Anne Speckhard – (Huffington Post) – May 28, 2013 – This Memorial Day all Americans send a heartfelt salute to all those warriors who fought and died so gallantly in recent and far off wars in behalf of our freedoms and safety. On behalf of those who died, we can never thank them or their families enough for the ultimate sacrifice they made for our country. Alongside that salute we now also need to begin to honor the oft forgotten civilians who also serve in war and high threat security environments alongside the military, supporting their efforts and working in concert with them — especially all those civilians who served in the two recent U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — as many civilian workers have also lost their lives while serving our country.
While we don’t often remember the sacrifices of civilian workers in conflict zones, or have a holiday to commemorate their service, we do need to honor that they too serve their country.
A little known fact is that in September 2007 there were more contractors in Iraq than combat troops. According to a 2013 report of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) reports that, “In September 2007, the United States had more than 170,000 combat personnel in Iraq as part of the counterinsurgency operation, with more than 171,000 contractors supporting the mission.” These contractors are credited in the report for supporting “the counterinsurgency mission in unstable, yet strategically significant, areas such as Baghdad, Anbar, and Babylon provinces.”
After his rig bottomed out in a bomb crater, AIG made former KBR trucker David Boiles of Willis suffer through 14 months of agonizing back pain and sciatica before they authorized surgery. – Photo Daniel Kramer
Whatever your role in the U.S. war effort, if you were injured overseas, at least you’d be covered back home, right?
John Nova Lomax – November 14, 2012 – Ever since that June day in 2010 when the roadside bomb detonated ten feet from the cab of his truck on a dusty road in Iraq, Terry Enzweiler has not been the same. He gets lost coming back from the same grocery store he’s shopped in hundreds of times; his daughter had to buy him a GPS to help him navigate his own neighborhood. He takes Xanax and Zoloft to combat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The Xanax stops me from jumping through the roof when a pencil falls on the floor,” he says.
Even medicated, his blood still curdles when he hears Arabic spoken on TV or drives through one of the Chicago area’s Muslim neighborhoods. He wore earplugs for much of the week leading up to and right through the Fourth of July. “Those half-sticks sound just like a .50-cal,” he says, referring to a type of heavy machine gun.
The chuck-chuck of helicopter blades terrifies him, as does the sight of his own 25-year-old son. In Iraq, 46-year-old Enzweiler, a recent client of Houston attorney Gary Pitts, saw a dead Iraqi child who looked just like his boy did 13 years ago. “My psychiatrist said it’s like a marriage where there’s been infidelity,” he says in a phone interview. “The wife forgives the husband. Two years later, she sees a blond woman in a blue dress. Two years prior, the other woman looked like that. So in the mind, the two images come together, and for absolutely no reason, you become furious, and your subconscious takes over. It’s the same thing now. When I see my son, I think of that kid. I saw some horribly gruesome stuff over there.”
KANDAHAR – June 19, 2012 – Eleven Taliban suicide attackers struck two Afghan and Nato bases in Kandahar province on Tuesday, after gunmen in police uniforms killed a coalition soldier, officials said.
Seven insurgents stormed a joint Afghan-Nato base in Shah Wali Kot district at around 3:30 am, sparking a 30-minute gun battle that left all the attackers dead, Kandahar governor’s spokesman Jawed Faisal said.
Nato’s US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the attackers breached the outer perimeter of the base but no coalition soldiers were killed.
But Faisal and provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq both said a foreigner had been killed and two wounded, with Faisal describing the fatality as a civilian contractor. Their nationalities were unclear.
The e-mail arrived in James Charles Cafferty’s inbox on July 14, 2011. Unlike most unsolicited e-mail on the Internet, the message did not pitch mortgages, get rich quick scams, or penis pills. Instead, it provided a link to an under-the-radar child pornography website and the password needed to access it. Cafferty, a diplomatic security officer working for the US government at its London embassy, waited for three days, then clicked on the link. ~ “The hidden side of your soul”: How the FBI uses the Web as a child porn honeypot
Former State Department Agent Sentenced for Transportation of Child Pornography
(FBI) – TAMPA – April 26, 2012 – United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that United States District Judge Richard A. Lazzara sentenced James Cafferty (45, Largo) to seven years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, for transporting child pornography. Cafferty pled guilty on January 5, 2012.