[Marxism] Pentagon whistle-blower exposes $1 BILLION in phony charges (better formatting)

Pat Costello pt_costello at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 17 04:52:28 MDT 2008


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp

WASHINGTON — The Army official who managed the Pentagon’s largest contract
in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying
more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR, the Houston-based
company that has provided food, housing and other services to American
troops.

The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the
multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the
war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced
from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would
impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their
chaotic Iraqi operations.

Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for
more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the
payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they
couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that
was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t
going to do that.”...



...."Ever since KBR emerged as the dominant contractor in Iraq, critics
have questioned whether the company has benefited from its political
connections to the Bush administration. Until last year, KBR was known as
Kellogg, Brown and Root and was a subsidiary of Halliburton, the Texas oil
services giant, where Vice President Dick Cheney previously served as
chief executive.

When told of Mr. Smith’s account, Representative Henry A. Waxman, the
California Democrat who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government
Reform Committee, said it “is startling, and it confirms the committee’s
worst fears. KBR has repeatedly gouged the taxpayer, and the Bush
administration has looked the other way every time.”



      




      




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