Thursday, January 22, 2009

KBR, US Contractor in Iraq Charged with Negligent Homicide

There are now 18 US soldiers who are dead because they were electrocuted on American bases, many of them built by KBR. KBR is a Houston-based American company contracted by our government to provide shelter, food, and basic services for our troops. KBR, once a division of Halliburton, has been charged with negligent homicide in the death of only one of these soldiers, so far. The company was notified about faulty wiring and grounding problems many times over, over a period of months, beforehand, and did nothing!

Until this past May, KBR had a monopoly on the food facilities and basic services contract, earning $24 billion since the Iraq war began. Consider how much wealth KBR, which had already been accused of mismanagement, has now amassed since it acquired the huge no-bid, cost-plus contract through its political ties to now former Vice President Cheney. If KBR and its employees are found guilty in the negligent homicide of even one of these soldiers, they should be required to serve prison time, surrender the remaining monies awarded them in their contract, and be required to leave Iraq.

The past 8 years have been replete with extensive greed and corruption, lack of oversight, complete deregulation favoring corporations over citizens, and political power plays. There was never any Congressional oversight on dollar amounts less than $1 million because this was stipulated in the contracts proferred to Bush and Cheney's political and business allies. When our government uses our hard-earned money, it has an obligation to monitor how every penny is spent and the quality control of the work performed on each and every contract. As I've stated before, cost-plus, no-bid contracts should be illegal.

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