Posts Tagged 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.

One other possibility is to get a DBA focused law firm to help out in the process. Here is a link to one law firm that has commented on the particulars of this medal.

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

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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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Call To Action: The Taliban Have Burned Ten Qurans, So Pass It On!……

If the protesters who pushed this city to the brink last weekend were really worried about Koran burning, wondered Layloma Popal, the headmistress of this city’s biggest girls’ school, “then why did they try to burn down my school?”
“There were 10 Korans at least in there,” Ms. Popal said, pointing to the charred remains of the Peace Room, where students learn about peace strategies for their war-torn country.

Ok gang, here is what I am talking about when it comes to moral warfare, or isolating your enemy morally.  If burning the Quran is a violation of the moral and religious code of  the Afghan people, then why does this not apply to the Taliban when they violate these codes?  Because according to this article, the Taliban burned ten Qurans after torching a girl’s school– versus the one Quran that Terry Jones burned.

So with that said, if everyone can ‘like’ this page and spread the word around Facebook, then we can all help to point out this hypocrisy. I would also urge folks to start Facebook Groups titled ‘The Taliban Burned Ten Qurans’ or something similar.  Start a German one, or a French group, or whatever language. The point is, that those who were responsible for killing innocents in Afghanistan because some guy thousands of miles away burned a Quran, should know that the world expects you to apply that same brand of justice against the Taliban for what they did to your holy book. Or does it not count when the Taliban burn ten Qurans? –Matt

Taliban Exploit Tensions Seething in Afghan Society
April 5, 2011
By ROD NORDLAND
If the protesters who pushed this city to the brink last weekend were really worried about Koran burning, wondered Layloma Popal, the headmistress of this city’s biggest girls’ school, “then why did they try to burn down my school?”
“There were 10 Korans at least in there,” Ms. Popal said, pointing to the charred remains of the Peace Room, where students learn about peace strategies for their war-torn country. “If we have more security in Kandahar these days, as they say, where was it?”
For three hours, the rioters — many members of the Taliban or their sympathizers — marauded around the campus of the Zarghona Ana High School for Girls, while the students hid in the bathrooms. “We never saw the Afghan Army or the police or the foreign forces until after the rioters left,” Ms. Popal said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call To Action: Removal Of Post, Need Help With Verification Of A Website

Recently, I just posted about a website called Shooter Jobs, which I will not provide a link for. (use google search if you want). They were heavily advertising in Soldier of Fortune and have a Facebook page. But after an email from a trusted reader, I decided to pull my post about them just to be safe.  So with that said, if anyone here has information about the website mentioned that might help to verify if these guys are legitimate or not, that would be great.

The problem here is that they are heavily advertising in all the right places, but I have no way to confirm if they are legitimate or not.  They are asking for personal information for payment, which is not odd, but for them to promote themselves as security contractors with no one in the community backing that statement up, then that is when the warning flags come up. If guys know who they are and can verify that they are legitimate then that would be great.

I also thought they would have contacted me by now to talk about their service or to verify that in fact they are security contractors trying to provide a service to the industry. I would hate to direct people towards this website and find out that these guys were not who they say they are.  If any readers have something to add, feel free to contribute. Thanks to my readership out there for giving me the heads up.-Matt

Edit: 04/09/2011 – I have received an email from the website owner, and verified that he is a security contractor or has worked in the industry at some point. I know of the companies he worked for, and we even know some of the same folks. If anyone has anything to add, feel free to send me an email.

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Call To Action: Certification In The Private Security Industry Webinar Series, American University

     Now this is interesting and it kind of reminds me of the discussions we had over at Jake’s Combat Operator website awhile back.  Once you determine the standards, the next step would be certification.  So what these folks are doing is getting everyone under the tent and talking shop as to the best way to go about that. It is stuff like this that help governments figure out their certification process, so that is why I pay attention.

     Although I would like to note that no one from this group has made any effort to contact me, and I have yet to see anything mentioned about this process on any of the forums or websites. You would think that if they wanted a lively and honest discussion about PSC’s and certification, that they would put out an invitation like this at the places that security contractors hang out.

     So with that said, I think it would be pretty cool to see a bunch of us ‘knuckle draggers’ attending this thing online or in person to give our two cents.  After all, these so-called experts are putting together the ideas and concepts that will later be applied to how to govern this industry. I care that they get it right, and I hope a few of you out there care as well.

     Also, be sure to check out the 1st and 2nd webinar series by following the instructions below.  –Matt

OPEN INVITATION – PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY

Webinar Series

CERTIFICATION IN THE PRIVATE SECURITY INDUSTRY:

DISCERNING BEST PRACTICES AND APPLYING LESSONS FROM OTHER SECTORS

You are cordially invited to participate, either in person or via the Web, in the final in a series of webinars examining best practices in the certification of voluntary business standards. After the November 9 signing of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers by 58 companies, the focus of multi-stakeholder discussions will move to the next phase: the development of mechanisms for effective governance and oversight. These webinars provide information from experts familiar with the certification of management, process, environmental, labor, and supply chain standards—a useful resource for participants in and supporters of the code. Through an open, expert-led dialogue, these webinars hope to foster learning and consensus building and ensure that best practices pave the way forward.

Webinar 3: Labor standards and supply chain certification, Wednesday, December 1, 12:00-1:30pm EST

Chair: Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

Moderator: Krista Hendry, Executive Director, Fund for Peace

Presenters:  Jorge Perez-Lopez, Executive Director, Fair Labor Association

Elly Harrowell, Campaigner, Global Witness – to speak on the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

Rochelle Zaid, Executive Director, Social Accountability Accreditation Services (accreditation body for SA 8000)

INSTRUCTIONS FOR PARTICIPATING:

You can participate in person or remotely. To attend in person, please come to:

American University (4400 Massachusetts Ave, Washington DC), Ward Building Room 102.

To join via the Web, use Mozilla Firefox (free download available at www.mozilla.com) as your browser and click on the link below. (You can use other browsers but may run into compatibility issues.) When prompted enter your first and last name, and hit the “Run Wizard” to ensure your software is compatible and up-to-date. The Wizard will prompt you to plug in a microphone to finish. Hit “Next” to skip this step, as you only will be able to type questions to the panelists during the Q and A session through the “chat box” function. Please direct questions for the panelists to Heather Elms and technical questions to Sophie Grumelard.

Go here.

No RSVP required. Please feel forward this invitation to anyone you feel might be interested in participating!

For more information or questions, contact:

Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt at rd9171a@american.edu or rdewinter@rcn.com

*****

NOW AVAILABLE: VIEW THE ARCHIVED WEBINARS

Webinar 1:  Management and process standards, Wednesday, October 27, 12:00-1:30pm EST

Chair: Heather Elms, Associate Professor, Kogod School of Business, American University

Moderator: Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

Presenters: Claire Mahon, Senior Researcher, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Dr. Marc Siegel, Commissioner, ASIS International, Global Standards Initiative

David Simpson, Director of Standards and Collaborative Governance, AccountAbility

Webinar 2:  Environmental certification, Wednesday, November 10, 12:00-1:30pm EST

Chair: Heather Elms, Associate Professor, Kogod School of Business, American University

Moderator: Jorge Rivera, Associate Professor, George Washington University School of Business

Presenters: Petra Tanos, Coordinator, Sustainable Value Chains, Rainforest Alliance Sarah Buffaloe, LEED Associate, US Green Building Council Ben Cashore, Professor, Environmental Governance & Political Science, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

To access the archived webinar, enter American University’s BlackBoard site here. Use “new12” as your Username and Password. Under My Courses, click on Certification Webinar Series. In the left hand navigation toolbar, you will find the presenters’ Power Point slides. To watch a playback of the webinar, go to Wimba Classroom and Archives and click on the Wimba Classroom link. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the blue arrow under Enter to start the playback. (Sound will kick in with the video after approximately 20 seconds.)

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