My friend Brendan - who runs the Hell Yeah! blog - is always telling me that a big portion of the right's motivation for the disastrous adventure in Iraq is business: and not just keeping the world safe for capitalism, either. Direct business. Big business. In short, profiteering.
Brendan argues that while Marines face trial for murder after more than three years of sitting duck duty, while the death toll nears 2,500, while insurgency melds into anarchy, the cash registers ring.
I was skeptical, but not very. And now I'm not - thanks to an ongoing series over at the wonderblog FireDogLake. In his original April post Merchants of Misery” and the “Do-Less-Than-Nothing” Congress FDL writer Matt O. remembers another backlash against profiteers:
Ironically, we intersect with another statement from the former president. Truman dubbed the 1948 Congress as the "Do-Nothing Congress" because they were in session for only 108 days. But I think the current collection of suits has them beat with only 97 days in session. It’s the "Do-Less-Than-Nothing" Congress and while they chase 12 million undocumented workers all over the country in the House and go off on gay-bashing tirades on the Senate floor, they are ignoring a major issue - war profiteering.
Later this year, director Robert Greenwald will release the film Irag for Sale: the War Profiteers. But FDL is already on top of this. Today, Matt fires off another well-researched installment on "security and logistics" startup Custer Battles (sadly apt for this war) and tales of "gangland-style payments." From FDL: In March, the company was ordered by a jury to pay $10 million "in damages and penalties for defrauding the government on its work in Iraq." Alan Grayson, an attorney for the whistleblowers said:
"Companies like Custer Battles go there with the idea of
stuffing their pockets with cash. This jury of eight people heard the
evidence and were repelled by it."
Clearly, we need another Truman Committee - thought we're not likely to get one without a big sweep in November. As Matt sums up (read his whole series):
Rapacious corporations profit off of the death and misery of an
ill-fated plan for war and are protected by their enablers in the power
structure. Their cost-cutting actions put our armed forces at greater
risk, inflame tensions with the locals for piss poor work (of which
many use imported labor), and thus, undermine our efforts. All while
ripping off the American taxpayers. I can’t think of anything more
treasonous than that.
Me either. Here's a preview of the Greenwald project via YouTube: