Sen. Byron Dorgan will join us here at FDL today at 11 am ET/8 am PT, for a discussion about one of the more infuriating issues of the last few years: contractor fraud and war profiteering.

These are issues that Sen. Dorgan has worked long and hard to expose. And for that, he deserves a lot of thanks. We hope you will join us later this morning for this discussion.

As if exposing workers and American military personnel to a toxic, carcinogenic chemical and then lying to them about it wasn’t bad enough, there are also accusations of a failure to use adequate care in installation of electrical wiring in military barracks and facilities that have resulted in electrocutions and deaths of a number of American service people.

Sen. Dorgan and the DPC (Democratic Policy Committee) held hearings last Friday on the electrical issues.  This followed some devastating hearings on Thursday regarding the undercutting of DOD contract review personnel.  

This is all of a piece: no-bid contracts, inadequately supervised nor held accountable because the contract review process and the inspection of performance processes have been deliberately undercut by the Bush Administration. (The name Bunnatine Greenhouse ring a bell?) This has led to substantial flaws in construction, failure to adequately practice safety and care for employees, and injuries, illnesses and deaths as a result.

There has been testimony to date of contractors who have fed US military personnel rotten food, microbe-laden water, over-billing, double-billing, and infrastructure efforts that have simply fallen to pieces once construction was complete.

And yet these contractors continue to get paid via their no-bid, cushy, cost plus contracts. Of course, since Sen. John McCain thinks that Congressional oversight, scanty as it has been because of GOP efforts to block it in Armed Services and other Congressional committees, is just a-okay, the DPC remains the best place to keep pushing this issue forward. We are committed to help get this more visibility, because war profiteering, rampant cronyism and dereliction in contract completion on the American public’s taxpayer dime are beyond shameful.   

Sen. Dorgan will be here later this morning at 11 am ET/8 am PT to discuss all of this and more.  

(YouTube — testimony of Charles Smith, Chief of the Army’s Field Support Command Division, regarding the impact of punishment of whistleblowers on their ability to oversee contract and contractor abuse.)

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com