An unprecedented lawsuit stemming from the gruesome killing of four American civilians in Iraq is slowly making its way through the U.S. legal system, closely watched by companies estimated to field up to 100,000 contractors alongside the U.S. military.
According to Peter Singer of Washington’s Brookings Institution, private companies that sell warfare-linked services to governments represent "the corporate evolution of the age-old profession of mercenaries."
The firms involved bristle at the term "mercenary," which evokes images of white guns-for-hire working for African dictators and staging coups and countercoups on behalf of the highest bidder.
Oh goodness no, this time they just helped stage a coup against a Middle Eastern country and appear to amuse themselves by opening fire on civilian cars. Crooks and Liars has a video purporting to show just that, as well as more info. Not only are they pay-for-hire private guns – and that’s precisely what mercenaries are -they appear to be amateurs, not professionals, who at least only kill and maim when they need to.
They are "arms-bearing contractors" who work for firms including Blackwater, Triple Canopy, Aegis Defence Services and Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI) – all run by retired military officers.
Hey blogdom, let’s follow the money trail and determine how much these companies (and their principal shareholders) have given in political contributions to BushCo and what they might be getting in return.