Tuesday, May 11, 2004
:::: Kidnapping / Hijacking Of Indian Workers ::::
::: By Halliburton / KBR ~ Kitchen Duty In Iraq :::
Four citizens of India have made claims they were ordered to board a bus at the Kuwait airport by a U.S. army soldier.
The four are from the village of Velichakala, some 150 kilometres south of Cochin, the commercial capital of southern Kerala state. They said a recruitment agency had signed them up in August 2003 as kitchen assistants for a catering company in Kuwait.
The abductees were informed by their captors ...
"There were some 20 Indians in the bus. Once we knew that we were inside Iraq, we protested," Faisal said. "But the Americans told us that they had paid a Kuwait agency $1,000 (U.S.) for each man and therefore it was a must that we work for them."
After being held for months ...
Faisal said 16 Indians got together and escaped from the camp on the night of April 15 by paying $20 US to an Iraqi truck driver, who took them to Baghdad. He said the Indian Embassy there helped them to fly back to Amman, Jordan, and then to Mumbai, India.
And ... this story gets worse ...
Interviews with those at the heart of the complaints indicate the main problems were with the contractor employing them -- on behalf of a unit of U.S. firm Halliburton -- and Iraq's harsh wartime environment and desert climate.
Holy Hoedown, its Cheney's old firm. Well, shock and awe my southern soul. They were kept for nine months, working 18 hours per day, and threatened with beatings, but I think it was the "shooting at dogs" that got to me the most.
At one camp, Q-West, several hours from Baghdad, a soldier fired at a stray dog while walking over to negotiate with workers who had gone on strike to demand unpaid overtime.
"We went back to work. When they shot at the dog, I felt I might also be shot at like a dog and killed," Shajahan said.
Several times, he added, supervising soldiers tried to hit him, accusing him of not working properly.
But far worse were the recruitment agent and their employer, subcontracted to supply labor for Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. KBR is under scrutiny from military auditors over the cost of feeding troops in Iraq.
Halliburton, run by Vice President Dick Cheney until he joined the race for the White House in 2000, is the military's top contractor in Iraq, providing services ranging from laundry to oilfield repair.
"We were not knowing we were going to Iraq," said Fasil, explaining the agent told them he had found jobs for them in Kuwait and promising 18,000 rupees a month ($400) -- more than three times what they were earning at home.
So they sold off family jewelry and land and borrowed from neighbors to raise the agent's fee of 80,000 rupees each.
I urge Americans to rethink the wisdom of the people in charge of their country ... it is bad enough to manipulate evidence of WMD and use the fear of terror due to 9-11 and then do war on the cheap without the proper number of troops, armor, armored vehicles, water, personnel to staff the prisons, try to hide in secrecy the abuse of Iraqi detainees ... but to kidnap people off the tarmac ... well, Mr. President and Henchmen, that is truly a new low. I am beginning to agree with the new chorus of voices out there ... "these people do not know what they are doing."
Gran, who should not be surprised by any insipid notion, idea or practice of the Bush Boys.