by John Galt
June 2, 2013 13:00 ET
This morning I noticed a Bloomberg.com story from yesterday afternoon which made its way to the front page of their website:
This contract was cancelled based on the original program placed out for bid on September 8, 2011 by FBO.gov:
Added: Sep 08, 2011 12:06 pm
This notice is made in accordance with FAR Part 5.203 and will account for the 15 day pre-solicitation issuance requirement. The anticipated release date for the solicitation is October 1, 2011.
The Department of State (DOS), Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), Office of Security Technology (ST), has a requirement for a qualified contractor to provide worldwide Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) support services. The mission of the UAV program is to provide real-time air surveillance of fixed installations, proposed movement routes and movement operations, and special events thereby improving security in high threat or potentially high threat environments. The UAV program shall provide the capability to:
•Achieve and maintain situational awareness.
•Automatically generate and disseminate high quality video imaging.
•Respond to a security incident at locations remote from the core of operations.
•Disseminate threat information for use in route planning.
•Receive, view, and analyze in route activity.
The contractor shall provide Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for Tier I and Tier II/Tier II+ as classified by the United States Air Force appropriate for the missions and flight services specified. The contractor shall also provide a logistics service package to include but not limited to systems management, staffing, operation, maintenance, repair, tools, parts, supply and reporting activities at levels adequate to meet or exceed the requirements of the solicitation.
The big question is why does the United States diplomatic arm need a military program within its realm of operational capacity as the Department of Defense (DoD) was originally tasked with this duty by the Constitution? A quick look into the expansion of the undeclared wars started under Truman and expanded by every President since is the basic answer to that question. Yet this current administration has taken the idea one step further by practically creating a military arm for each cabinet department within the U.S. government. If that is not alarming enough, take a moment to recall this bid via the same FedBizOps website put out by the State Department on November 30, 2012:
The Department of State (DoS) Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), Office of Aviation (INL/A) is initiating these market research activities associated with the continuing requirement for global aviation services. Chief among the myriad requirements to be contracted is the operation and maintenance of fixed wing and rotary aircraft at multiple sites in 8 or more countries in permissive and non-permissive environments and in direct support of US Government activities. Such sanctioned activities include, but are not limited to: personnel and cargo transport, aerial reconnaissance, medical and casualty evacuations, aerial herbicide application, aerial support to narcotics interdiction operations, aircraft ferrying, and emergent surge type operations. At some locations requirements include working with, and training host nation personnel in key disciplines, as defined by USG nationalization plans.
Excuse me? The State Department not only wanted drones but contractor services for their own air force? That’s right, 412 aircraft currently per the bid package above. The key portion from the bid are the following from the section titled “Requirements” for the services requested:
Provide inter and intra-theater transportation at all sites, as directed.
Provide life support services such as food, housing, laundry and MWR for personnel in permissive and non-permissive environments.
Provide defensive security for air fields and housing when required.
For those of you not familiar with the term, a “non-permissive” environment is a combat zone or at a minimum area under hostile threat. The INL Air Wing was started long before Obama became President but the disturbing trend he has accelerated is the outsourcing of the military and paramilitary activities of the various cabinet departments to avoid oversight by the Pentagon and by extension the House and Senate committees with oversight over the various military branches. By shifting emphasis to the PSC’s (Private Security Contractors aka “mercenaries”) the oversight of the bureaucracy is muddled by Executive Privilege actions by the President to protect documentation and orders given along with the ability for a civilian military arm to act as the President wishes, not the nation as a whole.
This dangerous precedent set by then President George W. Bush and now expanded beyond any practical regime of oversight currently available on Capitol Hill should alarm the American public but that would require a non-compliant media and fewer discussions of frivolous scandals when much larger ones shall hopefully be exposed in the weeks and months to come. As it sits now, I remind everyone of Obama’s words and the real question:
Just as powerful.
Just as strong.
Just as well funded.
Think about it folks, the real question is do we want a civilian national security force with no legal accountability to international or American Constitutional law roaming free around the world and within our borders executing the whims of international financial cartels and a corrupt administration?
I think not.