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Windfalls of war: KBR, the government’s concierge

Posted August 30, 2011 By Ms Sparky

KBR’s umbrella contract to provide everything from showers to rebuilding airfields tops $37 billion. “It’s like a gigantic monopoly,” says one critic.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld talks with troops in Iraq. KBR has been paid $37 billion to build infrastructure like this dining hall. Jim Watson/AP

After a decade of war, KBR’s umbrella contract tops $37 billion

Sharon Weinberger – (The Center for Public Integrity – iWatch News) – August 30, 2011 – The rush to war in the months following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 created an urgency in the Pentagon, not just for military operations but also for contracting.

When U.S. forces moved into Afghanistan in 2001, there was little, if any, infrastructure to support and house U.S. troops. The military needed someone to do everything from housing troops to rebuilding airfields. The solution was a contract called the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP, a type of umbrella contract the Army had been using to support is military bases overseas. In late 2001, the Army, after a competition, awarded LOGCAP III to KBR. The Houston-based firm [3], once a subsidiary of Halliburton, began providing everything from showers to dining halls.

Even beyond single-source contracts, the Pentagon has other types of contracts it can use to quickly award work without having to compete specific jobs. They include umbrella-type contracts, like LOGCAP, that allow the government to buy unspecified goods and services over long periods of time. “It’s the government’s way of saying ‘We don’t know what we want, and we don’t know how much it costs,’” said Laura Peterson, a senior policy analyst with Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group. “Instead they say, ‘we’ll put you on retainer and tell you later what we want and when we want it, and you just bill us.’ You become the government’s concierge, and it’s like a gigantic monopoly.”

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(The Bunnatine Greenhouse segment is after the Noraway attacks. I couldn’t figure out how to separate them or fast forward. It’s well worth your patience.)

EXCLUSIVE: Fired Army Whistleblower Receives $970K for Exposing Halliburton No-Bid Contract in Iraq
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Jamie Leigh Jones

by khou.com & The Associated Press
Posted on July 8, 2011 at 3:32 PM

HOUSTON – A federal jury on Friday ruled that a woman who sued KBR over an alleged sexual assault in Iraq was not raped, and the company did not commit fraud.

Jamie Leigh Jones sued KBR, its Houston-based former parent company Halliburton and KBR firefighter Charles Bortz, who she claimed led an attack on her while she worked for KBR at Camp Hope in Baghdad in 2005.

Jones’ attorney, Ron Estefan, told jurors during closing arguments that KBR had neglected to enforce its policies against sexual harassment by its contract workers in Iraq, which facilitated Jones’ rape.

Estefan asked the jury to award his client as much as 5 percent of KBR’s net worth in actual or punitive damages, which would have been more than $114 million.

“It’s a lot of money, but it’s a lot of harm that was caused to her,” he told jurors. (click HERE for the rest of the article)

I have to add, I’m so sorry Jamie lost, this is a sad day for other KBR victims! ~ Ms Sparky

By Brian Bowling, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A federal appeals court should reinstate an Iraqi war veteran`s lawsuit against a defense contractor because the contractor delayed revealing information that would have allowed doctors to diagnose and treat the veteran’s illness, a lawyer for the Pleasant Hills man argued today.

Fred Jug, one of the lawyers representing Glen Bootay, 32, said KBR Inc. of Houston had an obligation to warn Bootay and other soldiers in April 2003 about the danger of being exposed to sodium dichromate that was spread around the Qarmat Ali water treatment facility they guarded while KBR employees restored it to service.

Instead, the company went so far as to immediately transfer one of its own employees who raised the question of warning the soldiers, he said. “That is outrageous,” Jug said during the hearing at the federal courthouse, Downtown.

Kurt Hamrock, a lawyer for KBR, urged the three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry`s Sept. 9 ruling that the company had no duty to warn the soldiers about the danger of being exposed to the chemical.

Bootay sat in a wheelchair at the back of the courtroom during the hearing. Rob Bootay said his brother was too exhausted to talk afterward. The chemical exposure has given the former combat engineer chronic health problems that include constant headaches, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, extreme fatigue and short-term memory loss, according to his lawsuit. (click HERE for original article)

3 years ago today, 24 year old  entered the shower in his Special Forces living quarters at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex in Baghdad, Iraq and he died. He was electrocuted do to an improperly installed water pump on the roof of his building.

The Army initially reported that Ryan, a decorated Green Beret foolishly took an electrical appliance into the shower and that was the reason for his death.

The Criminal Investigations Command (CID) closed Ryan’s investigation on June 11, 2008 proclaiming Ryan’s manner of death was “accidental”. His mother, refused to accept this as the cause of death for her son. Read the remainder of this entry »