Friday, November 30, 2007

House Intell Chair Says He's Worried About Private Contractors In U.S.-Mexico Anti-Drug Efforts

BOONE -- The Texas congressman who chairs the Select Intelligence Committee says he's concerned that private contractors may be used to help enforce a $1.4 billion U.S.-Mexico, anti-drug aid package.

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes tells Iowa Independent he doesn't want to see a replay of some of the same stories emerging from Iraq about private contractors such as Blackwater.

“I would share that concern giving the experience of Iraq and we don’t have any concrete information whether contractors are going to be used or in what capacity,” Reyes said recently in Boone. “But I can tell you it is something that we will be very, very watchful for.”

Reyes said the Bush administration has had poor results with its efforts to use private contractors as “force multipliers.”

What's more, his committee has heard testimony from agencies that say they don’t even know the number of contractors who are in theater in Iraq.

“Right now, it’s a situation where contractors don’t, at least at this point, don’t have a good credibility on Capitol Hill,” Reyes said.

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