Archive for March 16th, 2010

By Dexter Filkins and Mark Mazzetti,
New York Times, March 15, 2010

From left: Michael D. Furlong, the official who was said to have hired private contractors to murder people in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Robert Young Pelton, a contractor; Duane Clarridge, a former C.I.A. official; and Eason Jordan, a former television news executive. (USAF, Robert Young Pelton, Mike Wintroath, Adam Berry)

Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States.

The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives. The contractors, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the officials said.

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