The CEO Administration at work in the field.
Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the
multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war.
Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job
in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating
financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi
Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or
records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off
on the payments to the company. “They had a gigantic amount of costs they
couldn’t justify,” he said in an interview. “Ultimately, the money that was
going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn’t going to
But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors — after
taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR’s claims
— approved most of the payments he had tried to block.
But the Army says they had to pay the baksheesh.
“You have to understand the circumstances at the time,” said Jeffrey P.And besides, it was just a billion dollars. Move along. Nothing to see here
Parsons, executive director of the Army Contracting Command. “We could not let
operational support suffer because of some other things.”