SAN DIEGO — A Department of Defense employee who oversaw construction contracts at Camp Pendleton used his position to extort bribes from businesses seeking to work on the California Marine Corps base, federal prosecutors said Monday.Natividad Lara Cervantes was arrested Thursday after authorities say he accepted $10,000 of a $40,000 bribe offered by a witness working with federal agents, said Daphne Hearn, the special agent in charge of the FBI's San Diego office. Read More
When considering why President Barack Obama performed so poorly in comparison to Mitt Romney at Wednesday’s presidential debate, one should note that Romney has had plenty of recent debate practice in the Republican primary. But those debates also gave the Obama team a potential advantage: a record of Romney’s statements about current issues that Obama could be ready to challenge, fact-check and use as fodder for seemingly spontaneous one-liners. Read More
An international shipping company has agreed to pay $31.9 million to the U.S. government to resolve a federal lawsuit in San Francisco alleging that the company overcharged under contracts supporting U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.Maersk Line Limited was alleged to have inflated its invoices to the Department of Defense for the transport of thousands of containers from ports to inland destinations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read More
What: Just 34 percent of senior U.S. noncommissioned and commissioned officers making at least $50,000 per year said that they are very confident of their military retirement funding.How: The congressional supercommittee’s failure to reduce the deficit could trigger $500 billion in Department of Defense spending cuts. And a high-level DOD panel is looking at switching the military retirement system to riskier 401(k) plans. Read More
When San Francisco school board members voted last fall to let students choose whether their information goes into a military recruiting database, they didn’t expect a call from the Department of Defense. But after months hashing out legal language with military lawyers, board members say a revised resolution they will vote on next month should be airtight. Read More
The No. 2 official at the Pentagon announced on Thursday that he is stepping down.
Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III is leaving his position "to return to private life," according to the Department of Defense. The move didn't come as a surprise, and it opens the door for newly-appointed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to select a new second-in-command. Read More
Back then, $1 billion was big money. Yet, the Military Aviation Appropriations Act of 1917 and two subsequent bills passed with almost no debate. It was virtually a blank check to buy an air armada to fight World War I. The New York Times hailed the legislation, predicting that America would have “such an air fleet as the world has never known.” The battlefield skies would be flooded with thousands of American planes. Read More
White House officials are concerned that releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden’s bloodied body could be “inflammatory” and invite a violent backlash from the al Qaeda leader’s supporters, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
“It’s fair to say that it’s a gruesome photograph,” Carney said. White House officials are deciding whether hard evidence of the killing would serve a purpose beyond the harm it could cause “not just domestically, but globally,” Carney said. Read More
In his budget speech last week, President Barack Obama directed Defense Secretary Robert Gates to terminate more than $300 billion in weapons programs, including the F-22 Raptor, the world’s most capable aircraft, and the Army’s Future Combat Systems family of vehicles. Read More
When Boeing was caught red-handed in 2003 cheating on its bid for a lucrative Air Force deal, you might have expected the federal government to punish the giant defense contractor to send a message that such dishonest behavior is not tolerated. Read More