[Marxism] Explosion kills 7 at US "security" firm in Kabul

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Aug 29 22:33:53 MDT 2004


Explosion Kills 7 at U.S. Firm in Kabul
By AMIR SHAH
.c The Associated Press 

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A powerful car bomb detonated outside the
office of a U.S. security contractor in the Afghan capital Sunday,
killing at least seven people, including two Americans, and wounding
several others, officials and witnesses said.

Hours earlier, a blast wrecked a religious school in southeastern
Afghanistan, reportedly killing at least eight children and one adult
and underlining the country's fragile security as it moves toward its
first post-Taliban election in October.

Security officials have issued several warnings in recent weeks about
possible car bombings and suicide attacks in the Afghan capital. NATO
forces patrolling Kabul have warned that anti-government militants,
including the ousted Taliban, could try to mount spectacular attacks in
a bid to disrupt the landmark presidential election scheduled for Oct.
9.

The Kabul explosion hit the office of Dyncorp Inc., an American firm
that provides security for Afghan President Hamid Karzai and works for
the U.S. government in Iraq, said Nick Downie of the Afghanistan NGO
Security Office.

``The explosion ... killed at least seven people,'' Karzai's office said
in a statement. ``Two Americans, three Nepalese and two Afghan
nationals, including a child, have been confirmed dead.''

Karzai and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad expressed shock at the
bombing.

An American embassy statement said the contractor also was involved in a
project to train Afghan police, a key element of the internationally
backed plan to prevent the country from reverting to a haven for
al-Qaida militants.

The company is believed to employ Nepalese and Americans in Afghanistan,
where it reportedly is involved in anti-drug efforts.

``This cowardly attack will not deter U.S. participation in the ongoing
effort to help Afghanistan stand on its own feet,'' Khalilzad said,
describing the bombing as a ``terrorist attack.''

Downie said he and others at the scene pulled five or six seriously
injured people - including apparent Westerners - from the burning
building.

``Some were obviously Dyncorp staff,'' said Downie, a former British
soldier who advises relief groups on security.

Dyncorp Inc. is a division of Computer Sciences Corp. based in El
Segundo, Calif. CSC spokesman Mike Dickerson said the Dyncorp office was
hit by ``an apparent car bombing.''

``There were a number of a casualties,'' he said. ``We are working to
confirm the number and identities of the victims. Our operations in
Afghanistan are continuing.''

The blast occurred in Kabul's Shar-e Naw district, a bustling area with
the offices of international organizations and guesthouses used by their
staff.

The Dyncorp building burned fiercely after the explosion, which blew out
the windows of surrounding houses.

Reporters saw the mutilated body of one man lying in the street before
Afghan police and foreign security guards pushed them back at gunpoint.

Emergency workers ferried the victims to a hospital in ambulances and
picked body parts from the street.

Residents said a boy living in a neighboring house and a cobbler in a
nearby stall were killed, and as many as eight other people were
wounded.

``It was a very, very big explosion, and there were a lot of injured,''
said Ahmad Emal, a young shopkeeper watching from behind the police
cordon. ``These foreigners should leave the residential areas.''

The charred wreckage of a car lay in front of the burning house. Several
hundred yards away, Afghans crowded around what appeared to be the
engine block, and officials said a bomb almost certainly was concealed
inside the car.

On Saturday night, an explosion ripped through the Mullah Khel religious
school near Zormat, 80 miles south of Kabul, in southeastern Paktia
province. Eight children between the ages of 7 and 15 were killed, and
15 other people were injured, three of them critically, said Paktia Gov.
Asadullah Wafa.

But U.S. Master Sgt. Ann Bennett said nine children and one adult were
killed, and several other people were wounded. The differing death tolls
could not immediately be explained.

The U.S. military, which sent medics to help after the blast, said the
cause was unclear.

Wafa said a bomb was planted on a second-floor balcony by ``puppets
listening to their bosses outside the country.''

He did not elaborate, but his remark appeared aimed at neighboring
Pakistan, which many Afghans accuse of not doing enough to prevent
Taliban militants from mounting cross-border attacks.

The school received funding from an international aid group, Wafa said,
which could have made it a target for Taliban-led militants.

The school also was used to register voters for the elections - a
process which Taliban militants vowed to disrupt.

A dozen election workers and more than 20 Afghans carrying voter
identification cards have been killed in attacks blamed largely on the
Taliban, ousted by a U.S. invasion in late 2001.

U.N. officials said they were investigating whether the school explosion
was linked to the upcoming election.

Also Sunday, the military confirmed that Mullah Rozi Khan, a Taliban
leader in Zabul province, was killed in a joint U.S.-Afghan raid Friday.

No American or Afghan soldiers were reported injured.

Associated Press reporter Stephen Graham in Kabul contributed to this
report.

08/29/04 15:46 EDT


====================================================
Backgroup Information of Dyn Corp
http://www.publici.org/wow/bio.aspx?act=pro&ddlC=17

According from Center for Public Integrity, US. State Department,
between FY 2002-2003 fund Dyn Corp $43,559,421 for their work in
Afghanistan alone.

DynCorp (Computer Sciences Corp.)
2100 E. Grand Avenue
El Segundo, CA 90245
Phone: (310) 615-0311
Fax: (310) 322-9768
http://www.csc.com
Background
Founded in 1946, DynCorp (now owned by Computer Sciences Corporation) is
one of the largest private military contractors in the world. The
company has provided police officers for operations in the Balkans and
pilots for the U.S.-led war on drugs in South America. It has also
provided logistical equipment and training for rebel groups in southern
Sudan, and it was contracted to operate and maintain helicopters for the
Australia-led U.N. mission in East Timor. 
In March 2003, Computer Sciences Corporation., one of the country's
leading IT consulting firms with revenue of more than $11 billion in
2002, acquired DynCorp for $950 million. With the addition of DynCorp's
more than 26,000 employees, CSC now has close to 92,000 employees
worldwide. 
CSC was founded in 1959 and went public in 1963, the first software
company to do so. The company started to diversify in the mid-1980s,
with federal contracts accounting for more than two-thirds of its sales.
Two decades later, the revenue breakdown has reversed. Twenty-nine
percent is U.S. government work, while 71 percent is commercial, the
majority of that overseas. DynCorp had contracts worth nearly $11.8
billion with the U.S. government from 1990 through 2002. 
Computer Sciences Corporation had more than 1,000 contracts with the
U.S. government from 1990 through 2002, worth $15.8 billion. 
CSC spent $520,000 in 2001 to lobby Congress and various government
agencies on its own behalf. That same year, the company also paid lobby
firms a total of $580,000. In total, Computer Sciences Corp spent
$1,100,000 in 2001 on lobbying fees associated with a variety of issues,
including appropriation and procurement bills related to the Defense
Department, Treasury Department, the Executive Office of the President
and other federal agencies. The company also lobbied on "legislative
proposals for privatization and commercialization of Federal services,"
according to lobby documents filed with Congress. In 2002, Computer
Sciences Corp spent a total of $1,110,000 to lobby on similar issues.
Iraq contracts
On April 18, 2003, Computer Sciences Corporation's DynCorp International
won a contract from the U.S. Department of State to provide up to 1,000
civilian advisers to help organize civilian law enforcement, judicial
and correctional agencies. The estimated value could be as high as $50
million for the first year, depending on assessments of Iraqi
capabilities and needs. 
According to a press release from the company, contractors will work
with Iraqi organizations on all levels to "assess threats to public
order" and train personnel "at all levels of the Iraqi law enforcement
system." 
The company has been hiring personnel for the contract. In its
advertising, the company says "interested applicants must be active
duty, retired or recently separated sworn police officers, correctional
officers or experienced judicial experts." To qualify, a candidate must
hold U.S. citizenship and have 10 years of experience. 
In President Bush's $87 billion request to Congress for Iraq and
Afghanistan, the State Department proposes to spend $800 million on a
training facility for the Iraqi police force. If all the funds are
approved, DynCorp's initial $50 million contract might see a significant
increase.
Afghanistan contracts
In November 2002, the State Department's Diplomatic Security Services
took over responsibility for President Hamid Karzai's security from the
U.S. military. Part of the work was then contracted out to DynCorp,
which also assisted in the protection of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the
Haitian president, in the early 1990s. Neither the State Department nor
DynCorp have released the terms of the contract, but there is a
transaction worth $130,000 for work in Afghanistan between DynCorp and
the State department in the General Services Administration database for
fiscal year 2002.
Government ties
Mark Brown, vice president of CSC's aerospace division, spent 12 years
with NASA as an astronaut, engineer and manager. He flew on the space
shuttle as a mission specialist in 1989 and 1991. He worked in mission
control during the first 11 shuttle flights, and is a retired Air Force
colonel and fighter pilot. 
Paul M. Cofoni, vice president and president of the federal sector unit,
was an officer in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1974. 
Ronald L. Dick, director of information assurance strategic initiatives,
served in various positions with the FBI. A "cyberwarrior" at the
bureau, he was most recently director of FBI's National Infrastructure
Protection Center, which is charged with protecting U.S. network and
computer infrastructure. NPIC is part of the bureau's Counterterrorism
Division, one of 11 divisions inside the FBI headquarters. A former
accountant, Dick joined the FBI in 1977, and was head of the bureau's
unit for investigating financial and computer crimes before joining NPIC
in 1998. He became NPIC director in March 2001. He joined CSC in early
2003, thereby eliminating himself from one of the top security jobs in
the newly created Department of Homeland Security, for which he was
considered a top contender 
Hayward D. Fisk, vice president, general counsel and secretary, has
served on advisory councils to the Federal Communications Commission, as
well as on a steering committee for civil justice reform under Vice
President Dan Quayle and Attorney General William Barr. 
Michael Laphen, president and COO, served in the U.S. Air Force and the
Pennsylvania Air National Guard. 
Tim Sheahan, president of enforcement, security and intelligence, has
worked at CSC for more than 15 years. Prior to joining the company, he
worked in the federal government for eight years. He also has a decade
of experience in operations and management in the U.S. Army.
Legal Action/Investigations
DynCorp was caught in a scandal in 2000 when two of its employees
deployed on the company's $15 million annual contract for logistical
support in Bosnia and Kosovo alleged that several of their colleagues
had colluded in the black-market trade of women and children. DynCorp
later said the company did not tolerate such behavior and fired those
accused of the offenses. According to media reports, DynCorp also fired
the employees who made the allegations for unrelated charges, including
allegedly tampering with time cards. Both sued the company for wrongful
dismissal, and an employment tribunal in Britain, where one suit was
filed, ruled in August 2002 that the dismissal was unfounded and in
retaliation for the disclosures. A DynCorp spokeswoman said the company
planned to appeal. The other suit was settled out of court soon after. 
Peasants in Ecuador have also filed a lawsuit against DynCorp, alleging
that herbicides used in the drug war in neighboring Colombia drift
across the border, destroying crops and causing illness. DynCorp has
denied the allegations.
Updates
As of March 31, 2004
The Center for Public Integrity has received portions of DynCorp's world
wide contract with the State Department on which the company provides
security services in Afghanistan, among other hostile areas. According
to the documents, the work is tasked to a contract originally awarded to
DynCorp Technical Services, of Fort Worth, Texas, on March 3, 2000, for
"worldwide personal protective services." DynCorp's responsibilities
include providing personal protection for Afghanistan's President Hamid
Karzai, the Presidential Compound, and the U.S. Ambassador to
Afghanistan, as well as protection to U.S. officials in Israel and in
U.N. missions in Bosnia. 
This original contract was valued at a maximum of $50 million, but the
work in Afghanistan expanded the ceiling to a maximum of $82,263,898 by
mid-July 2003. The value of task orders and amendments of
Afghanistan-related work since September 2002 is at least $43,559,421. 
The State Department first began to shift the focus of the original 2002
contract to Afghanistan by using contract amendments that would increase
the value, add more work duties and extend the completion date. The
earliest task order related to Afghanistan is dated September 6, 2002,
and stipulates that DynCorp commence providing personal security for
President Karzai, an assignment previously tasked to the Bureau of
Diplomatic Security, for a period of six months to begin on October 30,
2002, with two six-month option periods available. Among the documents
is a State Department report justifying DynCorp's contract extension
into post-war security in Afghanistan, which was not advertised for
competitive bidding: "There is no other contractor that can handle this
current mission without delays," it noted. The report, which was
approved on October 15, 2002, said its decisions were warranted because
DynCorp was "the only company immediately available and qualified to
provide," along with security services, the engineering ability to
construct infrastructure and housing services required to accompany its
security personnel. "Formal market research was not conducted," the
report said, "
 due to the urgency of the requirement."
—André Verlöy
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