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CorpWatch stories on Iraq & New Mexico get mainstream coverage

Posted by Pratap Chatterjee on July 27th, 2007

We're gratified to see that the U.S. Congress and the mainstream media are picking up on some of the issues that CorpWatch has been digging into over the last couple of years. For example, there was a hearing on July 26th, 2007 in Representive Waxman's committee (the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee) on a topic that CorpWatch broke a year ago February: the use of trafficked Asian labor to build the US Embassy in Baghdad.

Our original story can be seen here:

Baghdad Embassy Bonanza
Kuwait Company's Secret Contract & Low-Wage Labor
by David Phinney, Special to CorpWatch
February 12th, 2006

The two witnesses who testified yesterday were first featured in an extensive CorpWatch article in October 2006.

See A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad:
Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy
by David Phinney, Special to CorpWatch
October 17th, 2006

To read the article from today's Washington Post about yesterday's hearing, go here:

Foreign Workers Abused at Embassy, Panel Told
By William Branigin, Washington Post
Friday, July 27th, 2007

In related matters, we're also pleased to see that the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has been looking into why Bechtel did such a bad job in Iraq. (Answer: the fault lies quite heavily with the way that the U.S. government managed the contract.) Good coverage of the SIGIR report can be found in yesterday's New York Times.

IRAQ: Bechtel Meets Goals on Fewer Than Half of Its Iraq Rebuilding Projects, U.S. Study Finds

By James Glanz, New York Times
July 26, 2007

But one thing: we'd like to note that SIGIR only looked at the second phase of Bechtel's work, what about the first phase? We ran a story on this some 40 months ago:

Bechtel Fails Reconstruction of Iraq's Schools
by Karim El-Gawhary, Special to CorpWatch
December 2nd, 2003

Back on the U.S. home front we are also glad to see that the New York Times is following the story of the Sithe Global Power's proposed coal-fired power plant at Desert Rock in New Mexico on Diné lands:

Navajos and Environmentalists Split on Power Plant
By Felicity Barringer, New York Times
July 27th, 2007

To get a better feel for how the company has divided the traditional Diné community, do read our story from April of this year:

Speaking Diné to Dirty Power: Navajo Challenge New Coal-Fired Plant
by Jeff Conant, Special to CorpWatch
April 3rd, 2007