KBR/Halliburton did provide dirty water to U.S. troops in Iraq

“Republicans support our troops” is going to go down as one of the biggest lies ever told in American politics. We’ve seen a litany of things done by Republican leadership to the men and women who serve our country: not enough equipment, faulty equipment, Walter Reed, long deployments, stop-loss, and war based on a lie without an end in sight.

The latest outrage, dirty water provided by KBR, actually made U.S. soldiers sick:

U.S. soldiers at a military base in Iraq were provided with treated but untested wastewater for nearly two years by KBR, the giant government contractor, and may have suffered health problems as a result, according to a report released yesterday by the Pentagon’s inspector general.

The inspector general said that from March 2004 to February 2006, KBR inappropriately distributed chlorinated wastewater to 5,000 U.S. troops at Camp Q-West, located at the Qayyarah West airfield about 180 miles north of Baghdad. The wastewater had been processed by a reverse-osmosis purification system and treated with chlorine before being distributed to showers and latrines on the base.

The report said that from October 2005 to June 2006, sick-call records showed 38 reported illnesses that “an attending medical official said could be attributed to water, such as skin abscesses, cellulites, skin infections and diarrhea.” The report said it was impossible to definitively link the treated water to all the illnesses.

At the time, KBR was owned by Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton. Keep in mind that KBR already has a very shady history in Iraq have been accused of covering up a gang rape, of “fraud and contract abuse,” and of overcharging for food back in 2003 — to name but a few. The scandal about dirty water first appeared in January of 2006. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), who has been doggedly investigating KBR, demanded the investigation that resulted in this latest confirmation of the company’s atrocious behavior.

All of this happened under the watchful eyes of the Republicans who started this war. Bush let it happen. Cheney let it happen. McCain let it happen. Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman, who ran the Senate’s Oversight Committee, let it happen. They don’t support the troops. KBR didn’t fear consequences because the company’s friends were in power.

Thanks to Senator Dorgan for actually looking out for the troops and exposing this outrage. Someone should go to jail for this.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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