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Hearings, heresy, convicts and other news

The sadly overlooked truth is that despite torrents of publicity paid to the KBRs and Blackwater/Xe Services of the world they largely provide routine services and are implementing policy. But a far more consequential fact is that, increasingly, government power that should be in the hands of the American people is now in the hands of private companies. ~ David Isenberg – The PMSC Observer

Contractor fraud a rising concern nationally, but rare locally
Randal Yakey – (News Herald) – PANAMA CITY – April 30, 2011 – A distinguished looking man, John Shannonhouse.
He resembles a college professor more than a convicted felon. But that is exactly what he is.

With salt-and-pepper hair, gray sideburns and gray mustache, he was dressed in a navy blue sports jacket, a light blue shirt, khaki trousers and casual shoes for a court appearance earlier this year.

Shannonhouse had pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. government while working for a defense contractor in Bay County.

Shannonhouse, 61, of Santa Rosa Beach, and Deborah L. Gibbons, 51, of Lynn Haven, were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Smoak to six months in prison and ordered to pay fines of $120,594 each.

In 2007, Gibbons and Shannonhouse started their shopping spree.

Court documents revealed a shopping spree that included Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie, Best Buy, West Marine and Books-A-Million. (Click HERE for article)

Bursting The Defense Bubble: End The Entitlement Mentality

…Few would begrudge all this largesse if it were bestowed on the courageous fighting men and women who are risking their lives on the front lines. The reality is that most of benefits are used to prop up the profits of defense contractors far from any front lines, often working on systems that will never be completed or built, let alone ever deployed… – Steve Denning, Rethink

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The naked truth about transparency and other news…

If transparency—including public access to past performance information—were added to the process, maybe the government would be deterred from awarding taxpayer dollars to risky contractors and the contractors would improve their performance. But then again, maybe these contractors are too big too fail. –  Scott Amey, General Counsel Project On Government Oversight (POGO)

The Dog Ate My Performance Report

In brig, WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning ordered to sleep without clothing
Ellen Nakashima – (Washington Post) – March 6, 2011 – Military jailers are forcing Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old soldier accused of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks.org, to strip naked in his cell at night and sleep without clothing, a requirement his attorney says was imposed after Manning made a “sarcastic quip” about his confinement.

For most of the past eight months, Manning has been required to sleep wearing only boxer shorts, because of his status as a detainee under “prevention of injury watch,” said 1st Lt. Brian Villiard, a spokesman for the military detention facility, or “brig,” in Quantico. Beginning Wednesday night, the facility commander ordered that Manning turn over his boxers, too.

“The intention is not to cause any sort of humiliation or embarrassment,” Villiard said. “The intention is to ensure the safety and security of the detainee and make sure he is able to stand trial.”

Villiard said he could not explain how Manning might harm himself if he were allowed to keep his underwear, citing rules to protect detainees’ privacy. All he could say was that “circumstances warranted” the measure, which was ordered by the brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Denise Barnes. The requirement will remain in effect until a review next week, he said.

But Manning’s attorney, David E. Coombs, said he thought the order was “punitive” under the “guise of being concerned” about Manning’s welfare. (Click HERE for article)

Lawmakers criticize military funeral protesters
Ben Terris – (National Journal) – March 4, 2011 – Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who won a Supreme Court ruling this week supporting their right to protest military funerals, are misusing their right to free speech, say Senate Armed Services Committee members Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska.

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US Supreme Court gives Westboro Wackjobs free pass to harass fallen heroes

This is what these Wackjobs teach their children. They are raising a whole new generation of misguided, socially inept outcasts!

Vile, disgusting, misguided, evil. That’s just a few of the names I think of when referring to The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Westboro is run by Fred Phelps, a washed up disbarred attorney self proclaimed voice of God who personally praises Saddam Hussein.

Westboro is most notable for the disgusting practice of protesting at the funerals of  fallen soldiers, tormenting their families and adding to their already immeasurable pain by carrying signs and  shouting slogans such as “Thank God For Dead Soldiers”, “Pray For More Dead Soldiers” and “Thank God For 9-11″! The people are just insane!

In response to Phelps’ protests at military funerals, President George W. Bush signed the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act into law in May 2006. Several states have passed additional laws to protect the rights and dignity of our fallen heroes and their families at their funerals. Read the remainder of this entry »

Pirates of the Pentagon and other news

U.S. strips intelligence analyst of security clearance and job but won’t say why
By Peter Finn – Washington Post Staff Writer - November 27, 2010 – Eighteen months ago, John Dullahan was an intelligence analyst with a long and varied career in both the military and the classified world. Today, he is jobless and blacklisted from the federal workforce, his loyalty to the United States, he says, brought into question. 

He just isn’t sure why. 

On St. Patrick’s Day 2009, the government stripped the Irish-born Dullahan’s security clearance and fired him from his job at the Defense Intelligence Agency in a manner that has no precedent at the Pentagon – invoking a national security clause that states that it would harm the interests of the United States to inform him of the accusations against him. 

As a result, Dullahan, a Vietnam veteran who served at military posts around the world and as a U.N. weapons inspector in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, cannot appeal to a board of senior agency officials, as others in his position might. He is, in effect, stranded. 

“This has been devastating for me,” said Dullahan, 65, who became a U.S. citizen in 1973. “I am a loyal American.” 

Security clearances are a ticket to opportunity for hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors. But when those clearances are taken away, so is any chance of employment in the national security complex. 

The reasons to revoke a security clearance can vary. Some federal workers lose them because they are found to be using illicit drugs. Others lose them when they are determined to be financially vulnerable, a situation that might make them susceptible to blackmail.  (Click HERE for article)

Philadelphia-based CDI Corporation Settles False Claims Act Allegations
Allegedly Mischarged Labor Costs Under Military Aircraft Engine Contracts
WASHINGTON – November 24, 2010 – CDI Corporation has agreed to pay the United States $1.95 million to resolve allegations in a lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act that CDI wrongfully charged labor costs to work orders under military aircraft engine contracts for The General Electric Company (GE), the Justice Department announced today. According to the government’s allegations, the work for which the military was charged was not actually performed.

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