By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

A water truck backs up to the Euphrates River in Iraq.  The driver, a Ugandan or maybe an Ethiopian, gets out, lowers a hose into the sewage ridden flow and fills his truck.  5 miles away, a US Army water purification center sits, too far away.  The driver thinks, “water is water.”  Another of the Pentagon’s “Zombie Contractors” take their toll, part of the army of “undead” and unqualified who are the world’s most expensive work force.

The driver, an employee of a company once headed by the Vice President of the United States, could care less, clean water, filth or sewage, it is only going to American troops as drinking water.

The words “typhoid” or “hepatitis” mean nothing to him, he has never heard them and certainly didn’t read them in his daily log.  He never reads anything, never has and never will as he is illiterate like tens of thousands of other employees that the American taxpayer is coughing up $1000 a day for, even more, sometimes much more.

The driver considers himself well paid at $10 dollars a day.

The troops drinking the water would only find out weeks later that it was contaminated with sewage.  Similarly, 33 American soldiers have been electrocuted by faulty wiring installed by work crews that wouldn’t know “positive” from “negative.”  The Pentagon paid for journeymen and got third world unemployed, swept up off the streets, trucked out of the slums of Africa or South America, many decent and hard working people but to the contracting firms, American, British and Israeli, mostly, they are nothing but a way of defrauding the Pentagon, something any child could do.

The Pentagon doesn’t care, not as long as the company’s politics are right and, under the Bush administration, “right” meant extreme right.

Americans have been told the hundreds of thousands of highly paid contractors in, not only Iraq and Afghanistan but throughout the Middle East, were veterans, most Marines, Rangers, Seals and Special Forces, paid a thousand dollars a day to put their lives on the line and, in the process, building a “net egg” for their lives, should they survive and return home.  The controversy, we were told, was that our active duty troops only made a fraction as much.  This story, however, was only meant to deceive, dissemble and misinform. Yes, many veterans hold security contracting jobs and pull down high dollars but the truth is far different than we were told.

One contracting firm, handing security for the United States Air Force, had over 8000 employees in Afghanistan.  All were assumed to be Rangers, SAS or other combat vets.  In reality, only 6 were trained military veterans from these services.  Every other employee was, not only “third world” but also never trained or former members of military forces rated, frankly, as armed rabble. 

Some received their miliary training with organizations, if not yet on terrorist lists, they should be.

The Pentagon paid nearly as much for one of these shoeless, uneducated and untrained contractors in a week as a flag officer makes in a month, actually more than that, embarrassingly more.

What are these contractors paid, who sees if they are qualified or even checks if they are wanted criminals?  Well, actually, no one.  Americans, veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan go through security screenings, rigorous and continual,even humiliating drug testing but the majority of their fellows, including tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of “kitchen workers” or related professions could be anyone, could be and certainly are.

Pentagon ThiefQuestions come to mind.  Why would the most expensive and highest paid military force on earth with the most technologically advanced surveillance systems imaginable need to be guarded by third world nationals cited for performing their duties in filthy shorts, no shoes or shirt and carrying an aging rusted Soviet weapon from a scrap heap?

Have you noticed you have never seen one of the thousands of real security contractors from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, Uganda and other areas of Africa in photographs?  All you see are burly ex-Marines, armed to the teeth.

Ever see a photograph of the living quarters for the other workers, the ones who clean the toilets, cook the food, and outnumber our troops?  Why are they hidden?  Is something wrong?  Why the secrecy?  Are we too busy photographing troops tiptoeing  through poppy fields to look into the issue of “guest workers.”  How do the Pentagon’s favorites, the “no-bid” boys get away with over-billing billions for “mercenaries” when, in actuality they are supplying house maids, janitors dishwashers and billing as though they were all hedge fund managers.

For those who are working “security,” for each burly ex-Ranger, there are a hundred near starving Ethiopians being paid “cigarette money.”  Try finding a photograph of one of them.  You stand as much chance of finding nuclear weapons assembly videos.

At least the mercenary army, shoes or no shoes, has weapons that work, no matter how old or dirty.  The Pentagon has more games than simply throwing away billions to pay workers that may not exist.  There is big money in defective weapons also.

Yes, we admit, a 30 year old AK 47 assembled in Nigeria is less likely to jam in combat than the M-4 carbine, according to every test ever run.  We could talk about the boondoggle “single source” contract, spending hundreds of millions on a weapon troops not only don’t trust but has proven useless in the long range combat of Afghanistan.  We could talk about where 250,000 AK 47’s, not junk, but new “top of the line” models with forged receivers simply disappeared.

Our hope is that they ended up at the bottom of the Euphrates River, dumped, truckload after truckload by impatient Rwandan truckers looking to shorten their workday.  I am sure we will be seeing those weapons again, not at a local gun show in Colorado, but “business end first” during our next “endless war” but I digress.

What don’t we know about who we pay hundreds of billions of dollars for?

At one time I was told the US Army had 125,000 kitchen workers in Iraq alone.  Then I was told the figure was actually much higher.  The total contractor figure, during the time of our highest troop deployments was three times that of the number of soldiers in theater.  Who are they and what are they paid?  Nobody knows, in particular, congress, the General Accounting Office and the Department of Defense and no one is asking.

We don’t have a remote idea what any of the contractors actually do, where they live, what their jobs are and if they do them at all or if they actually exist at all.  We simply pay and pay.

In fact, the job of overseeing contractors is, in itself, actually contracted out.  Oh, it gets better, the job of overseeing the contractors who oversee the contractors is contracted out also.  Is there an end to this?  We haven’t found it yet.

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Posted by on September 5, 2010, With Reads Filed under WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


  1. Jona Lapek  October 31, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    protracted logbook you admit

  2. anonymousonpurpose  September 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Hello Gordan,

    I am sorry…you were absolutely right:


    I just got through reading the DCMA report on Ms. Sparky and am appalled. There were incredible violations that were ongoing in the water mission (before I got there in late August 2005).

    I can tell you that I never saw or heard about anything this egregious, otherwise I would have done something to fix it!

    I am appalled and embarrassed that these people who I trusted would be so cavalier with everyone’s health.

    Trusting those damn illiterate Iraqi’s to truck our water? What the hell were they thinking? Hauling raw sewage and diesel in potable water trucks???!!! What the hell were they thinking? I would have been busting balls and taking names if I ever heard of ANYTHING like that!!!

    God, I am sick to my stomach that I took so much pride in my mission to know that there were others out there like this!

    I am sorry for arguing with you so vehemently….I never in a million years would have guessed that this was ongoing in my beloved water mission.


  3. Mark wave maker  September 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I am one of those contractor employee’s who has spent almost seven years in Iraq and as I started out looking at the whole package I noticed the following throughout the seven years.
    If you were qualified and made every attempt to get things right at every level including time, quality and cost you were considered a wave maker and were either railroaded into submission or placed on a plane headed back home.
    The majority of people I worked with were what I call billable meat and it was never about getting the BANG for your buck, it was all about inflating cost and making everything last as long as possible.
    I never saw anything get done in the time frame required in the contract and the material used was billed as high quality only to get the cheapest China made materials possible.
    I ask one of my Iraqi engineers if there was better material like electrical and plumbing items available and they inicated that there was plenty of well made quality materials available but it was all about the bottom line.
    needless to say I spent seven years being very unpopular, but at least I had the pride and NADS to try and make what I was doing count.

    • Gordon Duff  September 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      It would be nice to have photos of some of the failed projects. I put them up occasionally.

  4. Equalizer  September 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    An enlightening read:


    thought provoking, imo…explains just how black white has become…

  5. Judy  September 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I would like to know one thing about the Viet Nam war.
    Did Lady Bird Johnson own the factories that made our service men’s
    uniforms? That would be a conflict of interest. If that is true,
    it is no wonder President Johnson wanted a longer war.

    • Go11bravo  September 7, 2010 at 1:51 am

      With or without war, you still need to make uniforms. I think yours is a bad comparison to what has been happening in Iraq nad Afgh although there is no doubt the Vitnam War made big bucks for the war industry. I remember we had to peel our own potatoes and dig our own latrines.

  6. brian  September 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    We should take the money lost from those who lost or stole it.Make these jerks in power accountable.

  7. Lem G.  September 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    You and I have been writing back and forth about the MILLIONS thrown away in Iraq & Afghanistan due to malfeasance, graft, corruption, bribery, waste, fraud, theft and poor book keeping for years.
    Its about time you tackled one of these issues. I’d like to see you put a TOP TEN ROGUE’S LIST of the worst criminal contractors in both IRAQ & AFGN and how much the US taxpayers get boned with no KY with these criminals.
    My own take is that Congress, the Senate and the current Administration have accepted these crooks as an SOP and would be politically embarrassing to investigate and prosecute. The Tea Baggers should be doing a line dance about the millions wasted each day by these crooks under the guise of smaller and more realistic defense budget appropriations. Breath not held. Hot potato.

    • Equalizer  September 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm

      Lem, why not grab the viper by the head…O.K., here’s EIGHT ROGUE’S to “go after”:

      1. Rothschild Banks of London & Berlin
      2. Lazard Brothers Bank of Paris
      3. Israel Moses Seif Bank of Italy
      4. Warburg Bank of Hamburg & Amsterdam
      5. Lehman Bank of New York
      6. Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
      7. Chase Manhattan Bank of New York
      8. Goldman Sachs Bank of New York

      THE ABOVE ARE THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK “CLASS A” STOCKHOLDERS, ALL “FAMILY” INSTITUTIONS (This list derived from David E. Robinson’s book, “Monitions of a Mountain Man: Manna, Money and Me” copyright 2009. maine-patriot.com

  8. Penumbra  September 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    You’d have to join the Mossad for that job. I’m sure they got lads overseeing everyone running the show there.

  9. Miller  September 5, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    So where can I apply for one of these Contractor overseeing a Contractor, overseeing a Contractor jobs? That far removed from the actual skilled labor might mean I’m qualified.

  10. Mark Are  September 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    No, Gordon, taxes are not being used here. It is the wonderful fiat printing presses of OZ. That is the major problem. They can create it out of thin air and hand it out like the toilet paper it is. And it is heading the WORLD into the toilet.

    • Ken Rechtstein  September 5, 2010 at 9:08 pm

      Excellent Gordon, Only one ting to add: Dov Zakiem, as comptroller for the Pentagon has never been urged to explain where the missing $3 trillions have gone to during his ‘watch’… Same with Bernie Madoff: Quick trial-confession-conviction, but no DA has asked where the embezzled $60 billions went to…

    • Alan  September 6, 2010 at 5:44 am

      Indeed. And let us not forget that on 9/10, one day before 9/11 rumsfeld announced at a press conference that was live on TV that by some calcualtions 2.3 trillion could not be accounted for. Amazing timing. And next day something hit the only part of the Pentagon that was under repair and almost empty except for some accounting people.

  11. Franz  September 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Gordon Duff you are so right.

    And what we don’t see going on there, we don’t see here either. We don’t see the “American made” computer company that hires “part time temporary” illegal alien elderly women to take motherboards out of their MADE IN HONG KONG bundle-boxes and individually pack them to pretend the US is still Number One in industry (which we ain’t). We’ll never see pictures of the FBI’s Special Support Groups, often just gang-bangers, baiting the hooks in American localities to make sure the drugs keep coming to where they can be sold AND that the DEA gets a piece of the action.

    This is corruption time so we won’t see these things yet. But when we do that’s all we’ll be seeing. Theodore Mommson wrote about the Roman Republic going down the tubes, and mentioned how Rome went through the same money-is-god bit America is going through now. Then came the bullyboys, who eliminated the money middle-men and ruled direct. No surprise there. But they got the Caesars, we’re going to get the Crips and Bloods.

    I’m willing to bet American mobs are making a bundle on the situation you’re describing in Iraq. They’re also learning how to handle us Americans for when the masks come off and we find out they’ve only been practicing on Iraqis, the real targets are American citizens.

    • Equalizer  September 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      Franz, “American mobs” are located in New York, on Wall Street; and, of course, Washington D.C. (district of corruption).

  12. Penumbra  September 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Another sterling piece Gordon, except you might want to change “The driver, an employee of a company once headed by the Vice President of the United States, could care less…” to “couldn’t care less”. If he COULD care less, I have no doubt he would.

  13. Annette McManus  September 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Dear Mr. Duff,
    After living in The Middle East for 5 years as an international school teacher (2003-2008) the “other” issue that bothered me (besides The Palestinian Freedom cause) was the deplorable treatment of third world workers in The Gulf. Living in Kuwait and Bahrain I experienced the most abusive, unfair treatment of workers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. They were literally “herded” like cattle. It was shameful.
    There should be a serious human rights investigation around this, as should the treatment of these workers from Senegal, Ethiopia etc who are also treated with sub human conditions while the “fat cats” laugh all the way to to bank.
    PS I witnessed those horrible Halliburton/KBR red necks bragging about their “daily take” as they sat by The Kuwait Hilton Pool, it made my blood boil. Of course they were all staying there on US taxpayer money.

    • Equalizer  September 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      Annette, you glimpsed into the American “goyim’s” future if “these cattle” don’t pull their heads out of their behinds and get educated.

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