Yesterday, Ira Waltrip, an employee for Iraq contractor KBR, was formally charged with possession of child pornography. According to a court affidavit, Waltrip was first caught with pornographic materials in 2006 and fired from KBR. However, KBR rehired Waltrip before the year ended, and he returned to Baghdad, where he returned to his past behavior:
Last month, while working as a KBR bus driver in Baghdad, Waltrip, 48, was again discovered with suspected child pornography, including some pictures of prepubescent children engaged in sex with adults and some pictures of Waltrip with nude females who “appear to be young teenagers,” according to the federal affidavit.
Today, in U.S. District Court in Austin, where Waltrip has been charged with possession of child pornography, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Pitman appeared dismayed that Waltrip was rehired.
“He was rehired by that employer and participated in the same behavior…and then may have possessed child pornography he produced,” Pitman said in explaining his decision to order Waltrip detained without bail.
A Houston-based KBR spokeswoman had no immediate comment today.
The latest scandal further illustrates KBR’s refusal to hold employees accountable for their actions. Last week, a former employee testified that a camp manager caught stealing from Iraqi palaces was promoted by KBR, rather than disciplined.
Even more disturbingly, more than thee dozen women who worked for KBR have come forward saying they were sexually assaulted by coworkers while stationed in Iraq. The alleged assailants will likely never face a jury, and KBR is determined to settle these allegations in private arbitration, without “public record nor transcript of the proceedings.” In fact, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) told a story that one KBR employee who told her superiors she was raped found her rapist assigned to work next to her.