Afghanistan Agility/PWC/GCC Army CID* Army Criminal Investigation Command* Blackwater/Xe Burn Pits Cheryl Harris Chromium-6 Commission on Wartime Contracting David Isenberg* DCAA* DLA* DoD* DoDIG* DoJ* DoS* DynCorp* DynCorp CIVPOL* Electrocutions/Shocks Employee Issues-KBR False Claims Act Fluor* GAO Halliburton Hexavalent Chromium Holidays* Human Trafficking Indiana National Guard Iraq Jamie Leigh Jones KBR LAWSUITS Lawsuits Against KBR LOGCAP LOGCAP IV Oregon National Guard Pentagon Personal POGO Qarmat Ali Rape Reports & Investigations SIGIR Sodium Dichromate U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)
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.
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:
After four years of fighting the good fight and spending countless hours at my computer documenting the rampant Fraud, Waste and Abuse of U.S. tax dollars in the hands of DoD contractors, I have submitted a petition on We the People.
We the People was set up by President Obama to take action on important issues facing our country. I think lying and stealing from the taxpayer is an important issue. Harming our troops in the name of profit is an important issue. I believe violating the FAR/DFAR is an important issue. I think the powers that be, need to get off their collective asses and hold someone accountable.
If you agree with the contents of the petition, I ask that you please sign it. I believe MsSparky.com readers are as fed up and disgusted with this as I am. If the petition meets the signature threshold of 25,000 signatures in 30 days, it will be reviewed by the Administration and an official response will be issued. Here is the link (Click HERE).
If you are not already registered with We The People, there is a VERY short registration required before you can sign or generate petitions. While you are there, please peruse the list of other petitions and sign those that are important to you and if you have an issue, by all means generate a petition. My petition is below:
We petition the Obama Administration to:
Enforce the law by prosecuting the corporations & criminals who have stolen $60 billion from the U.S. taxpayer
The Commission on Wartime Contracting estimates waste and fraud have amounted to as much as $60B during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Defense contractors have subjected US military personnel to substandard services, shoddy work and chemical exposure resulting in permanent injury and death.
While the Pentagon may deem egregious behavior as satisfactory and indemnify this negligence as a cost of doing business, we the people do not. We call upon our government to hold accountable the corporate entities and individuals responsible for the heinous acts committed against the citizens of the United States and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
War profiteering has never been so profitable for the wrongdoer and so dangerous for our troops and the taxpayer. (SIGN HERE)
We want out $60 Billion back! And if someone ended up going to jail for it, that would be nice too!
NEIL GORDON – (POGO) – February 8, 2012 – The Air Force has just suspended from federal contracting a unit of global consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and recommended it for debarment. The notice was posted in the Excluded Parties List System on Monday.
The EPLS record cites the action as a proposed debarment pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) section 9.406-2, which outlines the various causes for debarment: conviction of or civil judgment for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with a contract; violation of federal or state antitrust laws relating to the submission of offers; commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax evasion, violating federal criminal tax laws, or receiving stolen property; commission of any offense indicating a lack of business integrity or honesty; or serious violations of the terms of a federal contract or subcontract.
In a statement to Federal News Radio, Booz Allen said the Air Force’s action “relates specifically and solely to the San Antonio office and individually to two current and three former employees based there.” The EPLS notice indicates that the proposed debarment includes four individuals. According to the company, the incident “involved a former government employee who we hired who inappropriately retained and provided government procurement-sensitive information.”
Pentagon Inspector General Gordon Heddell to Step Down on Christmas Eve
Nick Schwellenbach – (POGO) – November 26, 2011 – POGO got word this morning that Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) Gordon Heddell announced earlier this week that he will step down as IG on December 24, Christmas Eve. Heddell’s email announcing his upcoming resignation is posted below.
Heddell has had a challenging task. To say that the DoD is a bastion of questionable spending and is rife with secrecy would be understatements. But that would only begin to describe the oversight difficulties. It is essentially the only government department that is unauditable. Different whistleblower laws with different standards apply to civilians versus military personnel versus contractor personnel. The chaos of war makes fact-finding more difficult and more expensive to conduct. Plus, Heddell inherited an office that has been described by many insiders who’ve talked to me and others as a backbiting place. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is a bit of a colossus too: more than 1600 people worked in the OIG as of March of this year. (Click HERE for article)
Birmingham law firms praised for inspiring Bosnian sex-trade exposé The Whistleblower
By Graeme Brown – (Birmingham Post) – November 25, 2011 – Two West Midlands lawyers whose fight to expose a United Nations cover-up of the Bosnian sex trade was turned into a film have said it highlights the importance of pro-bono work which goes on in the region.
Dear Committee: Main Street Says Look at Pensions
Gretchen Morgenson – (New York Times) – November 12, 2011 – The so-called supercommittee in Congress has until Nov. 23 to find more than a trillion dollars of new savings in the federal budget.
Here’s one idea: Stop reimbursing the costs of pensions and other retirement benefits at huge, and hugely profitable, defense contractors. Over 10 years, such a move could save an estimated $30 billion — the amount by which these pensions are collectively underfunded. (That figure could change, depending on pension performance.)
True, that might seem like a drop in the bucket, given that the committee’s 12 members are trying to save $1.2 trillion over all. But examining this longstanding practice seems worthy in lean times.
The government also promises to help defense companies shore up their pension funds when they become underfunded. Many of these funds have lost money in recent years in declining financial markets or on bad investments, so the bill for taxpayers has been growing.