ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gold Star Families May Show "War is a Racket," Corporations Pay Taliban

Updated on January 5, 2020

In an landmark case for families of military veterans, a large group of plaintiffs , including families of fallen soldiers, have accused American corporations, including Louis Berger Group, of playing both sides in Afghanistan for profit, even funding the Taliban which uses the proceeds to kill American soldiers. The families say the corporations pay what amounts to protection money to the Taliban for allowing projects, many ultimately doomed, to continue.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a damning Washington Post series The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War, which lambastes the US government for lying about progress in the war.

The UK Guardian reported on the Washington Post series:

"Hundreds of confidential interviews with key figures involved in prosecuting the 18-year US war in Afghanistan have revealed that the US public has been consistently misled about an unwinnable conflict."

Another major defendant in the lawsuit is Kansas City-based Black & Veatch.

In 2011 Massachusetts Congressman John Tierney, a Democrat, chaired an investigation into a system of the Pentagon paying "protection money" to the Taliban for the safe passage of NATO supply convoys through hostile territory in Afghanistan, which is most of the country. The report, produced by House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, was entitled Warlord Inc.

In that report, the "protection money" to insurgents was studied for one $2 billion contract to HNT, Host Nation Trucking. The report concluded definitively that up to 20 percent of funds for contracts to transport U.S. military supplies are knowingly and systematically paid to insurgents

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on December 3, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted:

"You offload a ship in Karachi and by the time whatever it is – you know, muffins for our soldiers’ breakfasts or anti-IED equipment – gets to where we’re headed, it goes through a lot of hands. And one of the major sources of funding for the Taliban is the protection money."

The amount of money turned out to be in the hundreds of millions, rivaling what the Taliban takes in from even the opium trade.

Afghanistan reconstruction experts have long lamented the reconstruction model foisted upon Afghanistan since 2002. Much better results would have been obtained, the experts say, by working with small, indigenous Afghan non-governmental organizations, or with the formerly well-regarded Afghan National Solidarity Program, a quasi-independent arm of the government.

In the early 1930s, Marine Corps General and double Medal of Honor winner Smedley Butler wrote a booklet called War is a Racket, and after his retirement proceeded to tour the country with his message that present wars were corrupt. Butler wrote:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism..."

Butler contended that the driving force behind most wars was the profit motive. He said in his speeches across the country:

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

CNN reports on the current lawsuit, in "Gold Star family lawsuit alleges contractors in Afghanistan funneled money to the Taliban":

"Family members of US service members who were killed or wounded in Afghanistan sued a number of prominent contractors on Friday that worked to rebuild the country post-invasion, accusing them of funneling millions of dollars in payments to the Taliban for protection that funded the group's attacks on American troops in the region."

CNN reports:

""This case is about obtaining justice for my husband's death and the lives of so many others who were killed and injured by the terrorists in Afghanistan," August Cabrera, the widow of Lt. Col. David E. Cabrera, who was killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2011, said in a statement."

Of the defendants in the lawsuit, only Black & Veatch has commented, saying through a spokesman to CNN:

"During our work in Afghanistan, we provided support to our client, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and followed the directives of the US government agencies that we served...We are proud of our record in successfully completing a number of projects in Afghanistan that helped more than double the amount of reliable power available to the country's hospitals, schools, businesses and homes under its contract with USAID."

More than 2300 US soldiers have been killed Afghanistan, and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians. The running cost, mostly for military operations and the training of the Afghan Army, is at over $1 trillion.

Marine Corps General Double Medal of Honor Winner Smedley Butler, (1881 - 1940)
Marine Corps General Double Medal of Honor Winner Smedley Butler, (1881 - 1940)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)