tv Today in Washington CSPAN September 15, 2009 2:00am-6:00am EDT
on the other hand, the u.s. military i like to thank those that came forward at great personal risk, which was breathtaking. in return for their bravery, they have been called rats, with threats to their families, while working 14-hour show us and having bombs explode outside the gates of their compound. the state department did ask armorgroup to remove those supervisors from contract. but they were not actually moved four days and continue to act in their official capacity, creating an untenable working environment for many of the whistle-blowers. not all the bad actors have been removed in -- and the retaliation continue. state department keeps warning about retaliation but what will they actually do to stop this?
i sent the state department -- i did the state of barman is focusing on non -- focusing on the reputation. need to rehired the whistle- blowers' forced to be fired. thank you for looking into this matter and i look forward to answering any of your question. >> mr. pearson, before i recognize you, i want to say that i view you as a real hero. . that i view you as a real hero. i have had two now extensive conversations with you and the staff has as well. i appreciate your candor, your straightforwardness, your concern about the men and women who worked for you. i'm sorry you've had to go through what you've gone through. and if i could just say this, and if i could just say this, any company that's looking for a
good man should hire you. >> thank you. >> mr. pearson, you have the floor. >> well, first of all, sir, i'd like to thank you and the rest of the commission for inviting me here to speak. i do apologize to anyone that finds my accent hard to understand. i will try to speak slowly. i am a 50-year-old man, and i spent 23 years in the british army and retired in july 1999. as a warrant officer class 2. since january 2004, i have worked in iraq and afghanistan in various management roles. i started work at camp sullivan in june 2008 as project manager for r.a. international, a subcontractor for armor group north america. i managed a staff of 90 and the vast majority of which are local nationals. and this is in support of dining
facilities, maintenance, housekeeping and the cleanliness of the camp. almost immediately after i took over this post, i was warned never go to any party that they have. as you know from the pictures that have been prominently displayed around the world, both a military officer and a contractor, i've never seen anything disgusting and humiliating as these photographs. agner and r.a. read articles to keep your mouth shut. one night, and i now know it's june the 15th, 2009, about 2100 hours i was approached by a member of charlie ship to see if they could use the fire hoses we had at the front gate. we were using them at the time to build the new gate house that was top priority to security. they needed them to fill up the swimming pools that they had at the ship party. i called up one of my staff on
the radio and told him to come up, get the hoses, and along with two other personnel, go down, fill up the pools and then bring the hoses back. it was about ten minutes later i decided i'd go down myself because i knew that these hoses would probably never come back. this was the first time i had ever seen a charlie ship party. and the first thing that struck me was, they had a metal container in the middle of the road which they were burning wooden pallets. the second thought that went through my mind was alcohol and fire this size was very unsafe. most of the people were wearing underwear, but many were also wearing coconut shells brassieres and coconut shells over the groin. and some for the best part were naked. some were standing there urinating on the ground and unfortunately and sickly on each other. one person who had apparently run out of urine took the fire hose off one of my staff and put it between his legs, and it was at this stage i realized that i
had three local nationals standing in amongst this. i immediately told the supervisor to get him and the other two men out of there, get the hoses, and get them back up to the front. this party had been going on since the early hours, a.m., and i had three female third country nationals that worked approximately 30 feet away from this in the px and a coffee shop. also the afghan staff of about 60, two of them were females. and they couldn't help but see the actions going on. by the staff. i arrived back from vacation on the 14th of august. on the 15th of august, one of my staff told me of an incident that happened and reported on the 1st of august. from what i understood at the time, there was five ex-pats that came into the dining room about 5:00 at night, dressed in
only their underwear and carrying bottles or cans of beer. the afghan who was found at the time in the dining room manager informed people they couldn't come in, they weren't dressed properly. he told me on the 15th they then started to abuse them. it was verbal abuse, profanity. i was informed that the proper dining room monitor who was on his day off was in the gymnasium had seen these people enter, they had gone into the dining room and asked the waiter why he had let them in. and the waiter replied that they had shouted, they were abusing him, and he was too scared to do anything else. the dining room supervisor then went down to agner headquarters and reported that one of the senior monitors down there of what had happened. he was told they would look into it and deal with it.
i'd like to make a brief statement from the afghan national. it was this stage when shown photographs to identify the individuals that it came to light exactly what was said, not only done, but said by a certain individual. and i quote from his statement. i left his own way of putting it into english, it wasn't like anyone had encouraged him. sir, i would like to inform you that two weeks ago on the 1st of august after 1700 hours, i was sitting in the dining hall computer desk due to my supervisor was off. five came into the dining hall for dinner which they only wore short underwear with bottles of alcohol on their hands. just one of them signed, the others didn't sign and had dinner. after that start going out of the way, was my dining room entrance. one, and he mentions the name, started swearing and pulling my
face. while pulling my face he was telling me that, you are good for f'ing and used some other bad words. i was too afraid of them not to tell them anything. and after that all the time i was facing them, i am frightened. it was at this stage i then took it to the senior management of armor group and said there was more now than just profanity. this was actually assault and sexual harassment. and it had to be looked into. at the same time i passed this information on to my temporary country manager from ra international. but heard nothing back from him. i also at the same time sent an e-mail to the country manager explaining i fully expected agnes to ask for my removal from camp sullivan because i had put in a complaint since these certain people. again, no answer came back.
on august the 20th, i had still not heard what the outcome was from the complaint i had made about this certain individual. i also found out that armor group north america had sent one of their local nationals to interrogate the said waiter basically asking him why he had made the statement, did anyone force him to make the statement, and was he going to remove the statement? at that stage when i was told that night by the waiter, i immediately went down to armor group north america's head office and asked who it was that gave one of the staff permission to interrogate my staff. the answer obviously was, we don't know. and it was at this stage i said that i was pushing this further. because it looked like and sounded like someone was trying to cover this incident up. on the following day, on the 21st of august, i was told that
one of charlie ship's ringleaders had been removed from contract. i took at this time for granted that it was only a few hours later that i found out he hadn't been sacked. he had resigned. and that night to celebrate his dismissal, three of the senior managers from armor group north america actually went across to the camp that was mentioned before and had a celebrating good-bye dinner for this man. on september the 2nd, i started to get e-mails from my main office quizzing me to see if i had spoken to anyone about the incident with the waiter. in the final e-mail i was told such an action was very serious, and this left me no doubt i was going to lose my job. for doing what i thought and what i still consider was the right thing to do. i sent an e-mail straight away end reply giving them my 30
days' notice only to retract that notice or tried to retract that notice five hours later. it took rai 11 hours to answer that e-mail. and at which stage they gave me six hours to pack myself and get out of sullivan. my 30 days' notice turned into 30 hours, within 30 hours i was on my way back to the uk. i shouldn't have been surprised by the attitude of rai. it seemed that anything armor group north america asked, we would do. and this was highlighted on one occasion when something they were asking us to do not only did i inform rai that, one, it wasn't in the contract, but two, it sounded illegal, the answer came back, just do it. please remember that rai is a subcontractor to agnes. and that is it. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. pearson. we're going to go to our
co-chair, mr. tebow. he'll start the questions. >> first of all, miss brian and project for oversight, thank you. i note in your statement that you said you had approaching or over 20 individuals that had 20 unique, separate individuals from the company armor group that had contacted p.o.g.o. >> that's true. and that does not include the individuals referenced earlier who have filed litigation. they're not -- >> so it's 20 for p.o.g.o. and multiple for litigation. the reason that's important is so often in whistleblower cases there will be one or two individuals that bring the whistle and allege wrongdoing. and they're kind of history system, sometimes they're summarily dismissed as disgruntled employees or about ready to be fired employees. and in this case it's not
everyone, but have you experienced that kind of referral in your past? >> that's a great question. i've been doing this for 20 years. and there has not been a circumstance that i can point to where such enormous percentage of individuals have come forward essentially as whistleblowers. out of 150 english-speaking guards, we're speaking to 20 of them, and it's really quite extraordinary. so it's unlike anything i've ever experienced, and it's a testament to the magnitude of the problem. >> thank you. you know, it's kind of hard to -- it's not a noteworthy accomplishment to be able to say we're number one in referrals. so that's not a good thing. and i, like my co-chairman, would like to thank you for coming forward. not easy, mr. pearson. i'd like to thank you. we thank americans for their service to the military. we'll thank you for your service to the british army. i'll note for the record that i
think you're from scotland? >> that's right. >> but you all work together. >> we try. we try. >> there you go. i appreciate that. i would like to talk about where you were at and what was occurring on -- that's just a little notice. it will quit -- on june 15th. that's the so-called jimmy buffett party. what were you doing then? >> what was i doing on that date? >> from a job? where were you at? >> for most of the day, we had a big project going on. the whole front gate, the local nationals had taken most of the road back. so we had to demolish the front gate. and for 13 days we were working 18-hour days trying to build the gate house. >> so you were working on this special project that put you in the compound near where the party was but not directly next to it? >> no, i was actually rig
-- next to it. >> did you pulled around and pulled your local nationals out of the party and told them to get back to work or their quarters. >> to work. >> they have all this the been told to come in and have a little fun, also. did you personally see or observe any of the very senior leaders? we understand that the project leader was on leave or are and are -- or r &r. r&r or vacation, but that in charge was the number two person, the deputy project manager and the number three person, the chief administrative officer? did you see either one of those individuals at this party? >> i seen the two i.c., he came up to the front gate to see how
i was getting on. and in a conversation with him, he actually mentioned that the number three had been there as well and spoke to him. but i never seen them. when i went down, they were not there. >> you didn't see him in at the party but he came up and talked to you? >> yes. >> did he talk about the nature of the party or any concerns about the party or activity that was going on at the time or any that had been relayed to him? >> he did mention that a certain of us, member of staff, had mentioned to him, are you going to let this go on? and his reply to it was, they're just letting off steam. leave them alone. >> so he had been told that by certain members, this is the top guy. are you going to let this on? and he let it go. we've been told by both state in briefings and interviews, in fact, that he went. and the number three person, number one wasn't there, the chief administrative officer
went, but that they both -- i think the word was used -- likely retired before there were any problems. and yet he told you there had been complaints about problems already that, if i heard you right, he said they were just blowing off a little steam? >> letting off a little steam, to leave them alone. it was the number three that spoke to the number two who was standing near the number one. >> so the chief administrative officer talked to the deputy program manager and said, wait a minute. do you need maybe to enforce some deportment, to use a big word, some better behavior, shut the party down? are you going to let it go on? and he told you he was going to let it go on. >> yeah. he basically said that, yeah, they're letting off steam. leave it. and i hadn't seen the party at this stage because this is before i went down. so i had no idea what she was talking about. >> so you went down, obviously, to be sure that this party didn't end up doing something with your hose disappearing as
well as you ultimately had the opportunity to take six of your local nationals away from that scene. >> three. >> three. and then the other three were observing from their px or whatever? >> no, no, the party -- this was about 9:00 at night. and this party had been going on since late a.m. that day. so 11:00. by this time my female staff had finished in the coffee shop. and local females had gone home by 4:00. but this was going on all day. >> i appreciate this because this wasn't disclosed. what was disclosed is they likely went back to their quarters, but this behavior, obviously, had raised an issue that they were discussing. so you can't just say they went out and had a couple beers and observed some people and almost naked and said, okay, i'm leaving. they actually was an issue raised and a decision made not to do anything about it. >> i don't know what the issue was she was raising, whether it
was the fire, whether it was people jumping around naked, but he just mentioned that she did raise an issue. >> fire -- >> let me clarify he and she. >> one's the number two who was standing near his number one because number one was on vacation. and number flthree was the chie officer. >> do you know their names? can we just use their names? >> sure. go ahead. >> can i use the name? >> sure. like number two's name was? >> i'm not going to be sued for in? >> you're not going to be sued, you're under oath. >> number two's name was jimmy lemon. and number three was susan danielson. >> thank you. all right. quick question and then i'll turn it over and pick up later on. we keep hearing about english-speaking problems. from the guard, the gerkas. my understanding of gerkas -- and you for a number of careers
were a member of the british military. my understanding of gerkas is they have exceptional service and very well qualified because they are members of the british military, they have to be able to speak english, they have to be able to do literally do anything a british military person does, is that correct? >> that's correct. that's correct. >> so all of these 100 or 200 guards were ex-british military gerkas because they're all called gerkas. >> no. >> no? >> no, there are only about eight. what people fell into the trap of is it's an honor to be called a gerkas, and they have to fight to become a gerka. the policy in afghanistan and iraq is to call anyone from nepal a gerka. >> but the point is -- and i think it's an important point to make -- is we've heard over and over and over corrective action plans, english, difficulty talking to, having to use sign
language and the like. if you're truly a gerka, and i guess if i was one of those eight gerkas, it's kind of like being a paratrooper. if you're in a company and everybody's calling themselves a paratrooper and there's only eight paratroopers that have jumped out of planes in those situations, if you're a gerka and trained by the british military and there's a couple hundred running around, i'm from nepal and i'm a gerka, i don't speak english very well, and it's a contract problem and corrective action plans have been introduced, that's trouble. and i might have a bit of a morale problem if i was a gerka and everybody else became a gerka because they were kind of like a paratrooper. they're from the united states. so we can all call ourselves paratroopers. >> well, that's exactly true. these guys have earned the right to be called a gerka. just to call a fellow countrymen that because he comes from your country, i'm not saying it did upset them, but i'm sure it would. >> well, thank you both of you.
commissioner shays? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll start with you, miss brian. i want to thank you and thank p.o.g.o. for your work. but for your work, we really wouldn't be here today. and it is appalling to me that the state department learned about these latest incidents from p.o.g.o. and, you know, this really is, i guess, more of a statement than a question. but what does it say that the state department had to learn these things, not from the contractor, not from its own personnel on the ground, but instead from p.o.g.o. and as a result of your work, we now have 24/7 coverage of camp sullivan by the rso. we now have an alcohol ban. there appears to be a serious inspector general and d.s., diplomatic security investigation, going on, and i will be shocked if the state department exercises the option the contract a third time. i was shocked it was exercised a second time.
we have you and p.o.g.o. to thank for that. but what does it say that it took p.o.c.o. to bring this here today? >> i do think it comes back to the fact that allegations were made, very serious allegations, were made back in 2007 and not only were they not followed up on, but those people were very prominent people. they were the top two people at the camp. and they were fired. so everyone saw this is what happens when you report to the state department, not only does nothing happen, but you lose your job. and that's why ultimately they had to come to outside towns, i believe. >> could we just clarify, not off your time -- >> yes. >> -- they made a complaint through their own company. and were fired then and then went to state or they went to state before they were fired? >> they went to state before they were fired. they were fired the next day. >> all right. and in your statement you say the arso, the assistant regional security office was informed verbally. who was the arso at the time?
>> i have the name but not with me. >> that's fine. you can get it for the record. you mentioned also that the state department received an e-mail on september 6th, this whole banana peel e-mail? >> right. >> if one slips and the response was keep the banana supply locked up. we don't have a copy of that e-mail yet. we're seeking those documents from the state department. >> we can get those to you. >> we'd like to have that for the record. to me, this suggests -- this whole litany problems in 2007, 2008, these recent problems over the course of the summer that were learned about by the state department only through the efforts of p.o.c.o. suggest to me that the state department is incapable of overseeing this contract. and you raise the possibility in your statement of whether, as was the case before 2004, the department of defense should be tasked with providing security. that's a policy issue that obviously p.o.c.o. can't do anything about, but i'd like for you to talk more about that. >> we have struggled with that
question. and initially i have to admit that almost my knee-jerk reaction was, this is obviously the military needs to come take over because of the urgency of the problem but because of their obvious capacity to do so. as i spend more time talking to people in the military, there seems less of a willingness to do so. so it's easy for us to say it, but if you can't get them to do it, then it goes back to the fact that we can't give up on the state department. we have to make them do better than they've been doing. and that's where i think all of us will have to be working. >> thank you. mr. pearson, i want to add my own kudos to you to those that have already been expressed. your courage and your willingness to come forward at great cost to yourself both literally and figuratively as well is really exceptional. and i commend you on my own behalf and on behalf of the commission. i have just a couple of questions to ask you. largely i had that statement to make to you. a couple of things. one, just a factual question that struck me during the course of your statement. you mentioned toward the end of
your statement that you sent an e-mail giving them, rai, 30 days' notice. you had decided to resign at that point. and then you go on to say that you retracted your notice five hours later. why did you retract it? >> i just thought i'd stand up and take what was coming towards me. >> i'm sorry, say that one more time? >> i thought i'd stand up and take what was coming towards me. so if they wanted to terminate me, let them terminate me. i wasn't going to give them the opportunity to go on. >> just to clarify, they did terminate you, they did not accept your resignation? >> they didn't accept my retraction of the withdrawal of my resignation and gave me six hours to get off camp sullivan and ship me out the next day. >> were you -- did they accept your resignation, or did they terminate you? >> no, no, and that's one question i asked because i was getting, instead of 30 days, i was getting shipped out in 30
hours. i asked them, you terminate me? and they sent back four hours later and said no, no, no, we're just getting you out because we've got a new manager coming in. >> okay. have you received your final paycheck? >> no. >> thanks. >> is it a normal practice to -- i'm asking an obvious question -- but is it a normal practice that when someone resigns that they blast them out in 30 days? i mean 30 hours? >> no, the person i took over from was actually still, after giving his resignation, still in the job two weeks later before i got told i was going in. and then we had a ten-day handover. >> one other issue i wanted to explore with you briefly, mr. pearson, is this. you're a professional security officer. and so i'd be interested in your opinion about this with respect to experience in iraq and afghanistan, as you said. and you heard that colloquy i had with the state department about the claim that there is a distinction between contract performance and the security of the embassy.
and their insistence that the security of the embassy was not and is not endangered right now. but i'd like your opinion as a professional security officer about the security implications in particular of this june 15th party. isn't it the case that such an incident has the potential so to inflame afghan opinion and the country generally, and in particular, afghan opinion among those afghans who work in our embassy, that that could pose a direct threat to the lives and safety of our diplomatic personnel there? >> almost definitely. i mean, some afghans might wonder what they would do, but you'll always get some that are religious to the cause. one thing i never mentioned on this night on june the 15th was you've seen it in the paragraph that has local afghans standing there with bottles of beer. these people were actually the drivers of the vehicles that drove the guys to the embassy the next day. and this was 9:00, 10:00 at night. >> that's not relevant to this.
>> these people, without -- >> mr. pearson, just wait. these are buzzers to tell members of congress what's happening on the house floor and so on. i can assure you, after 21 years of being in congress, i still don't know. >> did you have to get up? >> i did, not now. good question. >> i'm sorry, sir. go back. >> so these people driving the vehicles, and i won't give the time away, but it wasn't over eight hours after this party was going on. they would be driving the nepalese, the gerkas in these trucks at the embassy, then driving the trucks back, and they were there drinking alcohol. >> thank you. >> i think ipogo takes responsibility for the letter from super carry clinton. it has an attachment that mr.
pearson read. was the day after it came out that they started questioning him about the fact that it came out. i take responsibility for the timing of how this happened. as mr. he as he was asking, they are pushing mr. pearson out the door so quickly and that had a real impact on the life of one of his former employees. after he was forced out so quickly, they did not have -- there was a vehicle bomb explosion that happened after he left. one of his employees blood out and buy it. if mr. pearson had been there, he would have known where they were. one of the nationals did not survive. >> let me echo the appreciation expressed by other commissioners -- commission members.
mr. pearson, would you explain, in general terms, or describe the nature of the guard force that resided at sullivan? i am talking across the board, across the boa board, not -- and i'll get to pieces of it later, but in general, across all the shifts, what is your impression of that guard force? >> the vast majority of the guard force, a good bunch of guys, very professional in what they do, enjoy what they do and want to do the best they can. me personally, i used to think of it as an american complaint about people on management, complaining about pickles on burgers. that's as far as i got. the vast majority of people were
good people, very good people. >> okay. now let's focus on the ert portions of those guard forces. the a, b and c shifts. can you characterize the differences in those shifts? >> there's actually four shifts. >> four shifts. >> four shifts. charlie ship, charlie ship always -- we're different. charlie shift -- charlie shift wanted something, charlie shift got something. and this is highlighted in the time after i reported it to the time i left with the change of attitudes to the management from the group. charlie shift wanted to take all the ice out of the dining room and leave the rest of the 300 people with no ice which i objected to, and i was told by one of them, senior managers, that's not your call. if they want it, they get it. and that was because it was charlie shift. no other shift would have had
that treatment. so there was a lot of -- i wouldn't say rivalry, but there was a lot of people that did not like charlie shift. not all of charlie shift, certain people in charlie shift because of the way they behaved. and the way they were treated. the way they were given special treatment. >> any indication that the other three shifts performed in similar ways that charlie shift did? >> you mean parties? >> yes. >> no, i went to every one of the shift's parties, a, b and delta. and they were generally what you expect from a party and a barbecue cookout, people eating, people having a drink, people having a laugh and joking. charlie shift, which was the first time on june the 14th i had actually seen charlie shift at work. >> can you characterize the difference in the leadership of
the four shifts based on their backgrounds? >> it's hard to know people's ba backgrounds because they tell you and what they really were, you have no idea. you've got to take their word for it. so all i know is the other shifts, a, b and delta, the confusing thing is you had an ert commander and you had that shift commander. >> right. >> the shift commander was over ert commander. all the other three shifts, shift commander would control that shift. charlie shift, it was the ert commander that controlled that shift. >> do you know what the ert commander's background was? >> he says he was special forces delta force. however, there was someone that came to the company that either worked for delta force or knew the delta force guys or worked
with him, and he outed them. he was a stormin' working for delta force. and as soon as they ousted him, he got out from charlie shift and moved to another shift. >> you indicated in your statement that you reported the incidents up the chain of command to your management. >> mm-hmm. >> and that essentially they were unresponsive. >> yep. >> was there any attempt to report any of these incidents to department of state personnel in country? >> if i knew how to, i probably would. you've got to remember now that the embassy where they were was three, four miles up the road. and very rarely did you see them. the only time i seen them at camp sullivan was in june this year when they were leaving. some of them were leaving. and whenever we had a vip coming, they would turn up. that was the only time i ever
seen them. >> would you have felt free to report these incidents to a state department person had they been there and you knew how to do it, or would you have felt restricted by rai chain of command and armor group chain of command? >> i would not have had a problem reporting it to someone else. and that is what i was after when i went through the chain by the time we got to p.o.c.o. i wanted someone to listen to what i was saying because armor group and my own company would do nothing. and in my opinion armor group and probably my own company, and this could be the reason why i was off sullivan within six hours. >> do you -- last question. do you believe that the state department or any personnel at the department in kabul were aware of the activities of
charlie group or charlie shift? >> i can't say if any of them were ever told by any of their guards. but what i do know is when these incidents were going on, there wasn't any state department on site, and there was occasion last year when the nepalese have a celebration october, september, october. and it was split over three days to give each of the nepalese shifts a chance. we were told on one of the nightly meetings of the rso we'd be coming to one of these meetings. and someone turned around on that meeting and said, let's just make sure it's not the night that charlie shifts are off. so they wouldn't have seen it. they wouldn't have seen the behavior. >> thank you. >> so that's in deference to the state department that they actually went out of their way to make sure that charlie shift wouldn't be available? >> yeah. >> yeah. >> yeah, this was armor group
managers who said it. >> oh, armor group. >> armor group managers. >> thank you. >> who was the head of the charlie shift, did you say? >> i didn't say. >> oh. who was the head of the charlie shift? >> the head man of charlie shift was a man called steve dalton. >> thank you. >> who was the head of the charlie shift ert? >> that's a guy called godfrey godfrey. >> did you live on the compound? >> i did, yes. >> okay. even though people didn't see the parties, were they aware of the parties? was it part of the conversation about charlie? i mean, you heard that there was a problem with charlie shift. >> yeah, everyone apart from charlie shift had heard about these parties and would not go. the other shift, what you'd get, was you'd get people from one shift going to another, if they're off, going to another shift. but the going thing on sullivan was, unless you're in for that
and you're part of charlie shift, do not go there. >> so it's pretty common knowledge, then, across the camp. did you hear anything about the reconnaissance mission that we talked about, that snack pack where they dressed up as afghans? >> it was brought up on one of the nightly meetings. again, every day is like groundhog day, so dates mean nothing. i vaguely remember it coming up, and they were talking about having to change the shift list to get these guys off so they could go and do this job. >> oh, so the discussion was in order to make it available for them to do the reconnaissance mission? >> yes. >> and who was the highest person authority present at that meeting? do you know? it's hard to remember. >> i don't know. i don't know if both the project manager was there. but definitely the guard force commander would have been there. the ert commander would have been there. and either one or the other of
the project manager. >> okay. how visible was the use of alcohol on camp sullivan, camp sullivan campus? was it pretty common to see people drinking? were cases of beer stacked up, or did people have bottles in their rooms? >> people had the alcohol in the rooms. and if they didn't, if one person wanted to bring it, they'd drink in the rooms. when they were having the shift parties -- and this wasn't every night. this was during the three days off. they'd maybe have one day. basically no one could see them. no one could hear them. and my work force were happy because the night shift would go in there, and these people would pay money to clean up after them. so it was generally in good form. generally in good form. never had any problems with them. >> did most people follow the two-drink minimum? was that understood that there was a two-drink minimum across campus? >> yes.
when that came out, people were picking up garbage bins and saying, well, that's one drink. that's how serious of a statement. >> okay. so that wasn't really followed through. did rai have an alcohol policy? >> yes, drink as much as you can. >> all right. >> no limit. no limit. >> okay. the claims by -- it was jim sauer and martino who was the original program manager and deputy program manager who were there in the very early days from april to june of 2007. shed some light on how this all got started. and it does seem to go back to the training camp. and i want to read from the --
and i'll do this with armor group also. but from the filing of james gordon in his suit for wrongful termination, he has these two paragraphs. now, these are allegations, but this is what he said. that during the period april to june 2007, mr. sauer martino and he received reports from guard force position in predeployment in texas had been engaging in lewd, abhorrent and sexually deviant behavior including sexual hazing, yur nag on one another and equipment, bullying, mooning, exposing themselves, excessive drinking and other conduct making them unfit for service on the contract. mr. sauer and martino immediately notified mr. semantic who was the agna president about these reports and objected vehemently in allowing those deployed to afghanistan. it was a consequence of raising those incidents that apparently those two gentlemen were
terminated from their contract with armor group. and we can explore that discussion with armor group later this afternoon. but i wanted to put it on the record that there is strong evidence that these -- this kind of conduct and behavior was engaged at the training facility and then brought to kabul and camp sullivan. is that your understanding? >> yes. commissioner, i think that was an incredibly important point that the state department representatives were suggesting, well, that was back here and it's very different from when they were -- but of course they were training to go to kabul. and so the whole point was is that was the environment that was being created in the earliest days of the contract. >> right. and thank you both for coming and testifying today. >> thank you. mr. atkins? >> thank you both for being here. the first question for miss brian. in your statement you said you have other photos from other parties. what is the earliest date of the
party of maybe a raging party that you have photos for? >> well, the only thing that worries me is that i don't know absolutely because they have a date on the photo. >> yes. >> i can't definitively tell you that's the date of the party, but i think it was january of 2008. >> january 2008. are they similar in nature? >> yes. >> to the photos we've seen? >> naked, drinking. >> okay. mr. pearson, your statement says you got in the camp about june 2008. right? when you first got there, someone told you, you were warned, quote, never, ever go to any party that charlie shift has. who told you that? who gave you that warning and why? >> that was the gentleman i was taking over from, and this is in front of some of the armor group personnel headquarters, >> what do you mean by strange parties?
>> no, naked men and doing things. >> lewd and indecent. >> it was said to you in front of management? >> no, this was armored group administrative staff. nothing to do with management. " if i understand it, on the former group side, there are four shifts and on the c shift, there are about 100 people killed. >> is a lot less than that. at any one time, we had -- >> the whole shift, -- gilad >> it is a lot less than 100. but what i am trying to get at,
there are more of a swat team. they are the emergency response team. these are the guys and gals that i don't know. they responded something goes bad. this is someone you: when you need help. >> no, their job is to escort vehicles to the embassy. e were the guys -- their job was actually to escort the vehicles to the embassy. so although you have, which was a bit strange because i've never seen this work before, although you have, for example, charlie shift leader, he's in charge of the whole charlie shift, for the move from the embassy -- or sorry, camp sullivan to the embassy, it's the ert commander and his vehicles, he controls it. >> okay. >> he controls it until it gets to the embassy. then it's handed back to the shift supervisor. >> okay. and once the ert gets to the embas embassy, i understand is that where they perform as a s.w.a.t.
team? that will be a question on the next panel, i guess. can you describe for us the door-kicking incident? i guess it was somewhere on october '08 sometime frame? tell us what happened. >> the person was mentioned before. >> gilbert -- godfrey godfrey. >> how could you forget that name? >> right. i just did. godfrey godfrey, the ert shift leader. got it. >> he was in the same competition as me. he spoke 2:15 in the morning, i heard noise of people coming in which didn't concern me because i thought it was they were coming from the drinking and they would be quiet in a couple minutes. the next thing there was banging in the corner. i opened up the door and at the same time an armor group personnel guy opened up the door opposite me. i looked up. i seen godfrey and another. i said, are you going to keep the noise down? it's quarter past 2:00 in the
morning. to which he responded, is he speaking english? ha, ha, ha. very funny. went back in my room. i could still hear them. they were making more noise. so i just sat up all night watching tv. 7:00 in the morning i was told by my maintenance manager that two of the doors in the quarter had been smashed in. i then come out and seen it was the doors he was standing next to had been -- the of the doors smashed in, the locks had been smashed all the way in. i went up to see the deputy project manager, told him what happened -- >> this is jim lemon? >> uh-huh. he looked at the doors, asked me if i knew who it was. when i said who it was, he then got in touch with the acting ert commander, then he walked up to me and asked me how much the doors cost. when i found out, within ten minutes, there was money in my hands for these two doors kicked in. i then went to the dining room -- >> the other way would be, i
guess, to put it in a work request, get it funded. he just wanted you to take care of it? >> the bill was going to eventually come back to the army because it wasn't general maintenance. at that time, as far as i was concerned, it was just paying for the doors because he was going on vacation. i thought getting the money off to him before he went on vacation. i then went to the dining room, godfrey was sitting across from me, and all he did was smile at me the whole time. he then got up, i had lunch and walked out. jim lemon came in and said, remember, keep this all under the radar. nothing goes out. >> could you say that again? >> keep this under the radar. nothing goes out from here. don't mention it. and i told him this was my day off. i then went to see the project manager, myself and the other one who witnessed it. we told him of the incident.
we told him someone offered to pay us off and keep quiet. maintenance turned around and said, i've got to go and speak to jimmy about this. and i said, therein lies the problem. it was him that tried to pay us off. >> what's his full name? >> jimmy lemon. about a half hour later, jimmy got myself and this other guy, started raising his voice -- >> jimmy and godfrey godfrey? >> no, the guy who reported it. at the end he said, what goes around comes around. >> you perceived that as a threat? >> yes. and then he just walked away. >> you asked him if he was threatening you, and he just walked away? >> yeah. he didn't answer me. >> does that conclude the door kicking and the threats you received? >> yeah. >> could you also tell us for the record about this incident of assaulting a medic while he's
treating a patient or an injury? >> this -- i think the day on this one was the 10th of august. >> this year, '09? >> this year. the challenge of the ert was across the road at nato camp, and supposedly one of them got stopped by a member of nato. >> this nato camp, that's where they can get booze but not bring it back to camp? >> that's right. there is booze but they can't bring it back to the company. two of the guys knocked on the medic's door and said, you need to come out and see whatever the guy's name was. he's been stabbed by some euroscum. he then went to the guy's room with his bag to give some medical assistance. godfrey godfr yerey was at the .
and godfrey turned around and assaulted him. >> the medic? >> godfrey assaulted a medic who was going to treat a stab wound? >> yes. >> can you explain what you mean by assaulted him? knocked him down, punched him? >> punched him. the medic then, because obviously godfrey was worse the wear for drink, got him off and put him on the floor and dealt with the casualty. the same night that i got told that someone had been interviewing or quizzing my waiter, the medic went in to ask what was happening about this complaint because he hadn't received any information whatsoever about it. then i went in just after that.
the following day when i was told he has been removed from site, he was actually told face to face by jimmy lemon he no longer works for the company, so if you want to push this any further, you do it privately. >> uh-huh. so just if i could wrap up -- i don't want to run over. this guy, godfrey godfrey was the one who kicked in the door, he assaulted the medic. who were the agna managers or supervisors who took him out for a farewell party. >> it was the force commander and the ert commander. >> thank you very much. i appreciate your testimony. i know it's not easy. >> agna equals armor group equals wackenhut. when we talk about them, it's the same organization. i just want to reemphasize some
key points. you were told a week or so, you were told don't attend charlie group parties. is that true? >> that's correct. >> but there was no one from armor group present when you were warned? you were warned by the shift of armor group? no one from management? >> no one from management. >> okay. you were brought in, i'm told, because rei was losing money and had a number of problems, but one was it had a problem -- it was losing money, and you were there to help turn things around. what was a major thing you did and what was impact on the camp when you did it? >> the major thing i did then obviously is one that affected more al more was the feeding.
it was revolting. the first thing i did was fire the catering manager. >> i'm told you described an ins den dent where you came to eat the food and these guys were laughing at you? >> i always used to go to meals with the admin staff of agna. when i picked this fresh off the table, i noticed they were all smiling at me when i sat down. i thought i had something hanging off me or something. it was only after i ate the first bite and spit it back out that they said, that's what we were waiting for. >> they kind of laughed? >> they thought it was hilarious. >> what did you do about it? >> i took it to the caterer, who was an englishman, and said, this is absolutely disgusting. his attitude to the americans were, oh, is that the children complaining? i said, no, i am the child. that's mine. get that off the hot plate and
throw it away. i actually made him get it off the hot plate and dispose of it. >> and you replaced him? >> in less than a month, he was replaced. >> and i'm told that the employers, rather than eating in the kitchen, were buying their own food, and what is the impact on your company when they do that? >> well, the impact on the client was they were using their own money. the impact on us was we would only get paid for the amount of people that clocked in coming through the dining room. so if they weren't coming in, which they weren't, if they weren't coming in, the food we had put out for them to eat we have to throw away, so we weren't getting any money whatsoever. >> you weren't getting money for the food and you weren't getting money for the individual heads. you got a better cook. did you start making money at the facility? >> yes, we did. instead of money losing, we are now profitable. >> in my line of thought, that means that you were a plus to
the company, not a minus. i have some take-aways. one isn't directly related to you, but one is the lowest cost technically acceptable needs to be replaced with a best value standard. another one that i have is that you need the military option, in other words, when we have contractors that aren't performing, rather than feeling like you got to deal with them and go out to bid that you just bring in a group, a military, who can come in so that the contractors don't feel like somehow they've got you over a barrel. another take-away is -- and this is the one that speaks directly to you, mr. pearson. you described to us you never saw a state department representative on a daily basis, except every six months someone from out of country would come in but the folks in country you had no contact. state has basically explained it by -- they didn't put it this way, but what happens in camp
sullivan stays in camp sullivan. she didn't focus on that. their argument is we focused on the performance of the job. and i haven't heard any testimony from you that says, except in one or two instances, that their performance on the job was bad except in one or two instances where someone may have -- well, are you speaking about their performance on the job in any way that we need to be aware of? >> no, i never seen them at the embas embassy, so i can't comment on that. i just seen them in the camp where they lived. >> i justme want to make sure. your testimony is very powerful. i want to make sure we don't read more into it than we should. frankly, it gives you more credibility to claim you know something that you don't. did you have anyone from the other three groups that would speak to you about charlie company and how come they get away with it and we don't? or was there ever talk about
somehow charlie company was treated differently? for instance, if another group knocked down two doors, what is your sense of how armor group, the management, would have dealt with it? >> i think they would have dealt with it by dismissal. they said have dismissed the guy. and i was like a social worker in camp sullivan. everybody used to talk to me, and loads of people used to question what has that shift got on management? why are they allowed to get away with this? >> so, i mean, this is fairly serious, and so now it speaks to this whole issue of one of my take-aways. we've got to have a system that so that we can stop it. that is one of my takeaways. it did you feel there was anyone, once you get to your
channels and the company, i think you answered, but i am going to ask it in my question did was there anyone you felt you could go to and speak to? >> no. i had no idea. did they tell you who you could contact? >> we were informed that the rso, the months of july and august were present daily. >> t know what an rso is? >> the regional security officer. he was at camp sullivan on a daily basis in july and august. i believe you were at camp. can you tell us whether you saw any difference in the visibility of the state department representative in those two
months? >> i went on vacation in july. hs? >> i went on vacation on the 28th of july, and up until that date, i cannot remember seeing any state department official coming on-site. >> and then when did you -- >> unless we had vip visits. >> then when did you come back from vacation? >> the 14th of august. >> how about after august 14th? >> it wasn't that much longer. after that there was a planned visit from the state department on the six-monthly one, but that got changed because of what was highlighted, then the second of december, we had the state department coming in to do interviews. but no, there wasn't a regular occurrence. they weren't there in june, july and august. >> thank you. >> ms. bryant, let me just end with you and i'm going to
conclude here by just being clear. i was struck when we met with mr. pearson over the weekend that he felt there was one of the five managers who was responsive and seemed to care about what you were saying. but it appears all of the managers were fired. it triggers a concern that i have. is there any of the group in charlie company who had contacted you who wanted this to end that had actually been caught up in this sweep? and if so, that would be tragic. is there? >> there is a concern not of someone who contacted me but who is universally, from everyone i'm talking to, recognized as someone who had not been a part of the problems, and he has been, i believe, unfairly caught up in that sweep. so that's exactly the right thing to be worried about. i think not all the right people are gone and some of the people who are gone shouldn't have been fired. >> okay. so we'll start our second round.
>> thank you and thank you again. i guess i want to go back to the point i've been making since the outset. when we talked to state, state told us that if additional disclosures came through that they didn't have the whole story properly and that there had been interest in occur talg this in a discussion, but that hadn't been brought forth except they had a couple beers and they left. in fact, they had a discussion with the deputy program manager about whether they ought to shut it down. they decided not to shut it down. so as the discussion ensued, it seems to me the full story is coming out, and i sort of anticipate additional things to come out. to recap, it's, again, our state's -- and i have no reason
to think state knew about it. there's just been no indication. if it comes forward, they'll have to be accountable, but they only came around during vip tours and farewell functions. well, vip tours, you clean everyone up, you dust everyone off and you have a nice tour. that's understandable. in fact, when we were over there -- we didn't have time, but they said, hey, how would like to go to this camp? we didn't have the time to go in there and see it. we hear about the joke in the camp that when a two-drink policy came out, well, the garbage bin is the right size for the first drink. that obviously -- good policy, not -- no one must have looked at it to try to figure out whether it was being enforced. talked earlier about conspiracy. really strong word. could there be a conspiracy going on to shed issues in terms of not reporting them to state?
and we hear about, well, you better keep this under your radar. you better make sure that you don't involve yourself with charlie shift because they're pretty wild and crazy. we have all these other longstanding issues. i'd just like to say i'm frustrated. and so much, again, appreciate you doing your job, ms. bryan and your staff at the project on government oversight, and my last comment is if i was at a company and i was looking to walk the straight and narrow about corporate ethics, about assuring that employees got the message, about putting eyes on my own work rather than have to wait until some government agency put eyes on my work, mr. pearson, you'd be the kind of person i'd turn to. so i wish you the very best in your job search. as a person who is a few years older than you, i realize how young 50 is, so i wish you the
very best in your job search. thank you. >> thank you, i'll be very brief. mr. pearson, i just want to follow up to ask an obvious question that a number of us have asked around but not asked directly, and you may not know the answer to the question. do you have any idea as to why charlie shift was so favored? >> no. that was a million-dollar question in camp sullivan. if you knew the answer to that, you wouldn't need the job with agma. that was always asked of me. why does he get it? no one knew. >> just a point of clarification. i think you made it clear that to the best of your knowledge, the state department was aware of all these incidents. the june 15 party, august incidents, et cetera. i just want that to be clear for the record. that's not necessarily a good thing, by the way.
the state department should have been aware of it, but i wanted to state that. this plan of engaging in van surveillan surveillance, you acknowledged. just briefly, who are the people who were fired who oughtnt have been, and who are the people that should be fired that weren't? >> i feel awkward about that question, but i'd be happy to talk to the commission separately about that? >> are we talking about a substantial number of people? >> there was one person on charlie shift that was fired, as i understand, totally unfairly, but there was a lot of people fired prior to the disclosure of this because of their unwillingness to participate, and i think they should be seen
as victims because nobody was getting to them to help them. one of the new recruits straight out of our military was in one of these parties, was in fact one of the persons engaged in the most dooef yant -- was humiliated by his supervisors in one of these videos. the next day he was so humiliated by what happened to him, he wrote some graffiti on one of the trucks. they were both fired for the graffiti. so these are some of the people i'm looking at saying, i believe there is a lot of victims that should be reconsidered and how can we help those guys? it's not fair. >> mr. pearson, you said you saw no evidence at the camp, i guess at the embassy, i presume you were at the embassy from time to time, that there was a mechanism for people to report incidents to -- up the state department chain of command?
>> i knew ken sullivan because i used to spend all day working around him, and there were no signs, no posters, no information whatsoever about if you need to go above the chain of command, go this way. >> and final question, if i understood you krebtly, you spent some tyime in iraq as wel? >> that's right. >> to your knowledge, there was no other posted signs or information making it clear to contract employees, state department employees, et cetera, that they had the opportunity to go up the chain? >> the difference in iraq is i was doing personal security detachment so it was a different situation. however, on one u.s. contract i did work on, there wasn't any posters, either. so the answer is no, there isn't any. >> thank you. >> mr. green. mr. pearson, did you ever know of any guard supervisors to be disciplined for inappropriate behavior other than the last group that was either fired or
resigned? >> for inappropriate behavior. no. >> you mentioned the nato camp. i want to be very clear that to the best of your knowledge, guards couldn't bring alcohol back from that camp. >> as far as i know, but it all depends, because these places change their soldiers every six months. but it certainly was about a year ago that no alcohol could be taken off camp. now, going back to the alcohol bit, people were getting it from two sites on the embassy, and also there is a camp called camp warehouse. i don't know who runs that because i'm not allowed in it, but that was another place they could get it. >> they could bring it back from there? >> they used to bring it back from there. >> okay. are you aware -- last question.
are you aware of any instances where afghans were forced to consume alcohol? >> forced as in stretched out, tied up, poured down their throat? >> or embarrassed to the point. >> that night on june 14th, there was afghan drivers there. whether they were forced to drink or they wanted to drink, i don't know, but they were there with cans of beer. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i just have a short observation. that is in light of everything you've said and described in terms of the common knowledge of the c group and the 20 whistle blowers you've talked about. is the statement we're going to hear this afternoon by mr. brinkley from armor group which
says those of us at agna and wsi, basically armor group, outside kabul first learned of the june 15th party and the misbehaviors through the september 1 letter and photo released publicly through the project on government oversight. we were shocked and upset by what we saw. so they are saying that they had no knowledge of this until the photos were released on september 1st. >> thank you. ms. shenke? >> briefly, two or three questions. mr. pearson, i understand based on ms. bryant's comment that after you departed the main gate of being rebuilt or refurbished? >> no, this was in june. this was during when the party was going on, it was getting rebuilt. >> why was it getting rebuilt?
>> there was a road right outside camp sullivan, and they had decided they were taking so much of it that we had tea walls on, they were taking it back. >> so you physically had to move gates from point to point? i want to understand, is there an armory where weapons on stored off duty? >> there is an armory where the x parts handed no ammunition when they go on vacation. there is also an armory where the weapons police have not handed over weapons to go on their shift where they hand over weapons. the x parts only hand over weapons when they go on vacation. >> in other words, when these parties are going on with the
x-packs. >> people never went to these parties with their pistols on their side. >> but their weapons were nearby in someone's bunk or locker? >> if someone had the instance through alcohol, it was available for them, yes. >> number one, the police weapons are treated differently. those guys come off duty, their weapons are locked up. the x-packs, the weapons are on their person or some other storage container? >> that's right. >> the point is there are weapons nearby for easy access? >> yes. if i could just throw in there -- >> please do. >> -- in the defense of the army, if they come under attack, they need to have them available. >> that's a good point. i guess that leads to another question. given that possibility, it strikes me that there shouldn't be any drinking at all at the place. if they have to have weapons
because they may need them to respond, even when they're on their three days off, why are we having raging bonfires and coke parties and everything else? i think we know the answer. thanks. >> totally acceptable, best value standard, we need to have a military option. third one is person to speak to within the company or within state that someone like you can speak to. and my fourth one is that the contracts that we have with contractors needs to be different in a contingency environment than one when we're back in base and so on. these are some take-aways, but i want to be clear about your own company. because the bottom line is, your own company, in spite of the fact that you were doing, i'm told, an outstanding job, and
just hearing you testify, i would have confidence in a person like you. you were fired. i mean, you resigned but then you were fired. they can call it what you want. they didn't even give you courtesy of 30 days despite the good job. the message was clear, they felt they needed you out in order to satisfy the contractor. so you were dispensable in spite of the fact you did a good job. that to me says that somehow we've got to get a better way of getting information from subcontractors. 70%, mr. pearson, of the people who do work are subcontractors to a contractor. so i'm just going to -- and by
expressing profound gratitude to you for, one, doing what you did. and secondly, your willingness to come here and to speak out, and i am going to be very interested to see what your future holds, because my judgment, if any contractor wants someone to help them do a better job, it's someone like you. and ms. ryan, i'm profoundly grateful that you had the courtesy to contact this commission and had faith in this commission, and obviously you contacted others as well who have shown an interest in this. so congratulations to both of you and thank you. @@@@@@@
manager with agna who has extensive experience in managing embassy security contracts. the state department concurrence. we are revising the alcohol policy and are reviewing all the policies and training to see if changes are a part in it and you lessons learned from these incidents. we have determined that we would like to make permanent the ban on all hall consumption at the project manager put in place in august. we may need to make some limited exceptions. for example, for certain official functions where alcohol is a cultural tradition. however casual or recreational use of alcohol would be prohibited. camp sullivan would be a dry camp. the of all ban also would apply to off-duty activities away from camp sullivan. we would include a no alcohol clause in new employee agreements. we are making clear our zero tolerance approach to any
misbehavior. which the department concurrence the discipline policy will be revised to provide for the immediate termination for violation of the alcohol policy. we are providing bold visibility to the state department including immediate reporting of any incidents or concerns no matter how minor they may seem. as part of our screening process for new applicants we are implementing the following. all applicants will undergo a standardized personality tests and will recommend an an nbi to determine suitability of personality characteristics for the job. formal attitude and character evaluations will be completed for each candidate as part of the training in process. training segment regarding standards of conduct will be enhanced to take into account lessons learned from the recent incidents and emphasize the importance of adhering to the standard.
ongoing in country refresher training regarding standards of conduct will be conducted quarterly. we are committed to the security of the embassy to exemplary performance and to the highest standards of conduct. these personal and speakers by some individuals are a stain and a discredit to all those who are well serving to the protection of the u.s. embassy. those serving well, one of home was killed and others wounded by a vehicle born idd outside camp sullivan last week should not be forgotten as we discussed this berry serious matter. i will be pleased to respond to questions. >> thank you mr. [ commercial ] . we want to make sure you had all statement even though he ran over. mr. brinkley, i just -- we are not interested in any patches. you are all under oath. it is just important that we
don't force it to say something that would not be accurate. it would be better for you to be clear that you are not certain of something than to speak with authority and then be wrong and commit perjury. i just say that to all of you but particularly mr. brinkley because you seem to be the one there is more focus on. with that we go to -- >> mr. brooks and mr. brinkley people mentioned -- it is not a question, just an agreement with the. mr. brooks your words seldom mentioned danger to contractor personnel. i couldn't agree with the mark i agree with your statement about the danger. i know you maxine our report. it highlights the danger and the commitment. we made a commitment as a commission which is important, that we are so impacted by the military sacrifice. we are equally impacted by the
what is the company's policy and procedures? it all laid them out in your testimony. you didn't go into them in much detail but they are on the record. you have a recent death a week ago, a little less than a week ago. i am not so interested in the death, the tragedy. any time an american dies it's a tragedy regardless of the circumstances. but i am interested in the process that your staff went through when you found the person that died and who you notify, when you notify. you don't have to say -- did meet the time when. i am interested in that. >> i want to tackle your comments. whenever there is a death of one of our employees is a tremendous tragedy . it touches a lot of people. obviously, the family but also
the co-workers at served with that individual. in this particular case -- and i appreciate not having to walk through the details -- but i want to get specific like to characterize how we typically respond. immediately, once we found out there was a debt of an employee we did a couple and is. first, secured the area. treating it as it is a crime scene. we put guards to secure the room so nobody could enter. we immediately notified the country league for the state department and federal and guest investigators. >> same day? >> within minutes. we are talking about tens of minutes on this timeline. the in country lead for the state department as well as federal investigators so they could from moment one step up and meet the investigation. obviously, once those initial actions were taken care of our attention turned to the family
and so we follow through with the family notification is. i have discussed and presented to the commission in grievous examples our employee assistance program which we do think is a model for a defense contractor. and our team from that moment was engaged with the family and link the notifications and with the body until it came back to dover air force base yesterday. that is a critical piece of any type of response when we lose an employee. beyond that, back in the washington, d.c. area myself and my leadership team immediately look at the processes leading up to this individual being recruited, screened, hired, trained and deployed and sent into afghanistan. this was a new hire who was going to be deployed to his operational cite the very next day. and so, we wanted to make sure
that our process and an internet the pilot and it was. once we completed that i personally called the assistant secretary's office to inform them and make sure they knew every think that we knew. that pretty much summarizes the first 8. >> the event occurred on thursday, if i had it right. >> insert. >> what day -- you went through immediate notification to include investigative authorities closing it off and the arso. what date did you notify your counterpart here at the state department. >> that same day. >> so same-day, same hour, as quick as you could. as well as taking the eap type of action. >> that is correct. >> thank you. i know, mr. brinkley, you are aware we are troubled with the time line.
between the 11th and 25th. i think i want to back up. i know you were here. i worked hard on the point of establishing because in your testimony you state including managers and supervisors participated in at least part of the party. many electorally. two supervisors and you mentioned the two top people, they told to the indicated during the period a were present witnessed behavior. my concern is to have a witness who had a discussion about their discussion about whether they ought to shut this thing down are not. they obviously had the next couple more parties. and that is true -- it was a burst and discussion and you are under oath -- but if that is true do you feel blindsided?
>> obviously, this issue is under investigation. the information in my statement is what i now at that time. it is still what i know at the time. we take every allegation seriously and we will investigate it aggressively . however, i know the department is taking statements and we look for work to seeing results of what they found. >> if you find out that they held back -- if your own senior leadership is aware and had a discussion and chose as we have shared here before -- we don't leave it outside the compound. it that included you, it would be the most aggressive procedures and policies. i use the word blindsided. you are in a position that you can't do anything. >> i would be personally
offended by that action if it turns out to be true. >> thank you. are you done? >> i am always done. thank you mr. chairman. mr. brinkley, a number of questions for you as you might imagine. i want to begin by repricing this long colloquy and i had with the state department about the issue of whether the embassy was secure. using in your statement is in order to address the security of the embassy. it must not be lost in this discussion and that all times the embassy has and secure is one and to see the embassy was secure which simply means nothing happened during the course. it is quite another thing to say -- you don't say this, but you want to imply it -- meantime, was the department at risk by virtue of these incidents. i would argue that having 18 guards in march off duty, some
for up to three hours or longer than 3 hours, actually, the may incident where these two cards but themselves at risk and arguably could have put embassy personnel at risk and did that the embassy at risk by rendering the embassy nightline as we understand it. not having equipment that would have allowed the embassy to seat during the course of the night. these incidents in june and august the potential to inflame opinion against us. would you, for the record and under oath, on to say that in your judgment the embassy was never put at risk by virtue of these incidents? >> let me take those because each of them are distinct. >> please do it as quickly as you can. >> first, the march missing posts, the total number of personnel that were on the compound was police that.
it was an issue of lack of supervisory on post change for a post but the total number of personnel for the embassy were there and could respond. the contract was police that. secondly, the snack pack incident as it is being called is under investigation. i am not aware of any other information other than what the commission has. i have inquired about it. i had been led to believe sl th it was an authorized activity. >> authorized by armored car? >> i am under the impression that it was an authorized
activity and i am looking forward now to determining at what level that happened. >> your sink authorized by somebody as opposed to the state department for example? >> i do not know the difference at this time or the details. i know we authorized it, commissioner, because it has 8 plants and was briefed. i don't know if it had any other authority to it. >> what you are saying is you know that armor group authorized it. when you are not sure what is it the state department acquiesced? >> i do not know that answer. >> am i accurately characterizing what you're saying? >> you are accurately characterize it. >> just to be clear are using your be informed by your people that it may have and operates? you are looking into that or look or to insert? are you informed that it may have an authorized by state parks >> i have been led to believe
that it may have been authorized by state. i believe it was authorized by state. i do not know the details of the investigation to make a determination or judgment. >> just so we can complete this, very quickly, what is your argument as to why the june and august incidents didn't endanger or cause a risk to the embassy. quickly. >> commissioner, those are off-duty personnel. they are not a part of the defense of the camp or defense of the embassy. while their activities or deplore all and not acceptable, they are not part of the staffing of the security of the embassy or camp sullivan. >> it the embassy had been overrun during the course of those incidents in june and august, wouldn't the guards off-duty at that camp and required to, as a tactical matter, respond to help the
embassy? >> the contingency plan has the ought to be shipped to respond. it would be logical that anyone else that was available would be gathered up. but remember, the response capability is not limited just to be axed he also a significant number of beat our course. >> let me move on to -- >> could we clarify that one reichert. >> id refer to as the kirk force. i was waiting to hear why he would do that. they are from nepal, is that correct? >> i differ from the previous panel members view. >> i want to be very clear. i want you to listen to the question. were these gurkhas are are you calling them kirk as? >> the force is called the
gurkha guards forced. >> why do, and the kirk apart or sit there knocker as? >> i would like to take that question for the record. >> no, i will not let you do that. were these kirk as? >> is how you might defined. york reduced and a member and the definition of court is. we don't use the same definition. >> is a definition. gurkhas are individuals, i believe, who have gone through the military and had earned that title. and i just want to know where these purpose or were they from nepal and not kirk is? that is all i am asking. is a simple answer. chairman, the nepalese individuals that are on this course all served in either the british army, the indian army or the nepalese army and have resonate approval that is
necessary to meet the requirements of this contractor >> but the record as, correct? >> we call them -- >> i know you call them that. i don't know why you call them that they are not kirk is. >> i will be as brief as i can. i'd like to get into a couple areas. one and i'm struggling to understand is the economic up this country are markers point of view. you and others at armor group and acknowledged on the record that wackenhut it on his contract to begin with and the price was significantly higher. you didn't think they could manage the contract for the price at which armor group it. and now you say you are losing $1 million a month. if you do the simple math, is a one year contract with four extension years, $12 million per year. up to $60 million you could use. why isn't armor group petitioning the government to
department to exercise its option to renew or we do not. i recognize you don't have any control. >> i don't have any control of that. if >> do you want the contract to continue or would you prefer it be terminated? >> we had this contract. it is our decision as long as we have it we will perform it well. >> would you like this contract to be terminated or would you prefer it be continued? what is your position on that. that is a simple question. >> my personal position is we are operating and continue -- we will work the project. >> i want to talk about several whistle blowers. james gordon and john cornyn and two other colleagues. why were these four people -- we don't have the names of the two colleagues of john cornyn. why is it that james gordon was pyrex he alleges one and.
what do you understand to be the reason he was fired by armor group? >> first, i only can look at historical record, commissioner. this was before the acquisition. he left, my recollection is january of 2008. our acquisition was in may of 2,008. so, in the records that i have indicate that he voluntarily resigned. >> anything to say about the others? >> i have no knowledge whatsoever of mr. gorman. >> final question for this round. according to what we have been told, in march of this year, that the guards at capsule and confronted you directly and complained of our card shortages at camp sullivan and said that
these card shortages endangered the embassy. did that happen? >> no. >> for the record under oath and you are denying that happened? >> it did not happen. we had a town hall meeting. there were discussions that did not happen in that manner. >> what happened at that town hall meeting? >> my recollection is, commissioner, we had a discussion concerning individual person shift our and our. it was a question concerning could we go to 8 hour shifts for each current 12 hour shifts. the point i made we are currently under a 12 hour shift schedule. and we are currently under shift r and r. and all that needs to be reviewed. >> why are you under a 12 hour shift. are there to fugard's? >> no. it was actually the number one
reason that you do that in this particular environment is shift change. if you increase the number of guards, then you'll go to and from the embassy three times a date versus twice a day. >> just to put this on the table and we can come back to it. the allocation is made and it is common sense all to think and i would be interested in your response to this when you have an opportunity to do it, that the company is making up for the money it is losing on this contract by having to fugard's, by providing some articles, by not providing its weapons. by providing inadequate clothing. we have discounted allegations that we haven't talked about in the hearing yet. if you have a quick response i would be interested in hearing it. i will follow up in the second round. if >> the quick answer is everything that happened prior to may of 2008 we have reviewed
but i have had no direct input on. so, a number of those allegations are prior to the acquisition. i can only speak for those that come after me. if we could limit it to those and this is it it would be easier for me, commissioner, to address those. >> thank you. commissioner green? >> mr. brooks, in your testimony and certainly in your literature you make a lot of code of conduct and mission and sourcing parts and i certainly commend you for that. i will quote a couple of short sentences here in the code of conduct which is very detailed and all-inclusive. that is a signatory john respect the dignity of all human beings and in the mission statement i quote, provide high operational and ethical standards, of firms
active and the sensibility operations industry. ip 08 is committed to raising the standards of the peace industry to ensure sound and ethical professionalism, et cetera, et cetera. i assume armor group is a member? >> yes they are. >> okay. in a sense, at least in my mind, you almost have a conflict of interest. on one hand, you have set some standards of conduct for members, which i just mentioned a few, while at the same time you try, i'm sure, to attract new members who may have difficulty in meeting those standards or they may have different standards. i think this may be particularly true in the personal security area.
what is your incentive for terminating a member? number 1. and no. two and never terminated a member? i am not talking about somebody resigning. have you ever terminated a member and what is the standard for that? >> great question -- action, five questions. let see if i can address those. >> i will repeat it necessary. >> burris, conflict of interest. the reason i think our association is attractive to companies is because they do see it as a selling point to be a member of an ethical association. the association doesn't have standards, it is not addressing problems and you lose that selling point. essentially, losing a company now dent, a member company, is not at orr must necessarily. we are big enough that one company doesn't make a difference.
and we're certainly getting more companies in mind to join. we are at 64 companies now. we are out two thirds of that a year ago. i think there are different standards. again, i started this association as an academic. my idea was to have a large umbrella and get all the companies in and make sure the standards are compliant. once we started getting members and we set up our membership committee the first thing they said was there were certain companies we didn't want to allow in. i had a big umbrella idea. the numbers had a small allied. and make sure we can't believe that these companies when they joined. the creation and evolution of the standards committee or membership committee has been quite interesting. they are more exclusive. a number of companies have been excluded. the third question was not in terms of at the company and remove. we hope never to have to remove a company. it is a death penalty as far as we are concerned.
i think what our standards committee said is the behavior modification. we will get a complete and bore a general question about how the companies are operating in these areas and the standards committee can do a number of things. either ask the company to provide information, alter its behavior, or do any other number of things. it the company refuses to do that, and through a process and i am happy to share that with you, it shows a process where the standards committee would recommend to the full board of directors that the company may need to be removed. that would be up to the board to do that. the process is in place. the companies take it seriously. with the incident at a news the company is often what they do is contact our standards commit. here's our side of the particular start a take it quite seriously. >> with the standards committee take on the challenge of trying to modify the behavior of armor
group? >> if we receive a complete we would bring the issue up with them. obviously, the normally, our complaints, and when they do on these incidents weeks later. they obviously -- the initial reaction either contractual or criminal and that is not our daniel. it there's an ethical question that was raised we have created our complete system so anybody can bring a complaint against our members based on that code of conduct. yes, we will rebuke that applies to any company in the association. if >> has to be a company within the association that brings the complete? >> no circuit anybody can bring the complete kirk that includes journalists, students, people in the field, a non-governmental associations. they have brought complaints against our members. if you want to describe the whole process of how the complaint goes from there to the standards committee and how the review it and so on. >> based on what you have heard
today and what you now about the performance of armor group in this case, might that not be a reason to terminate their membership? >> again, it would be a process. there is a due process. as we say, bad things happen to the best companies. how does a company deal with it next from what we have seen the group as an proactive with dealing but this particular issue once they learned of it. again, i am not on the standards committee. i don't have a vote on the standards committee. it would be up to a jury appears to make that decision. armor arcady and themselves. >> thank you. >> decatur m. thank you very much. mr. brinkley, you said in your testimony that they inherited agna and the industry contract and have done and
extern your job and to bringing agna into compliance. i take it with that sentence you are separating out contract compliance from conduct? and is at and a corporate distinction for you as the head to make that there is a difference as to whether you comply with the contract or how you conduct yourself under the contract? i will let you answer that question first. >> commissioner, under this contract or behavior is part of contract compliance. until the recent revelations we had not had any indication that we had a b.a.. problem which would take us out of contract compliance. >> that makes that sentence a little inappropriate, then, really. because you haven't done an extraordinary job of bringing agna into contract compliance because you have all these items. as a matter of fact, when your
people, your managers on the ground were interviewed about the events, and asked -- which was just last month -- how these events could have taken place, we were told by the state department interviewers that a number of your people said boys will be boys. so, until last month your people on the ground at that idea or attitude toward the concept which to me goes to the issue of the complaints as well. would you agree with that? >> i would agree that. maybe you want to amend your statement. >> my statement is not in that text in that context. it was the contract compliance notice. we had a number of things we were working through. in that regard we believe we have worked very hard to meet
all the notice and any additional ones between the april 30, 2,008 department acts paperwork and to which no caustic. we showed contract compliance and meet all the requirements. i am not here to say that behavior is not part of the contract. i would like to make that distinction. we are not in any way same is not part of the compliance. we clearly understand that. the individuals involved have violated the trust and that part of the contractor >> i am glad he made that distinction. use that in march 2009 -- and i can't find a letter -- but i hope you can remember. the inadequacy of sufficient really starts -- it was in response to a stated concerned by the department of state coach was to all of to supervisory personnel negligence quote and not because of manpower
those site supervisors on the wiki compound is built in double. there is 2 sides to the compound. the site supervisors were identified, counsel and appropriate. some of them were actually move to leap another position. >> were those you see shift people are was it -- >> i would go back to the record, mr.. i don't know what shift it was. >> in your june 2009 testimony to the senate he referenced a review of march 2008 internal assessment. there was an internal assessment that had been conducted by agna. >> yes. >> what did that assessments a? you did your own internal assessment in march 2008. >> our internal assessment was in may. may of 2008. i sent four [ please stand by ] agna employees into ensure that we had a good deal for what was
happening. >> what did they find? >> i testimony indicates that we agreed with the department of state that the security of the embassy was being conducted and the embassy was not an issue on the embassy security. we found on the ground there was administrator problems and there were tons of the minister of problems in the united states on the contract compliance. when we went through all the other normal invoicing and the other issues that raised issues with the department. >> you didn't pick up any of what was allegedly common knowledge about. >> group or the. >> shift or the parties or the use of alcohol? even though as we heard in the earlier panel quite commonly understood and known by everybody to stay away from the group? >> we had no indication of that
until we received the august 1st defect photos barney e o complete. we had no indication at this level. >> what is the order of hierarchy here? you have the deputy program manager on the ground. you have your program manager. who is the next person who links couple to your office is here? >> that is here. bayh vice president of operations. >> so your eyes present operations to the program manager? >> yes. >> are you the vice president of operations. >> i have an operations person that deals with the day-to-day operational issues. >> that is back. ? >> that is becker. >> is that mr. carothers? >> yes. >> you stay in your testimony --
hold on one second. that those of us at agna outside of campbell -- that would be a nice present operations -- first learned of the june the 18th party and related ms. peters. i guess that would be the december party, meet the january party, the bunker parties, all that's. you learned of through the september first letter released by "? >> let me make this clear that i might, commissioner. i think it is on your chart. we received an eagle complaint about the august 10th party on august the 20 best with some photos attached. on the 26, we had a scheduled meeting with the department and
at that meeting we had a sidebar and indicated we had reseat that. we started an investigation and we ed buys them of that. but those photos were not of the most lude -- >> be marked the june 15th arne? >> they were not the june 15th party nor the most outrageous almost. they indicated a problem, but they did not indicate -- even though we receive them we started the investigation and we were already looking into it. we notified the department. >> for the record what i want to say is everything before july 1st, all the activity that we have talked about with respect to the parties and and are eager, you are seeing in your testimony that you had no knowledge of? >> that is correct. we learned that on september first pogo letter and polo's we receive.
>> is my time up or do i have another minute? >> you have another minute. >> mr. brooks, what is the policy on of all for your organization? >> we have no policy. that would be up to the individual company and the clients and contractor. >> you have policies on other things? >> yes. we do not have a policy on alcohol. >> do you have an alcohol alcee or a private security contractors? >> for our company, is we do, absolutely. as we mentioned we and alcohol in iraq and afghanistan . >> mr. brinkley, at what is your company's alcohol policy? >> the company policy is contract pacific and our contracts in iraq it is a zero of all policy, which is the same as the policy. in afghanistan at the policy was
arso policy, two drinks a day until august 11th. >> is that because you worked for the department of defense and in afghanistan york or the department of state? >> the contracts in iraq -- we are a subcontractor for the department of defense. in afghanistan we are a contractor to the department of state. >> your employees in iraq have any problem with the no alcohol policy? >> we have, like any company, there have been occasions when someone may have violated that policy and we have taken corrective action. >> you find it hard to recruit good people because of the alcohol alcee? >> no. >> you find it hard to recruit the people? >> no. >> thank you. >> a question for mr. brinkley. it strikes me that it would be unusual to get and eo complete from a party. what was the nature of the complete he received after the
august 10th or 11th party? >> i would prefer to give you that language for the record, commissioner. it was one -- >> is that because you don't know or is embarrassing? >> no, not because i don't know. the exact language of the complaint i don't have in front of me. i would not want to miss state for the record what i think the issue was. the issue was an individual had a problem with the party and how it was conducted. that person felt threatened by that. and so, he launched an eo complete >> that strikes me as unusual or was it sexual-harassment? >> i don't recall the language. i would get back to -- >> would you take that to the record? mr. brooks, a question for you. use that armor group is a member of your association.
is the usia number? >> that is to be determined. >> just yes or not these. >> armor group is listed as a member eric. >> to refresh my question is the usia member? >> it is not currently a member. >> is wackenhut a member? >> no, not at this point. i am trying to understand it the organization -- my sense is a good housekeeping stamp of approval without the good housekeeping. i am not being facetious there. i want to understand what teeth are in your code of conduct. you go to break ranks in a statement to talk about your standards of conduct committee and tell anyone can file a complete effort that is anyone, any member company, and a journalist, any entity? >> based on our code of conduct. >> has anyone yet cents pogo went public with this gross misconduct, has any complete and filed against armor group, the
u.s. side are wackenhut next. >> at this point we hold the complete until later in the opposite. >> you won't tell us today? >> i would rather not. >> we try to keep the system -- >> have you filed a complaint? >> i am filing a complaint now. >> i will send you information on filing. i want to see what happens to this code of conduct. >> as the complete moves forward. >> i am filing a complaint against armor group for the gross misconduct and the dilation of your organization acts dakota, that. >> can i just interject quickly. i would like you to answer the question for the record. i understand it you don't want to do it. i would like you to answer whether there is presently on file either armor group. >> to be honest i would have to check the policy on that. >> check the policy on whether
there is a complete? >> no, the revealing of the complete if there is a complete. >> i would like you to just take a minute before we end this year in and check the policy and get back to us. >> i will tell you right now at the risk annoying my membership but there has been no complete to date on armor group. >> no complete to date at all? >> no. these take some time before the coming. on our site -- >> it has an 13 days and no one much less a number company and said there's something wrong here? i want to complain art >> that is correct. >> how many members do have? >> we have 64 members. >> no one said a board? >> nobody has filed a formal complaint. >> i think that is egregious. this distinction -- keep in mind most complaints, outside the association. as my adjusted. i am going to send you information to you can make a
formal filing. we will address it as we would any other country. >> i want to get to this issue -- you draw it up in your statement that the very last arts as don't forget about the millions of people and are for. >> i would go back to africa. >> let me get a question out. you can do that on your own time. you go to break links in your statement to talk about peacekeeping missions. first humanitarian missions on a scale humanitarian missions, peacekeeping missions, is what is going on in afghanistan right now the keys operations? an international peace operation association. >> it is just ipo a now. i would actually get into academic admissions. i would consider it its ability operation, not the keys operation. it seems to me is more of a military operation rather than an attempt to keep the peace.
>> not used, but stability. it will take a pass on whether it is a war scenario? >> i think many people consider a warsaw airport into academic admissions. >> what i want to get at is a war scenario. is there a distinction -- a lot people have gone to great lengths to distinguish they were off duty, off shift, is there such a thing as on duty, off-duty? >> i think that is a great question. action, i think you have addressed in here. there are situations if you're into edt would be much more than 9 during an operation there it may have different rules court as has been brought up by the other and to analysts it really depends on the situation. i know that dyncorp had an operation in mogadishu. those rules will be different i don't know the need to worry about the terminology as the risk to the employee or
>> i don't disagree, but i would say that if afghanistan where 40 or 50 troops are killed in a month is not close. i am getting at this issue of where is the line on inherently governmental? can you comment on at? >> yes, i can't. and what comes down to it m perspective. this is how we got into it. the reality is the government is trying to do some fairly significant policies and has a certain of its capability to do that. i would like to point out that we a probably the most effective and professional military in the history of the united states. but to do that it has outsourced a lot of the aspects that really soldiers may have been cleaning toilets or flipping eggs in the past but that is something that obviously shouldn't be done by contractors. it all on a limited number of contractors are professional soldiers doing that sort of stuff. they should be focused on the policy aspects now there is the issue of security. that is the one gray area. can use a private security?
that they are protecting something, and is not a state on state war and it is not that difficult of the trees it is simple security. this is an issue gets to the whole mantra document her to have illegal combat is. you have issues of protecting warehouses, do you need to soldiers to protect humanitarian warehouses? here@@@@@@)r u, v @ @ @ @ @ @ @
when we referred to kirk as we refer to any recourse. i don't believe all your folks are an elite force but we will find out. evidently, an employee of yours set to terry pearson what goes around comes around. and i would just say to mr. pierce and that that is true, but it didn't apply in exactly the same way. i want to know what happened on june 11th? was he fired are allowed to resign. >> jimmy lennon was removed from the contract. he has returned to the united states court >> was the ira are allowed to resign? >> he had resigned. >> let me ask you. are any other individuals -- >> and said he had resigned. it is he employed by armor group
r. wackenhut? >> court he is still employed because he was 8 a wia a -- >> wounded in action. he has to retain employment until we go through a defense based act workers' compensation issues and wants those met all issues are taken care of that he is back. he has been removed from the contract. we have to go through his medical issues. >> are there any managers that were either fired or net goal that are now working either for you, your organization, wackenhut, or any other organization arcs. >> not everyone of the senior management in the country.
the project manager is still there and is still on the rolls. he is transitioning out. >> how about the folks that have left who were given the impression that they were either fired or resigned. are any of them engaged with any other contractor since there aren't our leading? >> no. >> i am stunned that your organization did not know about these problems since everyone else seemed to. when i see your organization, your organization out country because your folks in country do. the y knew. . it says to me there's something incredibly sick about your organization that that would be the case. they said something very sec about this project is infected with rats. be cautious of what you say and
do around those suspected of being harassed. rats can cost you your job and your family. never ran on your friends and always keep your mouth shut. that would explain, mr. brinkley, by your management folks don't know much because there is this kind of sickness, cancer in your organization. so, i would like to ask you first, why did it take a number of days, almost two weeks, or your company to notify state as to what was happening? >> in retrospect, commissioner, the project manager on the 11th and all of these incidents he did not notify the department . he was wrong. he should at.
>> let me ask -- your said he did not notify the department. i assume that means anyone in couple is contracting officers represented kirk he did not notify the department. i think i co-chair is getting at the question of actor he notified you that things have gotten so volatile. >> he didn't notify me and he is a request was i would like to take the alcohol policy under review. >> let's start with the alcohol policy. why did it take so long for your company -- you can put anything next to it -- so long to notify state? bayh would you notify state within a half hour that you have a prop up? are you not aware that these sectors would be absolutely deadly for our forces, that it would undermine our mission? is that not think that comes to mind?
when did you think that's the should know right away? >> commissioner, on the 11th of august, i knew of no pictures. >> i didn't ask you. i am asking about anyone in country, anyone here. not just you. >> can i also add to that? because clearly, on a level, in your site managers will notify you -- and this gets into mike prior question about do you feel blindsided? they knew about the interest. the pictures will show -- and many of the pictures show would reorganize in the background the union address where you can be back actors and the from pictures all in there. you may not have known but the new. it seems like they may get out, well, i am being facetious, we had people drinking salt i am going -- or did they say they
really got carried away? that i think is the commissioner -- my co-chair's comment. how did they explain to you? >> that is part of it. this has the feeling of grossness. its lewd. you have pictures. its destructive. i want to know by state wasn't notified immediately. i was going to ask what makes you the best person to speak for your company. you are supposed to be the most knowledgeable. if you answer that question but you have answered this basic point. it would be grounds as far as i'm concerned for state to say we want you out right away. because your failure of their company to notify state cuts state and dod at an incredible disadvantage. so, answered the question please.
>> commissioner, at that time, the information at hand goes into the two part. what to do on the ground and what we knew here. >> did they have pictures? >> not that i know of. >> your testimony is they did not actors. >> the project manager as i know it today and this is under investigation. >> at a project manager is still working for you? >> that astonishes me. he has not been released by the irs out for this investigation. is under investigation. >> mr. brink the recent rise because you have to be able for someone to tell you because you don't seem to be at all out reached by the fact that this happened. there is a culture within your company that discourages people from speaking out. i would have thought was would have said this is unbelievable. why wasn't i notified
immediately? you are out. i would have called state and said i have just been notified a few minutes ago. this is the case and so what. i don't see that. i don't feel it. i have been listening to this panel. you don't seem to get it honestly. no disrespect, but you do not seem to get it. what you have done by your conduct today is a strong indication that you better not try to expose. >> commissioner, if i might. i can assure you that i am outraged. with the commission l week. and we -- unfortunately the chair was not there. i am outraged. i am embarrassed. i am humiliated. we take this very, very seasly. so the idea -- >> if you take it seriously then tell me what action you've take ton say to the whistle-blower, we appreciate you more than the scum who did this? give me one indication. >> first -- >> did you ever say to your
subcontractor that maybe you need to hire terry pearson back because he's the one good guy in this group who spoke out? have you done anything like that? >> i have not taken that action yet, because that is -- his actions are under investigation. that he belongs to another company. >> no, not another company. he is your subcontractor. let me tell you, this is the thing that bugs me more than anything. 70% of our contractors, or subcontractors, and somehow we hide and we put a curtain from front of them and say, we can't look at them, can't deal with them. we only deal with the project. in a has got to stop. why do you think that terry was fired? because he spoke out and because the sub was concerned that you would take action against the sub. >> i categorically deny that. >> okay. tell me why. >> because that is not our policy. we would not do that. we obviously would not want to
create an environment of co-employment. >> have you contacted that sushgs the person who fired him, to say, why did you do this? >> yes. >> you personally? >> not me. my -- >> what was their answer? >> an e-mail from the owner is that mr. pearson resigned. and that based upon the circumstances that when he tried to come back, that they had already made arrangements to have him replaced. >> mr. brinkley, i'm going to end with this and tell what you i just heard. what i just heard was a cover-up. that's what i heard. i'm -- >> that's unfair t. isn't, and i'll let you comment. i'll tell what you i heard. you have someone who speaks out who was in essence trying to help your company be punished. did you find out if he done this job? did they start to do a better job? was the food getting better? the place getting better?
you'll find the answer is yes. >> i had that information. it you asked that question. >> i asked the question i. would explain. the answer is terrence appears hadn't gone on the contract had done a better job. we were pleased with that ip inspected his mess hall in march personally. it was much better. the food bass better. i ate in that mess hall. my number two was out there in june. the work on rai had improoshed. the mess hall, they had been very well. he had plenty of opportunity on any of the number of occasions to speak to me personally, and he a chance to speak with my number two person personally, if he thought there was an issue. >> he spoke to five managers. only one of your managers was sympathetic. that's the bottom line brinkle actions speak to the fact if you're someone like terry you better keep your mouth shut. >> i categorically deny that. >> you can deny it, but that's how it comes across to me. >> i understand that, but i do
not agree, mr. chair. >> second round. >> okay. here i thought that the auditor was the emotional one. thank you for shedding light on that. i appreciate your candor and i -- you know, i want to say to all three of you, especially you, there brinkley, i this commissioner shays said it, it's going to be difficult. thank you for bearing up with a very challenging assignment. i have a couple things, one of which, i still go back to, i believe that -- actually i leave at christmas someone would have debriefed us, let's talk about this, you might have got to the no alcohol policy. certainly after june, the party net was for all appearances attended by your two senior people at the time, and they had
a discussion, and i'm sure the interviews are going to show, because if they had it with mr. appears opinion -- sometimes it's a guy thing. i told her, ge on back to your room. she might have consideration lis tried to cut this and didn't get cut. we're going to find that out. and so my sense is listening to you, and -- you had a great discussion. i mean, you may not feel it was great, but it was, but listening to you, you come across as sincere and honorable. and i still hold out, i believe, listening to everything cumulatively, that you were blindsided and i believe, therefore, blindsided by your staff, and i used the word earlier and i use caution it might be a little strong. a conspiracy to cover everything up. i think it's less strong that i felt before, but by default,
then, are first panel, state department. those individuals were blindsided. i'm not saying about your responsibility. i'm saying they got blind it sided by default of timing. last thing i want to go back to, and i don't know we got snackpack either, but the episode, there were pictures. i saw the pictures and, again, i can visualize with our without picture, but what i can really picture, these seven or eight individuals, several picture, dressed up as afghans. and i don't know if you've seen the pictures, it wasn't a very good imitation, but certainly they were trying and it was more combo of an afghan warrior or something, but they were there. and then i saw pictures of them out on the open area in a warehouse-like facility with pictures inside and then kind of doing this and a couple poses and the like.
and i go back, then, to something we've tried to make the point over and over and over about safety. had there been bad guy, taliban, call them whatever you want, had there been even friendlies come by and wonder what's going on, and had there been the fuse of firearms to me wouldn't be at all surprising. three, four bad guys. iud right outside the gate. three, four bad guy, taliban with ieds, could have been a fight, and would that have been heroic? i'd propose maybe not, because they shouldn't have been out there, and we've always said, they're defensive only. not offensive, because of this inherently governmental, because the army is the offensive force. then lastly on that same one, the fact that we have trouble, and i accept stating that we're not sure who authorized that
mission, and if, in fact -- and i know when we last briefed state, the investigators with the d.o.d. were very, very cautious. temperature us what you're doing? was that serious? not going to tell you. well, i can understand the sensitivity, and that one episode, you know, i think defeats any argument against safety. i think the embassy may have been safe, but there may have been very serious safety issues, been very serious safety issues, but, again, i'm just hopeful here as i listen to the commitment of state and they're here and i commend them for sticking around, that they pay attention to. so, i commend all three of you. you got put in a tough spot, but i don't want to be cute and say that's your job, because i respect you for coming out here and doing that. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i'll be very brief. mr. brinkley, just to follow up on that last exchange. i hadn't planned to, but i'll do so now. i just want to go over this one more time. you're saying, you said in the earlier round that it is possible that the state department, somebody in the state department, may well have approved of this surveillance mission, this operation snackpack? give you another opportunity to clarify that. >> when i read the allegation, we made an inquiry. i was led to believe that it was planned and i was informed that from the person that indicated that it was approved by the department. now, that is under investigation. commissioner, i do not -- know the final determination. >> all right. and what is your understanding of who that person or people may have been at the state department who did so? >> i did not -- because of the
investigation, i said, i'm not going to have anymore command -- have any appearance of command influence to this issue. i got that report, and then we stopped on that issue, we stopped. >> all right. we were told incidentally, that after this happened, the two individuals involved were given a certificate commending them f for, what wasn't a word on letterhead that appeared to be state department letterhead, which might suggest that the state department had some involvement in this. do you know anything than? >> i just saw what was on the pogo report, i saw the same document the commissioner has seen. and let me make clur. you've seen photos i have not seen if i might. i have not seen any photos of that -- that the chair just indicated. >> okay. final question. i want to get back to the statement in your, a paragraph
in your statement on page 4 that commissioner talked about, those of us first learn about the misbehavior -- first quick question, we don't want -- i don't want to put words in your mouth. what is related misbehaviors mean to you? what were you referring to when you used that term? >> rather than go into the lurid details of the -- from june 15th i would, because of -- that is a term that we used that would cover everything from excessive drinking to the most inappropriate behaviors that are described, that are shown in the photos. >> all right. and what time period are we talking about? from june 1, to september 1? >> well, if i might, we described those, june 15th, there was a party that would obviously describe -- those are
photos, we've clearly discussed that. they photos from august the 10th that describe that. that show, depict that behavior. >> okay. and so you're saying that nobody in your company, to include wsi, was aware of this? any communication, no indication whatsoever, until september 1? that's what you're saying? >> except for, as i make clear, the august 25th photos that came with the eeo. >> right. >> which were of the, my understanding of those, of the august 10th party. but they -- those photos are not of the most lurid pictures that showed up on september 1st. >> the main thing we're concerned about, this june 15th. i believe in trouft verify. so my question here is i think it would be very instructive for our staff to have access to any and all correspondence from the
field, from your people in the field, to you and related people in headquarters. between june 15th and september 1. i'd like to verify the claim that the first you heard of all this was the september 1 letter from pogo. would you be willing to make those materials available? >> we'll take that through the record? would you be willing to do it? >> yes. absolutely. we'll take that to the record. >> i'm done. >> thank you. >> as tragic as the death of an employee is, particularly under these circumstances, and as much as it might cause the corp. to reflect, review their recruiting and screening policies as well as maybe failures of supervisory
oversight, i can't put it in the same category with some of the personal conduct issues that we've seen this morning. and i want to commend you and your company for the way and the speed with which you handled these. you've got -- excuse me -- a huge mission ahead of you, and as you take over log cap operations or some of them in afghanistan, there will no doubt be occasions when contract issues come's and maybe even some conduct and ethical issue. but i would ask all of you to just remember this, and that's an old saying, that you're
probably all familiar with, and that is that bad news doesn't get any better with time. and i hope that everyone here has learned something today, if not from their own failures, maybe from the failures of others. so thank you. >> thank you, gentlemen. >> i just have one final question, or comment. it's a question. multi-national corps iraq has a general order for all military and all contractors in support of the military against any use of alcohol in iraq. so it's not just private security contractors. it's all contractor. it doesn't apply to state department employee, however. but -- so the zero tolerance policy, it probably affects 250,000 people, who are in iraq given that the military and the
contractors. it seems particularly critical to me to have private security contractors have a no-alcohol policy. they don't like to be called mercenary, but they do many duties that are similar to what the military does or would do. in fact, in kabul, the military guard at the kabul embassy, up to 2004, and we know it's a mix, that weapons are involved, and that they are in a very serious positionen representing the united states. so my question to you is, shouldn't we have a policy across the board for both the department of defense and the department of state that all private security contractors must submit to a no alcohol policy? >> i'll take that question first. >> i'll ask that down the row.
>> if i could, i'll take that first. i made the comment earlier about our alcohol policy, that we have an absolute ban on alcohol in iraq and afghanistan and i just want to put that into context. less than 1% of our business is private security. so we provide a wide range of services for the department of state and the department of defense, in iraq and afghanistan that aren't security pip 99.9% you would not characterize as security, and our view is in particularly those zone, iraq and afghanistan, there's no room for alcohol consumption because of some of the issues that came up earlier around the blur of on diet and off duty. it isn't as if people go home, like they dough here in the states. if someone were to happen and and incident happened where they need to respond, they needed to respond. just for context, our ban,
against all of iraq and afghanistan and goes wealth beyond the security work that we do. >> thank you. mr. brook, your organization? >> well, of course, we don't put people in the field, except for -- >> no, no. but the position of your organization. >> i would just say, the vast majority of the personnel that work for our industry around the world are local national, and in terms of private security, it may be, many working in relatively benign areas and the policy is flexible. >> private security -- >> makes some sense and the fact is one of the cardinal rule. don't embarrass your client. clearly that's something that happened here. >> is that something your organization will put in front of itself. >> delighted to naught in front of our committees, yes. >> and mr. brinkley? >> as i said to the committee staff last week, commissioner, i, guns and alcohol don't mix, and believe that should be the rule. >> so you could have imposed
that in your -- >> absolutely. >> camp sullivan compound when you took over? >> yes. >> and now i'm sure you wish had you? i. was never comfortable with that policy. we had not had an incident at that time. i will take responsibility for not asking the hard questions that i should of. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> thank you. >> this request for the equitable adjustment is a claim by your company, any company, to state for more money in the contract. have you had any discussions about claiming more money? >> we are discussing our options within the contract language, and this is coming
down to what is the change of the scope, and what the contract allows us to do. we have not done this yet, based upon the events of the next several weeks. >> this is my second question. if this is exceedingly technical about the approach, and the breach of this, have you had any second thoughts about the judgment would be claims? >> we are reviewing these options. >> what is the current plan? >> i am getting the information to make a decision, to be reviewed by legal and we will be doing this in a timely manner. >> the second question is the issue of the best value, against
the price, is this technically acceptable? your company was bidding on the contract, for reasons that were not acceptable? why is this? >> it is my understanding, from reviewing the notes, that we were considered not technically a acceptable, for one reason, which was that we did not currently have the ongoing war in afghanistan. and that was the fact as i know this. >> was that one of the clients, to already be working in afghanistan? >> that was the rationale that is not technically acceptable. n -- >> that was the rationale, not technically acceptable. >> would you state for the remembered, tell us ex-press is lit why you were deemed not
technically accept jab the question i want to get at is, your thoughts about the legislation that binds state to pick the low price. >> one i'll take for the record, our notes for the outbrief that we got from state department, we'll get that to you. >> okay. i'd also like that answer from -- you may have limited visibility. i'd like that answer from state as well? >> yes. and i'm sure they'd have their records. >> your thoughts about best value versus low price? >> i'm going to address it from this perspective. we bid on this contract. we worked very hard to make sure that what we did was executable and get the cost right. and we are significantly higher in price. i'm running this contract now. so i know what it takes to run this contract now. so we can make whatever comparisons you'd like to make. >> were you like, $80 million,
$90 million on price? >> about $80 million higher and that included some profit. so -- and i'm running it now, and we're reviewing it. am i running it well enough? and that's and youer a review, too. but i've nerve her to deal with cost as it pertains to being contract compliant. >> lem ask you this broadly. with your cumulative experiences and marine officer and working at state and the 9/11 commission, i read or bio. i read it and it's impressive. thank you. does it always make sense to pick the low price for security even in a contingency environment? >> my personal view is that the they do not give enough latitude to the department and certain situations, any, to have a con tingy in place, they need to get it done to get the right companies to accomplish the
mission that they need. that is my personal opinion, and it has been for some pert of time. p. mr. brinkley, you testified that you were staff -- your staff snu before you did in kabul about the incidents that we're talking about today. but that you learned on august 11th. >> i learned on august the 11th from the camp kaya incident. >> okay. august 11th. that's the night fight? >> yes. >> did you -- >> alleged night flight. >> did you notify state on 129th? >> no. >> on the 13th? >> no. >> on the 14th? >> no. >> did you notify them on the 15th? >> no. >> did you notify them on the 16th? >> no. >> did you notify them on the 17th? >> no. >> did you notify them on the 18th? and 19th? >> no.
>> did you notify them on the 120 20th? >> no. >> did you notify them on 2 292ened the 21st? >> no. >> did you notify them on the 23rd? >> no. >> on the 24th? >> no. >> when did you noi them. >> we notified them on the 26th. >> okay. so a lot of days weekend by. >> yes. >> please answer the question. why didn't you notify them immediately? >> at the time, as i've indicated, at the time we did not think the specific incident that we knew of rose to it level of notifying them in retrospect we were wrong. >> anybody, i said that all of you could make a closing statement. is there any comment that any of the commissioners want to make? >> the specific incident, i understand, but that same day the project manager says, that's it. no more booze. something's wrong here. we're going to put an end to this.
>> we should have notified them both, commissioner. >> okay. >> gentlemen, we said each of you could make a closing comment, and without editorial comment from us. while i can't promise that, but you can make your closing comments. >> thank you. >> i'm not going to totally -- >> thank you, chairman and members of the commission. as i said at the beginning, it's a pleasure to be here to participate in support of the hearing. i'm a big supporter of the -- >> you put a new definition to pleasure. >> it is a machiner to support the commission in any capacity that i can. i think you're taking on a very important mission and some very tough challenges to try and improve contingency in wartime contracting. there are issue there's that need resolved and i think you all are working the problem hard, and so i commend you. in our message today, we understand what's expected of us. we're expected to perform and comply to do it the right way and to make sure that the right
work environments are in place across all our work sites, around the world, on all of our program. our customers expectations ever us, to me, they're crystal clear. under secretary kennedy and other senior, at the state department make it very clear to us what their expectations are around performance and making sure that we have work environments in place that are professional and collegial. our standard is pretty high. and i take the point about never you know, underestimating the challenges around this conduct. especially at a time like this where we are ramping up very significantly in afghanistan and iraq to support the state department and the department of defense. and as a result, we will not be complacent, and every tay we're looking at how can we better institutionalize our core values and code of conduct? what enhancements can we make to our government system and how can we further development our
leadership culture? we can't ever will complacent and we won't be complacent. i'd liking to re-emphasize a couple points that we made. i made earlier and in my testimony. i think the government should consider a ban on alcohol consumption for all contractors in iraq and afghanistan. and we talked about that enough this morning, but i would like to re-emphasize it. also, i'd like to point out when we terminate employees from a contract for issues of misconduct, they don't go to other contracts. they leave the company. and finally, i'd like to just put back in front of the commission a point i mace in the last hearing that die have the pleasure of supporting, and that is the idea of a government mandated and funded employee program for those injured or fallen on a battlefield. there are a lot of contractors out there today exposed to major
risks and threats. we can't ever forget about them. we can't ever forget about their families and i once again would like to ask the commission to take that under consideration. again, i'd like to thank you four the opportunity, and i look forward to supporting the commission, in whatever capacity i can in the future. thank you. >> thank you, mr. brooks. >> thanks for the opportunity to do a final comment. it's been an honor to be here today. i will provide you information for filing your complaint and we'll provide to the entire commission information opposed to it. we give out to nongovernmental organizations and others so they know how to make complaints as well, a flow chart showing how the process works. i want to emphasize, we've been pushing the concept of third, if the commission were to is a noort, i think it will get a nice boost. i welcome commissioner shays take aways. points made from the earlier thing, i think those are very
good. especially as brought up repeatedly, the best value concept, for contingency operations. you need to have some flexible and be able to adjust resources depepding on the level of risk and so on. we will bringed alcohol policy concept on the pses to our private association. and finally i think going back to the original statement that the chairs made, they pointed out the contractors have been supporting u.s. military operation since the beginning, and while they generally bring emotion -- anybody who's a historian, my back grournd, you do seize subcontractor all the time. we have a golden opportunity with the support to come up with solutions specific to contingency or modifications to the way we do contracting now. it's a great opportunity and i just want to the affirm that our
association will be very is a spottedive and see a lot of good things coming out of what you have done in the past and we're looking forward to work,ing with you in the future. thank you. mr. brinkley. >> well, to the commissioners let me close with, one, we take all allegations that we have, come to alike, seriously and investigation them today we no that the contract work in kabul and afghanistan is still ongoing. we want to find out what the facts are, and i look forward to taking, getting those results. we will take any other accesses that are necessary and deemed appropriate based upon those outcomes. i am disappointed and are the employees that we had, and i will tell you as the chair has indicated, that, that we had
people that didn't do it right and didn't understand their diplomatic mission as well as their security initiative. i would be remiss if i didn't also say that there are a great number of people out in kabul as we speak starntding post on duty who didn't participate, who didn't do anything wrong, and are in harm's way. and i owe it to that force not to leave here today without telling everybody that a -- it's the haircut. a certain few do not represent the all those small fut put a small stain on their reputation and i can assure you, they are as embarrassed about it as i am, but, please, understand that there are over 600 people in this contract. and we have right now a small few that didn't do it right, and i look forward to having the results of the investigation to see finally we have lessens
learned and i will gradually take those lessons learned. we've laid out some before the commission. we've lived from them this and we plan on moving forward to correct those failures that we had. thank you all very much. i would like to thank our first panel, the state department, witnesses for staying. we're not going to ask you do that every time you come before if you. and our third panelist, all three, for their testimony, thank you, and your willingness to sort this all out. we'd like to request, mr. brinkley, that you have some interaction with terry pierson believe he leaves. later tis week. because i think you could learn some things that would be helpful and. would speak well of your company if you did that. and with that i'll just say the full text of any writ
statements, will be enterrd into t the, any questions for the record, any additional information they may undertake during this hearing. with that, any closing comments? >> thank you. great job. >> we'll close the hearing and thank you all very much. the hearing is adjourned. >> joe wilson of south carolina spoke on the house floor for the first time since the president went before a joint session of congress last week. his exclamation during that week
has been widely reported by the media. >> during the last week i was able to post many town hall meetings, i have had passionate events full of patriots, who want health care reform but not a takeover. i have presented my concerns in a handout. 1.6 trillion dollars in costs, 100 million people losing their current coverage. $118 billion in taxes, 1.6 million jobs lost. i have presented a better way, the patient's first act, presented by the republican
study committee. this barre's government abortion. we will never forget september 11, and the global war on terror. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from the state of texas rise? >> thank you. i have some news, and it says of september 10, 11:22, nancy pelosi said that they should cease efforts to sanction joe wilson. she also says, it is time for us to talk about health care, and not joe wilson. but the democratic leaders, were looking into what formal action
may be taken against them. but she dismissed this idea, as well as the call for him to apologize. they will find out what it is appropriate for them to do. what happens when someone says something that they are going to do, and they do not do this? i will yield back. >> i come to the floor today, to say that on last wednesday night, during a joint session, there is a breach of decorum by joe wilson. somebody who is a southern gentleman and an officer and a gentleman. he called the white house and they accepted his apology. that must be the end of everything. he has conducted himself as a gentleman, without putting his
finger to the wind. he did the right thing, and there is no plan to anything further if the president of the united states is excepting the apology. let's go on with the business of the house and began running the country instead of cheap political points, which will be coming to the floor of the house tomorrow. i wheeled back the rest of my time. -- i will yield back the rest of my time. >> in a few moments, the effects of stock -- the effect of cellular phones on health, and then "washington journal" on the obama administration and the memoirs of the late senator ted kennedy. >> a couple of live things to tell you about this morning. the house democrats are hosting a health care meeting, that
includes a meeting of the a minute -- the american health care association. that is on c-span 3. the federal reserve chairman, ben bernanke will speak about the state of the financial market at 10:00 eastern. >> next month, a look at the highest court, the roles and the traditions and history. >> it is not an understatement to say that this building would not be here if it was not for the persistence of two men. >> taft said that this would need a building of its own, and he believed this as a president and as a chief justice. >> we will have insight from the historians and the justices. and you can go online for a tour of the court at c-
the subcommittee will now come to order. there are an estimated 270 million cellular phone users in the united states, 70 worldwide. i would say that almost everyone in the room is using a cellular phone, and many of us do not give a second thought that this could harm us in any way. they say that there is cause for concern. the amount of radiation that is given off by cellular phones is very small. billions of times less than getting an x-ray, but some researchers believe that even the low level of radiation may cause cancer of the brain and the central nervous system, as well as other harmful effects. effects. indeed international studies have suggested people who use cell phones for more than ten years are more likely to get tumors on the side of the head where they usually hold their phones.
other studies meanwhile have found no correlation at all. so it is not the intention of the subcommittee to create undue alarm. but one thing we want to discuss today is whether we need more research in this area and how that research should be conducted. expert witnesses will also discuss whether there are precautions we should be taking now reduce radiation case of these fears turn out to be well-founded. i am reminded this nation's experience with cigarettes, decades passed between the first warnings about smoking tobacco and the final definitive conclusion that cigarettes cause lung cancer. if more people had heeded the early warnings or if we could establish the link between tobacco and cancer many lives would have been saved. we don't know yet whether cellphone radiation poses a
similar dangd from the two technologies, cdma and gsm currently used 91900 megahertz because the complexity when you're working with experts from this technology. the scientists have developed a system that provides you from exposures to radio frequency radiation to on restrain prudence in the frequency band used in mobile communications. this design allows exposures up to 20 hours per day in contrast to the most comprehensive cancer studies carried out to date in europe using restraint animals for exposures only two hours per day. the system consists of 21 chambers assembled in switzerland and installed in the research institute laboratories in chicago. the chambers are essentially shielded rooms with the transmitting antenna emitting radio frequency fields and rotating to generate statistically uniform fields.
the speed is conducting studies in three phases, pilot studies dustin bushfield strength that do not raise body temperature, said clonic studies were animals are exposed to various sub formal field strengths for one months and carcinogenesis at these studies for 24 months. the studies include both rats and mice and pregnant female rats allow them to examine potential health effects from exposure is starting in gestation and continuing through old age. the plan but studies are nearly complete. some chronic studies will begin early next year and chronic toxicology and carcinogenicity studies will start late, 2010 finishing 2012 with pure to review reporting in 2013, 2014 time frame. in addition to the ntp study research is under way it institutions supported through the nih grants program.
the research portfolio of the national cancer institute include several examining possible association between cell phone use and cancer. internationally agreed is exploring possible links to exposure to electrical and magnetic frequencies and tumors of the brain and central nervous system. in the u.s. researchers at five academic centers are undertaking the first effort to examine environmental risk factors for a tumor that forms in the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. cell phone use is a major environmental risk factor to be considered in the study. these grants are expected to conclude in 2011 with findings available shortly thereafter the nih is using american recovery reinvestment act funding to support researchers at ucla study and with their exposure to cell phones and a childhood can affect the central nervous system. the award for the study includes over 100,000 danish children. the research study will study
whether exposures are related to a developmental problems as well as outcomes such as seizures, migraines and sleep disturbances. thank you for the opportunity to talk about these important studies. the study site describes have a commitment to determine whether risks to public health or post by the use of communication devices. i will be happy to answer any questions you may have. >> i was asking who is the gentleman with you. i understand you are here to try to fix the powerpoint presentation or something like that? >> i'm afraid i am not good enough at that. >> not working? >> well, that's all right. did you have something else, dr. bucher, that he wanted -- >> now that we have the power
point presentation we were just going to show pictures to give you a sense of the magnitude of the operation. these are the chambers that were designed and built in switzerland and then shipped to the research institute in chicago. you can see they were large enough to place a crane and a drop in to an underground laboratory facility where they were obviously being received and moved into place. and here is the picture of the final series -- >> i don't understand what the chambers are for. >> the chambers are where the rat studies will be carried out. these are exposure chambers where the radio frequency radiation will be exposed to the animals. >> using varying levels and all that? dr. bucher, the research that
you describe that ntp and false animals. i certainly understand, since we -- this committee has been involved in working with researchers for many years i a understand the value of that sort of research. the subject rodents to radiation in ways you wouldn't want to try on people. i guess in these chambers we learn a lot about the basic science, but many other countries are doing studies involving humans. more so it seems than in the united states. we are going to hear leader about a collaboration involving 13 countries. in fact practically every study that will be discussed by the second panel of witnesses took place overseas. so i guess a two-part question is why hasn't there been so far more done here in the united states to look at the epidemiology of brain cancer among cell phone users? and why aren't we part of the
inner phone collaboration with? >> welcome senator, my understanding is that mci does support part of the phone study. it is a large study in 13 different countries that are supported by or coordinated by the world health organization. >> but i have a list and i will see the united states listed. >> i have the record we are supporting one of the principal investigators on the phone study but i could check that certainly and make sure >> i have 13 countries i just don't see the united states listed and i would like to know more about that. >> so why aren't we doing more on the epidemiology? >> i'm not sure i can answer that question. i have been looking at the grand
i am looking at the grant proposals that are coming into the national institutes of health. i look at this as being funded by the national institutes of health. as i understand this, this is looking at some of the cohorts that have been put together for the studies. the food and drug administration has been working with the international group, the world health organization, the international workgroup where they will meet throughout the year, to discuss the effects of research on the technology, with the recent biological efforts, across the countries.
they also look into the prospects for international collaboration for these devices. >> my last question, you said that with so many -- the weight of the current scientific evidence has not connected cellular phones with any health problems, any other organization has said that greater information is needed for these low levels of exposure. this is the weight of the current scientific evidence that has not conclusively connected cellular phones with health problems. is this 55-45, 99-1, what is this?
>> i said the better data are needed for the testimony there have been lots of studies on the cellphone radiation. there have been human studies and experimental animals in a wide variety of studies where a variety of tissues from animals and cells from animals have been exposed to radio frequency fields to try to determine whether there are biological effects. and i think that each of these areas with respect to this field have weaknesses and i think most people generally can see that there are weaknesses in each arm of this three legged stool i guess if you want to provide the weight of evidence. human epidemiology studies by think maybe currently adequate for looking at evens carroll loosely associated with exposure itself. so you can look up the
behavioral effects while somebody is actually being exposed to sulfone radiation. you could look at the effects on the immune system or things of that nature but the thing we are most concerned about is chronic effects, long term after long-term use and thinks that may take many years to develop. a lot of the epidemiology studies that have been done, the phone studies for example suffer from the weakness is all of the purpose of an sec knowledge with respect to the fact they rely on recalls how much one uses the telephone. they rely on -- this in fact introduces by a cs in these retrospective case control studies. the other major problem with epidemiological studies at this point is as you mentioned in the opening remarks there has only been ten or 12 years of exposure
to these agents, and it is increasing dramatically. and there have been hints recently there is an increase in brain cancer and the people who have used these cellular communication devices for a number of years. >> thank you very much, doctor. i want to yield down. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you had mentioned children. what are the considerations with respect to an additional potential risk for children using so cell phones? >> yes, what was the question, i am sorry. >> what is the potential additional risk for children and using cell phones? i've written a letter to give you a little help that the brain
formation is early stages raise additional susceptibilities or something to that. >> i think with respect to many exposures to many agents as we study more and more agents and look at different life stages where these agents are being exposed to children or animals -- >> how about children? is there significant risk? i have got five [inaudible] >> children have a configuration of the skulls that does allow penetration of cilluffo and mediation de per -- >> are you say there is potentially greater risk? >> i am saying there is potentially greater risk. >> what limitations if any if parents are watching this on c-span what should they do? >> i wish i had a good answer to that.
>> would there be a precautionary approach? i understand some of the foreign countries are recommending that there be a limitation. is that true? >> yes. >> would you recommend that? >> i don't think that we are in the position to make that recommendation. .. >> items like the bluetooth reduce the exposure. >> could you continue with this so that we could've won the public with something more
precise, and could you give us something more definitive? there is a $24 million study that is under way, is this adequate to be conducted by the federal agency? >> this study will address one of the aspects of the research program, and this will be a state of the art study. we will answer the questions to the best of the ability of this technology. >> will there be studies on humans from the united states? >> i will suggest that there should be studies. yes. i believe -- >> would you give the subcommittee a recommendation of what sort of studies you would recommend for humans and the cost? >> i could do that. i can't do that now. i could do that. >> tomorrow?
i know you can't do that now, but do it as soon as you can? >> okay. >> private companies have made contributions to your -- some of the studies, it's my understanding. are you aware of that and to what extent private companies are helping? >> yes. to some extent. i know there have been some studies that have looked at the literature with respect to who is funding particular investigators. and the one study i recall indicated that 20% of the papers published from studies do acknowledge that there is funding from private -- >> well, studies, but you look at the literature doesn't go too far. is there research being done that is to be put in the current
literature? >> that's a scenario that is difficult to answer. >> cue study that stumpage -- stumpage and -- subject and give us a written response? >> i will. >> i notice in the briefing materials that cell phones should not be used in areas where reception is weak or blocked, such as elevators and trains. is that so? and if so, why? >> the power that is required to reach the cell base station is higher in those situations, therefore there's mow radio frequency radiation transmitted. >> on the elevator my cell phone conks out. is there more frequency? >> i believe that's the case because the cell phone is trying to reach the extension.
>> the red light came on. would you give us a more definitive answer to that as to exactly what is involved and why there ought to be extra precautions are in those circumstances in an elevator. >> i will. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for your leadership on this. dr. bucher, let me ask. how long witness -- will it take you to do your analysis? >> it will be taking place in 2013 and we will be reporting in 2014. >> why that long? >> there's a three year period of team that animals are exposed, and then it takes time to examine. >> will there be any preliminary
numbers? >> it's a three-phase study and there will be information available from the first two stages earlier than that about they won't be definitive respect to outcomes such as cancers. >> do you know if wireless phones were tested before they came on the market? how much testing was done or not done? >> with respect to health,-related testing? i do not know the answer to that. >> i think there would be a lot of people that would be curious about that to know if anything was done. my sense is that there are people who have very strong suspicions.this, but i think we need to look closely at the science and look at the studies, and i appreciate your efforts.
their other studies going on, either in this country or around the world that you're aware of? >> there are many studies still going on around the world. >> in other words, yours woken be -- won't be the first. >> i'm sure there are. >> are they going on in the u.s. or other countries? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. dr. bucher -- i left my cell phone someplace. i have one of these. from a professional standpoint, we know the science is not quite definitive yet. we know what the weight of it is. if i have cell phone and i was going to talk on it like this,
or if i could use this device here, which i plug into it, and then put this in my ear like this and hold this away from me and i could talk here in my little microphone here, in your advice, which would be best for me to do? >> my understanding is that the position that you're holding the phone now is preferrable to up against your head. >> preferrable to holding it to your ear. so you would advice people, as a precaution, if they can do this, it would be better to have a device like this? >> as i understand it, yes. >> now, as opposed to blue tooth. blue tooth is an electronic device and it still receives the
electromagnetic low frequency radiation. would this be better than blue tooth? >> i do not own a blue tooth. >> that is not blue tooth. this is i was under the assumption this was what you were describing. >> that is something you can receive without any connection whatsoever. and therefore you would still get the radio frequency, right near your head, even when you talk in the microphone. you get the transmission very close to your brain, and on this, and is down here, quite a ways away. you would say that this would be preferable, to use that kind of device.
i will ask this question to the other panelists to come up, and i will see what they have to say. thank you very much. we will have to move on. thank you for your expert testimony. thank you. we will now call the second panel, the big panel, and i will introduce them, and they will come up and take their seats accordingly. dr. the first told professorships in china and the university of helsinki. he has lectured on the topic of mobile phones across the world and has sponsored two world health organization workshops on this issue. dr. sedetzki, not bad.
the head of the department and the leader of the cancer unit in israel, this is affiliated with tel aviv university. with a master's of public health from the hebrew university in jerusalem. she wrote the guidelines for the usage of cellular phones in adults and children. guidelines. and we have a senior management scientist, an engineering and scientific consulting firm. she has 30 years of experience in environmental epidemiology and health risk assessment, earned he ph.d in epidemiology from the university of oklahoma, and an ms in biostatistics.
dr. debra davis is a professor of epidemiology at the university of pittsburgh graduate school of public health. she got a ph.d in science studies the university of chicago. she served on numerous governmental and international advisory boards and wrote a book, quote, the secret history of the war on cancer. end quote. and lastly, dr. olga naidenko. a senior scientist at the environmental working group, a washington, dc based nonprofit organization. was the lead author on the report issued last week by the environmental working group on the topic of cell phone radiation. we welcome all of you here.
we will start with dr. leszczynski. five to seven minutes, something like that. i'm sure we would like to get into a discussion with each of you, and your staples -- statements will be made part of the record. please proceed. >> thank you for inviting me to this important hearing on topic of great concern to all of us. i am a professor at the university in china and ajunk professor of biochemistry. i would like also to thank the
people who made it possible for me to participate in this hearing. i have been working doing basically research in the field of biological and effects of mobile phones for the past ten years. the findings of my research group suggest that the mobile phone radiation -- these findings do not prove there exists a hazard. my institution has issued two advisories for mobile phone users. the first advisory in 2004, was a part of the advisory that included finland, sweden, denmark, norway and iceland. we had an advisory on children using mobile phones.
children are of special concern because of their developing brain, also studies from industry suggest that children's brain is more exposed to radiation than adult brain when using cell phone. both advisories point out the uncertainty of the scientific evidence and the need for precaution in the use of mobile phones. the intention of both advisories is not to discourage people from using the mobile phone technology. however, they remind us that there are still large gaps in the knowledge of the mobile phone radiation effects on humans. they currently have high level scientific evidence about the radiation emitted by mobile phones is contradictory. in edition investigation there are both studies showing the
effect and studies showing no effect. i would like to refer you to my recent statement. in the present situation of the scientific uncertainty, the statements that the use of mobile phones is safe are premature. if i may repeat it, to make it certain that in the present situation of the scientific uncertainty, the statement that in use of mobile phones is safe are premature. in my opinion, the current safety standards are not supported by scenes because of the needed -- by science because of the need for research of effects on children and long-term use in humans. this uncertainty is also cause for further research.
the studies -- we need a new direction in the research. we need international, well-designed, comprehensive, molecular level studies. these studies should be aimed at proving or disproving whether human body response to mobile phone radiation. in spite of years of research, we still do not have the answer to this basic question. however, research finds in this area is a major problem. continuous assurances there's no health recollection coming from standard sitting committees and the funding agencies are reluctant to fund new research. for many years, the way mobile foam research because the funding was available there. research community is hoping
that u.s. will begin get more involved in this much-needed research by providing necessary funding. in the meantime, why waiting for the new research, because of the existing scientific uncertainty, it's wise to support the use of precautionary measures in everyday use of mobile phones in order to, whenever reasonably possible, limit the body exposure to mobile phone radiation. thank you for your attention. i wait for your questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony. dr. please proceed. >> i'm greatly honored to be -- >> please punch -- >> i'm sorry. >> i'm greatly honored to testify at this important hearing on a subject which affects a substantial proportion of the world population and which has great importance for
public health. my recent testimony, i am a physician, board-certified in epidemiology and public health. i am the director of the cancers epidemiology unit. i am involved in research and i advice the chief director of health on radiation and cancer. i'm engaged in studies on brain cancer funded by the european community. for over ten years i have been participating in research on the recollection of tumors associated with cell phones. initially as the principal investigator, and currently i am involved in another study founded by the e. u. on cell phone use by children.
in 2008 we published findings suggesting a risk of salivary gland tumors in people who had used cell phones, and when use was relatively heavy. the administer of health adopted the precautionary principle that briefly says, better safe than sorry. i publish evidence recommendations for several simple and low-cost measure. this is very important, very simple and very low-cost that should be taken to reduce exposure. i believe that the clever engineers out there in the industry can very easily find creative solutions to that. these measure include speakers, ear phones, hands-free devices when driving, and as you have seep before, the use of cell phone -- restricted use of cell phones in areas where the
signals weak. we have proof that the children population is susceptible to carcinogenic effects, and studies have been published in other countries. now, our findings are in line with some other studies of brain and acoustic -- the nerves that control hearing that demonstrated an increased risk of more than ten years of use and use on the same side of the head as the tumor. however, there is a debate among scientists -- this is where we are today -- whether these are true and those specifically. i also appreciate the issues. i suspect the result but i respect the results primarily the result that we have. i would like to explain one important point which
illustrates the importance of the existing data. at least ten years is the time needed for cancer studies. in the case of brain tumors it may reach 30 to 40 years. for example, the atomic bomb were the first report demonstrating brain tumors among survivors aren't published not 1994, 50 years later. it began to show in the 60s since wide-spread cell phone used started in the 1990s, the study is only as long as ten years. which is not enough time. since then the amount of time people spend on cell phone has increased dramatically. additional research is needed.
the united states has always been a leader in medical research, your making this a high priority would advance studies in this field. and it's essential -- this is very important not to invent the wheel but to learn from the past experience. there are now four billion people using this technology, including children. consequently, even if a small risk exists, the great number of users could result in great damage. until definite answers are available, some public health measures with special emphasis on children should be instituted. preventive steps for other technology such as driving provide a good example. we all use cars, but in order to reduce the risk of accident, legislation was passed concerning the use of seat belts, air bags, minimum age of driving, speed limits. i think it's exactly the same
thing. i believe that cell phone technology which has many advantages is here to stay. however, the question, as far as i am concerned -- the question that needs to be answered is not whether we should use cell phones but how we should use them. and that is very easy to address, i it is my hope that these issues will require you to promote research and take action to make certain of the safe and responsible use of cellular phones. i would like to thank the man who invited me here, and i would like to thank you for your attention on this issue. >> thank you very much for coming a great distance and thank you for your testimony. we will move to dr. linda [unintelligible] welcome and proceed with your testimony. >>oo