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Nov 05, 2012

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Mark Miclette

There are men in federal prison for illegally cutting timber of federal lands, having knowledge of illegal activity and not notifying authorities and crimes much less than defrauding the government of millions. Kudos for the lawsuit, but it's time to rethink what makes something a serious crime.

Dfens

The outsourcing of inherently government functions costs us more than any accountant will ever find on the books. The worst part about hiring these "contractors" is the fact that our government does not hire them individually. They really work for one of a hand full of companies whose executives get rich on the blood of these men. And all the while that they are getting rich, they are lobbying very effectively for the war to continue so their wealth can increase. Plus, their efforts to make the war last longer go even farther. They have people in place that purposely antagonize our enemies so that the wars last longer. This is not the stupidity of Rome. This is very much our own brand of stupidity.

Jack

Why do they falsely use the word contractor when all these people are is mercenaries? Can the government ever be trusted control these people again or will we continue to see this kind of corruption that allowed the barbarians to destroy Rome.

NambyPambyRomney

Vance,
Your story is a good example of the incompetence and negligence of the department in question, but could happen in literally any element of the USG. There is no penalty for failure, unless the planets are peculiarly aligned. In gross lack-of-oversight-and-not-giving -a-rat's-a** circles, this is known as an "I-and-N caper," for, er, incompetence and negligence. Occurring but the thousands, no one gets hurt except the ultimate users of the services being bought, e.g., the people guarded. The funders, overseers, providers--nah. The State Department is known for such performance in contracting, and, sadly, in a lot of mission/diplomatic matters. These matters will continue to occur in great numbers until prosecutors are given a goosed-up priority to go after the contractors and the government overseers in criminal prosecutions.

Vance

I was in Iraq in the US Embassy in 2005 when the State Dept. shut down the British security firm furnishing Ghurka guards hired by DoD and hired Triple Canopy after State took over responsibility for Iraq (from the Coalition Provisional Authority). They brought in mostly latins who had no clue. They failed to provide medical services or a required cafeteria for the new guards and the Embassy had to scramble to provide both. Thus the Triple Canopy guards overwhelmed the cafeteria used by Embassy and IRMO staff while other contractor staff had been banned months earlier. Guards did not even have the required physicals, so the Embassy medical staff had to provide them. State Dept. was only focused on lower cost, and they got what they paid for. The guards were not anywhere as disciplined as the Ghurkas, talked to each other while guarding entrances and basically had no credibility. I never understood why someone in the State Dept. wasn't fired for hiring them. My blog on Corruption in Iraq ran from 2006 until 2011 - http://webworks.typepad.com/corruption_in_iraq/

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