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Not-Quite-Lost Shipping Containers May Cost Feds
Lorraine Bailey – (Courthouse News) – May 17, 2013 – A fourth company will join the fight to prove that the government lied about losing 1,000 leased shipping containers so it could keep using them without paying, a federal judge ruled.

Three container companies, CAI International, Cronos Containers and Textainer Equipment Management, had leased shipping containers to TOPtainer, which in turn leased the containers to the U.S. Army for equipment shipments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Wednesday, Judge Nancy Firestone with the Court of Federal Claims joined

Capital Lease to the case because it had been Textainer’s supplier.

They claim that the government told TOPtainer that it lost 1,000 when its lease was up, and paid TOPtainer for the loss, but TOPtainer never remitted that money to its suppliers and is now defunct.

The container companies say that the government took the title to their property without paying just compensation.

Capital also “presented undisputed evidence to the court to show that 125 containers that had been owned by Capital and were now the subject of plaintiff Textainer’s claim were never ‘lost,’ but were instead sent to Okinawa, Japan and thus appeared to have been ‘taken’ outside the terms of the master lease,” Judge Firestone wrote. (Click HERE for article) (Click HERE for Judge’s Order)

Soldier Given Second Shot at Suing Gun Maker
Rose Bouboushian – (Courthouse News) – April 3, 2013 – A soldier who was injured when his M2 machine gun exploded and a shell casing pierced his leg will get a chance to hone his federal lawsuit against the gun’s manufacturer.

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Suit filed over death of US troops killed by Afghan National security contractor at FOB Frontenac

US Army Spc. Rudy A. Acosta was killed March 19, 2011 at FOB Frontenac in Kandahar province, Afghanistan by an Afghan security contractor hired by Canadian firm Tundra Strategies.

On March 19, 2011, an Afghan National security contractor Shia Ahmed, employed by Canadian firm Tundra Specialties, was on duty at FOB Frontenac when he opened fired on the soldiers he was paid to protect. US Army soldiers Spc. Rudy A Acosta, Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr., Sgt. Christopher J. Hemwall, Sgt. Patrick W. Shelley, Sgt. Zackary Hombel and Spc. Curtis L. Cole were caught off guard while cleaning their weapons. Spc. Rudy A Acosta and Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr. were killed and Sgt. Christopher J. Hemwall, Sgt. Patrick W. Shelley, Sgt. Zackary Hombel add Spc. Curtis L. Cole were injured by this assassin. All were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd SCR.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed late July 9, 2012 in federal court in Los Angeles accusing Canadian military contractor Tundra Strategies, Inc. of rehiring and rearming a guard (Shia Ahmed) known to be a threat to U.S. troops just before he killed U.S. Army Spc. Rudy Acosta and seriously injured three other U.S. soldiers at a coalition base in Afghanistan in March 2011.

The lawsuit alleges Tundra rehired the guard at Forward Operating Base Frontenac after he threatened to attack U.S. troops at another military installation guarded by Tundra and had been regarded by company management there as a danger. Tundra is accused of failing to properly document the guard’s threats, the circumstances of his firing, and failing to report the danger the guard posed to U.S. and coalition military forces.

Spc. Acosta’s parents, Dante and Carolyn, along with current Army personnel Sgt. Christopher J. Hemwall, of Monroe, Mich., and Sgt. Patrick W. Shelley, of Marana, Ariz., and former soldier Sgt. Zackary Hombel, of Norfolk, Va., are represented by Doyle Raizner LLP of Houston and Kreindler & Kreindler LLP of Los Angeles.

The lawsuit is “Acosta, et al., v. Tundra Strategies, Inc., et al,” Case No. CV12-5903 CBM(SHx) in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Western Division.

On February 1, 2012, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing entitled The Use of Afghan Nationals to Provide Security to U.S. Forces to hear testimony regarding the March 19, 2011 murder of two US soldiers and the injuring of four others and the wisdom of hiring Afghan Nationals to protect our troops. Testimony was given that 42 events involving Afghan National Security personnel and three (3) involving private security companies (PSC) personnel have occurred since May 2007. These attacks resulted in the deaths of approximately 70 coalition personnel and approximately 110 wounded.

I really don’t understand why there is any debate on this issue. Why aren’t US troops guarding US troops? Hiring Afghans to protect US troops in Afghanistan is risky. It’s like asking the fox to guard the hen house! I would like to save the US Taxpayer millions of dollars that will result in debates and studies regarding whether or not to allow Afghan Nationals to guard US troops or US civilians. “Hell No!” That simple.  would I allow a known pedophile to babysit my kids? “Hell No!” The risk is known!

Congress and the DoD need to stop pandering to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and defense contractors and do the right thing for the American people for a change.

~Ms Sparky