War zones or former war zones such as Iraq and
Afghanistan, often called hostile environments, and
are not the most obvious places for non-essential
travel, but with the right preparation and a bit of
luck they can provide the intrepid traveler with a
unique experience. It is also, of course, the job of
many American's working in war zones.

Keep in mind that it is very unusual for non-
combatants / U.S. Workers  to be wandering around
war zones. Even if you have no hostile intentions,
your very presence may result in heated reactions;
among other things, you may be mistaken for a spy.
American Workers can be just as much a target of
hostility as any military force. Indeed, American
Contractors are  regarded as a soft targets.

Contractors provide a number of advantages over
military personnel or civil servants—speed of
deployment, continuity, reduction of troop
requirements, reduction of military casualties,
economic inputs to local economies, and, in some
cases, executing tasks the military and civilian
workforce simply cannot.

To help one better understand the ROLE of an
American Contractor working in a War-zone, I have
clarified common mistakes made by Civilian
Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past.

This will keep you from UNFORESEEN problems as a
American Contractor working overseas.


Words of Wisdom

  • This is "At Will Employment"
    At-will employment is a doctrine of American
    law that defines an employment relationship
    in which either party can immediately
    terminate the relationship at any time with or
    without any advance warning,[1] and with no
    subsequent liability, provided there was no
    express contract for a definite term governing
    the employment relationship and that the
    employer does not belong to a collective
    bargaining group (i.e., has not recognized a
    union). Under this legal doctrine:
    “ any hiring is presumed to be "at will"; that is,
    the employer is free to discharge individuals "for
    good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and
    the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or
    otherwise cease work.

    ”In a landmark 2000 decision largely
    reaffirming employers' rights under the at-will
    doctrine, the Supreme Court of California
    explained:
    “ [A]n employer may terminate its employees at
    will, for any or no reason ... The employer may act
    peremptorily, arbitrarily, or inconsistently,
    without providing specific protections such as
    prior warning, fair procedures, objective
    evaluation, or preferential reassignment ... The
    mere existence of an employment relationship
    affords no expectation, protectable by law, that
    employment will continue, or will end only on
    certain conditions, unless the parties have
    actually adopted such terms.

  • You are not a government employee because
    you have a DOD badge...
    The U.S. Government is not your employer;
    you do not work directly for the Department
    of Defense of the United States Government.  
    The company you work for is the DOD
    (Department of Defense) contractor,  the
    company (parent company) holds a
    contingency contract with the Department of
    Defense, you are just an employee or an
    independent contractor.
    NOTE: You could look at it as the Department of
    Defense is your Company's Client, the Client is
    paying the Company to fill a contract in order to
    be paid .  You are being paid by your company to
    do a job, weather it's Iraq or America your on a
    company project.

  • You are not Military and will not receive
    military benefits

  • You will not carry a weapon, unless your a
    security contractor working for a security firm.  

  • Your employer will provide you with military
    escorts, private security escorts for your travel
    in these hostile work locations.

  • You will work with or close to SCW Sub-
    Contract Workers otherwise know as Third
    Country Nationals (TCN) see photo

  • The company you go to work for will only be
    required to provide DBA (Defense Base Act)
    Insurance if they elect not to purchase private
    insurance.  (There are some that actually elect
    and provide non dba insurance, so ask your
    prospective employer before hiring on if this is
    a issue for you.)  

  • If DBA is the only Insurance the prospective
    company has to offer....Purchase your own
    medical, disability,and life insurance.  (THIS IS
    A MUST) See Court Cases  


  • You may reside and work on a military camp,
    others may not.

  • You may take order from  service members
    (Military)

  • There is no "front Line" or "behind the wire".
    (this is not  M.A.S.H.)

  • These camps can become under attack by
    inbound mortar rounds,rockets and more at
    any given time, day or night 24/7 days.  

  • You are being paid to work a High Risk Job,
    with little medical benefits, save your money
    for any unexpected or unforeseen
    circumstances. This will save you and your
    family many headaches.

  • If you are injured and depending on the extent
    of your injuries you could become a liability to
    your employer and your services become No
    longer needed at anytime; without notice.
    (This will affect your Tax exempt status)

  • You will pay heavy taxes if you leave before a
    year is up. Put aside at least 25% of your non
    taxable income from the day you start.  Some
    hold back only 15% but always want to have
    that medical safety net.

  • You could be jailed,put in prison, or even death
    can occur without notice and/or jury and trial.


  • You may not get paid Overtime.
  • You will work 40-80+hr weekly.

CONTINUE Reading - Survival Guide
    by David Phinney CorpWatch 2005
    See the Zapata Team


    Washington Post
    July 10, 2005

    by David Phinney,
    Special to CorpWatch
    May 24th, 2005  

    FoxNews.com
    August 17, 2005

    S.F.Gate. 2004

    by John Burnett
    May 26, 2006 8:29 PM NPR Morning Edition
    Unarmed and untrained for combat, civilian truck
    drivers who haul freight between military bases in
    Iraq find themselves on the war's frontlines. At
    least 63 — including 24 Americans — have died so
    far, mostly from shootings and roadside bombs.
    The constant exposure to violence puts the
    contractors at risk for post-traumatic stress
    disorder. And some complain they're forgotten
    once they return home. Part 1 of this Report  The
    Trucker's War: On the Road in IraqMay 25, 2006  
    Last August, driver David Meredith found what
    little was left of the body of Larry Stilwell, a fellow
    trucker who died when his flatbed truck hit a
    homemade landmine in central Iraq. The trauma of
    that event, plus the death of a second driver he
    knew in a roadside bombing, led Meredith to quit
    as a driver for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton.
    (see Service Employers Intl.)SEII shell company for
    KBR

    The war in Iraq is killing nine civilian contractors a
    week on average, roughly three times the rate of last
    year, and U.S. Government statistics show that non-
    Americans do most of the dying…. The toilets and
    servicing weapons systems and computers.
    How many of those TCNs and Iraqi nationals are
    collecting their benefits as guaranteed by the
    Defense Base Act remains unexplored territory.
    By David Phinney
    Maya 24, 2007

    By PHILIP SHENONThe New YorkTimes
    February 8, 2007

    L.A. Times- July 4, 2007

          September 1, 2009


    The United States has assembled an imposing
    industrial army in Iraq that's larger than its uniformed
    fighting force and is responsible for...
    By Richard Lardner
         The Associated Press

  • NRP  Mission to Camp Corregidor ...David Meredith is
    a 37-year-old truck driver from Leavenworth, Kan. He
    drove for KBR in Iraq from September 2004 to
    September 2005. His first 10 months in Iraq were
    incident-free. In the following essay he describes how,
    in his 11th month there, an ordinary day ended in a
    deadly attack on his convoy.  August 11, 2005, started
    out like any other day in Camp Al Taqaddum [Camp
    TQ, northwest of Baghdad]. It was my second mission
    as Kerry "Carolina" Miller's bobtail driver. ["Bobtails,"
    or trucks without trailers, accompany a convoy in case
    another truck breaks down so that that vehicle's trailer
    needs can continue the journey.]

  • Civilian Workers in Iraq Suffering Combat Trauma
    PTSD FORUM  Their jobs are often as dangerous as
    those of combat troops. But because they are civilians,
    contractors are not eligible for the network of support
    that the Pentagon has designed to assist U.S. troops
    suffering from psychological trauma.

  • How Iraq Contractors Deal With Trauma ABC
    NEWS Psychologists who treat contractors say the
    lack of immediate resources for employees in Iraq
    augment the effects of post-traumatic stress
    disorder and can lead to erratic and dangerous
    behavior.

  • Iraq's hidden casualties: 13,000 working for
    contractors   WASHINGTON — Casualties among
    private contractors in Iraq have soared to record
    levels this year, setting a pace that seems certain to
    turn 2007 into the bloodiest year yet for the
    civilians who work alongside the U.S. military in
    the war zone, according to new government
    numbers.
    NYTimes 2007


  • Contractors In Iraq Are Targets For Attack ... Tens
    of thousands of civilians are deployed in Iraq,
    providing logistical support to the troops. Most are
    motivated by patriotism and the hefty pay. But as
    CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen
    Keteyian discovered, the danger is great and the
    toll is high.  Criss-crossing Iraq, the hundreds of
    civilian truck drivers who form a "shadow army,"
    hauling food and supplies to military bases, are a
    tempting target for attacks.
  • CBS NEWS

  • Deniable, disposable casualties SOMETHING WAS
    missing from my local Memorial Day parade.  
    There were soldiers, sailors, World War II veterans,
    firefighters, Girl Scouts, soccer players, marching
    bands, flag-draped floats and even a festive
    contingent from the Board of Education. But there
    was no float memorializing the hundreds of civilian
    contractors killed in Iraq.  It's fashionable to look
    down on the civilian contractors employed by firms
    such as Halliburton and Blackwater. When
    contractors make the news, it's usually in the
    context of stories about waste and fraud in
    reconstruction or service contracts, or human rights
    abuses committed by private security contractors.
    So when civilian contractors die in Iraq, most of us
    don't waste many tears. These are guys who went
    to Iraq out of sheer greed, lured by salaries far
    higher than those received by military personnel,
    right? If they get themselves killed, who cares?
    Rosa Brooks
    LA Times June 1, 2007






    Nov. 28,2007


    By Ashley Rowland Staff Write
    Dec.17,2006

    The convoy leader of a Rocky Mount-based National
    Guard unit rebuts an ABC News report that he and
    other members of the 1173rd Transportation Company
    abandoned a civilian convoy.By John Cramer
    Roanoke Times
    Oct. 4, 2006



    Security Management Tate Mallory, a police officer
    from South Dakota who worked as a Dyncorp police
    trainer, was grievously wounded by a rocket-powered
    grenade last fall. After returning home, he was so
    mentally scarred, he said, that he begged his brother to
    kill him.


    James Risen,The New York Times
    July 5th, 2007

    Armen KeteyianCBS News
    February 11, 2009




    March 12, 2007



    Farrah Stockman January 20,2007
    Private Trauma

  • Veterans and PTSD: Iraq and Afghanistan
    Civilian Contractors Get No Treatment  A Bloody
    Business, retired Army Colonel Gerald
    Schumacher wrote, "since the first Gulf war in
    1991, the portion of private forces to military
    forces has more than quadrupled." Today, the
    Pentagon estimates that America is employing
    some 700,000 civilian contractors; 22% of who
    are American. They are called the "shadow
    Army."

    Patrick Michels March 21, 2008

    By Brad Knickerbocker
    The Christian Science Monitor July 18, 2007


    June 17, 2007-L.A. TIMES

    By John Rutherford, NBC News producer,
    Washington
    December 20, 2007

    The battle scars of a private war-THE CONFLICT
    IN IRAQ:
    CIVILIAN CONTRACTORS -Contractors
    wounded or killed in Iraq are the anonymous
    casualties. Ceremonies are secret, and benefits
    are scarce.Feb.12 2007 L.A. Times

    SF GATE (San Francisco Chronicle)
    Anna Badkhen,
    November 19,2006


    Bryce Benson
    Published on 05.10.07

    AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF Nov. 5, 2011

    ABC News - Feb 12, 2007

    By JOHN M. BRODER and JAMES RISEN
         Published: May 19, 2007

    By Farah Stockman
    Globe Staff
    March 6, 2008


  • Read more: Combat stress afflicts civilian
    contractors returning from Iraq -Mental health
    and Psychiatry news-WASHINGTON --
    Contractors who have worked in Iraq are
    returning home with the same kinds of combat-
    related mental health problems that afflict US
    military personnel, according to contractors,
    industry officials, and mental health
    specialists.  But, they say, the private workers
    are largely left to find care on their own , and
    their problems are often ignored or are
    inadequately treated.  A vast second army of
    contractors, up to 126,000 Americans, Iraqis, and
    other foreigners, are working for the US
    government in Iraq.
  • By James Risen, New York Times News Service
    Boston Globe - July 5, 2007



  • Contractors in War Zones: Not Exactly
    Contracting. "U.S. Military forces may be out of
    Iraq, but the unsung and unrecognized part of
    America’s modern military establishment is still
    serving and sacrificing — the role played by
    private military and security contractors."
    By David Isenberg Oct. 09, 2012




  • The Invisible Army -For foreign workers on U.S.
    Bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, war can be hell -
    "More than seventy thousand third-country
    nationals” work for the American military in war
    zones; many report being held in conditions
    resembling indentured servitude by
    subcontractors who operate outside the law.
    Photographs by Peter Van Agtmael."
    The New Yorker
    by Sarah Stillman
    June 6, 2011


ByMichael Gisick

    Published 5:52 am, Friday, January 25, 2013
    SF GATE
    Read More from the Houston KHOU TV - Ex-Iraq
    contractor from Texas gets prison, fraud.
    "SAN ANTONIOA former Texas co-owner of a
    development company has been sentenced to 2 ½
    years in prison for submitting nearly $1.3 million
    in fake invoices for Iraq reconstruction.
    Prosecutors in San Antonio say 33-year-old Jill
    Ann Charpia in August pleaded guilty to
    falsifying official documents.  The former San
    Antonio woman was sentenced Thursday in
    connection with fabricated documents and
    forged signatures related to Iraq reconstruction
    government contracts. She must also pay at least
    $920,000 in restitution.  
    Charpia during 2008 and 2009 co-owned
    Sourcing Specialist LLC, a privately owned firm
    that contracted with the U.S. Government to
    help develop business opportunities in Iraq."



    Masoud Popalzai, CNN December 24, 2012


    By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent
    WASHINGTON
    Oct 21, 2012

    Here is the rub, the IRS won’t accept that a
    contractor resides in what they consider a
    “combat zones”. Even though danger zones are
    exactly where contractors live and work. And the
    same is true with a residence card from
    someplace like Kurdistan—it won’t fly with the
    IRS. In countries approved for contractors to live
    in, the agency uses common standards to qualify
    for residency: an electric bill, apartment lease,
    including involvement in the local economy. Yes
    the IRS knows the game because they have
    audited enough security contractors to repeat
    every story back to you.




    The ABC News investigation found that the
    injured workers' cases often took months, and
    sometimes years, to go through the Department
    of Labor's administrative judicial process.
    -Back From Iraq, Injured War-Zone Workers
    Fight Insurance Giant AIG, Face Financial Ruin  
    Civilian contractors who were injured or
    wounded while supporting American troops in
    Iraq continue to face long battles with insurance
    giant AIG for payment of their disability claims,
    despite Congressional inquiries and calls to
    reform the system that has handled tens of
    thousands of disability claims from employees of
    overseas contractors.  The injured workers,
    including some wounded by small-arms fire or
    IEDs during insurgent attacks, complain that
    AIG has continued to "delay and deny" their
    claims nearly a year after a joint investigation by
    ABC News, ProPublica, and the Los Angeles
    Times first exposed serious problems with AIG's
    handling of disability claims under a
    government-funded insurance system. An
    analysis found that AIG challenged nearly half of
    the claims involving the most serious injuries.
    The ABC News investigation found that the
    injured workers' cases often took months, and
    sometimes years, to go through the Department
    of Labor's administrative judicial process. Even
    when the judge ruled in favor of the worker, AIG
    did not always pay promptly.  Even when the
    judge ruled in favor of the worker, AIG did not
    always pay promptly The injured truck drivers
    expressed frustration that officials and
    lawmakers in Washington have not done
    anything to fix the system in the months since a
    Congressional hearing examined the problems.  
    At the hearing last June, the deputy secretary of
    the Department of Labor called for "fundamental
    reform" of the law governing insurance claims by
    civilian contractors, the Defense Base Act, that
    was first enacted in 1941 and originally designed
    for claims from only hundreds, not thousands, of
    contractors.
    ABC News
    By AVNI PATEL
    March 18, 2010

    Dennis Nalick pleaded guilty of one felony count
    of mail fraud in January, admitting that he'd
    deposited a client's $137,826 check into his own
    account and spent it.
    July 21, 2011   BY ROBERT PATRICK


    "They don't have to explain themselves. We've all
    witnessed them shooting up cars, and then they
    just drive off in their SUVs, wearing their
    ballcaps, sunglasses, and full beards. If we shot
    up a car, we couldn't leave the scene for two
    days," said (Ret.) marine Sgt. Nick Benas, who
    served in Iraq from July 2004 to March 2005.
    [EDITOR: this is the "Delta Force" look and don't
    forget to add the leg holster!] Afterward, he
    turned down an $186,000 offer to train Iraqi
    police as a civilian contractor. Advocates for
    contractors, like Jane Crowder, who started www.
    AmericanContractorsinIraq.com as a support
    network for the community of civilian workers,
    say most contractors don't earn that much and
    are in many cases victims, too, fighting for
    medical benefits and lacking the institutional
    support military veterans take for granted. "Most
    of them get injured or killed before they make
    $50,000, then they get sent home with no
    medical coverage or follow-up care," she told the
    Knoxville Voice in June. "Once you leave Iraq,
    you're alone." Danger, burnout, injury and death
    have led to significant turnover. The elite former
    Navy Seals and Army Special Forces who formed
    the backbone of the security enterprise in its
    early days are a vanishing breed, replaced by less
    qualified profit-seekers, Third World
    commandos, and "ham and eggers" looking to
    reinvent themselves into something worthy of
    bravado back home. Pelton suspects that some
    with the new "skill set" honed in Iraq may never
    want to go home and will continue looking for
    action and money elsewhere. "It's going to have a
    significant impact" on the global security
    landscape, he said. "I already see guys doing
    bounty hunting or getting involved in
    questionable training programs overseas." If the
    military ever wanted to go all the way and start
    hiring mercenaries to do their fighting, there's
    probably a division ready to go.

    December 17 2007 — By CJ Grisham
    [UPDATE] A few of you have contacted
    Halliburton reference this issue and received the
    following email:  You need to contact KBR. Their
    director of communications, Heather Browne,
    can be reached at 713-753-3775 or heather.
    browne@kbr.com. Halliburton is improperly
    named in this matter and, as such, we expect
    Halliburton to be dismissed from the action as
    Halliburton has no responsibility, legal or
    otherwise, for the actions alleged. It would be
    inappropriate for Halliburton to comment on
    the merits of a matter affecting only the interest
    of KBR.  Further, Halliburton is not a defense
    contractor. Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one
    of the world’s largest providers of products and
    services to the energy industry. With nearly
    50,000 employees in approximately 70 countries,
    the company serves the upstream oil and gas
    industry throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir
    – from locating hydrocarbons and managing
    geological data, to drilling and formation
    evaluation, well construction and completion,
    and optimizing production through the life of
    the field.  Halliburton and its subsidiaries have
    no employees or work in Iraq or Afghanistan .
    Regards, Melissa
    Initially, I thought that this was just a media
    spin for the company since I KNEW that KBR was
    a subsidiary of Halliburton. Well, it turns out
    that in April 2007, KBR officially split from
    Halliburton to become a stand alone company.
    So, Melissa is correct but doesn’t do a good job of
    explaining WHY her company is no longer in
    Iraq. But, NOTHING HAPPENED PRIOR TO
    APRIL 2007?!
    Earlier this year, US authorities began
    investigating the company for bribery, bid
    rigging, defrauding the military and illegally
    profiting in Iran. In March, it began selling off
    KBR who was adding to the controversy by
    overcharging the military and serving
    contaminated food and water to the troops in
    Iraq. To avoid further trouble, the company
    moved its headquarters to the United Arab
    Emirates. I can’t find anything that says that
    Halliburton is or is not in Iraq anymore, but they
    HAVE managed to successfully ditch the blame
    for the rogue KBR!  


    In a largely invisible cost of the war in Iraq,
    nearly 800 civilians working under contract to
    the Pentagon have been killed and more than
    3,300 hurt doing jobs normally handled by the U.
    S. military, according to figures gathered by The
    Associated Press.Exactly how many of these
    employees doing the Pentagon's work are
    Americans is uncertain. But the casualty figures
    make it clear that the Defense Department's
    count of more than 3,100 U.S. military dead does
    not tell the whole story. "It's another unseen
    expense of the war," said Thomas Houle, a
    retired Air Force reservist whose brother-in-law
    died while driving a truck in Iraq. "It's almost
    disrespectful that it doesn't get the kind of
    publicity or respect that a soldier would."
    Employees of defense contractors such as
    Halliburton, Blackwater and Wackenhut cook
    meals, do laundry, repair infrastruture, translate
    documents, analyze intelligence, guard
    prisoners, protect military convoys, deliver water
    in the heavily fortified Green Zone and stand
    sentry at buildings - often highly dangerous
    duties almost identical to those performed by
    many U.S. troops. The U.S. has outsourced so
    many war and reconstruction duties that there
    are almost as many contractors (120,000) as U.S.
    troops (135,000) in the war zone.

    From ABC News
    Along with congressional hearings on
    allegations of recklessness against Blackwater
    USA security forces in Iraq, questions are also
    being raised about the way military contractors
    deal with traumatic stress while overseas and
    upon returning home.  The House began
    hearings Tuesday on the military contractor
    Blackwater following reports about the
    company's employees in Iraq who were linked to
    the killings of 11 Iraqi civilians in September...In
    light of the high-profile incidents, possible
    explanations for the company's actions are
    emerging, including psychological harm such as
    post-traumatic stress that led to erratic behavior
    by some contractors.  "I have never heard of a
    company offering psychological counseling," a
    military contractor who works for another
    company said on the condition of anonymity
    because of his firm's involvement with the
    Blackwater investigation.


  • Civilian veterans of the Iraq war Thousands of
    American civilians are working as contractors in
    Iraq, doing the jobs outsourced by the Pentagon
    to companies such as the Halliburton subsidiary
    KBR. They deliver food, water, military
    equipment, gas and other supplies to U.S. bases;
    they work as mechanics in car pools; they
    manage dining facilities and military plane
    flights in and out of the country. Some get
    kidnapped or killed, some get wounded, and
    many return bearing deep emotional scars.  After
    the Chronicle story on Sunday about U.S.
    contractors suffering from emotional trauma I
    received several emails whose authors suggested
    that the contractors deserved it.
  • More at SFGATE:Civilian Veterans of Iraq


  • From Laura T. Coffey at MSNBC Part III Part 3:
    Venturing ‘outside the wire’ in Baghdad
    Frustrations abound, but Deierlein’s unit finds a
    way to make a difference.  Meanwhile, the
    Senate puts in some hours...is that to make up
    for the incredible numbers of days off the
    Congress took last year? From the AP at MSNBC
    Senate nears end to all-night Iraq debate
    Lawmakers spar over redeployment proposals;
    critics call move ‘nonsense’.  From Arianna
    Huffington Join Us for a Live Chat on Ending the
    War in Iraq. From Tom Turnipseed at Common
    Dreams George Bush and Lindsey Graham Push
    the Power of the President and Generals Over
    People and Troops.  From John Nichols at The
    Nation Harry Reid Finally Starts to Fight Smart.
    A New York Times Editorial The Politics of Fear.
    From Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science
    Monitor at Truthout Silent Surge in Contractor
    "Armies". We need to decide that these 'armies'
    need to be under the control of the people, before
    they control the people. And, of course, since the
    people working for the contractors are in a legal
    limbo, getting help for physical, mental, and
    spiritual injuries is difficult - there is help with
    that here American Contractors in Iraq.

    Written by:  Julia Davis; who is a National
    Security Expert, National Security whistleblower-
    National Security/Anti-Terrorism/Immigration
    Expert as a former federal officer having served
    with the Department of Homeland Security,
    Customs and Border Protection while being
    processed for employment as a Special Agent for
    the Federal Bureau of Investigation



HIGH RISK CONTRACTING
Third Country National Contractor
Security Contractors in the Middle East
Airmen teach contractors
life-saving skills

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq -- A KBR
Theater Transportation Mission
Recovery senior mechanic tests
the strength of a combination
spreader shear, or ?mini Jaws of
Life? Tool by cutting into a test
vehicle during a refresher
training session on using the
tools here, March 5. The class
was led by 332nd Expeditionary
Civil Engineer Squadron Fire
Department Airmen. The
combination spreader shear can
exert 20,900 pounds per square
inch of force at their tips and can
both cut and force apart vehicle
parts. The U.S. Government
contracted senior mechanics are
responsible for retrieving stuck,
broken down and destroyed
military vehicles throughout
Iraq. The tools help them to cut
away obstacles from stuck
vehicles as well as get inside of
vehicles in the event someone is
trapped inside. (U.S. Air Force
photo/ Master Sgt. Heather
Cabral)
Troops and Contractors
Come into Conflict in Iraq
by Eric Westervelt    NPR Radio
June 13, 2005
Zapata Security Contractors

The Trucker's War: On
The  Road In Iraq - NPR
Radio-Trucks travel as fast
as possible, on poor
highways, to avoid
ambushes. This blaze is
the aftermath of an
accident when one truck
rear-ended another on
Main Supply Route
Tampa, a north-south
highway in Iraq. One
driver was killed in the
inciden
t.

On the ground in Iraq, a
Surge of Deterioration Carl
Conetta, co-director of the
Project on Defense
Alternatives, Dahr Jamail,
Independent Journalist,
covering the Middle East.
His most recent article on
Tom Dispatch: Iraq on My
Mind, Thousands of Stories
to Tell -- And No One to
Listen,  U.S. Contractors in
Iraq and at home Jeremy
Scahill, author of
Blackwater,
The Rise of World’s Most
Powerful Mercenary Army,

Jana Crowder, owner of  website,
AmericanContractorsinIraq.com for
contractors seeking help.
Cindy Morgan, former
Civilian Contractor and also
author of "Cindy in Iraq, a
civilian year in a war zone”

Read More about
Cindy!
Click Now to listen to KPFA radio show
kBR Warning for Truckers in Iraq
-Reference materials' site for
The Constant American.

(70,000)“third-country
nationals” work for the
American military in war
zones; many report being
held in conditions
resembling indentured
servitude by subcontractors
who operate outside the law.

Victims of Complacency: The
Ongoing Trafficking and
Abuse of Third Country
Nationals by U.S. Government
Contractors

  • Watch where you say and post on the Internet and careful
    whom you talk to.   STAY AWAY from POSTING on BLOGS.  If
    your injured this is especially true;  if you have a case,
    remember: this can damage your case and stop disability
    payments.  

  • Worse, it makes you look like just another HOSTILE
    EMPLOYEE!  NO-ONE take Hostile people SERIOUSLY.

  • KEY: Just having your name mentioned in a New Paper can do
    you harm.

  • Some may tell you this is illegal, but due to the Nature of these
    Missions these companies will and can do what ever it takes to
    Shut One Up and to keep others from following along in those
    foot steps.  .  (Talking to a contractors the other day and found
    that he was injured working for KBR and went throught the
    DBA Court process in 6 month and was finished.

  • This is "At Will employment".  - Making rules as they go in a
    War zone is legal, due to the circumstances and nature of the
    job.  
    So don't be expecting American Law to save your Job...
Contractors Overseas Jobs




Military Contractor Vets


Find More Jobs HERE


Hire or Something More? - The word mercenary itself elicits
even further negative views of killers without morals who,
according to Kim Nossal of McCaster University, ‘are
commonly assumed to live in a nether world of clandestine
recruitment…

Written by:
Matthew Barnes, MA Candidate
IDC, Herzliya, Lauder School of Government
2010
WELCOME
TRAINING
RADIO SHOWS
REFERENCE DESK
Research and Reports
Stress
Published August 17, 2005
FoxNews.com

Private workers left helpless after war’s stress -Telegram
By James Risen THE NEW YORK TIMES

'Contractors' in Iraq outnumber US troops:  United for Peace in
Pierce Country
Friday, 06 July 2007

In outsourced U.S. wars, contractor deaths top 1,000
World Armed Forces
July 4 2007

Industry Talk: Mission Critical Psychological Services
Feral Jundi

Government Contractors: Hidden Casualties, PTSD

The Middle East’s Contractor Problem January 8, 2013 -  Afghan
President Hamid Karzai is spending the week in Washington D.C. He
is meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama as well as other senior
administration officials, and the talks are expected to help set the
framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after the bulk of
American and NATO forces leave at the end of 2014. However, even
when the American military pulls the majority of its troops out of
Afghanistan, there will still be a huge American presence in the
country.

Private Contractors in Conflict Zones:
The Good, the Bad, and the Strategic Impact- Dr. T.X. Hammes, a
retired U.S. Marine Corps officer, is a Senior Research Fellow in the
Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies,
at the National Defense University. this article was originally
published as Institute for National Strategic Studies Strategic Forum
260
By T.X. Hammes
(NDU Press, November 2010)
.

Warzone Contractors Boost Market for America’s Number-One
Export: Lawsuits- "The presence of contractors in warzones is
growing by the day. More than 150,000 are in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Also on the rise is the level of scrutiny they receive from the U.S.
government and international organizations, in addition to more
cutthroat competition from peer firms. As a result, contractors are
creating an increasingly lucrative industry for law firms.
Attorneys
who represent battlefield contractors are busier than ever. They are
dealing with investigations, battlefield torts, employment litigation,
international lawsuits, defense contractor disputes and the complex
laws of armed conflict. The large presence of U.S. troops and
contractors in warzones has opened the floodgates of litigation as
foreign governments and firms discover the high-stakes payoffs of the
American legal system."
written by:
www.nationaldefensemagazine



Contractors on the Battlefield: Outsourcing of Military Services   
March 2011    
By Denis Chamberland  


At today’s Senate hearing on Afghanistan, a noteworthy discussion
about the role of contractors. Sen. McCaskill demands more
oversight from Defense and State..."McCaskill expressed concern to
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
about the growing number of contractors supporting U.S. forces
there. There are currently 75,000 contractors in Afghanistan,
supporting 71,000 U.S. troops. In addition, there are 5,200 security
contractors working for the State Department. McCaskill seemed
alarmed by the large percentage of Afghans who are part of that
contractor work force --- 50,000 of the 75,000
battlefield contractors
and 5,000 of the 5,200 security contractors are Afghan nationals.
Clinton said the decision to employ so many Afghans was somewhat
intentional. But she assured McCaskill that they were being properly
monitored. Also at the hearing, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Adm. Michael Mullen, said that hiring Afghans makes sense because
it brings money into the local economy and contributes to stability."

Veteran fights VA over exposure to burn pits-The Department of
Veterans Affairs acknowledges that Wymore's health problems are
war-related.

But the VA believes his condition may improve. Because of that, the
VA has yet to declare Wymore permanently disabled. As a result, his
family is not eligible for many benefits. Those include medical
insurance for his wife and college costs for their three sons. Also,
Wymore worries that should he die, the VA will not pay a survivor's
benefit to his wife unless she can prove his death is directly related
to his military service, a challenge he doesn't want to put her through.

Contractors Using Military Clinics
Military clinics and field hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan have
supplied more than $1 million a month in health-care services to
civilian contractors during the past two years without seeking
reimbursement from their employers, as provided by law, according
to a new audit by the Defense Department inspector general.
Investigators cited cases in which contractors were hospitalized with
heart problems, pneumonia, an accidental self-inflicted gun shot or
injuries from a blast, but the medical facilities did not bill the
patients' employers for $141,340 for their stays. At the time, the
military did have rates of $2,041 a day for nonmilitary inpatients and
$195 per visit for outpatients.

Two contractors, Blackwater Worldwide, now known as Xe, and KBR,
operated medical facilities for their own personnel and for other
nonmilitary people. The cost of those facilities was included in their
overall contracts, but the IG investigators said the contractors did
not break out what they were charging the Army overall for the
medical treatment they were providing.

The IG found that military medical units had incomplete or
inaccurate records. For example, in a sampling of about 200 records,
13 percent incorrectly identified patients as contractors, 22 percent
had duplicate entries, and 25 percent showed discrepancies between
computer and paper records.
In May 2007, Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the commander of Multi-
National Force-Iraq, wrote the Pentagon that the medical facilities
were under increased demands because of the treatment provided to
contractors and that they were consuming "precious resources that
should be used in providing care to coalition military forces." The
reply was that Defense officials would look into the matter and
explore options. As of last month, according to the IG report, no
alternative option had been put forward.
Washington Post
2009

AIG faces hearing on denial of medical claims by contractors injured
in iraq and afghanistan

AIG faces inquiry over medical care for U.S. contractors-  A lawmaker
seeks to investigate whether the insurance giant and others denied
treatment to civilian workers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
LA Times
2009

Kucinich Asks AIG Why It’s Denying Claims From Injured
Contractors in Iraq

Iraq detains US contractors -US private security contractors securing
the site where a roadside bomb exploded near the Iranian embassy
in central Baghdad (AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye)

Breaking ground in Iraq
February 27, 2013 by David Snook
Lebanese company Robert’s Group is due to open its first family
entertainment centre in Iraq next month. The selected location, with
a local partner, is a standalone outlet with 40 games and is in
Baghdad.  The new unit is currently in the final stages of completion
and will be the subject of a formal opening on a date to be set by the
company. Robert’s Group, founded by Robert Elias, a noted
Lebanese operator and distributor, is now run by his son, Georges as
COO and he plans a string of locations across Iraq, notably with a
3,000sq.ft flagship store in 2014.
“Most amusement outlets in Iraq,” said Elias, “are actually
restaurants with a small area set aside for a few games. We believe
that ours will be the first purpose-built FEC to enter the market.”  A
full report on the company’s investment in Iraq and its other
activities will appear in InterGame’s Middle East Special Issue in
April.


Tue, Feb 26, 2013
中文 US EUROPE AFRICA ASIA PACIFIC
CHINA DAILY
Afghanistan expels special forces
After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals
named as US special forces stationed in Wardak province were
engaging in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering
innocent people," Faizi added.
Longtime plague-
The US military has said it will discuss the issue with Afghan officials
and it takes seriously all allegations of misconduct.
Wardak is a deeply troubled flashpoint where a Chinook helicopter
was shot down by the Taliban in August 2011, killing eight Afghans
and 30 US citizens - the deadliest single incident for US troops in the
entire war.  Analysts suggested the order underscored Kabul's
growing distrust of US-led international troops and their desire to
control local militia, trained by the US but which operate without
their knowledge in the war against the Taliban.
Relations between Karzai and Washington have long been troubled,
and with the bulk of NATO's 100,000 combat soldiers due to leave
and the Afghan president to step down next year, there is huge
uncertainty about the future.  "It appears to be an on-the-spot,
emotional decision, based on a long-standing frustration that there
are forces, ... Afghan and international, that are uncontrollable," said
Martine van Bijlert of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
The New York Times quoted Afghan officials as saying that the order
was taken as a last resort after they had tried and failed to get the
coalition to cooperate with an investigation into claims of murder
and torture.


Iraq Contractors Convene in Tennessee
by Ann Lloyd
February 12, 2007
The first meeting of contractors who have served in Iraq was held in
Tennessee this weekend. The event aimed to give contractors a
chance to discuss their experiences and get advice for adjusting to life
back at home.

What are the pros and cons of private contractors, such as Blackwater
and Halliburton, in Iraq?


Profitting off injured contract workers in Iraq Henry Waxman, the U.
S. Congressman representing California’s 30th District, which
includes West Hollywood and Beverley Hills, is spittin’ mad at
private contractors in Iraq. According to CNN, Waxman raged
yesterday that the Pentagon allows private contractors to negotiate
worker’s compensation without any major concern for competition
between insurance providers to make sure taxpayers get a good deal.
See, we bankroll workers’ comp for such companies, but the state
department, the corps of engineers and other federal bodies that
aren't the Pentagon make carriers compete to offer the federal
government their coverage.
Meanwhile, insurance providers that sell the insurance to contractors
for the defense department, like KBR and Blackwater, who then send
us the bill, make huge profits of nearly 40 percent, according to
Waxman. CNN quoted Waxman saying that during the last half
decade, the four largest private insurers have made almost $600
million in profits through this system. Waxman made the comments
at a Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing to
discuss procurement waste in the Pentagon where he said audits
have shown the defense department model for workers’ comp is
dysfunctional. In one case, Waxman says, KBR paid the AIG
insurance company $284 million for workers’ comp, but according to
the congressman via CNN:
“Since KBR's contract is a cost-plus contract, this $284 million
premium, plus a mark-up for KBR of up to $8 million, gets billed to
the taxpayer, bringing the total costs to the taxpayer to $292 million.
Out of this amount, just $73 million actually goes to injured
contractors, and AIG and KBR pocket over $100 million as profit....
What makes the situation even worse is the people this program is
supposed to benefit -- the injured employees working for contractors
-- have to fight the insurance companies to get their benefits.
"Delays and denials in paying claims are the rule.”
The last good piece we saw on workplace injuries among contract
workers in Iraq and Afghanistan appeared in the Texas Observer not
long ago and described the rising rate of PTSD among them. The
New York Times says that more than 900 contractors have been
killed in Iraq and 12,000 more injured since the start of the war.

A Soldiers Perspective from Military Gear.com
Screwed By Halliburton – Help Them
The Washington Post reported today that the Army is to end the
exclusive contracts that Halliburton has been enjoying since 2003. At
first, I didn’t mind this because there aren’t too many defense
contractors who can handle the massive task that Halliburton was
hired to do. We’ve been finding out little by little that even the
mighty Halliburton isn’t God and can’t do it all.


Under the deal, Halliburton had exclusive rights to provide the
military with a wide range of work that included keeping
soldiers around the world fed, sheltered and in communication
with friends and family back home. Government audits turned
up more than $1 billion in questionable costs. Whistle-blowers
told how the company charged $45 per case of soda, double-
billed on meals and allowed troops to bathe in contaminated
water.

This isn’t the least of Halliburton’s problems. It turns out that
Halliburton is having trouble taking care of its own people
injured in Iraq as well.


PTSD Conference – Day 2
Knoxville, TN., the VFW Post 1733 donated it building to the Civilian
Contractors from Iraq and Afghanistan for a conference on PTSD. The
doors were open to any and all Veterans, from any War as well as the
civilian contractors. The conference was held to educate and inform
all of what PTSD was and the treatments available. We even had a
Vietnam Veteran that has been suffering from PTSD ever since he
came home. It was hard for him to believe that it may be possible
that he could be healed, that he didn’t have to live with this another
day.

BlogTalkRadio/AmericanCondtractorsInIraq


IndyMedia
He said his clients told him that Marines had "slammed around"
several contractors, stripped them to their underwear and placed a
loaded weapon near their heads.
"How does it feel to be a big, rich contractor now?" the Marines
shouted at the men, Schopper said, in an apparent reference to the
large salaries security contractors can make in Iraq.

KBR Salaries, Bonuses and Benefits. INDEED.COM
If you are going to give them advice, give it all. Tell them about the
nearly 1000 KBR deaths, 1000's of injuries, with no restitution. Waste
Fraud and Abuse, that is currently under investigation. The 1000's of
people that are coming home with diseases and conditions never
seen before in the US. Severe PTST. The assaults, the rapes. And KBR
has just turns their back.
The fact that the government has gotten involved and had made
shell companies like SEII liable for payroll taxes s just a start.


DemocraticUnderground.com
Iraq has a Government: Can we Please Come Home Now?  Iraq has a
Government: Can we Please Come Home Now?
Iraq has marked three milestones this fall. The formal military
mission of US troops was ended by President Obama on August 31,
and while about 50,000 troops remain, some of them occasionally
engaged in combat at the invitation of the Iraqi government, there
are no large US military campaigns. The remaining 50,000 troops are
scheduled to be out of the country on December 31, 2011, and newly
reinstalled prime minister Nuri al-Maliki is insisting that the deadline
will be met. While many Americans are skeptical that the withdrawal
will take place on time, so far it has been running according to
schedule. And it should be remembered that US foot-dragging could
revive the Mahdi Army and other anti-American militias, who will
not put up with a long-term US military presence in their country. As
the number of US troops shrinks, they become more vulnerable to
militia attack.  Second, last week the United Nations Security Council
removed Chapter 7 restrictions on Iraq, which had established the
‘food for oil’ program that restricted Iraqi petroleum exports and
forbade it to have even civilian nuclear energy. Iraq had been in a
kind of UN receivership, but as of July 2011 will again become a fully
sovereign nation in the law.  Third, Iraq finally formed a new
government of national unity, headed by incumbent prime minister
Nuri al-Maliki The new government is from the point of view of the
US and Saudi Arabia too close to Iran (and it is in fact a result of
Iranian intervention in Iraqi political affairs, since Iran convinced the
Iraqi Shiites to cooperate with one another, creating momentum for
Nuri al-Maliki to gain a second term).

Contractor Armies Thrive in Iraq
180,000 civilians working in legal limbo
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff

An Invisible Army... MOVIE SCRIPT!
A single mother of three boys and a truck driver in heart of Arkansas,
Cindy Morgan is use to tough times and keeping up in a manʼs world.
But when the company she drives for closes itʼs doors for good, Cindy
is faced with losing her house and her kids.  With no hope of work in
town, Cindy falls into despair until a former coworker tells her of a
good paying driving job. Only this job is not anywhere near town. Itʼs
not even in the country. Itʼs driving supplies for the troops in Iraq.
Faced with losing her kids or risking the dangers of war, Cindy heads
straight toward the biggest challenge of her life.  “It was one year ago
today that I kissed my 3 boys goodbye, hopped on the back of my
Dadʼs motorcycle and made the drive to the airport to catch the
plane to Baghdad.”  This script is inspired by true story of Cindy
Morgan, a former welfare mother and truck driver from Arkansas ,
whose life was forever changed by working in Iraq  as a civilian
contractor for G.U.T. a company that hires civilians to drive supplies
to the military bases

Contractors in Iraq-RockyFlats
Events involving U.S. contractors in Iraq since the troop withdrawal
do not bode well for diplomatic relations between the two countries.
A New York Times article by Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt
published in January 2012 describes how Iraqi authorities had
detained “…a few hundred contractors in recent weeks…”

Total War Center: Blackwater license being pulled in Iraq
Contractors die in scores while corporate lackeys make millions. A
micrography of all this war.

FederalJack.com
AIG systematically denies claims of injured US contractors

Bloomberg ...Halliburton,
KBR Burn Pit Suit Thrown Out by U.S.
Judge
Halliburton Co. (HAL) and KBR Inc. are entitled to the same legal
protection as U.S. armed forces when serving as military contractors,
a judge ruled, dismissing claims over so-called burn pits in Iraq and
Afghanistan.
U.S. District Judge Roger Titus threw out 57 consolidated lawsuits
against the companies brought mainly by military personnel who
claim they suffered damaging health effects from exposure to the
contractors’ pits, where items including medical waste, paints and
pesticides are burned in war zones. “The critical interests of the
United States could be compromised if military contractors were left
‘holding the bag’ for claims made by military and other personnel
that could not be made against the military itself,” Titus said in a
decision released yesterday in Greenbelt, Maryland.

End of Immunity Worries U.S. Contractors in Iraq WASHINGTON —
The thousands of American contractors in Iraq who have been above
Iraqi law since the war began are suddenly facing a new era in which
their United States passports will no longer protect them from arrest
and imprisonment.

Three years ago, at a party thrown by U.S. civilian contractors in Iraq,
a young ex-Marine named Jason Pope was shot to death by a
drunken co-worker. Now, his family has filed a lawsuit in federal
court claiming the military contractor, DynCorp International, and 12
of its employees conspired to cover up exactly how Pope died.
ABC News 2012

New Bill Would Let Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Apply Their
Experience to City Trade Licenses- Veterans who’ve returned home
from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will be able to use their military
experience to qualify for plubming, electrical and other trade
liceneses under a new bill in the City Council.
March 2013

Fallen DynCorp employees honored with Defense of Freedom medals
DynCorp held a ceremony to honor 17 employees who were killed in
Iraq and Afghanistan.  The DynCorp employees were killed between
2004 and 2011, and were working on State Department contracts
providing police training, according to a company press release.

PAE Employee Posthumously Honored with Defense of Freedom
Medal- a PAE employee who was killed in 2007 while deployed to
Afghanistan, was honored with the Defense of Freedom medal in a
ceremony held last weekend in Gilbert, Ariz.  Ramirez was killed by a
suicide bomber while supporting the U.S. Department of State
Corrections System Support Program, through which she mentored,
trained and advised prison officials within the Afghan corrections
system and advocated for the humane treatment of incarcerated
Afghans, with a special focus on the rights of female prisoners.  PAE
hosted the medal presentation ceremony in Ramirez's home state,
where she had previously served as a corrections officer and where
her family currently resides.

Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed -January 2nd, 2013
Author: Jon Robinson
When a federal enabling statute provides an exclusive remedy (like
the LHWCA and DBA), RICO actions are barred.  Here, the Plaintiffs
claim that the Defendants conspired to “[make] misrepresent[ations]
to injured parties and the DOL and commit crimes under the DBA by
denying claims using fraud….”  But Section 31(c) of the LHWCA
already provides criminal penalties for the same conduct.  The same
is true for the Plaintiffs’ mail and wire fraud claims: Section 14 of the
LHWCA has a comprehensive system of financial penalties.   
Therefore, because the LHWCA and DBA already provide remedies
for the alleged wrong, the Plaintiffs could not maintain their RICO
claims.

Finally, Plaintiffs did not state the essential elements of either a
failure to accommodate or a disability discrimination under the
ADA.  To establish a prima facie case of unlawful discrimination
based on a failure to accommodate under the ADA, a plaintiff must
show that: (1) he is a qualified individual with a disability within the
meaning of the ADA; (2) that the employer had notice of his
disability; (3) there was some reasonable accommodation denied to
him; and (4) such accommodation would have enabled him to
perform the essential functions of this job.  Here, the Plaintiffs made
“only conclusory allegations” regarding their status as qualified
individuals, and they failed to allege that they requested job
accommodations which their employer denied.  ***Brink v.  XE
Holding, LLC, — F.Supp.2d —-, No. 11-1733, slip op. (D.D.C. Dec. 21,
2012).

Iraq Veterans Awarded $85M in Personal Injury Lawsuit Against KBR,
Halliburton
12 soldiers who became ill after serving in the Iraq war have been
awarded an $85 million settlement in their personal injury lawsuit
against American military contractor Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR).   
In their lawsuit, the first concerning soldiers’ exposure to a toxin at a
water plant in southern Iraq, the servicemen allege that KBR was
negligent. Specifically, they claim that as a result of exposure to
sodium dichromate, they now suffer from respiratory diseases.
Furthermore, they are deeply concerned that a carcinogen the toxin
contains, hexavalent chromium, could cause cancer later in life.   
Each of the dozen Army National Guardsman involved in the lawsuit
was awarded $850,000 in non-economic damages and another $6.25
million in punitive damages for "reckless and outrageous
indifference" to their health.  









KBR vs. Army: On largest services contract, 'things have gotten very
nasty'
Outsourcing military services
is in vogue. Why?

I think that the main reason
that we're seeing this
aggressive push to outsource
military services is there's a
tremendous amount of
military. As a general rule,
when we talk about a smaller
military, people think of having
more war fighters or more
trigger pullers.

So what that means is anything
that isn't associated with more
fighting … is deemed to be
something that the private
sector can provide. And there's
been a tremendous amount of
pressure on that as we
downsized the came down.

But if you're downsizing the
military by outsourcing the
functions, are you really
downsizing the military, or
are you just hiring other
people to do the jobs that
soldiers used to do?





Schooner is an expert on
military contracting and a
professor at The George
Washington University Law
School. He previously served as
the associate administrator for
procurement law and
legislation at the Office of
Federal Procurement Policy in
the Office of Management and
Budget. Schooner says that
private contractors like KBR
[Halliburton subsidiary
Kellogg, Brown and Root] are
doing a good job in Iraq under
the circumstances. "Regardless
of the marginal dollars
involved, KBR has fed our
troops, housed our troops,
provided showers, water,
laundry and the like," he tells
FRONTLINE. "They've lost a
staggering number of
personnel. They have had a
tremendous number of people
injured. And the bottom line is
they've been slaughtered in the
court of public opinion, and
they haven't left." But Schooner
is critical of the Pentagon for
not having enough personnel
to manage the contracts and
says that it has become overly
reliant on the private
companies. "When I was a
young Army officer, as I
learned the military doctrine ...
The military relied on
contractors on the battlefield
only to the extent that they
could fight without the
contractors," he says. "That's
simply no longer the case."
This is the edited transcript of
an interview conducted on May
19, 2005.

READ MORE from
PBS Front
Line
www.warzoneworkers.com
centuries ago -- private
contractors operated in war
zones. Two specialists on
international politics and the
military's use of private
contractors offer some history
Long before Iraq -- in fact,
Long before Iraq -- in fact,
centuries ago -- private
contractors operated in war
zones. Two specialists on
international politics and the
military's use of private
contractors offer some history
and context for how we should
understand these companies
and the evolution of their use.
Schooner
Private contractors: 250,000 mercenaries fighting the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan
MELANGE
supporting global, social & ecological justice, cultural
expression and the technological revolution
Security Contractors Blackwater
Many companies hold contracts
with the United States Agency
for International Development
economic and humanitarian
assistance worldwide for over 40
years.  These employees work in
the most uncertain and unstable
of conditions -   to restore,
essential life sustaining services,
providing the solid foundation for
many countries as well as our
Military. They exhibit the
creativity, hard work, and
sacrifice necessary to overcome
the challenges presented by a
unique and hostile environment.  
Their contributions and
commitment to this historic
effort, will benefit not only the
soldiers, but the people of Iraq
and Afghanistan for generations
to come, and will be gratefully
acknowledged and recognized.  
These are your American
Contractors!
written by: Jana Crowder
Supporting Americans Working in War Zones. Hi, I'm Jana
and it's come to my attention that we have completely
forgotten about American Contractors working in Iraq and
Afghanistan.  It seems with all the negative impact on
medical neglect and burn pits, by KBR, the Private Security
Scandals... We have forgotten and overlooked the positive
side our U.S. Contractor supporting our troops.  Without
them (American Contractors) our Troops couldn't win the
war on terrorism!  

After reading a Book mailed to me by a Truck Driver/
Pastor in Iraq, called
"Other Sons and Daughters" it really
moved me and opened my eye's to the life experience's one
will endure.  He really gives you a day to day look at
operations on military base and working for KBR.  Even
though he was injured, has an attorney and fighting for  
medical with AIG, he told me he'd do it all over again!  
Thats a true Cowboy!   These American contractors are our
Unsung Hero's!

KBR CEO Jeff Rock write an awesome review and Ranks this
book with
5 STARS!
Security Contractors Play By 'Big Boy Rules' In Iraq

Washington Post reporter Steve Fainaru has extensively
covered the "parallel army" of private security
contractors. His book Big Boy Rules: America's
Mercenaries Fighting In Iraq, details the tens of
thousands of "mercs" who arrived in Iraq in the absence
of sufficient levels of U.S. troops.
Steve Fainaru reports on private security and
largely hidden war in Iraq.
Steve Fainaru is among the pre-eminent
investigative reporters; Fainaru won the Pulitzer
Prize for International Reporting in 2008 for his
10-part series on widespread abuses involving
Blackwater and other private security contractors
in Iraq. His work, the culmination of three years
covering the Iraq war, led to major changes in
the way private security companies are
employed and managed by the U.S. government.

Fainaru began his career with the San Jose
Mercury News, where he covered sports. He
later worked at the Boston Globe before moving
to the Washington Post. He is the author of two
books, Big Boy Rules: American Mercenaries
Fighting in Iraq (Da Capo, 2008) and The Duke
of Havana: Baseball, Cuba and the Search for the
American Dream (Villard, 2000).

Fainaru wrote
Private Armies, a series of
articles about private security contractors, which
was published in The Washington Post.

Soldier of Misfortune
Adapted from "Big Boy Rules: America's
Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq" (Da Capo Press,
2008)

For Missing Guards' Kin, An Agonizing
Conclusion (Post, March 30, 2008, Page A01)

ABDUCTIONS: Authorities Identify Remains Of
Two American Contractors (Post, March 25,
2008, Page A10)

Five Severed Fingers Identified as Belonging To
Guards Held in Iraq: Four Are From Men
Missing 16 Months (Post, March 13, 2008, Page
A12)

Warnings Unheeded On Guards In Iraq: Despite
Shootings, Security Companies Expanded
Presence (Post, December 24, 2007, Page A01)

Iraqis Detail Shooting by Guard Firm: Same
Company Involved In Fatal October Incident
(Post, November 26, 2007, Page A01)

Grand Jury to Probe Shootings by Guards:
Blackwater Among Contractors Facing Scrutiny
(Post, November 20, 2007, Page A10)

How Blackwater Sniper Fire Felled 3 Iraqi
Guards: Witnesses Call Shooting From Justice
Ministry Unprovoked, But State Dept. Cleared
Its Security Team After a Brief Probe (Post,
November 8, 2007, Page A01)

Blackwater Faced Bedlam, Embassy Finds: 'First
Blush' Report Raises New Questions on
Shooting (Post, September 28, 2007, Page A01)

U.S. Repeatedly Rebuffed Iraq on Blackwater
Complaints (Post, September 23, 2007, Page A18)

Where Military Rules Don't Apply : Blackwater's
Security Force in Iraq Given Wide Latitude by
State Dept. (Post, September 20, 2007, Page A01)

Cutting Costs, Bending Rules, And a Trail of
Broken Lives: Ambush in Iraq Last November
Left Four Americans Missing And a String of
Questions About the Firm They Worked For
(Post, July 29, 2007, Page A01)

In Iraq, a Private Realm Of
Intelligence-Gathering: Firm Extends U.S.
Government's Reach (Post, July 1, 2007, Page
A01)

Iraq Contractors Face Growing Parallel War: As
Security Work Increases, So Do Casualties (Post,
June 16, 2007, Page A01)

Contractor Says Army Unfairly Closed Bidding
(Post, June 7, 2007, Page D03)

Judge Halts Award Of Iraq Contract (Post, June
2, 2007, Page D01)

U.S. Security Contractors Open Fire in Baghdad:
Blackwater Employees Were Involved in Two
Shooting Incidents in Past Week (Post, May 27,
2007, Page A01)

Second British Firm Bids for Iraq Security
Contract (Post, May 12, 2007, Page D01)

Firms Protest Exclusion From Iraq Security Bid
(Post, May 5, 2007, Page D01)

Abduction of Americans Reflects Fraying
Security in Iraqi South (Post, November 18,
2006, Page A01)

U.S. Soldier Gets 25 Years In Murder of Iraqi
Guard: Five GIs Killed in Insurgent Attacks
(Post, September 26, 2004, Page A26)

Militants Behead Kurdish Hostages: 2nd Group
Says It Holds Iraqi Guardsmen (Post, September
20, 2004, Page A16)

2 Soldiers Among 21 Killed in Iraq Blasts: New
Video Purports To Show U.S. Hostages (Post,
September 19, 2004, Page A01)
Private Security Contractors
Dangerous Drives “Iraq Convoy”
The SPEEDCHANNEL

Riding with drivers who have some of the most dangerous
jobs in the world.
KBR Convoy Ambush with Preston Wheeler  

Recently asked to reflect on his career, Phinney responded:
“I’ve been hounded by wire taps and my computers have been
hacked countless times. Been tracked down by private
investigators working for Lebanese crooks in dark bars where
they ply me with questions and mumble threats. Slave dealers
in the Philippines chased me through jungles; Kuwaiti sheiks
put a price on my head. I’ve worked in war zones without a gun
for months; found snakes in my hotel rooms; put politicians in
jail; busted slave traffickers; publicly exposed swindlers who
were then dragged before Congress. I’ve paid a price, but I’m
still standing. What are my politics? The Tooth Fairy.”

As a one-time publishing executive and editor, Phinney co-
founded Bay City Publications in the San Francisco Bay
Area, publisher of the Bay City Business Journal and the
Emeryville Guardian. The two publications became widely
recognized for investigative work that exposed political
corruption and real estate scandals in California . That
award-winning reporting was the basis for the
documentary “Million-Dollar Mudflats” and was frequently
reiterated (without credit) by reporters at much larger
news organizations throughout the Golden State , The
New York Times and NBC News.
The Benefits of Working Overseas as a Contractor-
"Many overseas contracting opportunities can be found now
throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As you might
suspect, the competition for those jobs can be intense.

Being the worldly one you are, you also know that a typical day at
the office in London, Brussels or Munich can be significantly
different from one in Kabul, Baghdad or Manama. Choose your
OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States) professional
poison wisely.

Whether your lust for an overseas job adventure leads towards fish
and chips, chocolate and
lederhosen or more in the direction of a
highway to any number of danger zones, you’ll find that working
overseas has definite benefits worth packing your bags.

Aside from an intrinsic lust for travel and adventure, there is
money, pure and simple. Highly skilled employees get paid
exceptionally well for doing the same job they might have done in
the military for far less. Your payday has come, gentle warrior.

Of course, what you earn in a base pay depends on your
qualifications, the job in question and the employer who hires you.

Some surveys peg-starting salaries for positions in Iraq at $91,000
and $99,000 in Afghanistan. It is not uncommon to find
opportunities paying well over $100,000 in base pay alone.

The buck doesn’t stop at base pay, either, making overseas
employment even more enticing. There can also be a whole host of
other monies and benefits involved as well, depending on the
assignment:

  • Hostile fire zone/danger pay
  • Bonus incentives
  • Cost of living allowances
  • Housing allowances
  • Transportation
  • Paid meals
  • Paid vacations, holidays and personal time off
  • Medical/dental for yourself and family members
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
  • 401(k) or similar retirement plans
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Tuition Reimbursement

There are also potential tax benefits to working overseas in the
form of what the IRS calls Foreign Earned Income. In 2010, up to
$91,500 of one’s salary was tax-free. Additionally, housing expenses
or a portion of them might also be exempt from federal taxes. For
more information, visit the IRS on line or hire yourself a good CPA.
"
written by: Janet Farley
ClaranceJobs.Com
HISTORY
THE LATEST NEWS LIVE FROM THE FRONT LINE
American Contractor.Com
A.C. is a U.S. Army as a Senior Weapons Sergeant with the
5th Special Forces Group, FT. Campbell, KY.  As a former
Green Beret he served honorably and is also a Gulf War
veteran.  In 2003 he became a civilian contractor and still is
abroad.  
Companies Expanding Overseas Create U.S. Jobs, Study Says-
When companies trade or invest overseas, it fuels hiring and
investment in the U.S., the
Business Roundtable and the United
States Council for International Business said in the study released
today. The groups suggest that U.S. policies and trade agreements
be flexible to accommodate opportunities for companies to
generate business, products or customers abroad.
By Elizabeth Dexheimer - Dec 4, 2012

KBR selected to Provide Construction Management Services – Abu
Dhabi-
KBR will be responsible for managing various contractors’ costs,
schedules, quality, contract administration and risks. The scope of
the utilities work includes over 60 miles of gravity storm and
sanitary sewer, potable water, chill water and fire water piping and
over 25 miles of power and telecommunication duct banks, a
Central Utility Plant, a highway interchange, airside and landside
roads, cooling stations and standby power generation for a new
Midfield Terminal and other airport commercial users
Contractors Overseas get $95,100 Tax Free in 2012- "The U.S.
has tax treaties with many countries, which allows the federal
government to exchange data on its citizens living in other
countries for tax purposes. Most importantly, if you do not file
a tax return for a given tax year, the statute of limitations on
that year never runs out.

If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien of the United States
and you live or work abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide
income. However, you may qualify to exclude from income up
to an amount of your foreign earnings that is now adjusted for
inflation $91,400 for 2009, $91,500 for 2010, $92,900 for 2011,
$95,100 for 2012 and $97,600 for tax year 2013.

In addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing
amounts according to www.irs.gov. You may also be entitled
to exclude from income the value of meals and lodging
provided to you by your employer. Refer to Exclusion of Meals
and Lodging in Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and
Resident Aliens Abroad, and Publication 15-B, Employer’s Tax
Guide to Fringe Benefits for more information.

In 2013, Various Tax Benefits Increase Due to Inflation
Adjustments such as:
◦The annual exclusion for gifts rises to $14,000 for 2013, up
from $13,000 for 2012.
Your-POC.com
February 5, 2013
USE COMMON SENSE -  
Truck drivers / Employee's for
KBR and All other companies,
highly included are security are
forbidden to speak to reporters
while in Iraq.
The electronic message to KBR
truckers reinforces that policy.  
This will get you fired and/ or
later it can hurt and delay any  
medical / disability claim you
might have.  
Don't forget to listen to the PTSD Song
"Talking Blues"
PBS Frontline -High Risk Contracting
Business
The notorious killings of four Blackwater security contractors
in Fallujah in March 2004 and the news coverage about their
lives offered a glimpse into the world of the people attracted
to this work. Their deaths also triggered growing concerns
about the regulation and accountability of private security
contracting firms. UPDATE: In late September 2006, the U.S.
Army said Blackwater wasn't authorized to guard convoys or
carry weapons (read more in this Charlotte News & Observer
article). Congressional observers predict that if the
Democrats win the House and/or Senate in November,
private contractors like Blackwater will be a focus in new
hearings on the war in Iraq.

On March 31, 2004, four men working for Blackwater USA as security
guards -- Scott Helvenston, Wesley Batalona, Jerry Zovko and Michael
Teague -- were ambushed by insurgents in Fallujah. They were killed,
their bodies burned and mutilated, and two were strung up on a bridge
over the Euphrates. The insurgents made their own video of the attack,
broadcasting the images around the world
.
+ Aegis Iraq PSD Teams
This site states it "does not belong to
AEGIS DEFENSE LTD, it belongs to the
men on the ground who are the heart and
soul of the company." UPDATE: The site
drew media attention when it briefly
hosted a video clip, set to music, that
appeared to show a private security
convoy shooting freely at Iraqi civilian
vehicles as it traveled along Iraq's roads.
The clip is no longer on the site but can
be viewed here. London's Sunday
Telegraph wrote about the video and
Aegis subsequently released a statement
saying it had established a "formal board
of enquiry, in cooperation with the U.S.
military authorities, to investigate
whether the footage has any connection
with the company, and should this prove
to be the case, under what circumstances
any incident took place." In April 2006
AEGIS announced both investigations
had concluded the footage was recorded
during legitimate operations, no rules of
engagement were violated, and the film
had been taken out of context and
therefore was misleading.
There's other video on the Aegis site:
"Short Contact on Irish rear gunner
reacts" appears to show gunfire directed
at a vehicle on Route Irish, the road to
the airport; "VBIED at Check Point"
shows a car bomb at a security
checkpoint. The site also has photos and
training information.



MUSIC- by Civilian Contractor
Tommy Reddick, a private military
contractor who served four tours in Iraq
working outside the wire, shares how Red
Wing Boots are the best shoes for men
who do real work.


IN THE NEWS
A contractor’s dream come true, Redneck
Girls & Cowboys is a musical experience
bathed in blood, sweat and tears…
literally. It’s not hard to miss how the
humorous content dispersed throughout
was an escape to better, lighter times. Its
beginnings are extraordinary, for each
song was written by Tommy while
serving his tours in Iraq, outside the wire,
traveling from base to base. When an
idea for a song was had, he would call
from Iraq to his home in Florida and sing
the lyrics over his answering machine.
Over 30-40 messages were left to himself
containing snippets of verses, choruses
and phrases. He didn’t want to miss or
lose a single idea. The title cut from the
album, Redneck Girls & Cowboys was
written while waiting to enter the military
base, Camp Liberty. Shortly before
crossing the line, an IED was spotted and
EOD was summoned to explode and
remove the daisy chain of IEDs. While in
his vehicle Tommy made use of the down
time by writing the song ideas on
whatever “materials” he could find in his
military vehicle.

Once back in Nashville, it was those
answering machine audio recordings,
scraps of paper and materials that guided
musicians and background vocalists
during the tracking session. Tommy
would have them wait while he called up
his answering machine via speaker
phone. All the musicians and producers
would circle around it and listen to the
messages no less than 20-40 times in
order to write the musical charts for the
tracking session.

To say the creation of this album was an
easy task is an understatement. It is
however a testament to the old saying,
where there’s a will, there’s a way.



Defense and Strategic Studies  DS 345:
Military Innovation: Theory and Practice
in Modern Warfare
Military innovations have had a profound
effect on the outcome of modern war.  
Victory or defeat on the battlefield has
often times been determined by a
military’s success or failure at innovation
either during interwar periods or during
times of war.  This interdisciplinary
course examines the subject of military
innovation or transformation from a
theoretical, historical and policy oriented
perspective.  Using the U.S. Army in the
20th century as the primary object of
inquiry, the course addresses several key
questions: Why do militaries innovate?  
How does this process of innovation
occur?  Why do attempts at military
innovation succeed or fail?  Lastly, how
should the U.S. Army transform to meet
the demands of the current international
security environment?  


Post-traumatic stress and the hired gun
BBC NEWS SCOTTLAND2012
Former SAS soldier Bob Paxman - who
served in Iraq as well as other hostile
environments - is one of a growing
number of former servicemen who say
they have suffered with the mental health
condition Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD).  After a number of years in the
military, Paxman retrained as a private
security contractor, on protection
contracts in Africa and Iraq. He says as a
result of being constantly in a dangerous
environment and witnessing colleagues
being killed and maimed he was
diagnosed with PTSD.  The stress
disorder is thought to affect up to 20% of
military personnel who have served in
conflict zones, according to research
published by the National Center for
PTSD in the US. What is not known is
the impact among those who work in the
armed private security sector, many of
whom are drawn from the military.




UPDATE-  Judge throws out Defense
Base Act Class Action Lawsuit
Brink vs XE Holding LLC - Defense Base
Act Class Action Suit



Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit
Dismissed
January 2nd, 2013 | Author: Jon Robinson
A friend of the blog mentioned that I
should have included one additional
case, Brink v. XE Holding, LLC, in the
Top 5 list.  I think he was right.

Thirty-one contractor employees  
brought a purported class action against
their employers and their employer’s
insurers, alleging inter alia violations of
the Longshore and Harbor Workers’
Compensation Act (“LHWCA”), the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (“RICO”),  and the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)
because of the employers’ and carriers’
handling of the contractor employees’
claims for Defense Base Act (“DBA”)
benefits.  The United States District
Court for the District of Columbia
reviewed a collection of Motions to
Dismiss and, upon consideration of the
Motions, the court dismissed all of the
employees’ claims.

Here, the Plaintiffs purported to bring
their class action lawsuit “on behalf of
more than 10,000 similarly situated
individuals who were denied benefits
under the DBA.”  The two hundred page
Complaint alleged everything from failing
or refusing to provide medical benefits to
delaying compensation payments to
making false statements about the
payment of benefits to even threatening
workers for making DBA claims.

In its Order dismissing the claims, the
court began by discussing the exclusivity
of the DBA and the LHWCA.  The D.C.
Circuit (like other federal circuits) has
long held that the LHWCA is an exclusive
scheme for compensating employees.  It
has refused to recognize a cause of action
“when the employer refuses to make
timely compensation payments with an
intent to injure” because that cause of
action falls within the LHWCA’s
exclusivity provision.  Hall v. C & P Tel.
Co., 809 F.2d 924, 926 (D.C. Cir. 1987).  
Further, the LHWCA precludes state tort
claims alleging false statements or false
representations for the purpose of
reducing, denying or terminating a
claimant’s benefits.  Section 31(c) of the
LHWCA establishes an employer’s
exclusive liability for such alleged
conduct.

The Plaintiffs could not escape the
exclusivity provisions of the LHWCA and
DBA.  Their complaints focused on the
employers and carriers alleged failure to
make DBA indemnity and medical
benefits payments, and thus they were
barred:

As Plaintiffs reaffirm in their own
Opposition briefs, the crux of their
Complaint is that “Defendants’ failure to
make the proper compensation payment
resulted in the infliction of harm on
Plaintiffs, which Defendants could have
reasonably anticipated….  Defendants’
delay, termination and/or minimization
of compensation have aggravated
Plaintiffs’ injuries.”  …  Plaintiffs claims
that Defendants, in conspiracy with each
other, refused to pay for Plaintiffs’
medical benefits, terminated their
medical benefits, repeatedly lied and
made misrepresentations to DOL
regarding payments for medical
treatments, wrongfully terminated certain
Plaintiffs, and provided inadequate care.  
…  Although Plaintiffs allege that these
actions exacerbated their underlying
employment-related injuries and/or that
the claims process itself caused them
undue stress and financial hardship, it is
clear that Plaintiffs’ state law causes of
action all arise out of their underlying
claims to DBA benefits and thus are
barred by the exclusive scheme set forth
in the DBA and LHWCA.

The Plaintiffs likewise stumbled over
their RICO and ADA hurdles.  When a
federal enabling statute provides an
exclusive remedy (like the LHWCA and
DBA), RICO actions are barred.  Here,
the Plaintiffs claim that the Defendants
conspired to “[make] misrepresent
[ations] to injured parties and the DOL
and commit crimes under the DBA by
denying claims using fraud….”  But
Section 31(c) of the LHWCA already
provides criminal penalties for the same
conduct.  The same is true for the
Plaintiffs’ mail and wire fraud claims:
Section 14 of the LHWCA has a
comprehensive system of financial
penalties.   Therefore, because the
LHWCA and DBA already provide
remedies for the alleged wrong, the
Plaintiffs could not maintain their RICO
claims.

Finally, Plaintiffs did not state the
essential elements of either a failure to
accommodate or a disability
discrimination under the ADA.  To
establish a prima facie case of unlawful
discrimination based on a failure to
accommodate under the ADA, a plaintiff
must show that: (1) he is a qualified
individual with a disability within the
meaning of the ADA; (2) that the
employer had notice of his disability; (3)
there was some reasonable
accommodation denied to him; and (4)
such accommodation would have enabled
him to perform the essential functions of
this job.  Here, the Plaintiffs made “only
conclusory allegations” regarding their
status as qualified individuals, and they
failed to allege that they requested job
accommodations which their employer
denied.

Brink v.  XE Holding, LLC, — F.Supp.2d
—-, No. 11-1733, slip op. (D.D.C. Dec. 21,
2012
More than 500,000 “Gulf War Era” vets currently receive disability compensation, many of them for a variety of
symptoms generally referred to as Gulf War Syndrome. Experts blame DU for many of these symptoms.

“The numbers are overwhelming, but the potential horrors only get worse,” Robert C. Koehler of the Chicago-
based Tribune Media Services wrote in an article about DU weapons entitled “Silent Genocide.”

“DU dust does more than wreak havoc on the immune systems of those who breathe it or touch it; the substance
also alters one’s genetic code,” Koehler wrote. “The Pentagon’s response to such charges is denial, denial, denial.
And the American media is its moral co-conspirator.”

“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote.
“Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted
uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into
the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the
blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to
depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes.
Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of
the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

“Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue
syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”
The Responsibility of the US in Contaminating
Iraq with Depleted Uranium 2009 by
Global
Research

Depleted Uranium (DU) is a radioactive and
chemically toxic heavy metal. If ingested,
inhaled, or it enters the human body through
wounds or skin, it remains there for decades.

Within the human body the (DU) particles
would be a continuous source for emitting
alpha particles. With its toxic effects, published
research & epidemiological studies have proved
that it causes serious health damages to the
human body. Some of the damage to the
human body is to lymph tissue, kidneys,
developing fetuses, neurological system, the
bones, lung fibrosis, and an increase in the risk
of many types of cancer and malignancies.

Hundreds of tons of (DU) expenditure have
been fired & exploded on Iraqi highly populated
areas like Basrah, Baghdad, Nasriya, Dewania,
Samawa, and other cities.
At least 350 sites in Iraq are known to be
contaminated with (DU)”. Iraq is facing a
tremendous number of cancer cases. The facts
and scientific evidences regarding the intentional
use of the USA and UK administrations of
depleted uranium weapons against the people
and environment of Iraq, in addition to the
health consequences that have been result from
them.
Tackling the crisis of toxic dust particles entering Iran from Iraq Watch Video

Delegates of Iraq’s Ministry of Environment are in Tehran meeting with Iran’s Environmental Protection Agency. The aim of this
meeting is to discuss dust particles that carry toxic depleted uranium are finding their way into southwestern Iran from neighboring
Iraq. US and British bombs filled with depleted uranium used against Iraqis almost a decade ago are now beginning to show their
harmful effects on the health of Iranians. The advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Environment discussed upcoming projects designed to
tackle this issue.

Depleted uranium from dust storms are mainly seen in the southwestern provinces of Khusestan, Ilam and Lorestan. The use of DU
in munitions causes long-term health effects such to the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems. Increased rates of
immune system disorders and other wide-ranging symptoms, including chronic pain, fatigue and memory loss, have been also been
reported as detrimental effects of DU radiation. The director of Iran’s Environmental Protection Agency discussed ways in which Iran
has offered to assist in this matter.

Today reports show the number of children with birth defects born in the southern city of Ahwaz has increased due to mothers'
inhalation of air contaminated with depleted uranium, used in U-S and British-made weapons. The United Nations Environment
Program (UNEP) has also offered to assist both countries.
GAO QUESTIONS MONITORING IN IRAQ;
SOIL QUALITY AN ISSUE SINCE 1991 WAR

The investigative arm of Congress says the Department of Defense is not adequately monitoring the quality the
soil in Iraq to determine whether U.S. service members fighting there are being exposed to hazardous materials.
The monitoring is considered crucial, according to the U.S. General Accountability Office, in light of the
illnesses experienced by hundreds of thousands of veterans of the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, and similar
illnesses among thousands of service members who have been in Iraq and Afghanistan.
01/31/2013
(U.S. Department of Labor's Office of
Workers' Compensation Programs)

US Department of Labor
reaches settlement with
contractor on failure to report
injuries and fatalities under
Defense Base Act

WASHINGTON — The U.S.
Department of Labor's Office of
Workers' Compensation Programs today
announced a $75,000 settlement with in
a timely manner on the injuries and
deaths of 30 employees in Iraq between
2003 and 2005.

Under the Defense Base Act, a company
must report any injury or death to
OWCP's Division of Longshore and
Harbor Workers' Compensation within
10 days, and any knowing and willful
failure to report subjects the employer
to a civil penalty. In the settlement, The
Sandi Group agreed not only to pay the
$75,000 fine but that future violations
would result in greater penalties.

"Timely reporting of work-related
injuries, illnesses and fatalities are
vitally important to protect the interests
of injured workers and their families,"
said Gary A. Steinberg, acting director of
OWCP. "In the case of injuries and
illnesses, this enables timely medical
treatment, payment of compensation
benefits and, when possible, return to
work, and for fatalities, timely issuance
of death benefits for eligible survivors.
The Labor Department is committed to
administering the provisions of the
Defense Base Act, which provide
necessary medical care and
compensation benefits that hold
workers and families together during
moments of hardship."

The Sandi Group, a Washington, D.C.-
based company, employed workers that
provided security and other services in
support of U.S. operations in Iraq.

The Defense Base Act provides workers'
compensation protection to civilian
employees working outside the United
States on U.S. military bases or under a
contract with the U.S. government for
public work or for national defense. For
more information, visit
http://www.dol.
gov/owcp/dlhwc/lsdba.htm.

The mission of OWCP's Division of
Longshore and Harbor Workers'
Compensation is to minimize the
impact of employment-related injuries,
illnesses and deaths on employees and
their families by ensuring that workers'
compensation benefits are provided
promptly and properly under the
Longshore and Harbor Workers'
Compensation Act, the Defense Base
Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands
Act and the Non-appropriated Fund
Instrumentalities Act. For more
information,
visit
http://www.dol.
gov/owcp/dlhwc/index.htm.
Cancer Epidemic Caused by U.S. WMD;  M.D. Says Depleted Uranium Definitively Linked
In Afghanistan, the lines between Taliban finance and legitimate commerce are often blurred.
dealers suspected of secretly funding the insurgency. Photos by Ahmad Nadeem and Mohammad Ismail.
Foreign
correspondent
traveled to Iraq 11
traveled to Iraq 11
times since the war
began in 2003.  
His latest book is
Big Boy Rules.
Tracking Reconstruction and Security in Post-Saddam Iraq.  The Iraq Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion, and security data.
This resource will provide updated information on various criteria, including crime, telephone and water service, troop fatalities unemployment, Iraqi security forces,
oil production, and coalition troop strength. The index is designed to quantify the rebuilding efforts and offer an objective set of criteria for benchmarking
performance. It is the first in-depth, non-partisan assessment of American efforts in Iraq, and is based primarily on U.S. government information. Although
measurements of progress in any nation-building effort can never be reduced to purely quantitative data, a comprehensive compilation of such information can
provide a clearer picture and contribute to a healthier and better informed debate.
The Civilian Contractor

I'm a civilian contractor, not a soldier.
You see, that's the only difference between you and me.  Like
you, I volunteered and like you, I have some fear.  
I go with you standing tall and praying we don't fall.  You
carry weapons of all shapes and sizes and I carry the hope of
avoiding our demise.
You've done well, you scored one today and they tell me your
medals are on the way.  I get no medals, promotions or
awards. Doesn't matter, I must go forward.  Newsweek and
Time write about you often, the contractor mostly forgotten.  
You tell you story, your loved ones can hear.  I have been
cautioned to keep quiet my job to fear.
No one knows us, we're just there, hurting bleeding and
dying.  Doesn't matter, we're just contractors.

Windfalls of War

After a decade of war, the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch
News took an in-depth look at the billions of dollars spent on
military contracts that are not competitively bid. Call it “one-
stop shopping.” These contracts have tripled in size since 9/11,
to $140 billion. Who loses? The taxpayer.  

Over a decade of war the Pentagon has awarded lucrative
military contracts without competition, and the amount has
increased from $50 billion in 2001 to $140 billion in 2010.

Windfalls of war: KBR, the government's concierge
KBR, formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root, won the first
"concierge" contract for an array of services in Iraq and
Afghanistan and parlayed it into a sole-source $37 billion
bonanza.
KBR's umbrella contract to provide everything from
showers to rebuilding airfields tops $37 billion. "It's like a
gigantic monopoly," says one critic.
The rush to war in the months following the terrorist attacks
of 9/11 created an urgency in the Pentagon, not just for
military operations but also for contracting.

When U.S. forces moved into Afghanistan in 2001, there was
little, if any, infrastructure to support and house U.S. troops.
The military needed someone to do everything from housing
troops to rebuilding airfields. The solution was a contract
called the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP,
a type of umbrella contract the Army had been using to
support is military bases overseas. In late 2001, the Army,
after a competition, awarded LOGCAP III to KBR. The
Houston-based firm, once a subsidiary of Halliburton, began
providing everything from showers to dining halls.

Even beyond single-source contracts, the Pentagon has other
types of contracts it can use to quickly award work without
having to compete specific jobs. They include umbrella-type
contracts, like LOGCAP, that allow the government to buy
unspecified goods and services over long periods of time. “It’s
the government’s way of saying ‘We don’t know what we want,
and we don’t know how much it costs,’” said Laura Peterson, a
senior policy analyst with Taxpayers for Common Sense, a
watchdog group. “Instead they say, ‘we’ll put you on retainer
and tell you later what we want and when we want it, and you
just bill us.’ You become the government’s concierge, and it’s
like a gigantic monopoly.”

Indeed, that’s the way LOGCAP III  operated for almost a
decade. And while KBR was competitively awarded the
umbrella contract in December 2001, it didn’t have to compete
for any of the subsequent work, which totaled over $37 billion
by the end of July this year. For the next 10 years, the
company provided water systems, heaters, tents, and dining
facilities. The company also provided electricians, cooks and
cleaners and other civilian workers needed to run military
bases.

When the U.S. went to war in Iraq in 2003, KBR came along  
too, eventually providing modern dining facilities for  military
and State Department personnel, featuring everything from
made-to-order Caesar salads to a dessert station featuring
over a dozen types of pie and cakes. Though costs were
supposed to be limited to $20 a person per day, a State
Department Inspector General investigation found personnel
were being encouraged to scan their attendance at meals and
snacks as many times as possible. A notice in an embassy
newsletter read, “more scans = more goodies,” and the
Inspector General found people were scanning multiple times,
which hid the true cost of the meals. “One person scanned his
card 25 times in two days,” the report states. A later Defense
Contract Audit Agency report confirmed those findings, saying
that headcount inflation could be as high as 36 percent.

As LOGCAP expanded in Iraq, adding more and more work,
KBR came under increasing scrutiny, particularly when the
Army tried to extend the contract into new areas. In 2003, the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at the direction of the
Pentagon, was preparing to issue KBR a sole-source award,
known as the Restore Iraqi Oil, or RIO contract, based on
urgent need, over the objections of Bunnatine Greenhouse.

As the senior contracting official at the Army Corp of
Engineers, Greenhouse questioned the selection of KBR as a
the only qualified company, and raised a number of concerns
about the justification for the sole-source ward, ranging from
nonexistent cost estimates to the lack of reasonable
justification for granting a sole-source contract for more than
one year. "The fact that it was a no-bid, sole source contract
meant that the government was placing KBR in the position of
being able to define what the reasonable costs would be to
execute the RIO contract and then charging the government
what it defined as being reasonable,” she testified in 2005 to
the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.  In addition, a
Defense Contract Audit Agency audit found the company had
overcharged the RIO contract by $61 million.

Greenhouse maintains the Army retaliated against her for
voicing her concerns on the sole-source contract and then
later making statements to Congress criticizing the deal; she
was eventually stripped of her high-level position and her
security clearance. Greenhouse sued the government, and the
National Whistleblowers Center announced in July 2011 that
the U.S. government had agreed to pay Greenhouse $970,000
to settle her claims.

Despite Greenhouse’s allegations, and a series of audit reports
criticizing the contingency contract,  Army officials continued
to deny that there was anything improper with the decision to
sole-source the oil contract to KBR.

In the meantime, as LOGCAP grew, the problems became
hard to ignore. Pentagon audits and government reports
accused KBR of overbilling. At one Wartime Contracting
Commission hearing, April Stephenson, then head of the
Defense Contract Audit Agency, confirmed that the LOGCAP
III contract had generated $553 million in questionable billing
and 32fraud referrals for investigation. “I have to say in the
history of DCAA I do not think we are aware of a program, a
contract or a contractor that has had this number of
suspensions or referrals,” she testified.

Some criminal charges have already resulted regarding the
LOGCAP contract, including a former employee who pleaded
guilty to receiving kickbacks on a subcontract to a Kuwaiti
company.

The U.S. government is also now in the middle of a $100
million lawsuit against KBR, alleging breach of contract and
false claims related to providing private security under the
LOGCAP contract. A federal judge in August rejected the
company’s bid to have the suit thrown out.

KBR issued a statement Tuesday saying, "We conduct our
business with integrity, transparency, accountability, and
discipline.  When we have identified potential issues, we have
reported them to our clients and the appropriate agencies as
required, and have fully cooperated with those agencies to
investigate and address each issue. While we do not agree
with some allegations raised by the goverment, we have
initiated efforts to revolve these issues."

Facing mounting criticism of the LOGCAP contract, the Army
eventually held a new LOGCAP competition, and in 2007
awarded contracts to three companies — KBR, DynCorp, and
Fluor Corporation — under what was called LOGCAP IV.
Unlike the previous LOGCAP III, the three companies under
LOGCAP IV would compete for individual task orders, creating
an incentive for lower price and better services, and quelling
the major criticism of the previous contract structure.

In 2010, however, the Army announced that rather than
moving to the competitively awarded LOGCAP IV for base
services, it would extend the LOGCAP III for work in Iraq.
"Theater commanders have raised concerns that a transition
from LOGCAP III to LOGCAP IV would strain logistics and
transportation assets in Iraq at the same time that a massive
withdrawal of U.S. forces, weapons and equipment is under
way,” according to an Army release about the decision.

As of July 2011, just $5.7 billion had been spent on LOGCAP IV,
compared to over $37 billion on LOGCAP III.

LOGCAP may have been the largest of the limited competition
wartime services contracts, but it was by no means the only
one. Another contract that drew criticism was a five-year
contract to Supreme Services to deliver food supplies to
Afghanistan. That contract, awarded in 2004, was already
worth over $5 billion when the Defense Logistics Agency chose
to extend it in 2010, without competition, for another two
years and an additional $4 billion. A DOD Inspector General
investigation released shortly after the extension found
numerous lapses of oversight of the contract.

Among other problems, the Inspector General determined the
company had overbilled the Army, and identified potential
overpayments totaling nearly $100 million for transportation
costs to Afghanistan, and another $26 million in overpayments
related to shipping perishables. The report also found the
Army had paid a staggering $455 million for transporting fresh
fruits and vegetables to Afghanistan from the United Arab
Emirates without ever determining whether the prices were
“fair and reasonable.” The transportation rate, it turns out,
had been the same rate negotiated with a prior vendor, a
Kuwaiti company which was subsequently indicted by the
Department of Justice on criminal charges.

Such contracts, like LOGCAP, which are counted as
“competitive” in database figures, likely hide a much worse
picture, according to Charles Tiefer, a member of the Wartime
Contracting Commission. KBR did win the initial contract
competitively, he said, but “for the next 10 years there were
task orders without further competition that went to KBR.”

Tiefer said that during commission hearings, it came out that
contracts that use indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity task
orders, like LOGCAP, were counted as “competitive” in federal
data figures, even though subsequent work under it wasn’t
competed — over $30 billion in the case of LOGCAP III.

“It’s not at all an obscure example,” he said. “It shows that the
rate of real competition may be less than the claimed rate of
competition.”

Next: Pentagon spends millions of US tax dollars on Russian-
made helicopters to outfit Iraqi and Afghan militaries
Uncovering Waste, Fraud and Abuse, Since 2004
Burn Pits Documents (MDL 98) Order on Motion to Dismiss (00134597)

Update: By Mike Francis, The Oregonian
March 18, 2013
Government says KBR failed to make valid claim, asks judge to dismiss contractor's case


KBR's alleged rape victim charged almost 150K- 19 yr old Whistleblower
Following the end of the initial trial in July of this year, KBR responded by asking Jones to cover their $2
million bill for legal fees. They believed that Jones’ allegations were fabricated and as a result she should
have to take care of their costs.
While this week’s ruling means Jones won’t have to shell out the millions to pay back KBR’s legal team, a
judge has determined that she will have to compensate the company for other related court costs, including
nearly $60,000 in transcript fees, almost $14,000 in printing costs and other bills related to the trial.
"Because the KBR defendants' costs fall within the recoverable costs enumerated in (statute), the court finds
that KBR's application for costs must be granted," ruled US District Judge Keith Ellison from a Texas court
house this week.
“The fact that Jones presented prima facie claims of sexual harassment and hostile work environment
highlights the impropriety of an award of attorneys’ fees in this case,” added Ellison.

Tags
Corruption, Crime, Culture, History, Iraq, Law, Military, Scandal, Sex, USA

Jamie Leigh Jones has said for years that her co-workers at contractors KBR gang-raped her and held her
hostage while on the job in Iraq in 2005. Six years later, not only has a jury sided with KBR, but now Jones is
stuck footing their $145,000 bill.

Jones was seeking $145 million in damages from KBR, who was owned by Halliburton during the time of the
2005 incident. She has long alleged that she was drugged and raped in her barracks at the Camp Hope
compound in Baghdad only to be locked into a shipping container for 24 hours after without food, water or
medical treatment.

Despite a physician’s confirmation that Jones was beaten and bloodied after the incident, a jury ruled in July
that they did not have enough evidence to prosecute KBR or the named assailant, Charles Bortz, and ruled
that any sexual encounter between the two parties was consensual.

Earlier this week, a federal judge added insult to injury by insisting that Jones foot the bill for the military
contractors’ $145,073.19 in court costs, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Following the end of the initial trial in July of this year, KBR responded by asking Jones to cover their $2
million bill for legal fees. They believed that Jones’ allegations were fabricated and as a result she should
have to take care of their costs.

While this week’s ruling means Jones won’t have to shell out the millions to pay back KBR’s legal team, a
judge has determined that she will have to compensate the company for other related court costs, including
nearly $60,000 in transcript fees, almost $14,000 in printing costs and other bills related to the trial.

"Because the KBR defendants' costs fall within the recoverable costs enumerated in (statute), the court finds
that KBR's application for costs must be granted," ruled US District Judge Keith Ellison from a Texas court
house this week.

“The fact that Jones presented prima facie claims of sexual harassment and hostile work environment
highlights the impropriety of an award of attorneys’ fees in this case,” added Ellison.

After the alleged incident, Jones says that her breast implants were ruptured. She sought medical attention
and was administered a rape kit, though the results mysteriously disappeared for two years. Once recovered,
crucial information was missing.

Following this week’s decision, Jones’ attorney Todd Kell tells the Law Blog, “Jamie, you remain a hero in my
eyes.I am humbled that you chose me to stand for you.I am sorry that we did not walk out of that
courtroom with justice, but I am proud to have stood by your side fighting for it for five long years.”

Earlier this year, KBR was voted one of the 50 top companies for women by the readers of the magazine
Woman Engineer. In 2009, their revenue was over $12 billion.

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Depleted Uranium From Dust Storms
Depleted uranium has a radioactive half-life of 4.5 billion years.

These Sand Storms can stir up
Uranium Dust, watch the video I
made back in 2005 for a look at one
of Iraq's huge Sand storm that
Blacked out U.S. Military base where
American Civilian Contractors lived
and worked in Support of our Troops.
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LAW FIRMS I LIKE
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The Rough Cut
by:  David Phinney

A True Hero of  Journalism...
David Phinney


Making Privatized Issues a Globalization Issue on
contractors working in War Zones.  


An award-winning journalist and producer, David Phinney’s
work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New York
Times, Miami Herald, the Hearst-owned San Francisco
Examiner, Wired, Salon.com. His broadcast credits include
PBS, BBC, ABC and other networks.

Based in Washington , DC , Phinney’s pursued a series of
award-winning, high-impact articles on contractors and private
military companies working in Iraq, which much of these
archives chronicle. His stories have been re-reported by other
major news organizations around the world and have triggered
ongoing investigations by Congress, the US Justice Department
and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.  In
addition to documentary work and on-air reporting, Phinney
frequently has been a guest and analyst for BBC, cable news
programs and radio. His career includes extensive political
coverage, national affairs, terrorism and national security. He
has consulted produced and consulted on stories for ABC, NBC,
CBS, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and
other major news outlets. His articles have been translated into
a dozen different languages.


David Phinney wrote the first story about the
"Fog of Wars"
where American Contractors were Jailed by U.S. Marines in Iraq.