Wednesday, September 25, 2013

USIS in Iraq

Four days ago I posted that USIS, a former subsidiary of the Carlyle Group that has all the appearances of a CIA proprietary, gave questionably lax background checks to both Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis. 

On September 20, Washington Post reported that USIS helped train the Iraqi police:
USIS received an immediate leg up: a noncompetitive three-year contract, according to a 2011 report by the Congressional Research Service. The company quickly dominated the field of private background checks for the government. During the Iraq war, it expanded into training Iraqi police units.
This would have been during the time period when it was owned by the Carlyle Group, which was already making major profits from the wars through its subsidiary United Defense. It would have also meant that it was working alongside Bernard Kerik, who was the commissioner of the NYPD on 9/11 and a major figure in the cover-up of what really happened that day.

USIS participated in offensive operations. On November 27, 2005, the L.A. Times published an article about how Col. Ted Westhusing, a leading scholar of military ethics, was appointed to oversee the activities of USIS. Disturbing reports began to come his way. From the article:
Then, in May, Westhusing received an anonymous four-page letter that contained detailed allegations of wrongdoing by USIS.
The writer accused USIS of deliberately shorting the government on the number of trainers to increase its profit margin. More seriously, the writer detailed two incidents in which USIS contractors allegedly had witnessed or participated in the killing of Iraqis. 
A USIS contractor accompanied Iraqi police trainees during the assault on Fallouja last November and later boasted about the number of insurgents he had killed, the letter says. Private security contractors are not allowed to conduct offensive operations.
The main purpose of the article, however, was to emphasize the fact that his investigation into USIS was brought to an untimely end:

One hot, dusty day in June, Col. Ted Westhusing was found dead in a trailer at a military base near the Baghdad airport, a single gunshot wound to the head.

The Army would conclude that he committed suicide with his service pistol.
At the time, he was the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq.

The Army closed its case. But the questions surrounding Westhusing's death continue.

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