A Washington law firm filed a lawsuit yesterday against KBR, one of the largest U.S. contractors in Iraq, alleging that the company and its Jordanian subcontractor engaged in the human trafficking of Nepali workers.
Interviews with US troops and Halliburton employees explain what is happening in Iraq.
Added: May 25, 2007
‘Irregular’ oversight of KBR work alleged
Ex-Army official faults Pentagon on contract in Iraq and Afghanistan
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon’s oversight of Houston-based KBR’s work in Iraq and Afghanistan has been “irregular and highly out of the ordinary,” a former Army contracting official told Senate Democrats Wednesday.
Charles Smith, the former chief of the Army Field Support Command with responsibility for overseeing KBR’s massive contract with the Army, contends he was forced out of his job in 2004 for objecting to the Pentagon’s treatment of KBR.
“The interest of a corporation, KBR, not the interests of American soldiers or American taxpayers, seemed to be paramount,” Smith told the Democratic Policy Committee, a Democrats-only panel.
Shawn Baldwin/Reflex News, for The New York Times
An employee of KBR serving dinner to an American soldier at a base in Baghdad. In 2004, a civilian official questioned KBR’s request for about $200 million in payments for food services.
WASHINGTON – The Army official who managed the Pentagon’s largest contract in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR, the Houston-based company that has provided food, housing and other services to American troops.
The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi operations.
Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to do that.”
Waxman: “It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”
A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.
For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC’s Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources.
A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations.
The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies.
While George Bush remains in the White House, it is unlikely the gagging orders will be lifted.
To date, no major US contractor faces trial for fraud or mismanagement in Iraq.
The president’s Democrat opponents are keeping up the pressure over war profiteering in Iraq.
Henry Waxman who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said: “The money that’s gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, its egregious.
“It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”
In the run-up to the invasion one of the most senior officials in charge of procurement in the Pentagon objected to a contract potentially worth seven billion that was given to Halliburton, a Texan company, which used to be run by Dick Cheney before he became vice-president.
Unusually only Halliburton got to bid – and won.
The search for the missing billions also led the programme to a house in Acton in West London where Hazem Shalaan lived until he was appointed to the new Iraqi government as minister of defence in 2004.
Judge Radhi al Radhi: “I believe these people are criminals.”
He and his associates siphoned an estimated $1.2 billion out of the ministry.
They bought old military equipment from Poland but claimed for top class weapons.
Meanwhile they diverted money into their own accounts.
Judge Radhi al-Radhi of Iraq’s Commission for Public Integrity investigated.
He said: “I believe these people are criminals.
“They failed to rebuild the Ministry of Defence , and as a result the violence and the bloodshed went on and on – the murder of Iraqis and foreigners continues and they bear responsibility.”
Mr Shalaan was sentenced to two jail terms but he fled the country.
He said he was innocent and that it was all a plot against him by pro-Iranian MPs in the government.
There is an Interpol arrest out for him but he is on the run – using a private jet to move around the globe.
He stills owns commercial properties in the Marble Arch area of London.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former bus driver for Iraq war contractor KBR Inc. who was fired in 2006 for possessing child pornography got rehired less than a year later, and has again been caught with a large collection of child porn, according to prosecutors.
Ira L. Waltrip of Lampasas, Texas, who had been working for KBR at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, was charged this week in U.S. District Court with possessing child pornography.
According to a court affidavit, KBR fired Waaltrip in January 2006 when he was assigned to the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq after he was discovered with a collection of child pornography.
At the time, authorities with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service elected not to prosecute Waltrip because they said they lacked sufficient evidence that the pornography in question actually depicted minors.
KBR rehired Waltrip in December 2006 as a bus driver. Again, Waltrip was caught with an extensive library of child pornography, some of which appeared to depict children as young as four to six years old.
WASHINGTON — KBR employees working in Iraq stole weapons, artwork and even gold to make spurs for cowboy boots, two former company workers told Senate Democrats on Monday.
Appearing before a Democrats-only panel looking into allegations of contracting abuses in Iraq, the witnesses accused their former co-workers of widespread improper activity.
Linda Warren, former employee of KBR, shows the flag she brought back from Iraq during testimony on Capitol Hill on Monday. Warren said many of her colleagues stole numerous items while doing reconstruction work in Iraq.
SUSAN WALSH: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Some explosive testimony this afternoon from a panel of whistleblowers testifying before the Senate’s Democratic Policy Committee on contractor abuse in Iraq.
A contractor died when a DynCorp manager used an employee’s armored car to transport prostitutes, according to Barry Halley, a Worldwide Network Services employee working under a DynCorp subcontract.
“DynCorp’s site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was travelling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission. I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor’s manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.“
– Kellogg Brown & Root contractors used to destroy countless quantities of still-usable equipment that was difficult to transport in “massive burn pits” that were “burning 24 hours a day.”
– KBR’s ice foreman “was cheating the troops out of ice at the same time that he was trading the ice for DVDs, CDs, food and other items at the Iraqi shops across the street.”
– When KBR whistleblower Frank Cassaday reported weapons looting, he was placed in a jail tent by KBR security.
– KBR employees looted Iraqi palaces for treasure to sell on eBay.
Monday, April 28th, 2008 at 5:04 pm
Read about this here: US gave $300m arms contract to 22-year-old with criminal record
The Bush Family Business
For four generations now, the Bush family has been involved in supporting the country’s enemies (most notably the Nazi Party in Germany) and robbing the country blind.
The family was directly involved and profited from the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980s and has participated in security fraud as well.
With this understanding as a background, the Iraq War can be viewed as their “masterpiece.”
The Bush family and its associates have stolen countless billions of dollars in the course of the war. In fact, one of their motivations for pushing the war in the first place was the opportunity for theft.
Chances are the destruction of World Trade Tower Seven, the home of crucial and now lost forever SEC and other federal law enforcement evidence and case files was carried out to cover their tracks.
(If you have watched this video and then you have also seen what Halliburton does.
Halliburton does not even pay taxes: Top Iraq contractor skirts US taxes offshore
And then take a look what happens at the stock market with Halliburton:
Halliburton stocks have risen about 50% since the end of January this year, in almost no time.
If you have this stock and are happy about the gain then realize that you are paying money to a corporation to cheat the American People and steal from all taxpayers.
JP Morgan, RBC Capital Markets, Merrill Lynch etc., they all say that Halliburton will outperform and yes it does, but it is you who pay for it.
Do not support Halliburton and alike companies take them down.
Sell these stocks and investment funds that support them.
Take your power back, that you have given to them, NOW. – The Infinite Unknown PS: The stock market will crash.)
Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using “unmonitored and potentially unsafe” water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company, the Pentagon’s internal watchdog says.
A report obtained by The Associated Press said soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.
The Defense Department’s inspector general’s report, which could be released as early as Monday, found water quality problems between March 2004 and February 2006 at three sites run by contractor KBR Inc., and between January 2004 and December 2006 at two military-operated locations.