My Beautiful Wickedness

Bad news buried in August
September 2, 2008, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

But you didn’t think that I would miss it, did you?

The Congressional Budget Office report on contractors in Iraq note that there are now 190,000 private contractor employees in Iraq (loads as pdf) — easily outnumbering the number of US troops in the theatre (estimated reliably by government sources at around 150,000).
Only 20% of these workers are US citizens (working for Blackwater and such); about 30% are either Iraqis or Kuwaitis working for the only people who have any money to pay wages. The other 50% are low-wage workers shipped in from India, Thailand, and the Phillipines doing everything from translation to laundry to sexwork. These non-troops — outside of the command chain, unaccountable to anyone but their employers — have cost US taxpayers over $100 billion so far.

The study notes that US dependence on private contractors is far greater than in prior conflicts, proportionally 5 times higher than (for example) Vietnam. There’s no accurate numbers for how many have been injured or killed while in service of US war goals.

Has anyone seen this in the news? Isn’t it funny what gets released when everyone is looking at Michael Phelps and the political conventions?


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