Sunday, August 06, 2006

One More Corrupt American in Iraq, Working for a Corrupt Business?

The news this weekend had one other story on corrupt Americans in Iraq. A Michigan man pleaded guilty to offering a bribe to an Iraqi police official to arrange the purchase of body armor and a high tech printer for $1 million. The news did not disclose if the translator conducted this deal in his role as employee for Titan Corp, the infamous defense contractor.

Titan pleaded guilty to bribing the President of the West African country of Benin. After contributing more than $2 million to the candidate’s successful re-election, the company found Benin officials quadrupled Titan’s management fee. The company will pay $28 million in fines and stated it no longer allows such practices.

In an odd twist Titan Corp lost its merger with Lockheed Martin due to ethical concerns. The San Diego based company did eventually merge with L-3 Communications. Did you note the San Diego connection? A Congressman from that area recently was convicted of bribery and sentenced to eight years in jail. How much did Titan contribute to Duke’s election campaigns? $6,000 in 2002, $5,000 in 2004, $10,000 in 2006, for a total of $21,000.

The companies Duke admitted to taking payola from were funded by Rep. Cunningham’s earmarks. The Pentagon is expressly investigating these relationships, but there is no mention of any concerns with Titan Corp. Let’s see, we have a historically dirty company, a convicted Congressman and the Pentagon is not looking into connections?

While $21,000 may seem like small change for the Dukester and for Titan, recall this is only the above board money. What transactions might have occurred behind the scenes? In the other cases of known bribery the investigation drags on:

Eight months after former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham confessed to taking massive bribes in exchange for providing at least $230 million in questionable defense and intelligence contracts, the Defense Department inspector general still has not determined whether any of those projects were improper.

But officials have been tight-lipped about the status of other taxpayer-funded work that may have been tainted, including a secret counterintelligence program.

Titan prior to the merger touted itself as specializing in intelligence. How much of this secret counterintelligence program work do they have? Did they do anything untoward to get it?
The Congressional investigations are led by Reps. Jerry Lewis and Duncan Hunter. By coincidence they also received donations from Titan, $30,000 total. Titan gave $10,000 per campaign for their last 3 elections. I smell another Republican non-investigation!

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