Thursday, October 19, 2006

Iraq For Sale: documentary about profiteering contractors

HOT TOPIC : Iraq for Sale

Adrianna Huffington on her blog:

Iraq for Sale Update: DVD Becoming a Weapon in 06 Election

A growing number of Democratic leaders are using Iraq for Sale to call attention to the GOP's failure to reign in the contractor abuse and fraud that have been the hallmark of the Iraq war privatization fiasco. It's also allowed them to go on the offensive and reframe the national security debate -- showing how the Republicans sacrificed the well-being of our troops and the Iraqi people on the altar of rewarding their corporate backers. Read the rest

Ted Kennedy's take on the movie:

The Iraq war is one of the greatest blunders in American history. The American people already know that the human and financial cost of the war has been far too great. Nearly 2,800 Americans have been killed and we are spending nearly $250 million on each day on the war in Iraq.

Robert Greenwald's new film, Iraq for Sale, shows how the Bush Administration has been outsourcing this war to corporate America - and how that effort has been mismanaged. His film is a convincing indictment of the Administration's decision to give multi-billion dollar sweetheart deals that have lined contractor's pockets while failing to meet the basic needs of our soldiers. All Americans should be asking how the Bush Administration could have allowed contractors to fail to provide our soldiers with safe food and drinking water. Read more

The Boing Boing Review of the Movie

Boing Boing: Iraq For Sale: documentary about profiteering contractors:

Iraq For Sale: documentary about profiteering contractors

I've just watched Robert "Outfoxed" Greenwald's new documentary, "Iraq For Sale," which documents the disgraceful profiteering of private contractors in Iraq, like Halliburton, CACI and Titan.

Greenwald's film talks with military personnel, past employees of military contractors, and the families of contractors who were killed in Iraq. He builds a compelling, damning case that the use of these contractors is putting American soldiers in harm's way, hurting US military effectiveness in Iraq, bilking the US taxpayer out of billions, and endangering the lives of the ex-military personnel who sign on with contractors on the promise of higher wages than those paid by the US military.

From charging the US military $100 to ineptly wash a bag of laundry (and getting officers to reprimand soldiers who do their own laundry in the sink) to overseeing interrogation at Abu Ghraib, these military contractors are wasteful, undertrained, and grotesquely expensive. Greenwald's film features footage of bonfires built to destroy improperly ordered vehicles, computers and other equipment that the contractors purchased at taxpayer expense -- since these contractors are compensated on a "cost-plus" basis, they get paid more for wasting money than saving it.

Another are where they scrimp is on the safety and training of their own personnel. They hire inept translators who give bad intelligence to the military. They send their front-line workers -- such as truckers recruited from the US -- into battle-zones without military escorts or armor. Meanwhile, the "savings" realized by putting untrained people in charge of interrogation at Abu Ghraib (Greenwald shows a single-page "interrogation manual" that consists of little cartoons with a short sentence under each) are not used to provide better equipment for US soldiers -- they sleep in infectious tents, drink untreated toxic water, and eat improperly prepared food, thanks to the likes of Halliburton, whose stock doubles and redoubles every year the Iraq war goes on.

The frustration of the soldiers is palpable and heartbreaking. From those who bemoan that their comrades get sucked into working for the profiteers by the high salaries, only to be killed in action to the soldiers who are required to train contractors to do their jobs, then are relegated to scut-work while all the skilled labor is taken over by the contractors they trained.

Greenwald is encouraging people to host screenings of Iraq For Sale in their homes, inviting over friends and neighbors to see the movie and discuss the film's content. The site has a list of upcoming screenings around the world, hosted by people, clubs, companies and schools.

"Will things go wrong? Sure they willl, it's a war zone. But when they do, we'll fix it, we always have -- for 60 years, for both political parties."

- David J. Lesar, CEO, Halliburton

Tags: Iraq For Sale, profiteering, contractors, Robert Greenwald, documentary, Iraq, Halliburton, CACI, Titan

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