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Nurturing a toxic culture and other news

…the toxic culture of the military allows “open and blatant sexual harassment to occur on a daily basis,” and retaliates against its opponents…

…While the military claims a zero-tolerance policy and touts systematic reforms regarding rape and sexual assault, “this rhetoric has failed to change the misogynistic culture of the Army and has not resulted in any meaningful reform or reduction in sexual assaults”… – Military Accused of Nursing Culture of Rape & Retaliation

Halliburton senior vice-president and six others nabbed in prostitution sting
Clifford Pugh – (Culture Map) – October 12, 2012 –  A Halliburton senior vice president and six others were arrested Thursday in an undercover prostitution sting in north Harris County. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office vice unit focused on suspects soliciting sex online and set up the sting operation from a motel located off I-45 and FM 1960.

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Defense procurement problems won’t go away

The Department of Defense (DoD) is taking a major step in stopping the waste of taxpayer dollars. POGO recently learned that DoD sent a legislative proposal to Congress to narrow the definition of a “commercial item” to mean goods or services that are actually sold to the general public in “like quantities.” This proposal is a huge improvement over the current definition, a broadly worded definition open to abuse because it includes good or services “of a type” that are “offered” for sale or lease

…Not surprisingly, the contracting industry is opposing DoD’s proposal, claiming that competition will suffer as certain companies won’t do business with the federal government because of stricter contracting rules… ~Scott Amey, General Counsel, POGO

Walter Pincus – (Washington Post) – May 2, 2012 – In June 1986, after a year-long investigation, then-President Ronald Reagan’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management — later known as the Packard Commission — filed a final report.

It was established to investigate Pentagon procurement after an enormous increase in defense spending and the discovery of the infamous $435 hammer and $600 toilet seat. The panel was chaired by David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co., and deputy defense secretary in the Nixon administration.

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SAIC settles criminal action but a related civil complaint is standing by

The class-action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Feb. 23, 2012. It alleges that SAIC’s failure to disclose the possible overbilling issue in relation to CityTime made its statements to investors false or misleading in violation of the federal securities laws. ~Hagens Berman Press Release

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The contract to build a computerized timekeeping system for the city was taken over by SAIC in 2000. Somewhere along the way, the project degenerated into a massive kickback and bill-padding scheme that has cost the city more than $650 million. The scandal has already brought down two high-ranking former SAIC employees, project manager Gerard Denault, who is charged with receiving at least $5 million in kickbacks, and chief engineer Carl Bell, who pleaded guilty in June 2011 to fraud and money laundering. It also prompted SAIC to fire three key executives last fall.~Big Trouble in the Big Apple… Neil Gordon, POGO

SCIENCE APPLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION ENTERS INTO AGREEMENT WITH MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TO FORFEIT MORE THAN $500 MILLION IN CONNECTION WITH CITYTIME PROJECT

Largest Known Single Recovery in a State or Municipal Contract Fraud Case Forfeiture Action Also Filed Against Assets of Technodyne and Its Principals, Padma and Reddy Allen

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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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Not so fast and other news

Contractor linked to mistaken deaths
After deaths of 15 Afghans in 2010, Army learned that U.S. civilian played a role using drone video feeds.
David S. Cloud – (STL Today) – WASHINGTON – December 31, 2011 – After a U.S. airstrike mistakenly killed at least 15 Afghans in 2010, the Army officer investigating the accident was surprised to discover that an American civilian had played a central role: analyzing video feeds from a Predator drone keeping watch from above.

The contractor had overseen other analysts at Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field in Florida as the drone tracked suspected insurgents near a small unit of U.S. soldiers in rugged hills in central Afghanistan. Based partly on her analysis, an Army captain ordered an airstrike on a convoy that turned out to be carrying innocent men, women and children.

“What company do you work for?” Maj. Gen. Timothy McHale demanded of the contractor after he learned that she was not in the military, according to a transcript obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

“SAIC,” she answered. Her employer, SAIC Inc., is a publicly traded Virginia-based corporation with a multiyear $49 million contract to help the Air Force analyze drone video and other intelligence from Afghanistan.

America’s growing drone operations rely on hundreds of civilian contractors, including some, such as the SAIC employee, who work in the so-called kill chain before Hellfire missiles are launched, according to current and former military officers, company employees and internal government documents. (Click HERE for article)

Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill
Sara Sorcher – (National Journal) – December 31, 2011 – President Obama signed on Saturday the defense authorization bill, formally ending weeks of heated debate in Congress and intense lobbying by the administration to strip controversial provisions requiring the transfer of some terror suspects to military custody.

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