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Viktor Bout convicted of conspiring to kill Americans in South America, what about those who hired, aided & abetted him in Iraq?

In a letter date-stamped on the eve of jury deliberations, eight members of the Russian Parliament members warned “Your Honor, Madam Judge!” that convicting Viktor Bout could “cause harm to the interests and reputation of the Russian Federation and to previously reached bilateral agreements within the framework of the ‘reset’ policy of Russian-American relations.”
~Adam Klasfeld, (CN), November 2, 2011

International Arms Dealer Viktor Bout Convicted in New York of Terrorism Crimes

Bout Convicted on All Four Counts, Including Conspiring to Kill Americans and Conspiring to Provide Material Support to Terrorists
(DoJ) – NEW YORK – November 2, 2011 – International arms dealer Viktor Bout was found guilty today of conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) – a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia – to be used to kill Americans in Colombia, announced the Department of Justice.

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“That’s not your jurisdiction” aka “Stay in your lane” & other news

Rare ailment found in Iraq, Afghanistan vets
(Detroit Free Press) – July 24, 2011 – Researchers in Tennessee say they’ve discovered scarring inside small airways in the lungs of U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, causing a rare condition called constrictive bronchiolitis.

The cause of the scarring — and the number of troops that may have it — isn’t yet clear. But the findings, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, could help veterans prove disabilities stemming from their war service.

“These guys had very believable stories,” said Dr. Robert Miller of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “They were elite athletes. … Now, they can’t run 2 miles.”

Although many were exposed to a 2003 sulfur-mine fire near Mosul, Iraq, not all were, so the cause remains a mystery. (Click HERE for article)

U.S. wastes $34 billion in Afghan and Iraq contracting
Phil Stewart – (Reuters) – WASHINGTON – July 23, 2011 – The United States has wasted some $34 billion on service contracts with the private sector in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study being finalized for Congress.

The findings by a bipartisan congressional commission were confirmed to Reuters by a person familiar with the draft of the study, which is due to be completed in coming weeks.

The analysis by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, details of which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, offers the most complete look so far at the misuse of U.S. contracting funds in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than $200 billion has been doled out in the contracts and grants over nearly a decade.

It also gives the most complete picture of the magnitude of the U.S. contracting workforce in the two countries.

The source, who declined to be named, said more than 200,000 contractors have been on the U.S. payroll at times in Iraq and Afghanistan — outstripping the number of U.S. troops currently on the ground in those countries. (Click HERE for article)

Kailua man admits aiding Marine to launder bribes
(Star Advertiser) – HAWAII – July 23, 2011 – A 40-year-old Kailua man admitted in federal court Friday that he helped a Marine Corps sergeant launder bribery money from military contractors in Iraq.

“A friend of mine was getting bribes. I was helping him conceal the bribes,” Francisco Mungia III said.

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Justin W. Lee pleads guilty to charges relating to Iraq contracts

Former President of Lee Dynamics International Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Bribery Related to Department of Defense Contracts in Iraq

Jailbird by artist Kevin Hanna

(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – July 15, 2011 – The former president of Lee Dynamics International, a defense contractor providing services to the U.S. military in Iraq, pleaded guilty today to an indictment charging him with a scheme to bribe military officials in order to obtain government contracts, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. 

Justin W. Lee, 33, a resident of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel H. Slomsky in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and four counts of bribery.  Lee and his father, George H. Lee Jr., were charged in an indictment unsealed on May 27, 2011, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  

Justin Lee admitted that he conspired with his father and others to bribe military contracting officers in order to obtain government contracts to support U.S. combat operations in Iraq.  According to court documents, Justin Lee provided things of value, including cash, airline tickets, meals, hotel stays, spa visits and jobs, which were valued at a total of more than $1.2 million, to public officials in return for official acts which helped him obtain lucrative Department of Defense contracts.  The contracts included multi-million dollar contracts for the storage of weapons at various warehouses in Iraq as well as bottled water. 

 “For Justin Lee and others, bribery was a way of doing business,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.  “He offered military officials vacations to Thailand and Europe, Rolex watches, cash, and even employment with their company, all in order to secure lucrative defense contracts.  Private contractors will not be allowed to win business by stacking the deck against the competition and, as this investigation shows, the military officials who participate in such fraudulent schemes will also be held to account.”  Read the remainder of this entry »

Two more indictments unsealed in the Camp Arifjan bribery scandal

2 Americans Are Indicted in Iraq Contract Bribery

JACK HEALY – (NY Times) – BAGHDAD – May 30, 2011 – Two American businessmen have been charged with giving Army officers airline tickets, spa vacations and more than $1 million in bribes to secure multimillion-dollar contracts to supply the American military and help rebuild Iraq, according to court documents.

A federal indictment against the men, George H. Lee, and his son, Justin W. Lee, was unsealed on Friday. Both are charged with four counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy.

The Lees are among nearly 60 contractors and military officers to face criminal charges stemming from the scramble for often poorly monitored government contracts in the early years of the Iraq war.

Federal officials have also blocked 120 people and companies accused of fraud and corruption from doing business with the government. The Lees’ company, Lee Dynamics International, was suspended in July 2007.

Justin W. Lee was expected to appear in federal court in Philadelphia as early as Tuesday, and George H. Lee is believed to be at large outside the United States, possibly in Kuwait or Dubai. A lawyer who has represented the company did not return phone or e-mail messages on Monday.

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Another former KBR perv arrested for child porn

Keith Strimple May 23, 2002 mug shot

I’m not sure how I missed this one but better late than never! It would appear another of KBR’s employees has been arrested by Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) and indicted for possessing child porn in Iraq. (see indictment)

According to an article published on May 4th in the Tulsa World News,

A 57-year-old man was arraigned Wednesday in Tulsa federal court after being charged with possessing computerized images of child pornography while he worked as a civilian contractor in Iraq.

Keith George Strimple was charged under a federal statute that establishes jurisdiction over American citizens employed by the U.S. armed forces outside the borders of the United States.

Strimple is charged with two counts of possessing images of minors engaged in sexual explicit activity from April 27, 2007, until Sept. 19, 2007, while he was in Iraq, according to the indictment, which was posted on the court’s website on Wednesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cyran said Strimple was arrested around midday Wednesday by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Strimple pleaded not guilty during a Wednesday afternoon hearing in Tulsa and was released on $5,000 bond.

Cyran said Strimple would face a maximum of 10 years in prison per count if convicted. (click HERE for original article)

I have not been able to confirm if Strimple worked for KBR or another defense contractor when he was arrested. When I do, I will update the post. Read the remainder of this entry »