A Martyr For The Looting Cause

Posted on November 7, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

24th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your words for the day (Yeah! MY definitions):

  • martyr = someone who dies so someone else can cash in
  • death = life’s other bookend — everybody gets one at birth (which is the first bookend)

Take any group of 1,000 people, and over a span of 5 years several of them will have died or be in the process of dying, succumbing to either accident or disease, the causes of which may be self-evident while some may be vaguely indefinable.

Take any group of 1,000 soldiers who have spent time in one of the recent tropical combat zones and over a span of 5 years a number of them will exhibit various sets of symptoms, and, be afflicted with vague, maybe debilitating or chronic maladies, and, yes, even death.  These veterans are provided medical care for disabilities for years after contraction.

These veterans can rightfully feel that their conditions are “not my fault.”  Yet, most of them accept that it follows from their commitment to serve their country in the military.  And, they know that war is unforgiving:  their mission is to kill, capture, and destroy, and, that means running the risk of injury, maiming, death or capture.  It is a contract between them and their government that they honor.

Civilian contractors sharing the same environment with those soldiers are subject to the same types of risks in performing their service to that same government.  Just as the soldiers are no longer playing war games under controlled conditions in the backwoods of Tennessee, the contractors are no longer doing business in the ordered environment of the good old USA, looking for ways to appease the gods of EPA and OSHA.  For both types, civilian and soldier, an entirely new set of rules apply:  survive the day, while making the military high command happy.

Ms. Sparky claims that a field grade national guard officer was poisoned by chemicals at Qarmat Ali.  (I am fairly certain that Ms. Sparky is not a licensed medical doctor and is simply and gleefully following the litigator’s lead.)  Doyle Raiznor is apparently representing that officer and several national guard units in a suit against KBR.  That officer has physical problems that Raiznor is attributing to chemicals at Qarmat Ali.  In a last interview by Raiznor (according to a sympathy-inducing dialogue card inserted into the video, the officer has since died) the colonel, at Raiznor’s prodding — and prepping, no doubt — states that the KBR employees had it easy because they had armed soldiers with them at all times.  The insinuation is that the soldier, standing in the same place as the civilian, had a much harder time…   than…   the civilian…   standing in the same place…   as the…   soldier?…    Huh!  If an RPG exploded within 15 feet of the civilian, that civilian would have exactly the same amount of protection with or without the soldier nearby.  You know…   NONE.

Let it be noted that there are a host of other soldiers and civilians who were NOT at the water plant who are also plagued with vague and serious physical maladies.  Viet Nam, the first Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq — all producing their shares of afflicted personnel.  There is obviously a general medical downside to crawling around in the tropics and the Mideast at any time, with or without a civilian contractor to scapegoat.

Playing the exposure game.  How come Raiznor has only one body to tout if he has hundreds of clients claiming exposure and injury?  How come that one body is that of a desk jockey (who rarely ventured from the comfort of the office) and not that of a combat grunt who spent days and weeks trampling around with the civilians in a supposedly toxic environment?  (I did my military service at several Army headquarters; I know where the brass hangs outIt isn’t in the foxholes.)

Raiznor’s martyr ploy is as weak as his “it didn’t happen in war” ploy and his phony “rebuttal witness” ploy.  But, in spite of all that, his quest for the spoils of war will continue, win or lose this round.  After all, his website touts him as a giant-corporation killer:  “Bring me your COPD, your hangnails, and irritable skin and I will get you some mo’ M-O-N-E-Yat very reasonable attorneys fees.”  Just watch for Sparky to revive the “shocking deposition” video after the current trial is over.

Next up:  FINALLY!  The summation

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, deposition, litigator, sued, cluster

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Just Your Head, Jack

Posted on November 6, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

23rd in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your words for the day (redux):

  • witness = (verb) to see first hand; (noun) one who saw first hand
  • first-hand = one is on the scene to witness an occurrence
  • weasel = be evasive or try to mislead

And what about Weasel #2, ol’ head of security Jack Alvarez?  He showed up for this KBR roast as directed by the subpoena.  Doyle  turned on the camera, shoved a “document” into his hands, asked him to read it, and then asked Jack to speculate on what he just read.  Now, we don’t know what the paper had on it.  Doyle keeps secrets; we obviously are to assume  it is some hush-hush communique from within KBR.  In response to those questions from Doyle, Jack cautiously said “this looks like KBR might have  known before hand about the bad chemicals.”  Doyle also asked, “IF KBR knew, what reason would it have to delay reporting the problem to the Army.”  Jack offered, “Well, they might lose incentive  money for finishing before a certain date, and clean-up operations could cause them to shut down the work until it was done.”  (I paraphrased that stuff.)

Be it noted that Jack acts very tentative about what he is saying.  Why?  Because he doesn’t know anything about the water plant task order.

Here we go again with the flim-flam.  Doyle is trying to whiz two things right past our ears:

  • KBR is working on a COST-PLUS basis.  The more things they can find to do in fulfilling the army’s requirements, the more they get paid.  The deadlines they are working toward are the Army’s operational time lines.  Dragging their feet on HAZMAT would be counter-productive and gain them nothing.
  • The reason someone from “security” is being questioned on contract fulfillment.  It is not established that Jack was at the water plant or exactly what kind of security he was the “head” of:  Document security?  Gate Security?  Motor pool security?  Office supplies security?  Yeah, I know.  He shows up in this video only because he was the Head of Something at KBR, and Doyle thought he could pass him off as an authority by shading what he answered in a negative tint toward KBR.

The KBR personnel testified straightforwardly without a hint of uncertainty, confident of their actions and knowledge.  Doyle attempts to refute them with dialogue cards, his own monologue, and a slovenly looking former “manager” (whom he tried to pass off as the head of a corporate department) who could only repeat speculation and rumor.   Poor ol’ Jack was maneuvered into analyzing a document he had never seen before and putting it in the context of a matter about which he had no first-hand knowledge.

Yeah, ol’ Super Dan has some big salt shakers…   but, I think this litigious entrée he has carefully served up is just a bit too salty to ingest.  One can only hope the eventual jury panel at trial is carefully watching its intake of salt.

Next up:  What price martyrdom?  (Honest, folks!  Just 2 more of these things)

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, sued, deposition, litigation, cluster

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You Can Only Testify To What You Know

Posted on November 5, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

22nd in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your word vocabulary list for the day (mostly from MS Word Dictionary):

  1. witness = (verb) to see first hand;  (noun) one who saw first hand
  2. first hand = one is on the scene to experience an occurrence
  3. hearsay = one was not on the scene, but, allegedly, heard about the alleged occurrence from another
  4. rebut = to deny the truth of something, especially by presenting arguments that disprove it
  5. whistle-blower =  (a Raiznor-implied hot-button) = informant; someone in the know who exposes wrongdoing, especially in an organization.
  6. turncoat = a traitor; someone who abandons a group or a cause and joins its opponents
  7. traitor = someone who is disloyal or treacherous
  8. evasive = not giving a direct answer to a direct question, usually in order to conceal the truth
  9. weasel = (1) sly or underhanded person;  (2) be evasive or try to mislead

Super Dan relies so much on the HOT BUTTON CRUTCH that he could qualify for a “Handicap Parking Permit.”  Six hours of testimony (according to Sparky) boiled down to a 10-minute video which includes 5 minutes of Doyle Raiznor doing monologues or flashing dialog cards, so, all he got was 5 minutes of KBR words that he thought he could paint in a negative tone. 

Doyle’s crutch is hot buttons.  Mine is sarcasm.  In keeping with that , I will characterize his “rebuttal” dudes as “weasels” (see word 9 above).  Why would I do that?  B’cawz neither of ’em is a witness (and, therefore, cannot be a whistle-blower) to the events they are touted to have information about.  The best Super Dan could get out of six hours of testimony is one smirking retelling of a rumor and one stammering stab at speculation.     …and, a lot of camera time for himself.

Elucidation you demand, elucidation I remand (not an exact usage, but it does rhyme).  One of the ploys arising from Super Dan’s epiphany was to remove the water plant incident from that infernal combat theater to the placid, conniving realm of corporate USA.  Our boy Ralph (Weasel #1) fills the bill for location, but, is he believable?  Well, if he is highly placed in the organization, then, ostensibly, he would have access to “privileged” information.  We are not told what Ralph’s position was in KBR, but, Doyle’s slick dialogue places him in the Health, Safety, and Environment Department from which K. Tseng worked — at corporate headquarters in Houston.  Sparky and Doyle  use different approaches to his title, but, both slide in the word “manager,” one with the capital M and the other, a lower case m.  Neither uses the definitive articles “a” and “the” but, the implication is clear.  Without saying so, the dynamic duo is letting the viewers conclude that Weasel Ralph is THE head of H-S-E department.  This should make his rumor believable to the unquestioning public…   so long as they don’t question.

This is the essence of Doyle’s questions to Ralph, the manager of something or other in Houston:

  • Now, Weasel #1, did KBR back in Houston know about the chemicals there before Tseng went on his assessment?  (Smirk) Oh, yeah!
  • Well, Weasel #1, before he left for Iraq, did Tseng make a list of those chemicals?  (Smirk) He didn’t have to (smirk).  He already knew.
  • Good boy, Weasel #l.  So, it was Tseng’s job to make a list of chemicals to check?  “Oh, yeah…   as I understand it.”

As…   I…   understand…   it…   !!?????????  What part of eye-witness are we having trouble with, Doyle?

Middle management!  That was Ralph.  How do I know?  Well, Doyle is leaving it up to my imagination to figure all this out.  My imagination proposes:

  • Ralph doesn’t know anything about the water plant;  he was stuck in Houston.
  • H-S-E consists of 3 different disciplines, hence 3 different sections to the department.
  • You got your Top Dog (i.e., THE Manager), 3 Section Chiefs, numerous unrelated middle managers.  And, Tseng.
  • Top Dog would KNOW what was going on in each section.  A Section Chief would KNOW what was going on in his section, but, not necessarily what other sections were doing.  A Middle Manager would KNOW what he and his subordinates were doing, but, not necessarily what other sections and associated middle managers were doing.
  • Ralph DOESN’T KNOW what Tseng was doing.  ERGO:  Ralph IS NOT the Top Dog, Section Chief, or even Tseng’s manager.
  • RALPH IS SPECULATING AND PASSING ON RUMOR OF SPECULATION.  HE JUST DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING.

But, just showing up and moving your lips while Doyle writes the music to your words makes you thirsty.  In one frame, Ralph has no water.  An instant later, a half-consumed bottle of water shows up in front of him.  Magic?  Or proof of the old saw that lying will make your mouth dry?  Hey, Doyle’s the one who left me alone with my imagination and cynicism.  It’s not my fault if I’m overly abusive critical.

Next up:  Doyle wanted only his  head

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, sued, deposition, litigation, cluster

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Mary L. Wade, A Toast

Posted on October 13, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

21st in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your words for the day (definitions by TheDean01):

  • agreement = a mutual understanding based on a defined set of conditions
  • amendment = a mutually approved change or addition to a previously accepted agreement
  • performance = the act of accomplishing a contracted task

We must go back to the Raiznor version of the “deposition,”  in which he characterized the contract change order as an “indemnity” designed to make KBR immune from having to pay for KBR’s alleged disregard for humans.

  • Raiznor asked Ms. Wade:  “This indemnity…   it was to keep KBR from having to do…   what?”
  • Mary paused; then, shunning his obvious attempt to lead the answer, replied:  “NO!  It was about performance”  (of the contract).  (See change orders are the rule in the article Contracts set boundaries.)

As previously noted, contracts have conditions built into them based on certain assumptions.  If the base assumptions change, then contract performance can be affected.  Therefore, when new conditions threaten one party’s ability to perform within contracted parameters, that party will request changes to the contract, particularly if the originating party (the Client) has precipitated the new conditions.  If the client (like the US of A) should contract under peacetime conditions with a prime contractor, and then drops a war into the middle of the prime contractors accepted conditions, the prime contractor will want the client (the US of A) to pay for ALL the unexpected and unpredictable costs resulting from that war.  That is the ONLY way the contractor can perform the contract as originally agreed.  Change orders are both common sense and common business practice.

But, Raiznor keeps implying that the sole purpose of the change order to the LOGCAP was to keep from having to pay the costs resulting from hazards to humans.  A legal type from KBR read out that clause in Raiznor’s “deposition;” it was a blanket phrase covering EVERYTHING.  Super Dan then asked, “Does that include US civilians…   foreign national civilians…   US military…   British military…   ”  and a few others.  The legal type replied “yes” to each, and added that the clause did not “carve out any exceptions.”  Raiznor could have recited a 1,000-page compilation of “who’s who” names and the answer “yes” would have been given for each.  There is just something about that word EVERYTHING that makes itemizations sort of pointless.  But Raiznor is trying to instill — hopefully to a pre-conditioned anti-KBR crowd — that it is only human cost that KBR disregards.  And humans make up the prospective jury.  Raiznor doesn’t need a rational verdict; a sympathetic one will do just as well.

This little ditty is the cherry on top of my ice cream and cake dessert.  Super Dan, in the edited deposition, made a super obvious observation about an (alleged) issue, and asked, “Is that correct?”  Ms. Wade answered in the affirmative, and, all we got was silence from the Big Man.  Ms. Wade then restated her answer.  It was several viewings later before I realized what had taken place:

  • Ms. Wade had answered with a very indecorous “Yep” to the super obvious question.  Maybe I’m just hoping, but, I hear just a hint of snippishness in that “yep.”  Like Young Lee, maybe she is tiring of all the really stupid questions and assertions.
  • Ms. Wade continues to look off camera into the silence.
  • Then, without raising her eyebrows, her eyes widen…   In my mind, the possibility is raised that she is witnessing a brand new shade of color as Super Dan pulls off a spontaneous impersonation of an agitated cuttlefish
  • …and she restated her answer as a decorous “Yes.”  Mollified, Super Dan continues.  What I wouldn’t give to have seen his reaction to such impertinence toward his elevated status in the legal game…   profession…   legal profession.

Mary Wade, thank you.

  • First, for maintaining your composure amid Doyle’s attempts to hijack your testimony,
  • Second, for standing firm and rebutting his misstatements of conditions, and
  • Third, (oh, be still, my beating heart)…   for just reaching out with that “yep” and tugging on SuperDan’s cape.*

Calls for another toast.  For this one, I am uncorking a new bottle of wine from the Republic of Georgia.

  • To Mary.  Composure is you.  Thanks heaps for the show.

*Ashamed, I should be — but not, I am.  I dubbed ol’ Doyle Super Dan just so I could use this line about Superman’s cape.

Next up:  Rebuttal witnesses; shouldn’t they actually know something?

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, sued, deposition, litigator, cluster

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Mary L. Wade, Fence Rider

Posted on October 12, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

20th in the series The Great Cluster Fu...   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your words for the day (definitions courtesy of TheDean01)

  • fence = a structure that defines an area; a barrier designed to keep things inside
  • fence rider = one charged with maintaining the integrity of a fence

Shockingly casual and quick — that is how Raiznor characterizes the offering and acceptance of major government-funded contracts, implying back room maneuvering for greatest personal or corporate profit.  But, Raiznor is very carefully omitting a very prominent fact:  for Ms. Wade and the other parties to be able to go over the terms and conditions of a contract, there must first be…   well…   a physical contract to go over.  This means a printed document containing terms and conditions detailing the services to be rendered, the manner in which those services are to be rendered, and payment for said rendering.  But, wait!  That’s just the simplified version of what producing that contract would entail.  There’s more:

  • Conditions and terms must include compliance with all applicable references to Federal, International, and local laws which, in turn…
  • will refer to applicable published standards for engineering, construction, worker safety, environmental concerns, which,  in turn…
  • will itemize qualification requirements for engineers, technicians, welders, chemists who, in turn…
  • will submit those documents to the contractor employing those services.

In his drive to pre-condition potential jurors in his favor, Raiznor would have jurors believe that Ms. Wade and her KBR party arrived one morning at a 9:00 a.m. meeting site, selected a random sub-contractor from a line outside on the sidewalk, dragged him inside and asked, “Would you like to receive a billion dollar contract?”  That sub-contractor said, “YES!  You betcha.”  KBR said, “Great.  All you need do is to  hire 500 people in 24 different fields, test them and get their certifications and personal information, get them to agree to do their work while under the threat of being blown up by less-than-happy locals, confirm that under every law known to man you can do all this legally, and get that back to us within 1 hour and 48 minutes after you said ‘You betcha.’  That will leave us 12 minutes to get all that you have submitted confirmed through our engineering, health-safety-environment, procurement, and legal departments AND get this 10 pound contract all typed up and printed so Ms. Wade can go over the terms and conditions with you before we scatter for lunch.”

Yeeaah…   that c-o-u-l-d happen…   IN ANOTHER UNIVERSE.

So, what does Ms. Wade do as Senior Contracts Manager?  I don’t really know, but, from what I have read on-line and heard from her testimony, and from my own industrial experiences, I think I can take a reasonable stab at an outline (if I’m off the mark, ignorance is always my fallback position):

  • She must be knowledgeable of what the client (in this case, the US of A) wants (terms, conditions, overall objectives), and, what KBR will do to perform that contract (task order).  Much of what the LOGCAP entails is standard across the board, but individual task orders will carry variations on performance expectations.
  • She DOES NOT create the terms and scope of contracts.  That task originates with the client and is fleshed out by the various disciplines within KBR (legal, procurement, health-safety-environmental, engineering, cost estimating, construction, logistics, etc.).  Her duty is to understand the completed contract and point out omissions or errors in complying with the client’s contract protocols, as well as KBR’s internal requirements.
  • She explains the terms, conditions, and scope of contracts that KBR subs down to other contractors, making certain they know performance expectations and billing protocols.
  • She raises the red flag on actions that can be interpreted as outside the client’s or KBR’s stated administrative protocols.  (That “invoicing for private security” thing is a prime example.  She cautioned — in an email bearing her correct job title — that such action was probably NOT in compliance with the LOGCAP protocol, since the military was the one to provide physical security.  She could not forbid the invoicing, only warn of its probable irregularity.)

Contracts set boundaries.  Call those boundaries fences.  All parties to that contract must operate within the fenced confines in order to claim the benefit declared in the contract.  Ever cognizant of the buzzards (litigators) and rail-birds (somebody-owes-me-something plaintiffs) trying to roost on their contract fences, corporations like KBR make it a point to toe the legal line.  That is why, like cattle ranchers, they employ fence riders such as Mary Wade (and legal experts in several fields, environmental specialists, etc.) to keep all parties in tune with the client’s wishes and all mandated legal standards.  That does not mean they will never misstep, but, that diligence removes the element of reckless disregard from their operations.

Mary Wade in western wear boots, chaps, hat, saddle, horse…   That’s a far better picture than Doyle Raiznor in blue Superman tights and red boxers.  (I apologize, Mary, for taking that liberty.  I just couldn’t resist.)

Next up:  Another toast

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, litigator, sued, cluster, deposition

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Manager vs. Negotiator

Posted on July 30, 2012. Filed under: KBR, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

12th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…  A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your words for the day:

  • negotiator (1) = one who converses, bargains, or discusses with another in an attempt to reach an agreement (yourdictionary.com)
  • negotiator (2) = one who concludes a business transaction (yourdictionary.com)
  • manager = an individual who is in charge of a certain group of tasks (BusinessDictionary.com)

In the 5th installment of this series (The Truth Hurts), I posed three questions:  (1) Who the hell is he (Doyle Raiznor) representing, (2) who the hell is he trying to convince in the absence of a court room and jury, and (3) how much money does he expect to clear from this yellow journalism venture.  As to the client, Sparky mentions “several State National Guard Units” so that is probably Raiznor’s class-action gold mine.  That indirectly answers question number 3, in that the more claimants in a successful suit  THE GREATER THE LITIGATOR’S CUT.  That leaves just question number 2…

Who the hell is he trying to convince in the absence of a court room and jury?  In the words of the deceased scientist in Isaac Asimov’s classic, “I,Robot” (a Will Smith movie adaptation):  That, detective, is the right question.”

In the ordered setting of the judicial forum, claimant’s attorney presents his side of the argument, and the defendant’s attorney provides his side of the argument, each attempting to poke holes in the other’s claims.  That forum is presided over by a judge (a referee) in the presence of a jury which will vote on its perceptions of the opposing arguments.  For Raiznor, there’s the rub.

That ordered setting will glaringly show that, because of acts of war (you know, all that crap that can. and does, happen when you are trying to do a good job while other people are trying to kill you) and the contractual exceptions granted KBR by its client, the US of A., the claimants have no case at all.  Worse, plaintiff’s attorney has a short period of time to convince jurors who, like their clients, have had their lives abruptly impacted by government mandate.  UN-like their clients,  the jurors did not sign a contract beforehand permitting this unannounced inconvenience; they might not be receptive to “somebody-owes-me” arguments.  What’s a salty litigator to do:

 Well, there’s always jury tampering, but messing with jurors during a trial is considered unethical…   and…   in some circles…   HIGHLY ILLEGAL.  Super Dan’s retirement fund may be screaming for refreshment, but he is neither that greedy nor that stupid.  Besides, Danny Boy has been to the mountain-top and has experienced an epiphany:  If I can’t get to the impaneled jury, maybe I can taint the potential jury pool against KBR.

Since the exit of the Bush-Chaney administration and the back-off from KBR by Halliburton, negative criticism of KBR by the media has subsided considerably (no evening news hot-buttons).  Clearly The Press (with the big P) could not be counted on for pre-emptive bad-mouthing of his mark.  Gotta take matters into his own hands.

That fake deposition being touted by Sparky’s site looks for all the world like a draft of a possible strategy in attacking KBR’s defense in court.  For that purpose, it is totally legitimate.  But, Super Dan’s decision to use it in a reputation-smearing campaign against a possible court opponent clearly qualifies as unethical.  Those subpoenaed testimonies (reformatted, biased “explanations”  patched in,  packaged in  the tabloid presentation of a fictionalized “expose“) and a fake “news” site filled only with Doyle Raiznor anti-KBR propaganda have been posted on-line for months and years.  The purpose:  INSTILL THE PERCEPTION THAT KBR  CAN’T POSSIBLY BE RIGHT ABOUT ANYTHING.   The target audience:  THE POTENTIAL JURY POOL (that be the public) FOR ANY CIVIL SUITS AGAINST KBR.

And that brings us to the importance of manager versus negotiator.  One title implies “tight control” and the other, “free-wheeling  and dealing.”

Next up:  Hot-button offense

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The Truth Hurts

Posted on June 21, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

5th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your word for the day 

  • flim-flam = (1) trick or swindle
  • flim-flam = (2) deceptive talk, talk that confuses or deceives

Lest I be guilty of not being up-front (as I am about to accuse Danny Boy and his law firm of doing) I should tell you what triggered this series of posts.  In my preceding post (No Safety in Numbers) I mentioned finding Danny Boy and his apparent venture.  The on-line post I viewed purported to be a deposition taken from employees of KBR.  That display may have started out as a deposition, but after Danny and his firm  cut their testimonies into sound bytes interspersed with silent-movie-era dialogue boards and a “let me show you what you are seeing” voice over, the deposition became a work of fiction.  The “deposition for public consumption” use, instead of being strictly an in-house litigator’s discovery tool, bothered me.  The more times I watched it, the more it just didn’t add up.  

“The Great Cluster Fu…”   series lists my objections to this tabloid opus.

Flash forward:  We are approaching Danny Boy’s opus, a grand fusion of fantasy, journalism, yellow journalism, tabloid style of story-telling, half-truths, speculations, unfounded assertions, mellow-dramatic tear jerker ending designed, tabloid-like, to help you ignore/skip/fast forward over the array of inconsistencies, inaccuracies, outlandish assertions, presented in his vague novella.  In true more-knowledgeable-than-thou-art anchor-person fashion (complete with the inability to even read the teleprompter flawlessly) he condescendingly leaves out important pieces of information in fear that you will decide the true nature of things for yourselves.  Throughout this exercise, Danny Boy has glaringly left out 3 pieces of pertinent information:

  • Who the hell he is representing.
  • who the hell he is trying to convince in the absence of a court-room and jury.
  • HOW MUCH  M-0-N-E-Y  HE EXPECTS TO CLEAR FROM THIS VENTURE OF YELLOW JOURNALISM.

Danny Boy’s failure to include the cream filling in his little Twinkie leaves me no choice but to fill the void with my own assessments.  You are forewarned.

I’m calling this hatchet job  a travesty of the justice system.  Danny Boy and his lackey Ms Sparky (we’ll get to her shortly) have created and posted this piece of propaganda and have the audacity to call it a “deposition.”  It started out as a deposition, witnesses being subpoenaed to appear and give out-of-court testimony.  These witnesses appeared and gave testimony because to not do so would result in charges of contempt of court.   Had this intended use been known before hand, I am sure KBR lawyers would have had a lot to say about allowing the depositions to be given.

Will the truth hurt your case, Danny Boy?  I think, “Probably.”  So, as we continue, I will fill in your omissions (and expose some of your commissions) from my own humble store of life experiences.

Next up:  An inconvenient truth

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, litigation, sued, cluster, deposition, hexavalent chromium

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No Safety in Numbers: It’s War

Posted on June 20, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

4th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices.

Your word for the day:   

  • ignore = refuse to notice.

It was while perusing the internet recentlyWait!  That should be “surfin’ the net,” shouldn’t it?  — I ran across one such super litigator who seems to have found himself a big one — a Cape Buffalo — and was angling to bring it home for proper milking.  As his luck would have it, it was standing between some bad publicity brush and a huge government contract tree.  It was trying to shake some unwanted partisan politics off one hoof while batting away the politically inspired bad press buzzing like flies around it.  The litigator must have been stunned silly, and became frantic to climb that money tree and get his.  Big downer, though:  the only way to the money tree was through that Cape Buffalo, which was very healthy, alert, and roaming free in a temporary game preserve.  In that environment, it was a legally protected species.  He knew it was gonna take a lotta work to get that baby to stand still for a little milking.  (Oh, ick!!  See the litigator salivate?)

In deference to his apparent self-image, lets call this dandy litigator Super Dan, an advocate for any reason (even if one has to be made up), but, most especially, for the  M – O – N – E – Y  (that may sound a little like unbridled greed, so let’s call it attorneys’ fees).

Okay, lets peek behind the bovine metaphor.  The cash cow that Super Dan has his eyes on is that global, multi-billion dollar contractor formerly known as Kellogg Brown and RootKBR these days.  He has taken on a client who is not an employee of KBR.  He be a  soldier.  An employee of the US of A.  Who had signed a contract of military service for the US of A.  Who sent the soldier to a war.  The same war in which the US of A contracted the assistance of KBR in refurbishing a defunct water purification plant.  As well as a host of other engineering jobs in that war zone.  Jobs that, to all intents and purposes, made KBR a valuable and functioning part of the US of A war machine.  The preserve that protected KBR from pecuniary liability was the combat theater designated by the US of A.

The  water purification plant at Qarmat Ali belonged (formerly) to one Saddam Hussein, head of state, State of Iraq.  Which Head objected fiercely to having his State invaded for any reason.  Brought out his fighting side.  And all his fighting forces.  But, for all that, he was a bad poker player, and lost the plant in a high stakes game with the US of A.  He wasn’t any better at domestic house-keeping, either, as it turns out, and had left the place in a mess.  He saw no reason to take the time to clean it up for the new owner.

The US of A decided it needed that water plant in operation and plunked hundreds, if not thousands, of civilian support personnel into a hot combat theater.  Forbade them from carrying weapons to defend themselves, but, thoughtfully enough, furnished its armed combat personnel to escort and watch over the unarmed civilian work force while they were outside designated “safe” zones.  Like our salivating litigator above, lets gloss over the fact that a lone mortar shell (or RPG) exploding nearby will take out both the unarmed civilian and the armed, combat-ready soldier.

In a combat zone, everyone is a combatant.  NO ONE is safe.  That is something our drooling litigator has chosen to ignore while looking for a nice “safe” place to set up his milking operation.

Next up:  The truth hurts.

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, litigation, sued, cluster, deposition, hexavalent chromium

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