by David Phinney
Monday September 28th 2020



‘Iraq’ Archives

Insuring Wartime Risks

It's one of the priciest items on a contractor's bill when doing business on the battlefield: insurance. Calculations estimate that premiums range from $10 to $21 per $100 of salary paid to a civilian contractor, according to the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office. "That means taxpayers were paying up to $21,000 a [...]

Pentagon Ponders Expanding Foreign Recruitment

Want US citizenship? Join the US Globar War on Terrorism today! That's what the Pentagon is now considering: expanding the existing program of trading citizenship to those foreign nationals willing to pick up arms on behalf of US foreign policy and military operations. Insiders at the Pentagon reveal discussions about opening recruiting stations [...]

Civilian Footprint

KBR Press release: The work that KBR is doing in the Middle East could not be accomplished without a dedicated workforce, and the company is proud of its 50,000 employees and subcontractors who daily face danger to support the troops serving there. Sadly, 95 KBR employees and subcontractors have lost their lives and more than 420 personnel have [...]

Skinned Doberman, Two Beers and Jingle Bells

Season's greetings! This just came in from Iraq. I like it. Hey Everybody, I hope you all are well and happy. Christmas time can be fun and cheerful if you do it right. I went looking for some christmas lights at the nearest FOB (forward operating base) but the PX there didn't have any. I found some low voltage lights here, so I'm going to try [...]

Pentagon Claims Widespread Practice: Contractors have been Taking Passports from Workers on the Battlefield

Pentagon Claims Widespread Practice: Contractors have been Taking Passports from Workers on the Battlefield

by David Phinney Dec. 17, 2006 -- The Pentagon announced last spring that contractors in Iraq were taking and holding civilian employee passports. Why? To prevent employees from "jumping" to other firms.... "among other things." Did the "other things" include discouraging laborers from escaping harsh treatment, non-payment of salaries, [...]

KBR Gives a Pass to Costly Insurance Requirements in Iraq

KBR Gives a Pass to Costly Insurance Requirements in Iraq

by David Phinney Dec. 17. 2006 -- I have a curious one-page memo, "Blanket Insurance Waiver," which apparently allows Halliburton/KBR to waive insurance requirements -- read cut "costs" -- to potential subcontractors working under Halliburton's sweeping military logistics contract, known as LOGCAP. Four top-level KRR managers approved this [...]

The Shadow Army

CBS and The San Francisco Chronicle both ran recent stories on contractors working in Iraq. Privatizing support services supposedly brings down costs for the Pentagon. It also sweeps a myriad number of problems under the rug -- everything from who gets to carry guns and the liability for shooting people to the longterm health problems of the [...]

Greetings from Bangkok

Lots of new things to report from my travels to Manila. I met with government officials and former workers with First Kuwaiti Trading and Contracting. I am told that First Kuwaiti is on a Philippine agency "watch list" for numerous complaints from workers about alleged labor trafficking into Iraq and horrid working and living conditions there. The [...]

Babylon Rising in the Jet Age

Things began looking more sketchier than ever to John Owens as he boarded a nondescript white jet on his way back to Iraq in March 2005 following some R&R in Kuwait city. Working as a general construction foreman for First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting, the lead builder for the new $592-million US embassy in Baghdad, Owen remembers being [...]

Press Release

The news from the $592-million embassy project rising up along the Tigris is not pretty. Low wage workers from South Asia are being smuggled in from Kuwait to help push up the profit margins of the contractor, First Kuwaiti Trading and Contracting. Once there, First Kuwaiti managers are said to physically assault their workers, and provide paltry [...]

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