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Committee acts to stop contractors from enabling human trafficking

Joe Davidson – (Washington Post) – June 27, 2012 – A Senate committee wants to make sure Uncle Sam doesn’t act as an inadvertent enabler for international human traffickers and pimps.

With a voice vote Wednesday, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee preliminarily approved legislation designed, as its title says, to “End Trafficking in Government Contracting.”

When contractors submit proposals for government work overseas, they don’t include provisions for trading in humans or indentured servitude. But that apparently has been the case with some private firms operating on U.S. military bases in foreign countries.

“Modern-day slavery by government contractors — unknowingly funded by American taxpayers — is unconscionable and intolerable,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), prime sponsor of the bill. “Current law prohibiting human trafficking is insufficient and ineffective, failing to prevent or punish abuses.”

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Secret Service Director Testifies on Recent Scandal

Says matter “not a systemic issue”

(C-Span) – Washington, DC – May 23, 2012 – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held an oversight hearing on the recent misconduct by Secret Service agents, entitled  “Secret Service on the Line: Restoring Trust and Confidence.”

The hearing examined whether there were warning signals before nine Secret Service employees were fired and three others disciplined for involvement with prostitutes in Colombia and what the Service can do to regain public trust.

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Arrested developments and other news

Report: TRC Folded In Inquiry
Haines City firm faced accusations of supplying Army with bad gyroscopes.
Kyle Kennedy – (The Ledger) – HAINES CITY – May 20, 2012 – When Technology Research Consultants landed in Polk County in 2003, the company shined with promise.

But about five years later, the celebrated defense contractor abruptly shut down. Until now, the reason behind its exit has been a mystery.

TRC, which made gyroscopes for the Army’s Black Hawk helicopters, secured millions of dollars’ worth of government contracts and eventually grew to more than 70 employees at the firm’s headquarters in Haines City. Local business and economic development leaders hoped TRC’s award-winning success might attract interest from other technology firms.

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Senate Report Points Finger at Army & FBI for Ft. Hood Massacre

Major Nidal Malik Hasan - Alleged Shooter - Reportedly Wounded

Report: FBI, Army failures led to Ft. Hood massacre

Charley Keyes and Alan Silverleib, CNN – Washington (CNN) – February 3, 2011 – FBI and Army officials repeatedly ignored multiple warning signs that could have prevented the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, according to a long-awaited report released Thursday by two U.S. senators.

The inability to act was a result of both bureaucratic inefficiency and an unwillingness to identify and confront homegrown Islamic extremism, the report concludes.

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is accused in the shootings, which left 13 people dead and 32 wounded. He faces a likely court-martial and potential death penalty.

Thursday’s report — titled “A Ticking Time Bomb” — was released by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Lieberman is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Collins is the committee’s top Republican.

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