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Thursday, Apr 17th

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Documents: Contractor culpable in Shaler soldier's electrocution

New information contradicts a preliminary Department of Defense report that found no evidence of a military contractor's involvement in the Iraq electrocution of a Shaler soldier.

Staff in the Inspector General's Office did not have all documents and work orders for military contractor KBR Inc. for the building where Sgt. Ryan Maseth died Jan. 2, it was revealed Wednesday during a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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U.S. Military Covers up Murder: Says Soldier Beat Herself to Death

Despite the bruises, scratches, teeth imprints and burns on her body, Lavena was found completely dressed in the burning tent. There was a blood trail from outside a contractor's tent to inside the tent. She apparently had been dressed after the attack and her attacker placed her body into the tent and set it on fire.

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Soldier reported shocks before electrocution death

An Army sergeant complained about faulty wiring in Iraq months before the fatal electrocution of another soldier in a shower in the same quarters, according to documents released Wednesday by a congressional committee.

Army records show electricians from contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root found “several safety issues concerning the improper grounding of electrical devices” in February 2007.

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Strained by war, U.S. Army promotes unqualified soldiers

In essence, an Army policy implemented in 2005 and expanded this year lowered the bar for enlisted soldiers with the rank of E-4 to gain the rank of sergeant, or E-5, by diminishing the vetting process. According to more than a half dozen current and former Army sergeants interviewed by Salon, the policy has produced sergeants who are not ready to lead. In some cases, soldiers were promoted even after being denied advancement by their own unit commanders. While awarding a promotion once required effort on the part of a commander, those interviewed say, the Army's current policy actually requires effort to prevent a promotion, and has had negative consequences on the battlefield.

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"There's a difference between being a veteran and supporting a veteran as a politician."

Olbermann and Maddow eviscerate McCain over his lack of support of vets and the troops. Olbermann details all the pro-troops legislation that McCain either opposed or refused to even show up for a vote. You really need to watch this, then send it to your friends. These are actual votes that McCain opposed, actual legislation that would have helped the troops, and he was against it. McCain likes to talk about how he's all about the troops, but he doesn't like to talk about the specifics of his record.

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Injured vets tell pull Dick Cheney invitation over security demands

Vice President Cheney's invitation to address wounded combat veterans next month has been yanked because the group felt his security demands were Draconian and unreasonable.

The veep had planned to speak to the Disabled American Veterans at 8:30 a.m. at its August convention in Las Vegas.

His staff insisted the sick vets be sequestered for two hours before Cheney's arrival and couldn't leave until he'd finished talking, officials confirmed.

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Report Says Pentagon Pressured, Intimidated Auditors

Auditors at an oversight agency of the Pentagon were pressured by supervisors to skew their reports on a major defense contractor's work, hiding wrongdoing and charges of overbilling, according to an 80-page report from the Government Accountability Office.

When the contractor, who is not named in the report, objected to the draft findings of the DCAA audit, managers at the audit agency assigned a new supervisor to the case and threatened the senior auditor with personnel action if "he did not delete findings from the report and change the draft audit opinion to adequate," according to the GAO report.

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