The Whistleblower

The Whistleblower

Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman's Fight for Justice

Book - 2011
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When Nebraska police officer and divorced mother of three Kathryn Bolkovac saw a recruiting announcement for private military contractor DynCorp International, she applied and was hired. Good money, world travel, and the chance to help rebuild a war-torn country sounded like the perfect job. Bolkovac was shipped out to Bosnia, where DynCorp had been contracted to support the UN peacekeeping mission. She was assigned as a human rights investigator, heading the gender affairs unit. The lack ofproper training provided sounded the first alarm bell, but once she arrived in Sarajevo, she found out that things were a lot worse. At great risk to her personal safety, she began to unravel the ugly truth about officers involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution and their connections to private mercenary contractors, the UN, and the U.S. State Department. After bringing this evidence to light, Bolkovac was demoted, felt threatened with bodily harm, was fired, and ultimately forced to flee the country under cover of darkness--bringing the incriminating documents with her. Thanks to the evidence she collected, she won a lawsuit against DynCorp, finally exposing them for what they had done. This is her story and the story of the women she helped achieve justice for.

Publisher: New York : Palgrave Macmillan, ©2011.
ISBN: 9780230115224
0230115225
Characteristics: vii, 240 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations, map, portraits ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Lynn, Cari - Author

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StarGladiator
Jan 09, 2014

A great and necessary book, but must take exception to some of the criticism of commenter, baldand, as the author was a cop, albeit with a forensic science background, not a linguistic scholar nor culture specialist. Items of further interest: Dyncorp was later purchased by Robert McKeon's private equity firm, Veritas Capital. McKeon made a number of remarkable investments in the defense industry just prior to 9/11/01, and also owned the subsidiary, Raytheon Aerospace (they later changed the name before selling it again) which had a number of developers of remote piloting hardware/software aboard several of those airliners involved with the horrendous events of 9/11/01. A year or so ago, Robert McKeon committed suicide by "strangling himself" (?????) in his $5 million dollar mansion. Several days later, an administrator in a defense unit once owned by Veritas Capital, now called BAE Information Systems, killed his wife and two sons, then killed himself. His wife, several days prior, had told co-workers at the defense company she worked at (Blackbird Technologies), that her husband was troubled by something he had uncovered at his company (he was merging the classified files of the purchased Veritas Capital company with their own files). The news attributed this horrible event to a past of mental illness, and that could very well be the case, but the confluence of events is curious? (This book plus the drugged gang rape of a woman worker by KBR personnel in Iraq, is indicative of what a lawless land America is today. The courts find in favor of the private military companies, although federal law states that any contractor for the American government is subject to American law!)

K_ROK Feb 07, 2013

This was a great book to read as the events that unfold within Bolkovac's story was very unsettling. The corruption that she uncovers within the UN and military contractors is a real eye opener as to how the United States tax payers are supporting such a corrupt system with no idea. I reccomend this book as real insight to what really happens in war torn countries when the Unites States goes in to "clean up the mess."

b
baldand
Apr 24, 2012

This is a scary story about the corruption that prevailed at private military contractor DynCorp International as part of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). As Kathryn Bolkovac makes clear, DynCorp condoned gross misconduct on the part of its personnel, including collaboration with human traffickers and exploitation of their female victims. It only got tough with whistleblowers like Bolkovac, who was fired from her job and has been unable to find police work since.
People like me who read the book because they are interested in the former Yugoslavia will be somewhat let down by the book. The place names in BiH are generally correctly written in the latinica, with the appropriate diacritics, but there are baffling exceptions, like “Visegrád” for “Višegrad”. A woman who is obviously named Dragana is called Dragona.
More seriously, Bolkovac offers only a cartoon view of the wars that led to the UN Mission to BiH, demonizing the Serbs. Perhaps this can be attributed to her Croatian roots, but these roots cannot explain her hagiographic treatment of that devious Islamist, Ilija Izetbegović, the president of BiH during the War of Independence.
Bolkovac seems to be quite uncurious about the administrative arrangements in BiH where she did such splendid work. She notes that Brčko is a major centre for human trafficking, speaking vaguely of its ethnic conflicts without even mentioning that it is the only town assigned neither to the Republika Srpska, the Bosnian Serb entity, nor to the Muslim-Croat Federation. The Republika Srpska makes only a single appearance in the book, as I recall, when Bolkovac mentions Republika Srpska radio broadcasts regarding raids on brothels in Prijedor, which is a city in Republika Srpska. The Muslim-Croat Federation doesn’t seem to be mentioned at all.
She mentions that a beautiful ethnic Albanian girl with parents in Kosovo who had been trafficked had documents neither for the state of Albania nor for the state of Serbia. However, Kosovo was legally still a province of Serbia at the time and her parents resided in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I suspect that if she had no papers it was because her family, like so many others, were illegal immigrants in Kosovo. Any Albanian papers that she might have had were destroyed and she had never acquired any Yugoslav documents.

s
sat_a2z
May 10, 2011

Recommended as a readable, informative book about corruption, human trafficking and abuse in the military contracts controlled by the UN and others. The suffering it inflicts.

Bolkovac also breaks the "female stereotype" with her physical strength and moral determination.

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