They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

US kills innocent Iraqis on the cheap

What's an Iraqi life worth? How about an Iraqi car?

For the U.S. military in Iraq, it may be roughly the same.

A report released late last month by the Government Accountability Office examines the practices and rules guiding condolence payments that the U.S. military can distribute to families of Iraqi civilians killed "as a result of U.S. and coalition forces' actions during combat." These voluntary payments - known as "solatia" payments - can also cover injuries and loss or damage to property. They constitute "expressions of sympathy or remorse based on local culture and customs, but not an admission of legal liability or fault," according to the report.

The Pentagon has set $2,500 as the highest individual sum that can be paid. Most death payments remain at that level, with a rough sliding scale of $1,000 for serious injury and $500 for property damage. Link