HowTo: build a cheap embassy. Kidnap your workers and use them as slaves!

From Crooks and Liars and the Gavel:

The Oversight Committee is currently holding a hearing, “Allegations of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse at the New U.S. Embassy in Iraq.” The hearing will examine the performance of the State Department and its contractors in the construction of the new $600 million U.S. embassy in Baghdad. The Committee will be reviewing questions regarding the embassy compound construction as well as allegations of labor abuse through improper contracting practices.

Labour abuse in the vein of 51 Filipino nationals kidnapped and hauled off to work constructing the US Embassy in Baghdad. No English, no passports (no Union), smuggled into the Green Zone past US forces, packed 25-30 per trailer and sent off to work without safety equipment (including shoes or gloves).

Rory Mayberry:

“Mr. Chairman, when the airplane took off and the captain announced that we were heading to Baghdad, all you-know-what broke out on the airplane. The men started shouting, it wasn’t until the security guy working for First Kuwaiti waved an MP5 in the air that the men settled down. They realized that they had no other choice but to go to Baghdad. Let me spell it out clearly: I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work at the US Embassy.

I’ve read the State Department Inspector General’s report on the construction of the embassy. Mr. Chairman, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. This is a cover-up and I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to set the record straight.”

The transcript of Mayberry’s testimony is here. It’s pretty fucking insane to read. Absolutely incredible. Mayberry says he was afraid to blow the whistle because he’d be put outside the Green Zone, sleeping outside of which scared him enough to shut him up.

If that isn’t exporting freedom and democracy, hell, I just don’t know what is.


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