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Chaffetz and Tierney Investigate Multi-Billion Dollar Defense Food Contract in Afghanistan

(Press Release) – Washington, DC – May 24, 2012 – Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. John F. Tierney, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, sent joint letters to Supreme Foodservice GmbH and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) requesting a host of documents relating to their ongoing investigation into a multi-billion dollar contract to provide food and other supplies to American bases in Afghanistan.

“It is outrageous that DLA could ever be in the position of possibly overpaying any vendor by three quarters of a billion dollars- especially at a time when troop levels are being scaled back because funding is tight,” said Chairman Chaffetz. “The Subcommittee will work with the Department of Defense to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding this apparent lack of oversight.”

“The American taxpayers refuse to accept a government contractor that bills more than $750 million in unsubstantiated charges, and they refuse to accept the Pentagon’s failure to manage this contract properly,” said Ranking Member Tierney.  “Chairman Chaffetz and I plan to continue our vigorous bipartisan oversight efforts, to fully investigate the problems with this contract, and to determine how they will affect the impending award of the new contract.”

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Poor Contracting Oversight Supports Human Trafficking; Erodes U.S. “Moral Standing”

Dana Liebelson – (POGO) – November 2, 2011 – U.S. taxpayers are inadvertently funding human trafficking and worker abuse because of the federal government’s poor oversight of contractors in war zones, POGO Director of Investigations Nick Schwellenbach told a Congressional panel today.

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Hearing: Are Government Contractors Exploiting Workers Overseas? or Does the end justify the means? (updated 11-2-2011)

Stack of "Get Away Guest House of Pattaya" business cards with former KBR manager Donald Vannoy's name on them

Witnesses
Panel I
Ms. Liana Wyler, Senior Analyst Congressional Research Service
Mr. David Isenberg, Independent Analyst and Writer
Mr. Nick Schwellenbach, Director of Investigations, Project on Government Oversight
Mr. Sam W. McCahon, Founder McCahon Law

Panel II
The Honorable Kenneth P. Moorefield, Deputy Inspector General for Special Plans & Operations U.S. Department of Defense
Mr. Michael P. Howard, Chief Operation Officer Army and Air Force Exchange Service
Ms. Evelyn R. Klemstine, Assistant Inspector General for Audits U.S. Department of State
Ms. Linda Dixon, Combating Trafficking in Persons Program Manager, U.S. Department of Defense

On Wednesday November 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM EDT, the Subcommittee on Technology, Intergovernment Relations and Procurement Reform will hold a hearing on US Government contractors who exploit foreign national workers at US facilities overseas.  I hope Congress doesn’t think human trafficking is a new issue. I’ve been blogging about the exploitation of foreign national workers in Iraq and Afghanistan since I started this blog nearly four years ago.

The Trafficking in Persons (TIPs) of workers is a clear violation of the FAR and DFARS and therefore a violation of US law and many international laws as well . Yet, this most egregious crime against humanity goes mostly unchecked by many Defense Department, State Department and USAID contractors and their subcontractors. Why is that? Does the US Government feel the end justifies the means?

The US Government, in all their infinite wisdom (sarcasm), have adopted the philosophy it is more cost effective to award contracts to those who hire labor brokers to fill most labor positions in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. These labor brokers in turn go to destitute third world countries such as India, Nepal, Uganda and The Philippines to hire tens of thousands of both male and female workers. The recruits are promised the moon and charged a hefty recruiting fee for this “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Many recruits are blatantly lied to and have no idea they are heading to a war zone. Many know they are going to a war zone but end up in over crowded, unsanitary living conditions with far less pay than what they were promised. Some of these conditions are experienced on US Military installations, some in staging facilities outside the “wire” with little protection from the insurgency. Read the remainder of this entry »

Pentagon’s top personnel official Clifford L. Stanley resigns

Stanley Resigns as Pentagon’s Top Personnel Official

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD P&R), USMC Major General Clifford L. Stanley (ret)

Jim Garamone – (American Forces Press Service) – WASHINGTON – October 27, 2011 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has accepted the resignation request of Clifford L. Stanley, the Pentagon’s top personnel official, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs announced today.

Stanley, a retired Marine Corps major general, has served as the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness since February 2010. He will leave in the next two weeks, Wilson said.

Jo Ann Rooney, the principal deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness, will serve as acting undersecretary until a replacement is nominated and confirmed by the Senate.

“Dr. Stanley was motivated above all by a sense of commitment to the highest standards of service to the men and women in uniform he served,” Wilson said in a written statement announcing the resignation. “He felt he had done his utmost to carry out the mandate he was given, and that he had arrived at the point where the next steps could be carried out most effectively by a successor. His decision to resign was his own.”

The undersecretary for personnel and readiness serves as the senior policy advisor to the secretary of defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.3 million reserve-component personnel and 680,000 defense civilians.

Stanley spent 33 years in the Marine Corps, with his last as deputy commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va. Previously, he commanded the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif., and he also served as the Marine Corps’ assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower and reserve affairs and as director of public affairs.

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Complacency for non-compliance and other news

Several US diplomatic cables published by antisecrecy group WikiLeaks have discussed the flourishing sex tourism and flesh trade industry in the Philippines.  This, even before the ruckus caused by US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr., who claimed that 40% of all male foreign tourists who visit the country arrive just for sex. ~Jojo Malig – ABS-CBN News

The above referenced article doesn’t mention how many of these “tourists” are sporting red or blue lanyards. Perhaps the DoD, DoS and the DoJ can tell us.  Apparently they know the answer to this but they are ignoring, or condoning the behavior and the problem.  Perhaps the governments of Thailand, UAE and the Philippines should start arresting these “tourists”, then publish their names, where their from and the company they work for, in the  U.S.  Then maybe the DoD, DoS and DoJ would get off of their collective asses and enforce the laws, they have put in place!  ~Forseti

Defense Lawyer, DOJ Spar Over Cooperation Deal In FCPA Case
Mike Scarcella – (LegalTimes) – October 7, 2011 – A defense lawyer is blasting federal prosecutors in Washington for threatening to take back the government’s recommendation for a reduced prison sentence for a man charged in a foreign bribery conspiracy.

Prosecutors routinely seek to reward cooperators in criminal cases, asking federal trial judges to consider at sentencing a defendant’s substantial assistance to an ongoing investigation.

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