Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by spicyapple, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. spicyapple macrumors 68000

    spicyapple

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #1
    Anybody seen this movie, yet?

    I did, and I'm piping mad at the current US administration for squandering taxpayer dollars on no-bid corporations who overprice products and services and whose main goal is to make money, thereby making troops less safe and hurting the Iraqi people; and I'm not even an American.

    Once more people see this film, they'll see just how corrupt the government has become. Much of the military is now being outsourced to greedy corporations. For example, Halliburton charges $40 per pack of Coke, $100 for a load of laundry, etc. They destroy perfectly good trucks so they can charge for new trucks to the government when one of them breaks down, or they put civilians in harm's way to make runs of empty cargo so as to bill the government. These are known by people in government, but for some reason, government officials don't act.

    It's my hope the Democrats light a fire under those responsible for making a mess of the Iraq war to be held accountable for their actions the last 4 years. It's sad the American public seems to be soo blase as to what's happening to their country.
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #2
    It's hard to avoid the conclusion that most Americans don't care. Report after report over the lasy five years has pointed this flagrant corruption out, without anyone taking it up in any meaningful fashion.
     
  3. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Clovis, California
    #3
    The sad truth is that most Americans only care about themselves and their immediate family. A lot of them will tune into the football game and never watch the evening news. When they unwrap the morning paper, they only read the sports page. The bottom line is, most Americans don't care about what the Government is doing.

    Myself, I fall into the 1% catagory. :D
     
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #4
    Haven't seen the movie. It sounds interesting.

    FWIW, there are reasons why some things will cost more. Note, I am not saying all costs are correct in the least. I am sure that there are some abuses and they need to be dealt with.

    However, unlike military/government personnel, you have to pay civilians to do the same work. So while the military may be able to move a case of coke for about what you can get it in the store, to have civilian contractors move it you have to pay them a whole lot more to accomplish the same thing.

    Those of us in the government/military saw this change a few years ago, long before 911. It was the government's attempt to decrease costs in the '90s. On paper, it is cheaper to have a contractor than a government employee. The reason is basically that the total cost of a government employee includes all benefits to include the retirement package where as a contractor is only paid what the contract says. So while a contractor seems to be paid more, when you consider overall costs for a government employee, the contractor ends up costing less most of the time. Granted there are some exceptions, but this is the norm. Weird but true.

    The problem with contractors is that they will only do what the contract stipulates. Government employees on the other hand can have a performance measure of "Other duties as assigned" which basically means that you can detail a government employee to another job/responsibility if needed for a short period of time. The contractor individual on the other hand, can merely say that it's not in the contract and therefore they do not have to perform that task. That is unless the contract is renegotiated. So to create a contract that will account for contingencies and a war like environment, the contracts end up costing a whole lot more. And that is why it costs so much for a case of coke for example.

    I could tell you some things from DS 1 that would simply amaze you concerning logistics. You would not believe the waste. Many systems have been improved since then thankfully.
     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #5
    "... they put civilians in harm's way to make runs of empty cargo so as to bill the government."

    That one is a bit far-fetched. It's common for trucks to run loaded to a destination, and then return, empty, for another load. Not all routes run loads both directions. In Iraq, all runs are dangerous.

    When reading about "$600 coffee makers" and such, there's always more to the story. For instance, years ago, I was reviewing a contractor's costs for a dam/reservoir project. I came across a billing for a pipe-gate at some $1,100. That was some $900 high, at least; I squawked about it. It was explained to me that the engineers had misjudged some necessary bulldozer work. In order to avoid the lost time for a change order's paperwork through the bureaucracy (the bulldozer was already there), the cost was added to the already-authorized gate. That sort of thing is commonplace. Something gets done "right now" and the paperwork is dummied, or you lose a week or a month from bureaucracies--and the cost is a helluva lot higher.

    'Rat
     
  6. MarkCollette macrumors 68000

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #6
    Sorry, but I actually watched the film, and they had a tonne of eye witnesses backing up all these claims.



     
  7. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    #7
    Yeh, we watched it the other night and to say it's disturbing how uncaring these companies are is an understatement. :(

    Truly sad state of affairs.
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #8
    Mark, you're saying that folks said that empty-truck runs were deliberately scheduled?

    Any way to know the veracity of the claimants?

    Seeing something happen doesn't always mean knowing why it happened.

    Note that I'm not claiming that everything over there is as pure as the driven snow; not at all. I have more than just a few stories of my own about how folks in a war zone have screwed the taxpayer. But I've never had any agenda for my story-telling...

    'Rat
     
  9. MarkCollette macrumors 68000

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #9
    The truck drivers said that it happenned a bunch of times. And I doubt that they'd be willing to lie on camera and be open to slander and defamation lawsuits from their previous employers.

    It was pretty clear from the movie that corruption and waste are endemic in Iraq. These weren't politicians telling their stories in the film, it was soldiers and contractors. Yes, there were some people who's family had died who were speaking as well, who might have some agenda. But there were a lot of straightforward costs and figures shown, all from publicly available documents.

    I don't think you should discount the role that war profiteering has played in this specific war, and in wars in general.


     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #10
    Thanks...

    I was in Battalion Supply during occupation duty in S. Korea in 1954/1955. We couldn't get the small-sized combat boots for the Korean soldiers in the outfit, because they went out the back door of the big supply HQ in YongDongPo, into the black market. Other stuff, as well.

    Guys would steal the vacuum tubes from radars, to sell into the black market.

    We couldn't get vehicle parts for maintenance; same deal.

    I guess that as a society declines, the venality isn't different; there's just more of it, and on a larger scale.

    'Rat
     

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