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At first he didn't want to talk, but after a few beers the Turkish translator and former employee of Titan - one of the largest American companies providing "human resources" to the U. The experiences recounted by the young translator, "Massoud," proved that low morale and the kind of lurid misconduct that have plagued the army since last April's Abu Ghraib scandal were actually endemic since the war began in March Titan's Travails Titan, of course, became infamous partially because of Abu Ghraib.
At least one of its contract workers, Adel Nahkla, was allegedly involved with chronic torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Other civilian contractors like the mysterious Stephen Stephanowicz and John Israel of CACI - another "human resources" company with a checkered past and gilded future - were also accused of being involved.
These allegations spawned a lawsuit filed in San Diego in June on behalf of the Iraqi victims. Simultaneously, Titan's problems were compounded when aerospace giant Lockheed Martin dropped plans to buy up the company "because a Justice Dept.
Despite its ongoing problems, NBC reports, the U. It is the contractor's largest single source of revenue. Massoud, fortunately, had departed Iraq long before the situation deteriorated, spending only a few months with the company before deciding to get out. I spoke with the young man, a Turk of Kurdish origin, in Istanbul. It took several days to arrange a meeting - partially because he was considering working again for the U.
However, as he admitted, this looks to be a long time off. When we finally met, it was in the bar of one of this enormous city's down-and-out hotels, where a clientele of small-time shuttle traders and other invariably non-English speakers go to get serviced by prostitutes from Russia and the Ukraine.