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Posts Tagged ‘US State Department’

Iraq releases Former Marine, DynCorp Civilian Contractor, Michael Copleland’s body after dispute

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 26, 2012

The body of an Oklahoma contractor who was found dead in Baghdad is being flown back to the U.S. after a two-week bureaucratic debate over whether the Iraqi government would perform an autopsy on his remains.

Tulsa World  June26, 2012

Officials say Michael David Copeland, 37, of Colbert in southern Oklahoma, is one of the first Americans working for the U.S. government to die in Iraq this year. He was found unresponsive June 9 in his living quarters. Foul play is not suspected in his death.

Copeland previously served in the Marines and later with the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He was a contractor with DynCorp International at the time of his death.

Copeland’s case is a snapshot of the new reality of working in Iraq for Americans who, over the years, were accustomed to vast privileges and influence that disappeared when U.S. troops left last December.

Iraq agreed to release the remains of the Oklahoma man after negotiations with the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. His body was flown out of Iraq Tuesday afternoon.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Dyncorp, Iraq, Political Watch, State Department, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Civilian Contractor Michael Copeland DynCorp dies of unknown causes, Iraqi’s detain body

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 15, 2012

Colbert family pleads to have loved one’s body returned to U.S.
KXII News OK  June 4, 2012
A Colbert family is inconsolable at the loss of their young son and husband working overseas in Iraq. Now, they’ve received even more devastating news.

Mike Copeland spoke with his son, Michael, for the last time Friday night. About 12 hours later, he was told his son had died. On top of dealing with their loss, they said the Iraqi government will not release his body. And now, they’re struggling with the U.S. Government to bring Michael home.

“They came to the door and knocked on the door but I couldn’t open it, because I knew that if I did my life would be changed forever.”

Angela Copeland found out Saturday that her husband, Michael, was dead of unknown causes.

“Sure enough I opened the door and they came in and told me they found Michael deceased in his living quarters,” she said.

Michael Copeland worked for DynCorp International doing aircraft maintenance in Iraq for less than a week before he died.
His father, Mike, said after the company notified them about Michael’s death, they were told his body will remain in Iraq.

“I don’t look for us to go to war over a thing like this but I see no excuse at all for the Iraqi government to hold his body. That doesn’t make sense to us,” he said.

“Of course I felt sad, but mostly I felt angry because I know for a fact that’s not something that Michael would agree with. We as a family don’t agree with that,” Angela said.

Mike Copeland said he contacted the State Department and DynCorp for help, but was told that because U.S. military presence has ceased in Iraq the Iraqi government is in charge.

“Everyone I’ve spoke with is always sorry for our loss, but they say there’s nothing they can do. I find it very difficult to believe that my government…there’s nothing they can do to bring my son home from Iraq?” Asked Copeland.

“If someone comes into the United States and they were to die, it would be the same thing. We’re basically under the Iraqi law.”

U.S. Congressman Dan Boren said they are working with the State Department to get Michael’s body back to the U.S. but it may take a long time because it’s the first death in Iraq since the troops were pulled out.

“We’re actually looking at three different options: one by a U.S. Citizen, one by the Iraqis but are having a U.S. Citizen watch and the other is to bring the body back to the U.S. to do an autopsy,” said Boren.

“He was a good man and we loved him. And we don’t feel like he’s being treated fairly by his country that he served and we want them to take steps to bring him home. We want them to bring him home,” said Mike Copeland.

“We’re not doing good. Because not only are we having to deal with the loss but, we’re having to deal with the battle to get him back home,” said Angela Copeland

DynCorp International released a statement saying:

“We are currently waiting for the Iraqi Government to approve the release of his remains for transport back to the U.S., where the U.S. Government will conduct an autopsy.”

Congressman Boren said the State Department found no signs of foul play while investigating Copeland’s death.

The family is asking the public to help them bring Michael’s remains back home by contacting state representatives

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contracotrs Detained, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Dyncorp, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Civilian Contractor or Mercenary? Who do you work for, What is your job?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 19, 2011

Guest  Commentary September 19, 2011

In response to Civilian Contractor or Mercenary?

Wow.. that pretty much proves everyone (Our Government and News Sources) have been misleading the public doesn’t it?

“(F) Hs not been sent by a State which is not a party to the conflict on official duty”

Well the US Govt sent most of the guys and most of the guys were in the military, active or reserve

“(D) is neither a national of a party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a party to the conflict”

Well, if you are working for your own Govt.. it is clear your not a Mercenary!!

A mercenary is someone who works for a “Foreign Govt”. Most had govt orders and some had Diplomatic Passports. Explain that one!!!

You need to ask yourself why our own Government would allow such a misconception to continue on for so long?

I will tell you why.. remember the Blackwater shooting in September 2007 they so widely publicized? Well if they admitted it was really a diplomatic mission from the State Department that was involved, how would that look diplomatically?? I will tell you.. not very good. So they blame it on an “Evil Private Company” that is scolded and is “Put out of business” so the other countries think we are being tough… then that company opens under another name and all the workers are seamlessly transferred over and continue working.. Hummm

Lets take a closer look.. really what is the difference between a US Soldier and a “Contractor”

1) Volunteered for service: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

2) Received payment for services: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)
by the US govt directly or indirectly
(“did it for money, or Country”)

3) US Govt provided weapons and
equipment: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

4) Had to sign a contract to Join: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

5) Had to have a US Govt Security
Clearance: US Soldier (Not Required) Contractor (YES)

6) Took orders from the US Govt: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

7) Had to take an Oath and swear
allegiance to the US Govt: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)
8) Was paid directly or indirectly
by US Tax payers: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

9) Had a term of enlistment or contract: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

10) If wounded in a war zone would be
medically evac’d by the US Govt: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

11) could carry a loaded firearm
anywhere including inside the
US Embassy: US Soldier (Some) Contractor (YES)

12) Provided medical care by the
Military Hospitals inside the
war zone: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

13) Have full access to Military
APO/AFO mail system: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

14) Traveled by US Military Aircraft: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

15) Officially conducted offensive
operations: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (NO)

16) Officially conducted defensive
operations: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

17) Had access to Military Commissary
PX/BX and health and welfare
privileges: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

18) Had the ability to detain anyone
suspected of committing a crime or
threat against US or coalition forces: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

19) Authorized by the US Govt the use
of deadly force: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

20) Authorized the use of Deadly force
against fellow Americans in the event
a dignitary (Diplomat, Congressman
Senator or Presidential figure) was
in imminent danger: US Soldier (YES) Contractor (YES)

I can go on and on… So can you please tell me the difference?? Most of you out there are probably now realizing that you have been in the ether, and now are beginning to realize it, someone didn’t tell us the truth!!!

Posted in Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Mercenary, Political Watch, State Department, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 4, 2009

Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder

Erik PrinceThe Nation

by Jeremy Scahill

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

These allegations, and a series of other charges, are contained in sworn affidavits, given under penalty of perjury, filed late at night on August 3 in the Eastern District of Virginia as part of a seventy-page motion by lawyers for Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater for alleged war crimes and other misconduct. Susan Burke, a private attorney working in conjunction with the Center for Constitutional Rights, is suing Blackwater in five separate civil cases filed in the Washington, DC, area. They were recently consolidated before Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia for pretrial motions. Burke filed the August 3 motion in response to Blackwater’s motion to dismiss the case. Blackwater asserts that Prince and the company are innocent of any wrongdoing and that they were professionally performing their duties on behalf of their employer, the US State Department.  Read the full story here

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

Reminder to Contractors Regarding Iraqi Jurisdiction

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 15, 2009

This is a little OT but the State Department would like this information to reach as many contractors as possible.

Email us at dbacasualty@yahoo.com for the original document as a PDF File for Printing and Posting.

Staff Notice US Embassy

USG Contractors and Contracting Officers Representatives under
COM Authority

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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