July 18, 2007, - 12:40 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Not too long ago, I wrote about the pandering visit to Muslim extremists, paid by Central Command official and David Letterman look-alike, Brigadier General Robert Holmes. He said the military wanted to get more Muslims involved. We constantly hear that from all branches of our Armed Forces, who heavily recruit from that community (usually to little success).
Several Muslim soldiers have turned out to be traitors and have even tried to murder fellow soldiers and share information on troop movements with Al-Qaeda.
Now there is the latest–the story of Megde “Mike” Ismail, a Michigan native and contractor with the U.S. Army. He’s been investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and tried to skim more than $800,000 in kickbacks and bribes. Shame on the infidel Army man, Major John Cockerham, who was in on his Mid-East style scheme. But at least he is facing justice and cooperating. Not the case with fugitive Ismail:
In the desert where water can be priceless, a Michigan resident and an Army major hoped to skim more than $800,000 in kickbacks and bribes for fixing contracts to sell bottled water to the American military in Kuwait and Iraq, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents claimed Tuesday in federal court filings in Detroit.
Agents said that while 30-year-old Megde (Mike) Ismail showed a briefcase crammed with $300,00 in kickback cash at a 2005 clandestine meeting in a Kuwaiti parking lot, Major John Cockerham never collected on the deal because he feared that ATM security cameras would record him withdrawing the money back in the United States.
The scheme and others that Cockerham said totaled $7 million from military contractors were part of federal court filings in Detroit to forfeit $172,109 seized from a Bank of America account said to have been opened by Ismail.
No criminal charges have been filed and federal authorities declined to comment. Efforts to contact Ismail — believed to be a Wayne resident and who may now be in Kuwait — were unsuccessful. Cockerham, now believed to be a civilian, did not respond to phone messages left at his home in San Antonio, Texas.
According to the court filings, Cockerham identified Ismail from a passport photo. The filings also say that Ismail is an American citizen from Michigan who’s worked for several military contractors in Kuwait.
Defense Department agents raided Cockerham’s home last year and he was said to have admitted that he took more than $7 million in bribes from military contractors while he was procurement officer in Kuwait. One of those deals, agents said, called for him to get a 10% payoff of a contract for bottled water.
Ismail came to a meeting in a parking lot outside a military base in Kuwait with $300,000 cash as his first payment, Cockerham told investigators. Cockerham said that he and Ismail planned to get as much as $800,000 each in the water deal, but the major was concerned about getting the money back to the United States.
Tags: al-Qaeda, American military, Army major, ATM, Bank of America, Brigadier, Brigadier General, Central Command, contractor, David Letterman, Debbie Schlussel, Department of Defense, Detroit, Iraq, John Cockerham, Kuwait, Major, Megde (Mike) Ismail, Michigan, military contractors, official, procurement officer, Robert Holmes, San Antonio, Texas, United States, United States Army, USD