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KBR Questioned on Labor Abuses in Iraq

Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), the former subsidiary of Halliburton , announced today that it was buying Alabama-based BE&K for $500 million. For David Nash, the president of BE&K, and the man who was in charge of handing out reconstruction contracts in Iraq shortly after the U.S. invasion in March 2003, there must be a sense of deja vu to now be employed by one of the biggest building companies working in Iraq.
David Nash spent over 33 years in the U.S. Navy, beginning in Vietnam and ending as the top engineer (he was Chief of Civil Engineers and Commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command). In late 2003, he was put in charge of the Iraq Program Management Office, most of whose contracts were disastrous failures either because of poor planning, supervision or because they were destroyed by insurgents. Much has been written about the failure of these projects by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) and in Blood Money, an excellent book by T. Christian Miller of the Los Angeles Times. The reports are still coming out; a report on Perini's power projects was published at the end of April 2008, which sadly cost the life of one of the auditors who was sent to find out why the project failed.