Saturday, June 13, 2009

Halliburton’s KRB Killed 18 U.S. Solders In Iraq, And Was Awarded $80 Million From The Bush Administration For Doing A Good Job?!?

I would like to start this article by posing the question, “Where is the indignation outrage from Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News when KRB through shoddy electrical workmanship, caused the electrocution death of 18 of our finest U.S. solders serving duty in Iraq.” What….no one has heard this news from these self-righteous blowhards? I guess it is just going to have to be exposed and brought the light of day by me in this blog.

The Department of Defense paid former Halliburton subsidiary KBR more than $80 million in bonuses for contracts to install electrical wiring in Iraq. The award payments were for the very work that resulted in the electrocution deaths of US soldiers, according to Department of Defense documents revealed in a Senate hearing. More than $30 million in bonuses were paid months after the death of Sgt. Ryan Maseth.

Sgt. Maseth (picture show above) was a highly decorated, 24-year-old Green Beret, who was electrocuted while taking a show at a US base in January 2008. His death, the result of improper grounding for a water pump, has been classified by the US Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID) as a “negligent homicide.” Maseth’s death had originally been labeled an accident. Bonuses were paid to KBR in 2007 and 2008, after CID investigators had officially expressed concerns about the quality of KBR’s electrical work.

This information was revealed at a hearing of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. According to the committee’s chair, Sen. Byron Dorgan, the rewards KBR received under its LOGCAP contracts were supposed to be for work of the “highest quality” with “no deficiencies” or problems. Dorgan said KBR’s work was “shoddy” and “unprofessional.” Some eighteen US soldiers have died since 2003 as a result of KBR’s “shoddy work," according to Sen. Frank Lautenberg. KBR/Halliburton, of which Dick Cheney was chairman and CEO from 1995 to 2000, has been the single largest corporate beneficiary of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It continues to operate globally on US government contracts.

Charles Smith, the former Army official who managed the contracts under which KBR performed electrical work in Iraq, testified that it was “highly inappropriate” that KBR received these bonuses for what he called “dangerously substandard” work. He said that the Army was well aware of KBR’s “poor performance” since the beginning of the Iraq invasion, and yet continued to reward KBR because the military was “afraid” KBR would cease work. He said there was “a culture that decided KBR was too big to fail and too important to be held to account.” The “perverse incentive is that there was no incentive” for KBR to do quality work because they received bonuses for poor work.

Senator Dorgan said there are “tens of thousands of examples” of unnecessary risks to US soldiers, including deaths that have arisen as a result of KBR’s work. “Why should KBR be getting more contracts now that we know all this information?” asked Sen. Bob Casey. “The Defense Department has not answered these questions.”
James Childs, a master electrician hired by the Army to review electrical work in Iraq during 2008, testified that KBR’s work in Iraq was the “most hazardous, worst quality work” he’d ever seen. He said his investigation found improper wiring in “every” building KBR wired in Iraq (of which there are thousands) and that KBR’s rewiring work in buildings that were previously safely wired resulted in the electrical system becoming unsafe. Childs said that KBR did not do any work “according to code.” He also testified that the same risks exist in Afghanistan, which he recently visited. “While doing inspections in Afghanistan, I found the exact same code violations,” Childs said.

Eric Peters, a master electrician who worked for KBR in Iraq as recently as 2009, said that 50 percent of the KBR-managed buildings he saw were not properly wired. “I worried every day people would be injured or killed as a result of this work,” Peters testified. He estimated that at least half the electricians hired by KBR–many of them cheaper-costing Third Country Nationals (TCNs)–to service the US military in Iraq would not have been hired to work in the United States, saying they were not trained in US or UK electrical standards. TCNs–from places like India, Bangladesh and Bosnia–are estimated to have done some 60 percent of the electrical work for KBR in Iraq. Peters charged that KBR allowed trainees to take notes in to certification tests, making it very easy to be cleared for work.

Peters also charged that KBR “frowned upon” any refusal to sign off on work that Peters deemed incomplete or unsafe. Peters and others who testified said that “all over theater,” meaning everywhere in Iraq, KBR would effectively double-bill US taxpayers by leaving electrical work half-done or incorrectly done and then billing taxpayers again to repair its own shoddy work.

Peters characterized KBR managers as “completely unqualified” and said he is not a “disgruntled former employee” but rather a “disgusted former employee.”


  1. That KBR continues to receive government contracts is an outrage, and that it, Halliburton, and others received numerous non-bid government contracts is inexcusable. It is also proof positive of the blatant graft and corruption which so permeated the Bush/Cheney neocon administration.

  2. Hello Jack,
    Thank you for your comment and it was very well stated.

    I am working on a follow up piece asking, "How come we are awarding no bid contracts to Halliburton when the past these duties were done by the U.S. Navy's SeaBees and The Army Corp. of Engineers. Do they no longer exist.

    Of course Blowhard radio has the lemmings programed to say the Halliburton is the only company that can do the work. What a crock of Bull Crap.

  3. I've actually heard of this, but the scant mention of it in the press and even the internet is telling. Thanks for posting about it. I believe the liberal bloggers serve an important purpose even if sometimes it's like yelling into the Grand Canyon.

  4. Hello Mikeb,
    I am a very active member of the Republican Party in the 1st district of Maryland and I have worked on many projects with the moderate Republican Congressman we use to have, Wayne Gilchrest. The Right Wing Nut Jobs back stabbed him in the last primary election. (Much like Senator Arlen Spector switching to the Democratic because the Extreme Right Wing would have thrown him out in the primary.)

    It is the liberal bloggers that need to keep chipping away pointing out the blatant abuse of the last administration. Maybe that way this country won’t be so blind in electing another Rush Limbaugh for President and Seam Hannity for Vice-President type administration. I have to believe that we make a difference so I will say in giving you hope, “Keep The Faith and Don’t Give Up.”

  5. Very informative post.This post is so useful to know about electricians.

  6. hmmmmm...and we know KBR is responsible for the bad wiring because our corrupt government tells us so??? I know an electrician over in Iraq who states that yes the wiring is atrocious, but who did the initial install? What kind of situation were the men in while installing the wiring. Were they under attack? Are there documents that list exactly what date KBR or others took over maintenance compared to when the government opened the building to the public. The electrician I know was has had more than one near death experience since he's been over there trying to help set things to rights. But we must remember that our government always finds a scape goat.