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L-3: the $15 billion defence contractor that will be scanning us

27 February 2012 (Original: 2012-02-08) | Source | Permalink | comments: 0
By Bernard Keane

Categories: [ Full Body Scanners ]

Part two of a report by Crikey political correspondent Bernard Keane on the awarding of an airport body scanner contract by the Australian Government without conducting a risk analysis

So who is the real beneficiary of the government’s decision to impose body-scanning technology on international passengers?

Step forward L-3 Communications, a key member of the US defence establishment and one with links to some of the worst scandals of the past decade.

The company will reap $28 million dollars from the government’s obsession with security theatre that has no demonstrated security benefits, through its provision of body scanners.

L-3 began as an orphan company after a Lockheed merger saw several business units sold off to two former Loral executives funded by Lehman Brothers, which still has a big stake in the company and a board seat. Since then, L-3 has grown into one of the top 10 US defence contractors. The company earned nearly a billion dollars in profit in 2010, from revenues of more than $15 billion.

Along the way, it has been involved in some of the US’ biggest defence and procurement scandals. In the late 1990s, the company’s lobbyist Linda Daschle helped the company get a Federal Aviation Authority contract to supply airport baggage scanners courtesy of legislation passed by her husband, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The scanners were later revealed to be faulty, but the FAA was obliged by Daschle’s legislation to continue to purchase them.

The company later acquired defence contractor Titan, which has been implicated in several procurement scandals. Titan provided “interpreters” at the US Army’s Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and the company was sued by a victims of US torture and abuse there, until the US Supreme Court finally dismissed the case in 2011. In 2010, a division of the company was suspended from providing any services to the US government after it was found using US government networks to spy on competitors. There have also been several lesser procurement scandals typical of the US defence industry.

But even as the US looks to cut back defence spending, with flow-on effects for big suppliers such as L-3, the fertile field of security theatre has opened up as a revenue source — there’s little or no political will to cut war-on-terror funding. By 2010, the company had provided nearly $US40 million worth of body scanners following the “underwear bomber”, having massively ramped up its lobbying effort. Not unhelpful is the fact that several US congressional representatives have big L-3 shareholdings, including former 2004 Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry.

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Putin would have to be a complete moron to pull off MH17 after his very recent and successful BRICS attendance. Russia and a few other countries (China, Brazil, etc) are setting up their own development bank.

No doubt BRICS is pissing off the masters of international usury at the IMF and World Bank that will be left out in the dark. Maybe even enough to frame those that threaten their long standing economic strangle-control over the world?

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-brics-bank-20140716-story.html

By aussiematters on 2014 07 23 - 22:46:17
From the entry 'War monger Tony Abbott recklessy accuses the Russian President over downed passenger plane'.

Here, here Hereward!
Sad day for genuine Australian relations with Russia
Abbott and his deputy should be ashamed of their obvious haste to point the finger at Russian separatists, let alone Putin
Though there are more than ever before, an aware population of internet news grabbers, there are still far too many sheeple taking MSM as the truthful provider of news
Thank you for being one of the few radio presenters/journalists who tells us whats going on…..not what the manager/editor tells you to! I cannot believe the number of MS reporters that seem to break straight into a Russian beatup when interviewing anybody to do with MH17 disaster

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From the entry 'War monger Tony Abbott recklessy accuses the Russian President over downed passenger plane'.

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From the entry 'Dissecting doublethink on the Israel/Gaza conflict'.

Hey bubba luggs,

sit on it and spin.

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No one in Australia is doing as gooder job as Heraward

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From the entry 'Dissecting doublethink on the Israel/Gaza conflict'.

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From the entry 'Dissecting doublethink on the Israel/Gaza conflict'.

I like the idea of Truth News and it is a great setup, but I can’t stand Hereward Fenton’s high pitched, annoying voice.  If you had a better speaker I would happily subscribe.  Also, a lot of your stuff seems a bit Johnny Come Lately as I find most of this on Drudge, Infowars and People’s Voice.  Hereward would make a great journalist writing articles and news stories, but don’t get him to talk on air.

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From the entry 'Dissecting doublethink on the Israel/Gaza conflict'.

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