Friday, September 28, 2007

Mercenaries without borders - Part 4

DynCorp, a “state within the state”
Let us examine first the case of a large private military contractor DynCorp. Based in Fall Church, Virginia, DynCorp (of which former CIA boss James Woolsey was a shareholder) employs 26.000 people in dozens of countries around the globe. Bought up by Veritas Capital, a major private equity investment firm of the NYSE, DynCorp has become a “state within the state”. In charge of providing worldwide protective services for State Department employees, DynCorp is often hired to train foreign police forces. On June 12, 2007, DynCorp appointed Dwight M. Williams, the Chief Security Officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as its vice-president for security. DynCorp touts itself as an “Internet Corporation”.
According to Catherine Austin Fitts, a Republican insider and financial specialist that left the first Bush administration after spending 18 months trying to clean up the $100 billion sized financial frauds (including BCCI, S&L, Iran-Contra and HUD), DynCorp is the information computer system provider to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and provides a substantial amount of computer and information systems for the DOJ and the FBI.
According to some sources, DynCorp, by contract, manages the financial data and other electronic records for more than 30 U.S. government agencies, including the FBI, the State Department, the Department of Justice, the Defense Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Bureau of Prisons, and the Office of National Drug Policy. Catherine Fitts says that DynCorp uses “the most advanced version of the Prosecutor's Management Information System (PROMIS) software system. Theoretically, they have access to everybody’s bank account, onshore and offshore.” Reportedly the PROMIS Software has been used to “swipe” the bank accounts of Emmanuel Noriega and Ferdinand Marcos. Who wants more?
Behind this aura of governmental imprimatur, far different motives appear. A confidential memorandum from the U.S. Embassy in Haiti dated January 1997 and addressed to the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Department stated that: "Over 300 police officers of the Haitian National Police (HNP) have received specialized training in crowd control.... Embassy officials expect crowd control to be a major HNP task in 1997 as the stagnant economy engenders greater frustration among the populace."
Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch wrote that DynCorp's role in another State Department contract looks “designed to circumvent United States law.” Writing about DynCorp’s role in Latin America, he wrote that “In the Colombian conflict, Washington has supplied more than 70 Black Hawk and Huey helicopters and other military hardware that are maintained and flown by private contractors. Anxious to avoid the "secret wars" conducted by the Pentagon in Laos and Cambodia in the 1960s, Congress limited the number of US personnel that can operate in Colombia to 400 in uniform and 400 civilian contractors at any given time. US law also requires congressional notification before the government can approve the export of military services valued at $50 million or more. By limiting each individual contract to several million dollars; labeling them peace-keeping missions; employing retired CIA and Special Forces personnel working for private contractors as well as foreign nationals (to whom the 400 person ceiling does not apply), Congress does not have to be notified, making the contracts harder to oversee.”
US Representative Janice Shakowsky, an Illinois democrat, told the press: “Is the US military privatizing its mission to avoid public controversy or to avoid embarrassment – to hide body bags from the media and shield the military from public opinion?”
DynCorp is close to a caricature of the East India Company, the criminal wedding of large mercenary companies and great finance capital out for loot and power and war racketeering. DynCorp main shareholder has been over years Capricorn Holdings, a company directed by Herbert S. “Pug” Winokur Jr., who is a director of DynCorp while simultaneously the chairman of the finance committee of Enron’s board…Fitts believes one of the reasons why Winokur escaped going to jail for the Enron scam comes from DynCorp’s (i.e. Winokur’s) control over the government’s computer data files… Winukur is also director of the Harvard Endowment Fund, ($25.9 billion with a 19.2% return on investment for 2005), an entity close to the Bush dynasty.
Catherine Fitts notes the interesting fact that “Enron SEC filings indicate that there are about 700 Enron subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands”, the world’s leading center of the Anglo-Dutch hedge-fund operations and dirty money laundering. Another director of DynCorp is Dudley Mecum, also a director at Capricorn. Mecum is on the board of one of the largest US banks, Citygroup. Early 2007, DynCorp was bought by the investment fund Veritas Capital, directed by Robert B. McKeon, former CEO of Wasserstein Perella Management Partners. His former partner, Bruce Wasserstein, now leads the synarchist bank Lazard Freres. On Veritas’ defense and aerospace advisory council sits Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state and another shadowy Irangate figure.
Commenting the fabulous results of DynCorp on the NYSE, Forbes.com, cynically commented that “While greed may be good, war is better”, and added that “as conflict continues to dominate headlines analysts remain upbeat on military contractors.” In other words, if Cheney is impeached and the Iraq war brought to halt, war stock market values will collapse.

To be continued.

Mercenaries without borders : Indybay