Monday, May 31, 2004


The Baltimore Sun reported this over the weekend.

When Iraqi police raided the Baghdad home and offices of politician Ahmad Chalabi on May 20, U.S. officials hurried to distance themselves, saying that the operation was an Iraqi affair and that no U.S. government employees were involved.

But eight armed American contractors paid by a U.S. State Department program went on the raid, directing and encouraging the Iraqi police officers who eyewitnesses say ripped out computers, turned over furniture and smashed photographs.

And they weren't just mercenaries, but mercenaries with no manners:

Some of the Americans helped themselves to baklava, apples and diet soda from Chalabi's refrigerator, and enjoyed their looted snacks in a garden outside, according to members of Chalabi's staff who were there.


Some of you may already be able to guess what company they work for:

The contractors work for DynCorp, a subsidiary of California-based Computer Sciences Corp. and the company in charge of training and advising Iraqi police through a State Department contract....

You remember DynCorp:

DynCorp personnel contracted to the United Nations police service in Bosnia were implicated in buying and selling prostitutes, including a girl as young as 12. Several DynCorp employees were also accused of videotaping the rape of one of the women.

When Dyncorp employee Kathy Bolkovac blew the whistle on the sex ring she was dismissed by the company for drawing attention to their misbehaviour, according to the ruling of a British employment tribunal in November.

...A group of Ecuadorean peasants have filed a class action against the company alleging that herbicides spread by DynCorp in Colombia were drifting across the border, killing legitimate crops, causing illness, and killing children. The company denies the charges.

And, according to the Sun, the Iraqis and DynCorp workers reportedly misidentified themselves at Chalabi's office:

When one of Chalabi's guards asked who the Americans were, an Iraqi police officer answered, "FBI and CIA," said a second INC official, who asked not to be named.

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