I was surprised to learn about a new scandal last week. This involves the Defense department and their contractor - KBR. KBR used to be owned by the infamous Halliburton Corporation during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Halliburton then spun KBR off.
Link about Burn Pits
KBR was in charge of supplying our troops with, well, everything during these wars. A herculean job for sure. One of their jobs was to get rid of the trash and all other debris from the war. Trash, waste, vehicles, tires, chemcials, you name it. They created a system of BURN PITS at each base. These pits would then be filled with anything they needed to dispose of. They then set the contents on fire. They burned everything up in an open pit, 24 hours per day. Meanwhile our soldiers were housed a few hundred yards from the BURN PITS. Depending on which direction the wind was blowing, the smoke may have gone right over our soldiers. Which it did apparently.
These fires were extremely toxic and dangerous. You wonder what idiot at KBR thought this was a good idea. Sure, they did not have to haul out the waste or debris from the war effort but they endangered our soldiers, workers, and civilians in the area.
Many of our soldiers did multiple tours and returned to the war zone many times over a long period of time.
Obviously, this smoke was extremely unhealthy for anyone in the vicinity. So as you can imagine, our soldiers became sick as a result of breathing in this smoke for years on end. Remember, every substanial base had a BURN PIT.
These soldiers have now either contracted serious lung diseases and other illnesses related to the BURN PIT pollution and are sick and dying in some cases. The VA has reluctantly set up "registers" to gather data on the soldiers. Soldiers are participating in this data collation in an effort to get support from the Federal Government for their illnessses. The jury is out on how the government will treat this illness .
Meanwhile, some are trying to sue KBR for their mismanagement of the waste disposal task. KBR has said that they should not be subject to legal action anymore than the government would be if they had handled the waste like they did in the "old" days when tghe US Military was in charge of all activities.
This is interesting that KBR did such a bad job of doing this job and that the Defense Dept allowed them to endanger our soldiers. Why you ask. Just look at the size and level of sophistication of KBR. They are a huge company with a lot of resources, resourecs that WE paid for during the past decade. Yet, here they are burning trash in their back yard, something that most residential property owners would (or could) never do safely or within the law. Burning trash in an open pit is not legal in most areas because it is potentially toxi and dangerous.
However, KBR and Halliburton did just that. Yes, the likes of Halliburton and KBR burned trash in the back yards of our soldiers and of the civilians of Iraq and Afghanistan for years on end.
Where were the Dept. of Defense inspectors? You would think as we outsourced these functions to private industry they would have installed inspectors to make sure they did the right and legal thing. But as we have seen on Wall Street, the regulators are in the back pocket of the companies nowadays and their managers look the other way.
Now our soldiers and veterans are sick, really sick. Just like they were from Iraq I in the 1990's with depleted uranium munitions in the area where they lived. Not to mention Agent Orange from Vietnam. Have we and the US Military learned nothing in the past 50 years about endangering the lives of our soldiers?
Once again, corporate greed and corruption is at the heart of this problem. Our soldiers and their families will will pay the price for these actions of KBR and Halliburton. The Amrican people will be expected to pick up the tab for their healthcare cost as KBR gets off scot free.
Remember this as the Federal Govt wants us to go to war again in Syria or the Ukraine or wherever. They act like they care about our soldiers but they really don't. Not since we allowed corporate interests to run the government and military. President Eisenhower knew these things would happen back in 1960 when he tried to warn us of the dangerous military industrial complex as he was leaving office.
Anyway, I am asking each of you to now be aware of the BURN PITS and how they have severely harmed so many of our soldiers. Question your government, don't just accept what they say, they can be professional conmen and scam artists and your children and grandchildren could be affected by their terrible decisions. Remember the post 9-11 pollution that affected the brave workers in the World trade Center clean-up effort. They too, were lied to. The lying continues to this day - 13 years after 9-11.