Wednesday, October 31, 2007

C-SPAN Report

As if it is not boring enough, now I'm translating what I viewed on C-Span(channel 71 on basic) last night. I watched a Pentagon press conference conducted by civilian Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morel. The questions from a pool of press was filmed earlier that morning from a small room in the Pentagon.

The major topic of question was stemming from an incident earlier in the week when U.S. Army General Dorko was injured in an IED attack on his vehicle. The General was wounded , his injuries not life threatening but serious enough to get him pulled back to a hospital in Germany. The reporters were not so much concerned with the incident itself but with what came out of it. General Dorko was traveling with a U.S. civilian security service hired by the Defense Department when the IED went off. Morel seemed frustrated and snippy with the questions as they were constant for 30 minutes. As it came out, it is common practice in this war to use civilian security contractors to do the jobs which used to be filled by U.S. service men and women. One of the reporters asked to a reddening Morel, "Does hiring a private firm to do the job of the military not compromise the overall mission?" His answer was all over the place from talking about the needs of trained persons for such jobs to loosely spun talk about policy. Morel spoke of a company called Triple Canopy which is responsible for a better part of the security of the Green Zone and also the protection of visiting U.S. Senators and other high profile visitors. He also said that there were 27 civilian security contractor firms operating between Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of our democracy.

I worry about things like this. I cannot help it because I'm paying attention to it. I guess I could ignore it and then it would not bother me as much. The subbing out of war seems like a really bad idea because the military and civilian portions of government have been in design under separate control, until now. It seems to me that the overall mission would be compromised by replacing the jobs of troops with the best bidding company. I do support our troops and can imagine what some of them are thinking right now.

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