I just finished watching tonight's episode about the corruption in Iraq specific to a contracting company called Blackwater and another company called First Kuwaiti. It appears that the current administration is aware of the problems associated with Blackwater but is choosing to ignore them. And First Kuwaiti was awarded the contract to build the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad without benefit of any competitive bids from other contractors. With respect to the first company, a few years ago, several American employees were brutally murdered in Fallujah, a fact made all the more hideous because the workers had never been provided with the security measures promised and put forth in their contracts. These workers were basically mercenaries, carrying out para-military missions. Hmm. Let's see... Bush Administration suppresses allegations of corruption in Blackwater. Clinton administration suffers allegations of corruption in White Water. White Water - possible legal conflicts of interest, illegal profits (although never proved). Blackwater - several Americans murdered and the circumstances covered up, preventing the families from learning the truth about what happened to their loved ones. Which situation deserves closer scrutiny at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers? I vote for Blackwater.
In the case of First Kuwaiti, company bigwigs are really slimeballs. They hired a bunch of Filipinos to work at a restaurant in Dubai. These people had no idea they were actually being flown to Baghad to work on the building of the U.S. Embassy. Apparently, all hell broke loose on the plane once the word was out. Basically kidnapped, the Filipino workers were seen working barefoot on scaffolding 30 feet high, living in cramped quarters, etc. It is basically slave labor. And yet nobody speaks up.
It is late and this is the first I have heard of either situation but I felt the need to share.
Tonight, Mr. Moyers asked a question of all the viewers: what book would you like to see go to the White House with the next president and why? To express your views, go to the website and comment: Bill Moyers . I suggested Poetry as Insurgent Art. What do you think.