Thursday, December 04, 2008
KBR and Halliburton are the targets of a new class-action lawsuit alleging that U.S. troops have been sickened by water, food and fumes produced by the two massive private contractors, according to the Army Times:
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 details of the charges laid out in the lawsuit are macabre:
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."
Eller also accuses KBR of failing to maintain a medical incinerator at Joint Base Balad, which has been confirmed by two surgeons in interviews with Military Times about the Balad burn pit. Instead, according to the lawsuit and the physicians, medical waste, such as needles, amputated body parts and bloody bandages were burned in the open-air pit.
"Wild dogs in the area raided the burn pit and carried off human remains," the lawsuit states. "The wild dogs could be seen roaming the base with body parts in their mouths, to the great distress of the U.S. forces."
The troops that the contractors so love to claim to support are not only being exposed to toxic fumes and scenes of wild dogs dragging off body parts. No, they're getting extra treats in their rotten food as well:
Eller also accused KBR of serving spoiled, expired and rotten food to the troops, as well as dishes that may have been contaminated with shrapnel.
"Defendants knowingly and intentionally supplied and served food that was well past its expiration date, in some cases over a year past its expiration date," the lawsuit states. "Even when it was called to the attention of the KBR food service managers that the food was expired, KBR still served the food to U.S. forces."
In a separate incident reported by McClatchy, we learn that as bad as the military base-dwellers have it, workers "employed" by KBR sub-contractors are treated even worse:
BAGHDAD — About 1,000 Asian men who were hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the U.S. military have been confined for as long as three months in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport without money or a place to work.
Najlaa International Catering Services, a subcontractor to KBR, an engineering, construction and services company, hired the men, who're from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. On Tuesday, they staged a march outside their compound to protest their living conditions.
And that's how we spread American values around the world during the Bush administration: poison our own to save a buck and virtually enslave the poor from other countries.
But, then I'm certain most arm-chair commandos grimly grit their teeth and declare, That's unfortunate those boys have to put up with sub-standard stuff sometimes but that's war if only those damn liberals in congress weren't underfunding and back-stabbing our troops I'm sure Bush would have given them everything they needed. USA!