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Gov’t Watchdog Criticizes Pentagon Center for PTSD, Brain Injuries

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 11, 2011

By T Christian Miller and Joaquim Sapien at ProPublica  July 11, 2011

If you want more explanation about the military’s troubles in treating troops with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress, read no further than two recent but largely unnoticed reports from the Government Accountability Office.

It turns out the Pentagon’s solution to the problems is an organization plagued by weak leadership, uncertain priorities and a money trail so tangled that even the GAO’s investigators couldn’t sort it out. The GAO findings on the Pentagon’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCOE) echo our own series [1] on the military’s difficulty in handling the so-called invisible wounds of war.

“We have an organization that exists, but we have considerable concern about what it is that it’s actually accomplishing,” said Denise Fantone, a GAO director who supervised research on one of the reports. She added: “I can’t say with any certainty that I know what DCOE does, and I think that’s a concern.”

First, some background. After the 2007 scandal over poor care delivered to soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Congress ordered the Pentagon to do a better job treating soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The Pentagon’s answer was to create DCOE [2]. The new organization was supposed to be a clearinghouse to foster cutting-edge research in treatments.

DCOE was rushed into existence in late 2007. Since then, it has churned through three leaders, including one let go after alleged sexual harassment of subordinates [3]. It takes more than five months to hire each employee because of the federal government’s glacial process. As a result, private contractors make up much of the center’s staff.

“DCOE’s development has been challenged by a mission that lacks clarity and by time-consuming hiring processes,” according to the first report in the GAO series [4], focusing on “management weakness” at DCOE.

Just as concerning, the GAO says that it can’t quite figure out how much money DCOE has received or where it has all gone. DCOE has never submitted a budget document that fully conformed to typical federal standards, according to a GAO report released last month [5]. In one year, the center simply turned in a spreadsheet without detailed explanations

Please read the entire article at ProPublica

Posted in Department of Defense, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Scientific Review Kicks Off to Weigh Treatment for Brain-Injured Soldiers

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 7, 2011

Perhaps one day diagnoses and treatment options will be made available to Injured Contractors.

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR Feb. 7, 2011

The Institutes of Medicine kicked off its yearlong study of cognitive rehabilitation therapy on Monday, a process that will help the Pentagon decide whether its health plan will cover the treatment for troops who have suffered brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We’ve previously reported [1] that Tricare, which covers troops and many veterans, relied on a controversial study to deny coverage for the treatment, which helps rewire soldiers’ brains to perform basic tasks such as memorizing lists and following orders. Tricare said the study showed there wasn’t enough evidence to support paying for the treatment, which can cost more than $50,000 per soldier. The Pentagon says nearly 200,000 troops have suffered traumatic brain injuries since the wars began, though our own reporting [2] shows the numbers are probably a lot higher.

The IOM panel of experts will review scientific literature and ultimately render a decision on whether it supports the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation therapy. If the experts reach this conclusion, they will hardly be the first to do so. In April 2009, a consensus panel assembled by the Pentagon said the therapy works, especially for soldiers suffering more severe forms of brain injury. Other groups, such as the Brain Injury Association of America, have weighed in to support it. Even some major private insurance companies pay for it.

The head of the IOM panel, Georgetown University neurologist Ira Shoulson, pointedly quizzed Tricare on this issue at Monday’s session, asking what the current review would produce that previous reviews had not.

Capt. Robert DeMartino, Tricare’s director of behavioral health, said he hoped the panel would be able to pinpoint what types of cognitive rehabilitation works best, and what kind of civilian doctors and clinicians were best qualified to provide it. He noted that stories published last year by ProPublica and NPR have cast a “shadow” over the issue, prompting congressional committees and lawmakers to pressure Tricare to provide cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

“For us, we know that we’re in a field like a gray zone,” said DeMartino, who addressed the panel by speakerphone. “We want to make sure the [treatments] that work are the ones we are going to use.”

The IOM review will continue through the end of the year, and the panel expects to convene other public sessions to help them arrive at a determination.

Posted in Department of Defense, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dozens Of Major Military Contractors Granted Legal Immunity

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on December 3, 2010

By Marcus Baram at Huffington Post

NEW YORK — Taxpayers may be on the hook if U.S. military contractors in Iraq incur liability while carrying out their work.

More than 120 military contracts include indemnification clauses — essentially, promises that the Pentagon will pick up the tab if contractors are sued. The information was disclosed on Thursday in response to an inquiry by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who was concerned that contractor Kellogg Brown Root was granted indemnity amid a lawsuit claiming that the Halliburton subsidiary knowingly exposed soldiers to cancer-causing chemicals in Iraq, as previously reported by The Huffington Post.

Though Blumenauer said the Pentagon appears to show a “diligent, responsible process for work carried out in the United States that protects taxpayers from liability in cases of contractor negligence,” he expressed concern about what he called “far looser standards” for work in Iraq.

The list of contractors include major airlines American, Continental and United, as well as military contractors Raytheon Missile Systems, General Dynamics, L3, Lockheed Martin, BAE, and Boeing. Other indemnified companies include Mason and Hanger, a company which stores and transports containers of the nerve agent VX, and several firms that maintain facilities to destroy chemical agents.

Few details appear in the documents released by the Department of Defense, although the Army does describe a $646,351.50 payment to anthrax-vaccine maker Emergent to cover the costs of two lawsuits brought by U.S. soldiers who claimed they were sickened by the vaccine. In one class-action suit, Ammend et al v. BioPort, the plaintiffs claimed that the Emergent subsidiary BioPort caused them to “suffer extreme pain and suffering” through its carelessness and negligence. In several other similar cases, the Pentagon refused to pay the contractor’s litigation costs.

With Rep. Kurt Schrader and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, all fellow Oregon Democrats, Blumenauer introduced legislation in September that would require regular reporting to Congress of contracts that contain such clauses. Please see the original post here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Iraq | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 5, 2010

by Gordon Duff at Veterans Today


A water truck backs up to the Euphrates River in Iraq.  The driver, a Ugandan or maybe an Ethiopian, gets out, lowers a hose into the sewage ridden flow and fills his truck.  5 miles away, a US Army water purification center sits, too far away.  The driver thinks, “water is water.”  Another of the Pentagon’s “Zombie Contractors” take their toll, part of the army of “undead” and unqualified who are the world’s most expensive work force.

The driver, an employee of a company once headed by the Vice President of the United States, could care less, clean water, filth or sewage, it is only going to American troops as drinking water.

The words “typhoid” or “hepatitis” mean nothing to him, he has never heard them and certainly didn’t read them in his daily log.  He never reads anything.  He can’t as he is illiterate like tens of thousands of other employees that the American taxpayer is coughing up $1000 a day for, even more, sometimes much more.

The driver considers himself well paid at $10 dollars a day.

The troops drinking the water would only find out weeks later that it was contaminated with sewage.  Similarly, 33 American soldiers have been electrocuted by faulty wiring installed by work crews that wouldn’t know “positive” from “negative.”  The Pentagon paid for journeymen and got third world unemployed, swept up off the streets, trucked out of the slums of Africa or South America, many decent and hard working people but to the contracting firms, American, British and Israeli, mostly, they are nothing but a way of defrauding the Pentagon, something any child could do.

The Pentagon doesn’t care, not as long as the company’s politics are right and, under the Bush administration, “right” meant extreme right.

Americans have been told the hundreds of thousands of highly paid contractors in, not only Iraq and Afghanistan but throughout the Middle East, were veterans, most Marines, Rangers, Seals and Special Forces, paid a thousand dollars a day to put their lives on the line and, in the process, building a “net egg” for their lives, should they survive and return home.  The controversy, we were told, was that our active duty troops only made a fraction as much.  This story, however, was only meant to deceive, dissemble and misinform. Yes, many veterans hold security contracting jobs and pull down high dollars but the truth is far different than we were told.

One contracting firm, handing security for the United States Air Force, had over 8000 employees in Afghanistan.  All were assumed to be Rangers, SAS or other combat vets.  In reality, only 6 were trained military veterans from these services.  Every other employee was, not only “third world” but also never trained or members of military forces rated, frankly, as armed rabble.

The Pentagon paid nearly as much for one of these shoeless, uneducated and untrained contractors in a week as a flag officer makes in a month, actually more than that, embarrassingly more.

What are these contractors paid, who sees if they are qualified or even checks of they are wanted criminals?  Well, actually, no one.  Americans, veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan go through security screenings, rigorous and continual,even humiliating drug testing but the majority of their fellows, including tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of “kitchen workers” or related professions could be anyone, could be and certainly are.

Questions come to mind.  Why would the most expensive and highest paid military force on earth with the most technologically advanced surveillance systems imaginable need to be guarded by third world nationals cited for performing their duties in filthy shorts, no shoes or shirt and carrying an aging rusted Soviet weapon from a scrap heap?

Have you noticed you have never seen one of the thousands of real security contractors from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Uganda and other areas of Africa in photographs?  All you see are burly ex-Marines, armed to the teeth.

Ever see a photograph of the living quarters for the other workers, the ones who clean the toilets, cook the food, and outnumber our troops?  Why are they hidden?  Is something wrong?  Why the secrecy?  Are we too busy photographing troops tiptoeing  through poppy fields to look into the issue of “guest workers.”  How do the Pentagon’s favorites, the “no-bid” boys get away with over-billing billions for “mercenaries” when, in actuality they are supplying house maids, janitors dishwashers and billing as though they were all hedge fund managers.

For those who are working “security,” for each burly ex-Ranger, there are a hundred near starving Ethiopians being paid “cigarette money.”  Try finding a photograph of one of them.  You stand as much chance of finding nuclear weapons assembly videos.

At least the mercenary army, shoes or no shoes, has weapons that work, no matter how old or dirty.  The Pentagon has more games than simply throwing away billions to pay workers that may not exist.  There is big money in defective weapons also.

Yes, we admit, a 30 year old AK 47 assembled in Nigeria is less likely to jam in combat than the M-4 carbine, according to every test ever run.  We could talk about the boondoggle “single source” contract, spending hundreds of millions on a weapon troops not only don’t trust but has proven useless in the long range combat of Afghanistan.  We could talk about where 250,000 AK 47′s, not junk, but new “top of the line” models with forged receivers simply disappeared.

Our hope is that they ended up at the bottom of the Euphrates River, dumped, truckload after truckload by impatient Rwandan truckers looking to shorten their workday.  I am sure we will be seeing those weapons again, not at a local gun show in Colorado, but “business end first” during our next “endless war” but I digress.

What don’t we know about who we pay hundreds of billions of dollars for?

At one time I was told the US Army had 125,000 kitchen workers in Iraq alone.  Then I was told the figure was actually much higher.  The total contractor figure, during the time of our highest troop deployments was three times that of the number of soldiers in theater.  Who are they and what are they paid?  Nobody knows, in particular, congress, the General Accounting Office and the Department of Defense and no one is asking.

We don’t have a remote idea what any of the contractors actually do, where they live, what their jobs are and if they do them at all or if they actually exist at all.  We simply pay and pay.

In fact, the job of overseeing contractors is, in itself, actually contracted out.  Oh, it gets better, the job of overseeing the contractors who oversee the contractors is contracted out also.  Is there an end to this?  We haven’t found it yet.

Please Visit Veterans Today to see the original article

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Follow the Money, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Pentagon does not even track the names of slain contractors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 27, 2010

there’s no indication that the Pentagon cares much — the DOD told Salon this month that it does not even track the names of slain contractors.

The WikiLeaks war logs show in sometimes gruesome detail how Afghan contractors working for the Defense Department have borne much of the worst violence of the nine-year war.

Salon recently reported that 260 private security contractors — virtually all of them Afghan — were killed in action in a 10-month period. But the WikiLeaks war logs document previously unreported violence against other types of contractors too — those who do construction and drive trucks and serve food and perform all the other work that makes the war possible.

In September 2006, in a remote area northeast of Kandahar, troops found a decapitated body on the side of the road, with the knife “presumed to be used to decapitate him … still there,” along with a letter. “The letter states that he was a contractor working for the US at Nawa and that he was murdered because he was helping the US,” the log says. The log ends with “nothing further to report.”

The gruesome incident was never publicly reported by the Pentagon and thus did not appear in the media, according to a Nexis search.

Here’s another incident from 2008  — one of dozens that was never reported. This one occurred in western Afghanistan and two contractors had their legs blown off:

At 0810 local time on 24 Sep, an vehicle was struck by an IED, 3 [civilian contractors] were injured during the incident, 2 have lost their legs and remain in a critical condition in Herat hospital and 1 is in stable condition.

There are dozens more  stories just like this in the WikiLeaks documents. But there’s no indication that the Pentagon cares much — the DOD told Salon this month that it does not even track the names of slain contractors.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Leader of Military’s Program to Treat Brain Injuries Steps Down Abruptly

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 25, 2010

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The leader of the Pentagon’s premiere program for treatment and research into brain injury and post traumatic stress disorders has unexpectedly stepped down from her post, according to senior medical and congressional officials.

Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton told staff members at the Defense Centers of Excellence [1], or DCOE, on Monday that she was giving up her position as director. Sutton, who launched the center in November 2007, had been expected to retire next year, officials with knowledge of the situation said. The center has not publicly announced her leaving.

Sutton’s departure follows criticism in Congress [3] over the performace of the center and in recent reports [4] by NPR and ProPublica that the military is failing to diagnose and treat soldiers suffering from so-called mild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions.

It comes just as the Pentagon prepares to open a new, multimillion-dollar showcase treatment facility outside Washington, D.C., for troops with brain injuries [5] and post traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Read the Entire Story here

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

America leaves Iraq a toxic legacy of dumped hazardous materials

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 14, 2010

Times Online Oliver August

NY Daily News

American troops going home from Iraq after seven painful years are leaving behind a legacy that is literally toxic.

An investigation by The Times in five Iraqi provinces has found that hazardous material from US bases is being dumped locally rather than sent back to America, in clear breach of Pentagon rules.

North and west of Baghdad, engine oil is leaking from 55-gallon drums into dusty ground, open acid canisters sit within easy reach of children, and discarded batteries lie close to irrigated farmland. A 2009 Pentagon document shown to The Times by a private contractor working with US soldiers mentions “an estimated 11 million pounds [5,000 tonnes] of hazardous waste” produced by American troops.

But even this figure appears to be only a partial estimate. BrigadierGeneral Kendall Cox, who is responsible for engineering and infrastructure in Iraq, told The Times yesterday that he was in the process of disposing of 14,500 tonnes of oil and soil contaminated with oil. “This has accumulated over seven years,” he said.

Iraqis who have come into contact with some of the material suffer from rashes and blistering on their hands and feet. They also complain of gagging and coughing. Rats near sites where waste was dumped have died and lie next to soiled containers.

Abu Saif, a Fallujah scrap dealer who handles US military surplus, lifted up his trouser legs and raised his hands to show blistered skin. “I got this when I worked on what was supposed to be American scrap metal,” he said. “I checked with a doctor and he said these are the effects of dangerous chemicals.”  Read the entire story here

Posted in Burn Pits, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

DynCorp shareholders profit well on proposed sale

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 12, 2010

Cerberus to take defense contractor DynCorp private in $1 billion deal

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) – DynCorp International, which has helped train the national police in Afghanistan, said Monday that it is being bought out by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $1 billion.

A recent decision to shift control of the training program from the State Department to the military may end a contract that DynCorp has held since 2003.

The company is challenging the decision.

DynCorp shareholders will receive $17.55 in cash for each share, a premium of 49 percent from Friday’s closing price of $11.75. The deal also includes debt that pushes its total value to $1.5 billion.

Under the terms of the deal announced Monday, DynCorp has 28 days to solicit proposals from other companies.

Shares of DynCorp International Inc. soared $5.72, or 49 percent, to $17.47.

DynCorp provides services such as aviation support in Iraq to helping flood victims in the U.S. It has contracts in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Two possible drug-related deaths in Afghanistan by two contractors has raised concerns about how well the company selects and manages employees assigned to a police training contract that is considered key as the U.S. looks to hand over more of the security burden to the Afghans.  Story here

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, Dyncorp | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

US Says missing contractor in Iraq, Issa Salomi of El Cajon CA, returns

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 27, 2010

Update March 28

Family Rejoices at release of contractor in Iraq

SAN DIEGO—The family of an Iraqi-American contractor said to have been kidnapped in Baghdad in January rejoiced Saturday over his release, saying they did not believe they would see him alive again.

Issa Salomi, 60, spoke with his 27-year-old son Roger Friday and told him that memories of the birth of the oldest of his four boys sustained him during captivity, said Vivian Tilley, a niece.

A few hours later, Salomi called his wife of 30 years, Mura Salomi, and asked for her homemade tabbouleh when he arrived home.

Update  March 27

Civilian believed to be kidnapped in Baghdad, returns

An Army civilian contractor from El Cajon, believed kidnapped in Baghdad in January, has been “returned to military control,” the Pentagon announced Saturday.

Issa T. Salomi, 60, turned up on Thursday, but the military released no information about where or how he returned to the military.

The Pentagon referred questions to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which has not responded to questions. Salomi was unaccounted for on Jan. 23 and believed to have been kidnapped in Baghdad, where he was assigned to U.S. Forces-Iraq, the Defense Department said. Salomi was declared “Excused Absence Whereabouts Unknown.”

(AP) – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON — The U.S. says an Iraqi-American contractor said to have been kidnapped in Baghdad in January by Shiite militiamen is back in American hands.

A Shiite extremist group claimed responsibility for the Jan. 23 kidnapping of Issa Salomi of El Cajon, Calif. A Pentagon statement on Saturday gave no details about Salomi’s return on Thursday or about his disappearance.

The statement said the circumstances of the case are under investigation.

An Iraqi defense official said in February that Salomi was kidnapped by the militiamen who had lured Salomi into central Baghdad by promising to help find distant relatives.

Salomi’s permanent assignment is at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Original Story here

See Also

Pentagon Identifies Contractor Missing in Iraq

The Missing Man Blog

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dead and Injured Contractors not Included in Pentagons’ Casualty Lists

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 22, 2010

Contractors and other regulars here will have already read these stories and reports but this is a nice compilation that deserves another posting

Noel Brinkerhoff at ALLGov

For years following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the media reported U.S. casualty figures released by the Department of Defense—which regularly excluded thousands of Americans from the publicized totals. Even though they were often engaged in dangerous operations, these individuals were not uniformed members of the U.S. Army or Marines Corps, but instead private contractors who have had their share of deaths and injuries.

A joint investigation by ProPublica, ABC News and the Los Angeles Times has determined that more than 1,700 civilian contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, with another 40,000 injured. Many of these survivors have had to endure struggles getting medical treatment paid for under a taxpayer-financed federal system known as the Defense Base Act.
Even when recognized for their contributions, many contractors have received little attention, accepting their Defense of Freedom medal, the civilian equivalent of the military’s Purple Heart, in quiet, out-of-the-way ceremonies.

War Contractors Receive Defense of Freedom Medal for Injuries, But Attract Little Notice (by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica)

Contractor Casualties (Department of Defense) (pdf)
Defense Base Act Case Summary by Nation (U.S. Department of Labor)
The Other Afghanistan Surge: Contractors (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Posted in AIG and CNA, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Department of Labor, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

IG: Pentagon should track assault of contractors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 12, 2010

IG report on sexual assault and military contractors

Pentagon to track assault of contractor employees

Kimberly Hefling AP WASHINGTON

The sexual assault of employees of U.S. military contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan will be tracked by the Pentagon under a system it is setting up.

The tracking will likely begin this year, Defense official Gail McGinn said in a memo to the Pentagon’s Inspector General included in a report released Friday.

The IG evaluation was initiated by a request from congressional members concerned that not enough protections were offered to U.S. contracting employees assaulted in the war zones. One of the most high profile cases was that of a Texas woman, Jamie Leigh Jones. Jones has sued Halliburton Co. and its former subsidiary KBR, saying she was gang raped while working for KBR in Iraq in 2005.

The IG also recommended the Pentagon develop plans to provide immediate help following assaults on contractor employees, which McGinn also said the Pentagon was developing plans to do.

The IG noted it found anecdotal evidence that contractors who reported being assaulted received medical and other assistance from military personnel.

It said from 2005 to 2007, the Military Criminal Investigative Organizations conducted 25 sexual assault investigations involving contractor personnel in the two war zones.

In about a third of those cases, contractor company officials reported the assault to DOD officials, but in the remaining cases the alleged victim notified law enforcement directly or the report came from someone else, the IG said.

In the Jones case, the companies said her contract required claims against them be settled through arbitration. In September, an appeals court ruled Jones’ claims can go to trial, and a trial date has been set in federal court in February 2011.

The Associated Press typically does not identify people alleging sexual assault, but Jones’ face and name have been broadcast in media reports and on her own Web site

See also

Franken Ammendment

Rape Hazing Harrassment

Posted in AIG and CNA, Department of Labor, Exclusive Remedy, KBR | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pentagon Identifies Contractor Missing In Iraq: Issa Salomi

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 5, 2010

Observers indicate that two individuals in HTS leadership positions on the ground in Iraq—Lieutenant Colonel Byrd (Program Management Office – FWD)  and Michael Goains, GG-15 (Theater Coordination Element) had direct knowledge of Issa Salomi’s prior forays outside Camp Liberty/Victory Base Complex in Iraq unaccompanied by his teammates (team designation IZ-02,) or US military personnel. Salomi was apparently taken by an Iraqi insurgent group in January 2010 and a video of him recently appeared in global media outlets in February 2010.

Observers have also pointed out that Salomi is not, in fact, a contractor but is instead a temporary US Army Civilian employee. In 2009, HTS reverted to a government program and contractors were forced to choose between leaving or converting to US government civilian status.

Update WaPo Sat Feb 6 (:30 am
BAGHDAD — A Shiite militant group in Iraq has posted an Internet video showing an American it says it abducted and who appears to be a contractor reported missing by the U.S. military.

In the video, the man – who did not identify himself – says his abductors from the League of the Righteous are demanding the release of militants and the prosecution of Blackwater security contractors accused of killing 17 Iraqis in 2007 in Baghdad.

“The second demand is to bring the proper justice and the proper punishment to those members of Blackwater company that have committed unjustifiable crimes against innocent Iraqi civilians,” the man said. “And to bring justice by proper compensation to the families that have been involved in great suffering because of this incident.”


(CBS 8) – Officials identified an El Cajon resident Friday who went missing in Iraq while working as a civilian contractor, just as video of the man was released by his alleged abductors.

Issa Salomi, 60, went missing on Jan. 23 in Baghdad. He was working with the U.S. Forces as a civilian employee, according to the Department of Defense.

A video found on an Iraqi web site Friday showed Salomi sitting in front of a flag with what appeared to be Arabic writing on it.

In the two-minute video, Salomi details demands from his abductors, including the punishment of employees of the Blackwater company, which is accused in crimes against Iraqi citizens.

A search and recovery effort was underway to find Salomi, the DOD said.

Pentagon: El Cajon Contractor Missing In Iraq

SAN DIEGO — The Pentagon released the name Friday of an El Cajon resident who disappeared in Iraq two weeks ago while working with the U.S. military as a civilian contractor.Issa Salomi, 60, was last seen Jan. 23 in Baghdad, where he is assigned to U.S. Forces, Iraq, the Department of Defense reported.

Efforts to locate Salomi are under way, according to the DOD, which did not disclose the nature of his work in the Middle East.

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

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