mardi 5 octobre 2010

U.S Hires Gun-Runner, Coup-Plotter to Guard Diplos

The Iraq war allowed Spicer to move into the U.S. government market. Two years after starting Aegis — his current company, which trades on his reputation — Spicer won a massive contract with the Defense Department in 2004 to guard reconstruction projects in Iraq and coordinate the movements of thousands of private security guards working on reconstruction. It’s earned the company at least $670 million.

Aegis’s guards in Iraq took the company viral. YouTube features a number of swagger-filled Aegis videos depicting the tough security work the company performs. But in 2005, the above “trophy video” surfaced showing Aegis guards firing on Iraqi vehicles that don’t pose obvious risks — all set, light-heartedly, to Elvis’s “Mystery Train.” The U.S. military never reprimanded the company for its release.

SIGIR found last year that Aegis employed 1400 guards in Iraq. State estimates it may need up to 7000 guards — plus armored vehicles, plus helicopters — to protect its diplomats in Iraq now that the military drawdown is accelerating. And Spicer’s company is nothing if not outsized.

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