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The U.S. Justice Department says it's sued KBR Inc, accusing the company and a Kuwaiti subcontractor of improperly charging the federal government for the costs of delivering and installing trailers for troops in Iraq. The lawsuit came days after the Justice Department dropped a similar but unrelated case over KBR's costs for private armed security in Iraq. The latest lawsuit alleged that KBR-hired subcontractor First Kuwaiti Trading Company inflated its crane, truck and driver costs and misrepresented delays on the installation of more than 2,250 trailers.
In a powerful reminder of the brutality of the Pinochet military regime in Chile, an official autopsy of the remains of Salvador Allende's vice president, Jose Toha, have determined that he was murdered and did not commit suicide. Almost 40 years ago, Pinochet's government claimed he hung himself in his hospital room from a closet railing, but his family never bought it because he was taller that the railing. His body was re-interred yesterday.
The military says it doesn't appear a failure of an F-22 fighter's oxygen system caused the $190 million jet to crash in Florida. The Associated Press is reporting, that Air Force Col. David Graff said in a statement Friday that an initial review of Thursday afternoon's crash found the life system did not play a role. The pilot ejected safely before the stealth fighter jet went down in a wooded area of Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle near Panama City. No one on the ground was injured. In 2008, F-22 pilots began reporting high altitude-like problems, forcing the Air Force to acknowledge concerns about the jet's oxygen supply system.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, President Barack Obama's choice to be the top commander in Afghanistan said he envisions a U.S. presence in the country after American combat forces leave at the end of 2014. The Associated Press reports, "He also said the two main missions would be counterterrorism and assisting and advising Afghan security forces. Pressed on the size of the residual force, Dunford declined to provide specifics but did say 1,000 troops would be insufficient."
The U.S. military says it will station an advanced radar in Australia to help track space junk threatening satellites and is working toward placement of a new, state-of-the-art deep-space telescope developed by the Pentagon's advanced research arm DARPA.
Reuters is reporting, "The positioning of the advanced military equipment is another sign of deepening U.S. military ties with Australia and America's widely touted "pivot" to Asia. It follows an agreement last year for a rotating training presence of up to 2,500 Marines in Australia's northern tropical city of Darwin."
Has the CIA been using Benghazi as a base to detain Libyans? An allegation that came to light during a speech by Paul Broadwell, who had an affair with now former CIA director David Petraeus. A CIA spokesperson says, "The CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued. Any suggestion that the Agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless."
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is setting off on a three-nation tour of Asian nations. He will visit Austrailia, Thailand and Cambodia, the goal is to strengthen alliances with partners in the Asia-Pacific region in order to further advance the U.S. long-term strategy of rebalancing with the Asia-Pacific. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III will join Panetta for a portion of the trip.
Libya's preparing to stand up an Army. U.S. officials in Libya have begun to look for recruits whom they plan to train to form Libya's new army, according to a former commander of Libyan rebels who toppled Muammar Gaddafi. Reuters is reporting a team of about 10 Americans from the embassy in Tripoli visited a paramilitary base in the eastern city of Benghazi 10 days ago to interview and get to know potential recruits,. A wave of anti-American violence in the Arab world in September during which the U.S. ambassador to Libya died in a militant attack, President Barack Obama took measures to improve the security of U.S. diplomatic installations in the region.
The Marine Corps birthday is coming up and Commandant General Jim Amos gave a shout out and a big thank you yesterday. He said, "you got a lot of listeners out there, some of them will have loaned their sons and daughters and husbands and wives to the Marines and to me and I take that very seriously and I want to thank them. I want to thank America for loaning us her children. I'm really proud of the men and women that wear our cloth today. The Marine Corp with be 237 years old on Saturday.
In response to the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy, the Defense Logistics Agency has supplied 253,000 gallons of gasoline and 157,000 gallons of diesel fuel to FEMA distribution centers within New York and New Jersey. Also DLA is executing the purchase of 12 million gallons of gasoline, 12 million gallons of diesel. 260 fuel trucks are on contract to support of fuel distribution. In total, more than two million meals have been delivered to FEMA facilities in West Virginia, New York and New Jersey. Another five million are in production.