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Houston you have a problem & other news

…In April 2003, Dyncorp dropped its appeal against the verdict, and three days later announced an award by the US state department for a contract to police Iraq…
…”These crimes are perpetrated by individual men who rape and torture girls on mission, then go home to their wives. And it’ll carry on until there’s a knock at the door and they find themselves getting arrested in front of the wife and kids.” ~ Ed Vulliamy – Has the UN learned lessons of Bosnian sex slavery…

Soldier faces hearing at Afghan base over suicide
Associated Press – (Wall Street Journal) – KABUL, Afghanistan – January 15, 2012 – An American soldier charged with abuse that led to the suicide of a 19-year-old fellow soldier in Afghanistan is facing a preliminary hearing Sunday on a base in the country, the military said.

The hearing came as two more members of the international force in Afghanistan died of what NATO described as “non-battle-related” injuries.

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Peacekeepers’ Sex Scandals Linger, On Screen and Off

While making more than $36 billion to support bases in Iraq, KBR allegedly earned another $700 million in kickbacks from the subcontractors it hired for projects. It also spent $5 million on 144 mechanics who worked as little as 43 minutes a month, on average. And to top it all off, KBR may have been involved in human trafficking of men and women from developing countries who were forced to live in “prisonlike” conditions in Iraq. ~Neil Brinkerhoff – AllGov

NEIL MacFarquhar – (New York Times) –  UNITED NATIONS — September 7, 2011 –  On screen, two senior United Nations officials in Bosnia are arguing about firing Kathy Bolkovac, an American police officer battling to stop peacekeepers from both trafficking in young women and frequenting the brothels where they became indentured prostitutes.
“It is a point of honor for me that the U.N. is not remembered for raping the very people we must protect,” says Madeleine Rees, a spirited human rights advocate played by Vanessa Redgrave.

“Those girls are whores of war,” growls the male bureaucrat heading the United Nations mission. “It happens; I will not dictate for morality.” Read the remainder of this entry »

Hall of shame inducts/indicts new members & other news

Mr. Bush is gone now, but that algorithm remains ruthlessly in place. War-oriented companies like DynCorp, Washington Group International, Aegis Defense Services, URS Corporation, BAE Systems, Renco, CACI, Bechtel, General Dynamics, General Electric, and Titan, along with oil giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron, have profited to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars off these conflicts, and are poised to continue doing so well into the future. ~ William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

Troops photograph every grave at Arlington cemetery
Kimberly Hefling – (AP) – Arlington –  August 27, 2011 – Night after night this summer, troops from the Army’s historic Old Guard have left their immaculately pressed dress blues, white gloves and shiny black boots at home to slip into Arlington National Cemetery in T-shirts and flip-flops to photograph each and every grave with an iPhone.

The sometimes eerie task to photograph more than 219,000 grave markers and the fronts of more than 43,000 sets of cremated remains in the columbarium is part of the Army’s effort to account for every grave and to update and digitize the cemetery’s maps. The Old Guard works at night to escape the heat and avoid interrupting funerals.

Last year, a scandal over mismanagement at the nation’s most hallowed burial ground revealed unmarked and mismarked graves. Congress then mandated that the cemetery account for the graves of the more than 330,000 people interred in the cemetery.

The troops taking the photos are from Delta Company of the 1st Battalion of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as the Old Guard – the Army’s official ceremonial unit, which provides escorts to the president and helps put on military funerals.

The photos taken at night are matched with other records to find discrepancies that need to be fixed, and officials say it’s too early in the process to draw any conclusions. Military officials hope they can eventually use the photos to create an online database for the public. Four million people annually visit the cemetery. (Click HERE for article)

This Will Improve KBR’s Image
Mark Thompson – (Battleland Blogs) – August 26, 2011 – If KBR’s one-time management by the autobiographical Dick Cheney doesn’t buff the company’s reputation, this ought to do the trick: KBR is suing a woman who claimed that she was raped while working in Iraq for KBR in 2005. In the crazy world of torts and courts, Jamie Leigh Jones had sued KBR for $145 million, claiming the company let a hostile sexual climate exist in Iraq. Last month, a jury found the company not guilty of the charge.

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Cozy and secure with contractors and other news

In March 2006, a jury found Custer Battles liable for the submission of 5 false claims, each one of which is subject to a US$5,000 -11,000 civil fine, as well as 26 false statements supporting the 5 false claims. However, in August 2006, Judge Ellis, of the Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va overturned the verdict as a matter of law.  ~ Judge T.S. Ellis III (Isakson and Baldwin Qui Tam against Security Contractor Custer Battles)

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has already dismissed several of the lawsuit’s claims, including a salacious allegation that Blackwater billed the government for prostitutes. The judge said there was no evidence that Blackwater sought out prostitutes.

Ellis also struck a claim that Blackwater overbilled on a security contract it was awarded in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  ~ Judge T.S. Ellis III (Davis’ Qui Tam against Security Contractor Blackwater aka Xe)

Judge Keith P. Ellison signed Jack Stanley’s latest sentencing delay (the eleventh by our count). ~ Judge Keith P. Ellison (FCPA against KBR)

JAMIE LEIGH JONES, PLAINTIFF v. HALLIBURTON COMPANY D/B/A KBR KELLOGG BROWN & ROOT (KBR), ET AL. DEFENDANTS. The opinion of the court was delivered by: Keith P. Ellison United States District Judge

After reviewing the voluminous record, we agree with the district court that Yannacopoulos has not shown the existence of a genuine issue of material fact. We affirm. BAUER, SYKES, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges (Yannacopoulos Qui Tam against General Dynamics Corp.)

Want to cut big government abuses? Start with defence contracting
We have the evidence: the hardpressed US taxpayer is being fleeced by profiteering contractors and corrupt military personnel
Michael Shank – (Guardian UK) – August 6, 2011 – This past week, as US Congress quacked its way through the debt-ceiling quagmire, a seemingly non-germane offshore issue surfaced vis-à-vis Iraq. The connection between the two was anything but inconsequential, despite receiving scant review in Washington. If one wonders how US debts and US wars could be so integrally related, one needs to look no further than the latest report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).

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Myths, Misconduct and other news

We must work harder to debunk the myths and misconceptions that condone and even promote victim blaming and allow perpetrators to act with impunity.   Rape is never invited because of what a victim was wearing or how much she had to drink. ~ Department of Justice (Justice Blog) ~  It Is Time: Get Involved during Sexual Assault Awareness Month 

Federal Defense Agency Granted Contracts To Company With Ties To Director
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded contracts worth $1.8 million over the last two years to RedXDefense, a firm co-owned by DARPA Director Regina Dugan.  The agency says there has been ‘no credible evidence of misconduct.’
Ken Dilanian, Washington Bureau – (Los Angeles Times) – Reporting from Washington – April 3, 2011 -The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded contracts worth $1.8 million over the last two years to a company co-owned by its director and run by her father.

The awards were legal and proper, the agency says, because Director Regina Dugan recused herself from any role in DARPA’s dealings with the small defense technology firm. Nonetheless, ethics experts said the arrangement raises questions about whether her subordinates could be expected to treat her firm like any other.

Senior Pentagon officials and top generals are required to sell their holdings in defense contractors before taking office, but officials said that rule does not apply to the lower-level director of DARPA, the Defense Department’s cutting-edge research agency.

“I reviewed the contract and agreement at issue and have discussed the matter with DARPA personnel. I found no credible evidence of misconduct by the director with regard to RedXDefense contracts since 2009,” said Crane Lopes, DARPA’s general counsel, who works for Dugan. (Click HERE for article)

The woman who chased down sex traffickers
Anne Grant – (Providence Journal) – April 3, 2011 – Special to the Journal – Do not be fooled by the Hollywood-inspired cover — a United Nations folder clipped with a photo of a curvaceous silhouette looking over her shoulder as she frantically dashes through a tunnel.

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