What follows is an excerpt from Tim Shorrock's 9-8-16 The Nation article entitled "5 Corporations Now Dominate Our Privatized Intelligence Industry":
"The recent integration of two
military contractors into a $10 billion behemoth is the latest in a wave
of mergers and acquisitions that have transformed America’s privatized,
high-tech intelligence system into what looks like an old-fashioned
"In August, Leidos Holdings, a major contractor for the
Pentagon and the National Security Agency, completed a long-planned
merger with the Information Systems & Global Solutions division of
Lockheed Martin, the global military giant. The 8,000 operatives
employed by the new company do everything from analyzing signals for the
NSA to tracking down suspected enemy fighters for US Special Forces in
the Middle East and Africa.
"The sheer size of the new entity makes Leidos one of the
most powerful companies in the intelligence-contracting industry, which
is worth about $50 billion today. According to a comprehensive study
I’ve just completed on public and private employment in intelligence,
Leidos is now the largest of five corporations that together employ
nearly 80 percent of the private-sector employees contracted to work for
US spy and surveillance agencies.
"Yes, that’s 80 percent. For the first time since spy
agencies began outsourcing their core analytic and operational work in
the late 1990s, the bulk of the contracted work goes to a handful of
companies: Leidos, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSRA, SAIC, and CACI
International. This concentration of 'pure plays'—a Wall Street term for
companies that makes one product for a single market—marks
a fundamental shift in an industry that was once a highly diverse mix
of large military contractors, small and medium technology companies, and tiny 'Beltway Bandits' surrounding Washington, D.C.
"As I argue below, these developments are incredibly
risky for a country more dependent than ever on intelligence to fight
global wars and prevent domestic attacks. 'The problem with just five
companies providing the lion’s share of contractors is that the client,
the U.S. government, won’t have much alternative when a company screws
up,' says David Isenberg, the author of Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq.
"Moreover, the fact that much of this privatized work is
top secret—and is generally underreported in the press—undermines the
accountability and transparency of our spy agencies. That should deeply
concern the American public."
To read Shorrock's entire article, click HERE.