If you work for the Elite who profit from the military industrial complex, do not expect them to take care of you while in Iraq or Afghanistan. Not unless you work in the private sector and have connections.
U.S. soldiers paid with their health while a company related to the Former U.S. Vice President, Dick Cheney made profits. They made money for themselves and their friends by hiring private contractors while treating serving soldiers without due care and respect.
A new book claims that a Dick Cheney related company got rich while U.S. soldiers fighting for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan got poisoned.
Alternet reports: The Biggest Iraq War Scandal That Nobody’s Talking About
The first 10 pages of “The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers” will rip your heart out. In the opening chapter of this new book, Joseph Hickman, a former U.S. Marine and Army sergeant, shares the brief and tragic life story of one Iraq War veteran. In a nutshell, a healthy young man shipped off to Iraq, was stationed at a U.S. military base where he was exposed to a constant stream of toxic smoke, returned home with horrible respiratory problems, was denied care by the VA, developed brain cancer and died.
Thousands of soldiers have suffered similar fates since serving in the vicinity of the more than 250 military burn pits that operated at bases throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Many who haven’t succumbed to their illnesses yet have passed along the legacy of their poisoning to their children. “The rate of having a child with birth defects is three times higher for service members who served in those countries,” according to the book.
The impact on local civilian populations is even more widespread. Although collecting data in these war-ravaged areas is extremely difficult, the studies that have been conducted reveal sharp increases in cancer and leukemia rates and skyrocketing numbers of birth defects. The toxic legacies of these burn pits will likely continue to devastate these regions for decades.
So what are the “burn pits”? When the U.S. military set up a base in Iraq or Afghanistan, instead of building incinerators to dispose of the thousands of pounds of waste produced each day, they burned the garbage in big holes in the ground. The garbage they constantly burned included “every type of waste imaginable” including “tires, lithium batteries, asbestos insulation, pesticide containers, Styrofoam, metals, paints, plastic, medical waste and even human corpses.”
Here’s where the story gets even more infuriating. As a result of the privatization of many aspects of military operations, the burn pits were operated by Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR), a former subsidiary of Halliburton, the company where Dick Cheney was CEO before ascending to the White House. During the Bush administration, Halliburton made nearly $40 billion from lucrative government contracts (despite many corruption scandals), Dick Cheney and his corporate allies got incredibly rich, and the soldiers whose lives have likely been destroyed by this reckless operation… are pretty much screwed.
Top officials, including then-Gen. David Petraeus, initially denied that the burn pits were a health hazards, but mounting medical evidence contradicting the Defense Department’s position have brought this scandal into the spotlight. However, in a pattern that follows how Vietnam vets suffering from Agent Orange were treated, the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to deny medical coverage to most Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking treatment for burn pit-related illnesses. Joseph Hickman is hoping that his new book will help change that.