The slave labor built 592 million dollar Fortress America in Iraq may never be safe to occupy. Toxic contaminants used in construction have stopped efforts to move in.
Poor quality construction . . . life safety issues . . . left [the embassy] with no recourse but to shut the camp down, in spite of the blistering heat in Baghdad," the May 29 cable informed Washington
That's right for $592 million we get a facility that is unsafe to occupy.
First Kuwaiti General Trade and Contracting Co is the primary Builder. KBR, formerly owned by Dick Cheney associated Haliburton Corporation is in charge of servicing the embassy and the troops. KBR and First Kuwaiti are arguing over the blame for this fiasco. The story is comic.
The first signs of trouble, according to the cable, emerged when the kitchen staff tried to cook the inaugural meal in the new guard base on May 15. Some appliances did not work. Workers began to get electric shocks. Then a burning smell enveloped the kitchen as the wiring began to melt.
All the food from the old guard camp -- a collection of tents -- had been carted to the new facility, in the expectation that the 1,200 guards would begin moving in the next day. But according to the cable, the electrical meltdown was just the first problem in a series of construction mistakes that soon left the base uninhabitable, including wiring problems, fuel leaks and noxious fumes in the sleeping trailers.
But we are spending $592 million of our dollars. That's a very small amount compared to the total amount spent in Iraq. The results are similar.
The administration placed "Brownies" in charge of this project.
After the electrical problem was discovered and no quick fix seemed available, the embassy was forced to serve the guards MREs (meals-ready-to-eat) for several days until all the food could be moved back to the old housing, known as Camp Jackson, according to the embassy cable's detailed account. The original plan was for the guards to wait only one or two weeks before the electrical issues were fixed.
But the problems mounted. The 252 prefabricated residential trailers, with either two or three rooms each, filled with formaldehyde fumes. The trailer manufacturer, a Saudi company called Red Sea Housing Services Co., confirmed to the embassy it had used the toxic chemical in preparing the housing. Red Sea told the embassy to keep the windows open and use charcoal in the rooms to absorb the odor, but "the fumes are still prevalent," the cable said.
The embassy cable noted that five people had been identified at various times as the project manager, and that it was all but impossible for embassy officials to obtain information from them, with no one seeming to be in charge. "Two of the project managers have had extremely limited previous project management experience," the cable said. A $500,000 project to install a fire-suppression system appeared to be proceeding without proper supervision, it added.
The US government is proceeding without proper supervision.
I am beyond outrage. I am beyond anger.
Let's get the hell out of Iraq before we fuck something else up.
It's just that simple.
There is absolutely nothing we can do right in Iraq.
We have even contaminated the ground the embassy is built on.
Finally, on May 25, a KBR hazardous-materials expert discovered that all 10 generators had developed leaks. The fuel tanks were installed without corrosion protection or leak detectors, and fuel had begun to saturate the soil around the tanks. The cable said that Teflon tape designed for water pipes had been used on the fuel tanks, and that such tape "will dissolve on contact with diesel fuel." KBR refused to operate the power generators unless its liability was waived.
The criminals guilty for this corruption must be held accountable. You know who they are and what we must do.