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Featured Documentary

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006) 75 min.

Synopsis

The film starts with the events of March 2004 in Fallujah, where four Blackwater contractors were ambushed, set afire, their burned corpses dragged through the streets and then finally displayed hanging from a bridge.[5] In interviews, two of the contractors’ families contend that Blackwater, in search of higher profit, neglected to provide proper support and protection to their employees,[5]including maps, decent translators, an armored vehicle, and sufficient security personnel (their convoy was short a machine gunner).[5][6] The families contend that with such support, their loved ones might be alive today.[6] Iraq for Sale then takes contractors Titan and CACI to task for providing “interrogation support” for the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. These civilian contractors were outside the chain of military command, and were never held accountable for the amply documented, unsupervised torture they initiated.[3] According to interviews with survivors, Halliburton subsidiary KBR is was responsible for the “Good Friday Massacre” deaths of six drivers who the corporation irresponsibly put into dangerous zones - zones which were supposed to be off limits to civilians.[7] Also, in interviews, Halliburton’s former employees charge that while the company had a sole contract to provide purified water for US troops, they actually distributed contaminated drinking water.[5] Greenwald and Brave New Films document that at the time of production, the corporations in question had made more than tens of billions of dollars from their contracts in Iraq.[6] In part this was because the companies were working under “cost-plus” contracts, which reimbursed whatever they spent in expenses, plus extra, for profit.[3] This means that they actually made more money when they destroyed expensive equipment and machinery, rather than repairing it.[1] The film features footage of a burning $80,000 truck (whose only problem was a blown tire) that Halliburton had set afire on the side of the road rather than replacing the tire.[3] Some of the other allegations brought up in the film include: The contracting companies enjoyed close relationships with important figures in Washington DC, including then-President George W Bush and other high-ranking Republicans.[6] Congress often awarded “no-bid” contracts to these private companies.[5] These contracts, instead of saving money for US taxpayers, actually resulted in billions of dollars of unnecessary waste.[3] Contractors cut corners on the safety and training of their personnel, often with lethal results.[1]