Monday, May 05, 2008

KBR

Updating an earlier post, it looks like KBR was warned about problems with the shitty electrical work it was providing the troops at taxpayers’ expense.
In October 2004, the United States Army issued an urgent bulletin to commanders across Iraq, warning them of a deadly new threat to American soldiers. Because of flawed electrical work by contractors, the bulletin stated, soldiers at American bases in Iraq had received severe electrical shocks, and some had even been electrocuted.
[...]
American electricians who worked for KBR, the Houston-based defense contractor that is responsible for maintaining American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, said they repeatedly warned company managers and military officials about unsafe electrical work, which was often performed by poorly trained Iraqis and Afghans paid just a few dollars a day.
And yet it did nothing, and American troops have been electrocuted.
Since that warning, at least two more American soldiers have been electrocuted in similar circumstances. In all, at least a dozen American military personnel have been electrocuted in Iraq, according to the Pentagon and Congressional investigators.
And yet the Army recently awarded KBR a new contract to provide services to the military in Iraq. At least a dozen troops are dead, and yet the company’s profits triple. And yet company executives aren’t in prison.

But none of this has anything to do with the former CEO of KBR’s until recently parent company, Halliburton. I’m sure most companies have the political juice to get the military, State Department, Pentagon and Department of Justice to look the other way at very credible accusations of looting, gang rapes, providing contaminated drinking water to troops and shoddy electrical work that kills American troops. I’m sure every company without ties to the vice president has no problem sidestepping congressional testimony from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting, who said, “I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.”

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