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Contractors Gone Wild, Media Gone Missing
Bruce Falconer is calling out the mainstream media for ignoring the disturbing testimony that dominated recent U.S. Senate hearings into corruption by private contractors in Iraq. The testimony came from whistleblowers Frank Cassaday, Linda Warren (both former employees of Kellogg Brown and Root) and Barry Halley (who worked in Iraq for Worldwide Network Services, the Sandi Group and CAPE Environmental Management.) They told stories of widespread theft of materials and supplies needed by soldiers, looting Iraqi treasures (in one case melting down Iraqi gold to make cowboy spurs), and a prostitution ring run by the manager of a "major defense contractor," which led to the death of a colleague whose armored car was diverted "to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad." Cassaday, Warren and Halley say they were punished and harassed when they tried to alert their companies to these abuses. Aside from Mother Jones, the only news outlet to file a report on their testimony was David Ivanovich of the Houston Chronicle, although a transcript of the hearings is available on the Senate's website.