Static: Wednesday, April 24, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Lost Archives

State Rep. Lon Burnam’s office called Fort Worth Weekly last week seeking archival articles about DynCorp, a private contractor with headquarters in Fort Worth that sends many of its 26,000 employees on overseas missions. DynCorp was acquired by Computer Sciences Corporation in March, making the combined organization the country’s third-largest federal information technology contractor and a top ten U.S. Department of Defense contractor.

Burnam had heard DynCorp was tapped to send police officers to Iraq, and he recalled the numerous Weekly articles about the company, beginning with a cover story [“To Bosnia, With Lust,” Dec. 6, 2001] describing how DynCorp employees, including police officers, frequented brothels and purchased sex slaves during a U.N. mission to Bosnia. There was no need to call Fort Worth Star-Telegram — their archival system shows that the daily merely retypes the occasional feel-good press releases provided to them by DynCorp.

The May/June issue of Mother Jones reported that private military contractors such as DynCorp and Halliburton (Dick Cheney’s old employer) maintain “platoons of lobbyists in Washington and have donated $12.4 million to federal elections campaigns since 1999.” Mother Jones mentioned a potential hazard of hiring private security firms: “In 1996, DynCorp was contracted to fly helicopters for international peacekeepers in Liberia. But when rebels stormed Moravia, shooting people and burning homes, DynCorp pulled its helicopters out, leaving employees of the company that had hired them to fend for themselves.”

Hmm, human trafficking and cowardice.

A person might think the Star-Telegram would be interested in looking at a billion-dollar company with headquarters in its own backyard (the big shiny building east of Ridgmar Mall on Interstate 30) that is embroiled in whistleblower lawsuits and international controversy and is being scrutinized by media the world over, including The Washington Post and the New York Times. .... Nahhhh.

Playing it Safe

Nolan Catholic High School enjoys a reputation for athletic and academic achievement. But some jocks apparently have let their muscles go to their heads, threatening, intimidating, and even attacking other students. Earlier this month, Static was told, one scholarship-winning soccer player hit a member of the school’s jazz band, claiming the musician had “grabbed his ass.” The athlete allegedly knocked the musician down and then kicked him repeatedly. Another student overheard the soccer player and another athlete bragging about the beating. School officials responded by suspending the soccer player and the musician for a day. Nolan public relations manager Richard Escovedo said student records are private, but that school safety “is our highest priority.” He said he doesn’t believe star athletes are protected, but that if students “let” the bullying happen without reporting it, “the dean’s office can’t stop them.” Oooh, pro-active attitude there, Nolan.


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