Tag Archives: KBR

DC March on the Pentagon was fueled by a promising alternative energy: youth

Youth and Student ANSWER Coalition march on the Pentagon March 21
WASHINGTON DC- Speakers were still entertaining an impatient crowd, and coffin carriers were mobilizing for the March to the Pentagon, when from the west came the Black Bloc. Bicycle cops in royal blue lycra scrambled to shepherd the group’s healthy gallop as they appeared from over the hill to kick the parade to a sudden start. They virtually led the parade over the bridge, until organizers prevailed upon the interlopers to allow the veterans groups to resume the lead, as planned. But it would not be the last initiative from the Anarchists.

(Click on image for better quality, wider crop)

1. THE MARCH
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Black Bloc gallops into lead position, abruptly starting parade.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
International Socialist Organization pass Lincoln Memorial

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Peace groups from Vermont to Georgia

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
West from the Washington Monument

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Hezbollah crosses Arlington Memorial Bridge

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Campus Antiwar Network

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Across the Potomac

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
To the Pentagon

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Code Pink paraded the parade

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
To military industrial complex in Crystal City

2. INTERRUPTION
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
At a narrowing of the route at the Boeing building, several students blocked the march with a plastic barrier.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Raising questions about the gentrified nature and self-policing demeanor of the event organizers and participants.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
The Black Bloc honored the picket line, thus the Campus Antiwar Network and following groups were brought to a halt.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
When the Black Bloc decided to move on to next actions, the march resumed.

2b. INTERRUPTION
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Marie Walden, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
At the first hint of misbehavior, stocky 40-something “videographers” in undercover protest garb were pointing their cameras into the noses of the black-clad participants.

3. MESSAGE VARIETY
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Why explain? You won’t listen.

4. COUNTER PROTEST
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
On the Pentagon lawn, near signs pointing to the “Pentagon Memorial,” white folk waited with the usual anti-antiwar slogans.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Megaphone versus megaphone.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
That simple.

5. CONFRONTATION
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Police in riot gear await march destination at KBR.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

6. COLORADANS FOR PEACE
ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

(Still more photos to follow…)

Coloradans For Peace join ANSWER in DC

answer coloradans for peaceUPDATE MARCH 21 MARCH ON PENTAGON: Students & Communities Mobilize to March on the Pentagon and the Corporate War Profiteers

Students and community organizations from across the country are mobilizing to be in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 21 to make their voices heard in the March on the Pentagon and the Corporate War Profiteers.

The PentagonMarch.org website now lists 64 departure locations in 20 states, many of them leaving from college campuses, including: University of Iowa, Georgia State University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Central Connecticut State University-New Britain, University of Connecticut-Storrs, Berkshire Community College, and more!

Visit the PentagonMarch Transportation Page to find the departure location nearest you, or to sign-up to list your campus’s or city’s travel plans!

Read more about the exciting plans for March 21st:

The March on the Pentagon on Saturday, March 21 is shaping up to be a dramatic and highly significant demonstration. Many thousands of people are coming to Washington, D.C. to make their voices heard.

March 21 will culminate in a dramatic direct action where hundreds of coffins—representing the multinational victims of militarism, Empire and corporate greed—will be carried and delivered to the headquarters of the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death.

From the Pentagon, we will march to the nearby giant corporate offices of Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics and KBR (the former subsidiary of Halliburton).

The march will start close to the State Department in Washington, D.C. (assemble at 12 noon at 23rd St. and Constitution Ave. NW).

Please make an urgently needed donation today by clicking this link to donate online through our secure server, where you can also find information on how to donate by check.

All out for March 21! Jobs Not War! Schools Not War! Occupation is a Crime!

Mark 6TH YEAR of Iraq Occupation with profiteers Boeing, Lockheed, GD and KBR

answer-march-on-pentagon
A.N.S.W.E.R.’s March 21 MARCH ON THE PENTAGON to mark the sixth year of the War in Iraq will be directed not only at the US Department of Defense, but at the war profiteers for whom 2007 was a record year, among them Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and KBR. In Colorado Springs the merchants of death can be visited on one corner.

answer

On March 21, 2009,
March on the Pentagon and the Corporate War Profiteers

Department of the Defense HeadquartersThe March on the Pentagon on Saturday, March 21 is shaping up to be a dramatic and highly significant demonstration. Many thousands of people are coming to Washington, D.C. to make their voices heard.

March 21 will culminate in a dramatic direct action where hundreds of coffins—representing the multinational victims of militarism, Empire and corporate greed—will be carried and delivered to the headquarters of the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death.

From the Pentagon, we will march to the nearby giant corporate offices of Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics and KBR (the former subsidiary of Halliburton).

The march will start close to the State Department in Washington, D.C. (assemble at 12 noon at 23rd St. and Constitution Ave. NW).

Please make an urgently needed donation today by clicking this link to donate online through our secure server, where you can also find information on how to donate by check.

These are the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death. They are the vultures who profit off the death and suffering of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, and off of the thousands of U.S. soldiers and marines who have died or been wounded in these wars of aggression. They are anti-worker and anti-union.

The march will be led by a large contingent of veterans and family members of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and from earlier conflicts.

Militarism and Corporate Capitalism
We will march on their slick-and-shiny corporate offices that are located less than a mile from the Pentagon. Their location in the very shadow of the Pentagon speaks volumes about the intimate connection between militarism and corporate capitalism.

When the Pentagon brass retire, they rotate out of their Pentagon offices and directly into the Corporate boardrooms and office suites of the Death Merchants. It is a very cozy and very profitable relationship for the elites—in and out of uniform. They make the profits, others do the bleeding.

Last year was a great year for the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death. Profits soared even as the rest of the economy neared collapse. The CEOs of the four corporations that we will be visiting on March 21 received more than $319 million in compensation in 2007 alone (and remember, that’s just for four individuals). “We the People” paid the bill for the high tech weapons that were used against occupied people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. The Corporate Executives laughed all the way to the bank while grieving parents and children buried their loved ones from Baghdad to Kabul to Gaza to Detroit.

A quick examination shows that the CEOs of the Military-Industrial Complex contributed to both the Democratic and Republican Party candidates in almost equal amounts. They favor a system that ensures that politicians will come and go every four years but the military machine—that fusion of industry, banks and the Pentagon brass—will remain as is.

We Need Jobs & Schools – Not War!
The same banks that are being bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars even while they foreclose families who can’t pay their mortgage debts are double-dipping from the national treasury by making huge profits in their investments in Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and KBR.

War is just good business for these corporate executives. Every F-16 bomber, attack helicopter, cruise missile and Drone bomber is a source of profit. If the wars stopped they would be out of business.

The people of this country are fed up with the status quo. They want decent-paying jobs, and affordable health care and housing for all. Students want to study rather than be driven out by soaring tuition rates. People want a complete—not partial—withdrawal of ALL troops from Iraq. They want the war in Afghanistan to end rather than escalate. They are increasingly opposed to sending $2.6 billion each year to Israel.

People are coming to Washington, D.C. on March 21 from college campuses, high schools, and cities and towns throughout the United States.

It is time for real change. Unless the movement for change stays in the streets, the powerful corporate and banking interests will certainly dominate the politics of this country. That is unacceptable. That is a path toward endless war and occupation abroad, and a massive transfer of wealth to the already rich at home.

All out for March 21! Jobs Not War! Schools Not War! Occupation is a Crime!

From pentagonmarch.org:

Meet the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death

James Mcnerney Jr BoeingW. James McNerney Jr.
CEO of Boeing.

2007 Total Compensation: $19 million. Value of Boeing Stock Owned: $25.7 million

Facts about Boeing:
Boeing currently produces numerous jets and bombers, including the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber and the F/A-22 Raptor, as well as multiple surface-to-air missiles and various bombs. Boeing also produces the bolt-on JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) that turns gravity bombs into “smart” munitions.

Boeing supplies Israel with various weapon systems, including the F-15 Eagle fighter jet and A-64 Apache attack helicopter, as well as numerous types of bombs and missiles. It was these weapons that helped to kill 1,017 Palestinians killed in the Israeli invasion of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

In 2008, Boeing made $2,225,947 in campaign contributions. 58 percent of these contributions were to Democrats, and 42 percent were to Republicans. In 2008, they spent $16,610,000 on lobbying.

Despite massive profits, Boeing opposed raises for plant employees, and attempted to outsource union jobs so that the company could be “more flexible.”

Robert Stevens Lockheed MartinRobert J. Stevens
CEO of Lockheed Martin

2007 Total Compensation: $37 million. Value of Lockheed Martin Stock Owned: $33.8 million

Facts about Lockheed Martin:
Lockheed Martin currently produces the F-117 Stealth Fighter that was used in the brutal “Shock and Awe” bombings of Iraq, as well as the F/A-22 Raptor fighter jet. They also produces various missile systems, including the Hellfire and Javelin, and various nuclear weapon designs. Lockheed supplies fighter jets and other weapon systems to Israel.

Lockheed’s 2008 first-quarter revenue was $9.98 billion–an increase of $700 million from the year prior. By 2015, the F-35 program alone could represent more than $16 billion in annual revenue for the company.

Lockheed’s former vice-president, Bruce Jackson, headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

In 2005, Lockheed received $65 million every single day of the year from the U.S. government. That year, Lockheed garnered $228 in federal tax money from every household in the United States.

In 2008, Lockheed made $2.6 million in political contributions—49 percent to the Democrats and 51 percent to the Republicans.

In 2004, Lockheed spent nearly $10 million on more than 100 lobbyists. From 2001-2005, only Philip Morris and GE spent more money lobbying Congress. By 2008, that number was $15.8 million.

Nicholas Chabraja General DynamicsNicholas D. Chabraja
CEO of General Dynamics

2007 Total Compensation: $60 million. Value of GD Stock Owned: $154.2 million

Facts about General Dynamics:
General Dynamics currently produces dozens of weapon systems, which include the Stryker Armored Combat Vehicle and the M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tank series, as well as other highly devastating artillery systems and the Trident Nuclear Submarine.

General Dynamics has supplied Israel with various weapon systems, including the F-16 Falcon fighter jet.

In 2008, General Dynamics made $1,682,595 in campaign contributions—58 percent to the Democrats and 42 percent to the Republicans.

Also in 2008, General Dynamics spent $8,562,439 lobbying for government contracts.

Fueled by sales of business jets and military-combat equipment, General Dynamics reported a 32 percent jump in first-quarter profits for 2008, to $573 million. The backlog of work not completed far outpaced revenues, growing by 14 percent to nearly $50 billion.

Analysts think General Dynamics and Mr. Chabraja will do even better next year, noting the “upside potential” of the combat-systems group, which is benefiting from the U.S. Army’s restocking of equipment lost, damaged or worn by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to a $12 billion backlog of orders for corporate jets.

William Utt KBRWilliam P. Utt
CEO of Kellogg Brown & Root.

2007 Total Compensation: $3.29 million. Value of KBR Stock Owned: $6.5 million

Facts about KBR:
There are roughly 14,000 KBR employees inside of Iraq that provide logistical support to the U.S. military. KBR has made billions off of “reconstruction” contracts within Iraq.

KBR is the largest non-union construction company in the United States. It has won many contracts with the U.S. government, including $100 million to build a U.S. embassy in Afghanistan, as well as $216 million for the construction of several base camps and training foreign troops from the Republic of Georgia.

Despite at least a dozen former employees alleging they had been raped by co-workers in Iraq and other employees saying co-workers regularly stole gold, artwork, and weapons, KBR remains in the Pentagon’s good graces. In mid-April, it received a 10-year, $150 billion contract to support the military overseas.

CEO William Utt called 2008 an “outstanding year,” saying KBR posted record profitability.

Despite many scandals and controversies, KBR reported that its first quarter net profits for 2008 more than tripled, from $28 million the previous year to $98 million.

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ANSWER Coalition Responds to President Obama’s Iraq Speech of Friday, February 27

With his speech today, President Obama has essentially agreed to continue the criminal occupation of Iraq indefinitely. He announced that there will be an occupation force of 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for at least three more years. President Obama used carefully chosen words to avoid a firm commitment to remove the 50,000 occupation troops, even after 2011.

The war in Iraq was illegal. It was aggression. It was based on lies and false rationales. President Obama’s speech today made Bush’s invasion sound like a liberating act and congratulated the troops for “getting the job done.” More than a million Iraqis died and a cruel civil war was set into motion because of the foreign invasion. President Obama did not once criticize the invasion itself.

He has also requested an increase in war spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, and plans to double the number of U.S. troops sent to fight in Afghanistan.

President Obama has asked Congress to provide more than $200 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the next two years, in addition to increasing the Pentagon budget by four percent.

Based on President Obama’s new budget, the Pentagon would rank as the world’s 17th largest economy—if it were a country. This new budget increases war spending. Total spending in 2010 would roughly equate to an average of $21,000 a second.

This is not the end of the occupation of Iraq, but rather the continuation of the occupation.

There is only one reason that tens of thousands of troops will remain in Iraq: It is because this is a colonial-type occupation of a strategically important and oil-rich country located in the Middle East where two-thirds of the world’s oil reserve can be found.

Obama’s speech was a major disappointment for anyone who was hoping that Obama would renounce the illegal occupation of Iraq. Today, the U.S. government spends $480 million per day to fund the occupation of Iraq. Even if 100,000 troops are drawn out by August 2010, that means the indefinite occupation of Iraq will cost more than $100 million each day. The continued occupation of Iraq for two years or three years or more makes a complete mockery out of the idea that the Iraqi people control their own destiny. It is a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.

It is no wonder that John McCain came out to support President Obama’s announced plan on Iraq. McCain was an supporter of former President Bush’s and Vice President Cheney’s war and occupation in Iraq.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld—the architects of regime change in Iraq—never had the goal of indefinitely keeping 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. They wanted to subdue the Iraqi people and exercise control with a smaller force. The Iraqi armed resistance prolonged the stationing of 150,000 U.S. troops.

Bush’s goal was domination over Iraq and its oil supplies, and domination over the region. This continues to be the goal of the U.S. political and economic establishment, including that of the new administration.

President Obama decided not to challenge the fundamental strategic orientation. That explains why he kept the Bush team—Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Generals Petraeus and Odierno—on the job to oversee and manage the Iraq occupation. They will also manage the widening U.S. war in Afghanistan and the aerial assaults on Pakistan. There have been over 30 U.S. bombing attacks in Pakistan in the last two months.

We are marching on Saturday, March 21 because the people of this country are fed up with the status quo. They want decent-paying jobs, and affordable health care and housing for all. Students want to study rather than be driven out by soaring tuition rates. The majority of people want a complete—not partial—withdrawal of ALL troops from Iraq. They want the war in Afghanistan to end rather than escalate. They are increasingly opposed to sending $2.6 billion each year to Israel and want an end to the colonial occupation of Palestine.

I need help buying the Wachovia building downtown…

I’ve got like 50¢ American, a couple of 20 peso notes and a Canadian quarter, I need about a dollar more… If I wait until next week when CitiGroup goes under I can probably get it for standing outside singing until they flip the deed my way and of course the keys.

My plans for it are either to offer a free shelter, aka Flophouse, got the idea from the notion that their executives have already flopped there…

OR,

Turn it into a Capitalist Re-Education Center. I wouldn’t call it that, of course, I would simply put an advertisement in the Gag-zette, offering a Commissions Only job for Experienced Stockbrokers.

Then have the Keyboards on the computers hotwired, also the mouse, the coffee cups, the Executive Plush High Back Office Chairs with armrests and cupholders, so that every time they try to complete a trade on Short or on Margin or any other form of “hey, I ain’t got the bread to cover this byotch if it don’t pay off right, but I’m betting all my money and yours too on it paying off” bullshit…

They get a painful electric shock in randomized places, and subliminals on the screen telling them not to do it again.

Of course, so many of them are Masochists that they’ll get a freaky little thrill out of it, and ALL of them are so damned greedy they would last a couple weeks before figuring out that something isn’t quite normal…

Pro-militarism Gazette puff pieces have helped endanger GI lives

The Colorado Springs Gazette is always promoting military contractors and pushing for more warfare to keep that weapons industry moving, and has done this hiding behind the great pretense that they supposedly only care about American troops. That’s their big lie and many readers fall for it.

But let us look for a moment at KBR, one of those war profiteers that The Gazette has done puff pieces in their paper for previously in the not so distant past. KBR is in the press now once again for their company policy of having deliberately exposed American soldiers to toxic chemicals that are deadly fatal. See The Boston Globes recent article titled Witnesses link chemical to ill US soldiers

So cut back to The Gazette’s puff piece for KBR titled WORKING FAR FROM HOME By the way, KBR is actually the name of Halliburton these days, the company Dick Cheney came from. Notice how The Gazette puffed for these guys in 2001 like they were God’s gift to America. We in Colorado Springs need to expose the lying propaganda of The Gazette, and point out how it helped expose American soldiers to deadly poisons. What a sorry ass newspaper!

The contractors losing people in Iraq

We’ve all heard of Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, Custer Battles et al. Who are the other contractor / profiteer / mercenaries in Iraq? Here’s a partial list, sorted by most recent fatality.

Prolog Middle East, Wackenhut Services, Tetra Tech EC, DynCorp International, Armor-Group, L-3 Communications, Erinys International, Aegis Defence Services, CSS Global, BLP International, Odebrecht, Unity Resources Group, National Democratic Institute, The Sandi Group, Blue Hackle, Securiforce International, ECCI, Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group Inc, The Olive Group, Falcon Security, Lear Siegler Inc, EOD Technology, Inc., Cochise Consultancy, Inc., AIM Group, MPRI, Tetra Tech, Genric, SOC-SMG, Hart Security Company, Torres International, Danubia Global Incorporated, Kroll Incorporated, MVM Inc., Triple Canopy, Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc, Titan Corp, GRS Security, Control Risks Group, USA Environmental Inc., Lloyd-Owen International, CTU Consulting, Kuwaiti company, Edinburgh Risk Inc, Qatar International Trading Company, Janusian Security Risk Management., Steele Foundation, Bearing Point, Inc., CLI USA, Global Risk Strategies Limited, Taehwa Electric Co, Gorkha Manpower Company, Eurodelta d.o.o, Omega Risk Solutions, Gulf Services Co., MayDay Supply, Morning Star Co., Soufan Engineering, Siemens, Ulasli Oil Company, Bilintur, Al Tamimi group, InterEnergoServis, United Defense Industries, Readiness Mgmt. Svcs., Johnson Controls, Gana General Trading Co., Al-Atheer, Granite Services, Inc., General Electric, Titan National Security Solutions, Environmental Chemical Corp. International, Control Risks Group, Yuksel Construction, Prime Projects International, Meteoric Tactical Solutions, Bidepa, SOMAT, Chemoprojekt, Ensto Utility Networks, Air-Ix, SAS International, Ultra Services.Irex Corp., Omu Electric Co., Washington Group, Proactive Communications Inc, ToiFor Kft, IAP Worldwide Services, Sub-Surface Engineering, Bechtel, National Response Corp. of Long Island, Tetra Tech EC.

KBR’s support for troops reliably shitty

“KBR’s commitment to the safety of all of its employees remains unwavering.”
 
Caught having supplied tainted water to US troops in Iraq camps Ar Ramadi, Q-West and Victory, Kellogg Brown & Root issued the usual carefully crafted denial, leaving open the loophole that the commitment level from which they do not waver, may be potentially unsafe.

Destroying the evidence of military crimes

Gang-raped then locked in van, Iraq worker says. That’s what happened to Jamie Leigh Jones, a worker for Halliburton (KBR), the same firm that Dick Cheney headed up before taking over the Vice Presidency of the US. The same firm that killed off its workers with asbestos which subsequently Dick Cheney as CEO helped limit liability for the company for these crimes of killing off its own workforce.

Jamie Leigh Jones says that Halliburton destroyed the medical evidence of its doctor that showed that she had been raped. It mysteriously disappeared? Where did Halliburton learn that it was OK to destroy evidence of criminality inside the US military and inside its principal side kick contractor?

Well, it seems that destroying evidence was learned from the Commander in Chief of the entire US military establishment himself. Halliburton learned it from George W. Bush. Or maybe it was the other way around? George W. Bush learned that destroying evidence of criminal conduct was OK from Dick Cheney, ex Hallibuton CEO?

At either rate, the destroying of the CIA tapes of where it tortured POWs in US military custody is one and the same criminal act as Halliburton committed when it destroyed the Doctor notes of the MD that treated Jamie Leigh Jones when she was raped and locked into a van afterwards. Both are evidence tampering crimes.

This rape of Ms. Jones mirrors the rapes that have also occurred over at ‘our’ Air Force Academy, a military institute highly infiltrated by the nutty religious Right Wing, the religious people that think that they are our moral guardians. Have we heard anything from these suppsedly Christian folk about how it is a crime to destroy criminal evidence? No, and we won’t.

We can only expect more cover ups of US military criminality in the years ahead. The US military and its commanders and religious gurus think that they alone are above having to follow any laws. We have to stop them before they commit yet more crimes and attempt to cover them up afterwards. They will always pretend to a higher morality, but they must tear up and destroy the evidence of their own criminality it seems. We cannot let them get away with it.

Jamie Leigh Jones is still locked in a box

Jamie Leigh Jones KBR HalliburtonWhen they teach in math class about the square roots of numbers, you invariably encounter the paradox of negative numbers. Since neither two positive factors nor two negatives can produce a negative, you’re told the square root of a negative is “irreducible” and you must leave the equation be. It turns out that this explanation was really a matter of convenience, because later in the year students revisit the square root of -1 and learn it can be called an imaginary number. Now you were expected to solve the equation, and zoom, math took off from there. I remember feeling betrayed that math had become an abstraction, so comfortable was I to be stuck at the simpler impasse.

I use this analogy to contemplate some oversimplifications about law which are being used to temper moral indignation at the machinations of our government. We’re told, for example, that we’ve subverted the rule of law in Iraq, that enemy combatants are not covered by the Geneva Conventions, that Guantanamo Cuba falls neither under Cuban law nor our dominion. We’re told the International Criminal courts do not have jurisdiction over Americans and we’re told our contractor-mercenaries are exempt from anyone’s prosecution. Those legal impediments to justice are not only imaginary, to say it in legalese, they’re balderdash.

My math teacher had a educational reason to maintain that the square root of -1 was unsolvable. Whatever motive does anyone have to keep the American public in the dark about the suspension of human rights?

NBC has just trumpeted the tragic case of Jamie Leigh Jones, but presumes simultaneously to reinforce the aforementioned balderdash. Two years ago Jones was gang raped by KBR coworkers in Iraq and kept in a shipping container until she was able to convince one of her keepers to lend her a cell phone. Her father then called a congressman who called the State Department who sent agents over to KBR’s compound in the Green Zone to set her free. Since that time, the feds have dropped the case, the rape-kit evidence has gone missing, KBR claims it has been ordered to conduct no investigation, and Jones is left with no recourse but to file a civil suit. Now she is being told that an arbitration clause in her contract prevents her from doing even that.

The truths being asserted, as indignant as they might make us feel, are that contractors in Iraq are outside the reach of any law. Specifically Iraqi law, as dictated by Viceroy Bremer’s famous contractor indemnity clause, but by inference, US law, because Iraq is a “sovereign nation,” and International Law, because otherwise our whole country could be held accountable for what it’s perpetrated there.

I’ve even read it asserted that two years marks the expiration of Jone’s right to redress from her attackers. Wherever have you heard of so short a statute of limitation for rape?

Another assumption attempts to bolster the impregnability of arbitration clauses which have become de rigueur in corporate employment contracts. Such clauses may forbid civil litigation, rightfully, but do not preclude responsibility for criminal acts. The supposed ambiguity that Jones’ rape cannot be considered a crime is to build a crock upon a sham. No contract may dictate that a assignee consents to be the victim of a crime. Sorry boys.

Likewise, the concept of Iraq being a lawless state is our Defense Department’s wet dream. We may administrate Iraq like the Wild West, as it may for now be under our screws, but like everywhere else on the globe, Iraq is protected by international law. You might also find lawyers who will argue that any lands under the authority of our government are bound by the US constitution period.

The only thing standing between the KBR miscreants and fair judgment is our government’s determination [not] to apply the law. If the media wanted to report that all Blackwater KBR killer rapists are indemnified exclusively by Bush decree, that would be the truth.

Thank you Miss Jones for pressing on with your accusations and lawsuit. Please don’t let the disinformation discourage you.