Iraq Veterans File Suit Against KBR
As we approach another 4th of July weekend, there are news stories about veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are suffering terrible diseases because of exposure to “burn pits.” These burn pits are not some fiendish enemy weapon. They are the creation of contractors hired to “support the troops,” paid with American taxpayer dollars.
Massive open-air pits in Iraq and Afghanistan are used to incinerate medical waste, including human body parts; garbage, plastics; lithium batteries; unexploded ordnance; miscellaneous hardware; gas cans; entire humvees; and building rubble, including asbestos insulation. The burn pits generate black, toxic smoke breathed daily by military men and women serving in the area.
Katie Connolly reports for Newsweek that about 200 veterans have joined in a lawsuit against KBR, Inc. KBR is the former Kellogg Brown & Root, at one time a subsidiary of Halliburton, of which former Vice President Dick Cheney was once CEO. KBR employs more American private contractors and holds a larger contract with the U.S. government than does any other firm in Iraq, according to Wikipedia. By October 2003, seven months after the beginning of the military action in Iraq, KBR’s bill to taxpayers had already reached $1.6 billion. There was no readily available tally of the total value of contracts with KBR since.