Wednesday, June 18, 2008

KBR Billions

June 17, 2008

Army Overseer Tells of Ouster Over KBR Stir

WASHINGTON — The Army official who managed the Pentagon’s largest contract in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR, the Houston-based company that has provided food, housing and other services to American troops.

The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi operations.

Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to do that.”

But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors — after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims — approved most of the payments he had tried to block.

Army officials denied that Mr. Smith had been removed because of the dispute, but confirmed that they had reversed his decision, arguing that blocking the payments to KBR would have eroded basic services to troops. They said that KBR had warned that if it was not paid, it would reduce payments to subcontractors, which in turn would cut back on services.

“You have to understand the circumstances at the time,” said Jeffrey P. Parsons, executive director of the Army Contracting Command. “We could not let operational support suffer because of some other things.”



ONE BILLION BUCKS! or we kill the bunny! You would not want us to do that would you?

Like the lying-ass contractors they are, KBR has sheltered it's income through offshore accounts and is now threatening to withhold vital services from the troops?
Takes guts to rip off America and dare someone to do something to stop them. Sure do not want to blow that whistle thats for sure, you will be disposed of.

If that does not sound like a Mafia operation, nothing does. Yet it goes on unabated every day, day after day. If it was up to me KBR would be up to it's eyeballs in lawsuits to regain lost taxpayer dollars and give that guy his job back.

Meanwhile the war goes on, troops die, KBR rips off America for record profits.
Life goes on for some, while others die for nothing.



DEN said...

Northern MN critter pics.

Wild stuff!

David B. Benson said...

I especially like the birds.

Thanks, Den.

carey said...

Well David, here we are as the Missippippi floods absolutely everywhere.

People are still, including Barbara Walters, qualifying their observations of the climate changes with, "well, strange weather has always happened, you know. I'm not suggesting anything here, but did you see that lightning storm last night. Bizarre!"

They've made the people sounding the warnings out to be "those greedy people up to no good".

Out here, we're guilty of something alright. Excellent, luxurious weather, of all things.

It's just a matter of minutes before the fires start.

One thing I'd like to mention--Michelle Obama was on the Today show today. I'm sure Carol caught it. What'd ya think of that?

She did nothing but "wow" 'em calmly and distinctively. She is some package of a person.

I like her alot.

David B. Benson said...

Are we all North Koreans now?

Yes. Three strikes and you're a North Korean.

DEN said...

We have our "crackpot dictator(s)" that's for sure!

David B. Benson said...

Weather Reports Are Missing the Story

Amy Goodman has the right of it.

David B. Benson said...

Left coasters --- Be sure to watch the sky at/near sunset tonight. See anything unusual? Especially near the location of the sun?

Do inform me tomorrow.

º¿carol said...

Carey, I wasn't home this morning, missed everything. I heard Mrs. Obama was going to be co-host on The View and crap, we had an appointment with a lawyer an hour before the show was to air. I didn't want to miss that show.

If she was also on Today, I wasn't up that early. zzzzzzzz

{ò,ó}arol said...

Tim said, "The government works for the people. If the people do not do what they feel is necessary to combat the mortal enemy that they believe global warming to be, then nothing will be done. That is why it is a hoax and a hoax of the highest magnitude."

The people CAN'T do it! We can't make a gas-free car for one thing. We need the force of the government to make things happen. If anyone thinks there would ever be a day when every single person in this country, or world would start to do the right thing in any area, you're dreaming. Everyone would be killing each other if there weren't laws. Same goes for plastic bags, plastic bottles and all the crap. People won't stop using them unless there is a law about it, or a fee attached to each bag taken out of a store.

If global warming WERE a hoax, we still have to mend our ways. There are only so many resources left. We can't wait to find an alternative to oil until the last drop is gone. We have to stop making everything out of plastic RIGHT now. The ocean is awash in that crap and it's killing our wild life and probably us. The consumate waste has to be stopped, the sooner the better.

So, people like Tim can keep denying there is a problem, keep doing what they do. It's because of people like the Tims that the government HAS to start getting serious, start making some laws forcing us to change our ways. Ban those plastic bags. Put an end to all the damn water bottles. The list in endless.

micki said...



micki said...

Denialism (n): the practice of creating the illusion of debate when there is none.

ò,óarol said...

I can't get over when people bring up Al Gore and his electric bill. That is so damn ignorant. The people who do bring that up, if as rich as Al, would use just as much power if not more. You can bet on that.

micki said...

Yes, Carol, one truly inconvenient truth in all this "discussion" is that denialists continue with their spin, disinformation and cheap debating tactics. Al Gore's electric bill is their red herring, their distraction. WTF does his electic bill have to do with the validity of the science?

I can imagine Sean Hannity talking to an "expert":

Sean: Global warming: we've read about it, heard about it, had it shoved down our throats. But, where's the truth? Is CO2 really a greenhouse gas after all? Our guest today, Debbie Deniali, went straight to Tennessee to get the facts.

Debbie D.: "We're here in Tennessee taking a close-up look at Al Gore's whopper of an electric bill! His electric bill should be addressed to AL HYPOCRITE GORE. His bill is HUGE compared to other bills. This just shows it's further proof that it'll be harder and harder for Americans to believe anything he says.

Sean: "Debbie, so you know firsthand that his electric bill is huge? You saw the invoice?

Debbie D: I did, Sean. The bill is bigger than huge. It's enormous.

Sean: Thanks, Debbie, for that report. Americans can stop worrying about floods, droughts, sea-level rise, melting glaciers, severe weather events now that we know the size of the electric bill of one house in Tennessee.

Debbie D: Sean, thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight.

micki said...

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (now retired) served as the deputy commanding general for support for the Third Army for ten months in Kuwait during the early days of the Iraq occupation. In a statement released today, he bluntly accuses the Bush administration of war crimes and lays down a challenge for prosecution.

In 2004, Taguba released a classified report detailing abuses committed at Abu Ghraib Prison. The "Taguba Report" urged Pentagon officials to follow up on its findings by enforcing adherence to the Geneva Conventions in interrogations.

Taguba retired in January 2007, later alleging that Pentagon officials had ordered him to retire for being "overzealous" in his criticisms of the military.

In light of ongoing Congressional investigations into so-called harsh interrogation techniques, and on the heels of Congressman Dennis Kucinich recently issuing articles of impeachment accusing President Bush of, among other offenses, authorizing torture, we present Taguba's latest statement for your consideration.

The full Physicians for Human Rights report outlining the medical evidence of torture perpetrated by the United States can be read at their website.


Preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives

By Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)

Maj. Gen. Taguba led the US Army's official investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and testified before Congress on his findings in May 2004.

This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individuals' lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.

The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted - both on America's institutions and our nation's founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.

In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. And the healing professions, including physicians and psychologists, became complicit in the willful infliction of harm against those the Hippocratic Oath demands they protect.

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

The former detainees in this report - each of whom is fighting a lonely and difficult battle to rebuild his life - require reparations for what they endured, comprehensive psycho-social and medical assistance, and even an official apology from our government.

But most of all, these men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution.

And so do the American people.


Also See: Human Rights Group Says It Has Proof of Detainee Abuse

carey said...

I undoubtedly will be too busy in the morning to post. Micki, thank you for the Taguba article. I heard a fleeting report on this somewhere and couldn't get the facts.

Dang, I didn't see your post in time, David. Didn't look at the sky.

carey said...

One thing, David. The moon, full and huge as it is, was low and enormous-looking as it was rising. It's placement was the lowest point the moon will go on the horizon this particular evening.

What was the sun thing?