Washington, DC: Federal contracts totaling $15 billion dollars have been awarded to five US defense contractors – including Raytheon and Lockheed Martin – to pay for counter-narcotics efforts overseas, according to a recent report published online by GovernmentExecutive.com.
"Contractors shall provide security and related services in support of counter-narcoterrorism," the article states. "Due to the rapid adaptability of the counter-narcoterrorist threat, special federal government spending authorities are [now] available" on behalf on the Pentagon’s Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office.
The contractors will provide equipment, material and services to the Pentagon’s counter-narcotics program, a separate Washington Post article states. The program develops and deploys "technology that aids in disrupting, deterring, and denying the flow of [illegal] drugs, people, information, money, and weapons related to illegal drug trafficking and narcoterrorism."
The size and scope of the contracts highlight the expanded role private contractors are now playing in federal anti-drug efforts, reports GovernmentExecutive.com.
Contract awardees include Raytheon Technical Services Company, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Arinc Inc., and Blackwater USA.
"The awarding of these contracts illustrates once again that the federal government’s so-called ‘war on drugs’ is not rhetorical," NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said. "To politicians and federal bureaucrats, the drug war is just as ‘real’ as America’s current military efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan – though most Americans remain unaware that billions of their hard-earned dollars are being siphoned to pay for these so-called ‘anti-drug’ operations conducted by corporate mercenaries."
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the GovernmentExecutive.com story is available online at: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0907/091207kp1.htm.