Iraq for Sale

I took advantage of a new Tivo feature in which you can download films from the film catalog directly to your own Tivo. If it’s a rental you can keep it until you watch it; once you start watching you have 24 hours to finish –or watch it continuously if you want– then it self destructs.

I downloaded Roger Greenwald’s Iraq for Sale. Great film? Nope. Enough to make your blood boil? Absolutely.

Talking head after talking head talking about the malfeasance of Halliburton, KBR, CACI, Titan.

CACI, one the providers of interrorgators at Abu Ghraib, of course had no representatives. Greenwald had plenty to remind us of the sickening events and that junior soldiers have been courts martialed and are serving time. The civilian guards, if accused, were fired and sent home, where they could get a job with another contractor.

From Halliburton and KBR there were plenty — not from the companies but from the workers who went to drive trucks, build showers, serve meals. Many of them talk about their dual motivation: to make money for their families, and to help rebuild Iraq. And then they began to see: empty trucks run up and down the road in order to bill the DOD; multi-million dollar trucks blown up because extra tires weren’t available; shower water not chlorinated and contaminated with typhus, giardia, all the bad stuff. All these good-old-boys speak in the film about the greed of the corporations, the short cuts taken, the lack of training.

As one said: How are you going to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people if what they see us doing is cheating each other? What kind of recommendation is that?

The US Congress, despite Patrick Leahy’s and others efforts, has not done a damn thing about the contracting. Greenwald kindly posts the votes, and other research backing up the claims of the movie.

If you want something to do, with the new Democratic majorities, here are some place to help you out.

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