noworldsystem.com


Witnesses link chemical to ill US soldiers

Witnesses link chemical to ill US soldiers

Farah Stockman
Boston Globe
June 23, 2008

US soldiers assigned to guard a crucial part of Iraq’s oil infrastructure became ill after exposure to a highly toxic chemical at the plant, witnesses testified at a Democratic Policy Committee hearing yesterday on Capitol Hill.

“These soldiers were bleeding from the nose, spitting blood,” said Danny Langford, an equipment technician from Texas brought to work at the Qarmat Ali Water treatment plant in 2003. “They were sick.”

“Hundreds of American soldiers at this site were contaminated” while guarding the plant, Langford said, including members of the Indiana National Guard.

Langford is one of nine Americans who accuse KBR, the lead contractor on the Qarmat Ali project and one of the largest defense contractors in Iraq, of knowingly exposing them to sodium dichromate, an orange, sandlike chemical that is a potentially lethal carcinogen. Specialists say even short-term exposure to the chemical can cause cancer, depress an individual’s immune system, attack the liver, and cause other ailments.

Yesterday’s hearing – one among several organized to hold contractors accountable for alleged malfeasance in Iraq – was chaired by Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat. “Hundreds of US troops, who may not even know of their exposure to sodium dichromate that could one day result in a horrible disease, cancers, and death,” he said.

Roughly 250 American soldiers were believed to have come in contact with the chemical, according to Defense Department documents. Sodium dichromate is the same substance that poisoned residents in Hinkley, Calif., an incident made famous by the movie “Erin Brockovich” in 2000.

In Iraq, the chemical was used as an antirust coating for pipes that supply water to the oil fields. After the 2003 US-led invasion, looters raided the Qarmat Ali facility; afterward, the chemical was found strewn around the facility and its grounds.

Langford and his former colleagues have said KBR supervisors initially told them the chemical was a “mild irritant.” The company, however, eventually acknowledged that sodium dichromate was a potentially deadly substance and moved to clean up the site.

KBR has denied any wrongdoing in the matter. The company has insisted the safety of its workers and the troops they work with are its “highest priority.”

 

Anti-US protest surges in Iraq

Press TV
June 20, 2008

Hundreds of Iraqis loyal to senior cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stage a rally to protest plans for a long-term security pact with the US.

Following the weekly Friday prayers, hundreds of Iraqis took to streets in protest to the proposed security pact which has strongly been opposed by Iraqi officials and lawmakers.

The pact would provide a legal footing for the presence of US forces in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires later this year, raising fears that it would impair Iraq’s independence and sovereignty

Sheik Assad al-Nassiri warned the agreement, awaiting completion by July 31, will ’humiliate Iraqis, rob the Iraqi government of its sovereignty and give the occupier the upper hand’.

During a sermon in Kufa, Nassiri described the US presence as the main reason behind all of Iraq’s crises, expressing dismay at some government officials to call on ’the occupation forces’ to stay.

Demonstrators in Kufa as well as Baghdad’s Sadr City chanted “No, no to America, No, no to the agreement,” carrying banners reading “we will not accept Iraq to be an American colony.’’

Tensions rose high on Thursday when Iraqi troops arrested Amarah mayor, Rafia Abdul-Jabbar, and 16 others for alleged involvement with militias.

The ’random detentions’ by US-backed Iraqi security forces in the southern city drew strong criticism from Sadrists, who believe the arrests are being carried out ’without warrants and in contrary to what Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says’.

Critics say Washington has failed to offer a firm commitment to defend the country from any invasion, denouncing a demand for immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts for all American personnel in Iraq.

There is also controversy over the number of bases the US would maintain in the country and whether its military will retain the power to arrest Iraqi civilians and keep them in its detention facilities.

DynCorp Used Amored Car To Transport Hookers
http://noworldsystem.com/2008/05/1..-amored-car-to-transport-hookers/

U.S. Troops in Iraq Sickened By Water from Cheney-Linked Firm
http://noworldsystem.com/2008/03/10/kbr-water-in-iraq-makes-troops-sick/

Iraq To Award Contracts To Foreign Oil Firms
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php..&show_article=1

Baghdad insists on right to veto US operations
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/18/iraq.usforeignpolicy

Bush ’war crimes conference’ to convene in Mass., plan prosecution of admin. officials
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Bush..convene_0622.html

House Votes To Continue Funding Iraq War
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200..qVdEV2EMdW2MwfIE

Big Oil Returns To Iraq For Big Contracts
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/19/africa/19iraq.php

Kucinich: Major General Taguba’s Comments Add Weight to articles of impeachment
http://rawstory.com/news08/2008/..-to-articles-of-impeachment/

Survey: 500,000 Iraqis fled fighting in 2007
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Sur..ting_in_0619.html

Four British Soldiers Killed
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skyne..british-soldiers-killed-45dbed5.html

 


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: