by David Phinney
Sunday October 25th 2020



Reporting on Fort Apache, Baghdad

The news stories about the new US embassy sprouting up in Baghdad’s Green Zone are now in full bloom. The Associated Press headlines New U.S. Embassy in Iraq cloaked in mystery. USA Today chimes in with Giant U.S. embassy rising in Baghdad.
What’s missing? The fact that the Kuwaiti-based contractor building the embasy wasn’t the lowest bidder, along with the US State Department’s feeble attempts to keep the contract a secret since last August. And reporters fail to pick up on the allegations that First Kuwaiti Trading and Contracting has been repeatedly accused of coercing unwilling South Asian laborers to work in Iraq.
I reported on the embassy project February 12 with all the shiny details of it being Fort Apache on steroids — along with the allegations of labor exploitation last October. I also reported that First Kuwaiti was not the lowest bidder by up to $70 million and that competing contractors believe the deal “was political.”

Don’t believe me about the allegations of trafficking? Try The Chicago Tribune or the Kathmandu Post.


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