CONTINUING WITH SOME OTHER EARMARKS in the OMB database, the Department of Justice gave $740,000 to Mistral Security Inc, for continuing a drug identification program. This grant was to expand an aerosol drug detection technology that is already being tested in schools as a pilot run. The aerosol sprays can be used to detect the residue that illegal drugs leave when they’ve touched a surface; the company provides an independent audit of the program’s results here.
According to the Mistral Group website, the aerosol applications that are being developed by schools all serve as a deterrent to students bringing drugs or using drugs at school.”The aerosol drug identification system has been in use for the past five years with Mistral getting government grants since then with more than 100 schools in 38 states using the aerosols.We provide information to school officials,” Charles Griffiths, the program manager for Mistral said. Most schools make it clear to students they are using this technology and it scares students. The districts have told us that they have seen that the number of drug incidents go down,” Griffiths said.
The Mistral Group also includes Karil International Marketing Ltd., a company based in Israel. What’s interesting is that they are headed by Eyal Banai who was with the defense attach at the Embassy of Israel. Although a quick search of lobbying records didn’t reveal anything interesting.
Another earmark that caught my attention was given to a Pakistani organization that is mainly funded by the Musharraf government. The Pakistan Human Development Fund works for literacy, health care and women’s empowerment and is headed by Musharraf who is the Patron-in-Chief.
Among the $71 million in earmarks that the USAID has recorded, $10 million has gone to indigenous organizations” in Pakistan and nearly $4 million of this money was earmarked for this one organization.
Interestingly, this appears to be the only earmark that’s going to an international group funded by a foreign government. Just a couple of weeks ago, a study released by the Center for Public Integrity noted that the money given to Pakistan had increased from $4.2 billion from $9.1 million, in the course of three years after Sept.11.