Interestingly enough, this is the second week of non-news about why, exactly, the Pentagon has to rent its Iraqi exile group from SAIC. The lack of curiosity in the media is understandable -- after all, a NYT reporter might have plagiarized a story about the DC sniper and even made up some details while sipping lattes on the East Side, and a fertilizer salesman might have cut up and eaten his wife in California -- or something like that. Much more riveting...

However, indefatiguable LI has managed to sift out some interesting SAIC stuff -- most notably the notorious and now extinguished partnership between SAIC and Venezuala's state owned Petroleum company -- which, as you will remember, was the leader in the strike/coup/whatever it was against Chavez last year. There are a lot of Venezualan commentators who believe that the synergy between PDVSA and SAIC was like that between Lucifer and others of the fallen angel hosts. SAIC no longer features their partnership with PDVSA on their website. However, Americas magazine does mention SAIC in an article about the strike that concludes:

"The Uruguayan weekly Brecha reports that PDVSA�s computer systems are under the control of a joint venture that includes a U.S.-based multinational with strong ties to the U.S. military and the CIA. Intesa, which handles PDVSA�s data processing, is a joint venture set up in 1999 between PDVSA and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), whose $2 billion annual income comes mostly from contracts with U.S. military and intelligence agencies. SAIC�s directors and administrators include former defense secretaries William Perry and Melvin Laird; former central intelligence directors John Deutch and Robert Gates; and former National Security Agency (NSA) director Adm. Bobby Ray Inman."

However, those touchy Latin Americans are always so suspicious of American can-do. Why should Iraqis hold any such suspicions about our evident good intentions?