Privatizing the Drug War

It’s bad enough when government agencies are all lobbying for a chunk of drug war cash. But when you get private companies into the act as well, then the entire power structure has a financial stake in continuing and escalating the destruction.
Lucrative private players have been heavily in the mix for years, from drug testing companies to privately owned prisons — all lobbying for harsher drug laws.
A couple of other instances have been in the news lately.
“bullet” Link

The Defense Department has picked five companies, four of them from the Washington area, for a contract to support the Pentagon’s counter-narcoterrorism activities. The government may spend as much as $15 billion through the five-year contract.
The local companies are Arinc of Annapolis, Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Raytheon Technical Services of Reston and Northrop Grumman Information Technology of McLean. The fifth company is Blackwater USA of Moyock, N.C.

Yes, we’re talking about that Blackwater:

Senior Iraqi officials repeatedly complained to U.S. officials about Blackwater USA’s alleged involvement in the deaths of numerous Iraqis, but the Americans took little action to regulate the private security firm until 11 Iraqis were shot dead last Sunday, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials. […]
In the United States, Blackwater is facing a possible federal investigation over allegations that it illegally smuggled weapons into Iraq that later might have been sold on the black market.

And we’re also paying them to help fight the drug war. A war that isn’t really a war, but has all the casualties and corruption of war.
“bullet” Closer to home…
Via The Agitator
A private firm (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation), has been stopping motorists and asking them to submit to tests of their breath, blood and saliva — assisted by sherrif’s deputies.
Declan McCullagh analyzes this fishy enterprise, learning that it receives over $35 million in taxpayer dollars (its only source of revenue appearing to be government grants and contracts.

PIRE seems to specialize in devising new and intrusive ways of
government meddling in personal lives.

And apparently, this kind of work pays well.

Robert Carpenter, PIRE’s CEO, was paid $221,785 in 2005
Ted Langevin, a VP/CFO, was paid $200,760
Joel Grube, a PIRE research director, was paid $237,075
Ted Miller, a PIRE research director, was paid $192,444
Jan van der Eijk, IS director, was paid $194,532
Paul Gruenwald, a science director, was paid $212,437
Robert Saltz, an associate director, was paid $191,527
Genevive Ames, a staff director, was paid $183,770

Isn’t it nice to know that you’re paying for all this?

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