24 January 2006

US troops given contaminated water by Halliburton

This is how Dick Cheney's company supports our troops in Iraq -- and the civilians we went there to "liberate".

They were knowingly given water that was known to contain two times more contamination than untreated water from the Euphrates River (which has dead bodies and other war debris floating in it).


From the Associated Press via The Boston Globe:
Troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn't get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.

Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, disputes the allegations about water problems at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi, even though they were made by its own employees and documented in company e-mails.

"We exposed a base camp population (military and civilian) to a water source that was not treated," said a July 15, 2005, memo written by William Granger, the official for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary who was in charge of water quality in Iraq and Kuwait.

"The level of contamination was roughly 2x the normal contamination of untreated water from the Euphrates River," Granger wrote in one of several documents. The Associated Press obtained the documents from Senate Democrats who are holding a public inquiry into the allegations Monday.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who will chair the session, held a number of similar inquiries last year on contracting abuses in Iraq. He said Democrats were acting on their own because they had not been able to persuade Republican committee chairmen to investigate.

The company's former water treatment expert at Camp Junction City said that he discovered the problem last March, a statement confirmed by his e-mail the day after he tested the water.


Halliburton's performance in Iraq has been criticized in a number of military audits, and congressional Democrats have contended that the Bush administration has favored the company with noncompetitive contracts.
[Read more.]

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