Monday, January 29, 2007

Stealth fighters – shock horror

Bush's mercenaries in Iraq

When I got curious about the Iraq contractor situation, a couple of weeks back, it took a lot of digging to get to some facts. Since then the issue has come to life, with no help from me, but gratifying all the same.

It was obviously pushed along a bit by the Blackwater incident which synchronised so dramatically with the SOTU speech.

US Army probing multiple contract frauds in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait operations

My prediction now is that, with the wheels falling off the ‘stealth army' arrangements the contractors are going to become the targets of the administration apologists.

The stories of corruption, by contractors and military personnel alike, had been steadily surfacing over the past few years. KBR have regularly been linked to corruption reports.

But KBR are fairly well protected, it is the contractor companies who don’t have a Vice Presidential protector who will be hammered.

But the way of politics is to attack the weak, and the PR war will target individual workers ‘who are only in it for the money’ or whatever other easy claims that will stick.

But it was the administration who chose to go down the path of a semi-secret private war. It was they who allocated enormous amounts of money to lure the 'greedy workers' in the first place. The Bush Administration cannot deny responsibility for the contractor mess or the privatized war. Right or wrong it was within their stated philosophical position.

It is all very well to punish corrupt contracting companies, but that should not become a diversion from the facts of Bush policy. Indeed, it should not divert from the corruption which occurred in the Republican controlled congress.

Not only did the use of contractors offer the opportunity for a massive government deception on real ‘troop’ numbers in the Middle East, there was the chance to milk the whole treasure trove of contract allocation.

Even that, the contract allocation, was partly privatized under the Halliburton umbrella. Now the balloon is leaking so rapidly it will be just as well focus blame where it rightly belongs – from the top down and not the other way around.

3 comments:

romunov said...

The "ghost army" debacle should not cast a shadow on the current Congress and WH corruption, as it goes in par with it.

Do you have any numbers on the number of these private contractors doing basically the same job as troops?

Cartledge said...

Rom, The Pentagon has estimated there are 100,000 government contractors operating in Iraq, doing such jobs as serving meals, guarding convoys and interrogating prisoners.
Take that figure as you will. I expect it is conservative. As contractors are not generally used in war zones I expect they can all be classed as surrogate military personnel.
But there is another group who have not been enumerated.

The third American army in Iraq is an invisible army, driven not by duty, or greed, but by need. An investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed some of the ugly truth about the sub-contractors that are paid to do the menial work for the bigger U.S. and other military contractors.

reality-based educator said...

The current Congress should get to the bottom of this with some investigations. You know they want to. I think they will. Once the poll numbers turn so badly on a war, the opposition wants to use every bit of evidence to prove the preznut and his merry warriors were all at fault for the screw-ups.