by David Phinney
Thursday May 23rd 2024



Forced Labor in Iraq and State Department Mutiny

by David Phinney

Nov. 1, 2007 — Interesting that State Department employees are up in arms about the prospect of being forced to work in Iraq at the new $740-million embassy, aka, “Fort Apache on Steroids”:

At the same time, the the State Department’s own inspector general and trafficking in persons division (along with US news editors) have cast an intensely skeptical eye on allegations about human trafficking, worker entrapment and abusive labor practices of lowly-paid Asian laborers by the embassy contractor and US-military contractors in Iraq. Most of those companies are largely based in the Middle East.

So that Means: State Department workers making well into six figures a year (with hardship salary uplifts) don’t want to go but contractors have no problem finding tens of thousands of migrant laborers out of Asia to work throughout Iraq in a war zone at wages ranging between $200 to $800 a month in a war zone?

Here’s the Associated Press account of a meeting with State Department employees complaining about the mandate of required service in Iraq, portrayed as an “unusually hostile session”:

… Several diplomats, backed by the vocal support of their colleagues there, vehemently complained about the prospect of so-called “directed assignments” to Iraq to make up for a lack of volunteers.
“Incoming is coming in every day, rockets are hitting the Green Zone,” said Jack Croddy, a senior foreign service officer, referring to the highly fortified area of Baghdad where the embassy is located.
“It’s one thing if someone believes in what’s going on over there and volunteers, but it’s another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment,” Croddy said. “I’m sorry, but basically that’s a potential death sentence and you know it…. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?”


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One Response to “Forced Labor in Iraq and State Department Mutiny”

  1. Jessica Cauffiel says:

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