"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?