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Contractors Gone Wild

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posted on May, 2 2008 @ 08:38 PM

Theft, hookers, melting down Iraqi gold to make cowboy spurs—all in a day's work for private military contractors in Iraq?

... testimony earlier this week of three whistleblowers before the Senate's Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) stands out for the sheer outrageousness of their accusations—namely that U.S. private contractors looted Iraqi palaces and ministries, stole military equipment, fenced supplies destined for U.S. troops, and even operated a prostitution ring that may have contributed to the death of fellow contractor.

Nice to see where some of your tax dollars are going. But I don't think we're paying our private contractors enough because they've had to resort to criminal activities to get by.

The practice of stealing equipment and supplies destined for the U.S. military was so pervasive that KBR employees invented a slang term to describe it: "drug deals."

As unbelievable as it seems:

Perhaps more shocking than any of this was the accusation from Barry Halley, a former project manager for Worldwide Network Services, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that was working on subcontract for DynCorp. According to Halley, his site manager in Iraq, who he said was employed by a "major defense contractor," moonlighted as the leader of a prostitution ring serving American contractors in Iraq that indirectly caused the death of a colleague. "A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was traveling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission," he told the committee. "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 a manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad." The prostitution ring was shut down when the company's home office learned of it, but, Halley said, the manager who controlled it retained his job, moving on to work another contract in Haiti.

The testimony given this week is the thirteenth hearing the Democratic Policy Committee has held to look into fraud and corruption in Iraq during the reconstruction. THIRTEEN? Have they seen enough yet to actually do anything about it?

Arriving nearly two weeks after the military awarded a 10-year logistical contract worth up to $150 billion to DynCorp, KBR, and a third firm, the DPC hearing was the thirteenth in a series designed to look into contractor fraud and abuse in the reconstruction of Iraq.

posted on May, 2 2008 @ 08:50 PM

According to Cassaday, although contractors for KBR are trained to report irregularities, the practice is generally frowned on by managers in the field. "In Houston at the training camp that I was at for two weeks before we went over to Iraq, they told us that, 'Our door is always open. If you have a problem, just come on in,'" he said. "But what they don't tell you is there's a back door to that office. If you come in and you complain about something, you're going to be going out that back door. You're going to either be transferred someplace you don't want to be, or you're going to be fired."

Linda Warren, a former KBR employee found this out herself, when she tried to report the widespread corruption and fraud she witnessed. Her vehicle was taken away, her movements were closely monitored and her phone and Internet access was cut off. Eventually, she was transferred out of Baghdad.

It sounds like the private contractors are, in reality, an organized criminal organization. I'm surprised they didn't break her kneecaps.

posted on May, 2 2008 @ 08:52 PM
What a surprise...unabated a war led by clueless an environment of no accountability...

Who would have thunk it?

[edit on 2-5-2008 by loam]


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