A taxing situation and other news
Pentagon defends millions to contractor despite unpaid taxes
Tom Vanden Brook – (USA Today) – WASHINGTON - April 15, 2012 – The tax problems of the military’s top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan would not have prevented the Pentagon from awarding it multimillion-dollar contracts, a top official said in a letter to U.S. senators.
The owners of Leonie Industries, the contractor, owed at least $4 million in federal taxes when the contracts were awarded. Because the owners had entered into agreements to pay the overdue taxes with the Internal Revenue Service, they were not required to tell the Pentagon about their tax debt, acting Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall wrote in a letter to Sen. Tom Carper.
Carper, D-Del., said he wants the IRS and Pentagon to work more closely to ensure that contractors with large tax debts receive more scrutiny. (Click HERE for article)
Confusion over S3.2bn fraud penalty fund
Olawale Rasheed, Abuja Monday – (Nigerian Tribune) – April 16, 2012 – Nigeria and the United States of America are now locked in a struggle over an accumulated $3.2 billion penalty paid by American companies who were convicted of bribing Nigerian officials in order to secure juicy contracts.
From 2008 to date, about 11 American companies had paid huge fines for corrupt conduct in Nigeria, while executives of such companies were sentenced to various jail terms under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The huge sums of money paid as fines by the convicted companies were, however, retained by the American treasury, a practice now being challenged by a prominent Nigerian non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice.
The Nigerian government, through the Ministry of Justice, was reported to be asking for a share of the recovery fund to pursue the anti-corruption efforts at home, while SERAP had officially written the American Justice Department, asking for part of the penalty fund to be set aside for non-governmental organisation in the affected countries. (Click HERE for article)
Rape victims say military labels them ‘crazy’
David S. Martin – (CNN) – April 14, 2012 – Stephanie Schroeder joined the U.S. Marine Corps not long after 9/11. She was a 21-year-old with an associate’s degree when she reported for boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina.
“I felt like it was the right thing to do,” Schroeder recalls.
A year and a half later, the Marines diagnosed her with a personality disorder and deemed her psychologically unfit for the Corps.
Anna Moore enlisted in the Army after 9/11 and planned to make a career of it. Moore was a Patriot missile battery operator in Germany when she was diagnosed with a personality disorder and dismissed from the Army.
Jenny McClendon was serving as a sonar operator on a Navy destroyer when she received her personality disorder diagnosis.
These women joined different branches of the military but they share a common experience:
Each received the psychiatric diagnosis and military discharge after reporting a sexual assault.
I’m not crazy. I am actually relatively normal.
“I’m not crazy,” says Schroeder, who is married now, with two daughters. “I am actually relatively normal.” (Click HERE for article)
Revealed: CISPA — Internet Spying Law — Pushed by For-Profit Spy Lobby
Defense industry contractors are lobbying for the cyber security bill in Congress that would expand the government’s ability to access information about online activity.
A cyber security bill moving swiftly through Congress would give government intelligence agencies broad powers to work with private companies to share information about Internet users. While some critics are beginning to organize online against the legislation, defense contractors, many already working with the National Security Agency on related data-mining projects, are lobbying to press forward. Like many bad policy ideas, entrenched government contractors seem to be using taxpayer money to lobby for even more power and profit.