Yet even after he made it out of Castor, his ties to these backwoods remained strong. The congregation at New Friendship Baptist Church celebrated his last promotion with a parade. At his sons’ baptism, he told fellow worshipers that he hoped to instill in his children the values he had wrested from hardship.SHOCKING!!!!
Less than 24 hours later Major Cockerham was behind bars, accused of orchestrating the largest single bribery scheme against the military since the start of the Iraq war. According to the authorities, the 41-year-old officer, with his wife and a sister, used an elaborate network of offshore bank accounts and safe deposit boxes to hide nearly $10 million in bribes from companies seeking military contracts.
The accusations against Major Cockerham are tied to a crisis of corruption inside the behemoth bureaucracy that sustains America’s troops. Pentagon officials are investigating some $6 billion in military contracts, most covering supplies as varied as bottled water, tents and latrines for troops in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
But when tens of thousands of soldiers began pouring through Kuwait, Mr. Young said in an interview, his agency was forced to entrust nearly $4 billion over the next four years to what he described as a B team of civilians and military officers with limited contracting experience. It was a setting flush with money, he said, but lacking the safeguards to prevent contracting officials from taking it.
Pages of the affidavits in United States District Court in San Antonio involving Major Cockerham read like scenes from a spy novel. They allege that unidentified businesspeople carried hundreds of thousands of dollars in shopping bags, delivering the money to Mrs. Cockerham as she played courier in the Middle East with her three small children, while her husband kept coded records of a mounting fortune.
[ cf Graft in Military Contracts Spread From Base (emphasis mine) ]
JUST SHOCKING that the NYT would be covering the corruption of American Troops...
Well at least it is not like we can blame the best and the brightest any more...
Should we note that this is rooted in San Antonio... or would that be merely piling on here???