The naked truth about transparency and other news…
India and the Philippines have higher risk profiles of transmission of the deadly falciparum variant of malaria than does Afghanistan. In India in 2002, there were 1.86 million cases of malaria, over 40 percent from the deadly falciparum strain, and most parts of the country are considered to have high transmission rates of the vivax form of the disease. Almost 1,000 people died of malaria in India in 2002.
In the Philippines, there is a great deal of variability of risk depending on the region of the country, but 57 out of 79 provinces are considered malaria-endemic. Confirmed cases of malaria in the Philippines from 2002 to 2005 went from approximately 38,000 to over 50,000 cases per year.
Numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and public health experts have linked mefloquine, also known by its brand name, Lariam, with severe side effects, including vertigo, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, hallucinations, bizarre dreams, sores and homicidal and suicidal thoughts. (Click HERE for article)
Solution: How the Government Can Stop Doing Business With Risky Contractors
Neil Gordon – (TruthOut) – March 3, 2011 – It is very hard for the federal government to have a successful criminal or civil prosecution of their contractors and it is the hardest to do with the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD has a very close working relationship with their contractors and often fights any government prosecutions by lack of cooperation. (See my past Truthout article on this problem.) Also the DoD has such big contractors that it is hard for them to disbar or suspend the largest contractors because they are so dependent on their current and future contracts. This week’s column explores this problem and suggests answers. As you will see in this article, many contractors, especially those with DoD contracts, know that they won’t be suspended because they will settle lawsuits without admitting guilt and pay only a fraction of the money that they illegally made on these contracts. These contractors often see this money as the cost of doing business, and there is little incentive to change. Hopefully this article, which points out solutions to the problem, will be sent by the public to people in the Congress who can make this process more transparent and eliminate the loopholes that companies use to avoid any suspension or disbarment. (Click HERE for article)
ECES readies 3,500 housing units for transfer
Senior Airman Tong Duong – (332 AEW) – JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – March 3, 2011 – Members of the lodging office is in the process of vacating 3,500 containerized housing units to fulfill a request for the units by the Department of State.
While 332nd Expeditionary Force Support Squadron is busy consolidating CHUs, someone will still need to prepare them for transport. This is where members of the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron come in.
“We have a 16-man ‘disconnection crew’ consisting of plumbers, electricians, heating, ventilation and air conditioning members, technicians, structures troops and dirt boyz [sic],” said Capt. James Forbes, 332nd ECES project point man.
The ECES crew is one of multiple organizations playing a role in the DoS request.
“What’s not seen is all the work EFSS have to accomplish before we even start,” Captain Forbes, who is deployed from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., said. “They are busy coordinating moves to ensure we can empty out the housing sections.”
According to Capt. Brandon Wengert, 332nd EFSS deputy commander, after the housing units are vacated, the base transition team and the district contracting management agency can take the CHUs and furniture off their records. They will also have to turn off all the contracts for maintaining those resources. Captain Wengert, a native of Boulder City, Nev., is deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (Click HERE for article)
Commission report warns time and funds are short to prepare for State Dept. role in post-withdrawal Iraq
ARLINGTON, VA – March 2, 2011 – Asking if Iraq is “a forgotten mission,” the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has released a special report to Congress warning that the U.S. Department of State faces large funding and contract-management challenges in Iraq once the U.S. military completes its agreed-upon withdrawal by the end of 2011.
To deal with Iraq’s long-standing ethnic, religious, and regional rivalries, the State Department is working to set up two permanent and two temporary stations remote from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. The department is also working with the Department of Defense to deal with hundreds of functions currently provided by the U.S. military in Iraq.