War Privatization is Public Scandal

by Jesse Jackson

They guard U.S. officials. They patrol the Green Zone, the U.S. headquarters in Iraq. They supply the food, the oil, clean the barracks and fix the machines. They aren’t U.S. soldiers; they are private contractors. The Bush administration has privatized war. The second-biggest army in Iraq consists of armed security forces supplied by private contractors.
They act above the law — and with unclear lines of authority. They work abroad, so they are largely beyond the reach of U.S. law. On contract from the U.S. government, they are beyond the reach of Iraqi law, as established in an order issued by the U.S. Authority there before turning power over to the Iraqi government. When the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandals were revealed, private security forces and interrogators were at the center of it. But none was held accountable.The British have followed suit. The British charity, War on Want, reported last year that there are three British private security guards to every British soldier in Iraq.

Congressional investigators are about to unearth massive abuses and corruption in Iraq, but the mercenaries operate across the world. In 1998, for example, DynCorp security agents in Bosnia were implicated in a sex-slave scandal. The firm quickly recalled at least 13 agents; none faced criminal prosecution.

Read more

The modern-day mercenaries also operate largely free of government scrutiny or oversight. Companies, unlike government agencies, are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and often stonewall congressional inquiry.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s