The Wogosphere:

My vote goes to CSC/ DynCorp

The world's premier rent-a-cop business runs the security show in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the US-Mexico border. They also run the coca crop-dusting business in Colombia, and occasional sex trafficking sorties in Bosnia. But what can you expect from a bunch of mercenaries?

CEO: Van Honeycutt
Military contracts 2005: $2.8 billion

note: CSC sold DynCorp in January 2005

...

The company is not short on controversy. Under the Plan Colombia contract, the company has 88 aircraft and 307 employees - 139 of them American - flying missions to eradicate coca fields in Colombia. Soldier of Fortune magazine once ran a cover story on DynCorp, proclaiming it "Colombia's Coke-Bustin' Broncos."

US Rep. Janice Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, told Wired magazine that hiring a private company to fly what amounts to combat missions is asking for trouble. DynCorp's employees have a history of behaving like cowboys," Schakowsky noted. "Is the US military privatizing its missions to avoid public controversy or to avoid embarrassment - to hide body bags from the media and shield the military from public opinion?" she asked.

Indeed a group of Ecuadoran peasants filed a class action against the company in September 2001. The suit alleges that herbicides spread by DynCorp in Colombia were drifting across the border, withering legitimate crops, causing human and livestock illness, and, in several cases, killing children. Assistant Secretary of State Rand Beers intervened in the case right away telling the judge the lawsuit posed "a grave risk to US national security and foreign policy objectives."

...

Aug 6, 2002 | Two former employees of DynCorp, the government contracting powerhouse, have won legal victories after charging that the $2 billion-a-year firm fired them when they complained that co-workers were involved in a Bosnia sex-slave trade.

The court actions -- one in the United Kingdom, the other in Fort Worth, Texas -- suggest that the company did not move aggressively enough when reports of sexual misconduct among its employees began to emerge in 1999. The tribunal in the U.K. found that DynCorp employee Kathryn Bolkovac "acted reasonably," but that the company did not.

...

April 29, 2008

Some explosive testimony this afternoon from a panel of whistleblowers testifying before the Senate's Democratic Policy Committee on contractor abuse in Iraq.

A contractor died when a DynCorp manager used an employee's armored car to transport prostitutes, according to Barry Halley, a Worldwide Network Services employee working under a DynCorp subcontract.

"DynCorp's site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was travelling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission. I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor's manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad."

...

Let's do some parsing here. We have a company that has a vested interest in keeping Colombia, Iraq and Afghanistan permanently in a state of war, because that's when security, drug and sex trades flourish, and DynCorp is involved in all of them one way or another. The only thing they haven't been caught doing is straight up drug sales, but that wouldn't be a surprise either, considering that Rudy Giuliani's friend Bernie Kerik's tour as a police trainer in Baghdad mostly centered around closing whorehouses and arresting prostitutes. Maybe he was just cleaning the streets for the DynCorp-owned sex slaves that were being brought in from Kuwait, and drug and uncontrolled sex trade usually go together.



ventisette:

Time to call out Australia's James Hardie. Manufactured asbestos products, and the manufacturing processes exposed its workers to asbestos dust. They continued to do so even after discovering the connection between asbestos dust and mesothelioma. Led to a series of people (including people later on who worked around the material, in construction etc.) contracting cancer and dying.

Faced with a mother of a class-action lawsuit when documents came out proving that Hardie knew that asbestos caused cancer, Hardie sought to relocate its HQ to Netherlands to avoid liability.

Utter bastards.



Ideologue:

Chiquita/United Fruit.

My Grandpa actually worked for these bastards, and they treated him like shit (he was a white Scottish man). They would try and screw him over on pay, refuse to pay bonuses, make it difficult for him to take any time off, make him go down to banana plantations all over South America/The Caribbean with little to no warning for months at a time etc etc. There's a bunch of other stuff, but that's just his exeriance, here's how the company acted/acts towards the rest of the world:

First of all, the term "banana republic" literally refers to countries in South America or the Caribbean who were ruled by corrupt officials who were bought off by the banana companies. This meant that they enjoyed a monopoly on all land that was suitable for growing bananas in the region,

One of the company's primary tactics for maintaining market dominance was to control the distribution of banana lands. [United Fruit Company] claimed that hurricanes, blight and other natural threats required them to hold extra land or reserve land. In practice, what this meant was that UFCO was able to prevent the government from distributing banana lands to peasants who wanted a share of the banana trade

In the case of Guatemala, the democratically elected government was overthrown by the C.I.A. due to a combination of lobbying from the UFCO and anti-communist fears (of course the UFCO claimed the government was going to join the Soviets, when in reality they were implementing policies inspired by America's New Deal). It is also convenient to note that the Guatemalan government was trying to buy back all the unused reserve land and thus strip UFCO of its monopoly.

I won't get into as much detail for the rest of the shit they've done, but they've forcefully broken up unions, were accused of pressuring the Colombians to shoot striking workers in the banana massacre (which was one of the triggers for sending Colombia into a 10 year period of violence known as "La Violencia"), knowingly exposed workers to pesticides which caused sterilization, and frequently used child labour.

Being evil didn't end when they changed their name to Chiquita though, and they are facing lawsuits for pretty much all the same shit up to this day.


One of the most prominent scandals is their funding/bribing of leftist and rightist rebels in Colombia.

A reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer did a huge expose on Chiquita, that was about a lot of what I've talked about above (turns out he hacked into their voicemail boxes), but him and the paper were sued and he got his ass kicked out the door. Here's all the articles he wrote, which Chiquita have never denied as being untrue.

My grandma blames the stress that UFCO put on my Grandpa for his heart attack that killed him, so I probably won't ask her for pictures (even though she supposedly has quite a few, but she is still very bitter about the whole thing). But seriously, fuck Chiquita fuck banana companies, and fuck Dole who are just as bad for good measure.

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