Wednesday, February 07, 2007

From the "Why is This News?" File:

I am so tired of hearing about this ridiculous astronaut story on the "news." The story is not news. It is an aborted episode of Snapped on Oxygen.

This story is news: Contractors cozy up to feds in explosion of outsourcing, by Scott Shane and Ron Nixon, New York Times

"Without a public debate or formal policy decision, contractors have become a virtual fourth branch of government. On the rise for decades, spending on federal contracts has soared during the Bush administration, to about $400 billion last year from $207 billion in 2000, fueled by the war in Iraq, domestic security and Hurricane Katrina, but also by a philosophy that encourages outsourcing almost everything government does."

Jesse Jackson weighs in as well at the Chicago Sun-Times:

"...The Bush administration has privatized war. The second-biggest army in Iraq consists of armed security forces supplied by private contractors.

They act above the law -- and with unclear lines of authority. They work abroad, so they are largely beyond the reach of U.S. law. On contract from the U.S. government, they are beyond the reach of Iraqi law, as established in an order issued by the U.S. Authority there before turning power over to the Iraqi government. When the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandals were revealed, private security forces and interrogators were at the center of it. But none was held accountable..."

Since I listen to Randi Rhodes on Air America almost every weekday, I've been hearing about the nefarious acts of these contractors for almost two years. Aside from her counterparts on progressive talk radio, I haven't heard this story reported anywhere. Unless this aforementioned astronaut was protecting the Earth from an Independence Day-style invasion, I don't need to hear any other crazy white woman stories ever again.

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