October 08, 2007

The Blackwater massacre is only the latest in a long line of mercenary misdeeds in Iraq. In January, a Blackwater contractor, Andrew Moonen, shot and killed a bodyguard for one of the (two) Iraqi vice-presidents. Blackwater”disciplined” the miscreant, after spiriting him out of the country, by fining him $15,000. Now listen to this NPR segment:

An alert reader notes: “At or about 1:30 of the recording, Kaste refers to payments for the shooting being a subject of discussion.  At or about 1:57 of the recording, Kaste mentions that the biggest of the fines Moonen made to Blackwater was . . . ‘almost $15, 000.00’ for being involved in an alcohol related incident.”

We get the rest of the story here:

“Within 36 hours after the shooting, the State Department had allowed Blackwater to transport the Blackwater contractor out of Iraq. The State Department Charge d’Affaires recommended that Blackwater make a ‘sizeable payment’ and an ‘apology’ to ‘avoid this whole thing becoming even worse.’ The Charge d’Affaires suggested a $250,000 payment to the guard’s family, but the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service said this was too much and could cause Iraqis to “try to get killed.” In the end, the State Department and Blackwater agreed on a $15,000 payment.”

My reader ruefully remarks: “Now tell me that American efficiency is not something to be proud of!”

Yes, now that we’ve “privatized” systematically abusing and alienating the “liberated” peoples of Iraq, I suppose we’ll read something in Reason magazine about what a magnificent achievement this is. Here, after all, is a “libertarian” enterprise that will, for the first time, calibrate exactly how much an Iraqi life is worth. I think this “free market” experiment is bound to founder on the rocky shores of political correctness when it comes out that prices differ radically according to nationality. Count on “liberal” Democrats to offer legislation regulating prices and “leveling the playing field,” so to speak.

[Thanks to reader Lewis for the tip.]


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