by David Phinney
Friday September 25th 2020

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Book Review: Licensed to Kill

Book Review: Licensed to Kill

by David Phinney May 23, 2007 -- In his book, Licensed to Kill, Robert Young Pelton hits the bull's eye with a sweeping, crash course in the explosive growth of private security contractors. Thrust from the sweltering groins of Africa, Papua New Guinea and other trouble spots around the globe where hidden treasures of oil and minerals tempt [...]

Privatized War in Iraq: Low-Paid Foreign Laborers Do the Dying, too

Privatized War in Iraq: Low-Paid Foreign Laborers Do the Dying, too

By David Phinney May 23, 2007 -- Reuters: The war in Iraq is killing nine civilian contractors a week on average, roughly three times the rate of last year, and U.S. government statistics show that non-Americans do most of the dying. No single government agency keeps track of how many nationalities work alongside the U.S. military but officials [...]

Under Scrutiny: Contractors in Iraq Named

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has investigated individual projects in the past to identify mismanagement, waste or fraud. Now investigators are setting their sights on a top-to-bottom review of all contracts within a single company to determine if companywide problems contributed to the projects' success or failure, SIGIR [...]

Baghdad Laborers Train for Jailer Jobs

Three thousand Iraqis are rushing through prison-guard training at the U.S.-funded academy in Jordan so they can guard the detainees being rounded up during the "surge" in Iraq. Former farmers, shopkeepers and restaurant workers will train for six weeks before being deployed at tent cities for the detainees now being erected in the Baghdad [...]

The Iraq Reconstruction Mess: What Else is News?

Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general charged with investigating the billions of dollars wasted in the rebuilding of Iraq, makes the news again with the same old story: Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, said the program faced enormous challenges, especially an unstable security environment.... "There [...]

Abu Ghraib: Faulty Response and Investigations Found

Abu Ghraib Revisited: "Allegations of detainee abuse were not consistently reported, investigated, or managed in an effective, systematic, and timely manner." That's the finding of a new classified report released in redacted form last week by the Department of Defense Inspector General. Crediting the News Media: Although the report fails to [...]

Hidden Casualties: Contractor Sacrifices Climb in Iraq

by David Phinney May 19, 2007 -- Civilian contractor casualties and injuries in Iraq continue to climb: Contractor deaths during the first three months of 2007 -- 146 -- were higher than any other quarter since the war began, The New York Times reports. American military deaths during the same period -- 244. The Total Toll: At least 917 [...]

The World Bites Back: Wolfowitz Gets the Boot

The World has Spoken: Wolfowitz's lasting legacy may very well be his role in planning and managing the Iraq war while serving at the Pentagon. The Petty Salary Rigging: for his girlfriend at the World Bank meant nothing. In the world's eyes, his executive handiwork only reflects the more lurid bid rigging for contractors in Iraq. Contractors [...]

Accused of Labor Abuse, Gulf Catering Wins More Business

Accused of Labor Abuse, Gulf Catering Wins More Business

By David Phinney May 17, 2007 -- Target for Constant Whining: Although repeatedly accused of labor abuse and possible human trafficking of workers, Gulf Catering won another multimillion-dollar contract to feed US troops. Rest assured: The Pentagon looked into the allegations and found no substance to them. The unfounded badgering and rumors [...]

The Slick Wolfowitz Oil Plan

What a Banker: "There's a lot of money to pay for this (war) that doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people...and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 (billion) and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three year..... We're dealing with a [...]

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