defense contractors

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3 US Contractors Shot Dead at Kabul Airport

Gunman may have been an Afghan soldier

(Newser) - Another insider attack ? A gunman at an airport in Kabul killed three American contractors today, reports the AP . Reuters reports that the shooter was an Afghan soldier, though that has not been confirmed. ABC News quotes a US official as saying that the gunman was at least wearing the... More »

Navy Paid $1.6M for $8K Silencers

Senior intelligence officials under investigation for fraud

(Newser) - A word of advice: Do not trust the US Navy to scope out Black Friday sales. Federal prosecutors are investigating three senior Navy intelligence officials for an alleged scheme in which the Navy paid $1.6 million for a batch of homemade gun silencers that cost about $8,000 to... More »

Police Bust 'Child Retrieval' Commando Squad

One former Olympic sailing champion among those arrested

(Newser) - Most child-smuggling operations don't advertise their services online. But Italian police have busted a group that appears to have done just that. Police say they've taken down a group of ex-special forces operatives who charged "tens of thousands of euros" to kidnap children involved in cross-border custody... More »

Boeing Caught Selling Used Parts as 'New' to US

It's one of several times company has stiffed Pentagon

(Newser) - Boeing, the Pentagon's second-biggest contractor, has repeatedly ripped Uncle Sam off, a new report from the military's inspector general has concluded. In its most recent scheme, Boeing charged the federal government for new helicopter parts, and "primarily installed used parts instead," according to the report, which... More »

We Can Overhaul Our Military-Industrial Complex

Smaller budgets can lead to leaner procurement process: Arthur Herman

(Newser) - Arthur Herman hopes the move toward smaller defense budgets will end at long last the Pentagon's bloated, wasteful, and outdated method of buying weapons and equipment. The system dates back to the days of "vacuum tubes and hi-fi sets" and it's precisely why an F-18 costs $90... 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 »

Hackers Hit US Defense Contractors

It's not clear what they got

(Newser) - This can't be good: Hackers breached the security networks of top US defense contractors, reports Reuters . The story has no details on what, if anything, the hackers got, and points out that any highly classified work would likely be out of reach on a closed government network. But it'... More »

Rogue Afghan Contractor Killed 2 US Soldiers

He is accused of opening fire as they were cleaning their guns

(Newser) - Afghan contractor Shir Ahmad was hired to provide security at an Afghanistan military base, but on Saturday—just 10 days after he was hired—he instead walked up to a group of soldiers and opened fire with an AK-47, killing two. Cpl. Donald Mickler Jr of Ohio, 29, and Pfc.... 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 »

'Rent-a-General' Business Is Booming for Contractors

When officers retire, the vast majority pick up lucrative consulting jobs

(Newser) - For America's military generals, retirement is when the real money starts pouring in. It's no secret that former officers often show up on the payrolls of defense contractors, but a Boston Globe investigation into what it terms the "rent-a-general" business puts some eyebrow-raising numbers to the trend: 80% of... More »

Feds Raid Missile Expert's Home After He's Stopped at Airport

Boxes removed from warhead engineer's house in suburban Boston

(Newser) - Federal agents have raided the suburban Boston home of a missile systems engineer who has worked for military contractor Raytheon. Several boxes of items were removed from the home of Richard Lloyd, who was stopped at New York's JFK airport trying to board a flight with a Raytheon laptop computer... More »

Yet Another Blackwater Case Collapses

Issues with evidence, immunity make prosecution tough

(Newser) - Legal cases against Blackwater employees accused of committing murder and other violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have been collapsing one by one, the New York Times reports. This week, the Justice Department dropped a case against an armorer accused of killing a guard to an Iraqi official; the move... More »

Blackwater Used Shell Companies to Get Contracts

It set up 30 firms after Iraqi trouble

(Newser) - When Blackwater got into trouble in Iraq for general thuggery and lost lucrative contracts, it came up with an easy solution: It put on a fake nose and mustache and kept right on collecting government money under different names. In another damning piece about the contractor everyone loves to hate,... 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 »

Military Handed Shady Kyrgyz Firms $1.4B

Companies possibly run by corrupt, deposed despots

(Newser) - The Pentagon has doled out $1.4 billion in no-bid contracts to a pair of mysterious foreign companies with alleged ties to Kyrgyzstan's corrupt ex-president, the military's main supply agency confirmed for Newsweek . The companies, Mina Corp. Ltd. and Red Star Enterprises, provided fuel for the US air base in... 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 »

Ex-Generals Cash in as Gov't 'Mentors'

They collect millions... while also working for defense contractors

(Newser) - If you’re a general unhappy with your measly six-figure salary, just retire; the Pentagon will pay you millions to come back and consult, even if you’re also drawing a paycheck from a defense contractor. At least 158 retired admirals and generals are now on the Pentagon payroll as... More »

Defense Dept. Opposed Anti-Rape Rule for Contractors

But lefties ripped GOP senators for nay votes

(Newser) - When 30 Republicans voted against an Al Franken amendment prohibiting defense contractors from forcing their employees to agree not to sue if they’re raped, Jon Stewart and liberals everywhere went ballistic. But those 30 Republicans weren’t alone, the Huffington Post reports; the Defense Department opposed the amendment as... More »

US to Beef Up Afghanistan Combat Force

Up to 14K fighters swap places with noncombatant troops

(Newser) - The Pentagon will add up to 14,000 combat troops to its Afghanistan force, replacing noncombatant support units with more "trigger-pullers" as casualties continue to climb. With support for the war waning, the Defense Department's "force optimization" plan will not increase the number of US troops, and... More »

First Obama Rendition Says FBI Starved, Threatened Him

(Newser) - When military contractor Raymond Azar was arrested in Afghanistan, he was hooded, shackled, stripped, photographed naked, then flown to Alexandria, Va., in the first known rendition of the Obama administration. But Azar isn’t accused of terrorism. The Lebanese citizen is accused of bribery, a charge he pleaded guilty to... More »

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