Archive for category Legal News

Books: Civilian Warriors, By Erik Prince

This is the much anticipated book by Erik Prince about his former company.  You can go to Amazon and pre-order, or wait until November and check out all of the various book stores and sites that Penguin Group is releasing it at.

One thing that has come up recently about the book is a lawsuit between Prince and one of his ghost writers. We will see how that turns out and how the book sells. –Matt

Pre-order the book here.

Edit: 12/17/13– Prince has been doing tons of interviews to promote his book. Probably the best one has been The Daily Show. Check it out.

 

 

Summary of Civilian Warriors
The founder of Blackwater offers the gripping, previously untold story of the world’s most controversial military contractor

Blackwater is one of the most misunderstood companies of our time. As Erik Prince, its founder and former CEO, writes:

“Hundreds of American citizens employed by private military contractors, or PMCs, would lose their lives helping our government wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, only to have their memory tarnished by the unfair and/or ignorant depiction of PMCs as profiteers, jackbooted thugs, or worse.”

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Legal News: Returning Wounded Contractors Face Second Battle, Against AIG

This is a good article in regards to the nitty gritty of dealing with DBA ‘potential’ pitfalls, if you get injured as a contractor. I say potential, because not all contractors have had these horror stories with DBA and their dealings with AIG.

But if you are having issues with DBA, then the cool thing about this story is it has identified one of the country’s best DBA claims lawyers–Gary Pitts. His firm would be a good resource if you are coming up against some problems with your claim. –Matt

 

After his rig bottomed out in a bomb crater, AIG made former KBR trucker David Boiles of Willis suffer through 14 months of agonizing back pain and sciatica before they authorized surgery.

Returning War Contractors Face Second Battle, Against AIG
Whatever your role in the U.S. war effort, if you were injured overseas, at least you’d be covered back home, right?
By John Nova Lomax
Wednesday, Nov 14 2012
Ever since that June day in 2010 when the roadside bomb detonated ten feet from the cab of his truck on a dusty road in Iraq, Terry Enzweiler has not been the same. He gets lost coming back from the same grocery store he’s shopped in hundreds of times; his daughter had to buy him a GPS to help him navigate his own neighborhood. He takes Xanax and Zoloft to combat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The Xanax stops me from jumping through the roof when a pencil falls on the floor,” he says.
Even medicated, his blood still curdles when he hears Arabic spoken on TV or drives through one of the Chicago area’s Muslim neighborhoods. He wore earplugs for much of the week leading up to and right through the Fourth of July. “Those half-sticks sound just like a .50-cal,” he says, referring to a type of heavy machine gun.
The chuck-chuck of helicopter blades terrifies him, as does the sight of his own 25-year-old son. In Iraq, 46-year-old Enzweiler, a recent client of Houston attorney Gary Pitts, saw a dead Iraqi child who looked just like his boy did 13 years ago. “My psychiatrist said it’s like a marriage where there’s been infidelity,” he says in a phone interview. “The wife forgives the husband. Two years later, she sees a blond woman in a blue dress. Two years prior, the other woman looked like that. So in the mind, the two images come together, and for absolutely no reason, you become furious, and your subconscious takes over. It’s the same thing now. When I see my son, I think of that kid. I saw some horribly gruesome stuff over there.”

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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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Cool Stuff: The Private Security Monitor–One Stop Shopping For Laws And Regulations For PMSC’s

This is a great resource for those that own PMSC’s, or are looking to start one up. If you want to operate internationally, you need to know the laws and regulations pertaining to running your business in these parts of the world.

For a great interview with the founders of the Private Security Monitor, go to Maritime Security Review’s post. Here is a snippet.

1) What was the driving force for developing the Private Security Monitor web portal and what are the Centre’s principal objectives?

The idea for the Private Security Monitor grew out of a 2011 workshop I hosted at University of California Irvine, part of an on-going collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). At this workshop, participants from governments, international organizations, civil society groups, and industry focused enhancing transparency around private military and security services. Participants seized upon the idea of building a centralized, online information portal specific to these services and agreed that academic institutions were well-poised to undertake this project. When I was offered a position directing the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at University of Denver’s Korbel School, this became our first major project.

We launched the “Private Security Monitor” publicly in August. The web portal, located at psm.du.edu, provides an annotated guide to regulation, data and analysis of private military and security services. It is a one-stop source for public information on the worldwide use of these services and thus a resource for governments, policy-makers, activists, journalists, and researchers.

And this portion tells what is available to readers.

6) What are the principal benefits for MSR readers and how would you suggest that they use the portal?

There are many useful documents for maritime security providers on the Private Security Monitor site. There is a dedicated IMO section with links to all IMO guidance; a list of leading industry associations and links to industry association reports on the use of privately armed guards aboard ships; organized by country, regulations relevant to the use of private armed guards and carriage of armaments aboard ships; and standards related to the hiring, vetting and training of private security service providers.

Users can scroll through the site to learn about the variety of regulations and regulatory efforts contained therein. They could also search documents according to issue area, document type, geographical area, year or keyword. There is a quick search tab on each substantive page and a more comprehensive search page that can be accessed from the top navigation bar.

Pretty cool and I will keep a link to the PSM over in the links to the right of this blog. –Matt

 

About the Private Security Monitor Project

The Private Security Monitor is an independent research project dedicated to promoting knowledge of and transparency in global private military and security services. The Private Security Monitor’s web portal provides an annotated guide to regulation, data and analysis of private military and security services. It is a one-stop source for public information on the worldwide use of these services and thus a resource for governments, policy-makers, activists, journalists, and researchers.
Housed and maintained at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, the Private Security Monitor operates in partnership with the Geneva-based Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).
BACKGROUND and FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
The idea for the Private Security Monitor grew out of a 2011 workshop at the University of California, Irvine co-sponsored by UCI’s International Studies Program, DCAF, and the Center for Security, Economics and Technology (CSET) at the University of St. Gallen. At this workshop, participants from governments, international organizations, civil society groups, and industry agreed that lack of transparency was an important problem for the governance of private military and security services and that academic institutions could best contribute to information sharing, research and analysis. Thus the workshop’s first recommendation was for an academic-based project to serve as a one-stop source for information about private military and security services.

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Legal News: Fake Green Beret Sues Military Heroes To Silence Their Criticism

After hearing about this particular case from some friends, it made my stomach turn. This ‘fake special forces poser’ was rightly called out as a fake by these heroes, and this individual has the audacity to turn around and try to sue them for calling him out? Truly despicable…

My thoughts is that he does not have a chance with this case and that the ‘legions’ of special forces folks, veterans and supporters will all be squashing his pathetic efforts. His reputation is shot regardless of any legal actions taken. We will see how it goes and definitely check out the links in the press release below if you would like to read the back story on this. –Matt

To donate to the cause, here is an quick note on the process:

“If you would like to help offset the legal costs of certain individuals fighting these legal actions, it would be much appreciated.
Keep in mind you are not contributing to a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This is NOT a charitable donation and NOT tax deductable.
This is a private paypal account of one the individuals who was served on this lawsuit.
This individual will in turn distribute the monies to various legal entities and others as required to cover the legal costs of certain individuals that have arisen due to these actions.
Once all legal matters have been resolved and legal costs are covered, if there are any monies left over, the individual will contribute the remaining funds to a military related charity.
Paypal account name rgrjoe175@aol.com”

The Facebook Page for the cause here.

 

(Check out SOFREP’s post on the matter and all of the comments.)

 

John Giduck.

 

Subject: Fake Green Beret Sues Military Heroes to Silence Their Criticism
12 July 2012
On June 11th 2012 a Colorado man, John Giduck, filed a SLAPP lawsuit in an effort to censor, intimidate and silence veterans by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism of him. (SLAPP: “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.”).  Ironically, Mr. Giduck is suing some of the same veterans who exposed congressional candidate Ken Aden (Arkansas, 3d District) for his false claims as a Special Forces Soldier.
The veterans, several of whom are decorated special operations personnel, questioned Mr. Giduck’s claims to be a “Green Beret” and a “former Army Ranger.” Mr. Giduck has made such false claims repeatedly in promotional materials for law enforcement and military seminars.  This link has a timeline of Mr. Giduck’s various activities and examples of his false biographical information uncovered on the web.
In these seminars, Mr Giduck advocates tactics, techniques and procedures that the veterans find to be fundamentally unsound and dangerous.   Among them are:
–Installing knock-out gas delivery systems in public schools;
–Deploying armed teams of former Special Operations personnel in public schools as opposed to local law enforcement;
–Employing fire hoses to neutralize heavily-armed terrorists holding student hostages.

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Maritime Security: Germany Plans To License And Regulate Anti-piracy Security Firms

“We are breaking new ground here,” Otto said. “We mainly have foreign companies that operate in international waters.” The German government estimates that British and US companies in particular could apply for a license.

This is interesting and I really liked the quote up top. To have a German ‘Letter of Marque’ or a license would be pretty cool. Although on the down side, I did not like the limitations that the Germans were putting on weapons use.

Weapons for the private ship protectors will have to be registered separately. The law stipulates that no heavy military weapons can be employed. Semi-automatic weapons, though, could be permitted.

So the pirates can operate heavy military weapons for attacks, but armed security defending these boats are not allowed too have them?  And what exactly is the German definition of ‘heavy military weapons’?

The other point that was kind of interesting is the license fees and process.

The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) will most likely be the office in charge of the procedure. It will be able to call in the Federal Police for consultation. Security firms will have to pay between 8,000 euros ($9,800) and 16,000 euros for the licenses, which will be valid for two years.

This is peculiar to me and I was wondering how the fee schedule works?  Do you pay less for a license if you are only defending small vessels, or what?  Or do you pay more if you are a foreign security company versus a national one? We will see…

The last part of this article also mentioned some key statistics. Like ‘German shipping companies operate the third largest merchant fleet in the world’! Specifically, they mentioned these numbers.

German shipping companies operate the third largest merchant fleet in the world. However, only a small proportion flies under the German flag. The country’s black-red-gold flag only flies on 492 ships. This makes the vessels German territory. Criminal offences on board, for example, are tried before German courts.
On the other hand, 3,161 ships operated by German shipping companies sail under foreign flags. Shipowners, unions and the government are aiming to bring a total of 600 ships under the German flag. But to date, this goal has shown little success.

492 ships flying the flag of Germany is a significant number of vessels to protect under this scheme. No telling how many of them transit through dangerous waters. But increasing that to 600 ships will only increase the odds of more work for security firms. Not to mention the 3,161 vessels out there operated by German shipping companies. Perhaps these security measures will bring more vessels back under their flag? –Matt

 

Germany plans to regulate anti-piracy security firms
July 19, 2012
Sea piracy off the coast of Somalia has dropped dramatically, in part as the result of private security forces accompanying the ships. The German government now wants to regulate their certification.
The German Cabinet has agreed on legislation to introduce a licensing procedure for security companies on board ships. The draft bill determines which requirements these firms have to fulfill if they are protecting German-registered vessels. The government coordinator for the maritime industry, Hans-Joachim Otto, welcomed the decision.

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