Here are the first three graphs of the exclusive McClatchy dispatch:
Baghdad embassy's fire-fighting system is defectiveHere is the full McClatchy report.
Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: January 11, 2008 03:53:58 PM ET
WASHINGTON — The fire-fighting system in the massive new $740 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is defective, according to documents obtained by McClatchy and U.S. officials, who allege that their concerns were ignored or overruled in a rush to declare the complex completed.
"As far as I know, nothing's been fixed," said one State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation for speaking to the news media. "The lives of the people who are working in that building are going to be at stake" if the complex doesn't meet building codes, he said.
Last month, 19 days before he retired, State Department buildings chief Charles E. Williams certified key parts of the embassy's fire-fighting system ready for operation, according to the documents McClatchy obtained.