Thursday, May 29, 2008

"This is no way for any soldier to die ..."

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A highly decorated Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth died a painful death in Iraq this year. He died not on the battlefield. He died in what should have been one of the safest spots in Iraq: on a U.S. base, in his bathroom. The water pump was not properly grounded, and when he turned on the shower, a jolt of electricity shot through his body and electrocuted him January 2.

SSgt. Maseth was not the first to die this way - at least 12 other troops have been electrocuted in Iraq since the start of the war in 2003, according to military and government officials.

Danz View: Who is responsible for the the faulty wiring? You guessed it: KB&R [Kellogg, Brown and Root] - the old arm of Halliburton, before Halliburton dumped them - I wonder why? Look back:

BACKGROUND: Army documents obtained by CNN show that U.S.-paid contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) inspected the building and found serious electrical problems a full 11 months before Maseth was electrocuted. KBR noted "several safety issues concerning the improper grounding of electrical devices." But KBR's contract did not cover "fixing potential hazards." It covered repairing items only after they broke down. Only after SSgt. Maseth died did the Army issue an emergency order for KBR to finally fix the electrical problems, and that order was carried out soon thereafter.

Historical Look back: Halliburton may dump KBR unit (from Business News)

October 4, 2004 -- Chief Executive David J. Lesar might be right when he describes Halliburton Co. (HAL ) as "the most scrutinized company in the world." The $20 billion Houston giant has taken a public beating in the past couple of years over allegations that its Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) engineering subsidiary overcharged the government on Iraq contracts and that some KBR executives bribed Nigerian officials, as well as for costly ongoing asbestos litigation.

But in the eyes of some investors, the most damning thing about KBR is that it doesn't make any money. For that reason, investors and analysts are betting that Halliburton will dump KBR within six months to a year. The unit is a poor fit with Halliburton's successful oil-services business, they say, and its weak performance explains why Halliburton trades at a significant discount to its peers. Says energy analyst Jason E. Putman at Victory Capital Management Inc., which holds some 2.3 million Halliburton shares: "KBR has become an albatross for them."

Danz Last Point: No, shit, Sherlock ... the bottom line, eh? It always prevails - no matter how many lives it costs?

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