Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Closer Look at Mercenaries

(or get the video here ...)

"There has not been a single completed prosecution of a crime involving a contractor implicated in violent crime coming out of Iraq, although the reported incidents which would have merited investigation are legion. Again, it is simply impossible to believe that in a community with a peak population of 180,000 people — with many more people than that actually cycling in and out of these jobs, tens of thousands of them Americans — over a period of approaching five years there has been no violent crime. The facts point to something else: an attitude of official indifference within the Department of Justice, or at least a decision to accord these crimes a very low priority and no or very little resources."

from Harpers.

My comment: 180,000 people, many armed to the teeth; 5 years in a high tension war zone and no crime worthy of attention. That's absolutely marvelous! What are the odds?

During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries governments (particularly England, France, and Holland) contracted with Pirates to wage war on their enemies. They legitimized the pirates by giving them "letters of marque", essentially making them "contractors" and calling them "Privateers". As such, these Privateers were pardoned of all their crimes, exempted from prosecution and encouraged to practice their brutal trade on the enemies of the state that contracted them. The Privateers were subject to no laws other than the laws laid down by the captain of their company of men - as long as they took no overt actions against the contracting country. Sound familiar?

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