DynCorp is based in Reston. Va, and is up to 2 billion in sales and 23,000 employees. I never worked with them but it seemed they handled a good many things for the State Department. They were handling the drug air war in South America for State. The only problem I ever heard was about a young fellow killed on one of those flight. Not so much that he died, things happen but the odd part was that the family had to get Congressional intervention to get the body back. I was never sure who was at fault, could have been State. I will have to ask my old friend from Weber about that.
DynCorp: “more than 55 years of experience, offering our clients end-to-end solutions including information and enterprise technology, management and operations support, and aerospace and aviation services.
More than 40 federal agencies, including the departments of Defense, State, Agriculture, Energy and Justice, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Defense Information Systems Agency, partner with DynCorp to solve their business challenges.” http://www.dyncorp.com/
US pulls out Karzai’s military bodyguards
Special forces who foiled assassination attempt on Afghan leader replaced by private security guards
Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor
Sunday November 24, 2002
He is the most vulnerable head of state in the world – Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan. al-Qaeda would like to kill him. Rival warlords want him dead. In the internecine politics of Afghanistan, even some of his friends would probably like to see him out of the way.
Karzai survived an assassination attempt in the southern city of Kandahar in September when a gunman opened fire on his car.
That attack, one of a number on his life, was foiled by his United States military bodyguards.
But now the special forces men who saved Karzai’s life have been quietly replaced by security guards from one of America’s most controversial private military corporations, DynCorp.
On Friday the State Department confirmed the use of a private security detail managed by officers of its Diplomatic Security Service.
On the day it emerged that DynCorp had taken over most of the close protection duties for Karzai, the Vice-President and Defence Minister, Mohammad Qasim Fahim, survived an attempt on his life in Kabul by al-Qaeda.
According to Afghan security officers in Kabul yesterday, the original target of the assassination attempt had been Karzai.
Karzai’s absence until recently in the US scuppered that plan, and al-Qaeda had turned its attention to the Vice-President. This revelation is certain to raise concern over security arrangements for key figures in Afghanistan’s fledgling government, including Karzai, whom President George Bush has vowed to support.
Officials at the State Department insisted to The Observer last week that Karzai would receive the same high level of protection from the Diplomatic Security Service-led detail – with its DynCorp security personnel.
DynCorp has been involved in a series of recent high-profile scandals. A substantial financial backer of Bush’s election campaign, the company employs almost 25,000 staff, many of them former US military personnel, working in areas from security to aircraft maintenance.
While much of DynCorp’s work is of a non-controversial nature, it has become embroiled in a series of damaging allegations involving personnel in sensitive missions overseas.
DynCorp personnel contracted to the United Nations police service in Bosnia were implicated in buying and selling prostitutes, including a girl as young as 12. Several DynCorp employees were also accused of videotaping the rape of one of the women.
When a fellow DynCorp employee blew the whistle on the sex ring, she was dismissed by the company for drawing attention to their misbehaviour, according to the ruling of a British industrial tribunal earlier this year.
According to a recent article in New Republic magazine, DynCorp staff allegedly contracted to the CIA were involved in the accidental shooting down of a plane carrying US missionaries in Peru which had wrongly been identified as a drug smuggling aircraft.
In 2001 an employee of the company contracted to work on Plan Colombia, the drugs eradication plan instigated by President Bill Clinton, was accused of trying to smuggle a heroin derivative into the US, although the company insisted that it had carried out its own investigation and found no wrongdoing. Critics of the increasingly widespread use by the Department of Defense and the State Department of private corporations such as DynCorp are most concerned about the lack of accountability of the privatised operations being conducted in support of US policy.
Defending the decision to remove Karzai’s special forces bodyguard, a spokesman for the Department of Defense said the decision to recall the US troops had been intended to take place around the time of the assassination attempt in September, but that the switchover had been put off because of the incident.
DynCorp refused to comment, telling The Observer it had been ‘gagged’ over talking about the Afghan deal.
It was left to the State Department to offer a rationale. ‘Responsibility for Mr Karzai’s security was handed over earlier this month to the Diplomatic Security Service,’ said an official, speaking anonymously. ‘DynCorp personnel are involved in the detail that is being managed by the Diplomatic Security Service officials who have long experience in providing this kind of protection.’