Contracting Out War Betrays National Interests

Afghanistan delivery.

(Picture courtesy of Todd Huffman’s photostream on flickr.com.)

While my stomach isn’t strong enough to watch the bombardment of our air waves with constant running Darth Cheney grimaces, I do recall that his Halliburton cronies made a mint out of the war he now claims full credit for.   No doubt there is a balance sheet going – that awards the Cheneys a hearty chunk of the profits he threw the way of contractors such as Halliburton.

That the U.S. wasted money in an amount approaching $60BN and may be in the process of throwing more after that, has been concluded by the Commission on Wartime Contracting.   Of course, that conclusion is based on what to my mind appears to be an error, since it isn’t a waste to those contractors that add it to their balance sheets.   I doubt seriously that the Darth Cheneys consider it a waste to make money by deluding the public into thinking it is serious war rather than another of their business ventures.

Created by Congress in 2008, the eight-member commission held more than two dozen hearings, interviewed hundreds of military and civilian officials and traveled multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. The panel’s final report is the most comprehensive examination so far of the U.S. dependence on contractors and the government’s ability to manage them in combat areas.

The commission said calculating the exact amount lost through waste and fraud is difficult because there is no commonly accepted methodology for doing so. But using information it has gathered over the past three years, the commission said at least $31 billion has been lost and the total could be as high as $60 billion. The commission called the estimate “conservative.”

The bottom line of running a business is to make money.   The accumulating of profits is ‘fiduciary’ duty, and that duty is what business interests claim is expected of them.   The CEO may betray his country, and cheat his employees, and still claim he/she is performing the job expected rather than committing crime.   When profits become the purpose of any industry – even when it is the country’s business or public health – in our present economic mania, morality is a forbidden or forgotten commodity.

As the panel set up to supervise the conduct of the wars, wars the Darth Cheneys instituted, concludes that the public money was wasted, it ignores an important aspect of the purpose of those wars.   Business was the incentive for that criminal crew, always.   They conducted their business successfully when it accumulated profits for them.

When CEO salaries far exceed the amount of taxes paid by the corporations, that claim our tax rates are too high, this country has let business take over the government.   We are all the poorer for it, and so are the businesses themselves.

Economic malfunction has made this economy collapse for working people.   Without their disposable incomes, it also collapses this consumer economy.  Our money has been thrown away but contractors have profited.   The contractors are not disappointed, they are successful.

The public lost, contractors made money.

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