dirty jobs are their niche

So Mother Jones has a story by Daniel Schulman about Americans acting like assholes in Afghanistan. Lots of bad behavior, incriminating pictures. Go ahead and see. The company involved here is Wackenhut.

Wackenhut and the CIA go way back. This information comes from 1992, you know, Last Century stuff:
It is not possible to overstate the special relationship Wackenhut enjoys with the federal government. It is close. When it comes to security matters, Wackenhut in many respects "is" the government. In 1991, a third of the company’s $600- million in revenues came from the federal government, and another large chunk from companies that themselves work for the government, such as Westinghouse.

Wackenhut is the largest single company supplying security to U.S. embassies overseas; several of the 13 embassies it guards have been in important hotbeds of espionage, such as Chile, Greece and El Salvador.

It also guards nearly all the most strategic government facilities in the U.S., including the Alaskan oil pipeline, the Hanford nuclear-waste facility, the Savannah River plutonium plant and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Wackenhut maintains an especially close relationship with the federal government in other ways as well.

While early boards of directors included such prominent personalities of the political right as Captain Eddie Rickenbacker; General Mark Clark and Ralph E. Davis, a John Birch Society leader, current and recent members of the board have included much of the country’s recent national-security directorate:
  • former FBI director Clarence Kelley

  • former Defense secretary and former CIA deputy director Frank Carlucci

  • former Defense Intelligence Agency director General Joseph Carroll

  • former U.S. Secret Service director James J. Rowley

  • former Marine commandant P. X. Kelley

  • acting chairman of President Bush’s foreign- intelligence advisory board and former CIA deputy director Admiral Bobby Ray Inman

Before his appointment as Reagan’s CIA director, the late William Casey was Wackenhut’s outside legal counsel.

The company has 30,000 armed employees on its payroll. We wanted to know more about this special relationship; but the government was not forthcoming. Repeated requests to the Department of Energy for an explanation of how one company got the security contracts for nearly all of America’s most strategic installations have gone unanswered.

Similarly, efforts to get the State Department to explain whether embassy contracts were awarded arbitrarily or through competitive bidding were fruitless; essentially, the State Department said, "Some of both."

Wackenhut’s competitors - who, understandably, asked not to be quoted by name - have their own version.

"All those contracts;" said one security-firm executive, "are just another way to pay Wackenhut for their clandestine help."

And what is the nature of that help?

"It is known throughout the industry," said retired FBI special agent William Hinshaw, "that if you want a dirty job done, call Wackenhut."

OK, fine, good enough. It took me about thirty seconds to find this information. It does not surprise me that a company like Wackenhut would use techniques that result in a working environment of fear and coercion:
Multiple guards say this deviant hazing has created a climate of fear and coercion, with those who declined to participate often ridiculed, humiliated, demoted, or even fired. The result is an environment that is dangerous and volatile. Some guards have reported barricading themselves in their rooms for fear that those carrying out the hazing will harm them physically. Others have reported that AGNA management has begun to conduct a witch hunt to identify employees who have provided information about this atmosphere to POGO.
That would be standard operating procedure, advanced mind-fucking, for a CIA-affiliated organization, as anyone paying attention knows.

Not that it shouldn't be exposed. Yes, by all means, let's have it. But why now, when this has been going on for a long long time?

I mean, it's a little distracting all of a sudden, with these pictures and everything. Kinda like a limited hangout or something....


UPDATE: There are more DOD defense contractors in Afghanistan than uniformed US military personnel.
Contractors provide essential logistical, translation and other services, while offering increased flexibility. But they also pose management challenges in monitoring performance and preventing fraud. In the worst cases, “abuses and crimes committed by armed private security contractors and interrogators against local nationals may have undermined U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the CRS report noted.
Um, yeah. Guess so.


malcontent said...

This news puts America on a par with our status during the Vietnam Conflict circa 1965 and 1971 as far as troop levels are concerned. Unfortunately for America it feels more like 1965 than it does 1971 when you consider the tone of our government's public sentiments toward "winning" in Afghanistan.

The fact that these contractors are not "troops" gives our leadership a semantic advantage when speaking about the Never Ending Worldwide War on That Specific Human Emotion to diminish our human and fiscal burn rates.

Let us also not forget that these contractors cost several times more per diem than US military personnel. The contractors themselves make more, their management overhead through the myriad of umbrella'd oversight contracts costs several times more than military management too.

This is not just an exercise of empire, this is the daily looting of our public trough too.

A. Peasant said...

yes, i read somewhere these guys are making about $1K per day. i don't have a link for that though. that's a lot of money.

malcontent said...

The boss always makes more. The boss' boss makes more than that. Round that up to a dozen layers of subcontracting and your eyes will get fuzzy.

It makes $1500 hammers look reasonable.

A. Peasant said...


Greg Bacon said...

Hired assassins that give thugs like Rumsfeld, Bush and now Obama that 'plausable deniability' thingee.

Greg Bacon said...

Embassy guards 'dress as Afghans'

Private security contractors guarding America's embassy in Kabul dressed as mujahedin fighters and went out on unauthorised night-time military operations in the Afghan capital, according to reports being investigated by the US State Department.

The dossier, seen by The Independent, tells how 18 guards, who are not trained for such missions, exposed the embassy to attack by taking weapons from its armoury. By removing night-vision goggles, they also left embassy staff "largely night-blind" in the event of an emergency, the reports adds.

The company which employed the contractors, ArmorGroup North America (AGNA), is the subject of a highly critical report by the Project on Government Oversight (Pogo), an independent monitoring group which has sent its findings to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. While other claims have centred on drunkenness and sexual misconduct in the guards' quarters at Camp Sullivan outside Kabul, the new revelations will have a direct impact on security at a legation that Washington acknowledges is a prime target for terrorists.

During their foray into Kabul in the spring of this year, guards are said to have photographed themselves taking part in the "undercover" operation, later posting the images online.

The report reveals that, instead of taking action against the guards involved, AGNA gave them a mocked-up citation which improperly bore the seal of the US State Department and praised them for their "intrepidity".


A. Peasant said...


legal mumbo jumbo

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