Mission Accomplished or May Day!! May Day!!
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 1, 2010
At an EOD Anti Terrorism conference this week the keynote speaker, a high ranking military official, gave a talk on “lessons learned” regarding the initial invasion and occupation of Iraq. Unbelievably he was laughing about these deadly mistakes. Going into war so completely ill prepared to deal with the consequences and the subsequent no holds barred cover your ass no matter how many lives it costs is hardly humorous or entertaining. At least one of the contractors in attendance whose life was severely compromised by this attemped cover up did not think so.
Does this same military spokesperson think it’s funny that thousands of soldiers and injured civilian contractors are being denied the medical and/or death/disability benefits that they are due, the necessity having been caused by these mistakes?
This is a repost from last May
For those of us in the US the end of combat in Iraq was declared on May 1, 2003.
For those contractors who agreed to go to “Post War” Iraq and were waiting close by for the bullets to stop flying the Mission Accomplished Speech was actually given on May 2, six years ago today.
These contractors weren’t getting paid any more than their regular wages to go into Post War Iraq. They were not informed that the Defense Base Act would be their “Exclusive Remedy” if they were injured working in dangerous conditions not suitable for their work. They did not expect that SOP’s were being left behind at the border.
As Post War Iraq rapidly proved to be an ongoing war zone these same contractors were expected to stay and work in Red Zones without security, either military or private. When they suggested leaving until the War was actually over or at least moving to a safer part of Iraq they were told they had to stay and work.
It was more important to the US Government that it look like things were going better in Iraq than they were. That they were throwing human lives out there on the line took no precedence over appearances.
Some contractors went into the War Zones for patriotic reasons.
Some went to make more money than they could at home.
Some did neither. Some just went to do their job as they’d always done it. Some were taken advantage of by their employers for profit and by the US Government to cover up their mistakes.
However they ended up being killed or injured working in a war zone they and their families have all ended up on the losing end financially while their employers and the DBA insurance companies continued to profit.
The Government lost their effort to cover up their mistakes. Unfortunately it’s little condolence to the lives they ruined trying to save face.
And for last six years this Government of ours sat idly and watched while AIG and CNA denied even the inadequate beneftis provided by the DBA to these injured contractors. The benefits do not come anywhere close to making up for the lost futures of these families but to continue to deny them is criminal.
If the Mission six years ago was to lie to and use human lives like so much cannon fodder then toss them aside once they’ve broken them, you might say it was accomplished.