But let's face it -- if this wasn't an inside job by our Iraqi proxies, it's a damned good impression of such.
The role of private security contractors in Iraq has been murky at best, but the bottom line is that they are not accountable for their involvement in some infamous scandals which have resulted in regular service personnel being court-martialed and imprisoned. Not only aren't private contractors accountable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, they're not liable under either the civil law of the country they operate in or domestic law. They operate in a very grey area legally.
Don't get me wrong -- none of this absolves Chip Frederick or Charles Graner or Lynndie England or the rest of them, nor does it necessarily impute any wrongdoing to Paul Reuben and his fellow contractors. But it goes some distance in explaining the frustration and futility, the desperation felt by many Iraqis.
There is very little and very slow accountability for the things we eventually find out about here in the states. We have no idea if those things are the entirety of it, or if they merely scratch the surface. And if the latter, as seems likely, then it's now beyond whether we can muster the empathy to simply imagine what all we'd be capable of if we were in their place, what we'd do to counter mercenaries who were not providing security for us so much as for themselves and for the occupying force.
Even so, maybe finding that kernel of empathy would be a start.