Federal Workers Pissed Over Plans To Forcibly Draft Them Into Iraq

Hey, I don't blame them one damned bit. Do you? But hey, at least someone in Washington is reading the Iraq Study Group report. Too bad the president won't be bothered to do so.

From the Federal Times (thanks to Buzzflash for the link):

The Iraq Study Group’s recommendation that the Bush administration consider ordering government civilians to Iraq has drawn outrage from federal employees’ unions.

Civilian agencies have been seeking volunteers to assist with efforts in Iraq. But the report states that the potential danger of the assignment means few qualified candidates have taken the offer.

Therefore: “In the short term, if not enough civilians volunteer to fill key positions in Iraq, civilian agencies must fill those positions with directed assignments,” the report says. “Steps should be taken to mitigate familial or financial hardships posed by directed assignments, including tax exclusions similar to those authorized for U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq.”

Created to advise Congress, the study group has no formal power. It is not clear what chance the group’s recommendations have of adoption. But American Federation of Government Employees President John Gage said that while his organization needs more information, “we are alarmed at the idea of directed reassignments of civilian agency employees to a military war zone.”

The recommendation “does little more than advocate a ‘draft’ for federal workers,” Gage said in a Dec. 7 statement. “It’s just like getting any person on the street and telling him or her that working in Iraq is now a condition of employment. The contractors are getting out of Iraq, our soldiers are getting out of Iraq and now there’s an idea to send in federal employees, many of whom are untrained and not prepared for a war zone.”