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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The world of private ‘security': Unleashed: the fat cats of war

The US is finally facing up to its failures to supervise the private armies operating on its behalf in Iraq. But the problem may be worse than it admits. Kim Sengupta reports on a booming industry

Published: 26 October 2007

 

The killings by Blackwater’s private security guards on Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday were brutal and unprovoked. Terrified men, women and children were mowed down as they tried to flee from the ferocious gunfire, cars were set on fire incinerating those inside.

I was in Nisour Square, in Mansour district, on the afternoon of 17 September when the massacre took place, and saw the outpouring of anger that followed from Iraqis vociferously demanding that Western, private armies acting violently, but immune from scrutiny or prosecution, should face justice.

But there was always the underlying feeling that this was, after all, Iraq, where violent deaths are hardly unusual. The scapegoat for America’s dependence on private armies appears to be a mid-ranking official who yesterday resigned as the State Department overseer of security contractors.

Richard Griffin made no mention of the Mansour killings or their aftermath in his resignation letter but it came just one day after a study commissioned by Condoleezza Rice found serious lapses in the department’s oversight of private guards. At the same time Congress is moving to put under military control all armed contractors operating in combat zones, an effort the State Department is strongly resisting.

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Former Bush General Touts Privatization of National Disaster Response

“Country Club Fees” Would Guarantee ProtectionA retired general now working for a controversial private security company told an audience last night about the services the company plans to provide.

The government does not have the tax base to provide services to everyone in the event of a major catastrophe, retired Brigadier General Richard W. Mills told an audience in Pellston last night.

Mills served as Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) of the Central Intelligence Agency before retirement this year. At a public meeting at the Pellston High School he presented himself as the executive vice president for strategic development for Sovereign Deed, an 18 month old company that offers private disaster response services.

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Private US military contractors move into Helmand

By Kim Sengupta in Kabul

Published: 14 October 2007

 

Large numbers of US private military personnel are expected to arrive in Helmand, the focal point of British involvement in Afghanistan, as part of a new effort to promote reconstruction and development in the war-torn province.

The US has contributed the largest sum to the new aid effort, over $200m. But British officials striving to win “hearts and minds” in the conflict against the Taliban have expressed concern over the potential influx of military contractors, amid a continuing furore over the shooting of civilians in Iraq by Blackwater.

As Nato troops reclaim territory from the Taliban, the movement has increasingly resorted to suicide attacks and roadside bombings. “The worry is that there will be a blast, and some contractors will panic and open fire, as happened with Blackwater in Baghdad. That is the very last thing that Helmand needs at the moment,” said a Western diplomat.

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The People vs. the Profiteers

Americans working in Iraq for Halliburton spin-off KBR have been outraged by the massive fraud they saw there. Dozens are suing the giant military contractor, on the taxpayers’ behalf. Whose side is the Justice Department on?
by David Rose November 2007 On first meeting him, one might not suspect Alan Grayson of being a crusader against government-contractor fraud. Six feet four in his socks, he likes to dress flamboyantly, on the theory that items such as pink cowboy boots help retain a jury’s attention. He and his Filipino wife, Lolita, chose their palm-fringed mansion in Orlando, Florida, partly because the climate alleviates his chronic asthma, and partly because they wanted their five children to have unlimited access to the area’s many theme parks.Grayson likes theme parks, too. Toward the end of two long days of interviews, he insists we break to visit Universal Studios, because it wouldn’t be right for me to leave his adopted city without having sampled the rides. Later he sends me an e-mail earnestly inquiring which one I liked best.

He can be forgiven a little frivolity. In his functional home-office in Orlando, and at the Beltway headquarters of his law firm, Grayson & Kubli, Grayson spends most of his days and many of his evenings on a lonely legal campaign to redress colossal frauds against American taxpayers by private contractors operating in Iraq. He calls it “the crime of the century.”

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Erik Prince testifies.

Am I going crazy or is he actually wearing his hear like Hitler.

Yep, give the guy a lick of Brillcream, a Hitlerian moustache and a Nazi uniform and he can earn his money as a look alike.

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Blackwater contractor wrote government report on incident

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The State Department’s initial report of last month’s incident in which Blackwater guards were accused of killing Iraqi civilians was written by a Blackwater contractor working in the embassy security detail, according to government and industry sources.

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In this September 24 photo, an Iraqi looks at a car that was destroyed during the September 16 incident.

A source involved in diplomatic security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said a Blackwater contractor, Darren Hanner, drafted the two-page “spot report” on the letterhead of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for the embassy’s Tactical Operations Center.

That office — which tracks and monitors all incidents and movements involving diplomatic security missions — has outsourced positions to Blackwater and another private firm, the embassy source said.

A highly placed industry source said that Hanner, who was listed on the report as the TOC watch officer, was working for Blackwater at the time the report was written, just after the September 16 incident occurred. He was to rotate out of Iraq this past week, the source said.

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Ms. Moneypenny and Blackwater – Yanking on Loose Threads

There’s an itch that I haven’t been able to scratch in the past couple of days. The State Department has forbidden Blackwater, LLC from providing documents to a congressional subcommittee investigating security contractors in Iraq. In particular, Henry Waxman’s committee is looking into the Blackwater Massacre in Baghdad – but is getting stonewalled every inch of the way…

Commentary By: Richard BlairKiazan Moneypenny has been in the news over the last day or so. Who’s Ms. Moneypenny, you might ask? She’s the State Department contract official who directed Blackwater not to disclose any information to the congressional committee investigating the Blackwater Massacre in Iraq without State Department approval. Her title at State is Contracting Officer – Office of Acquisition Management.

But it wasn’t always so. In fact, it was only recently that she acquired the title.

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Contracts to BLACKWATER USA

Blackwater earns more than 1 Billion since 2000.
And this is what can be traced.
Blackwater  became operational the same year (1997) PNAC wrote their infamous; Rebuilding America’s defences.
According to Al Clark who started Blackwater with Erik Prince the company hit the ground running, with al kinds of CIA and other contracts. Erik Prince by the way was an intern in the White house when Cheney was secretary of defence under Daddy Bush. (1992) This was the period before Cheney became a CEO for Haliburton and it was in this period that he asked Haliburton to research the privatization of the military. Erik Prince was the son of one of the republican party’s wealthiest supporters and Erik didn’t like all the things he saw at the white house. Inviting Gays and all these environmental laws and stuff like that. At the time Cheney and Rumsfeld and their Neocon cronies were regarded as the “Crazies”. (Sources Jeremy Scahill and col. Bowman)  

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Gates unhappy with contractor oversight

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlined for the first time Wednesday his concerns about oversight of private contractors in Iraq, telling Congress that he sent a fact-finding team to Baghdad and reminded U.S. commanders they have the authority to discipline private workers.

Gates also said he was troubled by security contractors’ practice of luring soldiers out of uniform by offering them higher salaries. He said he was looking for ways to put legal limits on that practice.

In remarks to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Gates said he understood the reason for having 137,000 private contractors in Iraq – their presence allows U.S. troops to focus on combat while simpler tasks like providing food and laundry services and guarding fixed sites are done by private hires.

“But we clearly have to have proper oversight procedures and oversight activities in place to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to,” he said, adding: “My concern is whether there has been sufficient accountability and oversight.”

Gates appeared before the committee to spell out the administration’s request for nearly $190 billion in new funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the discussion quickly turned to the issue of private security contractors in Iraq, some of whom have been accused of rogue behavior.

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Security Company Death Squads Timeline

by Dirk Adriaensens and Sarah Meyer
Index Research

Italian Squadristi

There is an uncanny resemblance between the the WW2 Italian Squadristi1, Blackwater and the thousands of other “security” forces.

SECURITY, OED. “The condition of being protected from or not exposed to danger; freedom from doubt; Now, chiefly, well-founded confidence, certainty; freedom from care, anxiety or apprehension.”

There is no such thing as “security”. “Security” companies were formed to make money on our anxieties, just as pharmaceutical companies financially thrive on anxiety about health and have a vested interest in illness.

Dirk Adriaensens has been involved with Iraq for 17 years. He is on the executive committee of the BRussels Tribunal and is the coordinator of SOS Iraq. He writes:

“Security guys and gals don’t have to abide by the Geneva Conventions. They do as they wish. No rules, no regulations. They can operate with impunity.

As such these “security companies” can be called “death squads”. Not “Angels of Death” but “Devils of Death”. For this, they make a lot of money. Privatization of war is big, big business.”

The documentation by The BRussels Tribunal in The Salvador Option Exposed asks “Who is Blowing up Iraq?” There is a full list of articles concerning death squads published on The BRussels Tribunal website.

We have to ask what is the motive for violent occupation, for violence in one’s own country as well as in another’s country. Security Company Death Squads Timeline is a follow – up to Sarah Meyer’s original article, Iraq Security Companies and Training Camps (17.05.06). This first research contained the history with lists of security companies. The present article is resource material which has been collected since May 2006.

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