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The price of an Iraqi life-$500 to $5,000

The price of an Iraqi life-$500 to $5,000The price of an Iraqi life, for purposes of compensation for the families of civilians killed by Americans, can be as low as $500 and as high as $8 million. It depends on who does the assessment.

On the low end, $500 was paid to the brother of a man caught in a firefight outside the gate of his house.
The $8 million is what the Iraqi government is demanding for the families of each of the 17 people it said were killed when private security contractors guarding U.S. diplomats opened fire in a crowded Baghdad square on September 16.

In between those poles, payments are frequently in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. High-profile victims whose death might have an impact on U.S.-Iraqi relations command more.
Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi's bodyguard, Raheem Khalif, for example.

He was shot dead last Christmas Eve by a drunken contractor of the U.S. private security company Blackwater, whose men were also involved in the September shooting. The incident raised fresh questions over the use of civilians in roles previously carried out by the U.S. military.
One of the most remarkable quotes from a U.S. official on conditions in Iraq, five years into the war, has come in an email discussing the size of compensation for the bodyguard.

Made available during a Congressional hearing early in October, the email said:
"The...Charge d'Affaires (acting ambassador) was talking some crazy sums at first. Originally, she mentioned $250k and then later on $100K...I think that a sum this high will set a terrible precedent.

"This could cause incidents with people trying to get killed by our guys to financially guarantee their family's future."


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