Friday, April 30, 2010

Fox Reports on Toxic Burn Pits

The burning of toxic waste on military bases throughout Iraq and Afghanistan was the subject of a recent news report on the Fox TV network. The post deployment medical condition of soldiers who were exposed to the toxic clouds of dust, fumes and other air pollution are reported by Fox's St. Louis affiliate KTIV. The report concluded that, "....that no one wanted to know the truth...", about the on going exposures.
Click here to read more about burn pit exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan
Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dan Rather Reports on Burn Pit Exposures to Soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan

Burn Pit exposures will be the topic of a televised report by Dan Rather. The program is scheduled to air on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 8pm and 11pm on HD NetTo watch a video preview click here.

The focus of the program will be the American shoulders who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from new diseases and illnesses that were not the direct consequences of armed combat. The program will discuss the alleged exposures to burn pit dust, fumes and other toxic pollution to enormous burn pits that were utilized by government contractors to dispose of waste. Lawsuits are presently pending against these contractors including KBR and Kellogg, Brown and Root.

The diseases reported include: respiratory disease, chronic cough,
 debilitating headaches, and neurological skin disorders, and cancers. Some deaths have been reported from the alleged exposures to the burning toxic waste.

In a report in the Huffington Post,  Lt. Col. Darrin Curtis (Ret.) U.S. Air Force, a bio-environmental engineer, commented on the burn pit at Balad Air Base, " was 'amazing that the burn pit has been allowed to operate without restrictions over the past few years with no significant engineering controls put in place.'"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gulf War Veteran's Task Force To Report on Burn Pit Exposures

Further study has been recommended concerning waste disposal contamination (burn pit exposures) and water contamination for veterans. The Gulf War Veteran's Task Force of the Department of Veterans Affairs (GWVI-TF) has issued a final draft report to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs proposing additional research on the widespread use of burn pits to incinerate a variety of wast material in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as hexavalent chromium contamination at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in Basra, Iraq.

The GWVI-TF has raised the issue of enhanced medical surveillance of potential hazardous exposures to veteran's of the Gulf War who were exposed to dust, fumes and other air pollution from the burn pits.  Some malignancies have been reported in addition to respiratory, dermatological and psychological disorders.

They will also evaluate the need to provide periodic medical surveillance to Veterans who performed duty at  Iraq, and were potentially exposed to hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium has numerous acute and sub-acute health affects. It is also a known human carcinogen (primarily causing lung cancer).

The report involving Long Term Consequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in Iraq and Afghanistan is due 5/1/2011.

Friday, April 2, 2010

U.S. Sues Kellogg, Brown & Root for Alleged False Claims Act Violations Over Improper Costs for Private Security in Iraq

The United States has filed a lawsuit against Kellogg Brown & Root Services (KBR) alleging that the defense contractor violated the False Claims Act, the Justice Department announced today. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, alleges that KBR knowingly included impermissible costs for private armed security in billings to the Army under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) III contract. The LOGCAP III contract provides for civilian contractor logistical support, such as food services, transportation, laundry and mail, for military operations in Iraq.

The government’s lawsuit alleges that some 33 KBR subcontractors, as well as the company itself, used private armed security at various times during the 2003-2006 time period. KBR allegedly violated the LOGCAP III contract by failing to obtain Army authorization for arming subcontractors and by allowing the use of private security contractors who were not registered with the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The subcontractors using private security are alleged to have also violated subcontract terms requiring travel only in military convoys. The government’s lawsuit further alleges that at the time, KBR managers considered the use of private security unacceptable and were concerned that the Army would disallow any costs for such services. KBR nonetheless charged the United States for the costs of the unauthorized services.

“Defense contractors cannot ignore their contractual obligations to the military and pass along improper charges to the United States,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “We are committed to ensuring that the Department of Defense’s rules are enforced and that funds so vital to the war effort are not misused.”

This case is being brought as part of a National Procurement Fraud Initiative. In October 2006, the Deputy Attorney General announced the formation of a National Procurement Fraud Task Force designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs. The Procurement Fraud Task Force is chaired by the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division and includes the Civil Division, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community, and a number of other federal law enforcement agencies.

Along with the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Army Criminal Investigation Division and FBI participated in the investigation of this matter. This case, as well as others brought by members of the task force, demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to helping ensure the integrity of the government procurement process.

Click here to read more about burn pit exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan

Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.