Who killed Jim Kitterman?

Cross posted at the Missing Man

If you ask me, it's awfully convenient ... to pin the murder on a man who was dead. - Peter

The Abduction and Murder of Jim Kitterman

According to a security alert, on May 21, 2009, contractor Jim Kitterman, 60, was said to have been abducted just after leaving a shop in the International Zone in Baghdad. On the following day, May 22, Kitterman's body was found. He was reported as blindfolded with his hands bound, stabbed twice in the heart with his throat slit, his body "bundled in a plastic bag and dumped in a lot less than a mile from the contractors' residence" [1]. In contradiction, it was also reported he was found in his car.

It's worth noting that conflicting details of the basic who, what, where, when, and why are an ongoing theme in the reporting of the abduction and murder of Jim Kitterman.

Contractor found murdered in Iraq

The body of contractor Jim Kitterman, 60, of Houston, Texas, was found Friday in the Green Zone after being reported missing the evening before. According to news reports, he was found bound and blindfolded, stabbed multiple times, with his throat slit.

Below is a very strange passage taken from the Washington Post which leaves you wondering what is being left out:

Injured Iraq Contractors Struggle for Care

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-04-17 19:05:32 -0500. -- GH

A great new series of articles and investigations from T. Christian Miller, author of Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq, on the failure of the Defense Base Act to provide care for injured contractors after they return from Iraq.

Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers
By T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times - April 16, 2009

Civilian contractors died like soldiers. They were injured like soldiers. But back home, the U.S. government consigned the wounded and their families to a private insurance system that shunted them to substandard treatment and delayed their care as they suffered from devastating injuries, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, ABC News and ProPublica has found.

Injured war zone contractors fight to get care
By T. Christian Miller and Doug Smith Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2009

Civilian workers who suffered devastating injuries while supporting the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to a grinding battle for basic medical care, artificial limbs, psychological counseling and other services.

Bailed-Out AIG Pampers Execs While Denying, Delaying Claims of Contractors Injured in Iraq
By Brian Ross and Avni Patel, ABC News, April 17, 2009

Insurance giant AIG, the same company that rewarded its executives with millions in bonuses and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a spa retreat at an exclusive California resort and private jets, has been nickel and diming employees of private contractors injured in Iraq, with a pattern of denying and delaying their claims, a joint investigation between 20/20, the Los Angeles Times and the non-profit group ProPublica has found.


CENTCOM Contractors - new data

The Program Support website for the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Logisitics and Materiel Readiness) is now publishing a general overview of data of the numbers of contractors in CENTCOM's Area of Operations (AOR). See the page for Hot Topics Data is as of December 31, 2008. Please note: the data is not as comprehensive as that recieved by ePluribus Media in response to its FOIA requests - which are listed at the end of this post. 

General Description

Contractor Support of U.S. Operations in USCENTCOM AOR, IRAQ, and Afghanistan - February 2009

CONTRACTOR SUPPORT OF U.S. OPERATIONS IN USCENTCOM AOR, IRAQ, AND AFGHANISTAN BACKGROUND: This update reports DoD contractor personnel numbers in theater and outlines DoD efforts to improve management of contractors accompanying U.S. forces. It covers DoD contractor personnel deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) as of December 31, 2008.

Contractor killed in Iraq

Michael Romain, 48, a communications specialist for General Dynamics at Fort Hood in Texas was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the vehicle he was riding in on Monday December 1, 2008 in Iraq. He had only recently gone to Iraq for the third time and was due back home on December 13th. He was married with two sons and two step-children. Romain previously served in the military.

In related news, the Associated Press recently reported casualty figures for contractors in Iraq:

Deaths of civilian employees of U.S. government contractors as of Sept 30, 2008: 1,264



Local contractor killed in Iraq
by Bryan Kirk, Temple Daily Telegraph, December 3, 2008

Thoughts on losing a loving father
by Bryan Kirk, Temple Daily Telegraph, December 4, 2008

Iraq: Key figures since the war began
Julie Reed and Rhonda Shafner, Associated Press, December 1, 2008

Class Action Suit Filed against KBR - casualties result of poor training

The law firm involved is very small and has never filed a class action suit before. The focus of the suit is very narrow according to the attorney, "Our claims are specifically for Americans put into situations where they were put at risk by lack of training, and the failure of their supervisors to handle that issue." Their client alleges KBR failed to provide adequate training. He lost the use of his hand when his co-worker mis-operated the wreckers machinery, crushing his hand in the mechanism.

The suit lists KBR and 9 subsidiaries it uses to pay contractors.

This lawsuit is worth keeping an eye on.

Contractor Killed in Iraq

Louisville man is killed in Iraq
By Sheldon S. Shafer, May 4, 2008

Jim Lockard, a civil engineer from Louisville working for a contractor overseeing the rebuilding of Iraqi schools and hospitals, was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, his wife [Maria] said. [...] The couple have two daughters, Danielle, 16, and Nicole, 13, "who were his life," his wife said.

Lockard, 46, worked for Louis Berger Group.

Iraq Contractor: Remains identified as Jonathon Cote

A message on the blog run by the family of missing civilian contractor Jonathan Cote.

Press Conference to be held by the family of deceased U. S. Army Veteran, Jonathon Michael Cote’ who was a contractor in Iraq when he was kidnapped on November 16, 2006

At this hour, the Cote family has been notified by U. S. Officials that positive identification of the 6th body returned from Iraq was subsequently identified at Dover Air Force Base. The remains are of Jonathon Michael Cote’. The autopsy results have not yet been provided to the family.

Jonathon Cote of Getzville, New York was kidnapped on November 16, 2006 with four other men from Crescent Security Group who have since been found dead. Jonathon Cote's severed finger was one of 5 delivered to the US military in Iraq.

Jonathon Cote was 25 years old.

Sincere condolences to his friends and family.

Body Recovered in Basra

A message on the blog run by the family of missing civilian contractor Jonathan Cote.

U.S. Officials visit Jon’s family today as a 6th body has been recovered in the Basra area of Southern Iraq

April 19, 2008

We were visited today by U.S. Officials today who told us that a 6th body has been recovered in the Basra area of Southern Iraq. The body will be flown to Dover Air Force Base just as the 5 other bodies of US Citizens recovered in March. There the body will be identified and an autopsy will be performed.

Jonathon Cote of Getzville, New York was kidnapped on November 16, 2006 with four other men from Crescent Security Group who have since been found dead. Jonathon Cote's severed finger was one of 5 delivered to the US military in Iraq.