Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
October 23, 2007
State Dept. Fails to Account for
Iraqi Police Contract
by Steve Inskeep and Jackie Northam, NPR
The U.S. State Department is accused of shoddy recordkeeping and outright mismanagement of a billion-dollar contract to train the police force in Iraq.
So badly managed was a $1.2 billion award to contractor DynCorp International, LLC that the State Department is unable to account for what it received for the expenditure, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
In some instances, there were duplicate payments and in others no follow up occurred to make sure the work had been completed to satisfaction.
Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General, said Monday that disarray in invoices and records on the project prompted auditors to temporarily suspend review.
Bowen had been assessing a February 2004 contract that Falls Church, Va.-based DynCorp was awarded to provide housing, food, security, facilities, training support and law enforcement staff with various specialties, as well as weapons and armor for personnel assigned to the program.
The State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) awarded the contract.
Although training has been conducted and equipment provided under the contract, the bureau is in the process of trying to organize and validate invoices. The bureau does not believe its records accurately show the reasons for most payments that were made, the report said.
"As a result, INL does not know specifically what it received for most of the $1.2 billion in expenditures under its DynCorp contract for the Iraqi Police Training Program," Bowen said in the 18-page report.
The contract, now in its third year, is to support training programs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bowen focused on the Iraq program in the new report.
"Lack of controls" and "serious contract management issues" at the INL bureau made it "vulnerable to waste and fraud," he said.
The report also noted previous management problems with the bureau as well as its pledge to reform. It has added personnel and is demanding refunds and other reconciliation for some past questionable payments made to DynCorp, said Elizabeth Verville, acting assistant secretary for the bureau.
DynCorp spokesman Gregory Lagana told The New York Times on Monday: "There was no intentional misbilling. It could be just a documents problem." He acknowledged "that we have some problems with invoicing. It's something we're working really hard to clean up."
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said Monday: "Once again, (the inspector general) has shown how vulnerable the federal government is to waste when it doesn't invest up front in proper contract oversight."
He estimates the State Department will need up to five years to review invoices and demand repayment from DynCorp for unjustified expenses. "This scenario is far too frequent across the federal government," he added.
Bowen reported in January that the State Department paid $43.8 million to DynCorp for a residential camp for police training personnel outside of Baghdad's Adnan Palace grounds. He said the camp had been empty for months and about $4.2 million of the money was improperly spent on 20 VIP trailers and an Olympic-size pool — all ordered by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior but never authorized by the U.S.
DynCorp has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Blackwater USA in the contract to provide armed security for diplomats in Iraq following a string of security incidents involving Blackwater guards, including a September shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead.
U.S. and Iraqi officials are negotiating Baghdad's demand that Blackwater be expelled from the country within six months.
June 15, 2007
Secrets of the CIA's
Global Sex Slave Industry
By Sue Arrigo, MD
This is the story of how the CIA uses "war zones" to garner kids for the sex slave business. You may have heard how the two companies, DynCorp and Halliburton, were caught trafficking in women during the war in Yugoslavia....
In these cases,they were importing and trafficking in Russian and East bloc women as sex slaves.
I want to talk about the children that are native to any war zone. The CIA did this across Africa, and anywhere they went as a standard part of their operations.
The names of the front companies will change over time. I am writing this down from memory after being inside the CIA for decades. Some of the details may be off, but the gist of the material will be correct....
Secrets of the CIA's Global Sex Slave Industry - Part 1
Secrets of the CIA's Global Sex Slave Industry - Part 2
Secrets of the CIA's Global Sex Slave Industry - Part 3
* * *
WHEN THE CHILDREN OF THE
BULL MARKET BEGIN TO DIE
By Michael C. Ruppert
[Bill Clinton arrives in Cartagena Colombia on August 30, 2000 on the heels of three unpublicized massacres by right wing paramilitaries designed to inflame FARC guerillas. The real shooting and the American publicity machine churning out war fever will start on the same day. This was the lead story in the June issue of "From The Wilderness."]
While attention is being increasingly focused on a billion dollar military aid package for Colombia that is nearing Bill Clinton's desk for signature, experience – especially that taken so painfully from Vietnam – tells us that the real determinants of how deeply involved we will become in Colombia are not in Washington, but already down there stirring the pot. . . .
The Private Contractors
As noted by highly credible writers such as Peter Dale Scott, Col. Fletcher Prouty and even the legendary "retired" CIA executive Ted Shackley in his book The Third Option, the use of private corporations, whether directly owned by CIA as "proprietaries" or not, is a common practice for the extension of U.S. military and diplomatic power.
Examples of the former in Vietnam include Civil Air Transport or Air America while examples of the later include large multi-nationals such as Bechtel, Brown and Root, AT&T or any of the major oil companies....
The use of these companies, which serve as actual profit centers for their private investors, their intelligence agency owners, or both, has evolved to the point where the corporations offer off-the-shelf war making capabilities from infantry fighters, to aerial reconnaissance, to general officers capable of setting up or commanding division sized maneuvers in client countries.
The survivability of these companies is a priori tied to the creation of conflict and regional destabilization with the blessings of CIA so that there will always be customers. Peace becomes the enemy.
One such corporation, heavily involved in both Colombia and in Kosovo is the Virginia based DynCorp.
DynCorp, according to Alex Cockburn and Jeff St. Clair, is the nation's twenty-second largest defense contractor with 1998 U.S. Government contract revenues of $475 million. DynCorp, which currently has between 300-600 contracted employees in Colombia, is performing functions like crop eradication (using defoliants - like Vietnam), to sophisticated aerial reconnaissance, to combat advisory roles training military and possibly even paramilitary forces.
When the history of the Colombian War is written it may well be noted that the first U.S. casualties were actually three DynCorp employees killed when their reconnaissance aircraft crashed on a mountaintop in the drug growing regions last summer....
A British source reminded us recently that DynCorp Chairman, Pug Winokur, begged out of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown's ill fated last flight in the Balkans.
The same Pug Winokur is on the board of Harvard Endowments which had a behind the scenes hand in destroying the economic research conducted by former Assistant Secretary of Housing, Catherine Austin Fitts in 1996. That research was beginning to illuminate how the drug trade generates profits for Wall Street through the subsidized HUD housing market where Harvard is a heavy investor....
The parallels between Colombia and Vietnam are inescapable and unavoidable. After twenty-five years, the passing of an entire generation, the forces that govern us behind the scenes are poised to unleash another "floating crap game" of profits, corporate expansion, re-colonization and even genocide.
The one glaring and hope-giving difference is that this time the war will be justified on the basis of fighting not Communists, but drug traffickers - and only one gang of drug traffickers at that.
We will see the American people's willingness to accept this ploy when the children of the bull market begin to die. . . .
For more on “Pug” Winokur, GO TO > > > Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs; HUD; The Story of Enron
April 2, 2001
RICO Used in Wrongful-Termination Suit
by Mary Alice Robbins, Texas Lawyer
Depositions are under way in a suit pending in Fort Worth, Texas' 17th District Court that alleges a Lubbock man was fired by an American defense contractor in Bosnia because he blew the whistle on supervisors and co-workers who bought illegal firearms and engaged in buying and selling underage girls as domestic help and sex slaves.
Ben Johnston alleges in Johnston v. DynCorp Inc., et al. that his former employer breached his three-year contract when he was fired without cause last June. . . .
Johnston worked as a civilian aircraft mechanic for DynCorp, which has a contract with the U.S. Army to maintain military helicopters on the Comanche Base at Tuzla, Bosnia. He accepted the contract with DynCorp in November 1998 and was earning about $120,000 a year, according to the suit.
DynCorp, a Delaware corporation, oversees its international operations from its offices in Fort Worth.
The suit filed last August by Lubbock lawyer Kevin Glasheen alleges that DynCorp engaged in racketeering activities in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and that Johnston was terminated because he refused to commit an illegal act.
If Johnston had not reported his fellow employees' alleged unlawful activities, he could have been charged under federal law with misprision of a felony, says Glasheen, a shareholder in Fadduol, Glasheen & Valles in Lubbock. . . .
Among the allegations in the suit are that the corporation and its employees engaged in peonage and slavery, sexually exploiting children, dealing in obscene material and procuring fraudulent identification documents.
The suit alleges that DynCorp employees purchased the passports of women and girls from Serbian Mafia members who brought them into Bosnia from other Eastern European countries. The corporation's employees sometimes resold the passports, alleges Richard Hardy, an associate with Fadduol, Glasheen who also represents Johnston.
As alleged in the suit, Johnston told his DynCorp supervisor that co-workers were buying women from the Mafia and was told "to mind his own business."
According to the suit, Johnston reported the alleged activities to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command in March 2000 and his whistle-blowing allegedly led to his termination and forced him and his Bosnian wife, Denisa, to flee the country.
Johnston and his wife were forced into protective custody by the CID for fear that they would face retaliation by the Serbian Mafia and DynCorp employees, the suit alleges....
A DynCorp internal e-mail memo that the company turned over to Glasheen during discovery alleges that a CID raid in June 2000 uncovered a videotape of the corporation's acting site manager in Bosnia having sex with two prostitutes. The memo also alleges the raid turned up a machine gun that an employee purchased from a suspected member of the Bosnian mafia....
April 29, 2002
By Kelly Patricia O’Meara, Insight Magazine
Blowing the whistle on outrageous moral and ethical misbehavior by employees of one of the federal government's biggest and most profitable contractors is serious business. But when complaints are raised by employees of that same contractor about the safety and quality of work on which American lives depend, the issue inches up a few notches to deadly serious.
While Insight expected to receive feedback concerning its Feb. 4 cover story, "DynCorp Disgrace," this magazine could not have anticipated the number of DynCorp employees who would seize the opportunity to voice alarm and express concern about what they say is their company's shaky performance on government contracts. As one employee put it, "There has been a dramatic drop in experience and competence, replaced by ignorance, inexperience and downright unsafe maintenance practices."
Surprisingly, rather than responding to allegations made by Ben Johnston, a former DynCorp employee who blew the whistle on fellow employees he accused of being involved in sex trafficking of young girls in Bosnia, and which was the focus of the "DynCorp Disgrace" article, most of the communications from current and former DynCorp employees addressed his briefly expressed concern about the quality of work being performed by DynCorp on military aircraft.
One issue Johnston raised involved a DynCorp maintenance technician in Bosnia who, according to Johnston, "weighed 400 pounds and would stick cheeseburgers in his pockets and eat them while he worked. The problem was he literally would fall asleep every five minutes. One time he fell asleep with a torch in his hand and burned a hole through the plastic on an aircraft."
This description would seem almost comical if were it not for the fact that the technician's work might make the difference between whether an American pilot lives or dies, DynCorp employees say. Even so, it pales in comparison to other allegations about the state of DynCorp's military and civilian aircraft maintenance. Johnston brought some of these concerns to the attention of management, but DynCorp fired him after he took his complaints of sex trafficking to the U.S. military police in Bosnia.
All too aware of what happens to employees such as Johnston who break company ranks, many of those who contacted Insight agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity. But others, such as 20-year DynCorp veteran Tom Greer, were willing to go on the record for the "safety of the men and women flying the aircraft and those employees whose professional reputations are at stake."
Regardless of personal repercussions, Greer lays it on the line. "I'm angry," he says, "because this …… conduct has been going on now for several years with impunity. I and others who have left DynCorp are affected by DynCorp misrepresenting themselves and their German/international employees' qualifications to the U.S. Army, Europe and the Air Force Contracting Command at Tinker A.F.B. and Wright-Patterson A.F.B."
In fact, Greer is so distressed about the safety of the aircraft for which DynCorp holds the maintenance contracts that he has taken his concerns to the highest levels of the U.S. military and also to Congress.
For instance, Greer has written to Brig. Gen. Lloyd Waterman, deputy commander for logistics, U.S. Army, Europe, explaining that "DynCorp is grossly misleading you [and] other U.S. government employees, and misrepresenting themselves by alluding to the fact that their German and American employees working under the German system are equally qualified and possess the same skills, training and experience as myself and other equally qualified technicians that are employed by their competitors.
DynCorp has currently employed at its Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany, Army airfield and other locations within Germany, individuals who have little, if any, aviation experience on the type of U.S. Army tactical aircraft they are performing unit intermediate-level maintenance on. Some of these DynCorp employees are prior security guards, cooks, waiters, store clerks and cashiers."
Greer continued: "I am concerned that untrained personnel are being allowed to perform maintenance on highly technical weapons systems, [aircraft] that our servicemen and women operate. Our military deserves the highest quality of professionals performing maintenance on these high-dollar aviation assets. Please notify the proper authorities within the Department of Defense of the problems and safety issues that could result from DynCorp or any other contractor hiring unqualified individuals and do what you can to assure the safety of our brave men and women."
Greer is not alone in his claims about improper maintenance endangering the safety of aircraft.
A DynCorp employee who asks not to be identified also contacted Waterman concerning many of the same issues.
"To put it bluntly, sir, I'm scared. Scared every time I turn on the television and hear that a crash happened or read about it in the Stars and Stripes. For that matter, every time they start an aircraft up here at Coleman Barracks. The day-to-day witnessing of such low standards in aviation maintenance is taking its toll on my personal professionalism."
The source continued: "We're told that these new people were to be helpers and workers and not technicians. This is not the case. They are being treated as qualified people and signing off on work that they are not experienced in. …… Would you believe I'm working beside ex-security guys, waitresses and car repairmen? We have people who are working on aircraft with absolutely no aviation experience nor ground-equipment skills. Would you rather fly in a helicopter maintained by a waitress or an experienced aviation technician?"
According to this DynCorp employee: "It is my opinion that this is an accident waiting to happen and something should be done, and soon, before loss of life or extreme damage to equipment is experienced. The management here is looking at the bottom line, and they surely do not seem to care what kind of person works on the helicopters. I guess that makes good business sense, but to me not at the cost of our servicemen and women. I'm forwarding this to you through another as I don't want to be identified. DynCorp fires people who write down on paper problems they think should be kept in-house."
From the beginning of the military action in Afghanistan aircraft were being lost in crashes unrelated to enemy action. Asked if it is possible that any of those crashes might have resulted from faulty maintenance or technician error by DynCorp personnel, a whistle-blower tells Insight, "I think the aircraft —— MH models that the Special Forces use —— came from the 160th at Fort Campbell, Ky., and Hunter in Savannah, Ga. DynCorp has the maintenance contract at both of those places. So yes, I'd have to say DynCorp worked on those aircraft."
Asked the same question, Greer tells Insight: "I believe it would be safe to say any aircraft that have crashed on which faulty maintenance has been found to be a cause or contributor to that crash, and where the crashed aircraft was assigned to the European theater of operations between September 1999 and today, has, in fact, been worked on by DynCorp's unqualified personnel."
Johnston, who filed a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) lawsuit against DynCorp for alleged wrongful termination, tells Insight he's pleased other employees are expressing alarm but says, "I don't think it should take a magazine article to get these guys to come forward. If something is wrong in their own backyard they ought to come forward immediately, especially when it's dealing with the U.S. government."
Johnston isn't surprised by the new accusations. He says "about 75 percent of the [DynCorp] technicians in Bosnia easily could have been replaced by military personnel.
These guys just didn't have the expertise that the other 25 percent of us contract technicians had. I think there were about three or four guys there that actually had a license to work on aircraft. Out of about 40 employees, there were maybe a handful that I knew of who had proper federal A&P [airframe and power-plant] licensing to work on these aircraft."
Johnston recalled "one pilot who refused to fly any plane that one particular DynCorp technician worked on. We had technicians leaving washers on the aircraft, and when the plane was started up these things were flying all over the place. This trashed a few of the blades and caused a great deal of damage, but to my knowledge these guys are still there twisting wrenches for DynCorp."
While DynCorp takes in hundreds of millions of dollars from federal maintenance contracts with the U.S. military, the company also is responsible for the maintenance contract for all aircraft, both fixed-wing and helicopters, for the State Department's operation involved in Plan Colombia, the program for eradicating drug crops in Central America. Insight also heard from DynCorp employees there who questioned management's attention to safety.
According to another source, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, "the stated mission of the Department of State International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Air Wing [DoS/INL] is to eradicate illegal narcotics in the most efficient manner. In addition to eradication, it is the responsibility of DoS/INL to train in-country nationals in all aspects of the program so that they can become independent of the U.S.
To accomplish this mission, DoS/INL depends on contractors to perform the preponderance of all actual functions. It is believed that the current price for these services is about $400 million.
Currently there is very little effort to train indigenous persons to take over the mission. If Colombian nationals were trained it would eliminate the need for DynCorp. In fact, DynCorp officials have expressed sentiments like 'they're too f****** dumb to learn.'"
This same source further explains that "the DoS air wing currently has the highest fatal and nonfatal aircraft accident rate of all other federal agencies that operate aircraft. It also has the dubious distinction of having the highest fatal-accident rate compared to the civilian crop-dusting community. This situation has evolved over the past year because of improper management and implementation of practices viewed as arbitrary and suicidal.
“What makes this so frustrating is that members knowledgeable about the OV-10 and crop-dusting operations recommended against the current formation crop-dusting practices, but OV-10 pilots employed by DynCorp are instructed to not question any procedure or management principle. Several pilots have expressed their concern about the ongoing situation, but are afraid to mention anything to management. As in the past, pilots that do ask questions are fired."
Asked about the safety of State Department aircraft, a spokesman for the department tells Insight "it is impossible that they have the worst record. The INL aviation team just won the first Federal Aviation Program Award for the safest, most efficient and effective Federal Aviation operations." The award was based on overall excellence and innovative achievement during calendar-year 2000. Two OV-10 fatal aircraft crashes have occurred in the last six months.
The information provided to Insight by these current and former DynCorp and State Department sources clearly are assessments of what they have witnessed and believe to be true. Sometimes, these whistle-blowers sent along documentation indicating that the concerns raised were brought to the attention of DynCorp management without results. But DynCorp apparently takes action once the information has been made public.
However, according to DynCorp sources in Europe, just after the "DynCorp Disgrace" article ran in February, the International Police Task Force (IPTF) conducted an investigation into Johnston's allegations of sex trafficking by DynCorp employees.
According to the source who informed Insight about the reported investigation, "This is one for the books. The IPTF is contracted by DynCorp, and the employees performing illegal acts in Bosnia are both IPTF personnel and aircraft mechanics that are hired by DynCorp. What's wrong with this picture?"
In other words, says the source, DynCorp is investigating itself. Whether there is anything wrong with the picture is a decision for federal agencies and congressional committees with oversight responsibility for these government contracts. What is certain is that current and former DynCorp employees all over the world are expressing concern about the safety of the men and women who fly the aircraft being maintained by this contractor.
DynCorp did not respond to specific questions forwarded in writing to its Reston, Va., headquarters about the issues raised in this article. However, Charlene Wheeless, a DynCorp spokeswoman, did provide the following statement: "DynCorp has provided aviation and aerospace services to government agencies for more than 40 years. We have received customer commendations for our superior service and we believe our positive performance speaks for itself."
The military, however, is taking heed of the concerns raised and a spokesman for Gen. Waterman tells Insight, "Present and former DynCorp employees have made allegations about DynCorp's hiring practices and contract performance on its aviation maintenance contract. The command takes seriously any indication of potential issues with the safety of aircraft and soldiers. Based on the letters and e-mails received, U.S. Army, Europe's 21st Theater Support Command, as the command with oversight of the aviation maintenance contract, initiated an investigation into these allegations. Since the investigation is ongoing, it is inappropriate to comment on any specific allegation. We will take appropriate action upon completion of the investigation."
– Kelly Patricia O'Meara is an investigative reporter for Insight magazine.
For more, GO TO > > > The Mercenaries
MORE TO COME
FOR MORE UNDERGROUND DIGGINGS,
THE SECRET NESTS
PART I - THE CIA
PART II - THE FBI
PART III - THE MOSSAD
PART IV - THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY
~ ~ ~
AMERICAN SAVINGS BANK
ALOHA, HARKEN ENERGY!
AN OCTOPUS NAMED WACKENHUT
BIRDS ON THE POWER LINES
BIRDS THAT DRINK FROM CESSPOOLS
THE BLACKSTONE GROUP
CONFESSIONS OF A WHISTLEBLOWER
DIGGING THE DIRT ON DYNEGY
DIRTY GOLD IN GOLDMAN SACHS
DIRTY MONEY, DIRTY POLITICS & BISHOP ESTATE
FLYING HIGH IN HAWAII
HAIL TO THE CHIEF!
HALLIBURTON FROM HELL
HUD: THE HOUSING & URBAN DISASTER
I SING THE HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC
IT’S THE OIL, STUPID!
THE KISSINGER OF DEATH
KROLL, THE CONSPIRATOR
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
NESTS OF THE INSURANCE VAMPIRES
NESTS IN THE PENTAGON
NEW SONGS BY THE WHISTLER
OF VAMPIRES AND DAISIES
UNDERGROUND AT PARKER DRILLING COMPANY
THE PEREGRINE FUND
THE PEREGRINE GALLERY
PREDATORS IN PARADISE
RICO IN PARADISE
SONGS OF THE DRUG VULTURES
THE MARSH BIRDS
MARSH & McLENNAN’S PUTNAM INVESTMENTS
AN OCTOPUS NAMED WACKENHUT
OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE vs. HARMON
THE STEPHEN FRIEDMAN FLOCK
THE STRANGE SAGA OF BCCI
TRANSYLVANIA TRAVELERS IN ST. PAUL
UNDERGROUND AT TARGA RESOURCES
VAMPIRES IN THE CITY
VAMPIRES ON GILLIGAN'S ISLAND
VAMPIRES ON JUPITER ISLAND
VULTURES IN BLACKWATER
WHO'S GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE ???
FAIR USE NOTICE. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml . If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Last update April 6, 2008, by The Catbird