Thursday, September 20, 2007

ARE WE "OUTSOURCING" THE WAR IN IRAQ?!?

Outsourcing! The worst thing that's ever happened to the American worker!

Outsourcing! The best thing that's ever happened to the American corporation owner!

And have some greedy geniuses figured out that outsourcing in a war can generate huge profits?!? And have they found the perfect administration to go along with this?

I mean, we've always known that the Bush administration favors the rich folks, because one tends to favor their own. And yes, some of us veterans have been a little suspicious about this administration's constant whining about people (us) "not supporting the troops" when the truth of the matter is, this administration has been the worst supporter of the troops in my lifetime.

Let me count (only) some of the ways.

In no particular order...

Walter Reed and military health care for returning wounded troops in general. Until a whistle was blown.

Bulletproof vests that had to be mailed to troops by their parents. Until a whistle was blown.

So-called armored vehicles that caused multiple deaths and life altering injuries while life and injury saving armored vehicles had been perfected, but weren't ordered. Until a whistle was blown.

I could mention more examples, but let's fast forward to the most recent example.

OUTSOURCING!!!

In addition to other problems this can cause, let's simply address possible morale issues within the U.S. Military. When they see private contractors doing what the troops are capable of doing, but these private contractors are being paid five times what the troops are being paid, if not more. Oh, yeah! This is "supporting our troops"!

Let me put it in civilian terms. While performing the same duties at your job as the person next to you, but that person is making five times the money you're making even though you've both been doing the same job for the same amount of time, please tell me about that warm and fuzzy feeling you have about this situation.

Here are the numbers as reported by Associated Press today. 163,100 U.S. military personnel are in Iraq. The Pentagon disputes that number. They say it's 169,000 with an additional 12,400 coalition forces.

Here's a number that (as of now) isn't in dispute. More than 180,000 Americans, Iraqis and nationals from other countries work under a lot of different federal contracts to do the work that soldiers would usually do, but for much more money!!! Not to mention the amount of money being pocketed by the owners of the businesses these private contractors work for. A situation that has resulted in multiple investigations involving bribery, unaccounted for missing funds, etc., etc.

North Carolina Representative David Price said, "One suspects that contractors are being used to mask the true extent of our involvement in Iraq. How else are you going to interpret it when the number of contractors exceeds the number of troops?"

Congressman Price has proposed a measure that would require all government contractors to be covered by federal criminal codes, a shortcoming revealed by the conflict in Iraq. Or to put that another way, because of what I wrote about two paragraphs ago.

This is all being exposed because of what some private contractors recently did involving the use of firearms that made front page news.

Will the Bush Administration make an effort to correct corruption or indiscriminate use of "security" by these (in reality) free lance soldiers of fortune? If they do, I'll be shocked, but I'll also salute what would be some overdue due diligence.

Oh...A P.S. to this story. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday that the department does not release the number of contract employees because of concerns that their safety could be compromised.

Short Commentary: Uh, huh.

O.J. SIMPSON UPDATE:

O.J. Simpson has been freed on bail. $125,000. He's back in Florida. But now, one of his alleged victims is in jail. While Alfred Beardsley was on the "Today" show, his parole agent saw him. It turns out that Beardsley isn't supposed to leave the state without telling his parole officer. Tom Hession, chief inspector for the marshals said, "I guess he liked the camera too much." In 2005, Beardsley was sent to jail for stalking. First of all, you have to be a serious stalker to go to jail for that charge. I mean, who hasn't had a break-up of some kind that didn't result in a little bit of that kind of activity? Here's another question. Is there anyone in this O.J. case who doesn't have a rap sheet of some kind? And I mean on both sides of this case?

TELEVISION NOTE:

A 2-hour season finale of "Burn Notice" will be on USA beginning at 9 tonight.

Another episode of the very good show "Mad Men" will be on AMC at 10 tonight.

EDITOR'S NOTE: OUR PICTURES PROVIDER IS OUT OF TOWN FOR A FEW DAYS. PICTURES WILL RETURN SOON.

A new blog is written every morning, Monday through Friday and is posted between 7 and 7:15, Pacific Time. Sometimes earlier. Questions and comments can be sent to scottstjames@sbcglobal.net. I do write back.

TOMORROW: I'll tell you about new films that are opening and anything else that makes me say, "Whaaaat?!?"

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