I was very surprised to learn about the involvement of war profiteers, CACI, in the upcoming census.
Not only have they secured the contract in this census but they have also engaged in it for the previous two.
What I find most surprising however is that none of the mainstream media here have ever picked up on this. The information filtered through online networks from published news in the Guardian and Observer, regarding the CACI contract in the Scottish census and the Lockheed Martin contract for the rest of the UK. The dots were connected and the discovery was made on the Oireachtas website, that Pat Carey announced in January 2010 that the Irish contract was awarded to CACI, six months previously, in July 2009. The CSO have confirmed this and seem quite displeased at this becoming (somewhat) public knowledge and have criticised concerned peoples’ genuine claims of CACI’s involvement in interrogation services at Abu Gharib prison in Iraq, as “irresponsible” according to online news outlet, The Journal.
I note that only two letters have been published regarding the upcoming census in the paper and I wonder if there is any more concern out there, apart from the apparent waste of the printing of the census ‘as gaelige’ and of not having an online option. Then again, this news of a company heavily involved in the ‘military industrial complex’ is not widely known about and the media has failed to inform the people of this. The CSO failed to inform their staff of this also, as when I mentioned this news to the enumerator he said he was aware and shocked to hear about Lockheed Martin’s involvement in the UK census, but he had no idea that CACI were involved in the questionnaire he was delivering.
I am also concerned about the legal requirement to take part in the census (as we were reminded by Garret Fitzgerald in the paper last week), when we are not even legally obliged to vote. Is it right that we not only give money to a company who’s business is war (online and offline) but that we may potentially, inadvertently, mistakenly, give them our data too?
I further question now, the true involvement of the conveniently ‘neutral’ Irish state in the war machine. Do our elected representatives discard morals and ethics when it comes to attracting US investment? Are we afraid of our reflection?
MARK O’ CÚLAR