WASHINGTON - June 2 - As public outrage grows in the wake of the recent prison torture scandal in the Iraqi Abu Ghraib prison, Bay Area and Washington D.C. residents gather outside CACI International Inc.'s offices to oppose the company's profiting off of the brutal and inhumane torture of Iraqi prisoners. In light of corporate torture scandals, massive Iraqi civilian casualties and ongoing Iraqi demands for sovereignty, Bay Area residents call for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq.
Organizers from Direct Action to Stop the War (DASW), the anti-war mobilization responsible for shutting down San Francisco's financial district last year, are today shining the spotlight on another war profiteer in the Bay Area. With contracts worth at least $40 million for conducting "intelligence work" in Iraq, CACI International Inc. is profiting heavily from the war. Meanwhile, one of its employees, Steven Stefanowicz, stands directly accused of having "allowed and/or instructed" Military Personnel to torture detainees to facilitate interrogations, according to Army Major General Antonio Taguba's February 2004 report on torture at the Abu Ghraib prison.
"First there were the Halliburtons and Bechtels privatizing Iraq's resources, now with CACI we're even seeing the privatization of torture," said Sasha Wright of DASW. "This war has been about corporate profits from the very beginning."
CACI International Inc., worth over $1 billion, earns 92% of its revenue from the federal government. Despite this public-bankrolled torture, CACI and other civilian contractors may escape prosecution due to legal loopholes. No laws exist to apply U.S. domestic law to private contractors; as civilians, contractors are not subject to military law, and in Iraq, they are exempt from local law by order of U.S. administrator Paul Bremer. "The U.S. public is lining the coffers of war criminals with tax dollars" commented Sunaina Maira, UC Davis professor of Asian Studies. "For the sake of Iraqi families, CACI must be held accountable for its actions."
The scandal at Abu Ghraib also reveals the bankruptcy of the occupation in Iraq and the Bush regime's claim that the military operations are bringing democracy and liberation for the Iraqi people. "Immediate withdrawal of troops and restoration of sovereignty is the only road to democracy in Iraq," said Raeanne Young, a Mills College student.
Bay Area actions join today with outraged residents of the Washington D.C. area who will protest outside CACI International Inc. headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.