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Texas Woman Loses Rape Case Against KBR

She claimed employees of the military contractor assaulted her

(Newser) - A woman who brought a high-profile rape case against military contractor KBR has lost her suit. A jury in Houston yesterday rejected Jamie Leigh Jones' claims that she was drugged and raped by several KBR firefighters while working in Baghdad in 2005, reports the Houston Chronicle . One of the firefighters...

Worker Tells of Rape by US Contractor Crew in Iraq

Jamie Leigh Jones suing KBR

(Newser) - A former employee of US contractor KBR recounted a horrifying ordeal in which she was drugged, gang-raped in Iraq by other workers, and then locked in a shipping container by two company guards so she couldn't go to authorities. Jamie Leigh Jones, now 26, testified in a Texas courtroom...

Nigeria Charges Cheney in Bribery Case

Ex-VP's lawyers reject 'baseless' charges

(Newser) - Nigeria has indicted former vice president Dick Cheney and several other executives in a bribery case dating back to Cheney's time in charge of Halliburton. Prosecutors from Nigeria's anti-corruption unit allege that Halliburton and other firms paid $180 million in bribes to win a $6 billion contract for a natural...

Burning Trash Made Us Sick: Troops

Hundreds sue contractors running burn pits

(Newser) - Hundreds of service members and employees of Kellogg Brown & Root have filed lawsuits against the contractor, which burns vast amounts of trash on US bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying the thick smoke from the burn pits has made them sick. KBR operates more than two dozen of the...

Defense Dept. Opposed Anti-Rape Rule for Contractors

But lefties ripped GOP senators for nay votes

(Newser) - When 30 Republicans voted against an Al Franken amendment prohibiting defense contractors from forcing their employees to agree not to sue if they’re raped, Jon Stewart and liberals everywhere went ballistic. But those 30 Republicans weren’t alone, the Huffington Post reports; the Defense Department opposed the amendment as...

Civilian Contractors Are the 'Vietnam Vets' of Our Time

Workers injured in war zones are the hidden cost of Iraq, Afghanistan wars

(Newser) - Thousands of Americans have come home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are veterans in all but name, writes T. Christian Miller—and the benefits afforded veterans. The military's unprecedented reliance on civilian contractors has left thousands injured and disabled with no safety net or public gratitude. Whether...

US Soldier Held in Iraq Contractor's Shooting Death

Contractor for Houston-based KBR shot to death, died at 8:30am

(Newser) - A US soldier is being held in the shooting death of a civilian contractor in Tikrit, Iraq, reports CNN. Houston-based military contractor KBR said the victim shot to death yesterday at Contingency Operating Base Speicher was an employee.

Halliburton Will Pay $559M in Nigerian Bribery Fines

The settlement is the second-largest under the current law

(Newser) - Halliburton will shell out $559 million in fines—the largest federal penalty ever paid by a US company for bribery—to the Justice Department and the SEC to settle claims that its former KBR unit greased the palms of Nigerian officials to help get a gas liquefaction facility built, along...

Halliburton, KBR Sued for Sickening Iraq Troops

Suit charges contractors supplied spoiled food, contaminated water

(Newser) - A lawsuit filed against Halliburton and KBR accuses the military contractors of exposing troops and civilian workers on a US base in Iraq to spoiled food, contaminated water, and toxic fumes from a burn pit, the Military Times reports. The lead plaintiff in the suit said he still has nightmares...

Foreign Workers Held in Iraq

Contractor kept 1,000 Asian laborers 3 months in warehouses

(Newser) - About 1,000 foreign workers brought to Iraq with the promise of lucrative jobs have been living for 3 months in Baghdad warehouses under poor sanitary conditions and in possible violation of US military rules, McClatchy reports. A Kuwaiti company that subcontracts with KBR, formerly Haliburton, brought the men from...

Ex Halliburton Exec Pleads Guilty to $180M Bribery

Cheney man 'won' $6B Nigerian contracts

(Newser) - A fired Halliburton exec has pleaded guilty to bribing Nigerian government officials, the Wall Street Journal reports. Albert Stanley, CEO of KBR when it was a Halliburton subsidiary, faces up to 7 years in jail and a restitution payment of nearly $11 million. Stanley was appointed by Vice President Dick...

US Contractor Bills in Iraq to Hit $100B

Workers outnumber troops, account for 20% of war spending

(Newser) - By the end of the year, the US will have spent $100 billion on private defense contractors in Iraq, a congressional report finds, showing more private-sector reliance than any previous wartime. Some 20% of funds spent on the war have gone to contractors, whose numbers are now greater than the...

Clinton: Nothing Immune From Bush's 'Waste, Fraud, Abuse'

Cronyism flourishes under Iraq, Katrina

(Newser) - The Bush White House has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on corrupt deals and unaccountable contractors, Hillary Clinton writes in the Wall Street Journal. If America is going to regain fiscal stability, it must "increase transparency" and put an end to practices like "rewarding companies that exploit tax...

Army 'Warned on Wiring' Before Soldier's Electrocution

Sergeant filed work order after being shocked in the shower

(Newser) - A sergeant warned Army administrators about faulty wiring months before a soldier was electrocuted in a shower at the same quarters, CNN reports. "Pipes have voltage, get shocked in the shower," he wrote in a work order. A House committee probing the electrocution deaths in Iraq had previously...

Shoddy Electrical Work Killing US Troops in Iraq

Hazard from substandard work worse than Pentagon has acknowledged

(Newser) - Shoddy electrical work by private contractors is making Iraq an even deadlier place for US troops, reports the New York Times. At least 13 troops have died from electrocution and many more have been injured. Others have perished in electrical fires. The problem is worse than the Pentagon has acknowledged,...

Army Overseer Ousted After Rejecting Bogus Iraq Bills

Says he was replaced after vowing not to pay dubious bills

(Newser) - Did a top Army official lose his job for trying to save the Army money? Charles Smith was ousted from his job after refusing to pay then-Halliburton subsidiary KBR more than $1 billion in charges deemed bogus by Army auditors. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn’...

Iraqis Charge Sex Abuse at British Embassy

Three say KBR contractors routinely harass, grope workers

(Newser) - Three staff at the British embassy in Baghdad are sexually harassed, bullied, and abused, say three Iraqi ex-employees. A female cleaner and two male cooks detail a brutal work culture overseen by American contractors, according to testimony taken by the embassy and obtained by the Times of London. The cleaner...

Women Report Sex Assaults by Contractors in Iraq

Victims say assaults are common and complaints ignored in legal limbo

(Newser) - American women who report being sexually assaulted while working for contractors in Iraq are finding themselves stuck in a legal limbo, reports the New York Times. They are not covered by military laws, and the reach of American laws over US contractors abroad is still unclear. Contractors like KBR require...

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