Tuesday, June 17, 2008

War Profiteer & Rape Club KBR Back in the News!

Dick Cheney's old colleagues at KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary until 2007, are in the news today AGAIN, courtesy of our friends at the New York Times. Check it out here.

KBR is the Army's single largest contractor. They provide vital services, and that gives them leverage. And like the good businessmen that they are, they use it.
It's a not very funny story about how KBR got the Army to pay them $1BILLION for questionable charges in Iraq, and to fire the Army contract manager, Charles M. Smith, who tried to hold KBR accountable. Hah! What an idiot. Didn't he realize he was dealing with Halliburton?
When the Army's Mr. Smith told KBR that he would be withholding payments until KBR provided proper documentation, KBR threatened to withhold battlefield services. So, the U.S. Army . . . well, they totally caved in and gave KBR all the money it wanted. I doubt this type of thing would have happened in the pre-privatization era, when those same battlefield services were provided by people who were actually in the Army.

Who's The Boss?

KBR CEO William P. Utt
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
KBR has also had a couple of very bad rape cases find media daylight in the past few years. Here are links to these stories.



Now, for reasons that are not exactly clear to me, our government's position on these is that the American rapists who attacked these American women cannot be arrested or held criminally accountable by either American or Iraqi law enforcement. The argument goes that the U.S. has no jurisdiction over civilian "contractors" in Iraq, and the Iraqis, per their new Constitution, have no legal authority over Americans who are involved in the occupation/war.
I really do not believe that this can possibly be true. If it is, then it seems that we could use the same legal loophole to just shoot/hang/castrate/rape/behead/alloftheabove these rapists in Iraq. If they've managed to get back home, we could "render" them back to Iraq. Not the best solution, but sometimes in war you have to improvise.
Plaudits to Senator Bill Nelson of Florida for caring about this. I don't know a lot about Bill Nelson, but I hope he follows through on this.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson