Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And They Have The Nerve To Call Themselves Patriots

From CBS News we learn that there are other casualties of the unfounded and unjust war in Iraq that President Bush and Dick Cheney took us into. A former Haliburton subsidiary KBR stands accused of allowing our men and women in uniform to be exposed to hazardous substances without informing them of the health risks. This is what happens when you use war to make a profit. This is what happens when you hand out no bid contracts to your friends and former business associates. This is what happens when you put money over the lives of the men and women who serve our country. But Republicans are the patriotic party right? I don't know how you can read about a situation like this one and ever trust a Republican administration again.

In April of 2003, James Gentry of the Indiana National Guard arrived in Southern Iraq to take command of more than 600 other guardsmen. Their job: protect KBR contractors working at a local water plant.

"We didn't question what we were doing, we just knew we had to provide a security service for the KBR," said Battalion Cmdr. Gentry.

Today James Gentry is dying from rare form of lung cancer. The result, he believes, of months of inhaling hexavalent chromium - an orange dust that's part of a toxic chemical found all over the plant.

At least one other Indiana guardsman has already died from lung cancer, and others are said to be suffering from tumors and rashes consistent with exposure to the deadly toxin.


In a statement, the company told CBS News: "We deny the assertion that KBR harmed troops and was responsible for an unsafe condition."

The company says it notified the Army as soon as it identified the toxin.

Still, some Indiana guardsmen say they only just learned of the risk.

"I didn’t know I was exposed to a deadly carcinogen until five years later when I received a letter," said Indiana National Guardsman Jody Aistrop.

This is far from the first time the multi-billion dollar contractor has been accused of questionable conduct at Iraq. In addition to convictions for bribery, it's alleged KBR provided contaminated water to troops. The company denies all charges.

Republicans make a big deal about flag pins and saying the pledge of allegiance and all the while they are sending our citizens off to die needlessly while their friends get rich. Is anybody ever going to fall for this again? I certainly hope not.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, but at least we're saving shit tons of money by contracting KBR, right?

    Oh wait, fuck:


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