Yesterday, Kyle Palmer pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter for a shooting death that occurred during a wild party thrown by defense contractor employees in Iraq. Palmer, a security guard working for defense contractor Dyncorp, got so drunk that he began bandying a handgun around and pointing it at his co-worker, Justin Pope. In characteristically cryptic and sterile manner, DoJ describes the scene:
“During the course of the party, Pope and Palmer engaged in a series of actions in which they pointed a 9 millimeter Glock-19 handgun at each other. According to information provided to the court, at a point during the party, Palmer discharged Pope’s weapon without checking whether the gun was loaded. A bullet was accidentally fired, which struck and killed Pope.”
Palmer was sentenced to three years and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution plus a $4,000 fine. If $6,000 seems like a cheap price to pay for the cost of a man’s life, consider that Dyncorp apparently will pay nothing. If that is a bitter pill to swallow, further consider that the Special Inspector for Iraq Reconstruction has determined that more than $2.4 billion of taxpayer funds allocated to Dyncorp for three security contracts in Iraq is “vulnerable to waste and fraud.” Read a summary of the Inspector General’s Report:
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Such abuses echo other stories of U.S. mercenary firms such as ArmorGroup employees throwing drunken orgies and Blackwater billing taxpayers for prostitution services. The inescapable conclusion is that the inmates are running the asylum and the taxpayers are footing the bill.