Saturday, November 03, 2007

saturday reads

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule and suspended the country's constitution.

A huge rescue operation began in southern Mexico yesterday, with rescue workers in boats, helicopters and military trucks striving to bring relief to almost a million people whose homes have been overwhelmed by the worst floods in the area in at least half a century.

Spooks For Sale

The operation, Total Intelligence Solutions, has assembled a roster of former spooks -- high-ranking figures from agencies such as the CIA and defense intelligence -- that mirrors the slate of former military officials who run Blackwater. Its chairman is Cofer Black, the former head of counterterrorism at CIA known for his leading role in many of the agency's more controversial programs, including the rendition and interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects and the detention of some of them in secret prisons overseas.

Its chief executive is Robert Richer, a former CIA associate deputy director of operations who was heavily involved in running the agency's role in the Iraq war.

Total Intelligence Solutions is one of a growing number of companies that offer intelligence services such as risk analysis to companies and governments. Because of its roster and its ties to owner Erik Prince, the multimillionaire former Navy SEAL, the company's thrust into this world highlights the blurring of lines between government, industry and activities formerly reserved for agents operating in the shadows.

A person without health insurance gets sick. The person holds off on going to the doctor because there’s no way to pay the bill. The person is denied the full range of treatment because of the absence of insurance. The person dies.

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