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That bird won’t fly and other news

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.

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Short changing taxpayers and other news

The State Department has never faced a challenge anywhere close to this magnitude, and I am concerned that the current plan could therefore expose billions of taxpayers’ dollars supporting diplomatic and development goals in Iraq to the risk of being lost, wasted or stolen.

While the State Department will continue to rely initially on the Defense Department for some basic capabilities, it will ultimately turn to an army of contractor personnel to provide services ranging from essential physical security to fact-of-life support, such as food and laundry. Indeed, of the 16,000 U.S. personnel that will comprise the U.S. civilian presence in Iraq after this year, it is estimated that nearly 14,000 of them will be contractors. ~Senator John McCain, letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

Sikorsky Made Excess Profit on Pentagon Parts Sold to Army
Tony Capaccico –  (Bloomberg) – November 4, 2011 – Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. made excess profit selling the U.S. Army helicopter parts that it bought at a lower price from the Pentagon’s primary supply agency, the Defense Department’s inspector general says.

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Prosecutions, corruption, greed and other news

p.s. Don't Forget to Prosecute!

More are being prosecuted for crimes in Afghan, Iraq rebuilding effort, reports show
(Washington Post) – WASHINGTON – October 29, 2011 – A Marine in Iraq sent home $43,000 in stolen cash by hiding it in a footlocker among American flags. A soldier shipped thousands more concealed in a toy stuffed animal, and an embassy employee tricked the State Department into wiring $240,000 into his foreign bank account.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the number of people indicted and convicted by the U.S. for bribery, theft and other reconstruction-related crimes in both countries is rapidly rising, according to two government reports released Sunday.

“This is a boom industry for us,” Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, or SIGIR, said in an interview.

“Investigators and auditors had a productive quarter,” said a report on the theft of Afghanistan aid by Steven Trent, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. The report covered August through October.

In the last 13 months U.S. investigators in Iraq secured the indictments of 22 people for alleged aid-related offenses, bringing to 69 the total since the SIGIR office was created in 2004. Convictions stand at 57. Several hundred more suspects are under scrutiny in 102 open investigations and those numbers are expected to climb.The rise in caseloads derives partly from spinoff investigations, where suspects facing prosecution lead investigators to other suspects, said Jon Novak, SIGIR’s assistant inspector general for investigations.

“More and more people are ratting out their associates,” he said, turning in conspirators who helped launder money after it was stolen, others who were aware of it and others implicated in the crimes. (Click HERE for article)

Pentagon shifts away from disputed fuel contracts
Walter Pincus – (Washington Post) – October 28, 2011 – For years, Pentagon contracts to deliver jet fuel to Kyrgyzstan have been the subject of controversy, with allegations, so far unproved, that the families of two former Kyrgyz presidents profited from them. Now, the allegations involving the Mina Corp. and Red Star Enterprises may fade away.

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The Pentagon & Department of Justice’s “cash to convicts” policy & other news

…At an LBG annual meeting in September 2001, Salvatore Pepe, 58, of Tuckahoe, N.Y.—who was then the controller and eventually became the chief financial officer—presented a USAID overhead rate that was significantly below Wolff’s target. In response, Wolff denounced Pepe, called him an “assassin” of the overhead rate, and ordered him to target a rate above 140 percent, meaning that for every dollar of labor devoted to a USAID contract, LBG would receive an additional $1.40 in overhead expenses supposedly incurred by LBG… ~ FBI Newark Division, October 20, 2011

On September 29, 2011, Contract DJJ12-C-2242 was awarded to The Louis Berger Group (Louis Berger), 250 23rdStreet, NW, Washington, DC, 20037 This contract will provide worldwide support services for the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. ~David Isenberg – ‘Bad Pennies and Louis Berger Group’

That’s right folks the U. S. Department of Justice (DoJ) just gave Louis Berger Group a contract. What is OPDAT? Here is a description from the DoJ’s website:

OPDAT’s mission is to assist prosecutors and judicial personnel in other countries develop and sustain effective criminal justice institutions. OPDAT recognizes that international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of criminals and organized crime groups is central to countering international crime at its source; and that the efficient and fair administration of justice offers the greatest protection from lawlessness and support for basic human rights.

If this pisses you off, and it should, according to FedBizOpps the primary point of contact, for this contract is:  R. Steven Frate, DoJ Contracting Officer, feel free to contact him and tell him what you think or ask him “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?” on this contract award! ~Forseti

Fraud Convictions and Settlements Won’t Staunch Flow of Pentagon Contract Dollars
Bryan Rahija and Neil Gordon – (POGO) – October 21, 2011 – A new Pentagon report finds that the Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded hundreds of billions of dollars to companies found guilty of, convicted of, or that settled charges of contract fraud. In total, DoD awarded $1.1 trillion to these companies and their parent companies.

The report found that from 2000 to 2010, DoD awarded more than $250 million to 54 companies that were convicted of a crime in connection with a DoD contract. It awarded $33 million of that to companies after they had been convicted. At the same time, DoD awarded more than $570 billion to more than 300 companies that were found liable or settled charges of a civil violation in connection with a DoD contract. In regard to civil wrongdoing, it appears DoD was much more forgiving: nearly $400 billion of the total was awarded after the companies had settled or were found liable.

POGO’s Scott Amey issued a statement this morning, pointing out that the report confirms what we already knew about the consequences for defense contractors accused of fraud: they’re basically nonexistent. (Click HERE for article)

Former United Nations Employee Found Guilty of Fraud
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – October 21, 2011 – Jeffery K. Armstrong, 52, of South Riding, Va., was found guilty today by a federal jury on nine counts of wire fraud 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).

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