Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Monday, January 02, 2006
 
"I am done for"

This Chicago Tribune article regarding how the Defense Department has failed to implement an anti-human trafficking plan alerted me to the fact that U.S. defense contractors are involved in overseas human trafficking and use slave labor. Some of this trafficking is direct, for instance, the article points out that employees of one such contractor, Dyncorp, bought and sold women in Bosnia as sex slaves in the late 1990s. At other times, it's indirect. KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, uses over 200 subcontractors in Iraq and cannot police the labor practices of them all. The bill to address this problem was passed by the House "only after a provision creating a trafficking watchdog at the Pentagon was stripped from the measure at the insistence of defense-friendly lawmakers." Human rights groups also disapprove of the DoD's draft measures because it "institutionalizes ineffective procedures currently used by the Department of Defense contractor community in handling allegations of human trafficking."

This article also pointed out an excellent and long Tribune series from October detailing 12 Nepali men who were sent to Iraq after paying brokers to secure them jobs in Jordan. They were to "work" for one of KBR's sub-contractors and while en route from Amman to Baghdad they were kidnapped and subsequently shot (one was beheaded), and their murders were broadcast over the Internet. The last words from one of the slain workers to his mother was, "I am done for," and this was before he had left Jordan.

Also, if you're curious about human trafficking, in general, you may want to check out Kevin Bales's Modern Slavery: New Slavery in the Global Economy.

**

Oh, and speaking of the Edge, not the U2 guitarist, but the intellectual foundation, here is the 2006 Edge question (suggested by TK's favorite, Steven Pinker): "What is your dangerous idea?
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
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Dave Barry
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Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
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Jesus Politics
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Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
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Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
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Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
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Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
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Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
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Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
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Yglesias:Tpmcafe

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TiffinBox

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Ranajit Dam
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Corey Pein
Nick Schager
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Scott McCloud


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