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Monday, August 30, 2010

Party On Dudes - OUT OF CONTROL Bribes, Prostitutes, Warlords... U.S. Can't Keep Tabs On Foreign Subcontractors

Where are Bill and Ted when you need them?
Bill: It is indeed a pleasure to introduce to you a gentleman we picked up in medieval Mongolia in the year 1269.

Ted: Please welcome, the very excellent barbarian...
Ted, Bill: ...MR. GENGHIS KHAN!
[All the students applaud wildly for Khan]
Ted: This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China, and who, we were told, 2 hours ago, totally ravaged Oshman's Sporting Goods.
Huffington Post is reporting that as the U.S. military anticipates withdrawal from Iraq and transferring of vital functions to civilian businesses, foreign subcontractors are playing an enormous role in war zones. Often operating through larger big-name U.S. contractors, they ferry supplies such as ammo and weapons through dangerous terrain. They provide translators and food for troops, help build military outposts, and keep soldiers and civilians safe. Without such local and regional subcontractors, the modern military says it could not operate in two war zones halfway around the globe.

Sounds innocent enough?  Well ... customary contracting rules don't apply, and even big U.S. companies aren't always sure whom they are ultimately paying. That can lead to fraud and shoddy work. 

It is not just bad work.  The government suspects certain foreign subcontractors providing security in Afghanistan of bribing both sides in the conflict -- officials of the U.S.-supported Afghan government as well as leaders of the Taliban.

In Baghdad, a whistleblower is alleging that Middle Eastern subcontractors with special security access sneak prostitutes into the highly secure Green Zone, in an effort to persuade contractors and the U.S. military to hire the company.  Possession of a security access card allegedly allowed a contractor to escort up to five people into the Green Zone without having his automobile searched, the DCIS interview report said. One reconstruction contractor based in the Mideast "managed to routinely have prostitutes at their parties," the whistleblower alleged in the report. The FBI record of the interview indicates the whistleblower alleged to agents that the prostitutes were young Iraqi women, "generally dressed in what he described as 'belly-dancer' outfits."

And back at home we were worried about "gays" in the military.  Stupid us.

But it is not just prostitutes.  An investigation by the House oversight subcommittee on national security found that multiple private security subcontractors were warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders -- adversaries who are "in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government," according to a subcommittee report, "Warlord, Inc."

Warlord, Inc?  Sounds like a most excellent video game.

Raymond DiNunzio, head of investigations for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, reported that the U.S. may be helping its enemies. The government "does not have the ability to monitor Afghan security contractors or determine the nature of their affiliation or allegiance," he said.  In Iraq, meanwhile, U.S. money for trash collection, administered by a bevy of foreign subcontractors, has allegedly ended up in the pockets of insurgents, according to one investigation.

So we may be paying subcontractors who turn around and shot back at our soldiers.  How stupid are we?

Who are the biggest Warlords of all?  Probably all of the American defense contractors who make Billions off of our war funding.  If the Tea Party members want to cut wasteful spending, START CUTTING OUR DEFENSE SPENDING.

Prostitutes, parties, drugs ...  Cue Bill and Ted:
Abraham Lincoln: Fourscore and...

[looks at his pocket watch]
Abraham Lincoln: seven minutes ago... we, your forefathers, were brought forth upon a most excellent adventure conceived by our new friends, Bill... and Ted. These two great gentlemen are dedicated to a proposition which was true in my time, just as it's true today. Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON, DUDES!

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Ryan: It seems to me the only thing you've learned is that Caesar is a "salad dressing dude."