Burning Toxic Waste is Making U.S. Soldiers and Iraqis Sick, But the Pentagon Refuses to Admit It
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The KBR Connection: Will There Be Accountability?
One Georgia man is having none Dr. Kilpatrick’s reassurances. In November, Joshua Eller, a civilian draftman, initiated what he hopes will be a class action suit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, for exposing people at the Balad base to unsafe water, food and hazardous burn pit fumes.
The suit claims that “all across Iraq and … not confined to Balad” KBR provided bathing water that was not disinfected, including according to former KBR employee testimony, water from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers that was polluted with sewage. Regularly, KBR served soldiers spoiled, expired and rotten food and used dishes that may have been contaminated with shrapnel. The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff suffers from chronic skin lesions, abdominal distress, and nightmares.
KBR dumped medical waste, including needles, bandages, and body parts in the open pit. On one occasion,” the suit states, the plaintiff “witnessed a wild dog running around base with a human arm in its mouth.
Nora Eisenberg is the director of the City University of New York's fellowship program for emerging scholars. Her short stories, essays and reviews have appeared in such places as The Partisan Review, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times and Tikkun. When You Come Home, her new novel, which explores the the 1991 Gulf War and Gulf War illness, will be published this month by Curbstone Press.