Veteranclaims’s Blog

July 15, 2010

U. S. Rep. Blumenauer Demands Details of KBR Immunity Deal in National Guard Toxin Exposure Case

Full Article at: Blumenauer demands that Pentagon explain KBR immunity deal
Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 8:44 PM Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 6:23 AM
Julie Sullivan, The Oregonian

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer is demanding that the Pentagon explain how war contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root may have been granted immunity from harming any soldier or civilian in Iraq.

In a sharply worded letter Wednesday, Blumenauer gave the secretary of defense five days to produce details of KBR’s claims of indemnification. The details of a secret agreement have emerged in a U.S. District Court case in Portland and were reported Tuesday in The Oregonian. Blumenauer said he plans to take his concerns to colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee.

“I find this mind-numbing,” Blumenauer said after sending the letter to Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

Twenty-six Oregon Army National Guard veterans who guarded KBR employees restoring Iraqi oil production in 2003 are suing the contractor, claiming the contractor knowingly or negligently exposed them to a cancer-causing chemical. Another 140 Indiana National Guard veterans have filed a similar suit.

KBR defends its conduct at the Qarmat Ali water-treatment plant, saying it “was governed at all times by the terms of its contract with the United States military.”

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