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Will the Retired General’s Club help Agility buy it’s way out of trouble

I am going to have to reset my Google alerts to make sure I don’t miss all this Agility drama! Evidently Agility is in negotiations with the Feds to see if they can get themselves out of trouble. Evidently Agility has offered $600 million in fines/restitution as part the this deal. $600 Million isn’t squat in comparison to what they stole from the US Taxpayers. And does that include jail time. If so, who will be the sacrificial lamb for Agility….which I now call “The Jack Stanley”. For those who don’t recall Jack Stanley was KBR’s CEO who took the fall and was sentenced to prison for KBR’s part in the Nigerian bribery scandal.
Public Warehousing in talks with U.S. to settle fraud case

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Kuwaiti firm indicted last month for allegedly overcharging the Army on a multibillion-dollar contract to supply food to U.S. troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan has announced it is negotiating with the Justice Department to settle the case.

Public Warehousing Co. made the announcement in a statement posted Monday on the Kuwait Stock Exchange Web site and added: “No deal has been struck so far and there are no guarantees that the negotiations will result in a settlement.”

Last month, Public Warehousing — which is in the process of changing its name to Agility — was indicted in Atlanta for allegedly submitting inflated bills and false claims for food and other products supplied to the U.S. military over the past six years in contracts worth $8.5 billion. The company has denied the charges.

Public Warehousing has been prohibited from bidding on other government contracts while the charges are pending. The price of the company’s stock on the Kuwait Stock Exchange has dropped 50 percent from its high this summer and dropped again slightly after the announcement on settlement negotiations. Kuwaiti newspapers reported that a settlement of $500 million to $600 million is being discussed.

Spokesmen for the company and federal prosecutors in Atlanta did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Since the allegations emerged in 2005, Public Warehousing’s chief executive, Tarek Abbulaziz Sultan al-Essa, has been changing some of the company’s top leadership, recruiting former senior American officials.

In June 2006 he hired retired Army Maj. Gen. Dan Mongeon as president of his Defense & Government Services group, which held the U.S. military food and other logistics contracts. Mongeon had been the top operations officer at the Defense Logistics Agency until his retirement in 2005. Public Warehousing officials say Mongeon was not involved in the decision by the agency to renew the company’s contract in July of that year.

In July 2008, Mongeon hired retired Army Lt. Gen. Paul Cerjan to oversee the food contract for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait.

In September 2008, the company hired retired Army Lt. Gen. Joseph M. Cosumano Jr. as president of its Taos Industries subsidiary. In July, the company announced that former U.S. ambassador John D. Negroponte had joined the board of directors of its Defense and Government Services group.

Negroponte, now vice chairman of McLarty Associates in Washington, said then in a statement that he could “provide useful insights and perspectives to the leadership of Agility as it guides the company to new levels of achievement.”  (Click HERE for link to original)

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Gulf Warehousing to ink merger deal with Agility
Jan 5, 2010

Doha: Gulf Warehousing Company has announced it will ink a merger deal with Agility Qatar today and hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on March 3, 2010. In a statement published on the website of Qatar Exchange, the Qatari bourse, the Gulf Warehousing Company announced the outcome of its Board of Directors meeting held on Sunday.

During the meeting, Mohammed Al-Emadi, the company’s chairman, was been authorized to sign the merger contract.

The Board also decided to convene Ordinary and Extraordinary Annual General Meetings on March 3, 2010. If the required quorum is not met, a second meeting will be held on March 10.

The Company added that it has commissioned a law firm, to be delivered to competent court, to validate the net assets of Agility Qatar issued by Deloitte & Touche.

The merger with Agility is expected to be finalized by the middle of March this year. (Click HERE for link to original)

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Agility’s US court hearing set for Jan 29
Jan 11, 2010

Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility’s court hearing for its US fraud case has been rescheduled for January 29 at 10:30 am Eastern time (1530 GMT), the company’s spokesperson said

In November, Agility was accused of overcharging the US
Army on $8.5 billion worth of contracts to provide food to soldiers in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan.

If Agility loses the case, it will face probation and a fine of up to twice the gain it realised or twice the loss to the United States.

Agility’s shares have plunged about 41 percent since November 16 after the firm was indicted by a US grand jury. -Reuters (Click HERE for link to original)

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55 Comments

  1. Comment by Ms Sparky:

    I just got this link via email!! It looks like the Feds were looking at PWC for several years. That translates to several 100 million for us normal people!

    Click HERE to view doc

  2. Comment by Charles M. Smith:

    1. As I understand it, one of the issues with Agility involves an obscure contract clause titled “Fast Pay Discount.” An Agility subcontractor would offer a discount for fast payment. Agility would invoice the Government for the full contract price, but pay the sub the discounted price. On normal contracts the discount would be .5-1%. Agility had discounts of 25%. This amount could not be justified by the cost of money involved, and appears to be a kick back of sorts. This would be arranged in advance that the real subcontract price was inflated and money returned through the discount. There are some other problems with classifying inter-divisional transfers as subcontracts.

    2. Agility could escape, if the military would resolve the issue with a contractual action in which money is recouped and no crimminal action is admitted. Here is where their former generals could come in handy.

    3. If there is to be a scape-goat, I bet on Mongeon. Cerjan is too crafty about this kind of thing.

    4. Give a shout out to Walter Pincus. He is one of the best journalists left at the Washington Post.

  3. Comment by DCAA Auditor:

    Agree basically, only thing is that Mongeons group did not have anything to do with the contract in question Prime Vendor and Cerjans group did.

    As we will recal Cerjan was once the PM on LOGCAP III when there were problems there as well.

    It always amazing me when I come across a contractor that can look me in the eye and tell me they did not realize that they had to rebate any discounts they received on a cost reimbursable contract back to the Government.

    Believe it or not it is really not that rare.

  4. Comment by DCAA Auditor:

    Mongeon is the CEO of Defense and Government Services. Cerjan is over the Asia Pac Division that is not part of Defense and Government Services.

  5. Comment by JHowds:

    Sources tell me Agility is about to deliver nearly 10,000 pink slips in the next few months. Can anyone validate that information?

    In addition, I was informed Tarek Sultan renounced his US citizenship over 6 months ago. Maybe he saw the indictments coming and the “Evil Empire” beginning to sink.

    The ex-generals club at Agility is disgusting. Most of the senior leadership have NEVER worked a single day in commercial business. Sorry, a colonel or higher in the military doesn’t necessarily translate into commerical success. Agility = a KBR clone.

  6. Comment by JHowds:

    Agility DGS was purposely constructed as a completely different and independent division than the Subsistence Prime Vendor contract. Either leadership wanted to protect it from all other defense/gov’t contracts, or they wanted to limit the number of personnel with knowledge of their shady, fraudulent business practices.

  7. Comment by Mr. PITA:

    Look at Sysco and US Foodservice, where the hidden deals are that the government pays for! Agility is just one Prime Vendor requiring admission fees!

    • Comment by andrea:

      Not to sound cynical…but we did not have to go full force into Sysco or US Foodservice to rescue and liberate them at the high cost of lives. [After one of their own leaders all but dared SH to invade, because he knew he could have the Americans help. Look at what the poor citizens who could not escape Kuwait went through.] The leaders of Kuwait should be ashamed, but I am certain that they are still feeling invincible and superior.

  8. Comment by Mr. PITA:

    Government has its blinders on when it comes to food product coming in from Sysco and US Foodservice Prime Vendor sources not unlike Agility! Besides Agility,other Prime Vendors also win their contracts by underbidding distribution!Prime Vendors more than make up for it by having supplier allowances and growth programs added on to increase pricing passed on to government!Its a wider bigger problem than just Public Warehousing/Agility!

    • Comment by andrea:

      They should all be brought to task. One no better ..one no worse. Bottom line, in this economy we need to keep a tighter grasp on all of it. AND- why the hell are any of these jobs being outsourced? DoD contracts…paid for by the American Taxpayer … should support the American economy.

      • Comment by sail:

        Because the US Government thinks they are being good stewards of your tax dollars and selecting vendors that are cheaper and directing US Contractors to hire TCN’s because they are cheaper.

        The only way to change these practices is to let your congress person know that you object and that US Tax Dollars need to go to US Companies and US Citizens

        • Comment by andrea:

          Very true. Yet we get what we pay for… Who remembers the pet food, children’s toys and tooth paste (to name a few) we got at bargain basement prices from China?
          I agree with speaking to reps. in DC…

  9. Comment by JHowds:

    I’ve confirmed several more departures (resignations, pink slips, forced retirements, etc.) from Agility/Taos/PWC last week. Get this, they have approximately 27 Vice Presidents in their organization……talk about overhead! Hopefully the 29JAN court continuation will hammer the final nail in their coffin. Not only arrogance, but ignorance about how to operate a government contract properly. Tarek Sultan’s still claiming it’s all a “contract dispute”. Um, Mr. Sultan, a criminal indictment is not a contract dispute. May you and all your chronies rot in Gitmo.

  10. Comment by Mr. G:

    I left one company (HealthSouth, Richard Scrushy aka Enron of the South) that was destroyed by its CEO and ended up at Taos, which to my knowledge had nothing to do with this fraud.

    The common fodder (i.e. people like me) that Taos being purchased by Agility was going to be a dream come true. Instead it has become a nightmare.

    Why does justice in the executive ranks always translate to jobs lost and suffering among the common employee who in most cases is innocent? Before everyone claps with joy over this they should consider the other side that many innocents will be caught in.

    Maybe today is a good day to die.

    • Comment by JHowds:

      Understandable Mr. G. Most complaints with Agility/PWC revolve around their lack of competent leadership and poor/illegal business dealings, not the employees in the trenches.

      I’ve received more insight into the Agility mess last week….Agility is attempting to sell off their US office to Supreme and/or a few other prospective buyers. I hear Supreme was “less than impressed”. Agility’s security firm, TMG, is also trying to find a new home. Many Agility employees are scouring the market for new jobs as the writing is on the wall. Once Agility loses the Subsistence Prime Vendor, DDKS, and all the other USG contracts (all in 2010), DGS will collapse into smoke. No one wants to be left with a pink slip. The court negotiations have no end in sight and Agility and its 100+/- subsidiaries remain on the Excluded Parties list.

  11. Comment by JHowds:

    Hot off the presses! The Subsistence Prime Vendor solicitation has closed negotiations with all bidders and asked for BAFO. Even if Agility was removed from the EPLS today, their initial proposal would be evaluated versus all other bidders’ significantly revised and more competitive proposals, if at all. The Evil Empire has seen it’s last days as a major USG contractor. If you own their stock, SELL SELL SELL! If you still work for Agility (DGS especially), RESIGN RESIGN RESIGN! Can you tell I harbor hostility towards this company?

  12. Comment by Mr. G:

    I was pinked slipped this month from Agility DGS. Took the job after 9 months of unemployment. I would never have guessed the mess Agility DGS and Taos (my ex-employer)has stepped into.

    Was Taos a good company before being bought by Agility? If they are truly guilty of fraud I hope they hang! I was proud to be working for (I thought) a company helping our troops. This is a nightmare.

  13. Comment by Jhowds:

    Agility employees call me weekly asking for any assistance possible securing a new job. Their boat has nearly filled with water and they are under significant duress. I feel badly for the truly competent and high quality DGS employees remaining (virtually none of the leadership). I looked at their website and they have several positions still vacant after many months. Unless you are in dire straits, who would sign up to work in DGS now? Now that Taos can’t bid on/be awarded new contracts (DRMS, weapons, etc.) they are in a world of hurt. Their VP of BD resigned last month and was one of the few truly talented and strong leaders.

    It now appears Tarek Sultan is going to attempt to fight the 6 fraud indictments. This will take years and the Agility family of companies will lose and be prevented from being awarded any new USG contracts. I hear NATO has also excluded them from any new awards.

    • Comment by ???:

      Unfortunately you are correct. Fighting these charges will take years – during which Agility and all of its subsidiaries will remain suspended and not eligible for new work.

      Taos got caught up in this even though they operated totally separately including their accounting system from Agility under a Special Security Agreement. And were not even acquired by Agility until after the date that these violations occured. Under this agreement Agility personnel – even Tarek Sultan could not enter a Taos facility unless they were escorted.

      There were/are some really good people with Taos that have a lot of experience and are honest and hard working. It is a shame that they are back on the market through no fault of their own.

      • Comment by Jhowds:

        Agreed. I personally know a few quality employees at Taos, but they are wrapped up in this whole mess. Their DRMS contract expires in June, so I wonder if they will fire all Kuwait employees and retract back to the US. Since DynCorp dropped their ass from LOGCAP IV and they’ll lose DRMS, I wonder what will be left for them to do but to return with their tails between their legs. I think everyone should send personal thank you/f*ck you emails to Tarek at http://www.agilitylogistics.com.

  14. Comment by Andrea Meyer:

    What did everyone expect? For God’s sake following the Iraq/Kuwait mess the Kuwaiti Gov’t. worked out a deal that they were awarded the very land on which they had been slant drilling while it was still Iraqi territory.
    Repeatedly rules have been bent for the leaders in Kuwait. This can and does hurt the reputation of all Kuwaiti citizens. But when the Amir has rule without question there is nothing that can stop them. Example, the 80 billion dollar war debt to the USA? They actually only paid 16 billion and the rest was considered paid “in kind” from other countries??? I am not certain why or how they were able to have Japan, Saudi Arabia, and a couple of others donations to the war effort during Desert Storm erase their personal debt to USA…but consider the whole picture. They are not now nor have ever been a democracy. And I think we can all be rather certain that their self imposed rulers are laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Comment by ???:

      Andrea

      What we have here is a basic misunderstanding of the FMS – Foreign Military Sales program. Of all of the countries that the US provides military aid to only 3 actually pay the US in money (and only one of the countries you mentioned is among them). The rest pay in what is referred to as ‘payment in kind.”

      Payment in kind does not come from other countries but rather in most cases is the free use of the land that the US uses for miliary bases. For example in Kuwait Camp Arifjan is provided to the US free of charge as are the building and services on the base that the US uses. This is the concept of Payment in Kind. Some of the other payment in kind services that Kuwait provides to the US are all of the bottled water, cleaning supplies and even toilet paper.

      The war is not the only example of payment in kind. For example most of the countries that we sell military hardware to do not actually pay money for it – they allow the US to have military bases free of rent – or they allow the US to use their ports without paying fees.

      • Comment by andrea:

        WATER? Where the hell do they get their clean water? They have only desalination plants and the last I heard the troops were drinking Pepsi’s Aquafina…thank you. Toilet paper? When did they build a toilet paper factory..and better yet which of the Kuwaiti people would lower themselves to actually work there?
        Actually I am not misunderstanding. According to a source at Columbia University the amount of money which changed hands for the war debt from Kuwait to USA was 16 billion dollars. That is however aside from the point.
        You bring up an issue of great importance. For years during the Clinton Admin. the Kuwaitis were whining about the fact that Saddam was still alive. (see Kuwait : An Oily War on YOUTUBE) There is much more to all of this than meets the eye. Imagine if you will; one oil man to another determining how, where and when to invade Iraq.
        As a military mom, I have asked repeatedly, why the hell we are in Iraq.
        Think about it. There is but one country on earth that actually has benefited from the invasion and ill-conceived [occupation] and it certainly is not the USA.
        Paying even one cent to the Kuwaiti Government for ‘rent’ to base what they are highly benefiting from is a slap in the face to every American taxpayer. Good Lord…for all of the economic woes this country has the very first thing to stop would be the Free Military Babysitting services to the Middle East. We have oil. We can conserve and spend the money wasted in the Middle East on R&D of new fuels and “our gov’t, Owned GMC to retool to build the vehicles for this. New Zealand is flying on a renewable fuel. Many other countries are already using renewable fuel.
        Why not use the money to increase the use of solar panels with tax incentives.
        I am sick to death of our tax money being thrown to the greedy oil mongers.
        And one dead troop was one too many. The Iraqi people have suffered enough. It is time to bring home all of our troops and protect our own here at home. One last thing…please take a minute to Google Abdullah Al-Nafisi…

  15. Comment by Icebox:

    Keeping in mind that the Emir of Kuwait actually owns the company. And as usual, our own government won’t do anything to actually punish him for this. I’m still trying to find where it says in our constitution that our leaders are elected to serve the needs of wealthy and powerful leaders of other countries.

  16. Comment by andrea:

    Icebox, you are 100% correct. I was just explaining that to my son.
    And those who run it…including Tarek…are direct relatives of the Amir of Kuwait.
    There is one set of rules for those determined to be true Kuwaiti and another for those who are ‘outsiders’.
    Yet- Many of them arrange their vacations to the United States of America around the due dates of their children so their children have free dual citizenship. This cracks me up. It is as if they need that escape clause …
    The irony is that the ruling family migrated as Bedouins several hundred years ago from the Saudi area…-YET- they will not accept their Bedouin people as full citizens.
    So anyone who is an outsider will never be treated with honesty and respect. I truly wish I could see it differently. But the facts of the matter are plain.
    The only country on earth who really benefited from the invasion of Iraq was KUWAIT.
    And oh how the American Taxpayers have paid and paid and paid.

  17. Comment by Baboo Remembers:

    Shakespeare: “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows”

    By the way the only pure Arab left are the Bedouin.

  18. Comment by anon:

    When are they going to look at the same illegal silliness happening with domestic prime vendor distributors and their contracts? It is NOT all about only Agility and how they took allowances.Same exact stuff is happening elsewhere. What happens when they are all disbarred as they should be…

  19. Comment by comment:

    They are being horrible to current employees, anyone who stays should have their head examined

  20. Comment by JHowds:

    Confidential informant confirms the USG is wrapping up the evaluation process for the Subsistence Prime Vendor award (next 30 days?). Can anyone assist me in identifying those firms in the running for the contract? I’m curious. I’ve seen a few names in the news over the past year, but no hard confirmations. Anham, KGL, ……..? Does anyone have a clue who has the upper hand? Can the USG honestly trust and feel comfortable with any of them? I guess most are highly preferrable than Agility.

  21. Comment by Jhowds:

    One of my reliable US contacts informed me today that the USG has PERMANENTLY walked away from any and all settlement discussions with Agility. Word is the USG has finally realized that Agility’s intent from day one of the 6 criminal indictments has been to stall, stall, stall, and never offer a legitmate settlement. My intel states the USG came to the table with a demand of $900M. Agility countered with $250M, then $375M. The USG restated that they would accept a $900M settlement and not a dollar less. Then Agility returned to the “we haven’t been properly served” defense.

    Another US insider tells me that the USG is now demanding jail time for a handful of current (possibly former) Agility employees (names to be confirmed).

    Can anyone add and/or confirm this data?

    Has anyone seen the next court date for Agility? Agility is on their 5th extension to continue settlement talks. I guess Agility’s time has finally run out! Now to trial! Doom and gloom for Agility/PWC/Taos/TMG and all the other 100+ affiliates and shadow companies!

    • Comment by Jhowds:

      My source says Agility also offered $600M in JAN/FEB and the USG rejected the third offer as well. Agility just doesn’t get it and/or they are playing the stalling game. It’s clear Tarek Sultan’s intent is to draw this out as long as conceivable. BTW, several Agility subsidiaries have been making the rounds attempting to find new homes in the last few months. Just last week I had a Agility subsidiary president contact my office and inquire whether my company would be interested in acquring their organization. He stated their business has been cut by over 60% due to the EPLS. Without a new owner, they are prohibited from working on USG contracts (prime or sub). Makes sense since nearly 60% of Agility’s business (profit?) comes from the USG.

  22. Comment by andrea:

    Are we going to sit silent once again while the Amir of Kuwait behaves as if he and his company (Agility) and it’s subsidiaries are immune to and continue to ignore our Federal Gov’t. having filed criminal charges? Yet the same group whose actions led directly to the GULF WAR!
    Now if we (the American Citizens) can just convince our reps. in DC to NOT renew the military contracts that we hold with Kuwait. Along with the (protect for free) treaty. These 20 year obligations are due to expire within the next 11 months.
    You know it has been an overstated theory that all Americans are addicted to Middle Eastern oil. I had heard from one Kuwaiti citizen that it is a well known fact that it is in OUR (THE UNITED STATES) BEST INTEREST TO DO THEIR BIDDING AS *** THEY ARE NOT EXACTLY EXPORTING PEANUTS!*** Now that just pisses me off, as our troops are not exactly taking a walk through the park!
    Ridiculous! On oh so many levels.
    There is a facebook group called,”While you are stabbing me in the back you can also kiss my ass!” this is one for the record books!
    Who do they think they are? They clearly are not the innocent/helpless tiny little friend. People; they are ripping us off!
    While we are paying an incredible price in lives and tax monies for the use of their land and oil to maintain the occupation in Iraq. (which would not have happened had the Amir of Kuwait not stalled the talks in dealing with SH re: the border disputes and the slant drilling)
    Are we all aware that they (the citizens of Kuwait):
    1. Do not now and never have had to pay taxes to the Kuwait Gov’t. (of course not , they have no military to support! They get ours for free.)
    2. Receive a check from the Kuwait Government for each child they have. (not unlike a welfare state)
    3. Have access to housing allowance (again from the Gov’t.)
    4. Have free health care in country.
    5. Have gov’t. paid health care along with a housing allowance for medical care received out of their little country.

    And frankly along with college and out of country college stipends…is it any wonder that we are sorely lacking in assistance to our own?
    Since they are earning money from the use of their lands, sale of oil and by embezzling from/through Agility. They can afford to maintain this very lavish life.
    [At the expense of the blood of the coalition troops!]
    As they so readily forget and are forgiven their financial obligations to the United States of America.
    The American, Canadian, Australian, and U.K. troops have spilled too much blood for this.
    The citizens of Iraq have had their own lives turned inside out and upside down. I will not yet start on Afghanistan. Except to ask…exactly how many troops from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are assisting in the coalition battles there?
    I do know that there have been documented cases of assault and attempted murder (by citizens of Kuwait) on coalition troops stationed in Kuwait.
    Why the hell are any of us ignoring this huge and very unnecessary drain on the USA and other coalition countries?
    Our troops did what they promised-the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq was accomplished…Saddam, was permanently removed.
    We are still fighting the terrorist here and abroad…( thanks to one pissed off OBL when we did put boots on the ground in Saudi Arabia and defend them and liberate Kuwait…)
    Enough is enough. This reasoning goes in circles.
    Let’s bring home all of our coalition troops…and if the need arises… when they need help again whether it be our Carrier Groups in the Med and Gulf or any other form of Military Assistance…we need to ask for payment in FULL in Advance.

    Google your reps. address in DC and speak with them. There are far more people who are tired of paying and paying and paying…and the crimes of Kuwait owned Agility are just a drop in the bucket!

  23. Comment by Jhowds:

    Although Agility is a publicly owned company, the Sultan family does control the majority interest by far. You are correct Andrea, the Sultan family is embedded deeply within the Royal family and the Kuwaiti Parliament.

    The Persian Gulf War, OIF, and the US Military’s ongoing presence in Kuwait all played into the hands of the Kuwaitis and Saudis. Although the Persian Gulf War was prompted by the Iraqi invasion into Kuwait, far before this the Kuwaitis were drilling illegally into Iraq. Less than 20 years ago we saved the Kuwaitis asses, they hardly recognize that today.

    If you’ve ever visited Normandy, France, they still fly Allied flags througout the small towns to show their endless appreciation for our sacrifices 60+ years ago. How many US/Coalition flags do you see flying in Kuwait. Only a handful and usually at hotels to sell rooms to expats in town on business. I’ve lived and worked here 5+ years and not once have I ever heard one thank you from a Kuwaiti.

    In my humble opinion, the Iraqis, Kuwaitis, Saudis, and in some measure, the rest of the GCC should be fitting the majority of the bill for OIF.

    • Comment by andrea:

      I agree…further I really, really, really …hope that the Dept. of Immigration has it’s head where it needs to be re: the students they are allowing in…and the Dept. of Homeland Security is paying close attention to the changes that are happening. There is a rapidly growing animosity toward the United States coming out of Q8 by many of their youth.

  24. Comment by Baboo Remembers:

    You’re right about the directional drilling and the theft of border area resources, which directly lead to the conflict with billions spent and wasted to insure and protect economic resources that drive the west.

    Members of the UAE will never thank us in public as long as the Palestinian issue remains unresolved. Arab dictatorships will always rule the Middle East and when they fall, they will suddenly arrive in the United States as political refugees.

    If the Saddam would of stopped at the oil fields in question and GB1 would of backed the CIA and the Iraqi officers and performed a coups d’état the first time, we wouldn’t be in Iraq with the conscience of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    Shakespeare: “What’s past is prologue,”

    • Comment by andrea:

      and…hind sight can be 20/20 if we pay close attention. Yet….it is up to each of us to make certain that the absolute history is told.
      Not the little fantasy tale of the Little Country of Kuwait sitting innocently by as their citizens were slaughtered by SH. Because right before he invaded..(and agreeably he had no business trying to annex all of Kuwait) ..but it was the leaders of Kuwait who stopped all negotiations and even mocked the threats with statements that when SH came they would get the American Protection.
      This was one of the Kuwaiti Leaders…
      knowing the danger that he had put his own citizens into makes me ill.
      Knowing that all of his actions were the true catalyst for what we are stuck with now makes me angry.
      But knowing that following OBL being tossed out of Saudi Arabia on his rear after being told that they too, wanted the American Military. He threatened and, carried out his threat against the infidels involved in the coalition. Including but certainly not limited to 9-11. Which of course is the reason we have been in Afghanistan.
      But consider this…OBL’s attacks against all of the coalition forces except Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, began in Yemen in the 1992 bombing of an American owned hotel…and continue to this day…
      It was from the beginning a Lose/Lose situation for all of the coalition countries.
      So should anyone be surprised by what Kuwait owned Agility is pulling off right now?
      AND THE PEEPS IN DC CONSIDER KUWAIT TO BE OUR CLOSE ALLIES… With friends like that????

      • Comment by Ms Sparky:

        These are very good points. And I have never believed Kuwait was our ally. The US is their hired Army. And they are our staging ground for Iraq. We are much the same Kuwat as Blackwater and Dyncorp are the State and Defense departments. It’s a very quid pro quo relationship.

        • Comment by andrea:

          Oh…that is a bit of a touchy issue…something for something…a service in exchange for something of equal value… I see the analogy. That said, it sort of cheapens the very essence of what our troops believe we have sent them to do. Because they do believe that they are there to help. There are many who have suffered horrid trauma. Again (I feel) due to the arrogance of one group of Arab Leaders. There is nothing of value in the Middle East that can compare to the single drop of blood of any of the coalition troops.
          We will never see the day when anyone from Kuwait owns up to a single minute of responsibility for what has happened. It is just sad. And now add to that people like Kuwaiti Dr. Abdullah Al-Nafisi…who has become quite the celebrity via Youtube sharing his theories on how and where to best dispense Anthrax to do the most damage to the American people! The majority of our oil is now from Western sources. The money spent to support the greedy crude Kuwaitis could be used toward R & D of new fuels… It has all been said before …it just has not been done. More people need to speak up. Let them keep their oil. Why continue to allow them the delusion that they are superior to us because they have oil? Well they may have oil but you can bet your ass it took an American to teach them how to get it out of the ground and what to do with it!

  25. Comment by El Jefe:

    How about the fact that a company from Kuwait was the prime contractor that built the US Embassy in Baghdad, wonder how many Americans they hired? The contract award was a direct result of US government employees and our elected officials allowing it to happen. It is so sad to see the USA constantly getting screwed and nothing being done about it.

    • Comment by Ms Sparky:

      I couldn’t agree more. That US Embassy should have been built by Americans. If it had chances are they wouldn’t be having all the quality issues they are having now. First Kuwaiti was the General contractor and really screwed up that project. Hopefully there is a full out investigation of what happened.

      • Comment by andrea:

        THIS JUST IN….I do not know whether to laugh or cry.
        There is a group on FACEBOOK called “Iraqi Invasion on the Oprah Winfrey Show”.
        This was of course started by a few Kuwaiti Facebook members who believe that Oprah should dedicate at least one whole show to the Kuwaiti Martyrs. The ones who barely escaped to Saudi Arabia and those who stayed behind either due to an inability to leave or a desire to stay and fight for their land.
        As we all well know, this of course did not include any of the ruling family, except for the one who flew in on the last British Air flight (prior to the full invasion) and he was sadly killed.
        Nor were there many of the very rich Kuwaiti citizens who were unable to flee. As a matter of fact, I had heard one theory that Saddam timed his invasion during the hottest part of the year because most of the affluent had already jetted off to Paris, London, and where ever else it is, that ultra rich people hang out when it gets too hot. I would not know…having never had to worry about that while living paycheck to paycheck.
        -I digress-
        I personally have never had a problem with the citizens of Kuwait as a whole. I believe that people are people and we learn to take the good with the bad.
        But … this afternoon my young son was reading the page “Iraqi Invasion on the Oprah Winfrey Show”, and came to me and asked why they were saying that the invasion of KUWAIT by IRAQ was caused by the United States of America? What does one say to answer that?
        Now they (the people of Kuwait) are blaming The United States of America for what Saddam did? WOW!!!
        And we wonder why they think they are above the criminal laws of this country.
        DO they just go around rewriting history to make it fit the mood they are in that day?
        Face it…the AGILITY MESS is NEVER going to end in a fair fashion. I feel sad for the employees who are losing their jobs. I feel sad for those who trusted and invested.
        But most of all I feel sad for the people of Kuwait who are doomed to repeat the very actions that created the issues with Saddam. He did after all assist in getting Iran to stop bombing them. And in return they took over an area of the border oil land that was in Iraqi territory, used slant drilling, flooded the market with lower priced crude…
        and refused to negotiate at all. Saying in front of the King of Jordan…let him come, the Americans will defend us.
        *This in no way excuses what he did…As I have stated before I think that he was one of the most evil turds to ever walk the earth*
        But now as history has been rewritten….it is being stated as fact (by certain Kuwaitis and not corrected by others) that the invasion was all somehow (as I have just read)done due to the fact that Saddam was told by the American President Bush (1) to invade Kuwait.
        In fact I do hope that some of you will sign into facebook and search the page Iraqi Invasion on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
        Now with close to 5000 members they are really revving up against the truth. And this does make me angry. I did write to the creators of the page and cited some facts from several sources.
        I give up.
        There is no hope for the Americans as the youth of Kuwait are rapidly growing a level of animosity towards the Westerners. They want all of the westerners out of there.(Kuwait and Iraq) ..I say fine let’s bring them home..I am certain that the military moms in Canada, the UK, and Australia would agree. I wonder how long before Iran decides that Iraq and Kuwait would make a nice place to call home?

  26. Comment by Jhowds:

    As long as the USG focuses on LPTA (Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable) contract awards, the requirement of hiring/employing Americans will rarely be included. Westerners are just too damn greedy (sarcasm) and expect to paid more than they would in the US doing the same job. Imagine that? If Kuwait wasn’t a third world country and had any measurable quality of life, relatively more equitable salaries would be common.

    I’m tired of Americans whining about this issue. It reminds me of the whole “don’t export jobs to other countries” argument. Americans want the CHEAPEST PRICES for the products they purchase, but when companies attmept to be as competitive as possible in terms of price and export jobs to countries that pay 10-35% of the typical American wage, they complain endlessly. Sorry my American friends, you can’t have it both ways. If you force the jobs to remain stateside, the product prices will increase significantly. It’s all a matter of economimcs and happens worldwide.

    The same holds true with US health care. Americans want full medical coverage for their families, but don’t want to pay the high price. The former requires the latter my dear Yankees. The only affordable health care plan MUST have limitations.

    Did you get me started on health care? Argghh!

    • Comment by Ms Sparky:

      You do have a point. But, the US Government has already made it clear that Government contracting is not capitalism. The best quality, superior customer service, highly skilled employees does not even enter into the equation. As a matter of fact the Government has consistently reaffirmed that you can perform poorly, put out a crappy quality product, customer service is not required and not only will they continue to pay you un-Godly sums of money, they will give you new contracts. So…I don’t buy this whole lowest bidder crap the USG continues to ram down our throat. You can’t tell me it’s cheaper to hire a large group of SE Asian TCN’s to attack a job with shear numbers than to hire a qualified plumber or electrician from the states and pay him well. I’m not buying it. Then there is the whole human trafficking issue.

      Crafts are licensed in the States for a reason. What about bring a bunch of SE Asian trained doctors to take care of our troops. There are few countries that require the training and licensing of their skilled trade like the US does. I went to school for four years. Does that count for nothing. And I agree that we should be buying American made products even if the cost more.

      I have a hard time continuing to send tax money to pay wages to people who will not economically support the US. We have too many people out of work.

  27. Comment by Jhowds:

    Since the 1960s, the #1 factor in the American consumption decision making process has been PRICE, following considerably behind is quality, then brand. Not since WWII did “buying American” truly affect the American consumption process. I’m all for keeping as much business “at home”, but products and services MUST be competitive/comparable. Look what happened to the US automotive industry. For over 30 years Japan has been kicking the The Big Three’s asses. Yes, Toyotas and Hondas are more expensive, but the quality is significantly higher and they last 2-3 times longer.

    I do agree with the quality over quantity proposition in terms of labor. I’d rather hire and pay significantly more for a few skilled, qualified professionals versus hiring 10 low-wage, partially skilled foreigners, or US Nationals. If the personnel are FULLY qualified, I don’t care about their nationality (for most jobs, as long as they can communicate fluently).

  28. Comment by sail:

    The Lowest Cost Technically Acceptable approach appears to be here to stay. Even the President’s “High Road Contracting Policy” that provides for a preference to contractors who pay higher living wages and benefits contains the following caveate “so long as there is not a significant effect on the total price.”

    Uh if it takes 10 people to do something and one contractor is paying higher wages and benefits then of course their bid will be significantly higher and would whave an effect on the total price.

    So even with the initiative – the lower bidders will still be the ones receiving the awards.

    • Comment by Ms Sparky:

      I am just having a hard time with “Lowest Cost Technically Acceptable” being nothing more than slavery of poor SE Asian men and women. Maybe President Obama should head over and get off the Red Carpet tour and find out how these people live, how they work and by all means dig in to the same meals they are eating.

      • Comment by sail:

        I agree with you there. Unfortunately on a “Services” contract the majority of the cost is for labor.

        I have a problem with the Government blowing smoke about reform – but then adding a caveate that nulify’s the reform.

      • Comment by Jhowds:

        How do grown men survive on pita bread and rice as 95% of their subsistence? I guess it’s all relative to their home country (pay, food, conditions, etc.), but it always makes me question the standards they accept. How can 3 billion people survive on $2 a day and one shower a week? Ouch! It’s all relative.

        Yes, politicians that “talk the talk”, but only “walk the red carpet” lose all credibility in my book, regardless of party. Obama tells Americans to start living within a budget and within their means, but goes and adds 40% to the national debt in one year! Just when you thought America’s fiscal policy couldn’t get any worse. Barry has been and will continue to be a nightmare as long as Americans allow him, his administration, and the Congress to continue their self-destructive behavior.

        Can we ever really go home?

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