RANGER AGAINST WAR: A Few Smart Bad Apples? <

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Few Smart Bad Apples?

Lt. Col. Marshall Gutierrez (deceased)

The Army Times reports today on audits scheduled to begin next week into possible contract fraud at Camp Arifjan, a large logistics and staging facility, in Kuwait. A previous audit describes Kuwait as "an environment ripe for misconduct and malfeasance" (Army Reviews Iraq Contracts for Fraud.)

Next week,


"This team of 10 auditors, criminal investigators and acquisition experts are starting with a sampling of the roughly 6,000 contracts worth $2.8 billion issued by an Army office in Kuwait that service officials have identified as a hub of corruption.

"The office, located at Camp Arifjan, buys gear and supplies to support U.S. troops as they move in and out of Iraq. The pace of that operation has exploded since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003."


This comes in the wake of the recent suspicious death of Lt. Colonel Marshall Gutierrez at Camp Arifjan, a whistleblower who accused Kuwait-based Public Warehousing of rampant overcharging. In what sounds like a set up job, Gutierrez was then charged with extortion of $3,500 by Public Warehousing, ending up in confinement at Camp Victory in Kuwait awaiting a court martial, and then, dead (The Wall Street Journal featured the story 10-21/22/07, "Inside the Greed Zone.")

Publicly traded Public Warehousing is one of the largest transport companies in the world, according to the Journal, and with more than $6 billion in U.S. contracts, "is designated a prime vendor for virtually all food served to U.S. forces in Iraq and Kuwait."

"Investigators suspect the military wound up paying inflated prices for everything from preserved milk to lobster tails. . ." Are soldiers eating lobster tails?

The Journal article mentions a "party house" run by one Saudi catering company, Tamimi Global, where bribes reportedly occur. We wonder if there is linkage to the bin Laden family. If there were, it would point up what a pathetic board game this entire Iraq venture is.


By way of explanation, The Army Times article says, "(s)igns of trouble include contracts continually awarded to vendors without the usual competition and awards that were competed but went to the bidder with the highest price rather than the lowest. A mismatch between the original product to be purchased and what was actually delivered is another red flag."


Cui bono
?

--Lisa

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28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi
There was a NG that told her parents when she was on leave if anything happened to her it's because of the corruption she had reported in the same place. I'm not sure but it was just a few months ago and she was from Michigan or Minn.
The other thing this reminds me of was comment by a General on how was it his counter parts could afford villas in Europe.
They're just stealing their's along with every one else while GIs & Iraqis die for their Blood Money.
jo6pac

Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 3:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

jo,

That's precisely why the U.S. cannot win a counterinsurgency--those that are counters are only interested in showing up at the bank counter.

Do you think any of these pricks like us, save for our money? I'm sure that they laugh at us as they're counting their checks at their villas (probably guarded by Blackwater employees.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007 at 6:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

a lot of these problems are exactly the sort of thing that prompted winfield scott and josephus daniels to establish the quatermaster and navy supply corps. they were tired of being ripped off and endangered by civilians looking to make a quick dirty buck off the troops.

i am not surprised in the slightest that it took such a short amount of time for this to degerate into such a den of thieves.

as far as the lobster tails go. some generals like to live that way, others don't. in the navy and the marine corps the officer's mess are membership groups that buy and pay for their own chow. if they want lobster on their dimes i figure it's cool.

if they are chowing down on that stuff while the troops are eating cold rations out of cans (i know i'm dating myself) they're just arrogant bastards.

sherman's command mess was a notoriously spartan operation. he made a point to never eat before the troops had eaten and usually he ate whatever they were having. he made an exception for his cigars though. had them shipped from a cousin in cuba.

Monday, October 29, 2007 at 11:18:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Beth said...

I have a Qui Tam which was filed against PWC Logistics in June of 2006. Glenn Simpson also published an article on my case. WSJ October 22, 2007 PageA6 "US Rebuffed Food Fraud Case"
Knowing how PWC operates I seriously doubt Lt. Col. Gutierrez took bribes. This contract involves billions of US Dollars and PWC will do many things to keep it and not get caught violating the contract and US law.
mvinc@netins.net

Monday, October 29, 2007 at 11:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

beth,

We wish you best of luck in your action.

Welcome to the site, and we would consider publishing anything you might like to add to this discussion.

Monday, October 29, 2007 at 5:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB,

As for your Civil War comment, the administration was, of course, in opposition to war profiteers. Unlike today's scenario, in which they are in apparent collusion with them.

Times do change.

Monday, October 29, 2007 at 5:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am a retired SGM (E9) from the US Army, was in Food Service and logistics during my 25 years in the service. I was responsible for the Balkon operation for Food Service and Logistics (G4)...There was no such food scandals either for that operation, or the later Kosovo operation I was also involved in...it was done as fairly and openly as possible...when we did find that mistakes had been made, we fixed them (there is always a need to review and fix)...

Since retiring, I have had various jobs which culminated in my starting a company that can provide food items and support to the zones of Iraq and Kuwait, as well as many other areas...both on the military and retail/commercial sides of business...

For the entire period of the Iraq War and follow on actions, our company has been blocked at various levels within the Prime Vendor world (with the exception of Supreme in Afghanistan) from getting any business, although our energy drink line, coffee program, coffee flavoring program, and etc. are all less costly and would save the Government literally millions of dollars each year...

It just seems to not matter, and rather was who you know, and what can you do for one or another person that determined whether or not you get business in that area...because the amounts are so huge, it is of concern (as we now are seeing)...

This blockage goes higher than just the contractor level too...and the "wall" has affected many big companies like Tyson and others, so is not just my little company that has been affected...

This "wall" preventing all but those willing to play the game of paybacks or incentives (or what ever you choose to call the money that allegedly passed) was created either directly or through proxy at the highest levels of the Army Food Service Program, and was condoned and supported both by active duty military members and civilians (many who are former military).

I have heard that investigations are finding out what exactly has taken place and cleaning house at all levels to include at the Headquarters (Army Center of Excellence, Food Service). In the war and support zone, the Prime Vendor contract area of resonsibility is being redefined and rebid for Iraq and surrounding areas, largely due to alleged misconduct.

Hopefully with a new and objective group of people at all levels and fresh contractor(s)this mess can be cleaned up. The responsible military departments, the military food advisors, the food companies, and the prime vendor contractor all need close scrutiny by the responsible official agencies, and proven violators relieved, punished, and replaced.

Just my two cents...

Kind Regards,

Dave

David Sweney
CEO, SGM CC
Dubai, UAE

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 10:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

SGM Sweney,Thanks for your input, it's informative and welcome.
Ranger's position is to fix the primary cause of corruption which is a phoney war led by phoney corrupt leadership that have sold out, for whatever reason.
End the war and the corruption ends , and we will not be any less safe. jim

Saturday, February 2, 2008 at 7:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Sam said...

I am a federal civilian and a large group of us volunteered to go to Camp Arifjan Kuwait for much of 2005. We had a fine group of people on my first deployment but when I returned after my second deployment I learned some very disturbing details concerning several of my co-workers.

I'll give you a little background on myself before I give all the nasty details about my fellow co-workers. I decided to volunteer for the trip because it was a chance to earn more money for my family and if I'm being honest, it had little to do with helping anyone other than my family but that soon changed. I remember one evening when a group of kids came in with their trucks and they were all sleeping in our shop while we were adding armor and in an instant the idea of money quickly left my thoughts and I saw how important the armor was to these brave men and women.

OK, now this will seem to be unbelievable to most, I know it is to me. Consider this one fact, I am a federal employee and I was on a United States Army project to up-armor vehicles on an Army base. I learned that my co-workers were defrauding thousands of dollars from the money earmarked for the Iraq war and more importantly from those fine men and women that I met that one evening and I couldn't just sit by and let that happen after all I was aware that the federal government wasn't spending the money to protect those young men and women and my co-workers certainly were not going to simply fill their pockets with the very funds that could have purchased even more protective armor. I have reported everything that I witnessed and I have a partial copy of an NCIS report that details a contractor offering kickbacks, prostitution, two co-workers paid $15,000.00 per month for a run down apartment near Kuwait city and the contractor gave them a $5000.00 kickback every month for renting from her. The NCIS report went on to disclose information about my project superintendent being detained in the Kuwait airport with $110,000.00 in cash in his carry-on bag. What has happened to my co-workers you might ask? NOTHING!!!!

The things that I witnessed while working on this project have profoundly affected me the rest of my life.

I have only touched on a small part of the things that I witnessed at Camp Arifjan and would welcome an exchange from anyone who may have also worked there and understands the atmosphere during those times.

Friday, February 15, 2008 at 7:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

sam,

Any info. I have is gotten from open source, and you have insider info which is of great value. The conditions that you describe are symptoms, rather than the disease. The disease is a rotten war that addresses nothing of a meaningful nature. As you noted, profiteering is the name of the game.

We hope you can get your knowledge out there, beyond the claim you have filed. Have you submitted your report to your congressman? Also, you could write to newspapers. You've written us, so we see you care.

End the phony war on terror and you end the profiteering. Unfortunately, at this site, your comment will not be seen by a broad audience as the post is old. But someone may be surfing like you and find it.

If you wish, we would consider posting a guest piece to publish on our site, if you're so inclined.

A previous writer has filed a Qui Tam claim, and left her contact info., FYI: Beth at mvinc@netins.net.

Best of luck.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 12:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Sam said...

Thanks Beth, I have never been a supporter of this so called war but I am smart enough to be able to separate my views of the war and yet still support the fine men and women simply doing their job and I'm sure you feel the same.

I have contacted many people including Dana Hedgpeth who is a writer for the Washington Post. I also filed a MSPB complaint against my employer for the threats and for being denied promotions and the judge in my case has viewed the NCIS report and decided to issue a protective order to keep the details for the fraud a secret. I think the big difference between my case and most is the fact that we are talking about federal civil service employees who committed the fraud and each of us hold secret security clearances so if my co-workers will defraud the government to fill their pockets, will they not also sell the enemy secrets for the same purpose?

Just another little bit of information. My co-workers and myself all work on very sensitive equipment on nuclear powered submarines and everyone knows that they have defrauded the federal government and yet they still hold a federal security clearance and yet my employer is terminating federal employees who have outstanding debt because they are considered a security risk.

Thanks,

Sam

Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 6:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Sam said...

Thanks Beth, I have never been a supporter of this so called war but I am smart enough to be able to separate my views of the war and yet still support the fine men and women simply doing their job and I'm sure you feel the same.

I have contacted many people including Dana Hedgpeth who is a writer for the Washington Post. I think the big difference between my case and most is the fact that we are talking about federal civil service employees who committed the fraud and each of us hold secret security clearances so if my co-workers will defraud the government to fill their pockets, will they not also sell the enemy secrets for the same purpose?

Just another little bit of information. My co-workers and myself all work on very sensitive equipment on nuclear powered submarines and everyone knows that they have defrauded the federal government and yet they still hold a federal security clearance and at the same time my employer is terminating federal employees who have outstanding debt because they are considered a security risk.

Thanks,

Sam

Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 6:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Sam said...

Lisa, I apologize for the mistake on your name. I guess I had just finished reading Beth's blog and I simply got the two confused but thanks for your comments.

Sam

Monday, February 18, 2008 at 6:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Sam,

No problem--Beth was actually the other respondent who left her email contact:

"Beth said...

I have a Qui Tam which was filed against PWC Logistics in June of 2006. Glenn Simpson also published an article on my case. WSJ October 22, 2007 PageA6 "US Rebuffed Food Fraud Case"
Knowing how PWC operates I seriously doubt Lt. Col. Gutierrez took bribes. This contract involves billions of US Dollars and PWC will do many things to keep it and not get caught violating the contract and US law.
mvinc@netins.net"

Best of luck,

Lisa

Monday, February 18, 2008 at 6:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think this LTC Gutierrez took bribes, because it defies common sense that anyone who launched a complaint about over charging would then solicit bribes from the same company. This man never had a blemish on his record, and as far as the journal states anyone that worked with him said he was a straight arrow. Plus for those who are ex-military will know that a LTC makes a decent monthly salary, so a 3400 dollar bribe would be roughly the equivalent of half a months pay.(Hardly worth ruining your career over) I mean if you are going to solicit contracts wouldn't you take more than this for 18 million in contracts. Plus if you read about other cases where soldiers were accused they take large sums.
Then in regards to the death, this is fishy and stinks to kingdom come. OK in the journal it states that LTC Gutierrez died from ethylene Glycol poisoning from drinking anti freeze. Well for one, anyone who has ever been to Kuwait knows that you cannot even pump your own gas, much less handle any kind of potentially harmful chemicals without protective clothing. Plus, if he was under investigation he had all of his priviliges and everything taken so he would not be able to waltz in to a place and just take what he wanted. On top of the fact that he should've been under watch, because of his so called "suicide" attempt in custody. Then big factor! this is what sent red flags off in my mind, in the Journal article, it says that sometime after nine in the morning there was a receipt to a green bean cafe, that was found. Well with a little research if one reads up about ethylene glycol posioning, you will see that this would be very unlikely, because of the signs that would be exhibited. Someone would've of noticed something was wrong, and by my guess he would have probably been going through organ failure, which I would imagine is quite painful and the last thing you would be thinking about is a muffin. This is my two cents.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 2:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon,
I agree with all your cmts and observations.And in the meantime the good LTC is still dead and the game goes on. jim

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 9:44:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

anon,

LTC Gutierrez had an immaculate record. Precisely right--the muffin at the cafe at 9:00 a.m. does not square with ethylene glycol poisoning.

Why so many lies when people end up killed or dead?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 9:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lt. Col Marshall Gutierrez did not kill himself. He was murdered for initiating an investigation of PWC Logistics. He is not a polgamist nor a briber-taker.

You complain to Gary Shifton of DSCP you either end up dead or threatened.

What's really on those PV Contract food shipments? Just food??? I doubt it!

Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 12:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Anon,

LTC Gutierrez clearly believed in a military which would want to root out corruption. That he may have been mistaken would mean we are no longer who we think we are.

What do you make of Air Force Brig. Gen. Tinsley's recent "apparent suicide"?

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/07/31/
Air_Force_Brig_Gen_Tinsley_dead_at_45/UPI-83771217478556/

Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 10:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The corruption continues here on Camp Arifjan, it's just no so in your face anymore. It makes me sick to know that we have military leaders who hide behind brave men, and kill thier own! Col Brick T Miller, and Charles "Toby" Switzer (PWC CEO) are two corrupt bags "O" $4it. Mr. Switzer even managed to have an all access blue Embassy badge, all the while being here as a private citizen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 6:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone checked on the checked on the talk of when Col Miller had a car shipped home? When loading the car, a strap had to be moved before lifting it. A box fell out from under and broke open. It was full of money. There were 2 boxes each filled with money.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 9:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon,
Can you quote a CID case number on this purported incident with COL.Miller? I'll write about it if you can forward proof.
jim

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 10:59:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot give a CID #. My son was with a contractor that did a lot of contracts with Maj. Cockerham.He knew Col. Miller. There was an article in the San Antonio, Tx. news paper Monday about the upcomming trial of the Maj. His sister changed her mind last week and pleded guilty. I sent the article to him in Kuwait. The article said that there were going to be checking of people higher than a Maj. It stated they were going to look at some colonels. When he was with the company in Iraq and Kuwait he often spoke of the corruption. When this started to unravvel he called and ask to have his name put on the list to check out. He still lives in Kuwait but with another co.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 8:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone out there know anything about a retired Gen. named Dan Mongeon? Conveniently, he worked with LTC Gutierrez in Panama and they eventually crossed paths in Kuwait while Mongeon was employed by, None other than, PWC. If that isn't curious, I don't know what is.

Monday, May 4, 2009 at 12:48:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Test

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 9:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COL Brick Miller was banging his E-5 red headed secretary. I was stationed at Camp Arifjan from February through November 2006 and saw COl Miller in civis picking up his E-5 secretary, also dressed in civis from behind her barracks. I remember it was a Sunday afternoon and after he saw me he stepped on the gas of that SUV (with her inside) like crazy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 9:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COL John Anderson took over the ASG Command, and COL Anderson's wife told him she did not want that red headed there as his secretary, and the read headed secretary was booted out of there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 9:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CSA was the worst contractor there in Kuwait. No one will ever know how much Bill Stirling took in his days as the CEO

Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 5:36:00 AM GMT-5  

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