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An alleged associate of the world’s most notorious arms trafficker has been arrested in Australia after he tried to apply for a job as an armed guard with Victoria Police.
Megan Neil – (AAP) -January 11, 2013 – Authorities are investigating whether Richard Ammar Chichakli entered Australia under an assumed identity.
The 53-year-old was arrested in Melbourne on Thursday for allegedly conspiring with a Russian arms dealer known as the “merchant of death” to buy two planes to ship weapons to conflict zones across the world.
He was identified after he applied to become a protective services officer (PSO) – armed guards who patrol railway stations, courts and Parliament House.
The man was found to be a person of interest through a routine background check and was not offered a job, a Victoria Police spokesman told AAP.
Defense attorneys were critical of the FBI’s reliance on the informant [Richard Bistrong], an executive of a Florida body armor company [Armor Holdings] who they called a sociopathic liar with a devious mind. They said he was able to persuade federal agents to let him plead guilty to a single bribery count for more than $4.4 million in bribes to officials at the United Nations and overseas even though he had a history of bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion, drug use and solicitation of prostitutes. ~Justice gives up sting case over foreign bribes
Reliance on contractors in Afghanistan draws continuing scrutiny
Charles S. Clark – (GovExec) – February 24, 2012 – The use of contractors in the decade-long U.S. effort to train Afghanistan’s army and police forces continues to raise policy questions as the Obama administration struggles to meet its goal of winding down the American troop presence in the volatile region.
The Government Accountability Office on Thursday reported that the Defense Department — after it took over from the State Department in 2009 the task of training and equipping Afghan security forces — hired a contracting firm without first weighing the advantages and disadvantages of assigning U.S. government personnel to train the war-torn country’s national police.
…“God will forgive you, but the bureaucracy never will.”
This is an appropriate warning for civil servants who would report contractor fraud against the military, one of our nation’s more popular corporate pastimes. Be prepared for the Pentagon to side with the crooked contractor and fire you. No bureaucrat can afford to have fraud discovered on his watch. It’s bad for the career.
And if you happen to work for the crook, it’s even worse. Not only will you be fired, but you will never find another job in the industry. If the crook is the government itself — say, one of the security agencies — you will doubtless be prosecuted. And if the crook is a corporation, you’ll likely be sued. ~ William A. Collins, The Reporter
The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn’t Want You to Read
Michael Hastings – (Rolling Stone) – February 10, 2012 – Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Scott Shane published a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military’s top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going. “How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?” Davis boldly asks in an article summarizing his views in The Armed Forces Journal.
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.
Pentagon Upgrades Financial Accounting System…at a Cost of $7 Billion
Noel Brinkerhoff – (AllGov) – October 14, 2011 – It may end up costing at least $7 billion just for the Department of Defense to fix its byzantine accounting system, so military leaders and lawmakers can actually know what the Pentagon is doing with its money.
The Defense Department has already spent $6 billion trying to establish a new financial system, which won’t be ready for another three years, according to officials. After discovering the bookkeeping was in even worse shape than expected, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta determined his department may need another $1 billion to straighten things out.
According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon—which consumes 43% of all discretionary spending in the federal budget—cannot fully show how its appropriations are allocated. (Click HERE for article)
The birth of a defense contractor
Philip Ewing – (DoD Buzz) – October 14th, 2011 – At the end of the month, the company once known as ITT is splitting itself up three ways. The ITT that’s been part of the military-industrial complex for decades will become “ITT Exelis,” and eventually just Exelis. It’s got a new corporate brand but the same old portfolio of ITT Defense, and two top leaders told Buzz they think the new firm’s prospects are bright.
Retired Lt. Gen. Ken Hunzeker, who runs ITT Exelis’ mission services division; and David Albritton, the company’s vice president of communications, sat down this week at the Association of the United States Army trade show to make the pitch for their spin-off. They gave a rare behind-the-scenes look at what it takes nowadays to create a “new” player in the defense game – although, of course, there’s no such thing as a new defense contractor. The names just change. (Click HERE for article)
Former Department of Defense Employee Pleads Guilty to Submitting False Travel Claims Totaling Nearly $500,000
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – October 13, 2011 – A former civilian employee of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), a component of the Department of Defense, pleaded guilty today in Washington, D.C., to making more than $485,000 in false travel claims using the Defense Travel System, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Read the remainder of this entry »