Private military contractor Blackwater USA is building out its air force by buying Brazilian-made light combat jets. I feel safer already.
According to this Aug. 12 AP story, "there are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers — and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks." Here at home, Blackwater has bases in North Carolina, Illinois and, soon, California.
Founded only in 1997, Blackwater pretty much does what it wants. According to the AP story, "Security firms earn more than $4 billion in government contracts, but the government doesn’t know how many private soldiers it has hired, or where all of them are, according to the Government Accountability Office. And the companies are not required to report violent incidents involving their employees."