Never Send a Contractor to do a Soldier’s Job

Nearly one year ago today, the Washington Post had this to say about the state of the Iraqi armed forces “rebuilt” by the current regime under the direction of Donald Rumsfeld:

The number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help has dropped from three to one, top U.S. generals told Congress yesterday, adding that the security situation in Iraq is too uncertain to predict large-scale American troop withdrawals anytime soon.

With that kind of negative press a year ago, why hasn’t the situation improved? Why has it gotten worse instead of better? Because of the fact that Donald Rumsfeld, with the blessing of the republican Congressional majority, is using Iraq as a cash cow for the only real constituency they care about – private military contractors.

Oh, how the worm has turned! Originally hailed for “training Iraqi soldiers, providing security, and – oh! – so much more,” they’re now another line-item embarassment in multi-billion dollar stop-gap funding bills that the “liberal media” is giving the shrub yet another free pass on.

Why is this an op-ed piece in last month’s Boston Globe instead of front-page news?

While Army privates died overseas earning $25,000 a year, David Brooks, the disgraced former CEO of body-armor maker DHB, made $192 million in stock sales in 2004. He staged a reported $10 million bat mitzvah for his daughter. The 2005 pay package for Halliburton CEO David Lesar, head of the firm that most symbolizes the occupation’s waste, overcharges, and ghost charges on no-bid contracts, was $26 million, according to the report’s analysis of federal Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Who’d have thunk it, what with the pro-military party of fiscal responsiblity in power? You know, the ones who haven’t held a single oversight committee meeting since this farce in the Gulf began.

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