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[casi] Operation Rent-a-Cop

Hi all,

Operation Rent-a-Cop

Aren't the lootings in Baghdad a terrible thing to see?

Indeed: Therefore something had to be done about it - and so finally
DynCorp with its private police army found itself awarded a contract.

Poor luck only for the liberated Iraqis who are not in a position to choose
the guards to ploice them.

And if they even knew of DynCorp's henchmen activities in Columbia and
Bosnia ...





1) New DynCorp Contract Draws Scrutiny
2) DynCorp in Colombia: Outsourcing the Drug War


1) New DynCorp Contract Draws Scrutiny

Posted April 11, 2003

By Kelly Patricia O Meara

With the liberation of Iraq nearly complete, private contractors are
falling over themselves to get their share of the hundreds of millions of
dollars the federal government intends on spending to bring democracy to
the long-oppressed and abused Iraqi people.

While there is little debate that many if not most of these contracts will
go to U.S. companies, the question is how sincere is the U.S. government's
promise of liberation when Washington bureaucrats dole out contracts to
corporations that are alleged and suspected of wrongdoing and/or ethical

Insight has learned that the U.S. State Department's Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs has issued a $22
million contract to DynCorp Aerospace Operations (UK) Ltd., a subsidiary of
Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), to "re-establish police, justice and
prison functions in postconflict Iraq." "The contract," according to one
congressional aide who asked not to be identified, "was sole-sourced for
one year. But this contract could come to $500 million before it's

"There are some strange things about how this contract was issued," the
aide continues, "because why would CSC use an offshore subsidiary. Is it so
they won't have to pay taxes on this money? Also, why wasn't this contract
put up for bid? Why was DynCorp the chosen recipient?"

Indeed, DynCorp has many federal contracts. But sole-sourcing of this
contract has raised eyebrows for some at the State Department and in
Congress where aides want answers about this deal and others coming down
the pike.

And concerning DynCorp's contract, some in Congress are wondering why State
would issue a sole-source bid to a company that has had some "recent"
problems overseas in similiar roles. For example, last year alone was not
only sued but paid large settlements to two former employees who blew the
whistle on corporate managers and employees who engaged in sex trafficking
in Bosnia?

Recall that former DynCorp employee Ben Johnston described one of his
DynCorp colleagues as a 45-year old man who "owned a girl who couldn't have
been more than 14 years old." Johnston also recalled the machinations he
went through to enlighten his DynCorp superiors: "At first I just told the
guys it was wrong, then I went to my supervisors, including John Hirtz,
although at the time I didn't realize how deep into it he was."

Johnston finally took his complaints to the U.S. Army Criminal
Investigations Division in Bosnia, which investigated his allegations and
confiscated a videotape of Johnston's DynCorp supervisor having sex with
two girls. Supervisor Hirtz was later fired by DynCorp and, despite his own
admission that one of the girls on the tape had said "no" to his sexual
advances, no rape charges were ever brought against him.

Kathryn Bolkovac, a former U.N. International Police Force monitor under
contract to DynCorp, also brought charges against the corporation for
wrongful termination after she blew the whistle on police officers who were
participating in sex trafficking. DynCorp settled with Johnston just hours
after a London court ruled on Bolkovac's behalf.

Such issues are being recalled again and questions have begun to be asked
about safeguards to prevent further allegations of abuse.

Kelly Patricia O'Meara is an investigative reporter for Insight.


2) DynCorp in Colombia: Outsourcing the Drug War

Jeremy Bigwood (CorpWatch),  June 7, 2001
U.S. contractor DynCorp is on the frontlines of Colombia's drug war. But
they are not accountable to the public for their secret operations.

In this special CorpWatch investigative report, veteran journalist Jeremy
Bigwood reveals how this semi-covert operation has been flying under the
radar of the public and many members of Congress.

Privateer Mercenaries

A U.S.-made Huey II military helicopter manned by foreigners wearing U.S.
Army fatigues crash lands after being pockmarked by sustained guerrilla
fire from the jungle below. Its crew members, one of them wounded, are
surrounded by enemy guerrillas. Another three helicopters, this time
carrying American crews, cut through the hot muggy sky. While two of them
circle, firing machine-guns at hidden enemy, one swoops down alongside the
downed Huey, and the Americans jump through the wash of the blades into the
firefight on the ground, successfully rescuing the downed crew members. It
could be a scene from a soon-to-be-released Hollywood blockbuster based on
the war in Vietnam or El Salvador. But, it happened in Colombia last
February, as part of the U.S. $1.3 billion intervention called "Plan
Colombia." The Americans who braved the bullets were members of an armed
"airmobile" Search and Rescue Team. However, they were not part of the U.S.
Armed Forces, but civilian employees of a private company called DynCorp,
the new "privateer mercenaries" of a U.S. policy that now "outsources" its

Like the old English "privateer" pirates of the Caribbean five hundred
years ago, sailing under no national flag - robbing and plundering Latin
America's riches for the English Crown, Washington now employs hundreds of
contract employees through U.S. corporations to carry out its policies in
Colombia and other countries. In the old days, the British maintained that
because the pirate ships did not fly the English flag, the Crown was not
responsible for their actions. While the new privateers are underwritten
through U.S. taxes, they are technically "contract employees." Like the
sixteenth century pirates, if they get caught in an embarrassing crime, or
are killed, the U.S. government can deny responsibility for their actions.
What's more only a select few in Congress know of their activities and
their operations are not subject to public scrutiny, despite the fact that
they are on the government payroll.

"It's very handy to have an outfit not part of the U.S. armed forces,
obviously. If somebody gets killed or whatever, you can say it's not a
member of the armed forces," former U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, Myles
Frechette told reporters. Meanwhile, Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey
recently described himself as an "unabashed admirer of outsourcing." And
there is an economic consideration too. Deploying high ranking active duty
military officers to staff Colombian operations is far more costly than
hiring retired officers working privately. A U.S. government official, who
asked not to be named, said that there were several reasons that the U.S.
government outsources projects: "[Outsourcing] can be a flexible,
cost-effective means of providing specific labor-intensive services on a
short-term basis. Once we hire government workers, they are here forever.
Some of these jobs are only short-term."

Outsourcing belligerent activities on the part of the U.S. government is
not new. It goes back to the Revolutionary War. Many such companies were
involved in the Vietnam war, but they were only a minuscule presence
compared to the major military effort by the U.S. there. What is new is
that now contract employees are in the forefront of operations. In the
Colombian war, private outsourced military men are out on the frontlines,
while the real U.S. troops are hidden on bases as trainers. The exact
number of contract employees in Colombia is not known. A recent State
Department report states that there are only 200 U.S. military soldiers and
about 170 American contractors working in Colombia. Historically, official
counts of U.S. personnel and contractors tend to be underestimated in
counter-insurgency operations.

DynCorp and Plan Colombia

By far the largest U.S. contractor company in Latin America is DynCorp,
headquartered in Reston, Virginia near the CIA, and Pentagon. It hires and
places many ex-military personnel, but is actually much more diverse and
more high-tech than that. The company's website promotes it as an Internet
Technologies corporation. DynCorp describes its areas of expertise as
"Information Systems, Information Technology/Outsourcing and Technical
Services." Once you dig a little deeper, it becomes clear that this is no
ordinary high-tech start up.

According to its own literature, "DynCorp's expertise spans more than five
decades - encompassing events from the computer revolution, the Space Age,
the Cold War and conflicts from Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Through
these times, we have dedicated ourselves to providing customers with the
best and most educated solutions. Our IT experience has evolved with this
ever-changing industry, and we continue to offer our clients solid
solutions based on this evolution." DynCorp has "worked with domestic and
foreign government agencies to provide successful information, engineering
and aerospace technology solutions. As a result, few companies understand
the public sector like DynCorp, or can boast a government client base with
the depth and breadth of ours."

Indeed, government contracts account for 98% of DynCorp's business. It
contracts with more than 30 U.S. government agencies, including the
Department of Defense, State Department, FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency,
Bureau of Prisons, and the Office of National Drug Policy. About half of
DynCorp's revenue comes from the Pentagon and many of its employees are
retired military men. The rest of the contracts are mostly with civilian
government agencies. According to its website, last year it generated more
than $1.8 billion in annual revenues, a $4.4 billion-dollar contract
backlog and more than 20,000 employees in more than 550 locations. CEO Paul
Lombardi recently boasted to the Washington Technology website that he
projects 2001 revenue will top $2 billion. Like many transnational giants
DynCorp has gobbled up some of the competition. In 1999 it acquired GTE
Information Systems which has helped the company pursue government

Since 1997, DynCorp has operated under a $600 million-dollar State
Department contract in Latin America. But, according to its contract with
the State Department, recently acquired by CorpWatch, "mission deployments
may be made to any worldwide location, including, potentially, outside of
Central and South America." The company mainly "participates in eradication
missions, training, and drug interdiction, but also participates in air
transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue, airborne medical evacuation,
ferrying equipment and personnel from one country to another, as well as
aircraft maintenance," according to the contract. DynCorp operates several
State Department aircraft, including armed UH-1H Iroquois and Bell-212
Huey-type helicopters and T-65 Thrush crop dusters. DynCorp provides the
pilots, technicians, and just about any kind of personnel required to carry
out the war in Colombia, including administrative personnel.

[According to recent reports, DynCorp also employs third-party contractors
such as Eagle Aviation Service and Technology Inc. Eagle is best known for
helping Oliver North run guns to Nicaraguan rebels in what would become
known as the Iran-Contra affair.]

Some of its personnel in Colombia, such as its helicopter pilots are
Colombians, Peruvians, and Guatemalans, but most are from the U.S. All must
speak passable Spanish and English, and all must possess U.S. government
"Secret" personnel security clearances, except in the cases of foreign
contractors, where this requirement may be waived.

DynCorp is tight lipped when it comes to its clients. Company spokesperson
Janet Wineriter refused to comment on the company's overseas operations.
Nor will the State Department make on-the-record statements about DynCorp's
operations. Company paramedic Michael Demons apparently recently died of a
heart attack on a Colombian military base and the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá
attempted to keep his death secret. Because Demons was not a military
officer and didn't work directly for the U.S. government, there was no
official report and his death was treated as if he were a tourist. DynCorp
has also lost three pilots in action. None of these deaths were reported in
the news media.

DynCorp also operates in Bolivia and Peru, in conflict zones where
indigenous coca growers feel U.S. drug operations encroach on their
cultural use of coca and their economic livelihood. In Peru these areas
also face renewed activity of Shining Path guerillas. But by far the
largest DynCorp operations are in Colombia, and according to its contract
with the State Department, it has a "command and control" function in the
field, apparently outside any government oversight.

DynCorp is openly labeled "mercenary" by a hostile Colombian press, a
charge they vigorously deny. A State Department official told CorpWatch
that "mercenaries are used in war. This is counter-narcotics." But in
Colombia, the line between the counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics has
been blurred for many years. While it is true that Colombia now produces
much of the cocaine used in the United States making it a target for the
"war on drugs," Washington's policy objectives may go beyond drugs. The
U.S. is also concerned about Colombia's more than 30-year long guerilla
insurgency. Critics say that Plan Colombia is an expansion of Washington's
involvement in counter-insurgency.

A hint of other U.S. policy aims is visible to anyone taking a commercial
flight from Houston to Bogotá. Amongst the U.S. passengers, the embassy
types, the businessmen and older ex-military types are easily recognizable.
But those who stand out most are the young gringos with cocker-spaniel
hairdos wearing blue jeans and sweatshirts with oil company logos inscribed
on them. Increasing oil supplies is at the heart of Bush administration
energy policy. And both U.S. presidential candidates during the 2000
elections had ties to major oil investments in Colombia. Al Gore's family
owns shares in Occidental Petroleum and now-President George Bush has ties
to Harken Energy Inc., of Houston, Texas.

According to Fernando Caicedo, a middle-aged, mustached, but sprightly
guerilla commander interviewed in southern Colombia: "the gringos want to
exploit the whole upper Amazon region, an area that includes parts of
Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, known for its richness in
black gold -- oil."

DynCorp's day to day operations are overseen by a secretive clique of
officials in the State Department's Narcotic Affairs Section (NAS) and the
State Department's Air Wing, a group that includes unreformed cold warriors
and leftovers from the Central American wars of the 1980's. Working
hand-in-hand with U.S. military officials, Narcotic Affairs is supposed to
be part of the drug war only, running the fumigation operations against
drug crops. But there are indications that it is also involved in the
counter-insurgency. In areas that are targeted for fumigation by Narcotic
Affairs, Colombian right-wing paramilitaries arrive, sometimes by military
helicopter, according to a human rights worker living in the Putumayo who
asked for anonymity. Members of these paramilitaries "clear the ground" so
that the planes spraying herbicides, often piloted by Americans, are not
shot at by angry farmers or insurgents.

"If we did not take control of zones ahead of the army, the guerrillas
would shoot down their planes" said southern Colombia paramilitary leader,
"Comando Wilson" last April. Many of these paramilitary forces have
benefited from U.S.-financed military training in the Colombian Army. Their
frequent apparent coordination with the Narcotic Affairs Section and their
DynCorp employees, as well as with the Colombian Armed forces, raises the
question of U.S. collaboration with "outsourced" death squads, a charge
vehemently denied by U.S. officials.

Questions on Capitol Hill

The growing death toll around the use of contractors like DynCorp has
caught the attention of U.S. lawmakers. In April, private forces under a
CIA contract in Peru identified U.S. missionaries flying in a plane as
suspected drug dealers. They notified the Peruvian Air Force which shot
them down, killing a woman and her seven month old daughter. While there
was speculation that DynCorp might be involved, the company vehemently
denied the allegations. "DynCorp does not provide surveillance services
under this program and was not involved in any manner in the incident that
occurred in Peru," according to spokesperson Charlene A. Wheeless. The New
York Times reports another company, Aviation Development, was responsible
for the downing of the plane. Aviation Development works in the same areas
of Colombia as DynCorp, mainly as an airborne intelligence gatherer under
contract to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Moved to action by the incident, Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill, submitted
the Andean Region Contractor Accountability Act H.R. 1591, "legislation
that would prohibit U.S. funds from being used to contract with private
military companies in the Andean region."

"U.S. taxpayers are unwittingly funding a private war with private
soldiers," Schakowsky recently testified in Congress. "American taxpayers
already pay $300 billion per year to fund the world's most powerful
military. Why should they have to pay a second time in order to privatize
our operations? How is the public to know what their tax dollars are being
used for? If there is a potential for a privatized Gulf of Tonkin incident,
then the American people deserve to have a full and open debate before this
policy goes any farther."

"Are we outsourcing in order to avoid public scrutiny, controversy or
embarrassment? Is it to hide body bags from the media and thus shield them
from public opinion?" she asked. "Or is it to provide deniability because
these private contractors are not covered by the same rules as active duty
U.S. service persons."

As Schakowsky's bill winds its way through the bureaucracy on Capitol Hill,
DynCorp continues to operate in Latin America free from public scrutiny or

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