Archive for category Call To Action

Call To Action: Demand Security Contractors Frank Burkert And Hannes Führinger Be Released From Egyptian Prison

Thanks to Yancey, Elena, and Günter for bringing this to my attention. Hopefully with this post, I can bring some more attention to this issue.

Basically these two security contractors were transporting weapons for their maritime security contract through Egypt, and authorities there arrested them. The problem here is that these contractors were in possession of what they thought was the proper licenses and paperwork to transport these weapons through Egypt, and the authorities there decided not to honor that paperwork.

At the same time this was going on, the Arab Spring had hit Egypt and all chaos had ensued there. So these guys were probably viewed as a folks intending to fuel whatever side of the conflict there–which is the farthest from the truth.

These men were working for CAV, an Italian security company, and they were on contract to protect a vessel. Those weapons were for guarding a client’s vessel and not for sale or distribution in Egypt.

So that is what I know, and by all means, please review the two articles below and if you wish to voice your opinion about the matter, you can write any of the pertinent folks below. Send your emails to:

Ehab Mohamed Mostafa Fawzy
e-mail: egyptembassyvienna@egyptembassyvienna.at

If you would like to contact CAV and let them know that they have a responsibility to support and do all they can for these men, here is a contact:

e-mail: segretaria@cav-formazione.it
e-mail: info@csenbologna.it

If you would like to contact LisaFuehringer and provide some help or just give some support, here is her contact:

e-mail: lisa.fuehringer@gmx.at

The German Embassy in Egypt:

Embassy of Germany in Cairo, Egypt
e-mail: info@kairo.diplo.de

The Austrian Embassy in Egypt:

e-mail: kairo-ob@bmeia.gv.at

The Egyptian Embassy in Germany:

e-mail: embassy@egyptian-embassy.de

As more information becomes available, I will add the edits. The last I heard, the mother of one of the contractors communicated this recently:

“Today’s hearing was canceled by the judge and adjourned indefinitely.”

So basically the Egyptian judicial system is barely working, if at all–considering all that has happened there. That, and there might be some new politics involved, like any westerners in their prisons do not deserve due process or any kind of justice….Who knows, and by all means, if any Egyptian authorities would like to answer as to why Egypt is stonewalling this case, contact me or post a comment. If anyone else has information, please feel free to speak as well. -Matt

 

Frank Burkert.

Hannes Führinger and his wife Lisa.

 

Gunrunning: Process in Cairo postponed again
32-year-old in custody
27/05/2012
Gunrunning: Mild judgment in Cairo for Austrians?
Cairo: Burgenland experienced real stick martyrdom
Arms smuggling: Austrian is in Egypt court
The trial of the 32 – year Burgenländer Hannes F., accused Egypt in weapons smuggling, has been postponed again on Sunday. The date for the next hearing was the 23rd June fixed. F. is since 2 Last November in Cairo in custody.
Reason for the postponement this time was the recently held presidential election. The judge informed the lawyers that the trial was postponed, said Nikolaus Lutterotti, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. The courtroom had served in the presidential election as polling stations and were sealed.
Courtroom was closed to
When she came in the morning to the courthouse, the court room was locked, before police were standing, described Lisa F., the wife of the accused. Initially it had been said that the hearing would take place somewhere else because ballot boxes were kept in the hall. After one and half to two hours, then you have been advised of the process would be delayed.
“21 cases were scheduled for today,” said Lisa F. The other procedures had been postponed to October 23rd of that against her husband on the June: “If it comes in June, not a verdict, then it will go in October.” In the months of July, August and September will not be tried. Place a few days before the new date on 16 and 17 Egypt in June presidential run-off election.
Health of the lander’s Castle “very threatening”
She was worried because of the health of her husband “very threatening” is, according to Lisa F. The visit by a medical officer of the embassy had not been approved, described the wife. “Until now, the not yet been approved,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Lutterotti, “the Embassy is trying every day to make it work.”
The 32 – year-old castle in the country last year was arrested at Cairo airport with four guns and 200 rounds of ammunition in his luggage. He had traveled for an order to guard a ship transport to Egypt.
Story here.
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FREE FÜHRINGER FROM AN EGYPTIAN PRISON
By securitycontractorsrecovery
by Elena Fon, Esq. and Günter Singer
25 January 2012
Hannes Führinger from Austria and Frank Burkert from Germany were arrested on November 2nd 2011 at Cairo airport en route to a maritime deployment. They were working for the Italian security company  CAV ( Centro Addestramento Varano) which had been contracted by the Italian maritime shipping company PREMUDA SPA, to provide security for the ship “ Four Smile” from Suez to Galle in Sri Lanka. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call To Action: Instructions For How To Submit A Contractor Casualty For The Defense Of Freedom Medal

This is an important post, and in the past I have discussed the Defense of Freedom Medal before, but never discussed the process of getting a killed or wounded contractor their medal.  This medal is the equivalent to the Purple Heart that the military gives to wounded or killed soldiers. It is my intent with this post to empower companies and contractors with the information necessary on how to submit a casualty for this medal.

I will also put a link to this post on my Contractor Casualty Statistics page so it will be easy to find for those who want to come back to it. The links below, highlighted in blue, are also important to read.  These are the memos that detail how this works, and what is required. Please forward this information on to the companies if you are a friend or family member of a contractor that was killed or wounded, and they have not been recognized for their sacrifice. If the company in question is no longer in existence, then I would recommend contacting the Army Incentive Awards Board directly with the email below.

Also, there is no record of every recipient from what I can gather. Wikipedia had an entry dedicated to contractors that received this medal, but it only lists four.  I know there are more out there, and I will keep an eye out for a source that tracks this. Good luck out there and let’s make it happen! -Matt

 

 

Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom

1. Purpose: The Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom (DFM) is established to acknowledge civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DoD) who are killed or wounded in the line of duty. The medal symbolizes the extraordinary fidelity and essential service of the Department’s civilian workforce who are an integral part of DoD and who contribute to the preservation of national security.

2. Description: The Army’s Institute of Heraldry developed the medal.
      a. Medal: The eagle and shield exemplify the principles of freedom and the defense of these freedoms on which our country is founded. The laurel is emblematic of honor and high achievement.
      b. Ribbon: Red, white, and blue are our National colors. The red stripes commemorate valor and sacrifice. The wide blue stripe represents strength. The white stripes symbolize liberty as represented in our national flag. The number of red stripes represents the four terrorist attacks using hijacked airplanes, and the single blue stripe represents the terrorist attack on the pentagon on September 11, 2001. This day, more than ever, united this country and brought to the forefront our heroic civilians.

3. Certificate: A DA Form 7499 will accompany the medal.

4. Eligibility: The medal shall be awarded to any DoD civilian employee meeting the definition of ‘employee’ under title 5 United States Code, Section 2105, and who is eligible for an award under DoD 1400.25-M, Subchapter 451, ‘Awards,’ including employees of non-appropriated fund activities, when killed or wounded by hostile action while serving under any competent authority of the Department under conditions for which a military member would be eligible for receipt of the Purple Heart. Additionally, the Secretary of Defense has discretionary authority to award this medal to non-Defense personnel who are otherwise qualified to be awarded the medal based on their involvement in DoD activities.

5. Criteria: Eligibility criteria for the medal are aligned as closely as possible to those for the Purple Heart for members of the Armed Forces; this medal differs from other medals in that it is not ‘recommended.’ The employee is ‘entitled’ to the medal if the employee is eligible under Section 4 and if the conditions or criteria in this paragraph are present. Hostile action may involve, but is not limited to, the use of conventional or nuclear weapons, chemical or biological agents, explosives, or missiles. The medal shall be awarded to employees who are killed or who sustain injury due to hostile action against the United States of America, or killed or wounded while rescuing or attempting to rescue any other employee or individual subjected to injuries sustained under such conditions. The wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer, and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.

6. Limitations on Awarding Medal: The medal is authorized for the incident of death or the first wound suffered under the conditions indicated above. The medal itself may be awarded only once; however, for subsequent events that would require the award of the medal, a device will be awarded to attach to the ribbon of the medal.

7. Posthumous Awards: The medal may be awarded posthumously and, when so awarded, may be presented to a representative of the deceased member’s family.

8. Responsibility and Approval: The approval authority for the DFM is delegated as specified in the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) memorandum dated March 24, 2009, subject: Delegation of Authority Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.

9. Nomination Format: Forward a memorandum, along with a DA Form 1256, containing the following:

     a. General personal information: For government employees: provide name, SSN, title, series, grade, organization and location.

     b. Specific information regarding injury/death: Description of the situation causing the injury/death in detail to include the date, time, place, and scene of the incident, and official medical documentation of the employee’s injuries and treatment. The description must be well documented, including the names of witnesses and point of contact (POC) for additional medical information, if needed.

10. Army Contractor Nominations: The Secretary of Defense will consider nominations of contractor employees for this medal. Nominations for contractor employees will consist of the attached form, completed and submitted to the Executive Secretary, Army Incentive Awards Board, along with a report from a medical treatment facility or professional and a signed release to permit discussion of medical information by those who review the award nomination. Submit one copy of the memorandum and supporting justification to:

ag1cpaiabsecretary@conus.army.mil.

Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom
Consideration of Eligibility
for Contractor Personnel

1. Name of individual (first, middle initial, last.) Mr. John Doe
2. Position title. Senior Project Engineer
3. Name of contractor company and name/phone number of POC. ABC, 1234 Main Street, Anytown, Virginia 22222. Mr. Harold Barnes (888) 555-4748.
4. Title of Component office for which contractor worked and name/phone number of Component POC or project manager. Headquarters, Department of the Army, IMCEN. Mr. Sam Jones (877) 555-4410.
5. Date and location of the event, which caused the death or injury. September 11, 2001; Pentagon. Mr. Joe Smith, Acting Director, Information Management Center, certifies that this employee was in a duty status on September 11, 2001.
6. Describe the circumstances of the individual’s death or injury, e.g., the event that caused the death or injury and how it occurred. Mr. Doe was working in the Pentagon, Room 1C543, when terrorists crashed a commercial aircraft into the Pentagon. He was hit on the head by falling debris from the ceiling and walls of his office.
7. For injuries only (1) describe the nature of the injury and the treatment protocol (treated and released, number of days hospitalized); (2) identify where treatment occurred (treated at medical facility or by private doctor and provide name of facility/ physician and phone number if available); (3) describe extent of immediate care, (treated with aspirin, x-rays taken, etc.), and (4) describe extent of continued care if considered necessary (outpatient care, physical therapy, etc.) Mr. Doe sustained blunt force trauma to his head and was admitted to Polaris Hospital Emergency Room where he was taken to the operating room and received fourteen stitches to close the wound in his head. He received medical treatment at the hospital until September 18, 2001. He had physical therapy appointments once a week for several months.
8. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT: MG Thomas Smith, Commanding General, U.S. Army XXXXXX, signed memorandum recommending approval.

Content last reviewed: 5/22/2009-ALV
References
Memo, May 20, 2009 – DFM Reporting Instructions
This page was last revised: 5/22/2009

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Call To Action: The Civilian Veterans Association

A big thank you to Doug for giving me the heads up about this association, and to Anthony for putting this together. The Civilian Veterans Association will be the equivalent to the VFW or any other number of associations dedicated to those that have served or are serving. And to me, it is about time we have something like this.

I should also note that the potential for this association is great. The headquarters is located in the heart of the defense world, and there are so many thousands of contractors that have served to draw from, that this could become a very big group. An association like this can also be an advocacy group for contractors who have served. They can also be an advocacy for those that were wounded, or for our POW and MIA contractors. In my post about the resolve and sacrifice of contractors, I have identified just such a group that needs all the support we can give them.

So here are some details. The CVA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On the website, you can make donations to this group at their donation page here. They are also looking for folks who would like to help with the various tasks of standing up the CVA. Most of all, they are looking for a director. Definitely head to the website and explore the various ways that you can contribute. Every little bit counts.

Finally, and this is really cool. The CVA is wanting to march in the New York City Veterans Day Parade. Here is an excerpt:

The CVA intends to march in the New York City Veterans Day Parade on 11 November 2011. This year’s theme is “Never Forget,” and pays special tribute to the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. If you are a Civilian Veteran, particularly, if you are a Civilian Veteran who has served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom or any other formally or informally recognized warzone, you deserve recognition and it is high time to come out in force. If you would like to march, please march@civilianveteran.org.

I think this is the first time I have ever heard of a civilian veterans group wanting to march at this parade, and to me, that is awesome. We have had several thousand killed, and thousands more wounded in this war, and I would very much like to see some kind of recognition for this sacrifice. We should also have a national monument or memorial of some type so the friends and families of civilian veterans have something to remember at. Cool stuff and definitely check out the links below if you want to get involved. -Matt

Website for the Civilian Veterans Association here.

 

 

The Civilian Veterans Association (CVA) supports civilians who served the United States in official and nonofficial war zones or during domestic terrorist events.

Throughout our nation’s history, civilians have served the US government in war zones, whether as diplomats, intelligence officers, engineers, analysts, trainers, linguists or in support of the military. In particular, for many Civilian Veterans the post 9/11 environment has been one of extreme hardship and personal sacrifice. These Civilian Veterans of war and conflict deserve recognition and support for the sacrifices that they and their families have made in defense of our nation.

Membership in the CVA is open to those who have served in official and nonofficial war zones or during domestic terrorist events while in the employ of the United States Government, whether in a civilian or contractor capacity. The CVA also serves military veterans who have since gone on to serve as a government civilian or contractor in a warzone.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Call To Action: On 9/11, Remember The Fighting Spirit And Courage Of Civilians On Flight 93

I am a civilian and on September 11th 2001, my fellow civilians (and citizens) of the US were attacked by terrorists. They were killed at the World Trade Center, they were killed at the Pentagon, and they were killed on Flight 93. My fellow civilians were also maimed in these attacks, and they live with those mental and physical scars every day.

On September 11th 2001, we lost many. This may have been an attack on US soil, but this was not just an attack on the US. Civilians were the main target, and the victims held nationalities from all over the world. On that day, a war was declared on civilians.

We also lost soldiers, policemen, firemen, contractors and federal employees. These men and women gave all in the defense of civilians that day. They did their job and paid an incredible sacrifice, and we will never forget what they did for us.

But my fellow civilians did not go quietly either. On Flight 93, after recognizing what the intent of the terrorists were, they decided to fight. On that flight, civilians came together to stop the evil that hijacked their plane. They charged the cockpit, wrestled control of the plane from the terrorist, and were able to prevent that plane from crashing into the capital of the United States. During that struggle, the plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania and terrorists and civilians alike all perished.

This is something to ponder. A group of civilians on a random flight, coming together for one cause to stop evil and survive. No one trained them to do what they did, no one briefed them on what to expect, no one told them to sacrifice for this country…..but they did. They decided to fight for their lives, and they were intent on stopping this evil from achieving it’s goal.

I think it is still important to pay tribute to all that died.  It is a significant world wide memory that is forever seared into all of our brains. But what is even more important to me is to remember this event as a day where civilians were empowered to fight back, and make a difference.

It is human to be sad about such loss, but we should also celebrate the fighting spirit of these civilians. It is that fighting spirit, courage, and resolve that we can all use in our daily lives, and in our world wide war against this enemy. Every flight, every subway, every public gathering should be looked at as an opportunity for civilians to stand up to our enemy. We physically ‘stand up’ by having the courage to fight this enemy where ever they may be, and we mentally ‘stand up’ by not living in fear. And of course morally, we maintain the high ground when the enemy intentionally targets our civilian populations.

We are stronger. We are more determined. We will never forget, and this ends when the enemy is reduced to a pitiful memory. It also ends when the enemy is not able to count on the fear of civilians, or that the enemy fears the very population that it targets. Not only must we never forget the loss on this terrible day, but we must also celebrate the fighting spirit and courage of these civilians on Flight 93. -Matt

Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign here.

 

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Call To Action: Sign The Petition To Award 9/11 Hero And Security Contractor Rick Rescorla The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

I want to give a hat tip to Blackfive for putting this one out there, and I think this is a great Call To Action post. Rick Rescorla is certainly deserving of this award, and as a security contractor working for Morgan Stanley during the 9/11 incident he saved thousands of lives at the cost of his own.

Rick is also a veteran of the Vietnam and Rhodesian Wars, and he certainly get’s my respect as a warrior and as a human. Below is a quick summary of the petition, and as we get closer to the anniversary of 9/11, signing this petition is a great way to recognize one of many heroes of that day. Til Valhall. -Matt

Sign the petition here.

The interview below was filmed in 1998, at his WTC office.

 

 

To:  United States
A PETITION TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH TO AWARD THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO C.R.”RICK” RESCORLA FOR HEROISM AND GALLANTRY BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY ON SEPTEMBER 11,2001. ??MR. RESCORLA CAME TO THIS COUNTRY AS AN IMMIGRANT TO BECOME AN OFFICER IN THE ARMY. MR RESCORLA SERVED WITH SUCH DISTINCTION AS AN OFFICER IN VIET NAM THAT ALL WHO SERVED WITH HIM CONSIDER HIM THE BRAVEST MAN WE HAVE EVER KNOWN. HE WAS HIGHLY DECORATED FOR HIS BRAVERY AND LEADERSHIP IN COMBAT. HE BECAME A US CITIZEN AND SOUGHT A HIGHER EDUCATION OBTAINING A BACHELOR AND MASTERS DEGREE AT UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA AND FURTHER OBTAINING A LAW DEGREE BEFORE SERVING A AS TEACHER AT USC LAW SCHOOL BEFORE BEING LURED TO THE WORLD OF COMMERCIAL BANKING. MR. RESCORLA’S SPECIALTY WAS SECURITY AND SECURITY LAW. IN 1993 HE WAS THE LAST MAN OUT OF THE TRADE TOWERS AFTER EVACUATING EVERYONE. ON SEPT.11TH IN SPITE OF BEING TOLD HIS BUILDING WAS NOT IN DANGER, HE IMPLEMENTED THE EVACUATION PLAN HE HAD DEVELOPED FOR HIS FIRM, MORGAN STANLEY. AS A DIRECT RESULT OF HIS EFFORTS THAT DAY AND HIS QUICK ACTION, OVER 2600 EMPLOYEES WERE SAVED. MR RESCORLA WAS LAST SEEN GOING UP TO RESCUE PEOPLE WHO WERE UNABLE TO GET DOWN. HIS ACTIONS REFLECT THE VERY BEST ABOUT AMERICA, ITS CITIZENS AND ITS DREAMS. ?THE UNDERSIGNED URGE YOU TO RECOGNIZE MR RESCORLA BY BESTOWING THIS HIGHEST HONOR TO THIS MOST DESERVING MAN.

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Call To Action: Colorado Senate Bill 11-186 Will Free Criminals And Spell The End Of Private Bail-Vote No!

In the past I have written about the effectiveness of offense industries, and specifically bounty hunting.  The strength of the private bail industry comes from the profit motive of the act and from them having incentive to get their bail money back if their client runs, and that is a good thing. These men and women work hard in this industry and earn every penny they make doing a dangerous service that benefits us all.

What Colorado is trying to do here is to ruin private enterprise, and expand the size of government through another means of capturing revenue. Meanwhile, if the bail industry is destroyed by this greedy government program, who will run after the criminals that run? The police? Hell, they can’t even keep up with the current warrants in that state.

At the bottom of these articles I posted the contact information for all the state Senators in Colorado. Take your pick, or write them all, but either way, tell them to vote no on Senate Bill 11-186.  -Matt

Dog The Bounty Hunter Fighting Bill That Would Free Criminals
Apr 26, 2011
Duane “Dog” Chapman isn’t just busy yanking criminals off the street — he’s fighting the politicians trying to put them back on the street!
Dog is leading the fight in Colorado against a state Senate bill he and the bill’s critics say will put bail bondsmen out of business — and flood society with criminals.
“This time I’m not barking. I’m here to take a real bite out of crime,” Dog told RadarOnline from Colorado. “I’m here to stop tax funded bonds ?and return bail bonds to the private sector where it belongs.”
Authorities in Colorado on Tuesday will convene to vote on the divisive Senate Bill 11-186,  sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Morse and Republican Rep. Mark Waller, both of Colorado Springs.
The bill would put into play a deposit bond, which would grant pre-trial services to offer bonds to incarcerated defendants.
Here’s how it works:
If the accused cannot can’t get bonded out by a private bail company, the court will make one available to them.  Once the judge sets bond, the defendant would be able to pay up to 15 percent of the amount.
Under this system, 50 percent of the revenue would go to the court fees for the service. If the defendant is found not guilty, the other 50 percent would be returned to them. If they are found guilty, whatever funds are left would be given back to them.
One former lawman who operates his bail bonds company out of Colorado Springs, told KRDO -TV that if the bill is passed into a law, hundreds of people in his industry will be out of work.
Not only that, but who is going to chase down the criminals who don’t show up to court. Dog the Bounty Hunter told RadarOnline.com: “This state has hundreds of thousands of warrants! no Bounty Hunters ?  Ha, not,” he scoffed in a warning. Read the rest of this entry »

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