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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 03:30 AM
Original message
Contractor Deaths in Iraq Soar to Record
Source: New York Times

By JOHN M. BRODER and JAMES RISEN
Published: May 19, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 18 Casualties among private contractors in Iraq have soared to record levels this year, setting a pace that seems certain to turn 2007 into the bloodiest year yet for the civilians who work alongside the American military in the war zone, according to new government numbers.

At least 146 contract workers were killed in Iraq in the first three months of the year, by far the highest number for any quarter since the war began in March 2003, according to the Labor Department, which processes death and injury claims for those working as United States government contractors in Iraq.

That brings the total number of contractors killed in Iraq to at least 917, along with more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job, according to government figures and dozens of interviews.

The numbers, which have not been previously reported, disclose the extent to which contractors Americans, Iraqis and workers from more than three dozen other countries are largely hidden casualties of the war, and now are facing increased risks alongside American soldiers and marines as President Bushs plan to increase troop levels in Baghdad takes hold.

~snip~

But a spokesman for American International Group, the insurance company that covers about 80 percent of the contractor work force in Iraq, said it had seen a sharp increase in death and injury claims in recent months. The Labor Department records show that in addition to the 146 dead in the first three months this year, another 3,430 contractors filed claims for wounds or injuries suffered in Iraq, also a quarterly record. The number of casualties, though, may be much higher because the governments statistical database is not complete.



Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/19/world/middleeast/19co...
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 03:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. They got no one to blame but themselves!
Unlike our military, contractors can just quit and walk away from their jobs if they so choose to. If they choose to stay in Iraq, don't come crying afterwards about the danger they put themselves in.
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 04:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. While I would agree with Blackwater types. A lot
of the contractors are third world construction workers brought in to do things like the new Embassy.
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Vexatious Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm wondering what DU'rs think about "contractor's"
I'm thinking that, maybe not all, but most fall under the category of "war profiteer's".
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. IG's reply #1 above represents a lot of people.
It's not that I fault people for wanting to make a living but, yes, they are war profiteers, sure - war's big business, and not everyone can profit from it from the safety of a boardroom. I don't wish death upon them but it's like pretending that the sanitation industry doesn't deal in garbage. It is what it is.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 04:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I agree, not all but most
from the article:
Many contractors in the battle zone say they lack the basic security measures afforded uniformed troops and receive benefits that not only differ from those provided to troops, but also vary by employer. Weekly pay ranges from $60 for Iraqi translators and laborers to $1,800 for truck drivers to as much as $6,000 for private security guards employed by companies like Blackwater. Medical and insurance benefits also vary widely, from excellent to minimal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have a hard time faulting an Iraqi translator trying to make a living in his own country.
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Vexatious Ape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. I would never consider an Iraqi translator a war profiteer.
I was thinking about all the Americans swarming over there to make $$$$ out of this whole mess.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. agree, and to think that they pay Blackwater $6000 a week for security
Edited on Sat May-19-07 01:56 PM by maddezmom
and Iraqi police make about the same per month IIRC as an interpreter.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 04:18 AM
Response to Original message
6. If it weren't for these mercenaries, it would be so much harder for Bush to run the war
Edited on Sat May-19-07 04:19 AM by Judi Lynn
As it is, a horrific material cost is accepted, as their wages so vastly outweigh the salaries made by the ordinary military people. Even with the horrendous additional financial burden, it's still so much easier for Bush as he never needs to beg the American people for more soldiers, yet, since he can juggle mercenaries, and back door drafts indefinitely, as it seems.

It would be WONDERFUL to see just one of these elements withdrawn from Bush's options, like the treacherous back-door drafting. If Congress started addressing that problem, Bush would NEVER be able to find nearly enough contractors to make up the difference.
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Wiregrass Willie Donating Member (436 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. Why should they make claims ?

"...The Labor Department records ...another 3,430 contractors filed claims for wounds or injuries suffered in Iraq..."

The Labor department didn't send them to Iraq. Why don't they make their claims to Halliburton ?
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 05:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. some work directy for the US gov't
ie: Embassy workers
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Wiregrass Willie Donating Member (436 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. My mistake
I was thinking they all belonged to the Oil Industry.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
10. PRIVATE CONTRACTORS..."WOUNDED IN BATTLE"...??!
Hmmmm.
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. Where do they treat the wounded?
Do they end up at Walter Reed? Do they go to private hospitals in the States? Does private health insurance pay for treatment and rehab? I never considered this.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. here's a link I found: Independent contractors, Iraq, and insurance: more light on the matter
Independent contractors, Iraq, and insurance: more light on the matter
In his recent article, Contractors in Iraq are a taxpayers' nightmare, Joseph Neff of The (Raleigh) News Observer presents the most detailed accounting of workers compensation as it relates to Iraqi contractors as I've managed to find. We've discussed the issue of Iraq contractors and their workers compensation coverage before, but Neff's investigative journalism kicks things up to the next level.

Everyone knows that private contractors are being employed in Iraq - any who were ignorant of that fact certainly became aware when the grisly details of the deaths of four contractors in Fallujah became public. Private contractors aren't anything new. The military has relied on contractors to provide support and logistics services in prior wars. But in Iraq, the difference is that contractors are being employed in unprecedented numbers. According to Neff, there are currently 100,000 contractors in Iraq, a number that many might find surprising. As a point of reference, in the 1991 Gulf War, 9,200 contractors were employed to support approximately 1.2 million ground troops.

Because the contracting firms are private, public reckonings can be hard to come by. I would doubt that most Americans are aware that at least 646 private contractors have been killed in Iraq - I certainly wasn't, despite occasionally searching for this information. Details about fatalities, injuries, rates, and costs have been scarce. Neff's article explains why - essentially, there is no oversight.

"It is impossible to say how much the insurance costs. No agency regulates the premiums, and no one tracks the overall costs."

Going to work every day in war zone is pretty risky business and insurers would be loath to provide insurance in such dicey circumstances. The federal government recognized this, and since WW II, has provided a federal backstop in the Defense Based Act (DBA). All military contractors are insured under the provisions of this act, but the insurance is supplied by private insurance firms. The insurer is on the hook for everyday work-related injuries and illnesses, but when an injury or death is war-related, tax dollars pick up the tab.

As Neff notes, when the DBA was enacted, nobody ever contemplated that the number of private contractors might rival the number of deployed forces. That's one problem. Another problem is this pesky business of oversight

more;http://www.workerscompinsider.com/archives/000608.html
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
15. Contractor Deaths in Iraq Soar to Record
Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON, May 18 Casualties among private contractors in Iraq have soared to record levels this year, setting a pace that seems certain to turn 2007 into the bloodiest year yet for the civilians who work alongside the American military in the war zone, according to new government numbers.

At least 146 contract workers were killed in Iraq in the first three months of the year, by far the highest number for any quarter since the war began in March 2003, according to the Labor Department, which processes death and injury claims for those working as United States government contractors in Iraq. That brings the total number of contractors killed in Iraq to at least 917, along with more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job, according to government figures and dozens of interviews.

The numbers, which have not been previously reported, disclose the extent to which contractors Americans, Iraqis and workers from more than three dozen other countries are largely hidden casualties of the war, and now are facing increased risks alongside American soldiers and marines as President Bushs plan to increase troop levels in Baghdad takes hold.

~snip~

Army Lt. Col. Joseph M. Yoswa, a spokesman for the military in Iraq, said in an e-mail statement, the responsibilities for tracking deaths, injuries, locations and any other essential requirements lie with the contractor. Unless there is something specifically stated in the contract about accounting for personnel, there is no requirement for the U.S. government to track these numbers. Companies that have lost workers in Iraq were generally unresponsive to questions about the numbers of deaths and the circumstances that led to casualties. None acknowledged that they had seen an increase this year. But a spokesman for American International Group, the insurance company that covers about 80 percent of the contractor work force in Iraq, said it had seen a sharp increase in death and injury claims in recent months. The Labor Department records show that in addition to the 146 dead in the first three months this year, another 3,430 contractors filed claims for wounds or injuries suffered in Iraq, also a quarterly record. The number of casualties, though, may be much higher because the governments statistical database is not complete.



Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/19/world/middleeast/19co...



It looks to me like one of the reasons for using contractors, is to artificially deflate the casualty numbers, and maintain the illusion that the war is less costly than it actually is. Looks like there finally may be some oversight and accountability on this.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. PMCs
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. not all, not a lot of them
Lots of jobs contractors are used for and calling them all "mercs" is wrong.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. they put our soldiers in danger
they take away jobs that our military should be doing, they do not have to obey orders,
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Some contractors do. Some don't. Some are mercs. Some aren't.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. should be doing and can do are 2 different things, IMO
like translators? I think there is a need for a limited amount of contractors and I'm not going to lump them all in one group.
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Too bad. They don't HAVE to be there. And, they SHOULDN'T be there.


Private contractors getting hugw salaries while the military drinks sewage & eats rotten meals.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. True, they shouldn't be there. That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be
transparency and accountability from our government on their deaths and injuries.

Not all of them are highly paid American mercs either. Quite a few of them are people from impoverished 3rd world countries who are being paid a few dollars to slop food and wash clothes for our soldiers. http://icasualties.org/oif/Civ.aspx
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
22. Post-War Contractors Ranked by Total Contract Value in Iraq and Afghanistan
http://www.buyingofthepresident.com/wow/resources.aspx?...

Post-War Contractors Ranked by Total Contract Value in Iraq and Afghanistan
From 2002 through July 1, 2004


Archived version of ranking available

Contractor Contract Total
Kellogg, Brown & Root (Halliburton) $11,431,000,000
Parsons Corp. $5,286,136,252
Fluor Corp. $3,754,964,295
Washington Group International $3,133,078,193
Shaw Group/Shaw E & I $3,050,749,910
Bechtel Group Inc. $2,829,833,859
Perini Corporation $2,525,000,000
Contrack International Inc. $2,325,000,000
Tetra Tech Inc. $1,541,947,671
USA Environmental Inc. $1,541,947,671
CH2M Hill $1,528,500,000
American International Contractors, Inc. $1,500,000,000
Odebrect-Austin $1,500,000,000
Zapata Engineering $1,478,838,958
Environmental Chemical Corporation $1,475,000,000
Explosive Ordnance Technologies Inc. $1,475,000,000
Stanley Baker Hill L.L.C. $1,200,000,000
International American Products Inc. $628,421,252
Research Triangle Institute $466,070,508
Titan Corporation $402,000,000
Louis Berger Group $327,671,364
BearingPoint Inc. $304,262,668
Creative Associates International Inc. $273,539,368
Readiness Management Support LC (Johnson Controls Inc.) $214,757,447
Chemonics International Inc. $167,759,000
Harris Corporation $165,000,000
Science Applications International Corp. $159,304,219
DynCorp (Computer Sciences Corp.) $93,689,421
Raytheon Aerospace LLC $91,096,464
Lucent Technologies World Services, Inc. $75,000,000
EOD Technology Inc. $71,900,000
NANA Pacific $70,000,000
CACI International Inc. $66,221,143
Earth Tech, Inc. $65,449,155
Development Alternatives Inc. $49,117,857
Vinnell Corporation (Northrop Grumman) $48,074,442
Abt Associates Inc. $43,818,278
Parsons Energy and Chemicals Group $43,361,340
International Resources Group $39,230,000
Management Systems International $29,816,328
SkyLink Air and Logistic Support (USA) Inc. $27,200,000
Ronco Consulting Corporation $26,131,923
AECOM $21,610,501
Blackwater Security Consulting L.L.C. $21,331,693
World Fuel Services Corp. $19,762,792
Laguna Construction Company, Inc. $19,536,683
Weston Solutions, Inc. $16,279,724
Motorola Inc. $15,591,732
Stevedoring Services of America $14,318,895
Miscellaneous Foreign Contract $13,489,810
Raytheon Technical Services $12,412,573
Kropp Holdings $11,880,000
Military Professional Resources Inc. $11,433,491
General Electric Company $8,525,498
Foster Wheeler Co. $8,416,985
Inglett and Stubbs LLC $8,175,245
Stanley Consultants $7,709,767
Liberty Shipping Group Ltd. $7,300,000
TECO Ocean Shipping Co. $7,200,000
University of Nebraska at Omaha $7,072,468
PAE Government Services Inc. $7,007,158
Anteon International Corporation $6,800,000
Michael Baker Jr., Inc. $5,999,566
Detection Monitoring Technologies $5,584,482
American President Lines Ltd. $5,000,000
Ocean Bulkships Inc. $5,000,000
S&K Technologies Inc. $4,950,385
Signature Science $4,704,464
United Defense Industries, L.P. $4,500,000
Simmonds Precision Products $4,412,488
AllWorld Language Consultants $4,051,349
Sealift Inc. $4,000,000
MZM Inc. $3,640,896
SETA Corporation $3,165,765
Chugach McKinley, Inc. $3,068,407
Diplomat Freight Services Inc. $2,604,276
Federal Data Corporation $1,991,770
Stratex Freedom Services $1,978,175
Social Impact Inc. $1,875,000
Global Container Lines Ltd. $1,850,000
Midwest Research Institute $1,765,000
Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. $1,700,000
Cellhire USA $1,465,983
J & B Truck Repair Service $1,353,477
Artel $1,254,902
Structural Engineers $1,113,000
Dataline Inc. $1,028,851
Red River Computer Company $972,592
Global Services $910,468
AOS, Inc. $866,988
McNeil Technologies, Inc. $716,651
DHS Logistics Company $601,497
Global Professional Solutions $590,232
Dell Marketing L.P. $513,678
Unisys Corporation $435,000
Tryco Inc. $400,000
Sodexho Inc. $324,120
Segovia Inc. $320,636
Force 3 $274,651
Baldino, George F. $263,000
Advanced Systems Development, Inc. $259,959
Triumph Technologies $228,924
Nuttall, James S. $187,000
Alexander, Deborah Lynn $168,625
International Global Systems, Inc. $157,383
Night Vision Equipment Company $153,118
Reabold, Miguel (Michael) $136,603
Native American Industrial Distributors Inc. $123,572
Ward Transformer Sales & Services $115,000
EGL Eagle Global Logistics $111,000
Young, Brian $106,150
Paro, Amy K. $94,457
Tekontrol, Inc. $85,146
Sampler, Donald L. $81,000
Giesecke & Devrient America $72,700
GTSI Corp $70,220
Expedited World Cargo Inc. $55,004
Lab Safety Supply $53,379
LandSea Systems, Inc. $47,750
Comfort Inn $47,324
Cartridge Discounters $40,492
Bald Industries $35,734
CDW Government, Inc. $35,174
S&C Electric Company $34,800
John S. Connor Inc. $34,153
Outfitter Satellite, Inc. $33,203
Logenix International L.L.C. $29,000
Landstar Express America Inc. $24,396
Redcom Laboratories $24,375
Export Depot $21,182
Intelligent Enterprise Solutions $19,835
GPS Store, Inc., The $19,761
Transfair North America International $19,351
Atlas Case, Inc. $17,243
Mediterranean Shipping Company $13,000
Capital Shredder Corporation $11,803
Bea Mauer, Inc. $9,920
SPARCO $9,215
Electric Generator Store, The $6,974
Cybex International $4,838
Total Business $4,696
Hardware Associates $4,304
Staples National Advantage $4,194
EHI Company $3,956
JSI Inc. $3,376
Complement, Inc., The $3,358
MEI Research Corporation $3,276
WECSYS $3,040
Smith Office Machines Corporation $2,961
Kollsman Inc $100
Kroll Inc. Unknown Value
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-19-07 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
23. draining the military's ranks of explosives experts.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2005-07-31-cont...
Contractors, military in 'bidding war'
By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON The U.S. military has hired private companies at a cost approaching $1 billion to help dispose of Saddam Hussein's arsenal in Iraq. That spending has created fierce competition for specialized workers that's draining the military's ranks of explosives experts.
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