"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, June 20, 2008

DOD expect detainees to "surge" in Baghdad by 25% soon.

Fascinating story at Wired Blogs by Sharon Weiberger, this sharp eyed lady noticed amongst the many US Government contracts in Iraq, a requirement for some folks to look after detainees possessions at Camp Cropper, which is part of the Baghdad Airport complex.. an incubator for jihadist cells apparently..

There are 60,000 detainees currently whose status is "unknown" . Some of the property belongs to detainees that are still being held in theater, while some of the property is of released, deceased, unknown, or escaped detainees.

At say 2 cubic feet each that's about a minimum 4,000 cubic yards of "stuff" , "Contracted personnel must be able to lift up to approximately 50 pounds. " ...." Approximately 15,000 Internment Serial Numbers (ISNs) have been inventoried. It is unknown as to the exact quantity of ISNs in the warehouse. However, the internal spreadsheet shows that there have been over 43,000 entries. "

There is evidently some slick software to hand for the task because operators must have, " a working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel."

Evidently the contractor is expecting to recruit non Iraqi staff and there is a great deal of detail under XI. PROHIBITION AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING, INHUMANE LIVING CONDITIONS, AND WITHHOLDING OF EMPLOYEE PASSPORTS to suggest that such problems have been a previous and frequent problem etc.,

Perhaps more alarming is the procedures to adopt in the event of Kidnapping which must be a frequent event because there is a form provided in the Job Spec Page 15 to report it ...after having informed "the JCCI/A Duty Officer at phone number 914-822-1419 when an employee kidnapping occurs: "

Oddest of all is Para 3.2 at Page 4 ... The DPW receives daily drops of property for all incoming detainees, as well as add-on property to existing detainees. Some drops can be as many as 200-300 boxes of property, while some drops can be as small as 5-10. With the anticipated surge of approximately 15,000 detainees in the upcoming six months, the workload could and will significantly increase.

That's a 25% increase in the workload.

Odd stories from camp Cropper are not unusual...former commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment and of of the camp , Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele was held in Kuwait in April 2007 on an Article 32 hearing of providing "aid to the enemy" by supplying an unmonitored cell phone to detainees.commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment

Other and related charges committed between October 2005 to February 2007 included unauthorized possession of classified information, fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee, maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, storing classified information in his quarters, as well as possessing pornographic material.

On June 10, 2007, the military dropped charges of fraternization with the daughter of a prisoner, and failure to oversee expenditure of government funds -- allegedly used to purchase of hair dye and Cuban cigars for Saddam Hussein when he was held at Camp Cropper.

After a week long court-martial in October 2007 before judge, Lt. Col. Timothy Grammel he was was sentenced to two years confinement after pleading guilty to lesser charges that include unauthorized possession of classified documents, an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter and failing to obey an order.

The charge of aiding the enemy is a capital offense under U.S. military law. Former acting commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq, Maj. Gen. James Simmons, decided ahead of Steele's trial against a possible death sentence, although a conviction could have carried a life sentence. He will probably leave prison in early 2009.

The only other person charged with aiding the enemy since the Iraqi illegal invasion was Capt. James J. Yee, a Muslim chaplain who was linked to a possible espionage ring at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison. He was eventually cleared and given an honorable discharge.

For those interested in that kind of thing there is a lengthy blog post here "My left Wing" about Steel , kept going by folks who think Steele was a whistleblower who was jumped on to shut him up.

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