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JonLP24

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Arizona
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 26,531

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Do they still let you know the results of a jury?

I was on a jury for a post about 4 hours ago and have no idea if the post remained or not.

What is the longest running thread?

I nominate this one http://www.democraticunderground.com/120422985#post2

It started out as a 3 post thread back in 2012 with real DUers then months down the road all these brand new members all of sudden are communicating and replying to each other. They all seem to be bots strangest thread I've seen on DU.

Charleston Southern Debacle Shows Futility of NCAA Rules-And National Office Interpretations

Short Handed in Tallahassee

Charleston Southern University lost to the vaunted Florida State Seminoles on the football field last Saturday by a lopsided score of 52-8. That outcome is not a surprise. Even though Charleston Southern is a pretty solid football team at the FCS level, demonstrated by playing powerhouse North Dakota State tough a couple weeks ago in a loss, even coming close to FSU on the field would have been a major accomplishment. Considering the Buccaneers were not even at full strength-finishing with the score only being 52-8 and not worse is somewhat admirable.

Player Suspensions

Charleston Southern and several of its football athletes, 32 to be exact, unfortunately ran afoul of arbitrary and capricious NCAA extra benefit rules prior to the game last week when it was determined that several athletes had used leftover money from their scholarship book allowance to buy school supplies. Due to this “indiscretion,” all of these players received varying levels of suspensions and financial penalties, including 16 suspensions alone for the Florida State game. In addition, these extra purchases were apparently sanctioned or at least encouraged by the school. The campus bookstore was singled out by players as an entity that said for the players to spend the extra cash or it would disappear if they don’t. As silly as this sounds, by the letter of the law, I suppose it is an NCAA extra benefit violation and by the letter of the law there should be punishment based on the value received. Typically the NCAA assigns suspensions for monetary benefits based on $100 increments with each $100 in impermissible benefit counting for a game suspension. With that being said, the letter of the law should not apply here in any way.

Kudos to CSU for self-reporting its mistake and taking on obvious national embarrassment and ridicule, but in the end who are the ones really suffering here? Obviously it is the athletes and all involved and who love college sports must ask why? First off, why is it a violation to pocket extra financial aid money-regular students are allowed to do it all of the time? My daughter who is currently a freshman at Ohio University had an overage in her account and it was deposited in her bank account to spend on anything she desires. It was for all practical purposes her money because everything that needed to be paid for was paid for. What did she do with the extra money-ironically spent most of it on school supplies! The horror!

We can quibble that NCAA rules are made by the membership and a school or athlete must live by them. We can also try to justify that the NCAA national office in Indianapolis only enforces rules that the membership approves and accepts. On the surface that sounds true but in practice it is far from reality. The NCAA national office wields great authority to interpret said rules and regulations and the end result of an interpretation is often not so easy to determine or even it if it is correct. The NCAA national office has an army of legislative services employees who spend a lions share of their time on the phones and on the computer issuing interpretations of NCAA rules to the membership in all three divisions. These interpretations can vary widely and be diametrically different at times depending on who you contact or when you call. After all you just want someone to get you to yes, whether they are correct often doesn’t matter and often the NCAA is not correct. It just adds to the circus of an almost 500 page manual that has dozens of interpretations attached to every rule. The old Bagel being a snack, but adding cream cheese makes it meal is one of the most famous, and ridiculous NCAA interpretations of how many meals per day an athlete is allowed. Thankfully after years and years of thousands of food violations, the NCAA-led by the national office, completely deregulated the dreaded “food rules” and no one seems to care that we are actually feeding athletes a lot of food, and that Alabama can provide more food that Samford. We really do not care if Charleston Southern athletes used extra money for school supplies, and the NCAA should not either. It is a bad rule.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bdavidridpath/2016/09/12/charleston-southern-debacle-shows-futility-of-ncaa-rules-and-national-office-interpretations/#670c4a443ef5

Jordan proposed "Houthi sanctions"

at the UN Security Council (this is a really screwed up system only 4 or 5 permanent nations -- at-least balance there) and 10 temporary members with one that can sponsor stuff. At-this time it was Jordan which US & Saudi Arabia strongly favored the Houthi Sanctions. Basically no one can give them weapons, they are required to give up and release "political prisoners" which amazed me because how do they have political prisoners already but the hypocrisy & double standard of it with the Hadi Government is a top 5 corrupt country "kleptocracy" and with a very brutal human rights record that lock up people for being Houthi or a suspicious of being a Houthi loyalist as well as Sunnis in the South (the old North & South Yemen divide -- Saudi backed the north & the South was "socialist/marxist" backed by the USSR until the funds dried up and they reunificated followed by a "socialist purge" but not long after there was the 1994 Yemen Civil War -- basically civil wars since the 1960s). Also the former President who also happens to be Houthi was also sanctioned.

Russia was actually calling for both sanctions for all sides & humanitarian pauses in the Saudi airstrikes because they has been a problem with refugees trying to escape the country with all the bombing going on. Including US citizens. That was denied & Russia ended up abstaining from the vote which is effectively a "no vote" but the Houthi sanctions were passed (I imagine rather easily based on the lineup like Nigeria which is owned by Shell).

So we end up doing a lot to help the Saudi-coalition bomb them with American made top flight helicopters and planes which includes Jordan Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. All but Sudan (that I know of) receive US arms deals except Sudan (that i know of but somebody supplies them) as I imagine it would be incredibly controversial though the US media no longer covers them except to report George Clooney reporting a human rights violation (remember Rwanda?). Also everyone is sanctioned by the US (not referring to the UN-type), if you used your phone to order something from the US you can't deliver it to Sudan. They won't let you -- unless the company is willing to get hemmed up. So consider the financial incentive from the defense industry to push war because all those countries are going to need a refill of $1.5 million Lockheed Martin bombs dropped for one example.

On edit -- I don't know exactly what has been spent to "keep Houthis quiet" except maybe to send it to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to "silence them" but there has been a lot of rumbling in Yemen far outside the Houthis. What outrages Saudi Arabia is the religious minority they are specifically ramping up and targeting. They also don't like Socialism or anything that gives back money to the people. They are just like "Qatar's World Cup slaves" which is the status quo that the DoD and US oil companies are guilty of.

Southern Movement

The Southern Movement, sometimes known as the Southern Mobility Movement, Southern Separatist Movement, or South Yemen Movement, and colloquially known as al-Hirak (Arabic: الحراك الجنوبي‎[1] is a popular movement active in the former South Yemen since 2007, demanding secession from the Republic of Yemen.

After the union between South Yemen and North Yemen on May 22, 1990, a civil war broke out in 1994, resulting in the defeat of the weakened southern armed forces and the expulsion of most of its leaders, including the former Secretary-General of the Yemeni Socialist party and the Vice-President of the unified Yemen, Ali Salim al-Beidh.[citation needed]

After the 1994 civil war and the national unity which followed, many southerners expressed grievance at perceived injustices against them which remained unaddressed for years. Their main accusations against the Yemeni government included widespread corruption, electoral fraud, and a mishandling of the power-sharing arrangement agreed to by both parties in 1990. The bulk of these claims were levelled at the ruling party based in Sana'a, led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh. This was the same accusation given by the former southern leaders which eventually led to the 1994 civil war.[citation needed]

Many southerners also felt that their land, home to the much of the country’s oil reserves and wealth, had been illegally appropriated by the rulers of North Yemen. Privately owned land was seized and distributed amongst individuals affiliated with the Sana'a government. Several hundred thousand military and civil employees from the south were forced into early retirement, and compensated with pensions below the sustenance level. Although such living standards and poverty was ripe throughout all parts of Yemen, many residents of the south felt that they were being intentionally targeted and dismissed from important posts, and being replaced with northern officials affiliated with the new government.[citation needed]

In May 2007, southern strife took a new turn. Grieving pensioners who had not been paid for years began to organise small demonstrations calling for equal rights and an end to the economic and political marginalization of the south. As the popularity of such protests grew and more people began to attend, the demands of the protests also developed. Eventually, calls were being made for the full secession of the south and the re-establishment of South Yemen as an independent state. The government's response to these protests was dismissive, labelling them as ‘apostates of the state’.[citation needed]

<snip>

The movement remains popular and is growing across the south of Yemen, especially in areas outside of the former capital Aden where government control is limited. In the mountainous region of Yafa - now termed the 'Free South' or الجنوب الحر - the rule of law is imposed by a network of tribes who have all pledged allegiance to the South Yemen Movement. Just minutes outside of Aden, flags of the former South Yemen can be seen raised in the open and graffitied upon many walls, a practice which has now been made illegal by the government. Many Northern Yemeni Houthi citizens involved with the 2011 Yemeni uprising against Saleh's government are trying to develop an alliance with the South Yemen Movement.[citation needed]

After the 2014–15 Yemeni coup d'état by the Houthis, Southern Movement demonstrators and militants seized control of government buildings in Aden, as well as Aden International Airport, where they hoisted the flag of South Yemen, and bloodlessly took over police checkpoints in Ataq. Officials in Aden Governorate and several others, including Hadhramaut Governorate, said they would no longer take orders from Sana'a as a result of the coup. The Southern Movement reportedly deployed armed fighters in and around Aden to counter a "possible attack".[2][3][4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Movement

The whole West area, especially Northwest is Houthi territory. The majority of the South are Sunni. You probably don't hear of them much though I imagine you hear a lot of AQAP which the area is a breeding ground for recruiting but outside of killing (Houthis) and plotting terrorist attacks in the West I'm not sure what their primary goals are in Yemen outside of finding recruits but the media has forgotten the Southern Movement which historically has supported populism (socialism & wahabbism don't mix hence Saudi Arabia) but it is the religious minority aspect of it that really outrages Saudi Arabia.

On edit -- the bold is what I added rather than what is on the Wikipedia page.

House of Saud when they made the deal with Roosevelt

in return for cheap oil they asked for the US to military protect them so defend them was part of the original agreement. Also to go to them first for their opinion to do something in the region which the very next President abandoned with Truman & Israel -- indicating his concerns were with "Justice not Oil"

What changed in the oil embargo, particularly was guns for oil. That especially poured gasoline on the fire. Not so much protect them which the US will answer the call to but the billions arms deals which they do what they do.

The Pakistan ISI stepped in for the Bahrain uprisings and assisted with the brutal crackdown of protestors -- hired thugs "mercenaries". US quietly sold them a weapons package during this crackdown, they reason quietly is because if it is under $1 million then the US doesn't need Congressional approval but no info (that I could find) how much was sold. Also the US lifted the freeze on Egypt while they were having mass trials handing out life sentences for attending a protest. I'm not sure the full details of the 70s but certainly the Pakistan ISI is very interesting. They organized, trained, and branded the Taliban and they are obviously involved in Al-Qaeda or they were but it is one country I really need to learn more about trying to figure out what is real and why? In any case I'm so glad there is a "trust deficit" I hear so much about.



(The title is wrong. The US was called a stepmother by the person asking the question -- a stepmother that is impossible please but don't know why or what or WTH we are doing over there though I'm willing to wager a get rich quick scheme is what it is we are doing because the war on terrorism stuff makes no sense logically particularly the source of the ideology but not to mention the human rights violations the Saudi-coalition is known for.

On edit -- I overlooked Kuwait but there was way more to that. Kuwait was the last of the Arabian Peninsula countries to refuse our "assistance", didn't want us there for the longest time until 1987 when they wanted the US flag on their flags to fly on their ships so it was on opportunity to become good friends, plus Saddam Hussein nationalized oil production in the 70s so it was an opportunity and this is where the primary staging territory is. CENTCOM is in Camp Arif Jan, Kuwait which is actually where I was stationed but nothing high up the food chain as I was in Zone 6 while the Olympic Sized Swimming Pool, mall, and top shelf gymnasium (where Obama "played ball with the troops" in his 2008 presidential campaign) and the 5 story building where CENTCOM is Zone 1.

Side story. I was in transportation, long haul semi convoys. We didn't transport weapons hardly ever because when we did there was a big show when we did which my Platoon Sergeant was tasked with the 1 weapons convoy. We changed every tire for a brand new tire, replaced every lock for a new lock all to drive the grand distance from Camp Arif Jan to Kuwaiti Naval Base which probably was exported to who the hell knows where or to some stockpile somewhere I have no idea.

Yes they do

Elizabeth Warren Wants HSBC Bankers Jailed for Money Laundering

In December, U.S. Justice Department officials announced that HSBC, Europe's largest bank, would pay a $1.92 billion fine after laundering $881 million for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia. At the time, the Justice Department disputed accusations that it views some banks as too big to prosecute.

The two regulators, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome H. Powell, deflected Warren's questions, saying that criminal prosecutions are for the Justice Department to decide.

"If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life," an exasperated Warren said, as she wrapped up her questioning. "But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night - every single individual associated with this - and I just think that's fundamentally wrong."
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/03/elizabeth-warren-wants-hsbc-bankers-jailed-for-money-laundering/

Trafficking Lawsuit Against KBR for Wrongful Deaths in Iraq Dismissed

Families of 12 Nepali workers killed in Iraq in August 2004 have been denied permission by a federal judge to sue Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), the former subsidiary of Halliburton of Houston, in an abrupt reversal of a previous court decision.

The 12 men - Prakash Adhikari, Ramesh Khadka, Lalan Koiri, Mangal Limbu, Jeet Magar, Gyanendra Shrestha, Budham Sudi, Manoj Thakur, Sanjay Thakur, Bishnu Thapa, and Jhok Bahadur Thapa – were killed by militants of the Ansar al-Sunna Army.

The families say the workers were recruited by Daoud & Partners in Jordan to work in a luxury hotel in Amman and promised salaries of $500 a month. After arriving in Amman, the men were taken to Iraq in an unprotected caravan of vehicles on August 17, 2004 to work at the Al Asad base for KBR.

Before the Nepalese arrived at the base, they were ambushed and kidnapped by a group of armed men. On August 31, the captors sent out a video message showing the execution of the one of the 12 men with a message: "We have carried out the sentence of God against 12 Nepalese who came from their country to fight the Muslims and to serve the Jews and the Christians . . . believing in Buddha as their God." The bodies of the men were never found.
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15921

A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad:
Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy

John Owens didn’t realize how different his job would be from his last 27 years in construction until he signed on with First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting in November 2005. Working as general foreman, he would be overseeing an army of workers building the largest, most expensive and heavily fortified US embassy in the world. Scheduled to open in 2007, the sprawling complex near the Tigris River will equal Vatican City in size.

Not one of the five different US embassy sites he had worked on around the world compared to the mess he describes. Armenia, Bulgaria, Angola, Cameroon and Cambodia all had their share of dictators, violence and economic disruption, but the companies building the embassies were always fair and professional, he says. The Kuwait-based company building the $592-million Baghdad project is the exception. Brutal and inhumane, he says “I’ve never seen a project more fucked up. Every US labor law was broken.”

<snip>

He also complained of poor sanitation, squalid living conditions and medical malpractice in the labor camps where several thousand low-paid migrant workers lived. Those workers, recruited on the global labor market from the Philippines, India, Pakistan and other poor south Asian countries, earned as little as $10 to $30 a day.

<snip>

My March 2006, First Kuwaiti’s operation began looking even sketchier to Owens as he boarded a nondescript white jet on his way back to Baghdad following some R&R in Kuwait city. He remembers being surrounded by about 50 First Kuwaiti laborers freshly hired from the Philippines and India. Everyone was holding boarding passes to Dubai – not to Baghdad.

“I thought there was some sort of mix up and I was getting on the wrong plane,” says the 48-year-old Floridian who once worked as a fisherman with his father before moving into the construction business.
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14173

Its a double standard

The US has way more business relationships with Saudi Arabia & other Gulf Countries. (Also helping Saudi in their war with Yemen)

Trust me, the vast majority of those business transactions are off the backs of imported labor. Exploited & Abused. That is how their economies are built (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, etc). The Department of Defense gets in on the action as well. US companies human traffic poor Asian & Africa workers.

Offshoring the Army: Migrant Workers and the U.S. Military
http://www.uclalawreview.org/?p=6348

Qatar: the migrant workers forced to work for no pay in World Cup host country - video
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/video/2013/sep/25/qatar-migrant-workers-world-cup-host-video

This kind of capitalism has gone on since the US & the CEO Halliburton liked the idea from the first gulf war, they used in the wars since. Open it up to private companies, the US does business with looters all the time. The reason why they care so much about Venezuela is they won't open it up to Shell, Exxon Mobile, & Chevron, etc. Saudi Arabia is the "worst of the worst" of human rights violators but they let the oil & gas companies in and the US kisses their ass.


How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists
The fabulously wealthy Gulf state, which owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East, is a prime sponsor of violent Islamists
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/qatar/11110931/How-Qatar-is-funding-the-rise-of-Islamist-extremists.html

The case against Qatar
The tiny, gas-rich emirate has pumped tens of millions of dollars through obscure funding networks to hard-line Syrian rebels (with the help of the CIA) and extremist Salafists, building a foreign policy that punches above its weight. After years of acquiescing -- even taking advantage of its ally's meddling -- Washington may finally be punching back.


<snip>

Hossam is a peripheral figure in a vast Qatari network of Islamist-leaning proxies that spans former Syrian generals, Taliban insurgents, Somali Islamists, and Sudanese rebels. He left home in 1996 after more than a decade under pressure from the Syrian regime for his sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of his friends were killed in a massacre of the group in Hama province in 1982 by then President Hafez al-Assad. He finally found refuge here in Qatar and built his business and contacts slowly. Mostly, he laid low; Doha used to be quite welcoming to the young President Bashar al-Assad and his elegant wife, who were often spotted in the high-end fashion boutiques before the revolt broke out in 2011.

When the Syrian war came and Qatar dropped Assad, Hossam joined an expanding pool of middlemen whom Doha called upon to carry out its foreign policy of supporting the Syrian opposition. Because there were no established rebels when the uprising started, Qatar backed the upstart plans of expats and businessmen who promised they could rally fighters and guns. Hossam, like many initial rebel backers, had planned to devote his own savings to supporting the opposition. Qatar’s donations made it possible to think bigger.

In recent months, Qatar’s Rolodex of middlemen like Hossam has proved both a blessing and a curse for the United States. On one hand, Washington hasn’t shied away from calling on Doha’s connections when it needs them: Qatar orchestrated the prisoner swap that saw U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl freed in exchange for five Taliban prisoners in Guantánamo Bay. And it ran the negotiations with al-Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, that freed American writer Peter Theo Curtis in August. “Done,” Qatari intelligence chief Ghanim Khalifa al-Kubaisi reportedly texted a contact — adding a thumbs-up emoticon — after the release was completed.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/09/30/the-case-against-qatar/

How Does ISIS Fund Its Reign of Terror?
Grossing as much as $40 million or more over the past two years, ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait—and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families.
http://www.newsweek.com/2014/11/14/how-does-isis-fund-its-reign-terror-282607.html

This animosity has resulted in a new campaign in the west to demonize the Qataris as the key supporter of terrorism. The Israelis have chosen the direct approach of publicly accusing their new enemy in Doha of being terrorist supporters, while the UAE has opted for a more covert strategy: paying millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm – composed of former high-ranking Treasury officials from both parties – to plant anti-Qatar stories with American journalists. That more subtle tactic has been remarkably successful, and shines important light on how easily political narratives in U.S. media discourse can be literally purchased.

This murky anti-Qatar campaign was first referenced by a New York Times article two weeks ago by David Kirkpatrick, which reported that “an unlikely alignment of interests, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Israel” is seeking to depict Doha as “a godfather to terrorists everywhere” (Qatar vehemently denies the accusation). One critical component of that campaign was mentioned in passing:

<snip>

The Camstoll Group was formed on November 26, 2012. Its key figures are all former senior Treasury Department officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations whose responsibilities included managing the U.S. government’s relationships with Persian Gulf regimes and Israel, as well as managing policies relating to funding of designated terrorist groups. Most have backgrounds as neoconservative activists. Two of the Camstoll principals, prior to their Treasury jobs, worked with one of the country’s most extremist neocon anti-Muslim activists, Steve Emerson.

Camstoll’s founder, CEO and sole owner, Matthew Epstein, was a Treasury Department official from 2003 through 2010, a run that included a position as the department’s Financial Attaché to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. A 2007 diplomatic cable leaked by Chelsea Manning and published by WikiLeaks details Epstein’s meetings with high-level Abu Dhabi representatives as they plotted to cut off Iran’s financial and banking transactions. Those cables reveal multiple high-level meetings between Epstein in his capacity as a Treasury official and high-level officials of the Emirates, officials who are now paying his company millions of dollars to act as its agent inside the U.S.
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/25/uae-qatar-camstoll-group/



Superme Courts lets victims' 9/11 suit vs. Saudi Arabia proceed
The U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Monday to a lawsuit by victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the government of Saudi Arabia, alleging it indirectly financed al-Qaeda in the years before the hijackings.

The justices declined to hear an appeal by the Saudi government of a lower-court ruling that the lawsuit could go forward. The high court also declined to hear a separate appeal by 9/11 victims of a lower-court decision preventing them from suing dozens of banks and individuals that allegedly provided financial assistance to the hijackers.

"From our perspective, we are looking forward to having the opportunity to finally conduct an inquiry into the financing of the Sept. 11 attacks," said Sean Carter, a partner at the Center City law firm Cozen O'Connor, one of the firms involved in the litigation against the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has long denied responsibility for the attacks and pointed to a finding by the 9/11 Commission that it had found no evidence that the Saudi government "as an institution" had involvement.
http://articles.philly.com/2014-07-02/business/51005807_1_saudi-arabia-saudi-government-cozen-o-connor

The Missing Pages of the 9/11 Report
The lead author of the Senate’s report on 9/11 says it’s time to reveal what’s in the 28 pages that were redacted from it, which he says will embarrass the Saudis.

A story that might otherwise have slipped away in a morass of conspiracy theories gained new life Wednesday when former Sen. Bob Graham headlined a press conference on Capitol Hill to press for the release of 28 pages redacted from a Senate report on the 9/11 attacks. And according to Graham, the lead author of the report, the pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as the principal financier” of the 9/11 hijackers.

“This may seem stale to some but it’s as current as the headlines we see today,” Graham said, referring to the terrorist attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris. The pages are being kept under wraps out of concern their disclosure would hurt U.S. national security. But as chairman of the Senate Select Committee that issued the report in 2002, Graham argues the opposite is true, and that the real “threat to national security is non-disclosure.”

Graham said the redacted pages characterize the support network that allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur, and if that network goes unchallenged, it will only flourish. He said that keeping the pages classified is part of “a general pattern of coverup” that for 12 years has kept the American people in the dark. It is “highly improbable” the 19 hijackers acted alone, he said, yet the U.S. government’s position is “to protect the government most responsible for that network of support.”

The Saudis know what they did, Graham continued, and the U.S. knows what they did, and when the U.S. government takes a position of passivity, or actively shuts down inquiry, that sends a message to the Saudis. “They have continued, maybe accelerated their support for the most extreme form of Islam,” he said, arguing that both al Qaeda and ISIS are “a creation of Saudi Arabia.”
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/12/the-missing-pages-of-the-9-11-report.html

Suspicions about the Gulf kingdom intensified in 2003 when the Bush administration blocked the release of a 28-page section of a congressional report on the attacks believed to focus on terror funding in Saudi Arabia.

Princess Haifa al-Faisal, wife of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's long-standing ambassador in Washington, was at one point implicated for making donations worth $130,000 to the wives of two friends of the hijackers in San Diego.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3815179.stm

Are Gulf allies are not only brutal oppressors & labor traffickers, they are an enemy to not just us, many others including their own people. Venezuela isn't even close but instead of sanctioning any business individuals or even sanction the country but instead, we have their backs the wealthy Bin Laden family was flown out of here when no one else could travel freely within the country or out of the country.

Kuwaiti activists targeted under GCC security pact

The Saudi-backed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Internal Security Pact signed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait is now in full swing. It has truly ushered a new era of Pax Saudiana across the Gulf. The agreement was proposed in 1982 but remained under discussion until all GCC countries accepted its terms. The last country to ratify the pact was Kuwait. Ironically, the first casualties of this controversial agreement that took almost three decades to be ratified are Kuwaiti activists. Since January, at least three Kuwaiti opposition figures, social media activists and heads of political movements have been detained at the request of the Saudi authorities. Meant to enhance security for economic development and stability of GCC countries, the pact has now tuned into creating cross-border controls, evacuating the Arab Gulf of dissent and eliminating safe havens for dissidents of one country in another one.

The first casualty was Hakim al-Mutairi, an Islamist graduate in religious studies at Birmingham University and founder of the Umma Party in 2008, a Salafist transnational movement seeking political change by elections. His party aspires to create a Muslim society, implement Sharia and free the Gulf from the presence of foreign troops. Although the party remained unlicensed in Kuwait, it was tolerated up to a certain extent. In several books, Mutairi — who belongs to a large tribe in both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — critically scrutinized the texts of Saudi Salafists, reprimanding them for rejecting elections and pluralism. He warned in "Liberty or Deluge," one of his most popular books, of the perils of the subjugation of religion by kings and princes, restrictions on freedoms and criminalization of opposition. In another book, he offered a reinterpretation of Gulf history, depicting the kingdom and emirates as foreign creations serving the interests of an ongoing colonialism. He described Gulf citizens as “slaves without chains.”

Mutairi’s ideas and activism echoed across the Gulf. In 2011, and under the euphoria of the Arab uprisings, a group of professors, activists and lawyers announced the formation of a Saudi Umma party. Needless to say all founders were immediately imprisoned. The spokesman of the party, Muhammad al-Mufrih, was outside Saudi Arabia at the time and continued to issue statements from Istanbul where he took refuge and passed away in 2014. In December 2014, in an interview with TV station Al-Shorouk, Mutairi accused Saudi Arabia of poisoning Mufrih. When he returned to Kuwait, he found that the Saudi authorities had filed a case against him, and thanks to the GCC Internal Security Pact the Kuwaiti authorities detained him. He was released on bail after paying a large sum.

On March 15, Tariq al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti opposition activist and head of the Civil Democratic Movement, was detained also at the request of the Saudi Foreign Ministry, according to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior. According to his lawyer, the charges include “acts of aggression against a foreign country — i.e., Saudi Arabia — undermining the reputation of Kuwait, openly calling for overthrowing the regime and misusing his phone.” Tariq's and Hakim's recent activism in participating in a demonstration in support of famous Kuwaiti opposition figure Musallam al-Barrak, currently serving a two-year prison sentence, must have angered the Kuwaiti government. Tariq created a Twitter hashtag to free Barrak and more than 2,000 Kuwaitis joined the demonstration.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/03/saudi-gcc-security-dissident-activism-detention-opposition.html#ixzz3VtHAHiLh

A lot of what Blackwater does is subcontracted or operating under different names

Academi is an American private military company, founded in 1997 by Erik Prince.[2][3] Formerly known as Blackwater,[4] the company was renamed Xe Services in 2009, and "Academi" in 2011.[5] The company was purchased in late 2010 by a group of private investors who changed the name to Academi and instituted a board of directors and new senior management. Prince retained the rights to the name Blackwater and has no affiliation with Academi. The company received widespread publicity in 2007, when a group of its employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured 20 in Nisour Square, Baghdad.[6][7]

Academi continues to provide security services to the United States federal government on a contractual basis. The Obama administration contracted the group to provide services for the CIA for $250 million.[8] In 2013, Academi subsidiary International Development Solutions received an approximately $92 million contract for State Department security guards.[9]

In 2014, the company became a division of Constellis Holdings along with Triple Canopy and other security companies that were part of the Constellis Group as the result of an acquisition.[10][11]

<snip>
Board of directors

Red McCombs (chairman)[56]
John Ashcroft[56]
Dean Bosacki[56]
Jason DeYonker[56]
Bobby Ray Inman[56]
Jack Quinn[56]
Russ Robinson[56]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academi#Board_of_directors

Halliburton & KBR are responsible for numerous human slavery & trafficking violations

Long-running debates over military privatization overlook one important fact: The U.S.
military’s post-2001 contractor workforce is composed largely of migrants imported
from impoverished countries. This Article argues that these Third Country National
(TCN) workers—so called because they are neither American nor local—are bereft of
the effective protections of American law, local regimes, or their home governments;
moreover, their vulnerability is a feature, not a flaw, in how the U.S. projects global
power today. TCN workers are an offshore captive labor force whose use allows the
government to keep politically sensitive troop numbers and casualty figures artificially
low while reducing dependence on local populations with suspect loyalties. Legislation
to combat human trafficking has done little to remedy exploitation and abuse of TCN
workers because of jurisdictional hurdles and the lack of robust labor rights protections.
Substantive reform efforts should address the deeper issue at stake, namely that the
government uses TCN workers to carry out a core state function—namely, the use of
force—without a clear relationship of responsibility to them. Unlike with soldiers, the
labor of TCN workers is not valorized as sacrifice and unlike mercenaries selling their
services to the highest bidder, they are frequently indebted to the point of indenture.

http://www.uclalawreview.org/pdf/62-1-3.pdf

(After reading the A B C on part 1 of 3 I 100x recommend reading the entire study)

Most I have personally talked to came from India, Nepal, countries in Africa (I can't remember which specific ones), Phillipines.

Corp Watch & Al-Jazeera have the best reporting I've found regarding this

Blood, Sweat & Tears:
Asia’s Poor Build U.S. Bases in Iraq

But Soliman wouldn’t be making anything near the salaries starting at $80,000 a year and often topping more than $100,000 paid to truck drivers, construction workers, office workers and other laborers recruited in the United States by Halliburton’s subsidiary, KBR. Instead, the 35-year-old father of two looked forward to earning $615 a month – including overtime. For a 40-hour work week, that’s just over $3 an hour, but Soliman made even less. He says the standard work week was 12-hour days, seven days a week, so he was actually earning $1.56 an hour.

For a year’s work, Soliman would receive $7,380. He planned to send most of his paychecks home to his family, where the combined unemployment rate tops 28 percent and the average annual income in Manila is $4,384. Nearly half of the nation's 84 million people live on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.

Invisible and Indispensable Army of Low-Paid Workers

This mostly invisible, but indispensable army of low-paid workers has helped set new records for the largest civilian workforce ever hired in support of a U.S. war. They may be the most significant factor to the Pentagon’s argument that privatizing military support services is far more cost-efficient for the U.S. taxpayer than using its own troops to maintain camps and feed its ranks.

But American contractors returning home frequently share horrible tales of the working and living conditions that these TCNs endure on a daily basis.

TCNs frequently sleep in crowded trailers, wait outside in line in 100 degree heat to eat “slop,” lack adequate medical care and work almost every waking hour seven days a week for little or no overtime pay. Frequently, the workers lack proper safety equipment for hard labor

And when insurgents fire incoming mortars and rockets at the sprawling military camps, American contractors slip on helmets and bulletproof vests, but TCNs are frequently shielded by only the shirts on their backs and the flimsy trailers they sleep in.

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12675

IRAQ: Indian Contract Workers in Iraq Complain of Exploitation

For an $1,800 fee, the recruiter promised to get the two young south Indian men jobs as butchers on a military base in Kuwait for two years, they said. With salaries of $385 a month, a small fortune by Indian standards, they would join more than three million Indians already working in the Persian Gulf and enriching their families back home.

They mortgaged a relative's house and land, paid the fee and flew to Kuwait in August with two of their friends. What they say they encountered when they got there landed on the front pages of Indian newspapers this week, with one headline declaring "Indians Abused in Iraq" in "U.S. Slave Camps."

Within days, the brothers said, they and their friends found themselves on an American military base in northern Iraq working for a Saudi subcontractor of Kellogg, Brown & Root, or KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton. They said their supervisor, who had taken their passports in Kuwait, told them they were obligated to work on the base for six months and could not leave.

Working alongside 200 other laborers, from India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, they first cleaned American latrines and then washed American dishes, the brothers said. Their pay was roughly $150 a month, they said, less than half of what the recruiter had promised.

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12675

I post that article to post this was one, 12 years after the start of the Iraq war.

South Asian workers are at the bottom of the social hierarchy on U.S. bases. They earn far less than American or European contractors, work 12-hour days with little or no time off and, on some bases, aren’t allowed to use cellphones or speak to military personnel. On the base we visited, Camp Marmal, most were surprised and nervous when we approached them, concerned that talking to journalists could get them in trouble. One young man’s face contorted in terror when asked whether he had paid a recruiting fee. He shook his head no, fearful of any reprisals. “To come here, you have to use an agent,” another worker told us. “There is no other way. So we pay money to come.”

An agent is a person from a recruitment agency hired to find laborers for a company — in this case, the subcontractor. Sindhu Kavinamannil, a certified fraud examiner who has investigated labor networks between India and the Middle East, says there are tens of thousands of recruitment agencies in India and Nepal, the majority of them unregistered. They might be headquartered in large cities, she adds, but they each have hundreds of agents and subagents spread out across small towns and villages.

<snip>

Why would a company outsource hiring when it receives direct applications? “Employees at the subcontractor are taking kickbacks from these agents,” the former manager told us. “They tell the workers to apply through the agent, and the agent gets money from (the workers). The agent splits some of that fee with the people in human resources.”

In other words, because taking fees from applicants is illegal, subcontractors outsource hiring to recruiters who are willing to pass a portion of their fees up the chain. As a result, applicants who pay recruiting fees are often indirectly paying their employer — the subcontractor — simply for the opportunity to work.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/3/7/after-12-years-ofwarlaborabusesrampantonusbasesinafghanistan.html

The reason why it is illegal because of this executive order but the "zero tolerance" claims in it are laughable.

(i) using misleading or fraudulent recruitment practices during the recruitment of employees, such as failing to disclose basic information or making material misrepresentations regarding the key terms and conditions of employment, including wages and fringe benefits, the location of work, living conditions and housing (if employer provided or arranged), any significant costs to be charged to the employee, and, if applicable, the hazardous nature of the work;

(ii) charging employees recruitment fees;

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/25/executive-order-strengthening-protections-against-trafficking-persons-fe

Al-Jazeera has reports on that, usually there is a "screening question" but if a TCN answers the did they pay recruitment fee honestly the contractor terminates them so many lie because they need that year's salary to make back what they paid to "bait & switch" recruiters.

On edit -- The "butcher" listing is obviously false given that dining facilities have a short order line & main course, that varies. For some reason Lobster is served once a week. CSC Scania had "Fajita Tuesdays", most of the food is stored/heated. TCNs I had the pleasure of "supervising" (Military was tasked keeping tabs on the cooking temperatures but we actually only used the gauge maybe once every 10 (Dinner - Midnight - Breakfast --worked the night shift here though I hear lunch is notoriously difficult) in the Zone 2 DFAC in Camp Arif Jan, Kuwait. TCNs prepared & ate curry during the down times. I tried it once, incredibly spicy. They did all the cleaning, refiling & mixing of beverage dispensers all without ever being directed or ordered too, got along with them great which is far more than I can say about Civilian contractors & enforcing DFAC rules which were very strict (couldn't allow people take ice cream outside with them during the summer time--likely an explanation in how it relates to germs is the logical explanation given that we had to watch people coming in & order those to return to the hand washing station to those who skipped it. I'll never forget the "GS-7" I told to wash his hands. No one took offense over my regulations enforcement nearly as much as he did and that includes a WO 3 who gave me props for having the courage to tell him he is taking far too many Gatorade packets.

Out of curiousity I decided to look up his "GS-7 is the equivalent of Colonel" claims

The GS-1 through GS-7 range generally marks entry-level positions

Given that Colonels in the US Army routinely outrank Battalion Commanders I wonder a little more about him who asked my NCOIC "what if a Colonel walked in here?" "He would tell the Colonel to go back & wash his hands" These DFAC rules applied to everyone though no one fucked with the 3 Star Marine General who left his soft cap on the table at breakfast every morning.
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