Saturday, August 25, 2007

The True Cost of the Iraq War

Corruption: (n) putrefactive decay; rottenness.

This is written backwards, the most important part is at the bottom. I was going to write something fun, a change of pace, but this story from MSNBC drove all of the mirth out of me.

It is not that the American occupation of Iraq is riddled with corruption. I've know about that for some time. With the characters involved in this adventure from Dick Cheney to L. Paul Bremer to Eric Prince (Blackwater CEO) how could it be anything else?

It is not the fact that mercenaries in Iraq, paid with American tax dollars, are a bloodthirsty crew with a penchant for shooting innocent civilians just because it is fun. There are mercs, it is what they do. With well over 100,000 private soldiers in the country armed to the teeth and ready for fun, rape, torture, and murder will be common. I am not even surprised that these "contractors" are free to do anything they want without fear of either Iraqi or American law. What fun is it being an outlaw if you have to obey the law. I am not surprised that mercs are selling weapons to the Iraqi insurgents - profit is profit.

I am not even astonished that an American judge (T. S. Ellis III, a Reagan appointee) ruled that it was perfectly legal for American mercenaries to defraud the Coalition Provisional Authority because the CPA was not a part of the United States Government. Sure, the CPA was created and funded by the Department of Defense and it head, L. Paul Bremer, was an American government employee appointed to the job by George Bush. Republican judges have a Republican view of the law.

The Story of Donald Vance
No, what hit me is the story of Donald Vance. Vance worked for a private security contractor in Iraq, he was a merc. But, somehow, the hiring practices at the company missed the vital fact that Donald Vance is an honest man. Vance discovered that his company was selling weapons into the Iraq black market. He and a friend barricaded themselves in a Baghdad office fearing such knowledge would kill them. They were rescued by the US. military and taken into the secure Green Zone where they reported their discovery to U. S. government officials. Three hours later the U. S. military returned and arrested Vance. He was taken to the Camp Cropper prison where he was imprisoned and tortured for three months.

That is what fries me. An American citizen is tormented by American soldiers because he was an honest man who had reported conduct that probably led to the deaths of American soldiers. The corruption of the United States in Iraq is so complete that the few honorable men who remain are punished severely for their honesty. The only benefit of this war is that it has provided employment outside of the United States for an entire class of American criminals.

See also I am Sullied.

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