Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Wounded EOD warrior returns

by Marine EOD  September 10, 2012

When U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Thomas Howard McRae rolled into a Juneau pizza parlor earlier this week, people couldn’t help but stare.

The two missing legs. The prosthetic arm. The wheelchair.

Then, the grey T-shirt that says, “If you keep staring, they may grow back.”

“You may as well have fun,” McRae said with a sly grin.

The 30-year-old Explosive Ordnance Technician returned to Juneau this week to visit his parents and the place where he was born and raised. It was his first time back since he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Jan. 16.

McRae was greeted by friends and family, and was feted at a local high school football game held in his honor Saturday evening.

“It was good, although from the bleachers to the field, I can’t really see that far, but I had commentators,” he said, nodding to his father, Tim Ryan, and one of his sisters, Jessica Ryan. “But yeah, it was fun, it was nice. Everybody came out for the most part and said hi.”

From watching the ease with which McRae plays with his 4-year-old daughter, Aidan, and jokes with his family at the restaurant table, it’s hard to imagine that his parents once worried their son would never talk again.

“The scariest part of the whole thing for me was the brain injury,” says Tim. “… It’s scary — when you have a brain injury, they don’t even talk to him, they talk to us, and that’s what I wanted to get rid of.”

Tim elaborated, “They cut a hole in his head and stuck a straw down into his brain, and then they put an instrument down inside the straw and grabbed the (bone) fragment and pulled it out.”

“Yeah,” McRae added, “and then they left the rest. They only pulled out the one.”

“What the blast did was it took the bone structure behind his right eye, and blew it like a shotgun blast into his brain,” Tim explained. “So somewhere on his head, they took part of his skull and replaced the structure behind his eye so his brain didn’t fall down into the eye socket.”

“Because that would have been creepy,” McRae said.

Please read the entire article at Marine EOD

September 10, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New torture flights between Lithuania and secret CIA prisons in Afghanistan & Morocco revealed as European Parliament debates rendition report

Reprieve  September 10, 2011

Lawyers for “high value detainee” Abu Zubaydah – who was waterboarded 83 times by the CIA – have today filed a new submission concerning his transfer to and from a prison site in Lithuania. The filing, by London-based organization Interights, comes as Reprieve releases new information showing how renditions contractor Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) arranged covert flights connecting Lithuania to other countries in the CIA’s secret prison network, including Morocco and Afghanistan. The revelation comes ahead of a debate in the European Parliament, led by rapporteur Hélène Flautre, on a new report on the kidnapping – or ‘rendition’ – and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA.

The US intelligence agency ran a so-called ‘black site’ outside Vilnius between 2004 and 2007, where detainees were held without charge. In their new report, the European Parliament’s Justice Committee concluded that “the layout of the buildings and installations inside appear compatible with the detention of prisoners” and that “many questions related to CIA operations in Lithuania remain open” despite a judicial investigation which closed in January 2011.

Please read the entire post here

September 10, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment