security contractors

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Firm That Vetted Snowden Accused of Fraud

US Investigations Services allegedly faked more than 660K background checks

(Newser) - If giving a thumbs up to Edward Snowden and US Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis didn't get US Investigations Services kicked off the federal government's Christmas card list, it's definitely off now. The Justice Department yesterday accused the contractor, which handles roughly 45% of federal background checks,... More »

Government Ruined My Life Over Auto-Complete: Suit

Man alleges that inadvertent search led to death threats, harassment

(Newser) - Jeffrey Kantor says the federal government mercilessly harassed him and got him fired over an accidental Google search. In a lawsuit spotted by Courthouse News , the Virginia man explains that he was trying to search for "How do I build a radio-controlled airplane?" But when he got as far... More »

Abu Ghraib Detainees Win $5M From Contractor

Contractor settles with 71 inmates who alleged torture

(Newser) - A security contractor accused of torturing detainees at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and other US-run facilities during the Iraq War has agreed to pay $5.28 million to 71 former inmates, according to legal documents unearthed by the AP . The settlement from L-3 Services, which provided the US military... More »

UK Military Drafts Vets to Guard Olympics

Contractor says there's a 50-50 chance bomb would slip past security

(Newser) - The British military has been forced to hold an "emergency draft" to add another 3,500 troops to its Olympic security contingent—most of them soldiers just returning from Afghanistan—after the private security company hired to protect the games came up thousands short of the number of guards... More »

Report: We've Wasted $30B in Iraq, Afghanistan

Commission offers proposals to improve management of contracts

(Newser) - The US has basically flushed $30 billion down the toilet, according to a bipartisan commission looking into the money spent on contracts and grants in Iraq and Afghanistan. It found that at least one out of every six dollars spent in the last 10 years has been money wasted. In... More »

US Bars Audit of Vast Mercenary Army in Iraq

State Department will have 5,000 private contractors

(Newser) - The US is laying the groundwork for what amounts to a mercenary army in Iraq of unprecedented size—but the State Department is withholding information about it from a top watchdog, Wired reports. “Our audit of the program is making no progress,” says Stuart Bowen, the special inspector... More »

'Tens of Billions' Wasted on War Contractors: Report

'Criminal behavior and blatant corruption' a bad combo with 'ill-conceived projects'

(Newser) - The US has misspent “tens of billions of dollars” on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan—at minimum—according to a new report from a bipartisan commission set up to scrutinize the issue. The report bemoaned problems like “ill-conceived projects,” “poor planning and oversight by the US... More »

Contractors Threaten Progress in Afghanistan

Mercenaries drain local military, fight for Taliban

(Newser) - Though military experts have been cautioning against the expanding use of private military contractors since at least the days of Blackwater's string of shoot-outs in Iraq, a consensus is growing that the Pentagon's reliance on contractors in Afghanistan is actually impeding the war's progress, reports the Christian Science Monitor . For... More »

Afghan Warlords, Insurgents Hired to Guard US Bases

Senate panel says lack of oversight creating 'grave risks' for US troops

(Newser) - American contractors in Afghanistan have hired security forces with links to the Taliban, warlords, and even Iranian intelligence services to guard US bases in Afghanistan, according to a Senate Armed Services Committee report. The report found that "systemic failures" exist in the Pentagon's oversight of Afghan guards and that... More »

Afghanistan Disarms Security Contractors

Including the artist formerly known as Blackwater

(Newser) - Afghanistan has begun disbanding the private security firms operating in the country, the Karzai administration announced today. Authorities have seized more than 400 weapons so far, according to Reuters . At the moment they're focusing on eight companies, including Xe Services, the artist formerly known as Blackwater, two other American... More »

Karzai: US 'Mafia' Firms Are Looting My Nation

Demands contractors get out

(Newser) - In a rare US media appearance yesterday, Hamid Karzai blasted US private contractors in Afghanistan as "mafia-like" thieves and called for them to pull out of the country within the next four months. Appealing directly to US taxpayers on ABC's This Week, the Afghan president said the contractors waste... More »

America to Double Civilian Force in Iraq

Security contractors to swell to 7K

(Newser) - The US military may be rolling out of Iraq , but American civilians are not. To protect its outposts, the State Department plans to double the number of private security guards on the ground, finds the New York Times . As many as 7,000 guards will search for roadside bombs, fly... More »

Karzai to Kick Contractors Out of Afghanistan

Catches NATO unprepared with tough 4-month deadline

(Newser) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai enraged the US and his other NATO allies today by ordering all private security contractors to leave the country within four months. Though NATO had been working on its own plan to register and regulate the mercenaries, they weren’t prepared for the move, or the... More »

US 'Funding Taliban Protection Racket'

Congressional report slams corruption in Afghan supply chain

(Newser) - Tens of millions of dollars are flowing from the Pentagon to Afghan warlords and Taliban leaders because of military outsourcing in Afghanistan, congressional investigators said in a report yesterday. Investigators say contractors trucking supplies to the US military pay whoever they have to ensure safe passage for their convoys, pouring... More »

Blackwater Boss Lobbies for Private Assassin Teams

Prince: Contractors best way to fight Iran influence

(Newser) - Blackwater wants the US government to hire teams of mercenaries to combat Iranian influence around the world, according to the Nation , which has obtained a tape of a talk boss Erik Prince gave to a friendly audience. Prince—who generally bans the media from his talks—said private soldiers from... More »

Ex-Blackwater Prez Hit With Federal Weapons Charges

Gary Jackson, 4 others allegedly stockpiled arms

(Newser) - The former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former officials at the embattled security firm were indicted today on federal weapons charges, partially the result of a raid 2 years ago by agents that rounded up 22 weapons, including AK-47s. The indictment charges Gary Jackson, who left the company... More »

Blackwater Used South Park Alias to Grab Afghan Guns

Senate panel slams contractor's 'lawless' conduct

(Newser) - A Blackwater subsidiary operating in Afghanistan hired violent drug addicts to train Afghan forces and seized hundreds of guns intended for the Afghan police, a Senate panel has found. The probe, which criticized the US Army for turning a blind eye to Blackwater abuses, found that in one incident a... More »

Iraqi Nixes Blackwater Settlement Offer

'We won't accept such an amount' for Baghdad massacre, he says

(Newser) - An Iraqi injured by the US private security firm once known as Blackwater today rejected a compensation deal for injuries he suffered after company employees opened fire in a crowded Baghdad square. "We have rejected the settlement because it is a small amount. We won't accept such an amount,... More »

Blackwater Guards Indicted in Afghan Killings

Contractors face murder charges in Kabul shootings

(Newser) - A Virginia jury has indicted two former Blackwater guards on second-degree murder charges for their actions during confrontation in Kabul last year that left two Afghans dead and another wounded. The men, both employed as trainers by Blackwater subsidiary Paravant, opened fire on a vehicle at an intersection after their... More »

Blackwater Settles Iraqi Civil Suits

But two former contractors arrested in Afghanistan

(Newser) - Blackwater—now known as Xe—has settled a group of civil lawsuits with Iraqis that accused the firm of creating a cowboy culture that led to civilian deaths. The firm will pay $30,000 to injured victims and $100,000 to families of people who died in a number of... More »

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