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Petraeus and Allen’s next stop; working for a defense contractor?

Despite the warnings, a worrisomely large number of senior officers have been investigated and even fired for poor judgment, malfeasance and sexual improprieties or sexual violence — and that is just in the last year. ~ Thom Shanker, New York Times

Another top general ensnared in Petraeus scandal

Jay Bookman – (Atlanta Journal Constitution) – November 13, 2012 – I guess if you create a culture in which generals are treated as rock stars, they eventually begin to act like, well, rock stars.

Complete with groupies.

As The Washington Post reports:

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT — The FBI probe into the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus has expanded to ensnare Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced early Tuesday.

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General Found to Break Rules on Wife’s Spa Trip, Free Meals

General William E. “Kip” Ward

In July 2010, Ward met in New York City with an unnamed “prohibited source” who runs an unnamed “construction management, engineering, technology and energy services company” with over $4 million in military contracts. Ward emailed him about “the show” that the two men and their families planned to see on Broadway. “All is set in New York” the contractor emailed Ward. “At 1900 the play starts we should be there by 1830 [sic]. HOOAH.” (The show appears to be Fences, as the Wards met backstage with the show’s star, Denzel Washington.) ~Spencer Ackerman – Wired – Top General Undone by Spa Treatments, Snickers, Broadway Show

(Updates with responses from Ward starting in fourth paragraph.)
David Lerman – (Bloomberg News) – August 17, 2012 -U.S. Army General William Ward used taxpayer money for personal trips, let his staff rent cars at public expense to take his wife to a spa, and accepted meals and Broadway theater tickets from a Defense Department contractor, according to the department’s inspector general.

Ward, who served as the first commander of Africa Command until last year, “engaged in multiple forms of misconduct related to official and unofficial travel,” wasted government money, and “misused his position,” according to a redacted version of an inspector general’s report obtained today through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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KBR May Have Knowingly Poisoned U.S. Soldiers in Iraq, But It Won’t Pay a Penny

"Where Community Matters" (photo from POGO Website)

Dana Liebelson – (POGO) – April 5, 2012 – Lawyers representing U.S. soldiers poisoned at a water treatment plant in Iraq have presented strong evidence that contractor Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) knew personnel stationed there would be exposed to a carcinogenic chemical, according to The Associated Press. But as POGO reported earlier, KBR’s contract with the U.S. Army contains a classified provision that lets KBR off the hook for damage, injury, and death occurring at its worksites–so even if KBR is proved to be at fault, U.S. taxpayers will be footing the bill. Read the remainder of this entry »

Complaint says KBR knew of Iraq toxin (updated with docs)

Post updated on 4-5-2012 with links to docs-see below

Nigel Duara – (Associated Press AP) – PORTLAND, Ore. – April 4th, 2012 – A document uncovered by attorneys for soldiers sickened at an Iraqi water treatment plant shows a military contractor knew a deadly toxin was being stockpiled and used in massive quantities at the facility, despite the contractor’s repeated denials that it had knowledge of the toxin’s presence until soldiers fell ill.

The document, an environmental assessment that Kellogg, Brown and Root completed for the U.S. government before the invasion of Iraq, was finalized in January 2003- a full five months before the company said it had found evidence of the toxic material, sodium dichromate.

The documents show KBR knew Iraqis ordered 8 million pounds of sodium dichromate to keep pipes from corroding, and that the company expected lax environmental maintenance and “lamentable” conditions.

Phone messages and emails left Wednesday for KBR were not immediately returned.

Sodium dichromate is an anticorrosive compound that can cause skin and breathing problems and cancer.

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Errs on the side of corruption and other news

The final findings of the Commission on Wartime Contracting, a bipartisan coalition formed in the spirit of the legendary Truman Committee, which exposed massive waste in World War II-era defense contracting. The modern commission found that these problems persist: At least one out of every six dollars spent on defense contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than$31 billion, has been lost to fraud, waste, and abuse — and that number is climbing.~Here Is The REAL Problem With Outsourcing The Military To Contractors - Dana Liebelson


One last fight for secret soldiers
Mark Brunswick – (Star Tribune) – Minneapolis – March 4, 2012 – In a small building on Arcade Street in St. Paul, about a dozen Hmong veterans of the Vietnam War – all trained, paid and armed to fight for the United States by the Central Intelligence Agency – gather regularly to discuss upcoming public service events or festivities where their honor guard might be needed. They dress in old military uniforms they have bought on their own and have decorated with patches of their own design.

The meetings now come with a renewed urgency.

When they die, these secret warriors of a secret American war want to buried in veterans cemeteries alongside their American comrades. But even though they now are commonly acknowledged as having fought for the United States in northern Laos, they are prohibited by law from being buried in national or state veterans cemeteries, which are reserved for American service members and honorably discharged U.S. military veterans and their families.

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