Pentagon to investigate Halliburton's Iraq water contamination
16 March, 2006
WASHINGTON, March 16 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- The Pentagon has decided to investigate a story first broke by HalliburtonWatch which accused Halliburton's KBR subsidiary of providing contaminated water to the troops throughout Iraq, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced today. ###
After being ignored by the mainstream media for months, Halliburton whistleblowers Ben Carter and Ken May came to HalliburtonWatch to report that KBR knowingly exposes troops and civilians to contaminated water from Iraq's Euphrates River.
"I discovered the water being delivered from the Euphrates for the military was not being treated properly and thousands were being exposed daily to numerous pathogenic organisms," Carter told HalliburtonWatch last September.
The revelations led to a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee where Carter and May testified. The chairman of the committee, Sen. Dorgan, said that he’s been informed that "the Defense Department’s Inspector General will investigate reports of wrongdoing by Halliburton in the performance of its contract to provide potable water to U.S. troops serving in Iraq."
“Halliburton and the Defense Department should be made to answer for this situation,” Dorgan said. “This investigation is long overdue and I welcome it. Based on what we now know from an internal report from Halliburton’s own water quality expert, Halliburton’s delivery of unhealthy water to U.S. troops is completely unacceptable. On behalf of our troops and their families, we need a thorough, urgent investigation and straight answers.”
The Associated Press today released an internal 21-page Halliburton report which admits that KBR exposed U.S. troops to contaminated water throughout Iraq.
Dorgan said the report "shows that neither the Defense Department nor Halliburton has been straight with us about this situation. The internal Halliburton report reveals that contaminated water was a problem nationwide, and put American soldiers who used that water at risk.”
“Our troops and their families know they will face great risk in Iraq," Dorgan said. "That risk should not include behavior by contractors who cut corners and whose incompetence fails to manage a program that is supposed to deliver safe water supplies.”
The Defense Department pays Halliburton over $400 million each month for their work in Iraq.
"We may be stuck with Halliburton in Iraq but, after that, I think it’s time that Halliburton and the Defense Department part company, given the substantial evidence of waste, fraud and abuse that has emerged with regard to the company’s large, sole-source contracts,” Dorgan said.
Dorgan has chaired seven hearings on contractor abuse in Iraq, several of which have focused on Halliburton, the largest federal contractor in Iraq.
Read the internal KBR report on water contamination, authored by Wil Granger