Times: The number of U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of American combat troops, newly released figures show, raising fresh questions about the privatization of the war effort and the government's capacity to carry out military and rebuilding campaigns.What failed bill does this part remind you of?
Fort Bragg: "...we will help the people of Iraq build a country that can govern itself and sustain itself and defend itself as a free nation."
Times: More than 180,000 civilians — including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis — are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times. [...]
Fort Bragg: "In these raids, we've uncovered caches of weapons and suicide vests and Iraqi army uniforms to be used as disguises in brutal terrorist attacks."
Times: "We don't have control of all the coalition guns in Iraq. That's dangerous for our country," said William Nash, a retired Army general and reconstruction expert. The Pentagon "is hiring guns. You can rationalize it all you want, but that's obscene." [...]
Times: The companies with the largest number of employees are foreign firms in the Middle East that subcontract to KBR, the Houston-based oil services company, according to the Central Command database. KBR, once a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., provides logistics support to troops, the single largest contract in Iraq.
Fort Bragg: Our troops will help the Iraqi people succeed because it's in our national interests.
Times: Middle Eastern companies, including Kulak Construction Co. of Turkey and Projects International of Dubai, supply labor from Third World countries to KBR and other U.S. companies for menial work on U.S. bases and rebuilding projects. Foreigners are used instead of Iraqis because of fears that insurgents could infiltrate projects.And from the Dep't. of Duh:
Times: Security contractors draw some of the sharpest criticism, much of it from military policy experts who say their jobs should be done by the military. On several occasions, heavily armed private contractors have engaged in firefights when attacked by Iraqi insurgents.7,000...What, that's not showing good ol' U.S. of A. generosity?
Others worry that the private security contractors lack accountability. Although scores of troops have been prosecuted for serious crimes, only a handful of private security contractors have faced legal charges.
Times: The total number of Iraqis employed under U.S. contracts is important, in part because it may influence debate in Congress regarding how many Iraqis will be allowed to come to the U.S. to escape violence in their homeland.
Kirk Johnson, head of the List Project, which seeks to increase the admission of Iraqis, said that the U.S. needed to provide a haven to those who worked most closely with American officials.Finally, from Fort Bragg:
"We all say we are grateful to these Iraqis," Johnson said. "How can we be the only superpower in the world that can't implement what we recognize as a moral imperative?"
Um, Nutball in Chief? It's the 18th. Not the 8th.