KBR and the Pentagon — Billions More and No Turning Back
(The American Conservative Blog) -- By Kelley Vlahos
I am sure that many will view the latest military contract award to Kellogg, Brown and Root (former subsidiary of Halliburton) — worth upwards of $2.8 billion for work in Iraq – through a political lens. We all know the company’s hold on Washington to be as tenacious as a barnacle on a pirate ship. However, KBR’s relationship has gone far beyond political favoritism. When the paymasters at the Pentagon say KBR is the only outfit to do the job, believe it. The “job” has turned into a massive shift of military operations to the private sector. There is no going back now. KBR is the largest and most capable defense contractor out there, and without it doing everything from building airfields and barracks to serving food, handling waste removal, delivering water and fuel — well, the Pentagon would not be able to wage the war alone.
“In short, we will be bringing as many contractors as we are troops – especially KBR [Kellogg, Brown and Root] – because they now feed and house the military, and the military has no real choice, because they have let that part of their logistics atrophy,” pointed out Dina Rasor, director of the Follow the Money Project and co-author of Betraying our Troops: The Destructive Results of Privatizing War, in an interview last year on the surge of new contract opportunities into Afghanistan...
So, as long as there is this demand, the Pentagon is forced to retain a company that is accused and/or responsible — according to numerous audits, investigations and lawsuits — for myriad waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds since 2001. The latest: a huge class action suit by sick vets who say KBR was responsible for untreated potable water and the massively polluted burn pits on various Army bases, as well as the death of at least one soldier who was electrocuted by a shoddy base shower built by KBR subcontractors. There are ongoing probes into at least 17 similar electrocutions. The company has denied that it had anything to do with it — and has denied connections to the dirty water and burn pits, too...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
I understand that Washington wants to use Halliburton because the federal government (in this case, the Pentagon) is so wasteful and inefficient.
But isn't paying tens of billions in taxpayer money to a private special interest that can and does take chunks of that money and turn around lobby for more war in order to expand its business and profits technically called fascism?
Does it ever occur to these Big Government thieves in Washington to just scale everything back, or are we to the point now that the machine is so big and self-perpetuating that it's too late for that, and just bracing ourselves for the day that the country finally has grown so top-heavy that it simply collapses?
Marxist/Neocon Washington's new slogan: "Forward, comrades, from each according to his ability to pay (us) until economic collapse!"