Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for August, 2009

No Respect

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 29, 2009

This is a little OT again but should interest everyone Ollieenough to cross post from Civilian Contractors

Regret the ring wing left wing language as we try to avoid that here

Colonels’ Corner by Ollie North

Bagram, Afghanistan —  It is amazing how a change of geography can alter perception. In the weeks leading up to this, my 16th FOX News deployment to cover the fight against radical Islamic terror, the news was full of attacks on civilian contractors. The target: Those who have been providing support for U.S. military and intelligence operations since Sept. 11, 2001.

“Contractor” is the new dirty word in the so-called mainstream media and in Washington. On Capitol Hill, contractors are the Rodney Dangerfields of the war – they just don’t “get no respect.” Here, where the war is being fought, contractors are regarded as essential to victory.

The attacks on civilian contractors didn’t begin with this summer’s hemorrhage of congressional leaks, sensational disclosures of classified information, threats of inquisitions and the appointment of a special prosecutor. Civilian contractors have been in the crosshairs of Congress since George Washington had to defend buying beans, bread, bandages and bullets from sutlers accompanying the Revolutionary Army. In the opening days of World War II, then-Senator Harry Truman became famous for threatening to “lock up” civilian contractors for producing sub-par munitions and President Dwight D. Eisenhower ominously warned against the threat of a “military-industrial complex.”

However, all that is pale by comparison to the viscera now being aimed at civilian contractors supporting the campaigns in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates and in the shadow of the Hindu Kush. Though the mainstream media and congressional critics initially ignored the essential role played by civilian security and logistics contractors in the opening months of Operation Enduring Freedom, they went into high dudgeon when the Bush administration began preparations for liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein.

It has gone downhill since.

Critics on the left are quick to point to events like the 2007 incident in Baghdad that led to the prosecution of security contractors for using excessive force in carrying out protective duties. On Capitol Hill, members of Congress have threatened to cut the budgets of federal agencies that use security contractors instead of government employees to protect key personnel and sensitive installations. At the Pentagon — which uses more civilian contractors in the war effort than any other U.S. government entity — the response to the criticism was capitulation.

In April, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced plans to hire 30,000 additional Department of Defense employees to cut the percentage of work being done by contractors. The FY 2010 Defense Budget request replaces nearly 14,000 contractor personnel with government employees, even though the “lifetime cost” — counting government benefits and retirement — will more than double the expense to American taxpayers. The numbers don’t mesh, but when it comes to getting the press and politicians off the backs of Pentagon poobahs, cutting contractors loose is apparently a small price to pay.

Unfortunately, dollars may not be the only thing lost.

Last week, in the midst of the firestorm over U.S. intelligence agencies using private contractors, General Michael Hayden, CIA director from 2006-09, asked a telling question: “Who is the best individual available for this task at this moment?” With more than 30 percent of his former agency’s work being performed by contractors, the answer is obvious. He went on to note that the CIA uses contractors for their “very discreet skill sets” and “as an integral part of our workforce.”

The CIA isn’t alone. Here in Afghanistan there are more than 74,000 military contractors and the number is increasing as more U.S. and NATO troops “surge” into the theatre. Though it’s unlikely to make the lead story in any of the mainstream media, contractors are performing tasks that U.S. government entities either cannot do or that cannot be done as economically. A few non-sensational, but essential examples:

— The Afghanistan Border Police (ABP) has the mission of securing the country’s porous borders — an absolutely crucial task if the fight against the Taliban is to be won. The ABP is being recruited, screened, trained, equipped and advised by fewer than 140 private contractor personnel. To date they have deployed more than 3,600 new ABP officers.

— The Counter Narcotics Police and the Afghanistan Narcotics Interdiction Unit (NIU) are being mentored, trained and supported by fewer than 40 private contractors. These law enforcement units are key components in denying the Taliban and Al Qaeda revenues from opium production.

— In the 11 months since I was last in Afghanistan, private contractor aircraft have flown more than 12,000 sorties, delivering nearly 6 million pounds of cargo, 5 million pieces of U.S. mail and 59,000 personnel to installations around the country. Contractor aircraft have also air-dropped more than 640,000 pounds of urgently needed, food, water, ammunition, and medical supplies to troops on the battlefield. For last week’s presidential elections, contractor aircraft airdropped equipment and ballots to remote polling stations.

Like it or not, our modern, all-volunteer military cannot fight or even prepare to do so without civilian contractors. Propagandists for the left know it is no longer politically correct to attack young Americans in uniform, so they aim their viscera at military, logistics, security and intelligence support contractors instead.

Disparaging and de-funding civilian contractors is just one more way of disarming America, but at the end of the day, we won’t win without them.

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AIG stocks jump, curiously

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 28, 2009

AIG-stocks-jump-curiously?????????????????????????????

NEW YORK, Aug. 28 (UPI) — An unlikely resurgence of American International Group may epitomize the new appetite for risk on Wall Street, an equity analyst at Optique Capital said.

Analyst William Fitzpatrick wondered “who would want to buy stock that’s still 80 percent owned by the government?”

On the other hand, he said, “the risk appetite has returned to the marketplace.”

There appears to be a willingness among investors to pounce on stock that was beaten down through the economic crisis and may be poised to return to normalcy, or at least head in that direction.

AIG, which received $180 billion in bailout funds, recently replaced Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy with former MetLife executive Robert Benmosche, who said he frequently talks with former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg and that he wants to pay the government back as soon as possible, The New York Times reported Friday.

Is that enough to explain a 27 percent jump in share value Thursday?

AIG stocks closed at $47.84, having gone up four-fold in the past two months.

That puts the value of the company at $6.4 billion, far less than it owes the government, the Times said.

Original story here

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Practicing Medicine Without a Licencse

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 26, 2009

Without a medical licenseWhen Donna Sprags refuses to approve surgery ordered by the injured contractors doctor on a destroyed shoulder because it won’t help the injured contractor get back to work, it will only relieve his constant pain……….

When CNA and Mr Lawyer  refuses TBI screening to someone who took the full blast of a bomb……….

When Samin Papa refuses to approve medication ordered by a doctor to relieve nightmares because it is also used to treat high blood pressure……….

When AIG’s claims adjusters and lawyers refuse to have bullets removed from bodies, deny diagnoses and treatment of PTSD, and deny countless MRI’s and treatment  for back injuries causing permanent nerve damage…………

Are they not making medical decisions for patients without a license?

By Ricky in Texas on CNA’s John Little

John Little is my new workman’s comp adjuster. He has refused my medication refills (I’ve been seeing the same doctor since my injury started)and now claims that he WILL NOT Pay my benefits. I DO NOT ABUSE my medications and I AM TRULY DISABLED.

My doctor is very GOOD and he has been trying to atleast keep me out of a wheelchair. John Little called me last month as “The New Adjuster” and IS trying to practice Medicine in the state of Texas without a Medical Degree .

I’ve also received a “SHAM REVIEW” by Dr. John Hite. I’ve NEVER seen this doctor and my personal doc knows Dr. John Hite as Dr. Hite has referred patients to my doc, Dr. Edward Talmage.

On advisement of my doctor, I’m filing a”Harrassment Complaint against John Little for calling the pharmacy and telling them that he WILL NOT pay my claims as I’m on too many medications. Dr. Hite has written a “Sham Review” acting as my doctor and has NEVER sen me. Dr. Hite was a Neurological Surgeon, then retired and went on the wkman’s comp gravy train.

I’ve NEVER refused to see any doctor that workman’s comp has sent me to. I have NOTHING to hide and now I’m left detoxing (unnecessarily) because of BOTH of THEM. I need Assistance and I need it NOW! Those people are going to kill someone and I have a disabled wife and grandson to worry about.

I CAN NOT pay for my medications, treatments,etc. that I AM entitiled to by John Little. I’m trying not to use a  lawyer (The Truth SHOULD be on my side) but these 2 men are trying to kill me. PLEASE HELP NOW!!!

Rickey
Rosenberg, Texas
U.S.A.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CNA Big Dog Attorneys Juggling Cases

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 25, 2009

Hot Potato  Hot Potato  Hot Potatoa hot potato

Cold

Posted in AIG and CNA | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Things Went Really Bad

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 21, 2009

‘Things went really bad’ says British ex-soldier facing Iraq death penalty

Daniel-Fitzsimons-001Paratrooper turned security guard Daniel Fitzsimons tells of night in Baghdad that left him accused of shooting dead two men

Leading security providers have recently been accused of lowering employment standards for prospective guards and in some cases barely vetting them at all.

The British security guard facing the death penalty in Baghdad says he can remember little about the night he is accused of shooting dead two colleagues, except that things “went really, really bad, really quickly”.

Former paratrooper Daniel Fitzsimons, 33, says he is haunted by the faces of Briton Paul McGuigan, and Australian Darren Hoare, who were both shot dead near a bar inside the compound of the British security company ArmorGroup in the early hours of 9 August.

“I have sat here trying to think through the whys and the wherefores,” Fitzsimons told the Guardian in his first interview since then. “I see Paul and Darren’s faces every night before I sleep and every morning when I wake up.”

Fitzsimons is the first foreign national charged under Iraqi law since the 2003 invasion. “The only two people who can tell me what happened that night are both dead. All I know is that it went really, really bad, really quickly,” he said.

Read Full Story here

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Really Big Fishing

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 20, 2009

We don’t have Waxmans list of insurance companies but AIG and CNA are bound to be on it.369326654_1347a48dfd_o

Democratic Investigators Target Health Insurers

House Democrats are probing the nation’s largest insurance companies for lavish spending, demanding reams of compensation data and schedules of retreats and conferences.

Letters sent to 52 insurance companies by Democratic leaders demand extensive documents for an examination of ‘extensive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry.” The letters set a deadline of Sept. 14 for the documents.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, signed the three-page letter dated Monday.

An industry source replied when asked for comment: “This is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition designed to silence health plans.”

By Sept. 4, the firms are supposed to supply detailed compensation data for board members and top executives, as well as a “table listing all conferences, retreats, or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007, to the present that were paid for, reimbursed, or subsidized in whole or in part by your company.”

For employees or officers making $500,000 or more, the committee wants information on salary, bonus, options and pension.

And by Sept. 14, the firms are supposed to provide copies of reports from compensation consultants, plus board drafts of compensation plans and information about market share.

Posted in AIG and CNA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Superbugs via the military evacuation system and your DBA claim

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 20, 2009

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Injured contractors who enter the military evacuation system either in Iraq or Afghanistan are at an extremely high risk of being contaminated with Multiple Drug Resistant or Completely Drug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, in addition to MRSA, Klebsiella pneumonia, VRE, C diff, Psuedomonas aeruginosa, several species of Proteus, and more.  While these bugs are also available in our civilian hospitals the strains you will find in the military health system have been fast tracked to drug resistance by the overuse, misuse, of antibiotics starting at the field hospitals in often desperate attempts to save lives and limbs.

These bacterial infections sound scary enough but the toxic drugs used to treat them can be more dangerous than the bugs themselves.

Permanent organ damage or outright failure is a common.   Metabolic changes, insulin intolerance, alcohol intolerance, hearing damage, nerve damage, can all stay with you for the rest of your life.  Many patients will remain carriers of MDRAb and MRSA.

All injured contractors who were repatriated via any part of the military evacuation and/or health system should check your medical records to see if you were treated with toxic drugs for any of these bugs but most seriously Acinetobacter baumannii.   The military and the civilian hospitals are not always forthcoming with information regarding these infections. They are preventable and are spread by a lack of sterile conditions.   They do not originate in the soil in Iraq or Afghanistan, nor do the insurgents put them on IED’s as has been suggested by the DoD to CNN.  These hospital acquired infections are downplayed by all involved so you will see much information out there that paints a prettier story than we present you here.  We have no advertising money, no one owns us.

If you were blown up and went to Landstuhl you would have been put on these drugs immediately as a cautionary measure due to nearly all open wounds becoming contaminated with Acinetobacter baumannii.  If you happened to have a Traumatic Brain Injury from the explosion you were in,  your freshly compressed, damaged, brain cells were bathed in high doses of neurotoxic drugs.

Any claim you present to the insurance company should include lifelong damages caused by treatment with these toxic drugs.   Many people will remain at risk of reinfection as there is no way to know if your body has been purged of these organisms.

The Iraq Infections

Three Canadian Soldiers Sick with Superbug

The Invisible Enemy by Steve Silberman

Posted in PTSD and TBI, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The DBA’s Exclusive Remedy: Why Danny Fitzsimons’ PTSD was a Non Issue?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 16, 2009

The Defense Base Act includes a clause called the “Exclusive Remedy” making the DBA the employers exclusive liability and the employees’s exclusive remedy.

When the contract company  purchases the cost reimbursable DBA insurance for it’s employees it has just been released of all liability for any reason.   It is relieved from  litigation by the employee or his/her family members.  Many employees have never heard of the DBA or know that it is their exclusive remedy.  There is no “policy” delivered to them for their perusal or signature.

There is no financial gain to the employer by screening for PTSD and no financial loss to them when an employee snaps.  Even worse, when an employee files a claim for PTSD they most often are denied diagnoses and treatment by the DBA insurance companies AIG and CNA.

When the employee is forced into years of litigation in the Department of Labors’ Administrative Law System they will be pitted against their employer.   AIG and CNA will subpeona the employers representatives and fellow employees to testify against them at their hearing.  They may lie and blame this mental illness on the wife, or stepchildren,  anything but the stress of working and living in a war zone.

Many of the deaths and injuries to civilian contractors in the war zones were due to negligence on the part of the employer.     Employers often failed to provide necessary safety equipment, security,  and/or to implement, or allow to be implemented,  the most basic Safety and Standard Operating Procedures that would normally be followed.   So far there has been no consequence to bear on the companies or individuals who were negligent.

Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare are dead.   Young children have lost their fathers and their own financial futures as the DBA will little if anything, reimburse them for this loss.  It’s possible these families will never see a dime from the DBA insurance company.  Hopefully there were supplemental policies in place.

Danny Fitzsimons was lost to this world years ago when his mental instability was not properly addressed.

He now stands in the eyes of the Iraqi’s as representative of all those who have abused them over these years.  He is being fast tracked through their legal system to a possible hanging.

As the facts of this tragedy come to light we see clearly how many times the opportunity to prevent it were overlooked.

The only ones who will pay the price are the dead, injured, incarcerated, their families and the US taxpayer who paid for the insurance policies and may reimburse the insurance companies for the claims, to include their attorneys,  under the War Hazards Act.

The DBA and it’s Exclusive Remedy clause are a free pass to unmitigated negligence.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Sometimes It’s Not Your War, But You Sacrifice Anyway

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 14, 2009

photo_1927
T. Christian Miller has been investigating and reporting on contractor issues for the LA Times and ProPublica.  The following is a heartfelt commentary on the plight of the injured war zone worker both domestic and foreign.
The exploitation and abandonment of these foreign workers at the hands of our corporate war profiteers, that includes you CNA and AIG,  needs to remain a prominent issue in our battle with the DBA here in the States.
Thank you T for your huge efforts and the credibility you bring to our cause.
By T. Christian Miller
Sunday, August 16, 2009

Washington Post Opinions

To outsource the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has turned to the cheapest labor possible. About two-thirds of the 200,000 civilians working under federal contracts in the war zones are foreigners. Many come from poor, Third World countries. Others are local hires.

These low-paid foreign workers face many of the same risks soldiers do. Mortars have killed Filipinos who served meals in mess halls. Assassins have targeted Iraqis translating for soldiers. Roadside bombs have ripped into trucks driven by Turkish nationals. These workers have been wounded like soldiers. They have died like soldiers.

The United States has a system to provide care for such civilian casualties. Developed in the 1940s, it is an obscure type of workers’ compensation insurance, funded by taxpayers and overseen by the Labor Department. Mandated by a law called the Defense Base Act, the system requires almost every federal contractor working abroad to purchase insurance to cover injuries arising from work or war, for all employees, American or foreign.

American civilian workers have had trouble enough getting payment for their injuries. AIG, the primary provider of such insurance, has battled them over everything from prosthetic legs to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to court records and interviews. But at least the Americans have a fighting chance.

For foreign workers, the system has not even come close to delivering on its promises. In Nepal, I spoke with a family in a remote valley of tumbling rivers and jewel-green rice fields. After neighbors heard news reports over the radio, the family watched an Internet video that showed that their son had been executed in a dusty ditch in western Iraq on his way to work at a base for U.S. soldiers. Neither the company nor the United States had made any effort to contact them. The elderly couple, who had relied upon their son’s salary, wondered how they would survive.

———————————-

Nearly 1,600 civilian workers have died in Iraq, and more than 35,000 have reported injuries. Since 2001, Congress has held scores of hearings for injured veterans, but only two for injured contractors. The Government Accountability Office has published more than 100 studies on veterans’ benefits since March 2003. It has done two on the Defense Base Act.

Nor, with a few exceptions, have the contract firms stepped forward for their employees. No company leads a charge to fix the system. Notably silent is Washington Group International, a major contractor in Iraq. The company, which has reported 19 deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, was once known as Morrison Knudsen. Now part of URS Corp., the company declined to answer questions about contractor deaths.   Full Story here

This story at Propublica

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Tales from the Dark Side

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 14, 2009

Come_on_the_dark_side____by_VyrL

Mickey Thomas and Michael Quinn, formerly of Laughlin, Falbo, Levy, and Moresi who used to, maybe still do, serve the Dark Lord CNA, have apparently decided to stick by the Dark Side.

You can find them at

Thomas, Quinn & Krieger

199 Fremont Street, 20th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94105

Where they appear to be doing some work for CNA.

Posted in AIG and CNA | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Fitzsimons Update: ‘traumatised by combat’

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 14, 2009

Contractor accused of Baghdad murders ‘was traumatised by combat’

Full Story here

Fitzsimons, 29, who faces the death penalty if convicted, was traumatised by his experiences in Iraq and Kosovo according to his family.

The walls of his flat were covered with poems about death and destruction and Fitzsimons would pace the floor at night, they said.

“We feel deeply for the two men who were shot and their families but there is a third victim in this,” his stepmother, Liz, a teacher, told the Independent. “He is very, very poorly. He should not have got a paid post working for a private security firm.”

His brother Michael said Fitzsimons would cry as he told of finding a child’s head in Kosovo, picking up bits of his friend’s brain in Iraq, and the faces of enemies he had killed in combat. Michael Fitzsimons said his brother told him: “I won’t make it past 30, I will either get shot out there or kill myself.”

In 2004, a psychiatric report said that he had combat stress after he drunkenly punched an officer and was held back when his battalion was sent to Iraq.

It has also emerged that Fitzsimons was facing a possible jail term in Britain. Earlier this year, he pulled a flare gun on children and fired it into the air to scare them off at his home in Middleton, Greater Manchester.

He was convicted on 1 April of a public order offence over the incident but left for Iraq before he could be sentenced.

Fitzsimons was given a suspended sentence in November last year for firearms offences after being found in possession of prohibited ammunition – believed to be 5.5mm tapered Nato-issue bullets.

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Danny Fitzsimons on Probation for gun offence

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 13, 2009

Briton facing Iraq murder trial on probation for gun offence

The guard facing trial for murder in Iraq flew to Baghdad last week despite being under probation supervision in Britain after being convicted of robbery and firearms offences.

Danny Fitzsimons’s criminal past raises questions about the vetting process of ArmorGroup, the private security company that hired him. It has a policy of not employing anyone with a criminal record. His move to Iraq may also cast doubt on the supervision given to Mr Fitzsimons, 29, by the Greater Manchester Probation Service. The former paratrooper from Middleton was supposed to report regularly to a probation officer.  Full Story here

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Endless War: The Suicide of the United States

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 12, 2009

by: Dahr Jamail, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

“We hear war called murder. It is not: it is suicide.”
– Ramsay MacDonald, British prime minister 1931-1935

Sergio Kochergin, back home from his second deployment in Iraq, held a gun in his mouth, trying to muster the courage to pull the trigger. Untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and accompanying nightmares and insomnia, heavy substance abuse, and several failed attempts at self-medication had taken their toll on him. He was in an apartment he shared with a friend in Texarkana, Texas, after having spent the past few months with his parents, where he “was drinking too much and causing too much trouble, breaking things, flipping out every day, and cursing at them.” Full Story here


Posted in PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

KBR Cited by Oversight Commission

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 11, 2009

Iraq contractor KBR cited by oversight commission

WASHINGTON — An independent panel examining waste and fraud in wartime spending accused contracting giant KBR Inc. on Tuesday of resisting government oversight and failing to cut costs on support work in Iraq.

Commission on Wartime Contracting

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Danny Fitzsimons Discharged from Army with PTSD

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 11, 2009

Briton facing death penalty in Iraq ‘suffering from stress’

The parents of an ex-Paratrooper who allegedly shot two fellow security guards in Iraq have said he was suffering from a stress disorder triggered by his experience of conflict.

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In a statement the family appealed for assistance to ensure that Daniel Fitzsimons, who faces the death penalty, is granted a fair trial in Baghdad.

The former soldier has reportedly said that colleagues, Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare were shot after he received a “beating” from the two men after a drinking session in the city’s Green Zone.

He is being held at a jail in central Baghdad under Iraqi law and could be the first Westerner to go to court on criminal charges since immunity was lifted earlier this year.

“We are seeking funding in order to get a fair trial for Daniel, who served his country in Afghanistan and Iraq and left the Army suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,”

the statement from father Eric and stepmother Liz, from Whitworth, and mother Beverley, from Blackley, said. “This situation is every parent’s worst nightmare. We have been unable to speak directly to Daniel and are currently in contact with the Foreign Office, Fair Trials Abroad and our local MP, Jim Dobbin.”

Mr Fitzsimons was born in Rochdale and grew up in New Moston, Manchester. He went to school at Our Lady’s Catholic school in Royton, Oldham, before joining the Army.

Friends have revealed Mr Fitzsimons lived by himself in a flat in Rochdale and that he had told only his father and doctor about the trauma he had suffered.

Mr Fitzsimons had returned to Iraq as a private security contractor, ‘on and off’, for around three years. “I got into a fight with two colleagues and they had me pinned down. I received a real beating,” he told the Times. “They beat me and that’s when I reached for my weapon. I was drunk and it happened very quickly.”

An Iraqi military spokesman, Major General Qassim al-Moussawi said the circumstances of the fight were well established. “It started as a squabble. The suspect is facing a premeditated murder charge,” he said. “The matter is now in the hands of Iraqi justice.”

Another British man was questioned by police and later released, the Foreign Office confirmed.

A friend of Fitzsimons told ITV News that the former soldier had struggled to recover from serving in Iraq. “He’s not a cold-blooded murderer, he’s just someone that has basically been in a war zone and is reaping the effects,” he said. “He’s been through some very tragic and hard-core events and you know, seeing friends killed and colleagues killed has an effect on you.”  Original Story here

Iraq guard Fitzsimons tells The Times he killed in self-defence

One former British soldier who had worked alongside Mr Fitzsimons, who previously served as a Paratrooper, claimed he had a history of violent conduct. “This should have precluded him from being hired,” he said. “This guy should never have been out here.”

A contractor based in Britain who also worked with Mr Fitzsimons agreed. “We have guys working in Iraq whose backgrounds are not checked as they should be,” he said. “This guy has been a loose cannon for years.”

ArmorGroup said it had a strong vetting and screening process for its employees. “We have been presented with the allegations regarding Mr Fitzsimons today and they are currently under thorough investigation. Until that is complete, we are not able to comment further,” a spokeswoman added. Existing employees in Iraq, however, said that on-the-job monitoring of staff was at best cursory.   Times story here

Posted in PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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