defense contractors

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US to Beef Up Afghanistan Combat Force

Up to 14K fighters swap places with noncombatant troops

(Newser) - The Pentagon will add up to 14,000 combat troops to its Afghanistan force, replacing noncombatant support units with more "trigger-pullers" as casualties continue to climb. With support for the war waning, the Defense Department's "force optimization" plan will not increase the number of US troops, and...

First Obama Rendition Says FBI Starved, Threatened Him

(Newser) - When military contractor Raymond Azar was arrested in Afghanistan, he was hooded, shackled, stripped, photographed naked, then flown to Alexandria, Va., in the first known rendition of the Obama administration. But Azar isn’t accused of terrorism. The Lebanese citizen is accused of bribery, a charge he pleaded guilty to...

Problems Sour Boeing's 'Dream Summer'
 Problems Sour Boeing's 'Dream Summer' 

Problems Sour Boeing's 'Dream Summer'

(Newser) - Boeing was expecting to ride high on defense contracts in mid-2009 even as its 787 Dreamliner transformed air travel—but widespread problems have shadowed the firm's "dream summer," Dan Reed writes in USA Today. The Dreamliner's launch was delayed for a fifth time after structural problems were discovered,...

Pentagon Drops Ball on Contractor Oversight: Report

Says tens of billions in contracts lack decent US supervision

(Newser) - Though US defense contracting has reached “unprecedented proportions” in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department isn’t adequately monitoring the contracts, according to an independent watchdog. A report to be presented to Congress tomorrow says the government lacks central records showing the identities, activities, and pay of some 240,...

Pentagon Builds Legion of 'Hacker Soldiers'

US lags behind in cyberwarfare: experts

(Newser) - Military recruiters may still prize the strapping jock, but military contractors are wooing the scrawny computer geek to join the ranks of young "hacker soldiers" enlisted to defend the US in cyberwarfare, the New York Times reports. Most of the biggest companies, like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, have...

Defense Giants Stalk Cyberwar Contracts

(Newser) - Major defense contractors are already staffed with "hacker soldiers" who can help them earn billions of dollars in Washington's new cyberwar, the New York Times reports. Cranking rock tunes and piling up pop cans, engineers hack away at companies like Raytheon, working for the Pentagon or protecting internal documents....

Line by Line: Some Obama Budget Cuts
 Line by Line: Some 
 Obama Budget Cuts 

Line by Line: Some Obama Budget Cuts

(Newser) - President Obama said today proposed budget cuts are “not a criticism of” federal workers. Still, they take a toll, from defense to education. The Washington Post takes a look at what’s being trimmed:
  • Anthrax vaccine research: The administration says the goals of the program have been met, and

Pentagon Gives $4M in No-Bid Contracts to Murtha Nephew

Looks bad, even if no evidence of meddling

(Newser) - It can be hard for a defense contractor to be related to a powerful legislator with hands on the military’s purse strings. Just ask Robert Murtha, nephew of Democrat John Murtha, and chief of Murtech—everyone assumes that his success is his uncle’s work. Today, the Washington Post...

New Sniper Rifles Boost Range, Accuracy

Pirate standoff calls attention to classified Pentagon project

(Newser) - The M107 sniper rifle is enjoying its pirate-fueled moment in the sun, but don't get used to it: Firearms being developed in a super-secret Pentagon program will extend snipers' range from 800 or so meters to more than 2,000 without losing accuracy, Time reports. What's more, bullets created...

Northrop Settles Whistleblower Case for $325M

No money will change hands after firm, feds settle separate case

(Newser) - Northrop Grumman has settled a whistleblower case with the government for $325 million, but the defense contractor doesn't need to get out its checkbook: In a separate case, the federal government agreed to pay Northrop the same amount, the Los Angeles Times reports. The two cases offset each other...

Obama Puts Brakes on Contractors
Obama Puts Brakes on Contractors

Obama Puts Brakes on Contractors

Bush's 'market-based' government hasn't been cheaper or better

(Newser) - President Obama slipped an important policy change under the radar last week, saying government needs to make “a real choice between investments that are designed to keep the American people safe, and those that are designed to make a defense contractor rich.” Thomas Frank was listening, and he...

Obama Targets Gov't Contract Fraud, Waste

Vows to save money

(Newser) - Barack Obama today announced a plan to clean up waste in federal contracts, a set of reforms he believes will save taxpayers up to $40 billion a year, the Washington Post reports. Flanked by spending hawks John McCain and Carl Levin, Obama said his budget manager is drafting “dramatic”...

Roomba Maker Actually a Big-Time Defense Contractor

(Newser) - It’s common knowledge that the Defense Department is the progenitor of modern conveniences like the Internet. But would you, for a minute, think it has a $286 million contract with the company that makes your Roomba automated vacuum? That fact surprised Owen Thomas, who writes about it on Valleywag,...

Feds Raid Contractors With Ties to Murtha

Veteran Dem has steered $100M to probed company

(Newser) - Federal agents yesterday raided the offices and homes of two Pennsylvania defense contractors with strong ties to powerful Congressman John Murtha, Politico reports. The lawmaker has steered more than $100 million in federal contracts to the companies, and their employees have given more than $65,000 in contributions to Murtha....

Blackwater Guards Charged With Manslaughter

(Newser) - Five former Blackwater guards involved in a 2007 shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead turned themselves in today and were charged with voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, and using firearms in the commission of a crime, CNN reports. The men, all in their 20s, were arraigned in Salt Lake City...

Blackwater Faces Hefty Fine for Iraq Gun Violations

Contractor shipped firearms without permit; some may now be on black market

(Newser) - The government will hit security firm Blackwater USA with a multimillion-dollar fine for shipping hundreds of unauthorized guns to Iraq, McClatchy reports. A lengthy State Department investigation has concluded that the security contractor shipped some 900 weapons to the country—some of which likely wound up on the black market—...

FBI Corruption Probe Clears Nevada Gov.

No charges after investigation into defense contractor ties

(Newser) - No charges will be filed against Nevada's governor after an 18-month FBI investigation into his ties with defense contractors, reports the Washington Post. Jim Gibbons, a former Vietnam fighter pilot, was suspected of helping to engineer federal contracts for defense firms in exchange for gifts while he was a member...

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