Whose Hires These People?

Blackwater has raised a national debate about the propriety of using subcontracted private security firms doing jobs that military personnel used to do.

Care about propriety? Read this and weep.

… thousands of South African police officers and soldiers, most of them white veterans of the old apartheid regime, …have left their jobs to work as private security contractors in Iraq — a semiclandestine exodus of hired guns that has alternately embarrassed and alarmed the pacifist government here.

Not that the former thugs of apartheid are drawn to Iraq for altruistic reasons:

Wages for private contractors who work as bodyguards, convoy escorts and oil field security workers in Iraq average about $10,000 a month — more than 10 times the pay of a South African army or police captain.

And $120,000 a year goes a long ways in my neighborhood, too.

Well, we used ex-Nazis after World War II, didn’t we? Except we used them as rocket scientists and such, not as hired guns.

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