Vanity Fair’s “The People vs. the Profiteers”

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(click for article) The November 2007 issue of Vanity Fair contains an article covering the multi-billion LOGCAP-III contract in Iraq. More specifically, it covers qui tam lawsuits launched by former KBR contractor employees, alleging fraud and/or misconduct on the part of that Halliburton subsidiary. This is no small matter in the USA; the qui tam (“who sues on behalf of the King as well as for himself”) system was instituted by Abraham Lincoln to allow private citizens to sue on the government’s behalf, and collect a share (usually about 18%) of the 3x damages awarded if they win. Many of these individuals are currently represented by Alan Grayson, a lawyer with extensive government contracting experience and the unusual distinction of having been a successful entrepreneur before he began his legal career. Given the expense of these drawn-out contingency-fee suits, the ability to be able to afford $10 million or so in expenses without blinking is no small asset. Normally, we might just provide a link to the story and move on. Unfortunately, we can’t do that in good conscience, as there are a number of elements in the Vanity Fair article that are overblown, or indicate a weaker understanding of […]

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