Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Halliburton fed expired food to U.S. soldiers

Byron Dorgan is speaking right now on the Senate floor about a hearing the Democratic Policy Committee held yesterday into the Halliburton contracts in Iraq, and he is upset.

From the testimony of Rory Mayberry, Former KBR Food Production Manager.
    There were other problems that were not related to KBR’s costs.

    Food items were being brought into the base that were outdated or expired as much as a year. We were told by the KBR food service managers to use these items anyway. This food was fed to the troops. A lot of these were frozen foods: chicken, beef, fish, and ice cream. For trucks that were hit by convoy fire and bombings, we were told to go into the trucks and remove the food items and use them after removing the bullets and any shrapnel from the bad food that was hit. We were told to turn the removed bullets over to the managers for souvenirs. When I had the military check some of the food shipments, they would turn the food items away. But there wasn’t any marking of the record, so KBR just sent the food to another base for use. The problem with expired food was actually worsened with the switch to PWC because it took longer for the food items to get to the base as they were shipped from the U.S. to a warehouse in Kuwait.

    KBR also paid for spoiled food. When Tamimi dropped off food, there was often no place to put it in to the freezers or refrigeration. Food would stay in the refrigeration and freezer trucks until they ran out of fuel. KBR wouldn’t refuel the trucks so the food would spoil. This happened quite a bit.

    In addition, KBR would cater events for KBR employees, like management parties and barbecues. This happened about 3 times a week. As a result, there were shortages of certain food items, such as beef, chicken, pork, salads, dressings, and sodas for the troops.

    The food service personnel were given sanitation rules from the Military Preventive Medicine information programs and rules to follow by the Armed Forces, but KBR managers informed us that the information was not to be followed, that they knew best, and to keep following their instructions. So our employees weren’t following sanitation rules as set forth.

    Also, the Iraqi subcontract drivers of food convoys that arrived on the base were not fed. They were given MREs, or meals ready to eat, with pork, which they couldn’t because of religious reasons. As a result, the drivers would raid the trucks for food.

    Government auditors would have caught and fixed many of the problems. But KBR managers told us not to speak with auditors. The managers themselves would leave the base or hide from the auditors when they were on the base and not answer the radios when we called for them. We were told to follow instructions or get off the base. The threat of being sent to a camp under fire was their way of keeping us quiet. The employees that talked to the auditors were moved to the other bases that were under more fire then Anaconda. If they refused to move, they were fired and sent home.
Endless abuse, sweetheart contracts. Your REPUBLICAN government at work, folks. Get angry.

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