The death of a Green Beret in Iraq, electrocuted while showering this past January, finally attracted the attention of the Pentagon and US lawmakers to the issue of shoddy and dangerous electrical work on US bases in Iraq. At one building complex, soldiers have complained of electrical shocks in their living quarters daily.
For millions of dollars, private contractors have upgraded Iraqi buildings, including the electrical systems, that house American troops. The New York Times got its hands on internal Army documents that show the electrical work done by private contractors has caused more deaths and injuries than the Pentagon has acknowledged.
Critics accuse these companies of overbiling, failing to protect female employees from sexual assault, and providing unsafe water to soldiers. Electricians working for KBR, a former subsidiary of Haliburton receiving a bulk of the work, say they warned the company about the danger the unsafe work posed to soldiers; but, their complaints fell on deaf ears. While allegations of overbilling and corruption concern me, it's even worse when the subsequent work puts soldiers in harm's way.