SpyTalk columnist Jeff Stein is a longtime investigative reporter specializing in U.S. intelligence, defense and foreign policy issues. Until late 2009 he worked at Congressional Quarterly, where he launched the online CQ/Homeland Security daily, served as National Security editor and created SpyTalk. Then he got downsized. We’re glad to see that SpyTak has found a new home at WaPo.
See below his recent post about Kyrgyzstan and a former US defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek:
Ex-Army intelligence officer focus of Kyrgyz corruption probes
A former U.S. Army intelligence colonel has emerged as the focus of investigations into corruption in Kyrgyzstan, the Central Asian host to an American air base and hub of fuel supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Charles “Chuck” Squires is a former defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Squires formed a company that, despite having no track record in logistics, was awarded a sole-source contract to supply fuel to U.S. aircraft at the Manas base, according to congressional testimony and an investigation by The Nation magazine.
“A graduate of the Russian studies program at Harvard University, Squires appears to enjoy excellent rapport with American diplomats and military officers and good relations with senior figures in Kyrgyzstan, including President Bakiyev’s son Maksim, in whose company I have previously observed Squires at Bishkek’s Hyatt Regency Hotel,” Scott Horton, an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School told a House Oversight subcommittee hearing on Thursday.
Squires’s Red Star Enterprises, and another firm by the name of Mina Corp., share an official London address “in a former public housing complex that now leases office space to a multitude of small-time companies, escort agencies and business advisory services,” according to report by Eurasianet.org.
“At least one other figure involved in the London management of Red Star,” Horton told the national security subcommittee, “has close ties to the U.S. intelligence community.” He did not elaborate.
Continue reading: Ex-Army intelligence officer focus of Kyrgyz corruption probes.