Bush Administration Helping Defraud Taxpayers in Iraq?

In 2003 a small, private military contracting company opened its doors just in time to feel the boon that would be the war in Iraq. Custer Battles, run by Mike Battles, a former CIA agent and failed Republican Congressional candidate, along with his partner Scott Custer, had zero experience in the security industry when it received one of the very first contracts issued in Iraq.

In the spring of 2003, after the fall of Saddam Hussein and around the time that President Bush declared “Mission Accomplished”, Custer Battles was presented with a whopping $16 million no-bid contract to secure the airport in Baghdad. This contract was the first of many.

During Custer Battles’ tenure in Iraq, the company was flooded with allegations of unrestrained force, fraud and over billing of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Retired Brigadier General Hugh Tant III said Custer Battles’ fraud, “was probably the worst I’ve ever seen in my 30 years in the Army.”

Custer Battles was eventually kicked out of Iraq and forced to face fraud charges back in the United States, despite objections from the Bush Administration.

According to Newsweek, the Bush Administration “…has argued privately that the occupation government, known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, was a multinational institution, not an arm of the U.S. government. So the U.S. government was not technically defrauded. Lawyers for the whistle-blowers point out, however, that President George W. Bush signed a 2003 law authorizing $18.7 billion to go to U.S. authorities in Iraq, including the CPA, ‘as an entity of the United States government.’ And several contracts with Custer Battles refer to the other party as ‘the United States of America.'”

In March of 2006 a jury found Custer Battles guilty, but that verdict was overturned shortly thereafter due to the supposed ambiguous nature of the structure of the CPA. The judge that overturned the verdict did admit however, that “U.S. taxpayers ultimately footed the bill.” In the end, the Bush Administration’s argument shielded Custer Battles from refunding stolen U.S. taxpayer dollars.

According to Custer Battles’ owners, the company was sold to a Romanian firm, Danubia Global Inc. At the time of the sale, Danubia was owned by Security Ventures International Ltd, a British Virgin Islands firm.

“Battles and Custer, through a spokesman, said they sold the remaining Iraqi assets of Custer Battles – including vehicles, computers and intellectual properties – to Danubia early this year. Several former Custer Battles employees have joined the Romanian firm. But the contractors refused to name the employees, or to identify Danubia’s owners.”

PR Newswire reported in May 2005 that Danubia had been bought out.

“Windmill International Limited, the American company, has a 15-year presence in Romania and recently acquired a major shareholding in Danubia Global Inc. (DGI), a global logistics and security provider headquartered in Bucharest which is currently providing security and logistics services in Iraq.”

The Board of Directors of Windmill include a wide variety of who’s who in the Republican party, including:

James Gilmore *: former RNC chair and Governor of VA

Hansford Johnson *: Acting Secretary of the Navy under George W. Bush – 2/03 – 10/03

Michael Ussery *: former State Department official and Ambassador to Morocco

Douglas Combs *: “Combs was acting undersecretary of the Navy from 1999 to 2003 and made frequent trips to Iraq during that period and worked with contractors and military advisers there. He also was a special assistant to Johnson, who was acting secretary of the Navy, the service’s top civilian position, in 2003.”

Ronald Dwight *: An assistant attorney general in Rhode Island, who later worked on Mike Battles failed congressional campaign.

Free Image and Video Hosting
Free Image Hosting – powered by FusionPics
(John Warner, Douglas Combs and Dick Cheney)

Free Image and Video Hosting
Free Image Hosting – powered by FusionPics
(Douglas Combs and George H.W. Bush) *.

Ronald Dwight, a personal friend and former co-worker of Mike Battles’, was on the board of directors of the company that purchased a controlling share in Danubia Global, which had shortly before purchased much of Custer Battles’ assets.

Also, Dwight briefly served as a legal adviser in the Iraqi Transportation Ministry around the time in which Custer Battles was receiving contracts throughout Iraq.

Recently, members of Windmill International’s board of directors were accused “of scheming with a banned American contractor to get lucrative rebuilding contracts in Iraq.”

According to the AP, “The current suit names former acting Navy Secretary Hansford Johnson, former acting Navy Undersecretary Douglas Combs and Custer Battles LLC officials including founders Scott Custer and Mike Battles, who were barred in 2004 after billing the government for work that was never done and for padding invoices by much as 100 percent.

Also named were six companies connected to the contracting firm, including Windmill International Ltd., a worldwide contractor run by Combs and Johnson, and a Romanian company, Danubia Global, which bought Custer Battles in 2005.

The new lawsuit contends Custer and Battles, both Army veterans with Washington political connections, tried to get around the suspension order by plotting with Johnson and Combs ‘to set up sham companies (thereby) concealing their ownership and control of those entities.'”

A lawyer for Windmill International does acknowledge that Combs partook in a business meeting with Scott Custer in 2004.

Most of the players in this suit are in some way tied to the Bush Administration, either as a personal friend or having served at some level in the Administration itself. With the Administration’s Justice Department arguing so vehemently in favor of Custer Battles’, could Bush/Cheney, etc. actually be involved in assisting these contracting companies in defrauding the U.S. taxpayers?

*All photos and information on Board Members were originally hosted on Windmill International’s website, which is no longer in operation.

Advertisements

3 Responses to Bush Administration Helping Defraud Taxpayers in Iraq?

  1. Anonymous says:

    IMPEACHMENT!!!!!! IMPEACHMENT….IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY….HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS PEOPLE, FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE BLIND READ UP ON IT. IF ANY BODY DESERVES IMPEACHMENT IN OUR HISTORY ITS GEORGE THE NON PRESIDENT ,THAT SHAMED OUR COUNRY NOT ONE OF THE WORST LEADERS …..THE WORST LEADER THERE HAS EVER BEEN ….GEORGE HAS ALWAYS LOVED FRAUD ,HIS FAMILY IS PRETTY GOOD AT IT JUST ASK HIS BROTHERS. THIS FAMILY WILL GO DOWN AS THE WORSE…..

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the way things look to me………… By now everyone should know of Cheney & his xxxxxxxx CEO practices, has set in place, his hand picked personal to run our government agencies the way they are ordered, to control American’s tax money for a supply to private corporations, consisting of his friends and family. Just how smart does one have to be to see the lies, deceit and corruption that spews out of this administration every day since Bush & Cheney took (or stole) office. Republicans used spin on Kerry of flip/flop, but Bush, Cheney and the republicans have it down to a science. Did you ever notice that the news media spins about how the Kennedy’s, Kerry a war hero , while Cheney, Bush, Ashcroft, Libby, Roberts, Delay and the other republicans that have cut and run from serving in the actually war like Vet Nan. Than when ever they bring up a name of a republican, it how great they were and if I am not mistaken didn’t Nixon abuse our constitution in which Ford pardon him. Reagan created corruption in the contra which had others took the blame to shield him and they deleted the records. Didn’t their heroes Reagan and Rumsfeld go to Iraq to shake hands, give Saddam presents and chemical ingredients for war fare. Didn’t Bush Sr. start the Gulf war for the sake of Saudi Arabia, which killed and injured our soldiers and they developed medical problems from the weapons they used but the government would refuse to admit it… Bush and cheney actions of lies, deceit, corruption & abuse of power speaks for it;s self, This administration has had a republican’s deceit, fraud and corruption on the average of 1 a week…. Republicans with the help of the wealthy corporations, which controls our news media, with ownership, but some times it look like strict over site and censorship using propaganda and BS to help promote their xxxxxxxx policies. One thing for sure they like to use quotes like mission accomplish, stay the course when it works, then when it does not work, they do not change their policy but use another phase to propaganda it. Can anyone name an action or policy that Bush and his republican administration has put in place, that has benefited the American citizen? Bush with supervision by Cheney and his hand picked personal, has competed the quickest and more complete transfer of wealth and power to the wealthy and Global Corporations in any country’s history. Bush has successfully completed a transfer of wealth and control in 6 years, which has taken the American citizens 50 plus years to accomplish. Bush using Cheney xxxxxxxxx CEO back ground, almost completely eliminated American’s security, military, freedom, health benefits, retirement benefits, pollution control standards, jobs safety, food quality control, economy for the working class–seniors–poor, sent jobs to foreign countries. While letting illegal immigrants into our country to create a large job pool, which benefits corporations so they could control wages and benefits for their profits which you see everyday 10 to 200 billion dollars in money and benefits. Bush talks of American not suffering for his illegal war against Iraq, but most Americans just trying to make ends meet, can tell that the inflated dollar, a lack of raise in wages, the 50 & 100+ % increase in oil, gas, houses, food, transportation and your home energy cost, has puts a very large burden on most of Americans. From the time Bush and his hijackers took office, prices have more than doubled. Gas, heating energy & homes prices are very good indicator of this double and triple inflation for most. Bush’s father, brothers, uncle, friends have profited from this war not only by their no-bid contracts, but their xxxxxxxx in order to obtain and delete the tax payers of their money. It is no wonder Bush and the republicans want and are cutting the social programs of Americans, they are given away our tax dollars and it has to come from somewhere, so the social programs like medicare, Medicaid and ALL social programs have to be cut or eliminated. Bush’s policies of transferring tax dollars from government jobs and government over site have shown that this is a very bad policy, because they have created more fraud, lack of control and billion of tax dollars that is not accounted for, which they have no documentation for that has vanished. Just like the 100,000 AK 47’s on three planes that just vanished. Bush’s lack of control and over site shows that we either have an idiot in charge or there is a designed purpose for this lack of over site and control….. Bush has stripped Americans of just about all their economy, control of our government (just look at the republicans fraud in the election system), security ( sold us out to foreign nations even ones that have ties to terrorist), democracy, our military (now Bush is enlisting foreign citizens even ones which he has called terrorist nations to serve in the military to protect ??US??. Stupidity never stops in this administration, or is it a planned stupidity????????? This administration has outed our convert CIA agent (Plame) that had a net work of personal to check the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. This action not only gave them revenge for the yellow cake exposure, but now they can say what they wish about Iran’s nuclear progress with out any person with inside knowledge proving them wrong, as was done on the Iraq issue

  3. abraham says:

    Nice work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: