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The naked truth about transparency and other news…

If transparency—including public access to past performance information—were added to the process, maybe the government would be deterred from awarding taxpayer dollars to risky contractors and the contractors would improve their performance. But then again, maybe these contractors are too big too fail. –  Scott Amey, General Counsel Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

The Dog Ate My Performance Report

In brig, WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning ordered to sleep without clothing
Ellen Nakashima – (Washington Post) – March 6, 2011 – Military jailers are forcing Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old soldier accused of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks.org, to strip naked in his cell at night and sleep without clothing, a requirement his attorney says was imposed after Manning made a “sarcastic quip” about his confinement.

For most of the past eight months, Manning has been required to sleep wearing only boxer shorts, because of his status as a detainee under “prevention of injury watch,” said 1st Lt. Brian Villiard, a spokesman for the military detention facility, or “brig,” in Quantico. Beginning Wednesday night, the facility commander ordered that Manning turn over his boxers, too.

“The intention is not to cause any sort of humiliation or embarrassment,” Villiard said. “The intention is to ensure the safety and security of the detainee and make sure he is able to stand trial.”

Villiard said he could not explain how Manning might harm himself if he were allowed to keep his underwear, citing rules to protect detainees’ privacy. All he could say was that “circumstances warranted” the measure, which was ordered by the brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Denise Barnes. The requirement will remain in effect until a review next week, he said.

But Manning’s attorney, David E. Coombs, said he thought the order was “punitive” under the “guise of being concerned” about Manning’s welfare. (Click HERE for article)

Lawmakers criticize military funeral protesters
Ben Terris – (National Journal) – March 4, 2011 – Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who won a Supreme Court ruling this week supporting their right to protest military funerals, are misusing their right to free speech, say Senate Armed Services Committee members Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska.

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Kaput in Kabul & other news

Ex-soldier Danny Fitzsimons awaits Iraq murder verdict
(BBC News) – January 23, 2011 – An Iraqi court has retired to consider a verdict in the case of a British security guard accused of murdering two colleagues in Baghdad.

Danny Fitzsimons, 30, from Rochdale, could face the death penalty if found guilty.

The ex-soldier admitted manslaughter with diminished responsibility, but pleaded not guilty to murder.

The trial has been adjourned until 20 February while judges consider Mr Fitzsimons’ psychiatric report.

One of his legal team, John Tipple, said the situation was “extremely concerning”.

“The court simply must take notice of the psychiatric state that Danny Fitzsimons is in,” said Mr Tipple, a case worker with solicitors Linn and Associates.

“It seems they are paying some attention to his condition. But the death penalty remains a very real possibility.” (Click HERE for article)

Former Marine’s fiancee says he was executed and demands justice
Fiona Young – Sunday Mail – January 23, 2011 – The fiancee of a former Royal Marine shot dead in Baghdad yesterday dismissed claims that his alleged killer was mentally ill. 

Nicci Prestage, 37, said Paul McGuigan, from Peebles, was “executed” in Baghdad and called on an Iraqi court not to be swayed by claims the man accused over his death was mentally ill. 

Private security contractor Danny Fitzsimons, 30, could face the death penalty if he is found guilty tomorrow of killing Paul and Australian Darren Hoare in August 2009. 

The trial has been adjourned several times for psychiatric reports. 

It was claimed Fitzsimons, a former member of the Parachute Regiment who served in Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) before he went to Iraq on a private mercenary mission. 

However, Paul’s fiancee Nicci believes there is little evidence to support this diagnosis, but fears it could result in a reduced sentence or even an acquittal.  (Click HERE for article)

Search goes on for missing Americans in Iraq
KIM GAMEL – The Associated Press -BAGHDAD –  January 23, 2011 – The U.S. soldier was out of uniform when he sneaked off base on a motorcycle to visit his Iraqi wife in central Baghdad. The militiamen hiding nearby weren’t fooled. They were seen seizing him at gunpoint.

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Accountability no, rewards yes and other news

It seems the Air Force is our most compassionate branch of the armed forces;  days after awarding a contract to suspended contractor  L-3 Communications, they lifted L-3’s suspension.  The criminal investigation continues but at least L-3 executives can sleep at night knowing that taxpayer funds will help cover their legal fees.   Maybe L-3 will share the compassion and pay it forward, to help out the founder of their former lobbying firm, PMA Group.  Paul J. Magliocchetti may need a friend now that he is facing an 11 count indictment.   It looks as though the DoJ may also be joining the hug fest in our nation’s capital and dismissing charges against Agility. 

Is it possible that all of these contractors are not masters of malfeasance but merely misunderstood?
~ Forseti

Agility confirms US move to dismiss charge
August 8, 2010 – Kuwait’s logistics firm Agility on Sunday confirmed that US prosecutors have moved to dismiss fraud indictments against its subsidiary, Agility Holdings.

Agility, formerly Public Warehousing Co (PWC), was dropped from supplying food to the US Army in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan after being accused of overcharging the military.

The company held contracts worth $8.5 billion spanning more than three years.

‘Further to the Kuwait Stock Exchange release dated July 27 2010, we are writing to confirm that United States Attorney’s Office in Atlanta moved to dismiss the indictment against Agility ‘Holdings’, an Agility Public Warehousing Company KSC subsidiary,’ the company said in a statement to the Dubai bourse. (Click HERE for Article)

Suspended L-3 Unit is Back in Business
Nei l Gordon – POGO – August 6, 2010 – Back in June, the U.S. Air Force issued a notice of suspension to L-3 Communications Special Support Programs Division (L-3 SSPD), formerly known as the Joint Operations Group (L-3 JOG). The Air Force found “adequate evidence” that L-3 JOG committed “serious and compelling” criminal offenses on its multibillion-dollar Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) contract – namely, secretly spying on the email communications of its own employees as well as the employees of other contractors and the federal government. The Air Force immediately suspended L-3 JOG from receiving new contracts. The government also launched a criminal investigation.

It seemed like L-3 JOG was in a world of trouble, destined to remain in contracting “time-out” for a long time. But last week, despite an unresolved criminal investigation, the Air Force decided to end the suspension. The Air Force, after meeting with L-3 executives, changed its mind and decided that the offenses weren’t so “serious and compelling” after all. This decision, by the way, came just a few days after another L-3 subsidiary won a $200 million Air Force contract to develop high-precision sensors and targeting systems. (Click HERE for article)

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