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DoD, DoJ & DoS on Human Trafficking TIPs & tricks

Two recent press releases indicate that once again the DoD and the DoJ are standing on their collective soapboxes and taking a stand against human trafficking.

Excuse me while I yawn at their anemic attempts to truly combat this problem.

How many headlines have to hit the news? How many lawsuits have to be filed?  How many people have to come forward before they actually do something more than simply push paper and provide lip service on this issue?

Don’t even get me started on the DoS, whose annual reports admonishing foreign governments for their failures in mitigating the problem and yet they never touch on the fact that as the international “watchdog”  they keep hiring notorious contractors who create international incidents and embarrassments on a regular basis.    Not to mention the nefarious individuals who not only participate, promote or otherwise condone trafficking in persons of foreign national workers on government installations overseas and when they get a some time off from work they hop on a plane to head to the nearest brothel for a little sex tourism.

KBR's H- Site Managers John Reddy (Left); Gordon Wohlfeil (Center); Bruce Chirinko (Right) slamming shots in Thailand, more than likely at Reddy's Hotel/Bar the Towne Lodge

Speaking of the State Department I have unconfirmed reports from my readers that Bruce Chirinko, pictured left, is currently in Baghdad working on the LOGCAP IV project supporting the State Department.

When a contractor employee does take a stand for his foreign national workers, they are threatened by their managers such as KBR’s Mike Land.  For his efforts, Land received a letter of reprimand (pdf) from KBR, telling him that if he didn’t “refrain from further involvement regarding the working and living conditions of the sub-contract workers,” he could be fired.

Chirinko’s name has come up numerous times.  His signature is on the letter of reprimand (Project Manager), referenced above.  He has also been named in at least one lawsuit.

When I contacted the Towne Lodge, Chirinko’s name was given to me as a reference, along with several other high level KBR managers working on LOGCAP, including Michael Peck, who according to LinkedIn was “Corporate Legal Counsel-Baghdad and Middle East at KBR Middle East/Central Asia CSC”.

Here is an excerpt from a post I did in 2009:

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DOJ Wants American Contractor’s Torture Suit Against Rumsfeld Dismissed

Mike Scarcella – (BLT – The Blog of LegalTimes) – March 16, 2012 – The Justice Department is urging a federal appeals court in Washington to strike down a ruling that said former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld can be held personally liable for the alleged torture of an American contractor detained in military custody in Iraq.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear the case, Doe v. Rumsfeld, on Monday morning. DOJ lawyers said in court papers that the suit impermissibly intrudes on foreign detention policy and conduct in a combat zone.

The government wants the appeals court panel to overturn a ruling from U.S. District Judge James Gwin, who said last August that the suit can proceeding in Washington’s federal trial court. Gwin rejected the government’s effort to dismiss the litigation.

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Dealing: Even Ex-Federal Watchdogs Are Doing It

Is this the future CWC Commissioners role?

Dina Rasor – (Truthout | Solutions) – January 12, 2012 – Several years ago, I pushed for a revival of the old “Truman Committee” in the US Congress to look at war fraud and profiteering in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I had just written a book[4] about the fraud and waste by contingency contractors in the Iraq war and was shocked, even after 30 years of investigating the Pentagon, at how much the government was being cheated, especially at the expense of our troops.

Sens. Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb pushed for a revival of a Truman Committee-style look at our wartime contracting because they, too, were shocked at what they were seeing in these current wars’ private contracting. The original Truman Committee exposed and corrected major fraud in World War II while the war was still going on. Truman, then a senator from Missouri, was proud that he found fraud and actually sent a general to jail.

The idea for the committee was to have it run and staffed by a group of current members of Congress, but politics intervened and, instead, the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC) was staffed and chaired by appointees from each of the political parties. Even though I promoted this commission in my past life as a Huffington Post blogger because of the desperate need for oversight in this area, I knew that it might have turned out like many other commissions on Department of Defense (DoD) spending that I had witnessed over the years. Without having current, working members of Congress with subpoena and other investigative powers, I feared that this commission would not have the clout to really make a difference and change this destructive contracting. I testified in front of this commission and advised them several times, but could see the politics on the part of the appointees.

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Charging forward and other news

Michael Riddle once served as a senior employment manager for Dyncorp International, Incorporated (“Dyncorp”). He alleges that Dyncorp contracted to create a database for the United States government, but took no meaningful steps toward fulfilling its obligations. He further alleges that when he protested Dyncorp’s inaction on the database project, he was marginalized at work and eventually terminated, on September 21, 2009.

The judgment of the district court is REVERSED and the case is REMANDED for further proceedings. ~ January 5, 2012 – RIDDLE v. DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED (Case No. 11-10155)

Defense firm cuts 200 jobs locally
Thomas Gnau – (Dayton Daily News) – January 7, 2012 — Computer Sciences Corp. said Friday it will remove more than 200 employees and contractors from their jobs with a government computer modernization project.

Heather Williams, a spokeswoman for Falls Church, Va.-based CSC, said she could not say how many of those people will be reassigned or laid off.

“I think that’s possible for anybody,” Williams said.

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Former U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley Sentenced to 12 years for corruption related to the Iraq war

The Department of Justice sentenced another former U.S. Army Officer yesterday, former U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley. Once again they patted themselves on the back for showing America that corruption and criminal behavior will not be tolerated etc. They are standing sentry duty to protect our tax dollars  blah, blah, blah.  While I applaud their efforts to lance the festering boil of malfeasance in USG contracting, they have yet to scratch the surface of the problem.  For every criminal they catch, they seem to be letting 100’s of real crooks sneak out the backdoor with truckloads of those supposedly sacred tax dollars, 30-60 millions worth, according to the Commission on Wartime Contracting’s final report.

I have to wonder if the DoJ will continue to prosecute a smattering of individuals for things like timesheet fraud.   That’s right folks that little old trip to the PX, if undocumented, could get you arrested.  Perhaps you should change your name to something like John Smith, Inc. or J. Q. Public, LLC, so the DoJ will know that you are not an arrest worthy petty criminal but you are in fact a legitimate business, indemnified by the DoD with a license to steal.

The DoJ needs to  indict and prosecute the big players in the debacle we know as government contracting, as well as the individual law breakers & profiteers!  Until the DoJ steps up to the plate there will be no justice! ~Forseti

Former Army Major Sentenced to Prison in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to DoD Contracts in Support of Iraq War

To Date, 17 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty or Been Convicted at Trial in Ongoing Corruption Investigation

WASHINGTON – Eddie Pressley, 41, a former U.S. Army contracting official, was sentenced in Birmingham, Ala., for his participation in a bribery and money laundering scheme related to bribes paid for contracts awarded in support of the Iraq war, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

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