Democracy Now! Report: Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants
The Pentagon has launched a criminal investigation of a Defense Department official who set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants. The New York Times reports the official, Michael Furlong, has been accused of running an off-the-books spy operation with the help of private contractors who gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps. It is generally considered illegal for the military to hire contractors to act as covert spies. Two of the contractors hired by the military were the writer Robert Young Pelton and Eason Jordan, the former chief news executive for CNN. Pelton said he and Jordan were hired by the military to run a public website to help the government gain a better understanding of the region but that their reporting was then used to kill people.