Monday, September 25, 2006

Iraq for Sale

At a time when America is sending its sons and daughters to fight for freedom, nothing is more important than their ability to do the job right. Right?

Not in Iraq, where America's Czar George II has presided over levels of treasonous corruption at levels not seen since the Russians fought the Crimean War.

From charging the US military $100 to ineptly wash a bag of laundry (and getting officers to reprimand soldiers who do their own laundry in the sink) to overseeing interrogation at Abu Ghraib, these military contractors are wasteful, undertrained, and grotesquely expensive. Greenwald's film features footage of bonfires built to destroy improperly ordered vehicles, computers and other equipment that the contractors purchased at taxpayer expense -- since these contractors are compensated on a "cost-plus" basis, they get paid more for wasting money than saving it.

Another are where they scrimp is on the safety and training of their own personnel. They hire inept translators who give bad intelligence to the military. They send their front-line workers -- such as truckers recruited from the US -- into battle-zones without military escorts or armor. Meanwhile, the "savings" realized by putting untrained people in charge of interrogation at Abu Ghraib (Greenwald shows a single-page "interrogation manual" that consists of little cartoons with a short sentence under each) are not used to provide better equipment for US soldiers -- they sleep in infectious tents, drink untreated toxic water, and eat improperly prepared food, thanks to the likes of Halliburton, whose stock doubles and redoubles every year the Iraq war goes on.

I'm just waiting for the day that the first grunt "frags" a Halliburton company rep by rolling a grenade into his tent hotel room.

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