The Spy Who Billed Me
In the post-9/11 rush to beef up intelligence, the government has outsourced everything from spy satellites to covert operations -- and well-connected companies are cashing in.
...Yet as Americans learn more about the role of intelligence contractors from Afghanistan (where a contractor has been charged in connection with the death of a detainee) to Guantanamo (where Lockheed Martin has supplied interrogators, according to the trade publication Federal Times), critics are beginning to question whether private companies should be in the business of handling some of the government’s most sensitive work.
...Intelligence contractors themselves, meanwhile, have fielded armies of lobbyists to keep the money flowing; according to the Project on Government Oversight, Lockheed Martin spent $47 million on outside lobbying between 1997 and 2004, while another company, SAIC, spent $8.6 million and CSC spent $3.3 million. Lockheed Martin has also hired Joe Allbaugh, who managed the 2000 Bush campaign, to lobby for its rapidly growing intelligence division.
...Tim Shorrock is an investigative journalist who writes about U.S. foreign policy, East Asia, and corporate misuse of power for publications including Salon and The Nation. For more of his stories, click here.