You Go to War with the Contractors You Have

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Halliburton subisdiary Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc. (KB&R) has been contracted by the U.S. government for building projects in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although KB&R’s history and political connections drive the conspiracy theorists and Democrats crazy, the following report is undeniably disgusting no matter which direction your political compass points. From an AP article:

Troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq (Camp Junction City) were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn’t get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.

Although bottled water was available the contaminated water was used for “virtually everything else, including handwashing, laundry, bathing and making coffee” resulting in “numerous instances of diarrhea and stomach cramps problems.”

Of course Halliburton disputes the allegations saying its “own inspection found neither contaminated water nor medical evidence to substantiate reports of illnesses at the base” despite KB&R’s own employees sending emails to the contrary:

“We exposed a base camp population (military and civilian) to a water source that was not treated,” said a July 15, 2005, memo written by William Granger, the official for Halliburton’s KBR subsidiary who was in charge of water quality in Iraq and Kuwait.

Guess you just go to war with the contractors you have?

The troops were exposed to contaminated water for a year.

Senator Byron Dorgan, (D-N.D) is scheduled to chair a senate Democrats hearing on this situation, but I have this overwhelming sensation of déjà vu… For some reason I feel like nothing will happen. Nobody will be held accountable and the Bush administration will recite KB&R’s “no evidence” statement. Weird.

posted by mikehorn
  • http://www.tom-hanna.org Tom Hanna

    And before big government started building water treatment centers, millions of people were exposed to water sources that were not treated for thousands of years. In fact, I believe anyone with a private (nongovernment, that is) well still is.

  • mikehorn

    And before big government started building water treatment centers, millions of people were exposed to water sources that were not treated for thousands of years.

    Right, but when your job is to produce clean water and you don’t… you get statements like this from the water treatment expert KB&R hired to monitor levels:

    “It is my opinion that the water source is without question contaminated with numerous micro-organisms, including Coliform bacteria,” Carter wrote. “There is little doubt that raw sewage is routinely dumped upstream of intake much less than the required 2 mile distance.”

    Carter resigned his position because Halliburton officials did not take any action to inform the camp population.