Bush's corporate army not only provides support services -- including doing laundry, serving meals and delivering water -- but it also is engaged in such direct military functions as interrogating prisoners, training the Iraq army, guarding the Green Zone, protecting military convoys, analyzing intelligence and providing paramilitary security.
These are hired hands, not soldiers, and mostly they lack the training, discipline, and equipment of the regular forces -- yet they're thrown into the same deadly environment, getting shot, bombed, maimed and killed. But the Bushites don't even keep count of them. A spokesman coldly says: "There is no requirement for the U.S. government to track these numbers."
Excuse me, but they're not numbers. They are people. And the Labor Department, which receives workers compensation claims, has quietly recorded that at least 917 of these people have died in Bush's war. Another 12,000 have been wounded in battle or injured on the job. That's about one-third more casualities than the Bushites have told us about -- a hidden toll of this awful war, and another measure of its deceit and immorality.
Rep. Jan Schakowski is sponsoring a bill requiring the Pentagon to have the decency to start counting those people killed and maimed in Bush's privatized military. For information, call 202-225-2111.
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