Some of may have noticed this story in The New York Times, detailing the CIA’s outsourcing of a secret program to locate and assassinate Al-Quaeda leaders to that most gloriously sinister of private security contractors, Blackwater (never heard of them? Then read Jeremy Scahill’s book, or for the crib sheet, James Meek’s review). Now I don’t want to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs of the War on Terrorism, or the implications of devolving military and intelligence work to private companies, but it’s always oddly comforting to be reminded that no matter how paranoid the Left’s fantasies about the military-industrial complex, they only ever seem to scratch the surface. Secret torture and rendition programs? Check. Psychic assassination? Check. Black magic and remote sensing? Check.
Of course all this talk of mercenaries and private armies puts me in mind of Elvis Costello (and yes, that is The Kenny Everett Video Show in the background) . . .