Friday, June 15, 2012
U.S. contracts out spying to private companies in Africa
A long article in the Washington Post details U.S use of private contractors to spy in Africa in particular Uganda. The contractors use Pilatus PC-12 aircraft the same planes as are favored by U.S. Special Forces stealth missions. They are completely non-descript in appearance and hide the high tech equipment on board.
To hide the fact that the operations are by the U.S. the contractors supply the planes, pilots, mechanics and other personnel. They process intelligence collected over Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic. Although last October Obama sent 100 elite U.S troops to find the Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, U.S. contractors had been looking for him much earlier.
There is also a secret spy program keeping track of alleged Al Qaeda groups in North Africa. Since these operations are taking place outside of the traditional military channels there is virtually no oversight or accountability. No doubt this is what makes the programs attractive to the government.
When questioned the U.S. Africa command would not discuss specific missions or even why it was outsourcing the gathering of intelligence. Obviously this advances the symbiotic relationships in the military industrial complex.