The Iraq War Profiteer No One Is Talking About
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What's it going to take for us to hold the Iraq War profiteers accountable? The Bush administration's $3 trillion war in Iraq has been the direct cause of our current recession, and yet private defense contractors continue to reap billions in profits. I'm not even talking about KBR for the moment. That loathsome Cheney-backed Halliburton subsidiary has actually been the focus of a bit of media and Congressional attention recently (though not nearly enough) for contaminating our troops' water supplies, ignoring electrical safety standards that led to troop casualties, and dodging hundreds of millions in tax payments. No, I'm talking about L-3, the second largest employer in the Iraq occupation behind KBR.
L-3 makes about $1 billion a year off of the outsourcing of intelligence gathering in Iraq. The U.S. government hired L-3 to work with the military in interrogating and running background checks on Iraqi prisoners and civilians. L-3 now employs approximately 7,000 translators and 300 intelligence experts in Iraq, and has grown to become the ninth largest defense contractor in the U.S and the sixth largest Iraq War profiteer. While this outsourcing alone is cause for alarm, it is how L-3 runs its company that is particularly egregious.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.