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David Isenberg – (Huffington Post) – July 11, 2012 – A bit over a year ago a report I co-wrote, documenting human trafficking and abuse of workers by Najlaa International Catering Services, a KBR subcontractor, was published by the Project on Government Oversight.
The internal company documents I uncovered revealed, among other things, that U.S. authorities were aware of the deplorable living conditions Najlaa workers endured back in 2008. To their credit both the U.S. government and KBR both worked to pressure Najlaa to fix things once they were alerted to the problem.
But, thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union, newly released documents reveal that the U.S. government and KBR were even more aware of the problem than previously known.
In July 2011 the ACLU filed a lawsuit demanding that the government release documents relating to the trafficking and the abusive treatment of foreign workers on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case sought documents from the Departments of State and Defense that detail audits and complaints about military contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Joe Davidson – (Washington Post) – June 27, 2012 – A Senate committee wants to make sure Uncle Sam doesn’t act as an inadvertent enabler for international human traffickers and pimps.
With a voice vote Wednesday, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee preliminarily approved legislation designed, as its title says, to “End Trafficking in Government Contracting.”
When contractors submit proposals for government work overseas, they don’t include provisions for trading in humans or indentured servitude. But that apparently has been the case with some private firms operating on U.S. military bases in foreign countries.
“Modern-day slavery by government contractors — unknowingly funded by American taxpayers — is unconscionable and intolerable,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), prime sponsor of the bill. “Current law prohibiting human trafficking is insufficient and ineffective, failing to prevent or punish abuses.”
Interview with Cartagena “Escort” involved in Secret Service scandal (May 2012)
Pierre Thomas and Jason Ryan – (ABC News) – May 22, 2012 – A month after the Secret Service was rocked by allegations that agents brought prostitutes to a Colombia hotel where they were preparing for a visit by President Obama, the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that at least three of its agents are also under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena.
- 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.”
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.