reply to post by Frankidealist35
I agree. But I'm not sure the CIA would've been so successful anyway. I, like alot of people out there, question the integrity of our country's
intelligence agencies when they dish out huge sums of taxpayer money to private contractors for everything from torture to illegal private
intelligence gathering in the U.S.!
These huge contractors make these immense contracting bids, get the contract, and have almost all the leeway they could ever want from a legal
standpoint. The private intelligence business is a great example. Private contractors can be tasked with things like monitoring domestic internet
traffic and then not have to answer to anyone about what or why it is doing something. It will find "areas of interest" and then submit all this
information to the appropriate intelligence agencies. But they will not have even known whether or not something even had intelligence value of any
kind. This is a great example of how the government can pay the private sector to delve into areas it wouldn't normally go itself. And they're
doing all this with taxpayer dollars.
These lucrative contracts can include stipulations and clauses that give these companies free reign to do as they please without necessarily having to
adhere to state or federal laws. Blackwater security contracting earlier on in the Iraq conflict was a great example. Blackwater could rest assured
that all of its security personnel were above the law. Even the UCMJ didn't apply. This is why the area started becoming a little more defined when
the blackwater security guards were subpoenaed last year. But even then, noone even knew if these guys would or could be held accountable for their
actions. And before then, no employee from Blackwater had been held legally accountable for anything.
The last I heard, AT&T was in a massive lawsuit regarding strategically-located internet monitoring stations across the U.S., namely in U.S. airports
which were basically being run illegally. They were basically conducting warrantless domestic internet monitoring. To my knowledge, the amount of
domestic internet traffic that was monitored was immense. I can't seem to find that article again for whatever reason. Even ex-employees of AT&T
came forward and basically "Blew the whistle" on what was going on.
But this is a tricky situation!
The government can just distance itself from the contractor if they start feeling the heat. That's one big reason the gov. would be willing to pay
top dollar in the private sector for something the CIA or FBI would normally do. It also removes a hell of alot of red tape from an operational
perspective that could, potentially, impede operations of the CIA or FBI.
Here are a couple related stories on this..
Former employees say AT&T has secret room used by government to monitor web
I think even Blackwater is now capable of bidding on lucrative, big government contracts for private intelligence gathering as of October of last year
or so. This was discussed in an ATS thread from July of last year that can be found
. You can see the original news story
. I think that was just after the Blackwater security
guards had been subpoenaed for killing those civilians in Iraq. Around the exact time they were legally allowed to bid these big private intelligence
contracts, Blackwater leadership formed a sister company called "Total Intelligence Solutions"
exactly for the purposes for operating in this grey area between the public and private sectors where other companies like
had already operated in the private intelligence/spying business for years.
Whenever these companies "spread their wings" into other areas they usually will form new companies. Blackwater has a few sister companies.
Another one is Greystone
which is registered with the government contracting office as a "Tax Exempt"
"Corporate Entity", as the wiki article states.
The reason this is all important..
It is being aloud to continue amidst public doubt and scandal. We shouldn't have to doubt the integrity of our own intelligence agencies. We're
all on the same team right? Not really!
CIA operations and programs can still be run and operated by CIA personnel using civilian contractors as support entities. This means that the
contracted company can operate independently while the CIA just watches over them (more or less). But it can still be an official CIA or FBI
operation. SO whenever you hear about "CIA" operations like this, you can't really assume that it's even being directly operated by the CIA.
Especially since the government has made everything a for-profit industry, right down to interrogation and torture.