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- More Secret Service sex secrets not-so-secret – (Click HERE for article)
- Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks on Human Trafficking for the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series – (Click HERE for article)
- Senators to inquire about gov. contractor angle in secret service scandal – (Click HERE for article)
- David Isenberg – The DynCorp “See No Evil” Monkey – (Click HERE for article)
- New Legislation Includes POGO’s Recommendations for Ending Human Trafficking in U.S. War Zones – (Click HERE for article)
Korva Coleman – (NPR) – April 26, 2012 – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano pledged on Wednesday the investigation into Secret Service agents who allegedly hired prostitutes this month in Cartagena, Colombia, “will be complete and thorough and we will leave no stone unturned.”
The Secret Service agent at the center of the Colombia prostitution scandal has been identified as Arthur Huntington, sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Friday.
According to the sources, Huntington was the agent in a seventh-floor hotel room in Cartagena who had a dispute over pay with an escort. ~CNN
The identities of two Secret Service supervisors who have been pushed out of the agency in the wake of a prostitution scandal have been revealed.
Lawrence Berger, the general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said Thursday he is representing Greg Stokes and David Chaney. ~Secret Service supervisors involved in Colombia scandal identified
The Secret Service has yanked the security clearances of 11 members accused of bringing prostitutes to a hotel in Colombia ahead of last week’s pan-American summit, government officials with knowledge of the investigation said Monday. ~ CNN
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that the military “let the boss down.”
Robert Burns – (The Associated Press) – April 16, 2012 – The top U.S. military officer said Monday the nation’s military leadership is embarrassed by allegations of misconduct against at least 10 U.S. military members at a Colombia hotel on the eve of President Barack Obama’s visit over the weekend.
“We let the boss down,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference. He said he regretted that the scandal, which also involved 11 Secret Service agents accused of cavorting with prostitutes at the hotel, diverted attention from Obama’s diplomacy at a Latin America summit.
“I can speak for myself and my fellow chiefs: We’re embarrassed by what occurred in Colombia, though we’re not sure exactly what it is,” Dempsey added.
“We don’t want our service members to be inadvertent supporters of trafficking,” he said. “It’s a crime; it’s a criminal business enterprise. And the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who say, ‘Well, I just go there to get some drinks,’ if it’s a place where the women working in there have been trafficked and are being held against their will, then you’re supporting that business.” ~John F. Awtrey, DoD
Carrie Budoff Brown & Josh Gerstein – (Politico) – CARTAGENA, Colombia – April 14, 2012 – Five U.S. military members have been ordered confined to quarters over possible involvement in inappropriate conduct at the same hotel here as the 11 Secret Service personnel sent home in an unfolding scandal involving local prostitutes.
“First of all, to be getting involved with prostitutes in a foreign country can leave yourself vulnerable to blackmail and threats,” King said. “To be bringing prostitutes or almost anyone into a security zone when you’re supposed to protect the president is totally wrong.”~Rep. Peter T. King
Two recent press releases indicate that once again the DoD and the DoJ are standing on their collective soapboxes and taking a stand against human trafficking.
Excuse me while I yawn at their anemic attempts to truly combat this problem.
How many headlines have to hit the news? How many lawsuits have to be filed? How many people have to come forward before they actually do something more than simply push paper and provide lip service on this issue?
Don’t even get me started on the DoS, whose annual reports admonishing foreign governments for their failures in mitigating the problem and yet they never touch on the fact that as the international “watchdog” they keep hiring notorious contractors who create international incidents and embarrassments on a regular basis. Not to mention the nefarious individuals who not only participate, promote or otherwise condone trafficking in persons of foreign national workers on government installations overseas and when they get a some time off from work they hop on a plane to head to the nearest brothel for a little sex tourism.
Speaking of the State Department I have unconfirmed reports from my readers that Bruce Chirinko, pictured left, is currently in Baghdad working on the LOGCAP IV project supporting the State Department.
When a contractor employee does take a stand for his foreign national workers, they are threatened by their managers such as KBR’s Mike Land. For his efforts, Land received a letter of reprimand (pdf) from KBR, telling him that if he didn’t “refrain from further involvement regarding the working and living conditions of the sub-contract workers,” he could be fired.
Chirinko’s name has come up numerous times. His signature is on the letter of reprimand (Project Manager), referenced above. He has also been named in at least one lawsuit.
When I contacted the Towne Lodge, Chirinko’s name was given to me as a reference, along with several other high level KBR managers working on LOGCAP, including Michael Peck, who according to LinkedIn was “Corporate Legal Counsel-Baghdad and Middle East at KBR Middle East/Central Asia CSC”.
Here is an excerpt from a post I did in 2009:
Hearing: Are Government Contractors Exploiting Workers Overseas? or Does the end justify the means? (updated 11-2-2011)
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
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 »