Northrop-Grumman

Technocracy VIII: DARPA’s Technophilia (2)

“Twenty-five years from now, we may be to the point where the sensors are embedded in the skin and the person becomes the processor …

– Tod Lovell, a technology director at Raytheon


It is no secret that DARPA was at the forefront of electronically tagging US combat soldiers parallel to the initiative of tagging criminals in the prison industry currently making huge profits. The chipping project is called “Individual Force Protection System”, the manufacture of which was gleefully taken on by US defence contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). In January 2007, a presentation was delivered outlining IFPS details later found in a PDF document freely available on the internet. It described a 3-inch tag “without GPS” attached to a soldiers uniform with a “LOS range = 113 miles.” The wholesale cost is “$100 per tag.” [1]

As we have seen, Verichip and RIFD technology has its physical drawbacks aside from its ethical and civil liberty implications. From creating a “sixth sense” brain implant through which infrared light can be detected to implanting a chip that controls the brain; allowing thoughts, memory and behaviour to be transferred from one brain to another, these DARPA teamsters are riding high with possibilities. However, in the latter case it was scientists working at the University of Southern California, home of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Centre for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events which came up with that little gem. Working in the fields of “neural engineering” and “Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems,” chips which have been implanted into rats’ brains can be used as a storage device for long-term memories. Attempts to record, download and transfer memories into other rats with the same chip implanted.

A microchip implanted into a rat’s brain can take on the role of the hippocampus—the area responsible for long-term memories—encoding memory brain wave patterns and then sending that same electrical pattern of signals through the brain. Back in 2008, Berger told Scientific American, that if the brain patterns for the sentence, “See Spot Run,” or even an entire book could be deciphered, then we might make uploading instructions to the brain a reality.

In one study the scientists had rats learn a task, pressing one of two levers to receive a sip of water. Scientists inserted a microchip into the rat’s brain, with wires threaded into their hippocampus. The chip recorded electrical patterns from two specific areas labeled CA1 and CA3 that work together to learn and store the new information regarding which lever to press to obtain water. Scientists then shut down CA1 with a drug and built an artificial hippocampal part that could duplicate such electrical patterns between CA1 and CA3, and wihch was inserted it into the rat’s brain. With this artificial part, rats whose CA1 had been pharmacologically blocked, could still encode long-term memories. And in those rats who had normally functioning CA1, the new implant extended the length of time a memory could be held.

In terms of the new cyborg, it opens up huge potentials for brains training and entrainment. It also gives an extremely updated version of an Orwellian “thought Police” as an adjunct Pre-Crime technology, the fine tuning and enhancements of which are in parallel development.

According to a Los Angeles Times report in 2002, when Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary for Defence in the Bush-Cheney Administration he made it his priority to “… redesign the U.S. military to make ‘information warfare’ central to its functions.” [2] The strategy of “information dominance,” according to American military experts, consists of 1) Building up and protecting friendly information and degrading information received by your adversary. 2) The ability to deny, degrade, destroy and/or effectively blind enemy capabilities. [3]

ghost-recon-soldier

‘DARPA’s Squad X initiative seeks ‘innovative’ tech to enhance troops’ real-time situational awareness’ – DARPA’s Squad X initiative is inviting bright minds to submit their ideas for an integrated digital system to enhance situational awareness on the squad level. Squad X hopes to combine the cornucopia of different technologies into one grand “system of systems” to “organically extend squad awareness and influence” on the battlefield.”

PSYOPS and Information Dominance was ex-U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld’s favourite playground. His enthusiasm gave rise to Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) which encompasses everything from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology. RMA is full of wild beliefs about the future of warfare, modern information, communications, and space technology. “Transformation” and “total systems integration” are keywords that make the military technophiles shudder with delight. The defeat of US foreign or domestic adversaries through surveillance technologies, advanced weaponry and the suppression and degradation of communications networks is all part of the RMA and DARPA vision of technological supremacy.

The project which has caught RMA and DARPA’s attention is the “network-centric warfare” designed to turn cities, any city, into a limitless “battlespace.” And the evolution of ID alongside information warfare:

As urbanization has changed the demographic landscape, potential enemies recognize the inherent danger and complexity of this environment to the attacker, and may view it as their best chance to negate the technological and firepower advantages of modernized opponents. Given the global population trends and the likely strategies and tactics of future threats, Army forces will likely conduct operations in, around, and over urban areas–not as a matter of fate, but as a deliberate choice linked to national security objectives and strategy, and at a time, place, and method of the commander’s choosing.  [4]

From DARPA’s own website at http://www.darpa.gov these include various programs and projects supported by millions of dollars of tax-payers money. We have the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO); Cognitive Systems Office working on a project called “Learning Applied to Ground Robots” and the Command & Control brief described as “the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of a mission.” This comprises of “Deep Green” an “innovative approach to using simulation to support on-going military operations while they are being conducted.”

real-iron-man-suit-technologymilitary-plans-to-build-real-life-liquid-armor----iron-man----suit-yhcdfiso

Promotional still from Elysium (2013) in which the film’s protagonist is fused with cybernetic “enhancements” to carry out an important mission. DARPA’s dream on celluloid.

Then there is the Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance Team (HART) which is due to:

“… the complexity of counter-insurgency operations especially in the urban combat environment demands multiple sensing modes for agility and for persistent, ubiquitous coverage. The HART system implements collaborative control of reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) assets, so that the information can be made available to warfighters at every echelon.”

Alongside this program are Persistent Operational Surface Surveillance and Engagement (POSSE), which involves:

“… building a real-time, all-source exploitation system to provide Indications and warnings of insurgent activity derived from airborne and ground-based sensors. Envisioning a day when our sensors can be integrated into a cohesive ‘ISR Force’, it’s building an integrated suite of signal processing, pattern analysis, and collection management software that will increase reliability, reduces manpower, and speed up responses.”

Ready to track those pesky dissidents fully integrated into SMART society?

UrbanScape offers the capability to “provide the warfighters patrolling an urban environment with an up-to-date, high resolution model of the urban terrain that can be viewed, manipulated and analyzed.” Whereas the Strategic Technology Office (STO) will “… focus on technologies that have a global or theater-wide impact and that involve multiple Services.”

Other programs well underway with funding from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman include: Integrated Sensor Is Structure (ISIS) whose goal is to develop and deploy a “stratospheric airship based autonomous unmanned sensor with years of persistence in surveillance and tracking of air and ground targets;” and VisiBuilding, which will cater for “a pressing need in urban warfare [by] seeing inside buildings.” [5]

One of the main programs which DARPA provided for the TIAO was called “Combat Zones That See” (CTS). Journalist and author on police state surveillance Tom Burghardt reveals the details:

The plan was to install thousands of digital CCTV networks across occupied cities in the belief that once the system was deployed they would provide ‘warfighters’ with ‘motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales.’ CTS would create a nexus for mass tracking of individual cars and people through algorithms linked to the numeric recognition of license plate numbers and scanned-in human profiles.

The program was denounced by privacy and civil liberties advocates’ for its potential use as a mass surveillance system that could just as easily be deployed on the streets of American cities. In theory CTS, or a similar program could be further ‘enhanced’ by Scaleable Network Social Analysis (SSNA)… SSNA’s aim is ‘to model networks of connections like social interactions, financial transactions, telephone calls, and organizational memberships,’ according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s 2003 analysis. Once license plate numbers are ‘mined’ from raw CCTV footage, investigators could: a) identify a car’s owner; b) examine her/his web-surfing habits; c) scan e-mail accounts for traces of ‘inflammatory rhetoric;’ d) monitor recent purchases for ‘suspicious’ items. [6]

A check-point police state is hardly something that comes to the ordinary person’s mind as they go about their daily life but the end of privacy is fast approaching if governments continue to have their way. Location analysis, DNA, retinal scans, fingerprints and tagging and now chemical profiling of subject.

A laser-based “molecular strip-search” was the latest bright idea to be rolled out by the US government’s Homeland Security Agency and implemented across airports, check-points, large-scale venues and anyway that government sought an opportunity for surveillance. The technology has the capacity to instantly scan the bio-molecular structure of your body which includes the prescription drugs in your bag; cocaine residue on your dollar bills and any trace substance that we have come into contact with such as marijuana or gun powder. Ten million times faster and one million times more sensitive than any other system currently available, it can do all this invisibly and from a range of up to 50 metres.

tsascanner1The technology is a “scanner … called the Picosecond Programmable Laser. The device works by blasting its target with lasers which vibrate molecules that are then read by the machine that determine what substances a person has been exposed to. This could be Semtex explosives to the bacon and egg sandwich they had for breakfast that morning.” [7]

So, what will happen if you’ve been smoking pot that day or been down at the firing range? You will be tagged and “detained.” And in a climate of social unrest and false flag terrorism it is likely to be promoted as an unfortunate but necessary part of the world in which we live. We will have to be willing to give up some of our freedoms if the government is to protect us and retain the integrity of the greater good… And so the media will sell it …

By 2015 however there had been such a backlash against the privacy and health concerns that many of the x-ray scanners were taken out of airports and the hands of the The Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This is likely to be only a minor setback before the re-introduction of scanners which have been suitably modified.

As the government document: ‘Strengthening Federal Capacity for Behavioral Insights’ attests, the technocrats are losing no time in finding ways to merge technology and social engineering. Looking to make society much more “efficient,” we can add the latest bright idea by the federal government to hire a “Behavioural Insights Team” (BIT) to change US behaviour, taking its lead from the UK who spearheaded the initiative. Its own Behavioural Insight Team has been up and running for several years.

Commensurate with Common Core education the Obama administration took the opportunity to implement a new executive order in October 2011, after the Bradley/Chelsea Manning whistleblowing scandal. This Orwellian initiative aims to target future whistle-blowers, leaks and security violations by ordering federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues, all of which is based on the very shaky science of BIT. It is part of what is called the “Insider Threat Program”, which covers every federal department and agency and where: “millions of federal officials, bureaucrats and contractors must keep their eyes peeled for watch “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Failure to report could result in “penalties” or “criminal charges.” Such reports are bolstered by an integrated computer network monitoring system which detects “suspicious user behaviour” linked to Insider Threat personnel.

Seeing people as numbers in a Game Theory algorithm is bound to cause problems, not least the obvious flaws in trying to predict the future with unproven psychological techniques. Wide open to the usual privacy and civil liberty violations a National Research Council Report highlighted by McClatchy News on July 9 20013, was just one of many science bodies which saw no value in such initiatives stating in 2008: “There is no consensus in the relevant scientific community nor on the committee regarding whether any behavioral surveillance or physiological monitoring techniques are ready for use at all.” Quite apart from the fact that this executive order is on top of some of the most draconian legislation ever enacted in law and which continues to be rolled out in the face of continuing State violations against civil rights.

policestate2The marketing of the Obama myth has permitted the enactment of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) which destroys due process and the Bill of Rights. Since your profile indicates dissension and disagreement with government policy then you will be labelled a “terrorist-sympathiser,” “terrorist enabler,” or prone to “incitement” or any other nonsense deemed subversive in order to detain you much longer, without any rights to a phone-call or access to a lawyer. Even if you are not a drug-user the laser will reveal what prescription drugs you are currently using to what stage you at in your ovulation cycle to the presence of cancer. A comprehensive bio-psychological profile will be created ready to be used against you should you become a non-compliant citizen able to think for him or herself. Used cocaine in the past? Then your civil action against the government for abuse of civil liberties is dead in the water. Since traces of cocaine exist on all forms of paper currency so theoretically anybody can be detained and charged with possession should it deemed expedient to do so. This technology will become a useful political tool with almost endless “Big Brother” applications.

As Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield said of the new military “Cheetah” robot which can run faster than a human: “an incredible technical achievement, but it’s unfortunate that it’s going to be used to kill people”. [8]  The same could be said for the intention behind all the above technology. Put it all together with a rising Police State, social engineering and a SMART growth society, the outlook doesn’t look good for the ordinary citizen. It is however, a perfect direction for the technocratic psychopath to take and his intent to centralise and consolidate power through technology.


See also: Cyborgs 2030: The Military’s Vision of Remote Controlled Soldiers


Notes

[1] Individual Force Protection System (IFPS)Overview2007 Worldwide Personnel Recovery Conference. | http://proceedings.ndia.org/7040/11percent20IFPSpercent20bypercent20Marshall.pdf
[2] ‘The Office of Strategic Influence Is Gone, But Are Its Programs In Place?’ fair.org, November 27 2002.
[3] ‘Information dominance,’ by David Miller, The Guardian, January 8, 2004
[4] Urban Operations, Field Manual No. 3-06, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C.,October 26, 2006.
[5] http://www.darpra.gov
[6] ‘America’s Cyborg Warriors’ by Tom Burghardt, Global Research, July 23, 2008.
[7] ‘New Homeland Security Laser Scanner “Reads People At Molecular Level” declares a CBS News headline’ CBS local, via GIZMODO July 11, 2012.
[8] ‘Cheetah robot “’runs faster than Usain Bolt”’BBC News, September 6 2012.

Outsourcing Abuse III: Dyncorp, Plan Colombia and Private Armies

By M.K. Styllinski

plan-colombia

“America provides the guns, Colombia provides the dead.”

“The pretext of Al-Qaeda infesting the country was used. It was the same propaganda employed in the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and most of Africa –  in fact,  any other country which has bountiful resources. As the US government retained control, Dyncorp was airlifted in with a fat $10 million contract in the following year for “peacekeeping” and “logistical support,” thus replacing the more costly presence of US combat forces. In other words, this was a proxy army to complete the proxy government.”


Before we return to the topic of Establishment child rape networks I want to continue with the legacy of Dyncorp and other private security firms as outposts of an emerging Pathocracy.  They are important nodes in the expansion of a bankrupt empire and their links to covert drug and the sex trade. Inevitably these companies always have links back to the original source of pathological disease. Dyncorp’s role in Latin America and in particular Colombia is instructive in this regard.

impactos-del-plan-colombia-en-ecuadorThe Free Trade agreements of the Americas walked over the remains of the dead economies of South America, hacked off at the roots by years of U.S. interventionism and later under the auspices of the IMF and World Bank. The colonization has changed but is on schedule and Dyncorp is right in the thick of it to ensure its completion.

The U.S. $1.3 billion Plan Colombia was one example. Critics said that the corporation was involved in “counter insurgency” operations in the war on drugs as well as the monopolisation of oil interests in the region. Paramilitaries and mercenaries are co-mingling in a mix of dirty interests. The corporation’s activities also extend into Bolivia and Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and Panama where it is also carries out drug interdiction, transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue missions, medical evacuation and aircraft maintenance.

The fact that President Bush had substantial ties to Harken Energy Inc., of Houston, Texas, is well known. Bush Jr. opted for a comfortable desk job with the company in 1986 and received $2 million in stock options, a $122,000 consulting job and a seat on its board of directors for his trouble. Meanwhile, in the Magdalena Valley where Harken Energy and other oil companies peddle their business, right wing paramilitary groups comprising of Colombian military officers, drug traffickers, cattle ranchers and fighting guerrillas are paid to protect oil pipelines. Civilians in Colombia have become the prime targets as rapacious parties compete for territory. The murder of peasants is common place if they do not respond to threats and intimidation to leave land targeted for mining, oil exploration and agriculture. Harken continued to rake in the cash on the backs of dead civilians in the Magdalena Valley, with help from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

Paramilitaries protected corporate interests in the region. Death squads operated on behalf of U.S. oil companies and political parties, which were closely entwined in a network of intelligence agencies with the CIA as the guiding hand. After all, Colombia is both the leading recipient of US military aid in the hemisphere and the worst violator of human rights. Connection?

“Plan Colombia” was inflicted on the country for ill-advised reasons during President Bill Clinton’s presidency. The $1.3 billion aid package which was mostly military aid to Colombia and its neighbours, was to usher in “peace, prosperity, and the strengthening of the state” [1] by proposing a military strategy to stop illicit drug cultivation and trafficking. The plan was to be carried out by providing military assistance to the Colombian armed forces and police, and the creation of three anti-narcotics army battalions. However, aside from a slight drop in cocoa plant production, it did none of those things. What it actually did was to build on the destabilisation in the region thanks to 1990s Reaganomic policies and to “increase the dispersion and proliferation of organized crime and the expansion and intensification of political crime and guerrilla warfare.” [2] The plan served to increase politically motivated killings and where “counter-narcotics operations in Plan Colombia fail[ed] to target drugs cultivation in areas under long-standing paramilitary control.” [3]

After a whopping expenditure of $4.72 billion from 2000-2006 with $3.84 billion (81 percent) going to Colombia’s military and police forces, things have only got worse. The reason being, over 50 percent of Colombia’s land is owned by paramilitaries, the monopoly of which is drawn from the paramilitary control of members of Colombia’s Congress at around 30 percent.  It suggests that the CIA, true to its colours, wished to gain control of an important financial resource rather than to decrease its influence in any genuine way.

Dyncorp wasn’t the only one slicing into the pie. AirScan, a based in Rockledge, Florida provides High-Tec air surveillance and is responsible for patrolling the Colombian jungle in Cessna Skymaster electronic surveillance planes, spotting coca plantations and guerrilla threats to the Cano Limon oil pipeline. Military Professional Resources Inc. based in Alexandria, Virginia provides a consultancy service run by former US generals. Its mercenaries were responsible for training the Colombian Army and police officers. An Alabama company working out of the Maxwell Air-force base, Aviation Development Corporation (ADC) flies Cessna spotter planes for the CIA in Peru and Colombia to help target aircraft used by drug smugglers.

droga-panelas1

Cocaine monopolisation: Funding American interests

It was this latter company that caused a brief headache for the PR branches protecting the so called “drug war” when a small plane carrying US missionaries was shot down in Peru by a military pilot killing a young woman and her seven-month-old baby girl. The missionaries’ plane was first spotted by a US Cessna Citation surveillance plane piloted not by the US military but by private contractors hired by ADC. This echoed the shooting down of a Dyncorp helicopter and the subsequent rescue of its pilots by their own search and rescue teams which culminated in a shoot-out with the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Nothing like a spot of Hollywood intrigue to keep the shareholders happy.

Another minor glitch in its operations was discovered in late 2001 when online news journal The Nation managed to obtain a document of a monthly DEA intelligence report from May 2000 in which officers of Colombia’s National Police force intercepted a US-bound Federal Express package at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport with a parcel containing two small bottles of a “thick liquid” with the same consistency as “motor oil”. The communiqué reported that: “… the liquid substance ‘tested positive for heroin’ and that the ‘alleged heroin laced liquid weighed approximately 250 grams.’” DynCorp spokeswoman Janet Wineriter stated:  “… the viscous liquid that the Colombians tested was not, in fact, laced with heroin; it was simply “oil samples of major aircraft components’ that DynCorp technicians are required to take and send to the US ‘on a periodic basis.’ ” [4]

While the package was traced back to an unnamed employee of Dyncorp who was sending it on to the Andean operations headquarters at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, the government and Dyncorp were tight-lipped regarding details as to why this was entirely innocent and the result of faulty testing equipment. After a slippery tossing of the hot potato between the US Embassy, the Colombian National Police Force (CNP) the DEA and the Colombian State Department (and of course Dyncorp) the problem was shoved under a decidedly rank carpet courtesy of the CNP whose forensic unit decided it prudent not to pursue the matter.

The testing equipment called NARCOTEX was to all intents and purposes, also found to be bogus by the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Drug Recognition Experts. They could find no evidence of drug technology with that name. A token military doffing of its hat towards those that were intent on its eradication, was all that was needed. (Like the “War on Terror,” the “War on Drugs” is also largely bogus, a topic we will return to much later).

Dyncorp’s presence in Latin America has stuck like mud against the aspirations of its inhabitants since the early 1990s. It was during one of its contracts for helicopter maintenance that some of the long held suspicions about the multinational were further confirmed when one of those helicopters crashed in the Peruvian jungle in 1992. On board were three DynCorp employees, including Robert Hitchman, a covert-ops specialist, who had worked for the CIA in a number of operations ranging from the CIA front, “Air America,” to Libyan black-ops for Colonel Kaddafi. Hitchman was in fact, flying DEA agents and the Peruvian military on missions into guerrilla territory to destroy cocaine labs and coordinate the herbicide spraying program. True to Dyncorp services, he was also training Peruvian pilots to fly combat missions.[5] Colombia was to be a much more extensive capturing of a country’s destiny where Colombian army, paramilitary groups and toxic spraying and fumigation would be stepped up to a degree that would pay big money to ex-military veterans and black ops personnel.

 fumigaciones

Toxic spraying and fumigation

As part of this propaganda the corporation dutifully and profitably went about its $200 million[6] contract to spray 2,550 Square miles of Colombia with Monsanto’s “Round-Up Ultra” herbicide from 2000-2005, under the pretext of eliminating the illegal cocoa crops. An environmental disaster loaded on yet more suffering for the Colombian peoples already being squeezed by Bogota and the U.S. government. With 82 percent of the population living under the poverty line, growing their own food would have been one possibility to feed their families, when they often have no option but to grow cocoa for the insatiable demand in the States.

While a class-action lawsuit was filed in Washington, DC, on behalf of 10,000 farmers in Ecuador and the AFL-CIO-related International Labour Rights Fund, (ILRF) it may not save the thousands of children already suffering the effects of fumigation and spraying. After the initial veiled threats from Dyncorp CEO Paul V. Lombardi, towards Bishop Jesse DeWitt president of ILRF, the lawsuit for indigenous Quiches and farmers from the state of Sucumbío, Dyncorp subsequently used its State Department leverage to ask “…the judge to dismiss the case because it involves national security interests of the United States.” Luckily the Judge after consulting material derived from an investigation by Ecuador’s Acción Ecológica came to the conclusion that Dyncorp had “committed crimes against humanity, torture and cultural genocide.” [7] This ruling finally led to the 2003 court rulings ordering the suspension of aerial fumigation of coca and poppy crops until environmental and human impact studies can be carried out.

However, in clear violation of Colombian law, President Alvare Uribe, a U.S. puppet, continues to do the State Department’s bidding and the spraying has continued. According to Narco News, a Latin American journal that reports on the drug war and (the lack of) democracy in Latin America: “Food crops have been destroyed, rainforest ravaged, tens of thousands of peasants have been displaced because their crops, livestock and water sources have been poisoned.” [8]

Colombia’s armed conflict is the longest-running guerrilla war in the Americas, and with U.S. involvement, shows no signs of decreasing in intensity. According to the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, in 2002 alone “an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 civilians were killed in fighting; were targeted in political assassinations or were ‘disappeared.’ By comparison, the death toll was 3,000 to 3,500 in the previous year and where 4,077 children suffered violent deaths, including political violence and common crime, according to the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office (Ombudsman, Defensoría del Pueblo).” [9]

The crux of the problem in the declining fortunes of the Colombian people and the next generation of children being born into such chaos is U.S. sponsorship and support of guerrilla groups, paramilitaries, government armed forces and national police that have consistently perpetrated violence and abuses against civilians, particularly children and adolescents. There is widespread grievous bodily harm (GPH) and instances of rape in conflict and in domestic life.

Human Rights Watch place the incidences of rape of adolescent girls as 2.5 per every 1,000 young women. “Rape, sexual torture and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls are used as tactics to destabilize the population.” Despite a 2006, $20 million budget to help fund Colombia’s paramilitary demobilization process; the commercial sex trade is gaining ground, with estimates ranging from 20,000 to 35,000 children forced into commercial sexual work. [10] A steady unchecked business in arms trafficking and an equally plentiful supply of child soldiers parallels the figure of over 3 million children who do not attend school. A high percentage of indigenous and Afro-Colombian child soldiers of Between 11,000 and 14,000 are often targeted for recruitment. The U.S. State Department becomes uncharacteristically silent on the subject of support for Uribe and government armed forces that are known to use children as informants and “counter-insurgency” propaganda activities. [11]

403px-Álvaro_Uribe_Vélez

Former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez

Paramilitary leaders unilaterally declared a cease-fire in late 2002, with much trumpeting of the U.S. negotiations which were heralded as more evidence of the US bending over backwards to “assist.” If we look deeper, this “assistance” represents more attempts to find ways to circumvent the maze of interests that continue to carve up Colombia. Most paramilitary leaders at the negotiating table are there due to the possibility of extradition to the U.S. under the demobilisation laws and are haggling away their wealth that was illegally-acquired. Paramilitaries and drug barons are putting themselves forward as human bargaining chips to avoid imprisonment should the need arise. In truth, before 2005, demobilization had not been enforced due to the absence of a legal framework and served to act as yet another sop for Congress. Human Rights Watch reported in 2004: “…the government has been holding ceremonies in which thousands of purported paramilitaries turn over their weapons and become eligible to receive stipends and other benefits. As a result, there is a real risk that the current demobilization process will leave the underlying structures of these violent groups intact, their illegally acquired assets untouched, and their abuses unpunished.” [12]

The U.S. and the European Union actively encouraged the tragically misplaced naming of “Ley de Justicia y Paz” (Justice and Peace Law) while the United Nations Security Council sheepishly turned a blind eye. The Colombian Congress dutifully passed in June 2005 the legal framework for the demobilization of the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), the worst Human rights offender responsible for 80 percent of the most appalling abuses country-wide. They have been a dominant factor in the drug trade with various AUC leaders being extradited to the United States for prosecution on drug trafficking charges. Prison sentences are limited to a maximum of eight years and prosecutors are given a very limited leeway in which to present their charges. Big-wig criminals including drug barons are often blurring the lines between paramilitary groups. It means that they are protected from extradition to the United States by legal semantics and loopholes. Furthermore, safe in the assurance that they will be protected from the harsh realities of their crimes, the turning in of arms amounts to window dressing for Congress and NGO’s because they will not be required to reveal information about the paramilitary financing and methods. On top of this, they will not be detained for any undue length of time.

The CIA and its corporate covers in the monopolisation of the drug wars wish to hold onto and protect their assets while expanding and mopping up drug operations. Drug lords are bought off and given immunity in exchange for their illegal wealth while ex-paramilitaries are “re-integrated” back into the community. The latter means, of course, that these psychopaths have been hired back into the national police and army with a ridiculous assurance that no arms will be given to these men. Given Colombia’s record, this is nonsense. It is also an interesting example of the U.S. predilection for recycling military and special ops personnel back into its cover corporations abroad. We may well have the same practice happening in Colombia, with the priority going to private security firms, replicating the standards that Dyncorp is now so famous for. It seems everyone is a winner, except that is, the citizens of Colombia and its lost children. After all, mechanics, trainers, maintenance and administrative workers, logistics experts, rescuers and pilots and CIA agents with fat pay packets are all busy helping to fleece what is left of the country on a variety of support operations. For Dyncorp and CSC, exploitation ratios are its primary measure of success.

In an article by Journalist Uri Dowbenko he includes an explication of the financial mechanics behind Dyncorp’s free reign in the “War on Drugs” propaganda. Catherine Austin Fitts, former FHA Commissioner in the Bush Sr. Administration and former CEO of Hamilton Securities outlines how they do it where she refers to the creation of Stock Value or Capital Gains as “Pop” in Wall Street jargon:

If DynCorp has a $60 million per year contract supporting knowledge management for asset seizures in the United States,” she says. “The current proxy shows that they value their stock, which they buy and sell internally, at approximately 30 times earnings. So, if a contract has a 5-10percent profit, then per $100 million of contracts, DynCorp makes about $5-$10 million, which translates into $150 million to $300 million of stock value. That means that for a $200 million contract, with average earnings of 5-10percent ($10 million to $20 million), DynCorp is generating $300 million to $600 million of stock value.

Pug Winokur of Capricorn Holdings appears to have about 5 percent ownership, which means that his partnerships’ stock value increase $15-$30 million from the War in Colombia. If the DynCorp team kills 100 people, as an example, then that means they make $1.5 – $3 million per death. That way the Pop per Dead Colombian can be estimated, or, how much capital gains can be made from killing one Colombian. Since DynCorp was also in the Gulf and in Kosovo, we should be able to calculate the relative value of killing people in various cultures and nationalities. Pug Winokur’s partnership, under these assumptions, makes $75,000 to $250,000 of Pop per Dead Colombian. [13]

Of course, Bush’s anti-terror bill injected more financial aid to President Alvare Uribe’s right-wing government and managed to destroy much of the progress on human rights of the last few decades. It also smoothed the way for a doubling of the number of US troops and US contractors allowed in Colombia such as Dyncorp and Textron (the military helicopter firm) which continued from 2005 to 2009. The displacement of an already acutely oppressed people has reached 3 million and is worsening as a direct result of U.S. policy and the outsourcing of its global agenda.

Dyncorp is nothing more than the extension of the Pentagon’s foreign policy strategies from Bosnia to Colombia, Somalia to Haiti. Regime change required? Then call in a private security firm to sow the seeds of discontent by arming and training the waiting oppositions. This is exactly what happened when Somalia had the briefest window of opportunity for a democratic peace. After warlords had controlled the country for over fifteen years the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) had managed to wrest control from these chaotic and bloody factions during the summer of 2006. Despite the very real chance of a respite from war and carnage the US was in the region busily training Ethiopian troops who then invaded Somalia in December of that year backed up by US air raids.

The pretext of Al-Qaeda infesting the country was used. It was the same propganda employed in the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and most of Africa –  in fact,  any other country which has bountiful resources. As the US proxy government was placed back into power Dyncorp was airlifted in with a fat $10 million contract in the following year for “peacekeeping” and “logistical support,” thus replacing the more costly presence of US combat forces. In other words, this was a proxy army to complete the proxy government. [14]

After the CIA-backed coup in Haiti and the toppling of Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide, Dyncorp was drafted in by the U.S. State Department to protect Boniface Alexandre, yet another US puppet wheeled into to their bidding.  Dyncorp is now busy training police in the country. [15]

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The U.N. General Assembly adopted the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries in 1989 where around nineteen states ratified the Convention and nine states have signed but have yet to ratify. This followed with a further amendment to the convention in 1992 which was similarly ignored. It was also declared that “the use of mercenaries is a threat to international peace and security,” and that all were “Deeply concerned about the menace that the activities of mercenaries represent for all States, particularly African and other developing States” as well as “Profoundly alarmed at the continued international criminal activities of mercenaries in collusion with drug traffickers…” [16] At least three of the countries are officially known to have flouted the Convention. [17] The twenty-two States that have completed the constitutional procedures that bind them to the Convention are: Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Italy, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Suriname, Togo, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay and Uzbekistan. The nine other States that have signed but not ratified it are: Angola, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia and … The United States. [18]

The extent of this indignation and concern was shown in the 1997 report by the UN Special Rapporteur on mercenaries regarding the growth market in mercenary activity: “In what appears to be a new international trend, legally registered companies are providing security, advisory and military training to the armed forces and police of legitimate Governments. There have been complaints that some of these companies recruit mercenaries and go beyond advisory and instruction work to become involved in military combat and taking over political, economic and financial matters in the country served.” [19] With the United States maintaining a military presence in 148 of the 192 United Nations countries, it is set to remain both a lucrative and controversial field of activity well into the future. [20]0921-indep

While Dyncorp’s associations with the UN already reek of hypocrisy, these naïve protestations are further laid bare when we realize that Lifeguard Security, a company linked to Executive Outcomes, a U.K. mercenary company, was responsible for guarding U.N. offices and residences in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown in 2004. The refusal of the U.K. a major manufacturer of weapons and source of mercenaries to sign the Convention was given an embarrassing exercise in exposition with the Equatorial Guinea Mercenaries Coup affair. Sir Mark Thatcher and Simon Mann’s forays into the arms business were highlighted in spectacular fashion, revealing an industry that rarely gets a mention yet is so instrumental in the destinies of government coups everywhere. [21]

Let’s have a brief look at some of these companies.

The Vinnell Corporation, part of the Northrop-Grumman merger in 2000, employs ex-military and CIA personnel as well as having close connections with concurrent U.S. administrations. It has had a contractual relationship to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard since 1975. This led to Bush condemning an attack in Riyadh in May 2003 that killed at least 30 people. it was blamed, of course, on Al-Qaeda.

True to the infantile propaganda that is circulating so effectively via the U.S. media every violent event and atrocity is traced back to the insidious tentacles of Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network. This is very often the role of security companies such as Vinnell that act as foreign policy enforcers. They are there to prop up the regime and to keep dissidents at bay, hence they become targets. This is not dissimilar to the “insurgents” in Iraq who attack those intent on planting bombs and creating the seeds of a civil war. Under cover of chaos it is far easier to go about your business of fleecing the countries resources and laying plans for future geo-political monopolies. The terror wars are fuelling the security business growth and in turn, it is ensuring that terrorism remains a global menace, much to the delight of arms dealers everywhere. Companies such as Vance International specialize in American corporate executives travelling overseas, wealthy foreigners visiting the United States and the extravagance of Hollywood stars. It is renowned for using mostly ex-military men for “asset protection.”

Global Options which provides high-end security, intelligence and investigative services, billing itself as a “private CIA, FBI, State Department and Justice Department wrapped up into one.” Not forgetting its emphasis on “defending corporate America” which should fill us all with confidence. [22] Control Risk Grp.,  and MPRI  specialise in providing training mercenaries for armies worldwide. Although many corporations would feign incredulity at such heinous accusations, security corporations all provide services of “risk mitigation” and “executive or asset protection;” hired by governments, intelligence agencies and the 1% elite to do their dirty work outside of Congressional or Parliamentary oversight. Which makes Sandline International CEO Tim Spicer’s attempt to take the moral high ground particularly ridiculous. With the winding up of his company’s operations he left a petulant message on his now defunct website bemoaning lack of “government support”:

“On 16 April 2004 Sandline International announced the closure of the company’s operations. The general lack of governmental support for Private Military Companies willing to help end armed conflicts in places like Africa, in the absence of effective international intervention, is the reason for this decision. Without such support the ability of Sandline to make a positive difference in countries where there is widespread brutality and genocidal behaviour is materially diminished.”

The reality was that Sandline got caught red-handed doing what it shouldn’t and the government pulled up the ladders and claimed no knowledge which is what they do. The fact that an historical Western corporatism and its pathocratic enablers are the original cause of endemic corruption and destablisation within those countries also seems to have escaped the colonel’s worldview.

Other security contractors making mega-bucks in 2014 include:

  • Erinys – guarded most of Iraq’s vital oil assets
  • Academi – (formerly Blackwater and Xe) owns and runs one of the most advanced private military training facilities in the world.
  • Unity Resources Group – active in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia
  • Triple Canopy – won a security contract in Iraq worth up to $1.5 billion
  • Aegis Defense Service – works with the UN, US, and oil companies
  • Defion Internacional – recruits thousands of fighters from developing countries
  • G4S (orginaly known as the Wackenhut Corp.) –  the largest security contractor in the world that has it’s dirty fingers in most of the globes conflicts.  (more on Wackenhut’s history in the next post)

Ethics are not going to be top of the list in any of these businesses that would clearly kill the local nursery teacher if the contract fee was high enough.  What is more, the nature of the US Army and Navy means that they are chock full of the kinds of psychological profiles most attracted to such work which would include psychopaths, sociopaths, jackals and skirtoids which are then used as the pool from which private security firms draw their personnel. Former FBI agents, intelligence directors, Delta-Force, Air-Force, SWAT, Army Intelligence operatives, Secret Service agents, CIA veterans, Navy Seals and ex-Marines – you name it, the demand is there for such men and women. Security services and mercenaries for hire act as funnels to the US military and secret service in order to save money, resources and to actualise foreign policy moves beyond the radar of independent media and the public. Remember of course at a certain level, there is no such thing as a former FBI or CIA agent or any government intelligence operative.

As controversy about rendition and torture continues to bubble, private security firms are merging with the free-market to produce a boom in private finance deals both in Europe as well as the US Private-sector firms are even sponsoring academics and researchers and helping to formulate government penal and criminal justice policy, no doubt tailored towards an increasing reliance on profit over public interest. Stephen Nathan, editor of Prison Privatisation Report International said, regarding then Denmark-based Group 4 and its services: “The increasing influence of the private sector in the criminal justice system means shareholders’ interests come first. Who shapes criminal justice policy? Is it professionals, politicians and the public? Or is it Group 4 shareholders?” [23]

Though the tired suggestion that it is simply market forces and intense competition that has led to the prison services adopting more aggressively commercial approaches, this does not address the issue of rising crime rates of young offenders. For those ready to provide the means to sweep problems out of sight and out of mind it promises to remains an unending money-spinner.

 


End Note: This particular piece was written almost a decade ago. Since that time, Dyncorp International has certainly smartened up its PR and marketing. It has a slick website and a special “Social Responsibility” section and even an “A” rating on the Defence Companies Anti-Corruption Index. Unfortunately, a predator is a predator. While it may do its best to change it’s spots – even extinguish internal corruption and crime about which you will read below –  it is still a corporation which outsources “guns for hire,” complete with logistical and technological know-how. As such, it continues to act as a de-facto arm of the American Empire and fans the flames of conflict simply by doing its job.

The whole idea of US policing the world and is thus an “interference” is a view offered by the progressive left and it is missing the point. It is far worse than this. Companies like Dyncorp are a hugely lucrative part of Corporate America. As the Empire becomes over-stretched, their remit is to facilitate long-term presence in countries through private means. This is not a misguided policy of over-protection and policing, as though this is somehow about good intentions gone awry. It is about the maintenance of a sprawling corporate-security complex offering further geopolitical leverage without committing further troops on the ground. It has the added advantage for military-corporate partnerships to remain a little deeper under the radar when comes to the mainstream media.

The presence of men “addicted to adrenalin” adds to the probability of civil conflict and abuse. Sure enough, this still proves to be the case, despite Dyncorp’s probably genuine attempts at instilling ethics and values training for its office workers. It even supports a children’s charity in the region which, from an historical perspective is truly ironic. Corporate philanthropy and conflict has always gone hand in hand because it’s good PR. But all this is a drop in the ocean when the overarching directive of such companies is destabilisation.  When you have ex-veterans walking around with automatic weapons, hearts pumping and looking for action; roaming around a country that has been destroyed by the very same forces – it’s hardly likely to end well. Corporations working for military, intelligence and US defence attending a children’s charity gala while acting as a stay-behind occupying force won’t work.

What Afghanistan and Iraq really need is ZERO American military presence and CIVILIAN personnel from genuine NGOs who have no political and military affiliations.

Reports in from 2011-2014 suggest that initiatives like Village Stability Operations (ALP) are a euphemism for creating a network of staging posts which maintain a massive presence in regions across Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries formerly trashed by the Anglo-American-Israeli invaders. The only reason these private armies are there is to maintain presence. Re-building infrastructure and assisting the population in recovering from Western aggression only occurs as an incidental practice. The primary objective is to create a country contoured toward Western strategies as they play out in the regions.

Mint Press News reported on the studies by the Congressional Research Service, titled “Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security and U.S. Policy”, a report which drew attention to the negative effects private security forces have in regions suffering from civil war, tribal conflict and geopolitical sensitivity. Although, it seems to me that is precisely why such companies are there in the first place …

The report stated:

“An outgrowth of the Village Stability Operations is the Afghan Local Police (ALP) program in which the U.S. Special Operations Forces conducting the Village Stability Operations set up and train local security organs of about 300 members each. These local units are under the control of district police chiefs and each fighter is vetted by a local shura as well as Afghan intelligence. There are about 23,000 ALP operating in nearly 100 districts. A total of 169 districts have been approved for the program, and there are expected to be 30,000 ALP on duty by December 2015. However, the ALP program, and associated and preceding such programs discussed below, were heavily criticized in a September 12, 2011, Human Rights Watch report citing wide-scale human rights abuses (killings, rapes, arbitrary detentions, and land grabs) committed by the recruits. The report triggered a U.S. military investigation that substantiated many of those findings, although not the most serious of the allegations. … In May 2012, Karzai ordered one ALP unit in Konduz disbanded because of its alleged involvement in a rape there. ALP personnel reportedly were responsible for some of the insider attacks in 2012.” [24]

But you won’t hear about that on Dyncorp’s website because outsourcing the empire is unlikely to fade away any time soon. But keep pushing those values and training programs. Who knows? Perhaps that will deliver enough rationalisations for those working within a corporation which actively profits from extending America’s security and logistical reach into resource-rich countries.

We help destroy your country and make money.

Then we help rebuild it and make money.

That way the banksters are also happy. And that, as we know, is all that matters.

 


Notes

[1] The Center for International Policy’s Colombia Project http://www.ciponline.org/ The Plan Colombia (Copy obtained from the Colombian Embassy to the United States, October 1999.) ‘Plan Colombia:  Plan For Peace, Prosperity, and  the  Strengthening of the State.’
[2] Drug Trafficking, Political Violence and US Policy in Colombia in the 1990s Dr. Bruce Michael Bagley, Professor of International Studies, School of International Studies, University of Miami, CIDE ciencias socials, http://www.cide.edu/
[3] ‘Colombia: Stoking the fires of conflict’ Amnesty International, Terror Trade Times, 2001.
[4] ‘DynCorp’s Drug Problem’ by Jason Vest, The Nation, July 3, 2001.
[5] Private Warriors by Ken Silverstein, published by Verso July 2000.
[6] ‘A Plane is Shot Down and the US Proxy War on Drugs Unravels’by Julian Borger, The Guardian, June 2, 2001.
[7] ‘DynCorp Charged with Terrorism Lawsuit Unites U.S. Workers & Ecuador Farmers vs. FumigationPart I of a Series By Al Giordano ‘Lawsuit in U.S. vs. Fumigation on Ecuador Border’ Narco News narco.com.
[8] ‘Fumigations Continue in Colombia Despite Court Ordered Suspensions’ Uribe and Bush Administrations in Clear Violation of Colombian Law By Peter Gorman The Narco News Bulletin April 29, 2004. http://www.narco.com
[9] ‘Colombia’s War on Children’ February 2004, Womens’ Commission http://www.watchlist.org/
[10] ‘The Effects of Armed Conflict on Colombian Children’ October 2004, U.S. Office on Colombia http://www.usofficeoncolombia.org.
[11] Ombudsman’s Office, Human Rights Watch, Coalition to Stop the Use of  Child Soldiers, 2003,www.hrw.org/
[12] Human Rights Watch Colombia: ‘Human Rights Concerns for the 61st Session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights,’ March 2005.
[13] Catherine Austin Fitts quoted in Dirty Tricks, Inc: The DynCorp-Government Connection 2002, by Uri Dowbenko.
[14] ‘DynCorp International’ Company profile by Phil Mattera | http://www.crocodyl.org May 19, 2010
[15] Ibid.
[16] United Nations Resolution A/RES/47/84, 89th plenary meeting, 16 December 1992. Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination. http://www.un.org/
[17] International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, Resolution 44/34,72nd plenary meeting 4 December 1989. United Nations General Assembly, http://www.un.org/
[18] ‘International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries’ http://www.sourcewatch.org
[19] The Debate on Private Military companies 1997 report by the UN Special Rapporteur.
[20] ‘Ron Paul says U.S. has military personnel in 130 nations and 900 overseas bases’ Politi Fact.com Tampa Bay Times:http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/14/ron-paul/ron-paul-says-us-has-military-personnel-130-nation
[21] ‘Straw: We did know of Africa coup’ By Antony Barnett and Martin Bright, The Observer, November 14, 2004
[22] http://www.globaloptions.com1047 ‘Crime pays handsomely for Britain’s private jails’ By Nick Mathiason, The Observer, March 11 2001.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Exclusive: Private Security Contractors, Fanning The Flames In Afghanistan? (AUDIO) Presence of US-backed private security in Afghanistan seems only to contribute to the ongoing violence. By Jo Erickson | October 16, 2013.