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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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I wouldn’t trust anything Simon Treselyan has to say. He is a thief and a Con artist who fled Australia owing money that he refuses to pay back. He is trying to build his public profile up in the USA at the moment so i expect his past will always come back to haunt him.

By shaun on 2015 03 31 - 16:37:53
From the entry 'Who controls the world, and what can you do about it?'.

your problem eugene is that you consider this pathetic dog and pony show a “news” service. if you paid good money to listen to the tripe spewed out my the insipid fenton, then let that be a lesson to you.
tnr has no reputation, except a bad one, and for good reason. they are pathetic liars. do yourself a favour and never come back smile

By 5yw4 on 2015 03 27 - 13:32:02
From the entry 'The deeper issues behind the David Hicks case'.

I think my comment was a reasonable one. I have no idea what’s going on, but whatever it is, it is certainly not doing TNR’s reputation much good. 45 minutes of “news” in almost six weeks, with no explanation. This in no way to treat your listening audience (subscribers and others) or to build support and a good reputation.

By Eugene Donnini on 2015 03 26 - 00:00:15
From the entry 'The deeper issues behind the David Hicks case'.

“In today’s show we break down the core issues behind the conviction of David Hicks, and link the whole thing back to the grand deception of 9/11, without which, none of this would have occurred.”

and yet hereward continues to perpetuate the lies of 9/11 by claiming a 757 hit the pentagon with absolutely zero evidence to back it up and a plethora of evidence that shows his claims to be impossible.

spare us your condescending enlightenment and stop lying.

By edykjyje on 2015 03 25 - 11:55:34
From the entry 'The deeper issues behind the David Hicks case'.

The comment by Eugene above is most unhelpful to say the least

By geoff on 2015 03 25 - 00:02:56
From the entry 'The deeper issues behind the David Hicks case'.

, “you know Shawn, we might not be able to save your house, what do you think we should do?”...wouldn’t you find that a liltte bit strange? Assuming of course that you, like Mr. Silverstein, had absolutely no affiliation with or expertise in fighting fires? Or would you proceed to direct the fire chief, over then phone mind you, on whether to proceed with fighting it or pull the fire chiefs men out?  Larry Silverstein, Jewish landlord, financier, and part time psychic fireman safety coordinator for NYFD Secondarily, and less relevant, I have no demolition experience beyond home repair, but I do have a background in linguistics (thanks Noam!) and the only time an English speaking person refers to a human being or group of human beings as “it” tends to be right before they eat them. Perhaps Silverstein is a psychopath, I know liltte else about him so I can’t say, but but violent psychos refer to their victims as objects to dehumanize the experience of killing them. But I don;t think that’s what Larry meant. On that note, as I’ve said before, find me one other example of anyone on the scene on 9/11, or ANY TIME SINCE that has referred to a firefighter or group/contingent/unit of firefighters as “IT”. Not “them”, “they” “him”, “we”, “our”, “us”, but “it”. You can’t find one.  Because most people aren’t psychotic, amen for that.

By Yasser on 2015 03 24 - 18:06:14
From the entry '9/11 Troll Alert'.

Herewood,
If you want financial support on a regular basis, you need to regularly present news casts. There has been nothing for almost a month. I have been listening to TNR for its inception, and it has never been as scatty. In six weeks you have only presented an hour of reporting, 15 minutes of which is punctuated by useless advertisements which have little or no relevance to Australians. I hope you can lift your game or I fear this once brilliant show will be destined for the scrapheap.

By Eugene on 2015 03 22 - 21:49:51
From the entry 'The deeper issues behind the David Hicks case'.

josh just cant help pretend he is some sort of intellectual wannabe by regurgitating the retarded bile of fecktards everywhere..
boring josh.. unqualified anonymous josh who speaks on the authority of a half shitted pair of underpants..

feck off ya useless squib

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From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

Yes, fascinating.  However, I would be more inclined to resort to massive vitamin C (sodium ascorbate) used successfully by Dr Brighthope in cancer, both as a painkiller and healing.  He also used successfully vit C to heal AIDS. 

Well, when i still lived in formerCzechoslovakia (during the regime of the Communist party) we believed in the USA and capitalism.  There was a (Russian) joke about it: two comrades travel to the West and talk to each other, “Capitalism is decaying but the smell is wonderful”; and agreed that when they come back home they will talk cryptically about the situation in the west: when talking about good things they will say “like in a film” and when talking about bad things “like at home”.

Well, these days I must say that the situation in the West is “like at home” and the capitalism is decaying but the smell is not so wonderful.

By Dr Viiera Scheibner on 2015 03 18 - 08:40:31
From the entry 'Dr. Paul Craig Roberts on Venezuela, Ukraine and the collapse of laissez-faire capitalism'.

Josh
You gotta be gettn paid to troll that hard for the establishment, take the blinkers off!

By Daveeed on 2015 03 17 - 07:23:23
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

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