Fighting ISIS™ and Terrorism™ Is a Profitable Business Model
Washington’s Criminal Activities are only Getting Messier
by Martin Berger
May 9, 2017
The unpunished slaughter of thousands of civilians in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan carried out by the US over the course of the last decade is now being gradually replaced by new types of crimes committed by Washington’s henchmen in the course of its ongoing instances of armed aggression against sovereign states.
As it’s been reported by Bloomberg with a special reference to AP, a well-known American contractor firm Sallyport Global has recently been engaged in a number of illegal operations in Baghdad’s vicinity. According to the report, its employees would get engaged in alcohol smuggling and slave trade. It’s curious that Sallyport Global’s staff would overload cargo planes with illegal alcohol so hard that they could barely fly, while stealing generators and armored off-road vehicles from the Balad air base that they were dispatched to protect. Bloomberg would note that some of company’s employees were also involved in selling local residents to sex slavery.
Meanwhile, it is a well-known fact that Sallyport Global received 686 million dollars from the US government to fulfill a number of missions in the best interests of the American people. Or at least it was supposed to.
One could also recall a major scandal that broke out back in 2009, when a military contractor firm Academi (that was called Blackwater back in the day) was accused of murdering civilians and smuggling weapons. Five years later the jury in the state of Washington found four employees of the Blackwater private company guilty of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in just one instance of violence. After this attack Iraqi authorities demanded that Blackwater paid 8 million dollars in compensation to each of the 17 families whose relatives were murdered in the raid that its employers conducted. Additionally, local authorities demanded that a total of 250 both former and acting employees of Blackwater would leave Iraq within a week after the tragic event.
As soon as the US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan began, along with an number of other military interventions across the globe, the number of private companies involved in providing so-called “security services” to the Pentagon started booming.
In the absence of any independent audit, the actual number of military contractors deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries can only be guessed, since the official evaluation provided by the Pentagon is pretty misleading. The tangled web of contractors and subcontractors and the lack of any comprehensive control led to the situation when even the top US officials had no real information on the actual of number of US contractors deployed in a particular country. Thus, when the Congress demanded the Interim Coalition Administration (ICA) of Iraq to provide it with the exact number of military contractors deployed in the country back in 2004, it took the latter quite a lot of time to draft a list of 60 firms employing a total of 20,000 people. However, six year later the number of people employed by the Pentagon, the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development to carry out security related missions in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeded 260,000 people with only every fourth contractor being an American citizen. At times, the number of contractors deployed far surpassed the total number of troops US Armed Forces had in these two countries.
Private military firms carry out a wide range of missions in the areas controlled by the US military personnel, such as the participation in actual combat engagements, reconnaissance missions, special operations, carrying out security tasks and logistical support. They have also been training local army and police units that are loyal to the forces that Washington supports. Private contractor firms are playing an important role in ensuring that the situation in a certain country, occupied by the United States, remains under control. The best example of a wide range of activities that military contractors are engaged in is the fact that the people employed by the Anteon International have been maintaining communications systems that Pentagon is using for its operations.
Please go to NEO to read the entire article.
US Company Turned Blind Eye to Wild Behavior on Iraq Base
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (DESMOND BUTLER and LORI HINNANT)
May 3, 2017
Washington (AP) — The two American investigators felt a sense of foreboding that Sunday as they headed to an emergency meeting with their boss on the Iraqi air base. But they didn’t expect to be surrounded by armed guards, disarmed, detained against their will — and fired without explanation.
It was March 12 — less than two months ago. Robert Cole and Kristie King were in Iraq working as investigators for Sallyport Global, a U.S. company that was paid nearly $700 million in federal contracts to secure Balad Air Base, home to a squadron of F-16 fighter jets as part of the U.S.-led coalition to annihilate the Islamic State.
Cole and King had spent more than a year together in Iraq investigating all manner of misconduct at Balad and beyond.
They’d uncovered evidence that Sallyport employees were involved in sex trafficking , they said. Staff on base routinely flew in smuggled alcohol in such high volumes that a plane once seesawed on the tarmac under the weight. Rogue militia stole enormous generators off the base using flatbed trucks and a 60-foot crane, driving past Sallyport security guards.
Managers repeatedly shut down Cole and King’s investigations and failed to report their findings to the U.S. government that was footing the bill, the investigators said.
Right before they were fired, Cole and King had opened an investigation into allegations of timesheet fraud among Sallyport employees. In a call with Sallyport lawyers, they said, they were advised to keep two sets of books about potential crimes and contract violations.
“One for the government to see and one for the government not to see,” King told The Associated Press.
The company said that the investigators misinterpreted the instructions.
In a statement to the AP, Sallyport said it follows all contracting rules at the base, home to the F-16s that are a key to the fight against the Islamic State.
“Sallyport has a strong record of providing security and life support services in challenging war zones like Iraq and plays a major but unheralded role in the war against ISIS,” Chief Operating Officer Matt Stuckart wrote. “The company takes any suggestion of wrongdoing at Balad very seriously.”
More than 150 documents obtained by AP, as well as interviews with more than a half-dozen former or current Sallyport employees, show how a contractor ran amok after being hired for lucrative and essential combat support operations. The investigators and other witnesses describe grave security breaches and illegal schemes that went unreported until the government asked about them.
The point behind requiring contractors to employ their own investigators was to limit the waste and corruption that has marred federal security contracting going back to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Pentagon’s own auditors, who were frequently on the base 50 miles north of Baghdad, were not told of the serious problems until early this year, a potential violation of law. The Pentagon auditors’ reports, obtained by the AP, detail dozens of more minor infractions. That gap illustrates the limits of U.S. oversight for billions of dollars in contracts run by companies that have cashed in on the fight to protect Americans from extremism.
Please go to Bloomberg to read the entire article.
The Honorable Life and Untimely Death of Colonel Ted Westhusing – Ted’s Assassin/s Walk – You didn’t cover his back, David – Are You a West Point “Cadet?” – Think Again – Petraeus receives no jail time for leaking – Whistleblowers face decades in jail (Jeffery Sterling) – Tribute to Lt. Col. Ted Westhusing (RIP)
Privatization of War is a Growth Industry – PMCs are “Creatures of Wall Street” and the City of London – Private Equity Money Fuels PMCs – PMC Market: $20 Billion to $100 Billion – What Happens When Corporations Go to War? – Dubai: Proximity to PMC Markets – “This is Like a Turkey Shoot” – That’s Where the Money Flows
U.S. Investigations Services (USIS) – Fraudulently Submitted Investigations – Millions of Dollars of Fraud – Edward Snowden Investigation – “FF” (fieldwork finished) – USIS Implicated In the Death of Col. Ted Westhusing (Iraq 2005)