And still more from Iraq . . .

Also quoted in full, without editing/comment:

“On the subject of contractors and your tax dollars, I have a new acronym for you – “P-S-D” – “Personal Security Detail.”  Because the military is stretched so thin, the US Government hires PSD firms to provide security details for various government departments.
> PSDs are armed to the hilt and drive armored SUVs with impunityNo laws apply to them.  They are not official US entities and national laws here do not really exist.  Essentially, they are the mercenaries of the 21st century.  Everyone is terrified of them: local citizens, official US personnel, the military, me, etc.  The Department of State here uses the firm Blackwater (one of the more notorious PSDs) to provide
security.  A week and a half ago, a convoy of Blackwater SUVs was moving through the city – they came up on a taxi that was stopped at a stop sign.
> They honked once at the taxi, which for some reason did not move out of their way.
  To emphasize their point, they drew their automatic weapons and fired
multiple times into the car.
  The three men (all unarmed, fathers, and on their way to work) were killed (murdered).  The SUVs then sped off.  As of today, the US has not apologized and the Blackwater employees (all Americans) have been “transferred.”
> There have been several demonstrations – and there will be more.  Their actions make it very difficult for other “official” Americans to move around.
> Unfortunately, events of this kind are all too common. It is easy to understand why the people here no longer welcome our “assistance.”
> As a follow-up to the refinery explosion of two weeks ago, the same facility was flooded with 20,000 barrels of oil last week.  This new “incident” will set back repairs about a year.  At this point, it is uncertain whether the cause was gross negligence or sabotage – but the distinction between the two is becoming harder to make.  The immediate result was that the cost to fill a tank of natural gas for cooking went from $1 to
$15.  If “improvement” in the lives of these people continues at this rate, we will need to bring back the $1,000 bill.”

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