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[casi] Unleashed onto Iraq: Scandalous DynCorp

Hi all,


Unleashed onto Iraq: Scandalous DynCorp

And the story goes on and on ... once the digging started ...



Scandal-hit US firm wins key contracts

Antony Barnett

Sunday April 13, 2003

The Observer

A US military contractor accused of human rights violations has won a
multi-million-dollar contract to police post-Saddam Iraq, The Observer can

DynCorp, which has donated more than 100,000 to the Republican Party,
began recruiting for a private police force in Iraq last week on behalf of
the US State Department.

The awarding of such a sensitive contract to DynCorp has caused
consternation in some circles over the company's policing record. A British
employment tribunal recently forced DynCorp to pay 110,000 in compensation
to a UN police officer it unfairly sacked in Bosnia for whistleblowing on
DynCorp colleagues involved in an illegal sex ring.

An Observer reporter who contacted the firm's US headquarters purporting to
be a potential police recruit for Iraq was told it was hoping to 'get
people on the ground in two to four weeks'. The recruiter told the reporter
he could expect a salary of $80,000plus 'hazard bonuses'. He was offered a
contract of between three months and a year and told he did not need to be
able to speak Arabic. He had to be a US citizen who had served as a police
officer in America, and when the reporter said he had worked in Texas for a
number of years he was told he sounded 'ideal'.

Despite DynCorp's demands for US citizens only, it is offering the private
contracts through its British office in Aldershot.

Former Labour Defence Minister Peter Kilfoyle said last night: 'I find it
difficult to believe that, at a time when bringing law and order to Iraq
needs to be handled with delicacy and sensitivity, a private American firm
like DynCorp is entrusted with this job.'

DynCorp's advert, posted on a US website and headed 'Iraq mission', stated
that it was acting on behalf of the US Department of State's Bureau of
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. It was seeking
'individuals with appropriate experience and expertise to participate in an
international effort to re-establish police, justice and prison functions
in post-conflict Iraq'.

The company is looking for active duty or recently retired policemen and
prison guards and 'experienced judicial experts'.

While the US has promised help in bringing law and order to Iraq, the
involvement of DynCorp has caused concern as it has been involved in a
series of recent high-profile scandals involving personnel in sensitive
missions overseas.

DynCorp personnel contracted to the United Nations police service in Bosnia
were implicated in buying and selling prostitutes, including a girl as
young as 12. Several DynCorp employees were also accused of videotaping the
rape of one of the women.

When Dyncorp employee Kathy Bolkovac blew the whistle on the sex ring she
was dismissed by the company for drawing attention to their misbehaviour,
according to the ruling of a British employment tribunal in November.

DynCorp has also been heavily criticised over its involvement in Plan
Colombia, instigated by Bill Clinton, that involves spraying vast
quantities of herbicides over Colombia to kill the cocaine crop.

A group of Ecuadorean peasants have filed a class action against the
company alleging that herbicides spread by DynCorp in Colombia were
drifting across the border, killing legitimate crops, causing illness, and
killing children. The company denies the charges.

DynCorp, which has its headquarters in Reston, Virginia, employs almost
25,000 staff, many of them former US military personnel. The Observer was
unable to reach DynCorp for comment.

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