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StateSide:News
Friends Don't Let Friends Bid on Contracts: P
Will Congress Look to Investigate More CIA Contracting?
02/13/2007 12:07 PM ET
As we reported last week, rumors have been swirling that indictments are imminent for Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, former ExDir of the CIA, on charges of funneling Iraq contracts to his longtime friend, disgraced contractor Brent Wilkes.

ABC News' Blotter is now reporting that the indictments will come down today. Wilkes is expected to be indicted in addition to Foggo.

Beyond the 'breaking news' nugget, only one line of the Blotter piece is particularly notable:

If Foggo is indicted, it will represent a dark day for the CIA and is expected to lead to a full congressional investigation of how secret CIA contracts are awarded.

Erik Prince and the other Blackwater boys are going to cringe when they hear that.

According to Robert Young Pelton's Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror, the ExDir who preceded Foggo at the CIA, Buzzy Krongard, directly influenced the awarding of a "no bid" contract to Blackwater--the first privatization of CIA security needs in the war on terror. (DISCLAIMER: I edited the book.)

The $5.4 million dollar deal was to fill an "urgent and compelling" need to provide security contractors for CIA officers in Afghanistan, a requirement that allowed the normal bidding procedure to be set aside for a direct award to one firm. What made the award particularly curious was that Blackwater had no previous experience in providing security.

Though Blackwater lawyers sent letters threatening lawsuit and demanding all copies of Licensed to Kill be recalled and destroyed because of that particular passage, Pelton and Random House did not bow to the pressure, and to be honest, never even considered it.

Pelton was confident of his sources and even more confident that Blackwater would not want to open themselves up to the kind of legal scrutiny that would inevitably come from litigating a civil case.

Ken Silverstein at Harper's blog followed up on the news in Licensed to Kill and confirmed it through his own sources at the CIA. When I later asked a CIA friend about it who was working in Afghanistan when the first Blackwater contractor arrived, he replied, "That was Buzzy. That was all Buzzy's thing."

I will be interested to see if this is one of the contracts on the shortlist for examination if a congressional investigation is indeed undertaken as result of the Foggo-Wilkes debacle.

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