Photo: Military/Galen Putnam
This week National Guard soldiers claim to have found evidence that KBR knew there were harmful chemicals present on a base in Iraq.But this is only one of the many outrageous things KBR allegedly did as the sole contractor to the U.S. military in Iraq.
The book “The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving In Iraq” by journalist Helen Benedict traces the story of women serving in Iraq. Here are some shocking stories from the book:
- KBR charged soldiers $45 for a six-pack of Coke and $100 to wash a $3 load of laundry
- If a vehicle ran out of oil or got a flat tire, KBR would douse it in gasoline and set fire to it and then bill the government for the cost of a new vehicle plus extra, according to the book “I Am A Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story”
- A water purification specialist found that 63 or 67 water tanks at Camp Ramadi Marine Base had no chlorine and were polluted with malaria, tyhpus, bacteria from animal and human waste and flesh-eating bacteria, as discussed in the documentary “Iraq For Sale”
- KBR gave soldiers castoff water from purifying units for laundry, showers, shaving and to brush their teeth, according to the book “Betraying Our Troops”
- The dining halls, run by KBR, were only open at specific times in order to save money. This predictable schedule made it easy for insurgents to attack. Most notably in 2004 in Mosul, a suicide bomber entered the mess hall and killed 22 people wounded 69.
In 2005 the Pentagon found that KBR had failed to account for $1.8 billion for feeding and housing troops which included $12 million in meals which were never served. Despite these and other scandals, KBR was given a $150 billion contract in 2007 to support troops around the world, and it continued to get no-bid contracts through 2011 in Iraq.
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