You've heard about the 16 mercenaries in Iraq who were detained by Marines last month for reportedly firing shots at U.S. soldiers, right? Here's the latest from the Charlotte Observer, the hometown paper of Zapata Engineering, the mercenaries' employer:
On Thursday, Zapata defended its workers, who deny any wrongdoing and claim they were mistreated while they were held for three days in Fallujah...An attorney for two of the Zapata employees claims the Marines physically abused and humiliated them, taunting them about the large salaries they can make in Iraq.
Nope, we haven't read about any copies of Soldier of Fortune being peed on yet. But several of the mercenaries say they were stripped to their underwear, "roughed up," threatened with a gun, and subjected to taunts such as "How does it feel to be a big, rich contractor now?" The Marines, on the other hand, insist they were treated humanely and respectfully while under detention.
However this story plays out, we see tough days ahead for pundits. After all, if you believe the mercenaries, you're objectively pro-Saddam, right? And if you believe the Marines, well, we think, by undermining American capitalism, you're still objectively pro-Saddam. War really is hell. — GREG BEATO
Charlotte firm defends security workers [Charlotte Observer]
Marines 'beat US workers' in Iraq [Guardian]
U.S. Marines Detained 19 Contractors in Iraq [LA Times]