There's this American mentality that something you pay for has to be better than something you get for free. This is probably rooted in the fact that the US Government screws up nearly everything it touches, for the most part.
You've probably heard recently that Blackwater got suspended from ground operations in Iraq for killing eight Iraqi civilians.
Well, they're not suspended anymore.
Blackwater was suspended, in total, for four days. Which equals out to be a half day for each civillian killed. So if you're Iraqi you should know that your death isn't worth a full 24 hours, just a petty 12. And if you're a mercenary in Iraq, you'll only get suspended for 12 hours for every Iraqi killed (so if you want a week off, then kill ten Iraqis).
Blackwater apparently has been a problem in Iraq for a while, notably as a figure of hate for Iraqi civillians. One of downwithtyranny's neighbors works in Iraq and he refuses to use Blackwater security. This makes sense, seeing as the mercenaries are probably more of a target than the people they're hired to protect.
Despite the fact that they're known to have bad relations with Iraqis, our own Congress has nearly no idea what these people are up to.
We know virtually nothing about them. We think about forty cents of every dollar goes to private military contractors, we think about 800 of them have been killed in Iraq, but we don't know that - they're not even counted. And we think that there are 25 thousand to 40 thousand engaged in combat-related activities - but we don't know and we can't find out.Why is it so damn hard to find out anything about Blackwater? I'm sure it was nothing to do with the fact that Erik Prince is a major Republican contributor and Cofer Black was a counter terrorism official with the Bush administration in 2001. Because politicians never, ever hand out favors in exchange for money.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) House Intelligence Committee