Last week I wrote about the steady flow of CIA employees to Blackwater USA , the private security contractor with major operations in Iraq. Yesterday's Los Angeles Times took a broader look at the revolving door between intelligence agencies and the private sector, and found that "because of the demands of the war on terrorism and the drawn-out conflict in Iraq, U.S. spy agencies have turned to unprecedented numbers of outside contractors to perform jobs once the domain of government-employed analysts and secret agents."
For private contractors to hire intelligence officials is not a new phenomenon. Take a look at the board of directors of any major defense or homeland security contractor and you're likely to come across some familiar names. The board at San Diego-based Science Applications International Corporation , which receives billions annually in federal contracts, has included two former CIA directors (John Deutch and Robert Gates), a former head of the National Security Agency (Bobby Ray Inman), and two former defense secretaries (William Perry and Melvin Laird).
But the pace of the movement to private firms has recently reached alarming proportions. Read on...
By Nicole Belle — September 20, 2006