Tuesday, April 13, 2004

"Civilian Contractors"

One thing that has come out of the uprising in Iraq last week is the information that the Department of Defense (DOD) is using "civilian contractors" to cover assignments the military does not see as part of their "core mission" of fighting the war. So "civilian contractors" are actually soldiers in a civilian army consisting of ex-members of the Navy Seals and Army Special Forces-mercenaries paid by the government. Mercenaries- who don't have to follow military orders. Mercenaries-who's actions are not subject to military law. Mercenaries-who can go home any time they want.

Estimates on how many security contractors are in Iraq is around 4,000 men. The Bush administration sees using these men as a way of keeping down the cost of the war. Now the average pay for one of these contractors is $100,000 a year, two to 10 times more than the military is willing to pay them. Four thousand men times $100,000 equals $400,000,000. Since March of 2002 the cost of using civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan has been more than 12 billion dollars. Just how is this saving us money?

Others seen the Bush administration's use of contractors as a way for the president and his men to get around the congressional limit on the number of troops that were sent to Iraq a year ago. Some members of Congress see it this way too and have sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking about, "private armies operating outside the control of governmental authority." Even money that Rumsfeld blows them off.

All of this is another example of how Bush and the people around him think that what they want is the best for all, even if no one else agrees with them. Can't get as many troops sent to Iraq as you want? Hire a private army.

Can't get your drug legislation passed because the cost is to high? Lie about it to congress and then after the bill is passed say, "Oh, wait, we were wrong. It's going to cost more."

Don't like what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2003 Report on the Environment said about global warming? Have that section removed. Ignore or suppress other findings that affect the environment because they don't agree with your political agenda either.

Want to punish a former U.S. ambassador who is critical of one of your decisions? Have someone in your office leak the fact that the man's wife is a CIA agent, endangering anyone she has been in contact with overseas. Do nothing to find out who the person was even though what that person did is a federal crime and you agreed to cooperate with a Judicial Department investigation.

The arrogance of this administration is appalling.

No comments: