Among the most stunning decisions taken is the handover of the interrogation of prisoners of war to private firms. Employees from the firms Caci and Titan now reportedly fill such roles as interrogators and translators. The work can be quite lucrative. Titan just won a $172m deal to supply “analytical support” for US military operations; its employees can make over $100,000 a year.

I wish I could say it freaked me out as much as it freaks out Turkana, that private companies operating outside the law are conducting key parts of this war, but a president operating outside the law is running this country, so, you know, priorities. I can only scream so much during the day before I start seeing spots.

But what interests me about this whole mercenary question is, of course, the money. We have military families on food stamps, and we can’t afford decent VA care, much less the exemplary care returning troops deserve. We can’t afford a 200 percent pay increase for every soldier sailor airman and spy serving in this debacle, or so I’m sure somebody would tell me if I had the temerity to ask in the guise of support for the troops. I’m sure it’s just too expensive. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’d be characterized by somebody as “pork.” But this, we can pay for. It never fails to stagger me, you know, the stuff we consider important.


4 thoughts on “Outrage

  1. There was an article in Vanity Fair a couple months ago about SAIC and how much money they’re making from outsourced intelligence work. We’ve basically turned the intelligence functions of our nation over to a private company — that’s making a 20% profit off it. And how the company is so well connected to both Dems and Republicans, they’re basically untouchable.
    But we can’t afford mental health care for veterans.
    I couldn’t even finish the article I was so furious.

  2. Silly, Athenae, private companies are always more efficient and cost-effective than government programs–everyone knows that!
    Funny how the right has managed to control the economic debate so thoroughly that no one even questions the underlying premise.

  3. We don’t consider it important, but Bush’s corporate masters sure as hell do.
    I think I’ve pretty much given up on justice ever being done to these monsters like Gonzales and Bush and Cheney and Rove and Sampson and Goodling and Dobson and Miller (General or Reporter) and all the thousands of soulless little racist facists that keep crawling out of the woodwork like so many cockroaches.
    Given up hope, not given up bitching and protesting and writing and doing what I can.

  4. Of course, the other question is that if US Troops, under the rigid control of the military system gave us Abu Ghraib and if US Government personnel under the accountability umbrella of the US Government have been responsible for denial of basic human rights, What kind of actions are possible under the control of private companies whose very existence is hidden under a cloud?
    Or to say it shorter, the Biblical verse picked up by Peter, Paul, and Mary:
    If they do these things in the greenwood, what will happen in the dry?

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