just how private trainers, who typically do not carry weapons, should be employed. Since 9.11.01 and Pentagon's launch of the war on terrorism, stock prices of the publicly traded contractors have soared. Already, trainers from private military companies are in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where Al Qaeda operatives are believed to be hiding. Executives of several private military companies have met with Pentagon officials about training other armies in Central Asia. "A lot of people have said, 'Ding ding ding, gravy train,' " Des Roches said. "But in point of fact, it makes sense. They're probably better at doing these sorts of missions than anyone else I could think of."<br>Boasts MPRI executive retired Army Lt. Gen. Harry E. Soyster, most prominent of the private contractors: "We've got more generals per square foot here than in the Pentagon." Although the most successful of the U. S. firms carefully screen their employees, prohibit them from carrying arms and generally reject contracts with govts the U.S. considers unsavory, they operate in a world populated by a darker breed of ex-soldiers who serve as guns for hire to thugs throughout the world. Competing military companies in Britain & S.Africa have hired out their employees as combatants in Angola & Sierra Leone. Employees of the U. S. companies sometimes take up weapons themselves, employees of the firms say.<br><br>"We're talking about places where the govts have very little control over their territory . . . where our govt has no control over what these firms tell the sometimes very questionable people they work for about how to fight," said, George Washington Univ. political science prof. Deborah Avant, authority on the the private sector role in war.<br>"The more we put these people in riskier areas, the more they have to make these judgments on their own." The U.S. based companies say their goals dovetail with a long-held U. S. policy of encouraging military-to-military ties worldwide in the hope that professional armies can help stabilize fragile democracies.<br>[ PMC outsourcing is corporate welfare, not defense of democracy. ]<br><br>MPRI, founded in 1988 by former Army Chief of Staff Carl Vuono & 7 other retired generals, has trained militaries throughout the world under contract to the Pentagon. It counts 20 former senior military officers on its board of directors. The firm operates from a bland office building in Alexandria, VA., its halls as hushed as an insurance firm. Decor betrays its founders' tough credentials . A statue of a knight in armor stands in a corner of the lobby. MPRI's emblem is an unsheathed sword.<br>"These guys are not about to destroy reputations they've spent 30 years building just for a buck," said Soyster, who once headed the Defense Intelligence Agency.<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> "We go someplace because we are either sent there by the U. S. govt or we're contracted by another govt. We do it for the money, I'm not ashamed to say. But we do it right."<br>The financial rewards presumably beat Pentagon salaries. Since 9.11.01, per-share price of stock in L3 Communications, which owns MPRI, has more than doubled. The top 5 executives at Science Applications Intl Corp. of San Diego made between $825,000 and $1.8 million in salaries in 2001, and each held more than $1.5 million worth of stock options.<br><br>Revenues from the global international security market, of which the firms are a part, are expected to rise from $55.6 billion in 1990 to $202 billion in 2010, according to a 1997 study by Equitable Services Corp., security industry analyst. Renting trained killers dates back hundreds of years; privately recruited regiments were common in the U. S. Civil War. But selling military expertise has roots in Vietnam, when commercial teams funded by the Pentagon provided military & police training to South Vietnamese forces.<br>In 1975, McLean, VA based Vinnell Corp. won a $77-million contract to train Saudi Arabian infantry & artillery battalions to defend oil fields. It was the first time American civilians were permitted to sell military training directly to a foreign military. The job was controversial, and Senate Democrats held hearings. But the contract stuck. Other similar firms began to emerge.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> End of cold war led to dramatic growth. Suddenly, there was a pool of skilled former officers, some from Special Forces units, eager to sell the expertise they had developed as relatively low-paid soldiers. They found a ready market at the Pentagon, and in dozens of countries in Africa, Asia and the former Soviet sphere eager to professionalize their militaries.<br><br>The major U. S. firms in the field include MPRI, Vinnell, BDM International Inc. of Fairfax, Va., Armor Holdings Inc. of Jacksonville FL.; DynCorp of Reston, Va., and SAIC. Armor Holdings was among Fortune magazine's 100 fastest-growing companies in 1999 and 2000, one of the few firms on the list not related to technology. The people they hire are hardly soldiers of fortune. They are generally former military officers with 20 to 30 years of experience, generously pensioned retirees for whom the money is just part of the allure.<br><br>Many describe their work as public service, a way to practice military diplomacy. Often they freelance, taking on contracts that send them abroad for a year or so. They train armies how to use such complex hardware as armored personnel carriers, surface-to-air missiles, shoulder-fired antitank missiles, ships and aircraft, and other equipt typically sold to foreign armies by U.S.. They prep officers in military strategy, run battle simulation centers, and have helped support peacekeeping efforts in troubled regions under contract to the Pentagon & State Dept.<br><br>MPRI has trained military forces in dozens of countries, including Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Colombia. DynCorp trained the Haitian police force after the 1994 U. S. intervention in the island nation. MPRI & several other firms, under contract to the State Dept, established the African Ctr for Strategic Studies to teach fledgling democracies how to run professional armies. French Foreign Legion they are not. "One leitmotif of the business is how boring the individual jobs can be on almost all of the contracts that the big U. S. firms have. It is like being in the peacetime Army, Navy or Air Force," said one Special Forces former member, airborne infantry who for more than 2 decades has trained foreign militaries in Indochina & the MidEast. "I'm not a mercenary," this trainer said. "I like excitement, but I have to be on the side of angels. Do not look for me to look for excitement [by] working on the side of vicious people."<br><br>But even the most polished of the firms have blemished histories. Employees of DynCorp were fired after being accused 2 years ago of keeping Bosnian women as concubines. Companies hired by the CIA in the 1980s trained foreign fighters later charged with atrocities in El Salvador and Honduras. When the firms are hired by the Pentagon or State Dept, as they would be in Afghanistan, their work is audited and sometimes supervised by U.S. military personnel, a process the State Dept says helps prevent abuse. But when they sell their services directly to other countries, there are minimal controls.<br>The only U. S. regulation of such foreign contracts is through the State Dept, which issues export licenses under the Arms Export Control Act. The law regulates the sale of military services just as it does the export of a crate of guns.<br><br>The dept reviews applications to ensure that no sales are made or services performed that would "undercut U. S. interests," spokesman Jason Greer said. The firms say this prevents them from working with govts that the U. S. disapproves of. When MPRI tried to get a license to train the Angolan army in 1994, for example, the State Dept turned it down.<br><br>But Congress is notified only of contracts worth more than $50 million. Sometimes there are conflicting views of what is in the U. S. interest. Once a license is granted, there are no reporting requirements or oversight of work that typically lasts years and takes the firms' employees to remote, lawless areas. In 1998, MPRI applied for a license to help the govt of Equatorial Guinea build its coast guard. The tiny African country is run by a military dictator who has been implicated in human rights abuses. It has no U. S. Embassy. The contract was initially rejected by 2 State Dept desks, according to a dept official & Soyster. But the decision was reversed 2 years later after MPRI lobbyists argued that if it was not allowed to do the job, a competitor from another country would.<br>"There are people who think you should not help people, that they don't deserve to be helped, even though they want to make a change," Soyster said. "We say, don't let past mistakes get in the way of doing something that should be done today." Even when doing the job they describe, the firms' role is sometimes cloudy. In 1995, during a UN embargo on arms sales to Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia, MPRI persuaded the State Dept to grant it a license to train Croatia's military, pledging that it would teach only leadership skills, budgeting and military ethics. When the Croatian military, in a highly effective offensive called Operation Storm, captured the Serb-held Krajina enclave later that year, there were suspicions that MPRI instructors must have been directly involved. The operation played a key role in reversing the tide of war against the Serbs and, consistent with American policy, in bringing both sides to the negotiating table. But the same Croatian military was subsequently implicated in uprooting more than 150,000 Serbs from their homes.<br><br>The company denies that its employees played any direct role in the Croatian army's sudden transformation into an effective fighting force. "I can assure you if we had the capability to train an army in a month to turn it around that fast, I wouldn't be talking to you, I'd be flying you over to the Riviera on the way to see it for yourself," Soyster said. "If we could do that to Croatia, we could straighten out Afghanistan in a couple of months." But critics charge that the help MPRI provided the Croatians may have allowed the U. S. to secretly influence events in the war while maintaining its neutral posture and without sending U. S. troops, advisors or trainers.<br>"MPRI had all these different meetings with top Croatian defense officials right before the offensive. It's inconceivable that they did not have some kind of impact," said one military analyst who has followed the company's involvement in the Balkans. "It was followed by massive ethnic cleansing. Now, had American troops been on the ground, we would have been held accountable for that. The fact that it was a private company made the connection a lot less clear." The line between training foreign troops and fighting with them sometimes blurs.<br><br>When Saddam Hussein's army invaded the Saudi Arabian border town of Khafji in February 1991, Vinnell employees accompanied Saudi national guard units into combat, according to 2 employees of Vinnell and an employee of another private military company who was in Saudi Arabia at the time. The Vinnell employees had been stationed in the region to instruct Saudi soldiers in operating heavy weapons systems. "Their job was to teach those guys, not to fight with them, but sure, the Vinnell instructors accompanied those units into combat," an employee who witnessed the counterattack said. "Under extraordinary circumstances, but very, very rare circumstances, you will see employees of the MPRIs of this world get into a circumstance where they can't say no. . . . Let's face it, they're human beings."<br>Said Vinnell spokesman Kevin O'Melia: "I'm not aware that that happened, and our company policy is that they not be directly involved. They're hired as advisors only . . . and that's the capacity in which we expect them to act."<br><br>In Afghanistan, the plan is for up to 150 U. S. Special Forces troops to begin training Afghan recruits, then to turn the effort over to private U. S. contractors. Defense officials have said for months that only by having an army of its own can Afghanistan hope to create the stability that is critical if the country is to avoid remaining a haven for terrorists. DefSec. Rumsfeld has said he might seek money from Congress and other foreign govts to finance the army. Some basic training of several hundred Afghan recruits is already underway, led by British & German members of the international security force there. But thousands of other potential Afghan soldiers have yet to be tapped, and international financial support for building Afghanistan's army has been slim.<br>It is unclear how large an Afghan force would be needed to suppress factional conflicts and patrol the country's borders. But some defense officials have put the number at more than 20,000. "I think we'll start off with our own guys because the Afghans are more comfortable at this point with people in uniform who they know," said a sr defense official familiar with the plan. "But at some point down the pike, we will move to contractors. We have to. We don't have the people to do it all ourselves."<br><br>And if the corporate warriors succeed in Afghanistan, the Pentagon will be eager to send them elsewhere, defense officials said. "This is big business among these companies. They are furiously bidding on involvement in Afghanistan and the war on terrorism," said P. W. "Pete" Singer, an Olin Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "The minute the Pentagon started to use the phrase 'a program to train & equip the Afghan army,' buzzers went off." <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries-Zapata mercs fire on US soldiers

Postby OnoI812 » Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:02 pm<br><br>Security costs slow Iraq reconstruction<br>Contract excesses also hamper progress<br>By Renae Merle and Griff Witte<br>The Washington Post<br>Updated: 7:18 a.m. ET July 29, 2005<br><br>WASHINGTON - Efforts to rebuild water, electricity and health networks in Iraq are being shortchanged by higher-than-expected costs to provide security and by generous financial awards to contractors, according to a series of reports by government investigators released yesterday.<br><br>Taken together, the reports seem to run contrary to the Bush administration's upbeat assessment that reconstruction efforts are moving vigorously ahead and that the insurgency is dying down.<br><br>The United States, Iraq and international donors have committed more than $60 billion to run Iraq and revive its damaged infrastructure. But security costs are eating away a substantial share of that total, up to 36 percent on some projects, the Government Accountability Office reported yesterday. The higher security costs are causing reconstruction authorities to scale back efforts in some areas and abandon projects in others.<br><br>Security costs limit progress<br>For instance, in March, the U.S. Agency for International Development canceled two electric power generation programs in order to provide $15 million in additional security elsewhere. On another project to rehabilitate electric substations, the Army Corps of Engineers decided that securing 14 of the 23 facilities would be too expensive and limited the entire project to nine stations. And in February, USAID added $33 million to cover higher security costs on one project, which left it short of money to pay for construction oversight, quality assurance and administrative costs.<br><br>"If we didn't have a bunch of extremists running around trying to derail the progress of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people and the coalition, the amount of money spent on security would be far less," said Lt. Col. Barry Venable, Pentagon spokesman. "It is a fact of life, one which cannot be wished away."<br><br>Heather Layman, spokeswoman for USAID, said security accounts for an average of 22 percent of a project's cost in Iraq. "We are making some really important and good progress in this challenging environment," Layman said. "Security is part of the cost. But we're doing things like providing clean water and power and building schools."<br><br>The new reports were released to Congress yesterday. They were compiled by the GAO and the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which was created to monitor the rebuilding process.<br><br>GAO investigators did find some bright spots: "The U.S. has completed projects in Iraq that have helped to restore basic services, such as rehabilitating oil wells and refineries, increasing electrical generation capacity, restoring water treatment plants, and reestablishing Iraqi basic health care services," the report's authors concluded.<br><br>In other areas, developments were less auspicious.<br><br>Despite $5.7 billion committed to restoring electricity service in Iraq, power generation was still at lower levels as of May than it had been before the U.S. invasion in 2003. In one case, the GAO reported, the United States led an overhaul of an Iraqi power plant but then did not adequately train the Iraqis how to operate it. A widespread power outage resulted.<br><br>Crude oil production has also dropped in the past two years, even with more than $5 billion in U.S. and Iraqi funds available for rebuilding. Oil export revenues are needed to fund more than 90 percent of the nascent Iraqi government's 2005 budget, the State Department has said.<br><br>"It's quite clear that we've got massive amounts of taxpayer money funneled into Iraq, with very little oversight and a substantial amount of waste and abuse," said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND). "These are very discouraging reports."<br><br>Dorgan said the high costs associated with providing security are particularly troubling.<br><br>The government does not know how much it spends on private security contractors in total, the GAO said. But it's more than expected. "Contractor officials acknowledge that the cost of private security services and security-related equipment, such as armored vehicles, has exceeded what they originally envisioned," the GAO said.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The Pentagon estimates there are 60 private security firms with as many as 25,000 employees in Iraq. Some elite personnel make $33,000 a month. But there are no industry standards, and soldiers are not taught in advance how to interact with the armed contractors, according to the GAO.<br><br>Conflicts between contractors, military<br>The use of contractors has led to occasional conflicts with the military. In May, the Marines detained 19 contractors for three days, claiming <!--EZCODE UNDERLINE START--><span style="text-decoration:underline">the contractors fired at them</span><!--EZCODE UNDERLINE END-->. The contractors, who worked for <!--EZCODE UNDERLINE START--><span style="text-decoration:underline">Zapata Engineering of Charlotte</span><!--EZCODE UNDERLINE END-->, denied firing at the Marines and said they were roughed up while in custody.<br><br>At one point, an Army unit barred private contractors from their dining facilities after they refused to stop carrying their loaded weapons. Soldiers also continue to mistakenly fire on security contractors, despite recently established procedures. Between January and May, 20 such friendly-fire incidents were reported, though the actual figure is probably higher since some contractors have said they no longer report them, the GAO said.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>The Department of Defense said it is developing a policy to improve coordination between military forces and contractors and a training strategy for deploying troops on contractor issues. "Training materials would benefit both operational military forces and" contractors, the DOD said in a response attached to the report.<br><br>Award fees deemed unnecessarily high<br>In a separate report yesterday, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction reported that more money than necessary may be going into the pockets of government contractors involved in the rebuilding process.<br><br>A review by auditors of 18 reconstruction contracts found that the formula used for doling out special monetary awards, which are above and beyond basic fees, tended to skew them too high.<br><br>For instance, the inspector general's office found that a contractor that received an evaluation of "average" performance won award fees of $1.67 million but could have been given just $309,436 under another widely accepted awards system. In a second case, a contractor won no award fees but ended up being paid $439,145 after it appealed because it hadn't received feedback on its work from the government.<br><br>U.S. officials responsible for contracting in Iraq said they were taking steps to improve the award fee process.<br><br>Difficulties with contractors also contributed to the challenging reconstruction task in Afghanistan, according to a separate GAO report released yesterday. In 2004, USAID planned to build 286 schools by the end of the year, but because of contractor and security problems, it had finished only eight by September, the report said. The agency did not always require contractors to establish clear objectives or hold them accountable for meeting the targets, the report said.<br><br>The reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan together represent the largest U.S. assistance efforts since World War II. In Iraq alone, the GAO said the United States has allocated $24 billion and has spent $9 billion since 2003.<br><br><br>URL: <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br> <br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Private Paramilitaries

Postby OnoI812 » Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:35 pm

Blackwater USA: Turning The All-Volunteer Army Into An ‘Army For Hire’<br><br>Blackwater Mercenary This week at a conference in Jordan, Blackwater USA vice chairman Cofer Black announced that the private security company is ready to shift from a security role to a more “overt combat role,” essentially becoming an army for hire.<br><br>The Bush administration has shown itself more than willing to call in Blackwater in place of U.S. troops.<br><br>In Aug. 2003, the Bush administration awarded Blackwater a $21.3 million contract to guard then Amb. Paul Bremer. The average senior special operations officer makes $50,000 a year from the U.S. government. Employees in private security firms in Iraq often make more than $1,000 a day from government contracts. This arrangement is “depleting the ranks of the special forces,” luring them into lucrative private jobs.<br><br>Some military analysts initially welcomed the administration’s private security arrangement with Blackwater because it allowed “regular military troops to concentrate on fighting.” But Blackwater’s new proposal would shift some of the fighting to the private sector, further diminishing the role of the all-volunteer army.<br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><br><br>-----------------------------------------------------<br><br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>Blackwater USA says it can supply forces for conflicts<br><br>Stepping into a potential political minefield, Blackwater USA is offering itself up as an army for hire to police the world's trouble spots.<br><br>Cofer Black, vice chairman of the Moyock, N.C.-based private military company, told an international conference in Amman, Jordan, this week that Blackwater stands ready to help keep or restore the peace anywhere it is needed.<br><br>Such a role would be a quantum leap for Blackwater and raises a host of policy questions.<br><br>Until now, the eight-year-old company has confined itself to training military and police personnel and providing security guards for government and private clients. Under Black's proposal, it would take on an overt combat role.<br><br>"We're low-cost and fast," Black was quoted as saying. "The issue is, who's going to let us play on their team?"<br><br>Unlike national and multinational armies, which tend to get bogged down by political and logistical limitations, Black said, Blackwater could have a small, nimble, brigade-size force ready to move into a troubled region on short notice.<br><br>Black's remarks were reported by Defense News, a military publisher that sponsored the conference where he spoke, the Special Operations Forces Exhibition.<br><br>Chris Taylor, a vice president at Blackwater's Moyock headquarters, confirmed the account.<br><br>"A year ago or so, we realized that we could have a significant positive impact with a small, professional force in stability operations and peacekeeping operations," Taylor said.<br><br>Blackwater is no stranger to volatile situations. As a security subcontractor escorting a convoy in Iraq in 2004, the company attracted worldwide attention when four of its workers were killed, mutilated and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.<br><br>Blackwater, most of whose workers are former members of elite military units such as the Navy SEALs, now provides security for the U.S. ambassador to Iraq under a contract with the State Department.<br><br>The reconstruction of Iraq has been hampered by insurgent activity, Taylor said, and Blackwater has the expertise to quell insurgent attacks if invited by the Iraqi government.<br><br>"We clearly couldn't go into the whole country of Iraq," Taylor said. "But we might be able to go into a region or a city."<br><br>Another place where Blackwater could help restore order, Taylor said, is the Darfur region of Sudan, where millions have been killed or displaced by civil strife. The company could send troops under the control of the United Nations, NATO or the African Union, he said.<br><br>Taylor and Black said the company would undertake such a mission only with the approval of the U.S. government.<br><br>Peter Singer, a scholar at the Brookings Institution who has written a book on private military companies, said the concept of private armies engaging in counter-insurgency missions raises myriad questions about staffing standards, rules of engagement and accountability.<br><br>"No matter how you slice it, it's a private entity making decisions of a political nature," he said.<br><br>"It gets dicey." <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=>OnoI812</A> at: 3/31/06 12:24 pm<br></i>
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Postby OnoI812 » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:14 am

<Blackwater: Knights of Malta in Iraq
October 1st, 2007

Emblem of the Order of St John, the English Protestant ecumenical branch of the Order of Malta, which is a Catholic secret society integrated with the elaborate super-structure Freemasonry.

Blackwater is more than just a “private army”, much more than just another capitalist war-profiteering business operation. It is an army operating outside all laws, outside and above the US Constitution and yet is controlled by people within and outside our government whose allegiance is primarily to the foreign Vatican state. In other words, Blackwater is a religious army serving the Pope in Rome through the Order of Malta, which is itself considered under international law, as a sovereign entity with special diplomatic powers and privileges. Like Blackwater, the Order of Malta is “untouchable” because it is at the heart of the elite aristocracy.

The Knights of Malta is not merely a “charitable organization”. That’s just an elaborate front, as should become clear to you later. As the name Sovereign Military Order of Malta confirms, it is a military order based on the crusader Knights Hospitaller of Jerusalem and is interwoven with Freemasonry. Most people have never even heard of SMOM, much less that it is a part of Freemasonry. But that is the way the aristocratic elite like it.

knights_hospitallerOne of the symbols of the military orders of the Vatican, the double-headed eagle emblazoned with the Maltese cross, signifies omnipotent royal dominion over both East and West. The orb signifies temporal dominion over the globe of Earth, and the scepter signifies control over the spiritual and religious impulses of humanity. This eagle symbol is used in the masonic rite of Memphis and Misraim, under which it reads, “Order Out of Chaos”, the Hegelian method of crisis creation. It is found on the seals of many European and Eurasian nation states including that of Russia, indicating direct Vatican control over those countries. It symbolizes the desire of a predatory elite with virtually unlimited resources, to totally dominate the entire world under a New World Order global government system using secrecy, manipulation, coercion and terror with the ends justifying the means.

See: Double-Headed Eagle Symbol at Wikipedia

The two-headed eagle emblem of the Byzantine Empire (Roman Empire) on a Red Shield was adopted in 1743 by the infamous goldsmith Amschel Moses Bauer. He opened a coin shop in Frankfurt, Germany and hung above his door this Roman eagle on a red shield. The shop became known as the “Red Shield firm”. The German word for ‘red shield’ is Rothschild. After this point, the Rothschilds became the bankers to kings and pontiffs alike, among the richest families in the world. Ever since, they have financed both sides of every major war and revolution using the Hegelian Dialectic to engineer society toward their New World Order.

The Rothschilds and their agents, such as the Rockefellers, have been engineering America and its foreign policy almost since its inception. They and their Skull and Bones Wall Street partners staged and funded both sides in WWII, and out of that hellish nightmare was born their infant global government, the United Nations, and their tool of tyranny, the CIA. The father of the CIA, “Wild Bill” Donovan, was a Knight of Malta. In order to be a director of the CIA you must be a crusading Knight of Malta and it doesn’t hurt if you are a member of Skull and Bones either. In order to reach the highest levels in the Pentagon establishment, you must be an illuminated Freemason and/or a Knight of one order or another. Notable US military members of SMOM include top crusading generals such as Alexander Haig, William Westmoreland, and Charles A. Willoughby, an admitted Fascist.

Other notable members include:

* Reinhard Gehlen (Nazi war criminal)
* Heinrich Himmler (Nazi war criminal)
* Kurt Waldheim (Nazi war criminal)
* Franz von Papen (Hitler enabler)
* Fritz Thyssen (Hitler’s financier)
* Rupert Murdoch
* Tony Blair
* Pat Buchanan
* William F. Buckley, Jr.
* Precott Bush, Jr.
* Edward Egan (Archbishop NY)
* Licio Gelli
* Ted Kennedy
* David Rockefeller
* Phyllis Schlafly (Dame)
* J. Edgar Hoover
* Joseph Kennedy
* Henry Luce
* Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neill
* Ronald E. Reagan
* Giscard d’Estaing
* Allen Dulles
* Avery Dulles
* Frank C Carlucci
* Nelson Mandela
* Rick Santorum
* Phyllis Schaffly
* Juan Carlos (King of Spain and Jerusalem)
* Oliver North
* George H.W Bush
* Augusto Pinochet
* William Randolph Hearst
* Francis L. Kellogg

Such a list should make you sit up and pay attention, but it is only the tip of the iceberg unfortunately. Then we come to another SMOM member, important to what is transpiring in Iraq. Educated at the Jesuit Georgetown University, former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Edward Schmitz, Blackwater’s operations chief, is a member of both SMOM and Opus Dei. All the top Nazis in our government are connected in some way to the Vatican, Jesuits and Knights of Malta and have been for decades, as were the Italian Fascists and German Nazis of WWII. After all, what was their favorite symbol after the swastika? The Maltese Cross of course!

These SMOM knights are behind most of the trouble in the world and they must be exposed as the criminals that they are. They are not nice people helping the poor, though they use good people in the lower ranks as useful idiots. They are behind drug-trafficking, assassinations, most wars, communism, fascism, feudalism, theocracy, Nazism, Zionism, globalization, crime-syndicates, major terrorist events, a new torture inquisition, total information surveillance, economic collapses, social demoralization and seek to completely enslave the human species in a global Big Brother totalitarian regime as they kill off the majority of us in the process. In fact, all of it has either come to pass or is in the process of being implemented. We are on the brink of WWIII which has been entirely staged by these profoundly evil men. Therefore, we have no time left for pussyfooting around.

But don’t take my word for it, do you your own research, find out and expose them yourself before these dirty Blackwater mercenary thugs are allowed to patrol American streets and confiscate guns during the next staged disaster. We can’t let this happen in America.


BlackWater coming to a disaster near you.

Further Google the following:

P-2 freemasonry, Gladio, Nazi Concordat, Vatican CIA, Knights Templar, Order of the Seraphim, Order of the Garter, Hospitallers, Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, SMOM, Knights of Rhodes, Illuminati, 9/11, Jesuits, Opus Dei, Black Pope, Maltese Cross, Fascism, Zionism, Blackwater Katrina, etc

Combine these in various searches to uncover the linkages.


The highest levels of Freemasonry, including and especially, the Knights of Malta and the Royal Orders of Chivalry are guided by the Vatican, the hub of both religious and temporal power on planet Earth.

. . .

Former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Edward Schmitz quit in 2005 to work for Blackwater. He is a member of Opus Dei and Knights of Malta. At least $2 trillion went “missing” from the Pentagon during his watch.

The Knights of Malta in Iraq?

Malta Star | Sep 29, 2007

An American investigative journalist compared the US firm Blackwater, the biggest security services provider in post war Iraq, to the Knights of Malta.

The company is currently in the midst of a controversy after some of its 20,000 personnel stationed in Iraq killed a number of civilians.

In his book, ‘Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army’, Jeremy Scahill links the modern security firm to the Knights of Malta.

The writer argues that “Blackwater’s employees… share the same religious zeal of ancient crusaders”, the Egyptian weekly newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

. . .

Related Information

Bush’s Shadow Army

Blackwater has repeatedly cited Rumsfeld’s statement that contractors are part of the “Total Force” as evidence that it is a legitimate part of the nation’s “warfighting capability and capacity.” Invoking Rumsfeld’s designation, the company has in effect declared its forces above the law — entitled to the immunity from civilian lawsuits enjoyed by the military, but also not bound by the military’s court martial system. While the initial inquiries into Blackwater have focused on the complex labyrinth of secretive subcontracts under which it operates in Iraq, a thorough investigation into the company reveals a frightening picture of a politically connected private army that has become the Bush Administration’s Praetorian Guard.


Pope Benedict with SMOM Grandmaster Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie

Knights of Malta
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, also known as the original Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, is a closed fraternity of the Roman Catholic Church. Its initiated members must be Catholic and have served in the military. They participate in secret ceremonies and feudal ritual dress, and embrace a strong class/caste mentality as part of their initiation into Rosicrucian dogma.

The upper grades are fastidiously aristocratic and must be able to display a family coat-of-arms dating back at least 300 years in unbroken succession from father to son. The Sovereign Grand Master of the order is recognized as a head of state, and his authority is ensured by his secular ranking as a Prince, and his ecclesiastical ranking as a Cardinal. Under international law this organization has independent Sovereign status, which assures nationalistic loyalty from its members, above and beyond allegience to their own country–they also have Permanent Observer status at the United Nations. The current Grand Master, Andrew Willoughby Bertie, is descended from Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots) which places him firmly in the Sion/Grail historical scenario.

The order and its members have been proven to be linked with the “Rat Run”, the post-WWII escape route used by high-ranking Nazis and death camp scientists from defeated Germany to the Americas. Sovereign Knight of Malta passports were issued with false identities that allowed escape from prosecution for war crimes.

The privatisation of security in Iraq threatens more than innocent civilians
The killing of 11 civilians in Baghdad two weeks ago has once again put Blackwater on the spot. The US security firm first came into the public eye in early April 2004, when four of its personnel were killed and mutilated by mobs in Falluja. Although Iraqi religious parties denounced the attacks at the time, Bush gave the town four days to deliver the perpetrators before ordering an all-out attack, one in which thousands of Falluja inhabitants perished. In his book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, American investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill links the modern security firm to the Knights of Malta, an offshoot of the Knights Templar. Blackwater’s employees, he argues, share the same religious zeal of ancient crusaders.

US Theocons Fight Battle in Iraq
Many has been written about the privatization of the Iraq war, but in his new bestseller book Jeremy Scahill sheds much needed light on the ideological roots of the largest US private mercenary firm and its links to the theocons and the Christian militia Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Prince, writes Scahill, shows how “politically powerful Christian fundamentalists and Neocons are pressing forward with their battle for what they call ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy.’” He has connections with conservative Catholic groups and funds rightwing organizations through his Freiheit Foundation. Senior Blackwater executives such as Joseph Schmitz do not only subscribe to the theocon ideology but are also members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a Christian militia that had a mission of defending territories the Crusaders captured from Muslims.

Schmitz, says Scahill, “comes from one of the most bizarre, scandal-plagued, right-wing political families in US history.” The Sovereign Military Order of Malta began as a Christian charity in Al-Quds in 1080 to provide care for poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the conquest of the holy city in 1095 during the First Crusade it became a Catholic Military Order. After the Muslims restored Al-Quds, the Order operated from Rhodes and later from Malta where it administered a vassal state under the Spanish viceroy of Sicily. The Order’s fighters, known as the Knights Hospitaller, helped the Crusaders in raids on Muslim countries near the coasts of Italy, including Tunisia, Libya and Morocco. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is now a state located in Rome and is recognized by 50 countries worldwide.

Joseph Edward Schmitz is the son of the late John G. Schmitz, former California State Senator, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Presidential candidate (1972). Columba Bush’s sister is married to John P. Schmitz, a beneficiary of the fellowship programs subsumed under the Carl Duisberg gesellschaft and the brother of Joseph Schmitz, currently the head of the Blackwater security outfit. John P. Schmitz has close links to the elder George Bush, the 9/11 milieu…

Joseph E. Schmitz: Georgetown, Opus Dei and Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joseph Edward Schmitz is an American lawyer, former Inspector General of the Department of Defense and executive with Blackwater USA, a private contractor providing security services to the U.S. military.Schmitz attended Catholic schools as a child and Georgetown Preparatory School while his father served in Congress. He is a member of Opus Dei and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

General Joseph Schmitz member of the Sovereign Order of Malta
In addition to Prince, “A number of Blackwater executives are deeply conservative Christians, including corruption-smeared former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz, who is also a member of the Sovereign Order of Malta, which Scahill describes as ‘a Christian militia formed in the eleventh century [to defend] territories that the Crusaders had conquered from the Moslems,’” Chris Barsanti wote in a review of the book for In These Times. Blackwater USA is the brainchild of Erik Prince — a former Navy SEAL and son of Edgar Prince, a wealthy Michigan auto-parts supplier — described by Scahill as a “radical right wing Christian mega-millionaire” who is a strong financial backer of President George W. Bush, as well as a donor to a host of conservative Christian political causes.

In the 1980s “the Prince family merged with one of the most venerable conservative families in the United States,” when Erik’s sister Betsy — nine years his senior — married Dick DeVos, whose father Richard, founded the multilevel marketing firm Amway. The two families exercised enormous political influence both inside and outside Michigan. “They were one of the greatest bankrollers of far-right causes in U.S. history, and with their money they propelled extremist Christian politicians and activists to positions of prominence,” Scahill writes.

The picture that proves ‘torture flights’ are STILL landing in the UK

Its registration number, clearly visible on the fuselage, identifies it as a plane which the European Parliament says has been involved in ‘ghost flights’ to smuggle terrorist suspects to shadowy interrogation centres abroad. Records show the plane is owned by Blackwater USA, a CIA contractor described as ‘the most secretive and powerful mercenary army on the planet’.

The European Parliament report describes these as shell companies operating as subsidiaries of Blackwater USA, ‘an important contractor for the CIA and the US military’ which bases the planes in Malta….Tracking technology shows that the plane was en route from Canada to Greenland two days before it was sighted at Mildenhall: the internet software does not extend beyond American airspace, but the expert explained that its route would be consistent with a refuelling stop in the Arctic – it only has a range of about 2,000 miles – followed by a further refuel in East Anglia, before heading to Malta.>> ... a-in-iraq/
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Postby OnoI812 » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:15 am

December 6, 2007 (December 24, 2007 issue)
Blackwater's Bu$ine$$

Jeremy Scahill

Gunning down seventeen Iraqi civilians in an incident the military has labeled "criminal." Multiple Congressional investigations. A federal grand jury. Allegations of illegal arms smuggling. Wrongful death lawsuits brought by families of dead employees and US soldiers. A federal lawsuit alleging war crimes. Charges of steroid use by trigger-happy mercenaries. Allegations of "significant tax evasion." The US-installed government in Iraq labeling its forces "murderers." With a new scandal breaking practically every day, one would think Blackwater security would be on the ropes, facing a corporate meltdown or even a total wipeout. But it seems that business for the company has never been better, as it continues to pull in major federal contracts. And its public demeanor grows bolder and cockier by the day.

Rather than hiding out and hoping for the scandals to fade, the Bush Administration's preferred mercenary company has launched a major rebranding campaign, changing its name to Blackwater Worldwide and softening its logo: once a bear paw in the site of a sniper scope, it's now a bear claw wrapped in two half ovals--sort of like the outline of a globe with a United Nations feel. Its website boasts of a corporate vision "guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world." Blackwater mercenaries are now referred to as "global stabilization professionals." Blackwater's 38-year-old owner, Erik Prince, was No. 11 in Details magazine's "Power 50," the men "who control your viewing patterns, your buying habits, your anxieties, your lust.... the people who have taken over the space in your head."

In one of the company's most bizarre recent actions, on December 1 Blackwater paratroopers staged a dramatic aerial landing, complete with Blackwater flags and parachutes--not in Baghdad or Kabul but in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium during the halftime show at the San Diego State/BYU football game. The location was interesting, given that Blackwater is fighting fierce local opposition to its attempt to open a new camp--Blackwater West--on 824 acres in the small rural community of Potrero, just outside San Diego. Blackwater's parachute squad plans to land at the Armed Forces Bowl in Texas this month and the Virginia Gold Cup in May. The company recently sponsored a NASCAR racer, and it has teamed up with gun manufacturer Sig Sauer to create a Blackwater Special Edition full-sized 9-millimeter pistol with the company logo on the grip. It comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. For $18, parents can purchase infant onesies with the company logo.

In recent weeks, Blackwater has indicated it might quit Iraq. "We see the security market diminishing," Prince told the Wall Street Journal in October. Yet on December 3 Blackwater posted job listings for "security specialists" and snipers as a result of its State Department diplomatic security "contract expansion." While its name may be mud in the human rights world, Blackwater has not only made big money in Iraq (about $1 billion in State Department contracts); it has secured a reputation as a company that keeps US officials alive by any means necessary. The dirty open secret in Washington is that Blackwater has done its job in Iraq, even if it has done so by valuing the lives of Iraqis much lower than those of US VIPs. That badass image will serve it well as it expands globally.

Prince promises that Blackwater "is going to be more of a full spectrum" operation. Amid the cornucopia of scandals, Blackwater is bidding for a share of a five-year, $15 billion contract with the Pentagon to "fight terrorists with drug-trade ties." Perhaps the firm will join the mercenary giant DynCorp in Colombia or Bolivia or be sent into Mexico on a "training" mission. This "war on drugs" contract would put Blackwater in the arena with the godfathers of the war business, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

In addition to its robust business in law enforcement, military and homeland security training, Blackwater is branching out. Here are some of its current projects and initiatives:

§ Blackwater affiliate Greystone Ltd., registered offshore in Barbados, is an old-fashioned mercenary operation offering "personnel from the best militaries throughout the world" for hire by governments and private organizations. It also boasts of a "multi-national peacekeeping program," with forces "specializing in crowd control and less than lethal techniques and military personnel for the less stable areas of operation."

§ Prince's Total Intelligence Solutions, headed by three CIA veterans (among them Blackwater's number two, Cofer Black), puts CIA-type services on the open market for hire by corporations or governments.

§ Blackwater is launching an armored vehicle called the Grizzly, which the company characterizes as the most versatile in history. Blackwater intends to modify it to be legal for use on US highways.

§ Blackwater's aviation division has some forty aircraft, including turboprop planes that can be used for unorthodox landings. It has ordered a Super Tucano paramilitary plane from Brazil, which can be used in counterinsurgency operations. In August the aviation division won a $92 million contract with the Pentagon to operate flights in Central Asia.

§ It recently flight-tested the unmanned Polar 400 airship, which may be marketed to the Department of Homeland Security for use in monitoring the US-Mexico border and to "military, law enforcement, and non-government customers."

§ A fast-growing maritime division has a new, 184-foot vessel that has been fitted for potential paramilitary use.

Meanwhile, Blackwater is deep in the camp of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Cofer Black is Romney's senior adviser on counterterrorism. At the recent CNN/YouTube debate, when Romney refused to call waterboarding torture, he said, "I'm not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we're able to do and what things we're not able to do. And I get that advice from Cofer Black, who is a person who was responsible for counterterrorism in the CIA for some thirty-five years." That was an exaggeration of Black's career at the CIA (he was there twenty-eight years and head of counterterrorism for only three), but a Romney presidency could make Blackwater's business under Bush look like a church bake sale.

In short, Blackwater is moving ahead at full steam. Individual scandals clearly aren't enough to slow it down. The company's critics in the Democratic-controlled Congress must confront the root of the problem: the government is in the midst of its most radical privatization in history, and companies like Blackwater are becoming ever more deeply embedded in the war apparatus. Until this system is brought down, the world's the limit for Blackwater Worldwide--and as its rebranding campaign shows, Blackwater knows it.
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