At midnight last night Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter defaulted on the constructive notice that was served on him on August 17, 2015. The constructive notice is a legal document that set forth the facts resulting from a year-long investigation into a war profiteering scandal involving a corrupt band of U.S. Army military officers, civilian DOD employees and their contractors.
Secretary of Defense Carter had 30 business days to refute the facts as presented to him or concede that they were true. He chose to accept the facts as they were presented to him.
“We are very pleased that Secretary Carter has accepted the facts and admitted to corruption in the U.S. Army ranks,” said John Hnatio the Executive Director of the Institute for Complexity Management (ICM). “This can only be good news for the safety of every American warfighter,” he added.
For the past year Hnatio has been spearheading one of the most comprehensive investigations of its kind looking into allegations that the U.S. Army intentionally left American troops in harm’s way during the first Gulf War.
The investigation found overwhelming evidence that a small group of U.S. Army officers, DOD civilian employees and their pet contractors colluded to misappropriate life-saving technology from a small businessman in order to reverse-engineer and duplicate protective drinking gear used by soldiers to avoid chemical and biological poisoning on the battlefield.
“The big problem with the scheme was that it took the Army and their contractors a long time to steal, reverse engineer and duplicate the technology in a way that they wouldn’t get caught. The result was that fighting men and women in the first Gulf War were left in the brink without the type of protective gear they desperately needed to protect themselves,” Hnatio said.
In fact, the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of congress, has issued several critical reports during and in the aftermath of the Gulf War reporting that the Army was not adequately training troops on chemical warfare and that they did not have adequate protective gear to prevent chemical and biological poisoning on the battlefield.
An article from the New York Times states, “From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.”
During Hnatio’s investigation he contacted the offices of Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Sam Johnson to seek their help on behalf of Wes Schneider the small businessman who was run out of business by the Army war profiteers. At first, Cruz and Johnson promised their help and told ICM that they would have to file their complaints with Jon Rymer the DOD Inspector General before the Congress could intervene.
“What we did is play the game,” Hnatio says. “After a year of relentless prodding the DOD Inspector General Jon Rymer did absolutely nothing,” Hnatio reports.
In fact, ICM even wrote letters to the most senior procurement officials in DOD and the Army including Undersecretaries Frank Kendall and Harry Hallock. “Kendall never answered us and Hallock told us that there was insufficient evidence to open any investigation of the matter even though we presented DOD officials with copies of our report that included overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing,” Hnatio says.
A year later, after ICM did exactly what they were told to do by Senator Cruz and Sam Johnson, they went back to them and asked for their help to take action to hold the U.S. Army accountable. “But instead of pulling up their man pants and doing the right thing they came up with excuses to avoid doing their jobs,” Hnatio said.
“Can you believe it, their staffs were trying to convince me that what happened here was purely a judicial matter and that the separation of powers prevented them from doing their job of congressional oversight. Pure, complete and unadulterated poppycock,” he added. Hnatio is a veteran of Capitol Hill where he worked on the staff of former Senator Pete V. Domenici. “I know better. These young people and their bosses could use a lesson or two in Constitutional law,” Hnatio observed.
ICM has established a petition asking for Congress and Secretary Carter to properly meet their oversight responsibilities. You can sign the petition by clicking here.