Gone Fishin’ and other news
We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn’t always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money. ~ NPR, Money in Politics Series
Army probes drug use by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan
Lolita C. Baldor – (The Associated Press) – WASHINGTON – April 21, 2012 – The U.S. Army has investigated 56 soldiers in Afghanistan on suspicion of using or distributing heroin, morphine or other opiates during 2010 and 2011, newly obtained data shows. Eight soldiers died of drug overdoses during that time.
While the cases represent just a slice of possible drug use by U.S. troops in Afghanistan, they provide a sombre snapshot of the illicit trade in the war zone, including young Afghans peddling heroin, soldiers dying after mixing cocktails of opiates, troops stealing from medical bags and Afghan soldiers and police dealing drugs to their U.S. comrades.
In a country awash with poppy fields that provide up to 90 per cent of the world’s opium, the U.S. military struggles to keep an eye on its far-flung troops and monitor for substance abuse.
But U.S. Army officials say that while the presence of such readily available opium — the raw ingredient for heroin — is a concern, opiate abuse has not been a pervasive problem for troops in Afghanistan. (Click HERE for article)
Government Worker Claims Rape on the Job
Iulia Filip – (Courthouse News) – MONTGOMERY, Ala. – April 20, 2012 – The U.S. government faces federal claims that a manager in the Defense Department harassed and repeatedly raped a contract worker.
S.O. says she worked as a systems administrator for the Defense Information Systems Agency from February 2007 until October 2011.
Shortly after the agency hired S.O., her direct supervisor Timothy Tarver began subjecting her to unwelcomed sexual advances, which continued for years despite S.O.’s protests, according to the complaint.
S.O. says Tarver repeatedly made offensive comments to her, touched her inappropriately, grabbed her, looked for pretexts to be alone with her in his office and masturbated in front of her.
“Some of Tarver’s comments included … ‘I want to taste you,’ ‘Boy I sure love me some chocolate… ain’t nothing like sweet dark chocolate,’” according to the suit.
S.O. says Tarver became more aggressive as the months passed. He allegedly started stalking her, calling her at home and driving by her house at night when her husband was out of town.
Though he apologized after each incident and begged S.O. not to report him, Tarver continued to harass her and remind her that “he was the boss,” the suit states. (Click HERE for article) (Click HERE for complaint)
USA Today: Online Pentagon Payback Campaign Targeted Us
Katie Drummond – (Danger Room) – April 20, 2012 – The U.S. military’s propaganda activities — known formally and euphemistically as “information operations” — has this week faced serious accusations of targeting Americans, a major infraction. According to USA Today, military personnel (or contractors) apparently took to the web to unleash a vitriolic, and embarrassingly transparent, smear campaign against two of the paper’s staff members. Why? Because they published a damning investigation of the military’s dubious propaganda campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
USA Today reported on Thursday evening that a reporter and an editor, Tom Vanden Brook and Ray Locker, respectively, had been victims of a web campaign intent on damaging their professional reputations. Though the paper couldn’t confirm who was behind the attack, they’ve got their suspicions: It started shortly after the two staffers kicked off an investigation of the Pentagon’s own propaganda contractors.
The campaign included phony websites, dubious Wikipedia entries, Twitter accounts and message forum posts. All of which, according to the paper, have now been taken offline.
The paper’s investigation of the Pentagon’s info ops was scathing. In February, USA Today published a lengthy report — co-bylined by Vanden Brook and Locker — critiquing “poorly tracked marketing and propaganda campaigns,” orchestrated to win over Afghan and Iraqi citizens throughout the wars in both countries. (Click HERE for article)
Federal Court Upholds Ban on Contractor Campaign Donations
NEIL GORDON – (POGO) – April 20, 2013 – This week, a federal judge in Washington, citing the government’s interest in preventing corruption, refused to block enforcement of a law that bans federal contractors from donating to political candidates and parties.