If you've been following the news, I'm sure you've been hearing a lot about "private contractors" like Blackwater, DynCorp, and Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) for a few years now. It's no secret that wars (illegal wars included) are insanely profitable, but do you know much these guys are actually getting paid to do their thing?
According to a newly released report from the Congressional Budget Office, the government will have paid these privately held "security firms" a hundred billion dollars by the end of 2008 for their work in Iraq. Now that might not mean much to ordinary people - you know, people who get excited every time they find a quarter lying on the sidewalk - but seriously, that's a lot of money! As expected, the size of the payout is only matched by the level of corruption that follows. Currently there are about 200,000 of these so-called "private contractors" in Iraq and Afghanistan, doing everything from shooting people to driving trucks to cooking eggs. It's kind of like the world's largest and most violent catered event.