Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Afghanistan: Suicide attack on NATO patrol kills 4

Associated Press via Salt Lake Tribune  August 8, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan • A suicide attack hit a NATO patrol in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing three coalition service members, the international military force said, while Afghan officials added that a civilian was also killed in the bombing.

August 8, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties | , | Leave a comment

Targeted killings in Afghanistan up 53%

An insurgent assassination campaign against people working with the government or Nato forces has seen the number of targeted killings in Afghanistan climb by more than half, the United Nations said.

By , Kabul  The Telegraph  August 8, 2012

Government workers, tribal elders, contractors and those alleged to spy for foreigners have all been targeted in a wave of killings in the first six months of the year.

A total of 255 civilians were executed and 101 wounded in the attacks in the first half of the year, up 53 per cent from a year earlier.

The overall number of civilians killed in the conflict fell over the same period, but officials said they feared the decline was in part due to a bitter winter and heavy snowfall rather than improving security.

Civilians were still being killed at “alarmingly high levels”, with four fifths of deaths attributed to attacks by the Taliban-led insurgency.

Indiscriminate insurgent bombs and suicide attacks remained the biggest threat to civilians. The proportion killed by Afghan government or Nato forces has dropped to around 10 per cent.

Please read the entire article here

August 8, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

US Downsizing Operations in Iraq

The Turkish Weekly Tuesday, 7 August 2012

From its sprawling, $750 million embassy in Baghdad – the largest, most expensive American diplomatic mission in the world – Washington had hoped for a cozy relationship with the Iraqi government, forged after a U.S.-led military coalition ousted former president Saddam Hussein.

But in the seven months since the United States withdrew its combat forces from Iraq, U.S. relations with Baghdad have deteriorated as Iraqi insurgents have carried out a major attack at least once a month.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing violence that included coordinated bombings and gunbattles on July 23 unleashed by Iraq’s al-Qaida affiliate.

​​As American influence in Iraq has ebbed to its lowest point in years, and with Iraq in political turmoil, the Obama administration recently announced large reductions to the size and scope of its mission in a country less willing to accept a significant American footprint.

These include plans to slash the huge diplomatic presence it had envisioned for Iraq by one-third, drastically pare down a highly-touted but deeply unpopular police training program and close its consulate in Kirkuk.

Please read the entire article here

August 8, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Safety and Security Issues, State Department, USAID | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACADEMI / BLACKWATER CHARGED AND ENTERS DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2012  FBI Version

_WWW.JUSTICE.GOV/USAO/NCE/ <http://WWW.JUSTICE.GOV/USAO/NCE/>_

*_ACADEMI / BLACKWATER CHARGED AND ENTERS_*

*_DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT_*__

RALEIGH, N.C. — U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced the unsealingof a bill of information and deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) involving Academi LLC, formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide and Xe Services, LLC (Academi / Blackwater). The bill of information and DPA were unsealed today in U.S. District Court in New Bern, N.C., during proceedings before the Honorable Louise W. Flanagan, U.S. District Judge. In the agreement, the company admits certain facts set forth in a bill of information and agrees to a $7.5 million fine. The agreement also acknowledges and references a $42 million settlement between the company and the Department of State as part of a settlement of
violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations.

“Today’s proceedings conclude a lengthy and complex investigation into a company which has provided valuable services to the United States Government, but which, at times, and in many ways, failed to comply with important laws and regulations concerning how we as a country interact with our international allies and adversaries,” said U.S. Attorney Walker. “Compliance with these laws is critical to the proper conduct of our defense efforts and to international diplomatic relations. This prosecution is an important step to ensuring that our corporate citizens comply with these rules in every circumstance.”

IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett stated, “High-ranking corporate officials hold positions of trust not only in their companies but also in the eyes of the public. That trust is broken when such officials abuse their power and commit crimes to line their own pockets. An international fraud of this magnitude requires a coordinated effort among law enforcement agencies to stop those involved from profiting from their wrongdoing.”

“Compliance with the firearms laws of the United States in both domestic and international commerce is essential to maintaining order and accountability,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Wayne L. Dixie. “Whether it is an individual or a corporation, we will enforce the provisions of the federal gun laws equally. If violations are discovered, we will move to hold those responsible for the violations accountable for their actions.”

“Blackwater profited substantially from Department of Defense (DoD) contracts in support of overseas contingency operations over the past decade,” commented Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS). “This investigation showed that no contractor is above the law, and that all who do business with the DoD will be held accountable. With this agreement, Blackwater acknowledged their wrongdoing, and took steps to remedy and mitigate the damage they caused to the United States and the public trust.”

“For an extended period of time, Academi / Blackwater operated in a manner which demonstrated systemic disregard for U.S. Government laws and regulations. Today’s announcement should serve as a warning to others that allegations of wrongdoing will be aggressively investigated,” said Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.

“This company clearly violated U.S. laws by exporting sensitive technical data and unauthorized defense services to a host of countries around the world,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Atlanta. “In doing so, company employees were frequently in possession of illegal firearms and aided other foreign nationals in the acquisition of illegal firearms. HSI is proud to have played a role in assisting the investigation to call this company to account for its actions.” Nicholson oversees HSI activities in Georgia and the Carolinas.

See BILL OF INFORMATION

August 8, 2012 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Lawsuits | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blackwater admits to facts behind 17 federal charges

By JOSH GERSTEIN  Politico  August 7, 2012

The government security contractor formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide has admitted to the key facts behind 17 federal criminal charges, including illegal exports and unauthorized possession of automatic weapons, as part of an effort to end a long-running investigation into the firm’s conduct.

Blackwater, now known as Academi LLC, agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine on top of a $42 million settlement it reached earlier regarding civil arms export violations.

“Today’s proceedings conclude a lengthy and complex investigation into a company which has provided valuable services to the United States Government, but which, at times, and in many ways, failed to comply with important laws and regulations concerning how we as a country interact with our international allies and adversaries,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a statement. “Compliance with these laws is critical to the proper conduct of our defense efforts and to international diplomatic relations. This prosecution is an important step to ensuring that our corporate citizens comply with these rules in every circumstance.”

Some of the charges relate to Blackwater’s possession of machine guns at a training compound in North Carolina.

“ACADEMI is pleased to reach this important agreement on this legacy matter. It is yet another step in our commitment to fairly resolve past issues and become the industry leader in governance, compliance, and regulatory matters,” Academi spokesman John Procter said in a statement. “The agreement, which does not involve any guilty plea or admit to any violations, reflects the significant and tangible efforts that ACADEMI’s new ownership and leadership team have made in achieving that goal. The company is fully committed to this agreement and looks forward to successfully fulfilling its obligations on this legacy matter.”

More on the company’s deferred prosecution agreement here from the Associated Press.

Please see the original and read more here

August 8, 2012 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Lawsuits | , , , , | Leave a comment