Hayden Admits: Contractors Lead ‘Enhanced Interrogations’ at CIA Black Sites

Ciaprison In testimony before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Director of Central Intelligence Mike Hayden admitted to using contractors for “enhanced interrogation” at the CIA’s secret prisons, the so-called black sites.  It was an issue first raised last summer on The Spy Who Billed Me.  From Tuesday’s exchange:

FEINSTEIN:  I’d like to ask this question: Who carries out these [enhanced interrogation] techniques? Are they government employees or contractors?

HAYDEN: At our facilities during this, we have a mix of both government employees and contractors. Everything is done under, as we’ve talked before, ma’am, under my authority and the authority of the agency. But the people at the locations are frequently a mix of both — we call them blue badgers and green badgers.

FEINSTEIN: And where do you use only contractors?

HAYDEN: I’m not aware of any facility in which there were only contractors. And this came up…

FEINSTEIN: Any facility anywhere in the world?

HAYDEN: Oh, I mean, I’m talking about our detention facilities. I want to make something very clear, because I don’t think it was quite crystal clear in the discussion you had with Attorney General Mukasey.

Earlier, Senator Feinstein has asked Attorney General Mukasey whether the use of contractors in coercive interrogation techniques (i.e. enhanced interrogation techniques) is legal.  Specifically, Senator Feinstein asked:

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Baghdad drowning in sewage: Iraqi official

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Baghdad is drowning in sewage, thirsty for water and largely powerless, an Iraqi official said on Sunday in a grim assessment of services in the capital five years after the US-led invasion.One of three sewage treatment plants is out of commission, one is working at stuttering capacity while a pipe blockage in the third means sewage is forming a foul lake so large it can be seen “as a big black spot on Google Earth,” said Tahseen Sheikhly, civilian spokesman for the Baghdad security plan.

Sheikhly told a news conference in the capital that water pipes, where they exist, are so old that it is not possible to pump water at a sufficient rate to meet demands — leaving many neighbourhoods parched.

A sharp deficit of 3,000 megawatts of electricity adds to the woes of residents, who are forced to rely on neighbourhood generators to light up their lives and heat their homes.

“Sewerage, water and electricity are our three main problems,” said Sheikhly, adding that many of these problems date back to the Saddam Hussein regime when not enough attention was paid to basic infrastructure.

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Showdown in Blackwater’s Backyard

Marshall Adame is a Democrat running for Congress in North Carolina’s 3rd District, a jurisdiction along the Tar Heel state’s low-lying eastern coast that is home to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune, Air Station Cherry Point, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, as well as Blackwater Worldwide’s 7,000-acre corporate headquarters and training facility. Adame is an underdog in the congressional race, where he will likely face seven-term Republican incumbent Walter B. Jones—who brought the term “freedom fries” to Congress—in the general election. Jones has since become an opponent of the Iraq war, atoning for his vote to authorize the war by writing letters of condolence to the families of dead soldiers—a “mea culpa to my Lord,” he says. But the incumbent and his Republican party are not the only obstacles Adame will have to overcome if he hopes to take over the 3rd District’s congressional seat. He also faces tough opposition from Blackwater.

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CACI Awarded Millions in New Govt. Contracts Despite Being Accused of Widespread Abuse in Lawsuit Brought by 256 Prisoners Held in Iraqi Jails

The private military firm CACI International was recently awarded lucrative, multi-million dollar contracts from the U.S. Army and the Department of Justice. The contracts came despite a lawsuit CACI is facing for alleged abuses in Iraqi prisons, including Abu Ghraib. We speak with attorney Susan Burke, who filed the suit on behalf of 256 prisoners held in Iraqi jails.

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Vengeance, Blackwater Style: US Military and Western Mainstream Media trying to conceal War Crimes committed in Fallujah


Every time I read a story published in Western mainstream media about what transpired in Fallujah in 2004 during two US assaults on the city I feel sick.

The evidence proving that the United States committed war crimes, slaughtering innocent men, women and children is irrefutable. The US military’s use of chemical weapons is irrefutable. The destruction of a city amounting to collective punishment is irrefutable. All of this occurred because four Blackwater mercenaries were killed by Iraqis who were trying to protect their city form what we now know as “America’s Private Army”.

I have tried to understand why Western mainstream media has remained complicit in its coverage and reporting of this event, and I believe I have found the answer.

Yesterday, The Washington Times reported that “a secret intelligence assessment of the first battle of Fallujah shows that the U.S. military thinks that it lost control over information about what was happening in the town, leading to ‘political pressure’ that ended its April 2004 offensive with control being handed to Sunni insurgents.” This propaganda piece continues to state that “the decision to order an immediate assault on Fallujah, in response to the televised killing of four contractors from the private military firm Blackwater, effectively prevented the Marine Expeditionary Force charged with retaking the town from carrying out ‘shaping operations,’ such as clearing civilians from the area, which would have improved their chances of success.”

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Defense contract award protested

The winning firm had an unfair advantage due to Bush administration links, say companies in complaints to GAO.

By Walter F. Roche Jr., Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 26, 2007

WASHINGTON — A Defense Department medical services contract worth up to $790 million was awarded last month to a Wisconsin-based company three months after it hired a former Bush administration appointee who had supervised military health programs at the Pentagon for the last six years.

William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs from 2001 until April, joined Logistics Health Inc. as a director and consultant in June. The firm beat out two other bidders with proposals that ranged from $80 million to $100 million less, records show. Under the new contract, Logistics Health will provide immunizations and physical and dental exams for reservists and National Guard members.

Logistics Health of LaCrosse, Wis., is headed by another ex-official of the Bush administration — former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson.

“They stacked the deck,” said Fran Lessans, president of Passport Health, one of the losing bidders. Her Baltimore-based firm lost despite a bid projected over five years to cost nearly $100 million less than Logistics Health’s winning proposal.

“It was wired. There is no doubt in my mind,” Lessans said of the Defense procurement process.

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Defense contract award protested

The winning firm had an unfair advantage due to Bush administration links, say companies in complaints to GAO.

By Walter F. Roche Jr., Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 26, 2007

WASHINGTON — A Defense Department medical services contract worth up to $790 million was awarded last month to a Wisconsin-based company three months after it hired a former Bush administration appointee who had supervised military health programs at the Pentagon for the last six years.

William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs from 2001 until April, joined Logistics Health Inc. as a director and consultant in June. The firm beat out two other bidders with proposals that ranged from $80 million to $100 million less, records show. Under the new contract, Logistics Health will provide immunizations and physical and dental exams for reservists and National Guard members.

Logistics Health of LaCrosse, Wis., is headed by another ex-official of the Bush administration — former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson.

“They stacked the deck,” said Fran Lessans, president of Passport Health, one of the losing bidders. Her Baltimore-based firm lost despite a bid projected over five years to cost nearly $100 million less than Logistics Health’s winning proposal.

“It was wired. There is no doubt in my mind,” Lessans said of the Defense procurement process.

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