Sunday, October 14, 2007

Torture and mercenaries: a nasty combination

Posted By Scott Cavanagh
The use of torture and mercenary soldiers, tactics formerly associated with the Roman Empire and Hitler's Germany, are now staples of United States Military policy under the Bush Administration.

Congressional hearings examining the conduct of Blackwater USA, produced no punishment for the Bush-connected "American Foreign Legion," which has received nearly $1 BILLION in taxpayer-funded, no-bid contracts since the start of the war. This despite conduct so reprehensible that the supposedly sovereign Iraqi government has demanded they leave the country.

The contractor saga continued last week, when two Armenian Christian women were shot dead after their car came too close to a convoy protected by Australian security contractor Unity Resources Group. The unarmed women's car was riddled with over 40 bullet holes. A day later, fresh accounts from last month's Blackwater shooting incident that left 17 civilians dead, indicate the contractors received no fire before discharging their weapons at a busy Baghdad intersection.

While the presence of over 100,000 paid contractors continues to lose hearts and minds in Iraq, the use of torture as an interrogation tactic continues to degrade our country's reputation and standing in the rest of the world.

This weekend, a group of World War II veterans, who once conducted the interrogations of high-ranking Nazi prisoners, condemned the Bush Administration's use of torture as both unproductive and inhuman.

"During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone," said George Frenkel, 87. "We extracted information in a battle of wits. I'm proud to say I never compromised my humanity."

How and why did the greatest military and human rights power in history end up employing a private army and water boarding detainees? In a great Op/Ed from Sunday's New York Times, Frank Rich points the finger of blame in the right direction -- directly at us.

1 comment:

Carter McCoy said...

Blackwater may have made many mistakes, but they have done an amazing job of guarding the diplomatic and civilian individuals they have been entrusted to protect. They may be overpaid, but at least they do the job and do it well, unfortunate incidents aside.