They're not all found in the halls of government:
In November, a jury found KBR, the military's largest contractor, guilty of negligence in the poisoning of a dozen soldiers, and ordered the company to pay $85 million in damages. Jurors found KBR knew both of the presence and toxicity of the chemical. Other lawsuits against KBR are pending.
KBR, however, says taxpayers should be on the hook for the verdict, as well as more than $15 million the company has spent in its failed legal defense, according to court documents and attorneys involved with the case.
KBR's contract with the U.S. to rebuild Iraq’s oil infrastructure after the 2003 invasion includes an indemnity agreement protecting the company from legal liability, KBR claims in court filings. That agreement, KBR insists, means the federal government must pay the company's legal expenses plus the verdict won by 12 members of the Oregon National Guard who were exposed to the toxin at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant.
Perhaps someone would ask Mr. Hagel about this at his confirmation hearing. Bet he'd have an opinion!
Looking back, I always found it amazing at just how uncritical and incurious so much of the media coverage was in the Iraq war's early years. I mean, the freaking Vice President of the United States was on the payroll of a company that earned billions of tax dollars off the enterprise, crippling and electrocuting our service members in the process, and no one seemed to think there was anything questionable or untoward about the relationship. Perhaps our incoming Secretary of Defense would consider forwarding the bill to Dick Cheney's address in the Emirates, or wherever that evil person is hiding these days.---Baron V