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Web Letter

Here's a similiar example of how foreign contractors are getting away with murder. In 2003, Lieutenant Colonel Dominic "Rocky" Baragona of Niles, Ohio, was killed when his Humvee was struck by a supply truck driven by a Kuwaiti contractor, Kuwait Gulf & Link (KGL) Transport Company, in Iraq. KGL was under contract with the US Army to deliver supplies into Iraq at the time its truck struck and killed Baragona. Rocky's family filed suit against KGL in a Georgia federal court. When KGL refused to show, the court entered a $4.9 million default judgment against the corporation and the Army threatened to cancel its contract with them. The company then made a special appearance to have the judgment vacated under the premise that a US court DOES NOT have jurisdiction over the company. Recently a judge vacated the earlier decision.

House Resolution 2349 has been introduced in the House by Congressman Tim Ryan in response to the tragic loss of Lieutenant Colonel Baragona. "Kuwait Gulf and Link is responsible for the wrongful death of a decorated soldier," said Ryan. "It is a miscarriage of justice to allow this company to hide behind a procedural technicality in the American Legal System. KGL'S attempt to shirk its responsibility to the Baragona family is not only an abuse, but also callously unjust."

Senator Claire McCaskill has introduced S.526 in the Senate, which would do the same thing. The bill is scheduled for hearings in September, with a possible vote by the full Senate before it ajourns for the holidays.

All these bills do is level the playing field between foreign and domestic U S government contractors. The subcontractors KBR hired to do the wiring are all hiding behind jurisdiction.

Father of LTC Rocky Baragona,

Dominic Baragona

The Villages, FL

May 29 2009 - 4:40pm

Web Letter

This article makes my blood run cold. My sister, a career naval commander with nearly nineteen years of service, has spent time in Afghanistan and did an eighteen-month tour in Iraq. What can we do to support criminal charges being filed against KBR? Their disingenuous denials are cynical and unconscionable. They must be held accountable.

Caroline Streeter

Los Angeles, CA

May 25 2009 - 3:40pm

Web Letter

Before de Gaulle chased us out of France, I was stationed at Etain AFB near Verdun. Army engineers came in to put up some buildings for us. They did the job quickly and efficiently.Nobody died as a result of their work. I have been complaining about the privatization of military jobs since the beginning of the Iraq War. The use of incompetent private contractors have resulted in the deaths of many soldiers and driven the cost of these two wars through the roof. Apparently, some of the people who tortured prisoners were private contractors for the CIA. Those incompetents in Washington have tossed 233 years of military experience out the window by hiring private contractors who can barely screw in a light bulb to do military jobs.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

May 20 2009 - 5:06pm