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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.
Black market weapons, sexual harassment, drunken antics – it’s all in a day’s work for USG contractors overseas
The alleged fraud included purported animal house style alcohol and drug abuse, physical harassment of females, attempts to coerce a government officer to sole source contracts to the company, purchase and use of black market weapons and illegal possession of deadly firearms.~Amended Complaint, November 20, 2012
“And those headlines can impact the mission that we’re engaged in,” the secretary said. “They can put your fellow service members at risk. They can hurt morale. They can damage our standing in the world, and they can cost lives.”~Secretary Leon Panetta
Here’s a thought, Mr. Panetta, as the Secretary of Defense and appointed leader of the Department of Defense; perhaps you should hold the contractors you award contracts to and their personnel, who are within our troops circle of influence, to some standards… ~Forseti
Contractors Alleged to Abuse Alcohol, Drugs, Guns at Parties In Afghanistan
Puck Lo – (CorpWatch) – November 14, 2012 - Jorge Scientific Corporation, a military contractor with nearly a billion dollars in U.S. government contracts, is being sued by former employees for “shocking misconduct” in Afghanistan. The charges include illegal and reckless use of firearms, abusing alcohol and drugs and billing the government for property destroyed during raucous parties.
In July 2010, Ward met in New York City with an unnamed “prohibited source” who runs an unnamed “construction management, engineering, technology and energy services company” with over $4 million in military contracts. Ward emailed him about “the show” that the two men and their families planned to see on Broadway. “All is set in New York” the contractor emailed Ward. “At 1900 the play starts we should be there by 1830 [sic]. HOOAH.” (The show appears to be Fences, as the Wards met backstage with the show’s star, Denzel Washington.) ~Spencer Ackerman – Wired – Top General Undone by Spa Treatments, Snickers, Broadway Show
(Updates with responses from Ward starting in fourth paragraph.)
David Lerman – (Bloomberg News) – August 17, 2012 -U.S. Army General William Ward used taxpayer money for personal trips, let his staff rent cars at public expense to take his wife to a spa, and accepted meals and Broadway theater tickets from a Defense Department contractor, according to the department’s inspector general.
Ward, who served as the first commander of Africa Command until last year, “engaged in multiple forms of misconduct related to official and unofficial travel,” wasted government money, and “misused his position,” according to a redacted version of an inspector general’s report obtained today through a Freedom of Information Act request.
GSA Employees Who Work from Home Racked Up $750,000 in Travel Expenses
Matt Bewig – (AllGov) - June 03, 2012 – The Public Buildings Service (PBS) of the General Services Administration (GSA) has yet another scandal on its hands. PBS has been plagued by a series of scandals since April 2008, when GSA Administrator Lurita Doan was asked by the Bush White House to resign because of serious allegations of conflicts of interest and use of federal properties managed by PBS for partisan purposes, which is prohibited by the Hatch Act. Her successor, Martha Johnson, was brought in by President Obama to clean things up, but she had to resign in April 2012 after the release of an inspector general’s report that bluntly detailed wasteful spending for a PBS training conference for 300 people in Henderson, Nevada, which cost $822,751, or $2,742.50 per person. (Click HERE for article)
Virginia-based Defense Contractor Calnet to Pay $18.1 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Lawsuit
(DoJ) – June 1, 2012 – Calnet Inc. has agreed to pay the United States $18.1 million to resolve allegations that the company submitted false claims to the Department of Defense, the Justice Department announced today. Calnet Inc., an intelligence analysis, information technology and language services company, is headquartered in Reston, Virginia.
NEIL GORDON – (POGO) – May 24, 2012 – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR) wants to know if defense contractor KBR is wasting taxpayer money in an effort to drag out lawsuits seeking to hold KBR accountable for exposing American soldiers to toxic chemicals in Iraq. This week, he sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to find out what steps the Department of Defense is taking to ensure KBR is not taking advantage of taxpayers while unnecessarily prolonging the litigation.
Members of the National Guard were assigned to the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in the early months of the Iraq war to protect KBR employees restoring the plant under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Restore Iraqi Oil (RIO) contract. While stationed there, the soldiers were allegedly exposed to dangerous levels of a highly carcinogenic chemical called hexavalent chromium (the same chemical at the center of the legal battle documented in the movie Erin Brockovich). The soldiers claim KBR was aware of the presence of the chemical but failed to warn or take steps to protect them.
When POGO first blogged about the case almost two years ago, we focused on a classified provision in the contract that requires the government to indemnify KBR for all property damage, injury or death occurring at Qarmat Ali, and all related legal expenses, even if KBR had acted with willful misconduct or lack of good faith. (After much urging from Congress, the Department of Defense finally declassified the provision in December.) As we explained in a follow-up blog post, taxpayers could potentially be on the hook for more than $150 million in damages and legal costs.