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ATS: US Contracting Firm Accused of Defrauding Millions, Criminal Allegations in Iraq

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posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 12:19 PM
Custer Battles LLC, a contracting firm awarded a reconstruction contract in Iraq is now the subject of a criminal investigation initiated by the Pentagon. Among the list of complaints include war profiteering and defrauding the US government of at least 50 million dollars. Among their more mischeavous deeds, include firing bullets into a Baghdad hotel and residential district, crushing a car filled with Iraqis, and essentially robbing Americans in Iraq. Robert Isakson and William Baldwin initially filed the whistle-blower suit last year after their time with the company.
Custer Battles security guards have also been accused of firing at unarmed civilians. They have been accused of crushing a car filled with Iraqi children and adults. They have been accused of unleashing a hail of bullets in a Baghdad hotel, only to discover, when the dust literally settled, that they had been shooting at each other.

The company is under investigation by the Department of Defense for allegedly overcharging the government millions by making up invoices for work never done, equipment never received, and guards who didn't exist.

In September 2004, the company was banned from receiving government contracts after Air Force investigators determined it ``conspired to defraud the CPA,'' the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is an amazing story of contractors gone wild in Iraq. The group was originally started as a group of ex-Army Rangers, and now their presence in Iraq is questionable and noone really knows what they do anymore. They have gained a reputation as gunslingers having indiscrimately robbed and murdered unarmed Iraqi civilians. These guys represent the scum on the face of the earth. I only hope that this story gains more attention than the recent accountability report that there are no working gauges for how much oil is flowing out of Iraq. Talk about defrauding the CPA....

[edit on 30-4-2005 by Jamuhn]

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 12:33 PM
I think this story may be somewhat blown out of proportion, given that many of the accounts come from Iraqis understandably upset at our presence in their country.

Now, that being said...

Let's call 'em what they are; mercenaries. These mercenaries are willing to kill for money. That alone should be a clear indication of their character. 'Nuff said.

They have no place in war, and every commander knows you only use them as a last resort. It appears the steadily plummeting recruitment numbers have made the war planners more reliant on hired guns. This doesn't surprise anyone, or it shouldn't anyway.

But here's the problem with mercenaries: what do you do when your enemy outbids you, as has happened countless times in history...

It's a flaw in strategy to use mercenaries as regulars. Historically it has been used only when a general's conscripts and regulars wouldn't fight dependably, or plain wouldn't fight. They cost a whole lot of money, sometimes 10-30 TIMES what a regular would cost, and as I've said, their loyalty has a price tag, and that's dangerous.

I think it's not only bad policy because of the ethical concerns, but also bad strategy because of the security concerns. We shouldn't be using mercenaries to fight our wars. Period.

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 12:38 PM
Hmmm, and our local pro-war propagandists have been so insistent that these "Security Contractors" are not in fact mercenaries, because they are supposedly "unarmed" - I wonder what excuses they will come up with for these guys.

It's funny, our taxes pay for $1500/day mercenaries running amok and shooting at civilians, meanwhile we're cutting back veteran's benefits because we supposedly "cannot afford" them. Uh-huh...

[edit on 30-4-2005 by xmotex]

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 12:52 PM
WyrdeOne, my understanding of the article was that the whistle-blower suit was brought to light by two Americans working for the company. So, I'm not sure why you think Iraqis are saying these things. Maybe I missed something in the article?

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 01:09 PM
You're right about who brought the suit. However, many of the reports about executions, burglaries, and other acts of abuse of power coming out of Iraq are likely being seeded by the resistance to reduce support for the war. Similarly, reports of mass graves, unaccounted for US soldiers, and the like, those stories may be true, but their source makes them somewhat questionable.

I assume these whistleblowers are acting on tips as well as first hand accounts. I could very well be wrong.

Sorry I wasn't clear about that.

[edit on 30-4-2005 by WyrdeOne]

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 05:33 PM
Barred from recieving any more government contracts. What will it take to get Halliburton barred?

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 05:36 PM
What kind of Security we are talking about, pretty much says it here:

They have been accused of unleashing a hail of bullets in a Baghdad hotel, only to discover, when the dust literally settled, that they had been shooting at each other.

Mercenary Morons.

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 05:51 PM
Looks like they were taking their cues from Haliburton and then doing them one better.

Guess what! In wars you get war profiteering.

One more reason to only go to war with good reason, and have a realistic post war plan laid out.

The US failed on both these counts. These corporations are just the dogs cleaning up the scraps of their master, the US government.

The same US government that has sold out the US southern border to big corporations call for slave labor.

Maybe one rationale for the Iraq war was distracting people from the invasion of illegal immigrants across our southern border. One MILLION per year.

posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 06:28 PM
These guys tried to pull a slick one a couple of months ago, saying they can't be sued in the US because the money they took was Iraqi money, not US money.

Salt Lake Tribune

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Attorneys for a U.S.-based security company accused of setting up sham companies in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme in Iraq are contending in court that the company cannot be sued under a key federal anti-corruption law because the allegedly stolen money belonged to Iraqis, not Americans.
The potentially precedent-setting case could undercut fraud claims involving billions of dollars in reconstruction contracts that were issued by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and paid for with money belonging to the Iraqi people.

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