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Scumbag contractors, Our freedom goes to the lowest bidder.

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posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 01:47 PM
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Some of you may be aware of how the US Govt. goes about hiring contractors, some of you may not.
Pretty much the Govt. identifies a need, and whoever can fill that need at the lowest cost gets awarded the contract. Nothing nefarious in that, generally sounds like a good thing.
Anything you want to know about the process can be found in the link below.
Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy
(Caution: .mil site)

But if a company is savvy in how the Govt. works they can work the system to their advantage in ways that can only be described as criminal.
Like batteries for robots that cost $10,000 a pop, that become paper weights if they get drained below a certain charge level. (Oh my, sorry about that. But we'll be happy to sell you replacement batteries.)

Then there are No Bid contracts, where a company gets awarded the contract for essentially however much they want. These contracts require a sole source justification to be approved, but a monkey can type one of those up. It doesn't even have to be a trained monkey.
No-bid U.S. government contracts jump 9 percent, despite push for competition

Federal agencies awarded $115.2 billion in no-bid contracts in fiscal year 2012, an 8.9 increase from $105.8 billion from 2009, according to government data. The jump unfolded even as total contract spending decreased by about 5 percent. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon were top recipients of sole-source contracts.


These types of contracts lead to taxpayers forking out $550 a piece for 1"x3" steel slugs.

And now in the wake of the Boston marathon bombing, many of these contractor companies are crawling out of the woodwork like roaches after crumbs in the night.
These Classy Defense Contractors Are Already Looking to Cash In on Boston

“The Boston Marathon bombing has proven the need for real time video and data analysis from all types of cameras, including user mobile devices, surveillance cameras, and network footage,” Chris Carmichael, CEO of Ubiquity Broadcasting Corporation, says in a press release. As it happens, his company offers an intelligent video system that does just that.



...the night after the Boston bombings, an explosive detection outfit called Implant Sciences emailed reporters to say that its “quantum sniffer” was the kind of “technology needed to prevent attacks like this… It is the most sensitive detection system ever created and it can save lives.”



Not to be outdone, a publicist from a facial recognition firm, FaceFirst, boasted to reporters a few days later that “this technology can identify individuals with prior arrests, terrorists and persons of interest in a matter of seconds.” He also sighed that “the last few month [sic] have been pretty hectic for due to the use of face recognition in the finding of the Boston Marathon Bombers and other high profile cases.”

One small problem: facial recognition wasn’t used to catch Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the accused attackers.


And don't forget about Blackwater in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.
The wonderful oil cleaner Corexit brought to us by Dick Cheney and Halliburton.

I'll admit that many of the companies contracted by the Govt. do have good intentions and are just looking to provide services while staying profitable.

But there is no shortage of those that will happily sell us all down the river for a buck.




posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 


Government contractors find no profit in peace.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 02:17 PM
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not sure where you get the 550 for a 1x3 steel slug from...do you know what type of steel? As a former employee of a bid type defense company,I can assure you a LOT of the $$ if for paperwork and such.Dod is ANAL about paperwork and packaging.They specify what size box the part is in,how many parts per crate,the wood a crate is made of,and it all has to be documented and visually inspected! Thats why you have 500$ hammers and 5000$ toilet seats.We were also sent the list of previous contract winner's prices,so we'd underbid by a dime or so,unless there was no profit margin.Then no one would bid on it,the next time it came up,we'd bid high and win it! And the other issue is that the gov't NEVER bought in bulk.They would buy 5 today,8 in a month or so,5 a month after.....



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 02:19 PM
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i thought the days of a $500 toilet seat and a $400 hammer were suppose to be a thing of the past. whats even worse to me is when the government agencies, departments, and others come to the end of their fiscal year, and start trying to spend the money that's left in their budget. so they can get the same next year or maybe even get approval for a even larger one next year.
edit on 27-4-2013 by hounddoghowlie because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by blkcwbyhat
 


There was nothing particularly special about the steel.
DOD wasting taxpayer dollars.....again.
And they were 2"x1" I mistyped the 3"
Sorry, I deleted the pictures not realizing they would disappear from the thread.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 02:34 PM
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The president asking where the funding came from for a black project.



President Thomas Whitmore: I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?

Julius Levinson: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?


Quote from Independence Day, I know it's a movie, but there seems to be a grain of truth to it.
edit on 27-4-2013 by rockymcgilicutty because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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You forgot to mention (I hope) that certain companies can be 20% over the lowest bid and still get the contract.

Yep, even "low bid" contracts.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by 200Plus
 


I was not aware of that.
Can't say I'm surprised though.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by 200Plus
You forgot to mention (I hope) that certain companies can be 20% over the lowest bid and still get the contract.

Yep, even "low bid" contracts.



Originally posted by watchitburn
I was not aware of that.
Can't say I'm surprised though.


Indeed - those would be "minority owned" businesses...affirmative action at the corperate level.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by watchitburn
 


Government contractors find no profit in peace.


Come on Bez, there is profit even in peace time. I will grant you there is more profit in war time though.

During the cold war most of the peace time funds went to the stuff that has never been used.

If you look at the money spent all time. There has been more money spent in peace times than war times.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by rockymcgilicutty
 


I don't think that's accurate.
The US has had troops deployed somewhere constantly since WWII. Whether we want to call it police actions, interventions, or vigorous diplomacy.
After 12 years of constant full blown battle, they will wring out every last red cent they can before the gravy train stops.
Even if it does stop, Homeland Security will be happy to step in as the new ATM machine. Hell!, they already have. The constant climate of fear will keep the money flowing.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by watchitburn
reply to post by rockymcgilicutty
 


I don't think that's accurate.
The US has had troops deployed somewhere constantly since WWII. Whether we want to call it police actions, interventions, or vigorous diplomacy.
After 12 years of constant full blown battle, they will wring out every last red cent they can before the gravy train stops.
Even if it does stop, Homeland Security will be happy to step in as the new ATM machine. Hell!, they already have. The constant climate of fear will keep the money flowing.



Ok just to cut it down some. Since the end of ww2 we have been in a full blown war Korea, Vietnam, and the war on terror for (what) a total of 24 tears (give or take). now in the last 68 years we have spent at least a 1/4 billion per year on defense ( That's low). $16,250,000,000,000. On the high end the war on terror has cost about 4 trillion to date.

Note my numbers don't take into account the trillions of dollars spent on Nuclear Weapons.

Now hairs can be split Grenada, Hati and other small actions ( even desert storm only cost 61 billion) where small amounts of funds were used. But the vast majority of equipment has never been used since ww2.

No the years of peace and non action far out way the cost spent during war time.




The constant climate of fear will keep the money flowing.


As for your last point, that fear has been around since man picked up his first club, or sharpened his first stick. I guess back then it was the trees fault for dropping a seed.

BTW it's the (as I always here it referred to ) Global Arms Industrial Complex, so while everyone is doubting my opinion. Figure all the Countries in that aren't fighting anywhere and their defense spending.
edit on 27-4-2013 by rockymcgilicutty because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by rockymcgilicutty
 


Even allowing that we have historically spent more during peace than war time, when we went to go use all that equipment we found that it was not adequate to complete the mission. So we had to go buy all new stuff.

I think your figures are a bit low, but it seems to me we are just arguing apples and oranges here.
Every year we waste obscene amounts of taxpayer money, not just on defense but many other useless programs.

The war profiteers are just the most despicable culprits in my opinion.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 


I even stared your post. I can't deny that profits are up during a war. But my point was that over all more money has been spent in times of peace than in times of war.

Did you catch my edit?




BTW it's the (as I always here it referred to ) Global Arms Industrial Complex, so while everyone is doubting my opinion. Figure all the Countries in that aren't fighting anywhere and their defense spending



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 


You obviously have no idea about contractors.

We usually have just as much training, real world experience, and better equipment then most government units. We also cost less then the government deploying military units and there isn't an outcry if we die. The city of Boston new something was up, and they probably figured there would be much less causalities if everyone wasn't running around in a panic.

Stop complaining about contractors, we save tax payer money, have just as much training if not more, and probably have more real world experience, and for a fact we have better equipment.

We have an entire briefing on this for figures that come to our schools complete with charts, graphs, and power points on testimony showing the full cost of troop deployment and death. It's more expensive than you think.

A single soldier dying could cost 2/3s of the entire contract cost paid to us, not to mention the funeral costs which could end up costing 50 to 100 thousand dollars depending on rank and family requests, oh, and distance needed for travel on a C130 or whatever they ship the body with.

--------

So do we make a profit during war? Yes, we do. We profit with our lives, and get much better pay which still ends up being cheaper to the US government. We also are allowed to do things the government cannot.

It's also very sad to see how much training the line soldiers LACK. You wonder what the hell they did in MOS or AIT schools. We cant even laugh about it, it's not funny. You get soldiers fresh out of these schools and you're going what the hell did you even do.
edit on 27-4-2013 by milkyway12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by milkyway12
 


I understand contractors perfectly.
I'm not crapping on you guys who are just boots on the ground. Hell, there is a good chance I will end up being one of you guys.

My gripe, if you even read the OP you would have gotten the point. Is about the companies the rake in those huge contracts because they sold some idiot general on a load of crap piece of gear.

The banshee (I think that's what it is called, I can't remember. We just called it the Balls of Allah) comes to mind, a huge ridiculous waste of money, not to mention a completely terrible idea. We were asked to help with their demonstration of it back in 2009, and when we saw it we told them how stupid it was. And they bought it anyway.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 04:57 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 


Oh, everyone knows those companies are a rip off.

We buy the newer handheld GPS units that cost us around 5000 each and the units the guard had (two year late model) cost them about 13000 each.

Everyone marks up on the government.

I dont see what they can do about it. Cut military spending? If they did that, that's going to put a dent in the economy. Ideas cost money and it will be sold to the highest bidder.
edit on 27-4-2013 by milkyway12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by milkyway12
 


Yeah.

We all ended up buying the wrist watch type Garmin Etrex's out of our own pocket because the ones they tried issuing to us were garbage.

We end up buying a lot of our own gear because the stuff they issue is trash.

Why do I need a $200 surefire flashlight, when the one I bought at walmart for $20 eight years ago works just as well?



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 05:47 PM
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Yep,

As a contractor I can tell you we are always looked at with distrust and considered an expensive option. It just isn't true. The fact of the matter is, you have cowboy outfits and professional outfits. The average age of PMCs is much higher than line infantry in most militaries and most of the ones you see doing PSDs or direct action are typically very well trained and equipped guys. I would say average age is mid to late 30s. Many of the companies don't hire yahoos who think doing their 4 or 5 in the military, regardless of position, is enough to warrant getting into the PMC world. I would say the worst guys to work with are former cops or pretenders. In 2006-2008 many law enforcement were picked up by private military companies to fill the ranks so to speak. These guys have huge mouths and egos with terrible fitness and no professionalism whatsoever. I doubt any could do 5 miles in 40 min in full kit, let alone 5 miles period. The pretenders somehow slipped through the cracks and got a job, either by lying on their CV or knowing someone. They sound good in the locker room and they look good on paper, but they're weak when they put their cleats on. It sucks to know you have to work with someone who knows #uck-all and hasn't done anything. Unless you want to do static security for some facility, you have to be a relatively slick dude to do the "fun" stuff. That means 10+ years of military experience with preferably some special forces experience or training.

Milkyway12 is right on. There is a general stigma associated with PMCs (aka Mercs, I hate that word), and for the most part barring a few examples, the stigma is undeserved and based on ignorance. The whole Blackwater and Aegis stuff is rotten, yeah. Dyncorp has been in some ambiguous positions in their history, too. But the vast majority of these companies have professional records and their employment relies in part on their ability to do the job dispassionately, professionally, and as cleanly as possible, whatever that job is.

Do you have any idea how often the US military has blue on blue incidents? The Brits joke that Americans are more dangerous to them than the Talibs. I have a feeling that whatever bad news that most people know about private military companies/contractors is relatively small compared to the atrocities and crap perpetrated by or generated by official US military deployment.

I think people believe we lack morality, which just isn't true. Sure, some guys are total jerks who don't give a damn, but you get that in every industry, every profession, every culture. After prostitution, mercenaries, free companies, private military contractors, whatever you want to call them, is probably the 2nd oldest profession.
edit on 27-4-2013 by Galvatron because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by Galvatron
 


I agree,
If America was aware of the sad state of most of their armed forces, they would be extremely upset.

But as I said, this thread is not directed at PMCs. Yes there is always that 10% that give everyone else a bad name. But I have not had any experience with you guys that was negative. The only thing I can think of to say against PMCs was the use of Blackwater in New Orleans. That should have been a strictly National Guard Op. I'm sure those guys did the best they could in the situation they were in, but they should never have been there in the first place.

This was about the companies pushing their worthless trash and gear, Rah.






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