CommunityFDL Main Blog

Oversight

A recent New York Times editorial entitled "Losing a Good War" focuses on the failure to adequately train Afghanistan's police force, and the consequences therein:

The failure to provide local security — or even a semblance of impartial justice — helps explain why so many Afghans have lost confidence in the pro-Western government of President Hamid Karzai, and why a growing number are again turning to the Taliban for protection. The failure to stand up an effective police force also helps explain why opium cultivation rose by nearly 60 percent this year.

As Robert Greenwald reminds me via email, we've heard this one before.  In addition to their presence in Afghanistan, it was DynCorp who as hired to train the Iraqi police force:

Field training of the Iraqi police, the most critical element of the effort, was left to DynCorp International, a company based in Irving, Tex., that received $750 million in contracts. The advisers, many of them retired officers from small towns, said they arrived in Iraq and quickly found themselves caught between poorly staffed American government agencies, company officials focused on the bottom line and thousands of Iraqi officers clamoring for help.

When it became clear that the civilian effort by DynCorp was faltering, American military officials took over police training in 2004, relying on heavily armed commando units that had been established by the Iraqis. Within a year, members of the Sunni Muslim population said some units had been infiltrated by Shiite Muslim militias and were kidnapping, torturing and executing scores of Sunni Muslims.

Listen to the betrayal in the voices of the soldiers in the Iraq for Sale clip above as they talk about private contractors, often unqualified, who came over to Iraq to do the same job for many multiple times the pay — who they were then forced to risk their lives to bodyguard when they did not have adequate equipment themselves.  There really is no way that Congress can continue to keep the genie in the bottle as these stories start to come out, which is why so many people hold so much hope for Henry Waxman's committee hearings.

As The Muck points out this morning, however the reason we never hear anything about the possibility of oversight coming from the Senate is because Waxman's Senate counterpart is Joe Lieberman.

One of many reasons that Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Bush himself spared no effort getting Holy Joe re-elected.  Well, that and the support he'd give them to play army men. 

Previous post

It's Not A Religion, It's A Lifestyle

Next post

Please make a Foley ornament

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
Subscribe in a reader

93 Comments