by David Phinney
Sunday June 16th 2024



‘Iraq’ Archives

Unknown Number of Federal Civilian Workers

For many years, there was no accurate estimate on the number of contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan until The Los Angeles Times came up with a headcount that contractors now outnumber the miliary. Apparently, no official count has been made for federal civilian employees either. The Washington Post reports that the Defense Department has [...]

Baghdad Embassy Contractor Aims for More Business

Baghdad Embassy Contractor Aims for More Business

Sloppy construction, safety problems, bribes, slave-like labor practices, missed deadlines, internal disputes and inflated costs -- the new $600-million US embassy compound in Baghdad is swamped in a rising deluge of allegations from lawmakers and the news media. Meanwhile, the former Washington representative for the Kuwait-headquartered [...]

Embassy to be Finalized ‘Later this Month’…. Huh?

Stop the Press: Charles Williams, director of the State Department's overseas building operations, told USA TODAY that the new embassy in Baghdad will be finalized later this month. The delay was shorter than those seen during recent construction of smaller embassies, he said. Seems the State Department just can't get its story straight. State [...]

Baghdad Embassy Delayed Indefinitely with Cost Overruns

The opening of the mammoth new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has been delayed indefinitely, according to Reuters as the Kuwaiti contractor "fixes a punch list of problems," the State Department said on Tuesday. The sprawling complex, whose cost is edging toward $750 million, was set to open last month but U.S. lawmakers say shoddy work by the [...]

Waxman Takes More Swings at Baghdad Embassy Contractor

A leading Democrat in Congress is blasting the US State Department for apparently casting a blind eye on allegations of widespread construction flaws at the $600-million-and-counting embassy project in Baghdad. In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rep. Henry Waxman, who chairs the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, [...]

US Embassy Contractor Missing Laptop?

US Embassy Contractor Missing Laptop?

by David Phinney Oct. 6, 2007 -- A laptop belonging to a high-level executive supervising construction of the new US embassy in Baghdad went missing in May 2006 at the Kuwait office of the contractor hired to build the new US embassy in Baghdad, according to multiple sources. These sources, who formerly worked with the contractor, have [...]

Rumors of First Kuwaiti Airplanes for People Moving

From spring 2006: The general manager for the US Embassy contractor, First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting has two airplanes the company can't register and is piloted by a German pilot named Wolfgang .... The general manager also has another plane piloted by Brits flying in and out of Kuwait and a fourth that may be registered. Another [...]

Under Sworn Testimony: Misleading Statements about U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

by David Phinney Oct. 6, 2007 -- Two months ago, a top US State Department official in charge of embassy construction gave misleading statements under sworn testimony about the new US embassy in Baghdad. He claimed that it would be completed on budget and on time. Now numerous news reports say that the project's completion will be delayed for [...]

New US Embassy in Baghdad Delayed

Widespread construction flaws and substandard work have delayed completion of the US State Department’s mammoth new $592-million embassy in Baghdad despite previous official statements that the ambitious fortified compound would be finished in September, numerous sources familiar with the project have been telling me for several weeks. Those [...]

A Review of an Alleged Million-Dollar Bribe

Update on Jeff Mazon, a KBR contract officer being accused of taking bribes from businesses seeking work to support the US military in Iraq: Country Club Hills man accused in Iraq war kickback scheme. Mazon faces four counts of major fraud and eight counts of wire fraud. Under way in federal court in Rock Island, Mazon's trial has shed light on [...]

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