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You’re dismissed and other news

By Mel Bochner

Defense attorneys were critical of the FBI’s reliance on the informant [Richard Bistrong], an executive of a Florida body armor company [Armor Holdings] who they called a sociopathic liar with a devious mind. They said he was able to persuade federal agents to let him plead guilty to a single bribery count for more than $4.4 million in bribes to officials at the United Nations and overseas even though he had a history of bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion, drug use and solicitation of prostitutes. ~Justice gives up sting case over foreign bribes

Reliance on contractors in Afghanistan draws continuing scrutiny
Charles S. Clark  - (GovExec) – February 24, 2012 – The use of contractors in the decade-long U.S. effort to train Afghanistan’s army and police forces continues to raise policy questions as the Obama administration struggles to meet its goal of winding down the American troop presence in the volatile region.

The Government Accountability Office on Thursday reported that the Defense Department — after it took over from the State Department in 2009 the task of training and equipping Afghan security forces — hired a contracting firm without first weighing the advantages and disadvantages of assigning U.S. government personnel to train the war-torn country’s national police.

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You’ll pay for that & other news

“When I served four years in the military, it wasn’t so that Bechtel, KBR, Halliburton and all the other corporations could make money and buy politicians to further drag out the war and create policies that support all that,” Bodell said. “I fought for the Constitution, for representation and for freedom of the American people.” ~ Kole Bodell, Salt Lake City, UT

Ex-officer indicted for coercing soldiers
(Windsor Star) – January 21, 2012 – A former Danish officer has been indicted for threatening to send troops under his command to the Afghan front line if they refuse to pay a fine for certain errors, website Politiken said Friday.

The 33-year-old, in charge of a royal guard unit in Afghanistan, “put pressure on a number of soldiers in Afghanistan daily to contribute to a system of illegal financial penalties,” said the website.

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Fraud Fight Has U.S. Seeking to Ban Record Number of Suppliers

Wishing the Government Accountability Office and the agencies in charge of oversight, a banner year of suspensions and debarments in 2012.  Here’s hoping the DoJ grows a set in the new year and prosecutes those who have “gotten away with it” for far too long.  Honestly Eric (Holder) you can’t possibly believe the American taxpayer is gullible enough to believe the only criminals making bank in Iraq and Afghanistan are the handful of petty criminals you have indicted to date?
~ Ms Sparky & Forseti

(Money News) – December 27, 2011 – The Obama administration, under pressure from Congress to weed out government suppliers for ethics violations or poor performance, has proposed to ban almost as many contractors this year as President George W. Bush did in his entire second term.

Federal agencies have proposed blocking 1,006 companies and individuals from contracting so far this year, as well as asking a judge to ban a unit of food-processing giant Cargill Inc. of Minneapolis, in a process known as debarment. That is 16 percent more than the 868 contractors that U.S. agencies proposed to block in all of 2010, and only 70 fewer than the 1,076 contractors that U.S. agencies sought to debar under Bush from 2005 to 2008, according to data provided by the General Services Administration.

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Agility Unit Sues U.S. to Lift Freeze on Military Contracts (with links to court filings)

Laurence Viele Davidson – (Bloomberg) – December 7, 2011 – A unit of Agility, the Kuwaiti storage and logistics provider, sued to lift a freeze on government contracts imposed after the company was accused of defrauding the U.S.

Agility Defense & Government Logistics Services called the freeze “capricious” in a filing in federal court in Alabama. The Defense Logistics Agency, or DLA, an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, suspended the unit from new contracts 10 days after Agility was indicted in November 2009.

Agility, which supplied food to U.S. forces in Iraq, paid premium prices for goods to inflate its profits, according to the indictment. Agility, formerly known in Kuwait as Public Warehousing Co., pleaded not guilty in August to the allegations in federal court in Atlanta.

DLA acknowledged that Alabama-based Agility Defense & Government, or DGS, faced “no allegations” of wrongdoing, the company said in the complaint. DGS’s business “has collapsed” since the indictment and its workforce has shrunk to fewer than 50 employees from about 1,200, according to the complaint.

DLA’s “shifting, inconsistent and unsubstantiated rationales for suspension render its continued suspension of DGS and Agility International arbitrary and capricious,” the company said. The claims of unfairness were brought under the Administrative Procedures Act.

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Blacklisted contractor continues receiving government money through Haiti contracts

Despite the blacklist designation Agility was able to secure government funding for work in Haiti through a joint venture. An analysis of the Federal Procurement Data System shows that Contingency Response Services LLC (CRS) has received over $16 million in government funding from the Department of the Navy since the earthquake. The particularly bland sounding Contingency Response Services consists of three defense contractor giants — Dyncorp, Parsons and Agility Logistics (then PWC logistics).

Jake Johnston, lead researcher at Center for Economic and Policy Research – (The Hill) – December 2, 2011 – Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, the U.S. launched an unprecedented relief effort, eventually totaling over one billion dollars. But the lead agency in the immediate aftermath was not the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as is typically the case when our nation provides humanitarian assistance, but the military.  Just after the earthquake, the U.S. had over 20,000 troops in Haiti. Of the $1.1 billion in humanitarian funding from the U.S. in 2010, nearly half was channeled to the Department of Defense.

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