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Hidden Costs of Iraq War

The number of military contractors fighting the war in Iraq continues to increase: as does their cost. Unfortunately, so does our ability to track them and the hidden cost of their support.
Besides the fact that US military contractors enjoy impunity and answer only to the laws of their corporations, they have proliferated to the extent that the military can't track them.

The New York Times has mentioned this as an element of numerous articles since (at least) April of this year.
The problems of impunity and accounting are clarified by P.W Singer's in his new book "Corporate Warriors", aptly reviewed by Patrick Keefe in the New York Review of Books.

Briefly put, wounded military contractors will draw pensions from the Department of Labor which will not appear in the military budget:
and these entitlement budget costs will be around for a long time.

I am reminded of the cruel sherrif in Wyoming who advised friends of mine that if you happen to shoot a trespasser, be sure that you kill him, otherwise he'll soe you for all you've got. As the Monty Python characters would remark: "'e was cruel but fair, Dinsdale, 'e was, after all they had broken the unwritten law".

This war will continue to haunt us at least as long as these contractors live: if only for the reason of their pensions. Other problems are beyond the scope of this brief.

And the Department of Labor is not the only hole in the burwark of this leaky ship we call a budget: the Department of Interior is breaking new ground where James Watt would not have dared venture (he cost us billions by selling off government land to his friends at discount: and got away with it). The relatively new "National Business Center" of Interior is now acting as the Human Resources office for our Corporate Warriors.

Has any one tried to fix this problem? Not since the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2001, and this only covers contractors of the DOD: thus the dodge of hiring by other agencies of the government.

David Roknich:


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lots of Damage 14.Sep.2004 20:23


The intangeble cost are incredible. It appears totalitarian america may have to face an unfriendly world. Many who read this forum may not vote. I hope the evil little dictator will energize us to start the local vote for the nice skull and bones and start taking over the school board, the city counsils-Any damn elected office. Especially run for sheriff................

Dont give up on democracy for thats you. Thats the great cost. The idiots are trying to sell us
this crap and they can eat it. So control the candidate selection and then you got something to vote for.

Now what about that interest rate, lurking inflation. Go forward with that sunshine in your hearts.