Bushworld: Atrazine & Private Jails
Ted Kennedy & the No-Fly List: a Comedy of Errors

Trying to Lose the Post in Postimperial

Oh, this is tasty. From the Independent: UK to fund 'security advisers' for Sierra Leone:

Britain is to pay for a private security firm to provide intelligence training and advice to Sierra Leone, the West African country slowly recovering from a 10-year civil war.

The revelation will raise fresh questions over the Government's close relationship with the security firms after the Sandline arms-to-Africa scandal.

The Department for International Development (DfID) is offering a 12-month contract to provide "intelligence and security advice" to the government of Sierra Leone, headed by President Ahmad Kabbah.

As well as training, the winning firm will work "at the highest level" with the country's new security service and even draft an official secrets act.

Security industry sources said Control Risks, Erinys International and Aegis Defence Services are possible bidders.

A bid from Aegis would embarrass the Government. The company is headed by Col Tim Spicer, the former Scots Guard who was at the centre of the arms-to-Africa affair. His former company, Sandline International, tried to smuggle arms to forces in Sierra Leone in 1998 in contravention of a UN arms embargo and in apparent collusion with the Foreign Office.

A spokeswoman for Mr Spicer refused to say if Aegis would bid for the contract in Sierra Leone. A DfID spokeswoman said: "All applications will be judged on their own merits."

It seems to me that some in the British government are so hot to lose the post in postimperial power that they do not stop to contemplate what they are creating when they fund these companies. I especially like the part about the winning company getting to draft an official secrets act. My guess such a law would make it illegal for the Independent to report on such contracts.