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Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction/AP
Khan Bani Saad Correctional Facility

Failed Prison is Latest Blow to Iraq’s Reconstruction

July 28, 2008 03:04 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
A $40 million prison built near Baghdad is unusable, adding to a long list of wasted construction projects headed by U.S. companies hired by the Bush administration.

30-Second Summary

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The prison, built north of Baghdad at Khan Bani Saad, is almost entirely worthless, according to Stuart Bowen, the special inspector for Iraq reconstruction. Only a couple of the prison’s buildings are usable, but not for prisoners, Bowen told the Associated Press.

The Seattle Times reports that “the prison was part of a $900 million Parsons contract to build border posts, courts, police training centers and fire stations” in Iraq. Only 18 of the Pasadena-based contractor’s 53 planned construction projects were completed, a waste of $142 million.

Parsons was awarded its contract in 2004, and in January 2008, the company was cited for extensive failures. The U.S. government had terminated several of the company’s projects.

Rebuilding efforts in Iraq have been stymied by insurgencies and the Abu Ghraib crisis, but the Bush administration has also been blamed for “giving blank checks” to companies to which it has ties, said The Washington Post.

In particular, the Halliburton Corp., once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has been lambasted by the media and some members of Congress. The company has misused government funds and overcharged for work it did not complete in Iraq.

Headline Links: The prison that never was

Background: The Parsons problems

Related Topic: Halliburton’s empire costs U.S. taxpayers

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