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A Decade Later, Contractor Pays Out Millions for Iraq Prisoner Abuse

Photo from the Guardian UK

Robert Beckhusen - (Wired – Danger Room) – January 9, 2012 – It’s been nearly a decade since private military contractors and U.S. soldiers worked together to torture Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Now, for the first time, one of the companies involved in the Abu Ghraib scandal has been forced to pay victims for the abuse.

The $5.28 million settlement — which was disclosed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in November but “which has gone essentially unnoticed,” according to the Associated Press — involves 71 former inmates of Abu Ghraib and other U.S.-run prisons, and private security firm L-3 Services Inc., a subsidiary of Engility Holdings of Chantilly, Virginia.

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Nurturing a toxic culture and other news

…the toxic culture of the military allows “open and blatant sexual harassment to occur on a daily basis,” and retaliates against its opponents…

…While the military claims a zero-tolerance policy and touts systematic reforms regarding rape and sexual assault, “this rhetoric has failed to change the misogynistic culture of the Army and has not resulted in any meaningful reform or reduction in sexual assaults”… – Military Accused of Nursing Culture of Rape & Retaliation

Halliburton senior vice-president and six others nabbed in prostitution sting
Clifford Pugh – (Culture Map) – October 12, 2012 –  A Halliburton senior vice president and six others were arrested Thursday in an undercover prostitution sting in north Harris County. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office vice unit focused on suspects soliciting sex online and set up the sting operation from a motel located off I-45 and FM 1960.

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Appeals court revives Iraq contractor torture cases

  • Former Abu Ghraib prisoners can sue contractors over alleged abuse -court
  • CACI International and L-3 not entitled to early appeal
  • Cases will resume in Virginia and Maryland courts

Terry Baynes – (Reuters) – 11 May 2012 – A U.S. appeals court on Friday revived two lawsuits accusing employees of two defense contractors of conspiring to torture and abuse Iraqis detained at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad and at other locations.

A 14-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, Virginia, refused to intervene and dismiss the suits against CACI International Inc and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc, sending the cases back to district courts for further proceedings.

After the military invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States hired contractors from U.S.-based CACI and L-3 to provide translators and help conduct investigations. In 2004, photographs emerged depicting the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. A number of military personnel were disciplined, but no contractors were charged.

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Thomas Manok sentenced for bribery in Baghdad

Thomas Manok (photo LinkedIn)

Former Army Corps of Engineers Employee Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Accepting Bribes from Iraqi Contractors

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – December 9, 2011 – A former employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stationed in Baghdad, Iraq, was sentenced today in the Eastern District of Virginia to 20 months in prison for conspiring to receive bribes from Iraqi contractors involved in the U.S.-funded reconstruction efforts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge James W. McJunkin of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Thomas Aram Manok, 51, of Chantilly, Va., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. In addition to his prison term, Manok was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Judge Trenga ordered a forfeiture hearing to be held on Jan. 13, 2012. Manok pleaded guilty on Sept. 19, 2011.

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L-3 & CACI may be off the hook in Abu Ghraib torture scandal

U.S. court dismisses Iraq contractor torture cases

James Vicini – (Reuters) -  WASHINGTON  – September 21, 2011 –  A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday dismissed lawsuits claiming employees of two defense contractors conspired to torture and abuse Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad and at other locations.

The court ruled for CACI International Inc, which helped conduct interrogations at Abu Ghraib, and L-3 Communications Holdings Inc, which provided translators to the U.S. military for questioning Iraqi detainees at various sites.

One lawsuit was filed by 72 Iraqis while the other was brought by four Iraqis.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, Virginia, held the claims were pre-empted by federal law and must be dismissed. It also cited a ruling in 2009 by a U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C., in a similar lawsuit against the two companies.

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