On Fox & Friends First, after Gretchen Carlson reported that "The New York Times says shoddy electrical wiring has killed 13 Americans and injured many more," Brian Kilmeade stated: "They had to find the negative story in Iraq?" When Carlson again discussed the Times story on Fox & Friends, Kilmeade stated: "So, this is America bad?"
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On the July 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends First, co-host Gretchen Carlson reported: "Where U.S. troops sleep, eat, and relax in Iraq may be as lethal as a combat zone. The New York Times says shoddy electrical wiring has killed 13 Americans and injured many more." Co-host Brian Kilmeade said: "They had to find the negative story in Iraq?" After Carlson reported that "[t]he Pentagon is investigating" the allegations, she said: "I love having my gallery to the left when I read the headlines."
When Carlson again discussed the Times story on Fox & Friends, Kilmeade said: "So, this is America bad?" Carlson did not respond, moving immediately to the next story.
In its July 18 article, the Times reported that "[s]hoddy electrical work by private contractors on United States military bases in Iraq is widespread and dangerous, causing more deaths and injuries from fires and shocks than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to internal Army documents. ... The Army report said KBR, the Houston-based company that is responsible for providing basic services for American troops in Iraq, including housing, did its own study and found a 'systemic problem' with electrical work." According to the article:
Since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, tens of thousands of American troops have been housed in Iraqi buildings that date from the Saddam Hussein era. KBR and other contractors have been paid millions of dollars to repair and upgrade the buildings, including their electrical systems. KBR officials say they handle the maintenance for 4,000 structures and an additional 35,000 containers used as housing in the war zone.
The reports of shoddy electrical work have raised new questions about the Bush administration's heavy reliance on contractors in Iraq, particularly because they come after other high-profile disputes involving KBR. They include accusations of overbilling, providing unsafe water to soldiers and failing to protect female employees who were sexually assaulted.
Officials say the administration contracted out so much work in Iraq that companies like KBR were simply overwhelmed by the scale of the operations. Some of the electrical work, for example, was turned over to subcontractors, some of which hired unskilled Iraqis who were paid only a few dollars a day.
Government officials responsible for contract oversight, meanwhile, were also unable to keep up, so that unsafe electrical work was not challenged by government auditors."
From the July 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends First:
CARLSON: Where U.S. troops sleep, eat, and relax in Iraq may be as lethal as a combat zone. The New York Times says shoddy electrical wiring has killed 13 Americans and injured many more.
KILMEADE: They had to find the negative story in Iraq?
CARLSON: An electrical fire in June chased Marines out of a base there. A former employee of KBR, the Houston-based contractor, says supervisors frequently didn't know --
CARLSON: -- what their subcontractors were doing. The company denies it. The Pentagon is investigating. I love having --
CARLSON: -- my gallery to the left when I read the headlines.
KILMEADE: Well, listen to this, Gretch. Can I just say one thing?
KILMEADE: Violence is down 85 percent in that country. OK, now back to the action.
CARLSON: OK. Steve, could you provide commentary on the next story please?
DOOCY: Can somebody please get me a sock?
CARLSON: Your fist will work.
From the July 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
CARLSON: When the troops come off of the battle line in Iraq, they're not necessarily finding things safer. The New York Times says sloppy electrical work at U.S. bases in Iraq has killed 13 Americans and injured many more. A former employer of the contractor for the work, Houston-based KBR, says supervisors were often hired without knowing much about wiring. The Pentagon says it's looking into it and the contractor denies the story.
KILMEADE: So, this is America bad?