Monday, September 08, 2008

American Servicemen Dying From Shoddy Reconstruction Work In Iraq

Shortly after the 2003 Iraq War began, most Americans had hoped that questionable deals such Dick Cheney's former company Halliburton getting a lucrative no-bidder contract for Iraq reconstruction the Pentagon would be the very worst of the questionable reconstruction deals. But then a steady drip-drip of information about shoddy reconstruction work by a number of American firms who were given reconstruction contracts began to surface in the news including leaking substandard plumbing in a major office building that made it nearly useless and it only sat empty after taxpayers paid top dollar for work that a contractor did using the cheapest possible labor and materials.

Now shocking news that a total of 16 U.S. servicepersons have been killed by shoddy and dangerous electrical work in Iraq has emerged under testimony to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

Debbie Crawford testified about her experiences working as an electrical supervisor in Iraq for contractor KBR(Kellogg, Brown and Root), and the shocking conditions that existed with some contractors who sought to cut corners with labor or materials in order to pocket the difference. In some cases, green wires that were supposed to be ground wires were used as hot leads for some electrical work, creating a hazard that would either destroy electrical equipment or could case electrocution or fires.

Crawford was so concerned about the shoddy and dangerous state of some of the work done by KBR that she started a website that educates the public on how billions of their tax dollars are being spent with Iraq War contractors that are doing extremely substandard and dangerous work and pocketing much of the money. It is indeed an important website and another bad side of the Iraq War that the mainstream media seems to often ignore. It is also important because 16 servicepersons have needlessly lost their lives to shoddy reconstruction work electrocution deaths.

Crummy reconstruction companies with multibillion dollar contracts since the start of t5he 2003 Iraq War have proven just as lethal as some insurgents to some of our U.S. servicepersons.

Senator Bryon Dorgan(D-ND) has taken note of Crawford's website and was instrumental in scheduling testimony from her and starting a process of cracking down on these lethal Iraq War reconstruction contractors and saving American lives as well as looking out for the taxpayer who is paying billions for terrible work that is often overinflated in price and substandard in safety and quality.

Some Iraq War contractors think that operating outside of the U.S. means that safety standards can be ignored and they can inflate the costs of some projects as long as the taxpayer is paying the bill. With no OSHA operating in Iraq, it is often anything goes in reconstruction quality for many contractors looking to pad profits.

It is also the same old bunch of large GOP donors who were given these huge contracts by the Pentagon and who were big supporters of Bush and now are concerned with elected McCain.

John McCain who claims to be a "reformer" has only so far claimed that his campaign will "review" bundled donations from such long time GOP supporters as Halliburton and it's spinoff KBR subsidiary. Whether this is real commitment to not accept donations from some corporations that some claim to have taken advantage of the Iraq War with rampant profiteering and who endanger American lives with crummy work remains to be seen. It will be another test of McCain's word.

On August 7, a Queen's NY couple with only modest jobs and driving a 1993 Chevy Cavalier made a questionably large donation to the McCain campaign of $61,600 which is probably more than their total yearly income combined. It all raises the question whether big corporate donors are using people of modest means to shield their identity to elect McCain and drive his policies to keep more of the same old government in the White House.


At 9:51 AM, Blogger Jay Tea said...

An interesting piece of fiction, but lacks plausibility.

Oh, and I see over on Blue that epador asked you for your sources on this story, and you responded with your oh-so-predictable blizzard of bullshit.

In case you missed it, here's the key part of his comment:

Paul, I'm no big fan of KBR, having seen their work close up, but I'd love some links or references to your allegations.

Instead, you spent four paragraphs talking about donors -- omitting that the "Chinese businessman" was not only one of her biggest bundlers, but also a wanted fugitive who nevertheless got past her security and met with her numerous times.

What IS it about you that convinces you that you only have to pronounce something, and it will instantly be taken as gospel? Why do you believe that you are above such concerns as citing your sources, recognizing those who do original work, giving credit where it is due?


At 7:24 AM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

Jay, you know that you're always welcome here at any time. However, I clearly cited in the piece that the information was from Debbie Crawford, a former electrical work supervisor for KBR who worked in Iraq supervising electrical work there for this company. Crawford testified before a committee of U.S. senators and she has a website in which more facts about shoddy electrical contracting work in Iraq can be found.

Jay, you know that I write many consumer pieces, and I only want safe conditions for our soldiers and others in Iraq as well as the taxpayer receiving fair value for their billions of reconstruction funds.

Sometimes you pick some pretty indefensible sides of arguments to side with when you seem to apologize for some companies that are clearly doing dangerous and substandard reconstruction work and charging the taxpayer huge amounts of money. By the way where's that "reformer" John McCain on this issue?

By the way, what do you think about my funny music videos I started adding recently to add a little entertainment to this site. I know I'm not the greatest singer by any means, or the best filmmaker, but the stuff is sort of funny I think.

Jay, we might disagree on many things. But I always respect your right to comment here without any censorship. You always have the right to say anything here you know. Have a nice weekend fellow.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Ms Sparky said...

When it comes to KBR I never run out of things to blog about. Even after the reported crappy job they are doing, the DoD still awards them contracts. All I can say is KBR must have some nasty photos of someone in DoD. When will it end? The NY Times came out with an awesome article today on DoD's punishment of KBR.

Ms Sparky

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Ms Sparky said...

By the way...I thought your post was awesome.

Debbie Crawford
aka Ms Sparky

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