Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Themis Applies JSOC Techniques to Citizens “Extorting” from Corporate Clients

This is a bunch of veterans proposing to go to war against citizen activism on behalf the Chamber of Commerce and other corporations.

by Empty Wheel at Firedoglake

I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot of these posts, showing how Hunton & Williams asked “Themis” (the three firm team of HBGary, Palantir, and Berico Technologies) to apply counterterrorism approaches to combat First Amendment activities.

This particular installment comes from an early presentation and accompanying proposal Themis prepared for Hunton & Williams. These documents were attached to an email dated November 2, 2010 sent out by Berico Technologies’ Deputy Director. He explains that the presentation and proposal would be briefed to H&W the following day.

The Powerpoint includes a slide describing the purpose of Themis’ pitch to H&W.

Purpose: Develop a corporate information reconnaissance service to aid legal investigations through the open source collection of information on target groups and individuals that appear organized to extort specific concessions through online slander campaigns.

Now, this is in the period when H&W was only beginning to discuss the Chamber of Commerce project with Themis, long before the BoA pitch. That is, this is the period when they were discussing generalized opposition to Chamber of Commerce.

And of that they got “extortion”? “slander”?

Please read the entire post and comments here

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized, Veterans | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GORDON DUFF: AFGHANISTAN: SPECIAL FORCES “DEATH SQUADS” DUPED INTO HELPING GANGSTERS

“HIT SQUADS” MEANT TO “LIQUIDATE” TALIBAN LEADERS KILLING EVERYONE BUT…

Gordon Duff at Veterans Today

Months ago, JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) began to roll out their strategy for Afghanistan.  After the total failure of the Marjeh operations, it was decided that US Army Special Forces would organize a program to decapitate the Taliban, removing its infrastructure and crippling its operations.

Special Forces had done the same thing twice before, once in Vietnam under Operation Phoenix, killing tens of thousands of Vietnamese civilians suspected of opposing the extremely unpopular US backed government.  The same program was rolled out again in Central America, with both American personnel and mercenaries again being tasked with eliminating “enemy infrastructure.”  This time, the lists began with teachers, nurses and minor public officials in Nicaragua.

We know how Vietnam worked out.  Even more embarrassing, the “communist dictatorship” in Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega, targeted for “depersonalization,” lost power in an honest election.  American ”friends” don’t usually do very well in honest elections as we have seen so often, particularly in Afghanistan.

America’s weakness is its addiction to what the British used to call “the wizard war.”  “Special Ops” or “Black Ops” seem heroic, dramatic and always seem to be approved.  With the bulk of America’s military budget earmarked for the Air Force, inventing new ways to compete with rival military organizations within the Department of Defense has become a game.   When dozens of innocent villagers are obliterated by a “video game” stateside warrior with a joystick and “kill” button 7000 miles away or the 500th “wrong house” in a row is stormed in the middle of the night,  it is time to find a less brutal ways for military politics to be played out.

Peddling “irregular warfare” baloney to the Pentagon Princes is easy.  Nobody in the Pentagon either fights wars or even lives in the “real world.” All that is needed is a bit of skewed intelligence and a fast talking “used car salesman” to sell the lie.  The Pentagon has hundreds of such people, maybe thousands, all mouth, all ambition and all “career.”

America has an extensive history of failures around the world.  The new answer is “special operations.”  The idea is always the same, make friends with locals using “American charm” and they, being the dull witted “wogs” they are, will start filling the coffers with high quality intelligence that will allow death squads to root out extremists, terrorists and what is now called “the shadow government” of Afghanistan.

As has always been the case, everywhere America has ever operated, hubris comes into play.  It is no secret that moving up the ladder in the Pentagon, especially during the Bush/Cheney years was a task best performed by the spineless and mediocre.  Now America is fighting its most complex conflict ever in Afghanistan, in a society whose tribal and political structure, whose interrelationships, grudges, private agendas and history a deluded few pretend to understand but none have a real grasp of.

For years, tribal leaders have assigned minor players the task of “drinking tea” with the Americans.   The picture is always the same, some poor local sitting across from a Marine with 80 pounds of gear, 300 dollar boots and a 200 dollar flashlight or with a Special Forces “old timer,” someone who watched Lawrence of Arabia one too many times.

Read the full article here

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan | , , , , , | 1 Comment