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Burn Pits Archive

Burn-pit claimants will appeal judge’s dismissal

Posted June 6, 2013 By Ms Sparky

Patricia Kime – (Air Force Times) – June 4, 2013 – Attorneys representing former troops and family members who say they were sickened by exposure to open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan are appealing a judge’s dismissal of their cases.

Alexandria, Va., lawyer Susan Burke and attorneys from the South Carolina firm Motley & Rice filed an appeal Wednesday arguing that Maryland U.S. District Court Judge Roger Titus’s decision in February to toss out 57 consolidated lawsuits filed against KBR, Inc., was “non-justifiable.”

Titus ruled Feb. 28 that as a government contractor working in a war zone, KBR was entitled to the same legal protection and immunity as U.S. armed forces operating in combat. He also argued that the court did not have jurisdiction to rule on decisions made by another branch of government.

Read the remainder of this entry »

A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with "long-term" health effects on soldiers at Bagram. Photo: U.S. Army

By Spencer Ackerman  @ Wired.com

A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with “long-term” health effects on soldiers at Bagram.

For years, U.S. government agencies have told the public, veterans and Congress that they couldn’t draw any connections between the so-called “burn pits” disposing of trash at the military’s biggest bases and veterans’ respiratory or cardiopulmonary problems. But a 2011 Army memo obtained by Danger Room flat-out stated that the burn pit at one of Afghanistan’s largest bases poses “long-term adverse health conditions” to troops breathing the air there. Read the remainder of this entry »

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We want our $60 billion back!

Posted February 13, 2012 By Ms Sparky

After four years of fighting the good fight and spending countless hours at my computer documenting the rampant Fraud, Waste and Abuse of U.S. tax dollars in the hands of DoD contractors, I have submitted a petition on We the People.

We the People was set up by President Obama to take action on important issues facing our country.  I think lying and stealing from the taxpayer is an important issue.  Harming our troops in the name of profit is an important issue. I believe violating the FAR/DFAR is an important issue.  I think the powers that be, need to get off their collective asses and hold someone accountable.

If you agree with the contents of the petition, I ask that you please sign it. I believe MsSparky.com readers are as fed up and disgusted with this as I am.  If the petition meets the signature threshold of 25,000 signatures in 30 days,  it will be reviewed by the Administration and an official response will be issued.  Here is the link (Click HERE).

If you are not already registered with We The People, there is a VERY short registration required before you can sign or generate petitions. While you are there, please peruse the list of other petitions and sign those that are important to you and if you have an issue, by all means generate a petition. My petition is below:

We petition the Obama Administration to:

Enforce the law by prosecuting the corporations & criminals who have stolen $60 billion from the U.S. taxpayer

The Commission on Wartime Contracting estimates waste and fraud have amounted to as much as $60B during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defense contractors have subjected US military personnel to substandard services, shoddy work and chemical exposure resulting in permanent injury and death.

While the Pentagon may deem egregious behavior as satisfactory and indemnify this negligence as a cost of doing business, we the people do not. We call upon our government to hold accountable the corporate entities and individuals responsible for the heinous acts committed against the citizens of the United States and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

War profiteering has never been so profitable for the wrongdoer and so dangerous for our troops and the taxpayer. (SIGN HERE)

We want out $60 Billion back! And if someone ended up going to jail for it, that would be nice too!

~Ms. Sparky

Former Soldier Sues KBR Over Health Concerns

Posted October 13, 2011 By Ms Sparky

Isiah Carey -  (Fox Houston) –  HOUSTON – A former U.S. soldier has filed a civil lawsuit against a major military contractor claiming the Houston-based company ruined his health and military career.

David Parr, a former service member from Ohio, served in the army in Afghanistan.

Parr says while he was stationed in Afghanistan, he was within breathing distance of the KBR waste disposal operation. He adds that employees of KBR disposed of human corpses, chemicals, old batteries and much more in the burn pits.

The soldier says as a result of his proximity to the operation, he was forced to inhale the fumes from the waste.

In Parr’s lawsuit, he says the smell from the waste burning process was so bad soldiers stationed near the burn pits had to wear inhalers at night to breathe.

The lawsuit alleges because of Parr’s exposure, he and other soldiers developed severe respiratory and other health-related problems.

Parr alleges he had to leave (honorable discharge) the military because he could no longer pass the physical examination in the Army.

Houston attorney Michael Patrick Doyle is representing Parr in this case. (Click HERE for original article)

Toxic Trash: The Burn Pits of Iraq and Afghanistan

Posted August 24, 2011 By Forseti

Here is an excerpt of an excellent article that was published today (August 24, 2011)

Billy McKenna and Kevin Wilkins survived Iraq—and died at home. The Oxford American sent filmmaker Dave Anderson and journalist J. Malcolm Garcia to Florida to investigate this deadly threat to American soldiers.

“Smoke Signals,” by J. Malcolm Garcia

Published in the Fall 2011 Issue of The Oxford American.

Strange to think about it, the black smoke.

As it turns out, the eventual killer of Billy McKenna was lurking in the photographs he snapped in Iraq. Billy wrote captions beneath some of his photographs: typical day on patrol reads one. The photo is partially obscured by the blurred image of a soldier’s upraised hand. Brown desert unfurls away from a vehicle toward an empty horizon, and a wavering sky scorched white hovers above. Off to one side: Balad Air Base and the spreading umbrella of rising dank smoke from a burn pit.

Billy told his wife, Dina, in e-mails from Iraq that the stench was killing him. The air so dirty it rained mud. He didn’t call them burn pits. She can’t recall what he called them. He didn’t mean killing him literally. Just that the overwhelming odor was god-awful and tearing up his sinuses. He didn’t wear a mask. It would not have been practical. In heat that soared above a hundred degrees, what soldier would wear one?

Dina doesn’t know when she first heard the words “burn pit.” A Veterans Affairs doctor may have said it. The doctors were telling her a lot of things when Billy was on a ventilator. All she could think was, How can he have cancer? He’s indestructible. He’s been to hell and back. He can build houses, race cars, fish, camp. He was an Eagle Scout as a kid. He doesn’t smoke cigarettes.

But Billy had been exposed to something much more harmful than cigarettes. Since 2003, defense contractors have used burn pits at a majority of U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan as a method of destroying military waste. The pits incinerate discarded human body parts, plastics, hazardous medical material, lithium batteries, tires, hydraulic fluids, and vehicles. Jet fuel keeps pits burning twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Read the remainder of this entry »