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Senate & House Committee Hearings Archive

US Army Spc. Rudy A. Acosta was killed March 19, 2011 at FOB Frontenac in Kandahar province, Afghanistan by an Afghan security contractor hired by Canadian firm Tundra Strategies.

On March 19, 2011, an Afghan National security contractor Shia Ahmed, employed by Canadian firm Tundra Specialties, was on duty at FOB Frontenac when he opened fired on the soldiers he was paid to protect. US Army soldiers Spc. Rudy A Acosta, Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr., Sgt. Christopher J. Hemwall, Sgt. Patrick W. Shelley, Sgt. Zackary Hombel and Spc. Curtis L. Cole were caught off guard while cleaning their weapons. Spc. Rudy A Acosta and Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr. were killed and Sgt. Christopher J. Hemwall, Sgt. Patrick W. Shelley, Sgt. Zackary Hombel add Spc. Curtis L. Cole were injured by this assassin. All were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd SCR.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed late July 9, 2012 in federal court in Los Angeles accusing Canadian military contractor Tundra Strategies, Inc. of rehiring and rearming a guard (Shia Ahmed) known to be a threat to U.S. troops just before he killed U.S. Army Spc. Rudy Acosta and seriously injured three other U.S. soldiers at a coalition base in Afghanistan in March 2011.

The lawsuit alleges Tundra rehired the guard at Forward Operating Base Frontenac after he threatened to attack U.S. troops at another military installation guarded by Tundra and had been regarded by company management there as a danger. Tundra is accused of failing to properly document the guard’s threats, the circumstances of his firing, and failing to report the danger the guard posed to U.S. and coalition military forces.

Spc. Acosta’s parents, Dante and Carolyn, along with current Army personnel Sgt. Christopher J. Hemwall, of Monroe, Mich., and Sgt. Patrick W. Shelley, of Marana, Ariz., and former soldier Sgt. Zackary Hombel, of Norfolk, Va., are represented by Doyle Raizner LLP of Houston and Kreindler & Kreindler LLP of Los Angeles.

The lawsuit is “Acosta, et al., v. Tundra Strategies, Inc., et al,” Case No. CV12-5903 CBM(SHx) in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Western Division.

On February 1, 2012, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing entitled The Use of Afghan Nationals to Provide Security to U.S. Forces to hear testimony regarding the March 19, 2011 murder of two US soldiers and the injuring of four others and the wisdom of hiring Afghan Nationals to protect our troops. Testimony was given that 42 events involving Afghan National Security personnel and three (3) involving private security companies (PSC) personnel have occurred since May 2007. These attacks resulted in the deaths of approximately 70 coalition personnel and approximately 110 wounded.

I really don’t understand why there is any debate on this issue. Why aren’t US troops guarding US troops? Hiring Afghans to protect US troops in Afghanistan is risky. It’s like asking the fox to guard the hen house! I would like to save the US Taxpayer millions of dollars that will result in debates and studies regarding whether or not to allow Afghan Nationals to guard US troops or US civilians. “Hell No!” That simple.  would I allow a known pedophile to babysit my kids? “Hell No!” The risk is known!

Congress and the DoD need to stop pandering to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and defense contractors and do the right thing for the American people for a change.

~Ms Sparky

 

Joe Davidson – (Washington Post) – June 27, 2012 – A Senate committee wants to make sure Uncle Sam doesn’t act as an inadvertent enabler for international human traffickers and pimps.

With a voice vote Wednesday, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee preliminarily approved legislation designed, as its title says, to “End Trafficking in Government Contracting.”

When contractors submit proposals for government work overseas, they don’t include provisions for trading in humans or indentured servitude. But that apparently has been the case with some private firms operating on U.S. military bases in foreign countries.

“Modern-day slavery by government contractors — unknowingly funded by American taxpayers — is unconscionable and intolerable,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), prime sponsor of the bill. “Current law prohibiting human trafficking is insufficient and ineffective, failing to prevent or punish abuses.”

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(Press Release) – Washington, DC – May 24, 2012 – Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. John F. Tierney, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, sent joint letters to Supreme Foodservice GmbH and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) requesting a host of documents relating to their ongoing investigation into a multi-billion dollar contract to provide food and other supplies to American bases in Afghanistan.

“It is outrageous that DLA could ever be in the position of possibly overpaying any vendor by three quarters of a billion dollars- especially at a time when troop levels are being scaled back because funding is tight,” said Chairman Chaffetz. “The Subcommittee will work with the Department of Defense to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding this apparent lack of oversight.”

“The American taxpayers refuse to accept a government contractor that bills more than $750 million in unsubstantiated charges, and they refuse to accept the Pentagon’s failure to manage this contract properly,” said Ranking Member Tierney.  “Chairman Chaffetz and I plan to continue our vigorous bipartisan oversight efforts, to fully investigate the problems with this contract, and to determine how they will affect the impending award of the new contract.”

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Says matter “not a systemic issue”

(C-Span) – Washington, DC - May 23, 2012 – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held an oversight hearing on the recent misconduct by Secret Service agents, entitled  ”Secret Service on the Line: Restoring Trust and Confidence.”

The hearing examined whether there were warning signals before nine Secret Service employees were fired and three others disciplined for involvement with prostitutes in Colombia and what the Service can do to regain public trust.

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Interview with Cartagena “Escort” involved in Secret Service scandal (May 2012)

Pierre Thomas and Jason Ryan – (ABC News) – May 22, 2012 – A month after the Secret Service was rocked by allegations that agents brought prostitutes to a Colombia hotel where they were preparing for a visit by President Obama, the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that at least three of its agents are also under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena.

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