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Sex is major reason military commanders are fired

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.

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Boots on the ground and other news

…Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War, an indictment of the rape “epidemic” within the U.S. military, has brought swift action from the Pentagon…

…Dick’s film, filled with heartbreaking accounts of sexual assaults against both female and male soldiers, often at the hands of their military superiors, gets its international premiere Friday at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, plus two more screenings during the festival that runs to May 6… ~Peter Howell, Toronto.com

Virginia Beach company in legal battle over boots
Robert McCabe – (The Virginian-Pilot) – April 29, 2012 – It’s a tale with the makings of a guerrilla mockumentary, but the players aren’t fooling around.

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DoD unveils new initiatives to combat sexual assault in the military

While praising some of the new steps to combat sexual violence that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday, critics say the Pentagon isn’t going nearly far enough. ~ DoD sex assault prevention efforts fall short, critics say – Stars and Stripes

By msnbc.com staff and news services – WASHINGTON – January 18, 2012 – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that the Pentagon is preparing new initiatives to try to curb sexual assaults in the military — a problem he believes could be six times greater than reported.

Panetta said 3,191 sex assault cases were reported in the military last year, but because so few victims come forward, he believes the real number is closer to 19,000 assaults. In 2010, 3,158 cases were reported.

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Court to Decide if Military Rape Victims Can Sue Defense Dept. (Updated)

While military service is both an honor and a duty, and carries with it substantial risk to life and limb, the risk of sexual assault and abuse is one risk that no service member should fear. But with a third of all women and possibly a quarter of the men experiencing some type of sexual abuse, or trauma, it is clear that changes have to be made.~Catholic Online

This week, a landmark hearing will decide whether 28 women and men have a case against the military for alleged inaction on rape. If not, hundreds of plaintiffs are lining up for the next one. ~The Daily Beast

Noel Brinkerhoff – (AllGov) – November 17, 2011 – A federal judge (Judge Liam O’Grady) in Virginia is expected this week to rule whether 28 current and former military personnel can sue the Department of Defense for not taking action to curb rape in the armed services.

Filed against former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld, the lawsuit contends that Pentagon leaders allowed the violation of soldiers’ constitutional rights by failing to curb sexual assaults.

The 28 plaintiffs consist of 25 women and three men, all of whom allege they were raped or sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers, and that the Defense Department failed to do anything after the attacks.

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Spelling it out for contractors & other news

Three former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) employees and two foreign contractors are charged in a 54-count Indictment for their alleged roles in a bribery and kickback scheme and for defrauding the U.S. government in connection with the award of more than $50 million in USACE construction and infrastructure contracts in Iraq… ~ U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey

Kuwait’s Agility says committed to resolve U.S. dispute
Eman Goma – (Reuters) – KUWAIT – July 17, 2011- Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility said it was committed to resolve the dispute with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), following an adverse ruling last week, the firm said in a statement on Sunday.

“The company continues to believe the case involves a civil contract dispute and should not be a criminal matter,” Agility said in the statement.  (Click HERE for article)

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: the Chamber of Commerce’s Campaign to Weaken the Act and a Potential Investigation into News Corp.
Bryan Rahija – (POGO) – July 16, 2011 – I’d wager that until this week, most Americans (except, of course, for the dutiful readers of this humble blog) probably hadn’t heard of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Now, as the ugly scandal involving News of the World unfolds, the 1977 statute has been thrust into the limelight.

The FCPA makes it illegal for U.S. companies to bribe foreign officials, and this week, several lawmakers have called on the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate whether News Corp., Rupert Murdoch’s media heavyweight and parent company of the now-shuttered News of the World, violated the Act.

Yesterday, CNN reported that Attorney General Eric Holder is looking these requests to investigate and other allegations:

“There have been serious allegations raised in that regard in Great Britain; there is an ongoing investigation,” Holder told reporters in Sydney, Australia.

“There have been members of Congress in the United States who have asked us to investigate those same allegations. And we are progressing in the regard using the appropriate federal agencies in the United Sates.”

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