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Not to be mentioned in the KBR trial: Dick Cheney, Erin Brockovich, Agent Orange and ‘Ladies of the Evening’
Mike Francis – (The Oregonian) – September 25, 2012 – One of the duties of a judge overseeing a complicated case is to set rules about what will be discussed in court. Accordingly, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak has told lawyers for 12 Oregon National Guard soldiers and for defense contractor KBR Inc. that there are some things they are not to bring up when the trial begins Oct. 9.
Among them: Dick Cheney, Erin Brockovich, Agent Orange and “Ladies of the Evening.”
Hold that Revolving Door! Four-Star General Coming Through
Dana Liebelson – (POGO) – January 28, 2012 – The revolving door that carried former Department of Defense honcho William Lynn III to a well-paying job with an Italian defense contractor keeps on spinning – now Gen. James Cartwright, who retired as the nation’s second-highest ranking military officer in August, is following Lynn into the private sector.
Cartwright is joining the Board of Directors at Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor. Earlier in the week, DRS Technologies named Lynn as its chief executive officer. (Coincidently, before Lynn was tapped as deputy defense secretary, he was a top lobbyist for Raytheon.)
“General Cartwright’s deep understanding of defense and broad experience in military operations and matters of national security will be of great value to our Board,” Raytheon Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson said in a press release.
Well, Cartwright certainly has a deep understanding of defense: He’s a four-star general with 40 years of service in the Marine Corps, including four years as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But then there’s that sticky “great value to the Board” comment. And that’s where the problem with the well-oiled revolving door that leads from the Pentagon to the defense industry rears its ugly head. (Click HERE for article)
Former United Nations Employee Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – January 27, 2012 – Jeffery K. Armstrong, 52, of South Riding, Va., was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for obtaining more than $100,000 in salary payments by fraudulently holding concurrent jobs at the United Nations (U.N.) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release following his sentence and to pay $128,153 in restitution.
“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.
Supreme Group, a king of U.S. military logistics, earned billions supplying food to troops in Afghanistan. Now, in a case reminiscent of Halliburton’s Iraq scandal, the contractor is under investigation for overbilling taxpayers. Aram Roston reports.
Aram Roston – (The Daily Beast) – November 27, 2011 – At first blush, Michael Jacques Gans doesn’t appear to be your typical defense contractor. An attorney by training, Gans spends his spare time racing a mint-condition, sky-blue Bugatti race car—vintage 1927—on tracks across Europe. He doesn’t reside inside Washington’s Beltway, preferring instead his home in Germany or a multimillion-dollar duplex on New York’s Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park.
And Supreme Group, the firm he co-owns with his German-born wife, Nina Von Steuben, and American businessman Stephen Orenstein, is hardly a household name in the U.S. with its main operations in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Dubai. But inside Afghanistan, Supreme is a king of U.S. military logistics, performing a dizzying amount of wartime business that has earned the firm billions of dollars, easily enough to support a luxury lifestyle for its owners.
For the last six years, Supreme has imported all of the U.S military’s food into Afghanistan, and its contract was extended by the Pentagon in 2010 for two years and $4 billion without the normal competitive bidding. But that’s just part of its business. Supreme also runs military mess halls on Forward Operating Bases, trucks gasoline and diesel into Afghanistan from both Uzbekistan and Pakistan, and operates two warehouses that it boasts are now the largest structures in Afghanistan, dwarfing even the country’s ancient palaces. Since 2005, the company’s various Pentagon contracts in Afghanistan have been worth $8 billion.
Many western multinational companies have been indicted for paying bribes to Nigerian government officials to secure contracts running into billions of dollars. One of the high profile cases involved former US vice president, Dick Cheney. He was head of the American oilfield services company, Halliburton when its engineering subsidiary, KBR, allegedly paid bribes totaling 180 million dollars to secure contracts worth six billion dollars. Nigerian authorities dropped corruption charges against him after Halliburton agreed to pay a 250 million dollar fine. But anti-corruption campaigners say the settlement is illegal. One of them has gone to court in an effort to make the former US vice president face trial. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos. ~Free Speech Radio News – September 23, 2011
FOIA Friday: Was the Military the Victim of a War Profiteer Fuel Supplier?
NEIL GORDON – POGO – September 23, 2011 – Last March, the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) released an audit of contracts for the delivery of fuel to U.S. troops in Iraq. Only a summary of the report’s findings has been made available to the public. Yesterday, POGO received the full report (with redactions). DoDIG’s website still promises that the report will be made publicly available “at a later date.”
The DoDIG conducted the audit in response to concerns former House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) had about the competitiveness and prices paid under fuel supply contracts awarded to the International Oil Trading Company (IOTC). In October 2008, Waxman wrote to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that IOTC “appears to have engaged in a reprehensible form of war profiteering” and may have overcharged the government as much as $180 million to deliver fuel to troops in Iraq.