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Defense Dept. pays $1B to outside analysts
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of USA Today

USA Today, August 29, 2007
Posted: September 21st, 2007

The Defense Department is paying private contractors more than $1 billion in more than 30 separate contracts to collect and analyze intelligence for the four military services and its own Defense Intelligence Agency, according to contract documents and a Pentagon spokesman. The disclosure marks the first time a U.S. intelligence service has made public its outside payments. Intelligence payments to contractors have climbed dramatically since the terror attacks in September 2001, but none had been made public, according to a report filed in April by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Outside contracting ... places critical security tasks and sensitive information in the hands of private parties, says Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist at the Federation of American Scientists, a Washington privacy group. "Private contractors don't have to undergo congressional oversight or justify their budgets to appropriators," Aftergood says. "We're starting to create a new kind of intelligence bureaucracy, one that is both more expensive and less accountable (than government's own intelligence agencies)." Most of the contracts, which extend up to five years, pay for analysis of intelligence data and for related services, such as translation and interpretation of photo and electronic intelligence. A small fraction, which [a Pentagon spokesman] declined to specify, pay for private spies. Private contractors often hire former intelligence officers, sometimes leasing them back at higher salaries to the agencies that first recruited and trained them.

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