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Sex is major reason military commanders are fired

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, fired from his command in Afghanistan last May and now facing a court-martial on charges of sodomy, adultery and pornography and more, is just one in a long line of commanders whose careers were ended because of possible sexual misconduct.

Sex has proved to be the downfall of presidential candidates, members of Congress, governors and other notables. It’s also among the chief reasons that senior military officers are fired.

At least 30 percent of military commanders fired over the past eight years lost their jobs because of sexually related offenses, including harassment, adultery, and improper relationships, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.

The figures bear out growing concerns by Defense Department and military leaders over declining ethical values among U.S. forces, and they highlight the pervasiveness of a problem that came into sharp relief because of the resignation of one of the Army’s most esteemed generals, David Petraeus, and the investigation of a second general, John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

The statistics from all four military services show that adulterous affairs are more than a four-star foible. From sexual assault and harassment to pornography, drugs and drinking, ethical lapses are an escalating problem for the military’s leaders.

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Corrupt Contractor KBR Under Fire in Palm Beach County; Anyone Surprised?

By Lisa Rab –  Wed., Jul. 14 2010
Broward Palm Beach New Times

A front-page story in today’s Palm Beach Post blasts the Houston-based engineering and construction firm Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) for not hiring enough local workers on its $200 million solid waste project in western Palm Beach County.

One small detail is missing: KBR’s sordid track record of hurting workers in far more dangerous ways.

Last year, shortly after a KBR division called BE&K won the waste contract, the Juice warned of dark times to come. KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, is one of the worst government contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s been accused of endangering soldiers, taking bribes, bilking the U.S. Department of Defense, and turning a blind eye to the sexual harassment of its employees. Witness some of the company’s alleged sins:

— In 2006, a Defense Department auditor found KBR may have overpriced fuel imported to Iraq by $279 million.

— In 2008, a U.S. soldier in Iraq was electrocuted while showering in a building maintained by KBR. An Army investigation ruled his death a “negligent homicide” caused by KBR. According to the Associated Press, KBR had 231 electric shock incidents in the facilities it ran in Iraq.

— In 2009, the company pleaded guilty to giving millions in dollars in bribes to Nigerian officials in order to win engineering and construction contracts. KBR agreed to pay a $402 million criminal fine.

Several former female employees have alleged they were raped or sexually harassed while working for KBR in Iraq, then faced retaliation from the company when they complained. Last year, one sexual assault victim won a $2.9 million award from her arbitration claim against the company.

Back here in Palm Beach County, unemployed welders and carpenters say KBR is shutting them out of a lucrative gig overhauling a Solid Waste Authority plant. Meanwhile, the company is angling for yet another $700 million waste contract in the county. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? (click HERE for original article)

The Pentagon takes a hard line on mandatory arbitration for crimes against contractor employees

Defense implements sexual assault rule
By Robert Brodsky May 20, 2010

Companies that restrict victims of alleged sexual assault from pursuing legal action will not be eligible for future Defense Department contracts.

On Wednesday, the department published an interim rule in the Federal Register that implements a provision in the fiscal 2010 Defense Appropriations Act prohibiting Pentagon contractors from using mandatory arbitration agreements to settle many criminal complaints. The rule is effective immediately.

The provision, introduced by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., stemmed from the experience of former KBR Inc. employee Jamie Leigh Jones, who was allegedly gang raped by co-workers while stationed in Iraq and then physically prevented from receiving medical treatment or reporting the crime.

Upon returning home, Jones learned that her contract with the company banned her from taking the case to court. Instead, it required her to enter into arbitration with the alleged rapists.

The new rule would prevent Defense from entering into new contracts — including task and delivery orders and contract modifications — with companies that use arbitration to settle claims of sexual assault or harassment, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision or retention.

The law, however, does include a number of exceptions that were outlined in Wednesday’s notice. The provision does not apply to contracts valued at less than $1 million or for the acquisition of commercial items. It also includes a waiver for national security concerns.

The Defense secretary or deputy secretary would have to personally determine that the “waiver is necessary to avoid harm to national security interests of the United States, and that the term of the contract or subcontract is not longer than necessary to avoid such harm.”

Defense is accepting feedback on the rule through July 19. Comments can be submitted through Regulations.gov or by e-mail at dfars@osd.mil with DFARS Case 2010-D004 in the subject line. (Click HERE for original article)

Another KBR female placed under house arrest

In today’s Houston Chronicle there is an article about a former KBR employee from San Antonio named Wanda Caban, who gets involved in a romantic relationship with an Afghan she met while working for KBR at Bagram Air Force Base in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2006.

According to the article, all within a month, Wanda Caban, then 21, would convert to Islam, get pregnant, marry Mohamad (Shabir) Azimi, then 22, live under KBR house arrest and leave the country, hounded by KBR supervisors alarmed over her affair with an Afghan.

Intimate relationships and even public displays of affection were forbidden under her contract with KBR. But people looked the other way — until she and Shabir, as he is known, began going out. Then things became “really awkward,” she said.

“I was under 24-7 surveillance. I wasn’t charged with anything,” Wanda Azimi said, noting that she was kept at home for a week after missing a flight home. A KBR guard accompanied her to the dining hall and the restroom.

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Defense contractors and their sex crimes go unreported and unpunished

David Isenberg: PMC and Sex Crimes

David IsenbergHuffington Post
Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq (Praeger Security International)
Posted: April 21, 2010 12:07 PM

On April 16 the Department of Defense Inspector General released a report that nobody has been talking about. Allow me to be the first. Perhaps we should subtitle it the crime that dare not speak its name, as it deals with a topic that most private military contractors (PMC) generally don’t talk about publicly.

The title of the report is “Efforts to Prevent Sexual Assault/Harassment Involving DOD Contractors During Contingency Operations.” .

My first thought is how is it that some contractors can’t seem to keep it in their pants? This is an issue that seems to keep happening over the years; from the days when DynCorp contractors were involved in a sex trafficking scandal in Bosnia when employees and supervisors engaged in sex with 12 to 15 year old children, and sold them to each other as slaves to the gang-rape of Jamie Leigh Jones a former KBR employee who claimed that seven KBR employees drugged and gang-raped her on July 28, 2005 at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq.

For those who like to dismiss such things as isolated occurrences just head on over to the “Rape, Hazing, Discrimination & Harassment” section of Ms. Sparky’s blog and you will be promptly disabused of such a notion. Read the remainder of this entry »