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December 04, 2008

KBR: The Face Of War Profiteering

Posted in: GOP ethics,Iraq,War profiteering

Oh joy, it’s yet another Happy KBR Story:

A Georgia man has filed a class-action lawsuit against KBR and Halliburton, saying the contractors exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there.

Joshua Eller, who worked as a civilian computer-aided drafting technician with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, said military personnel, contractors and third-country nationals may have been sickened by contamination at the largest U.S. installation in Iraq, home to more than 30,000 service members, Defense Department civilians and contractor personnel.

(…)

The lawsuit claims he developed skin lesions that subsequently spread, filled with fluid and burst. He said they went away, then reappeared, followed by blisters on his feet that made it painful for him to walk. He said they healed, but continue to return every three to four months.

Then, Eller said he experienced vomiting, cramping and diarrhea, and continues to suffer severe abdominal pain.

(…)

The lawsuit also accuses KBR of shipping ice in mortuary trucks that “still had traces of body fluids and putrefied remains in them when they were loaded with ice. This ice was served to U.S. forces.”

Awesome.  I’m beginning to think that KBR may just be The Worst Company On Earth.  Not only have they poisoned troops, but they’ve electrocuted them as well.  And it’s not just troops.  Remember when a bunch of KBR contractors in Iraq gang-raped a female coworker, and the company imprisoned her in a shipping container and told her to stay in Iraq and keep her mouth shut?  Or when their subcontractor imprisoned 1,000 Asian workers in a windowless warehouse near the Baghdad airport? (At least they didn’t rape them… so far as I know.)  And that’s just what I can remember off the top of my head.

It is criminal malfeasance on a grand scale.  And what consequences is KBR facing for this lawlessness?

The Pentagon’s Defense Contract Management Agency recently gave KBR a "Level III Corrective Action Request" — issued only when a contractor is found in "serious noncompliance" and just one step below the possibility of suspending or terminating a contract, Pentagon officials said.

Oh yeah, that’s really bringing the hammer down.  Rape, kidnapping, poisoning, negligent homicide… and they might be in danger of losing their contract.  That should really put the fear of God into them.  I think they would have to start planting IEDs to actually lose the contract, and God only knows what they’d have to do to actually face criminal charges – it’d probably involve nukes.

Bush and the Republicans haven’t just created a culture of corruption, they’ve created a culture of impunity.  There is virtually nothing that the members of the inner circle cannot get away with, and they obviously know it.  President Obama, meet the Augean Stables.


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