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Commentary :: Globalization : Human Rights : International
We Paid For That
08 Aug 2012
Honor is something we associate with our military, and rightfully so, as the men and women serving are people that put their lives on the line for their country on a daily basis, and we thank them for it. So when we hear about those things attempting to that take away from the sacrifices they make and erode the honor of the US military, we react with disgust and revulsion as we should. Those institutions and people that put stains and tarnish on the reputation those good men and women work so hard to uphold, are viewed as living in the scum at the bottom of old puddles, bottom feeding and threatening to contaminate good Americans with their taint. In many ways it's our duty if not our right as Americans to point these things out when we find them.
WEPAIDFORTHAT.jpg
It's a shame to see that so much of our military has become tarnished by the actions of groups outside of it. It's one thing when a soldier serving makes a mistake or even steps out of line, but another entirely when an outside entity is allowed to encroach upon the good name of our military. There are many institutions that have been responsible for such behavior and some of the behavior gets reported on while others slip quietly by. After all, if it never makes the mainstream media coverage, what chances are there that with all we have in our lives, we will have time to find out about these things.

There are perhaps many instances, but when it comes to one company in particular, the tarnish and stains are especially repellent. That company is DynCorp International, a private defense contractor based out of Falls Church, Virginia that apparently receives 96% of it's $3 billion in annual income from US taxpayers. The company traces its beginnings back to 1946. It has a long and very close relationship with the US government including hiring recently retired US Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey.

But it has many problems and controversies regarding it's serving as a contractor for the US military and otherwise. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DynCorp#Controversies) It has been sued numerous times by citizens of Ecuador, for example, for it's behavior in that nation representing our government. But there is a different kind of culture at DynCorp and within the company that has reared its head more than once and has been brought to light at least three times.

Although the company denies it, there seems to be a culture permissive of sex trafficking within the company. The company has been caught red handed engaging in sex trafficking as customers and as the traffickers themselves. This has included involvement in the trafficking of minors as young as twelve years old, and on our dime.

The most well known incidents started in the late 1990's. "Ben Johnston recoiled in horror when he heard one of his fellow helicopter mechanics at a U.S. Army base near Tuzla, Bosnia, brag one day in early 2000: My girl's not a day over 12.'

"The man who uttered the statement -- a man in his 60s, by Johnston's estimate -- was not talking fondly about his granddaughter or daughter or another relative. He was bragging about the preteen he had purchased from a local brothel. Johnston, who'd gone to work as a civilian contractor mechanic for DynCorp Inc. after a six-year stint in the Army, had worked on helicopters for years, and he'd heard a lot of hangar talk. But never anything like this [...]

"More and more often in those months, the talk among his co-workers had turned to boasts about owning prostitutes -- how young they were, how good they were in bed, how much they cost. And it wasn't just boasting: Johnston often saw co-workers out on the streets of Dubrave, the closest town to the base, with the young female consorts that inspired their braggadocio. They'd bring them to company functions, and on one occasion, Johnston says, over to his house for dinner. Occasionally he'd see the young girls riding bikes and playing with other children, with their 'owners' standing by, watching." (http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2002/06/26/bosnia/index.html) Those owners were employee's of DynCorp paid by the US taxpayers and therefore "purchasing" those young girls with our tax dollars. Skeevy.

The next such incident was reported in 2008. "A contractor died when a DynCorp manager used an employee's armored car to transport prostitutes, according to Barry Halley, a Worldwide Network Services employee working under a DynCorp subcontract.

"'DynCorp's site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was traveling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission. I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor's manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.'" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/29/us-military-contractor-us_n_991) That too was paid for and financed by dollars you and I worked for and that were given to DynCorp after they had been caught in the first incident.

The third incident to go public happened in 2009. "DynCorp employees in Afghanistan hired a teenage boy to perform a tribal dance at a company farewell party and videotaped the event. […] the company also had investigated the incident involving the youth, who he said was 17 when he performed a tribal dance at the party. […]

"At least two videos were shot of the dancing at the farewell party in April at a DynCorp base in Kunduz, in northeastern Afghanistan, according to DynCorp employees who have seen copies. One version, according to several who have seen it, showed some 15 DynCorp personnel egging on the dancer, who came from a nearby village and was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, with a long scarf tied around his waist, as he moved around a DynCorp employee sitting on a single chair in a courtyard.

"'The whole event, hiring an Afghan dancer to perform for a non-Afghan audience, we felt could be seen as culturally insensitive and an example of poor judgment,' (a DynCorp spokesperson) said." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR200907) The so called "tribal dance" is a "horrific practice called Bacha Bazi, in which young Afghan boys are sold to warlords and powerful businessmen to be trained as dancers who perform for male audiences in women's clothing and are then used and traded for sex. The practice is sadly making a comeback in that country." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/22/dancing-boys-of-afghanist_n_548) Guess who's tax dollars are funding the comeback of the practice? That's right yours and mine.

The problem is DynCorp is still getting our dollars - yours and mine - to operate unimpeded. No other private military contracting company has the same track record regarding a similar level of involvement in sex trafficking - which unquestionably is human slavery when we are talking about minors, no matter the case. Even with the prostitutes brought in by DynCorp to Iraq, many are believed to be from Eastern European countries which are notorious for human slavery regarding sex trafficking, including adults.

You would think our government would be doing everything it could to admit to and root out the problem, but even though DynCorp openly admits to it, the State Department won't acknowledge it. (http://www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com/statedepartment.html) These are our dollars and, just as with our elected officials that are stagnating and doing nothing with regards to the legislative process, appointees should be accountable responsible and honest. This sort of sweeping under the rug of something as egregious as the rape and prostitution of sex slaves supported by our dollars should be investigated and dealt with openly, not denied as though this were the government of the former USSR or the present North Korean government. Like the sleaze bag trips to East Asia by a local neighbor, co worker or even the local weatherman to purchase sex from minors, what DynCorp has been doing related to sex slavery is illegal.

Freedom isn't free, our officials need to know that the responsibility to the honor of our men and women in uniform, the constitution and the people of this nation is great and includes transparency. Failures with regards to hannor should not be tolerated, though apparently certain people in our government feel they have no choice.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.
See also:
http://www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com

This work is in the public domain
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