INDENTURED, my short doc film about labor abuse on US bases in Baghdad, now has a web page. Please take a look and send the page link on to your representation in D.C. Reform is a slow process, so even though the war is technically over, this has to be held up to the light for years to come if it's ever going to be addressed.
I took this photo in 2008 inside the US State Dept facility in Baghdad where I worked for two years. These men all paid four thousand dollars to illegal labor brokers in Nepal to get their jobs on the base. They made about $1.50 an hour and they worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week. That means they worked about a year to pay their loans off (their loans all have usury interest rates). Basically everything about their status is illegal in America. The bitter part for me was that I was working at a facility run by the State Dept and shared by the DOJ. These are the two agencies that write and enforce the rules on human trafficking, yet guess who was inside EVERYDAY cleaning the office and the bathrooms? It's the absolute height of hypocrisy. The cherry on top is that every year the State Dept writes a report in which it makes recommendations to other countries to identify and address human smuggling and human trafficking problems in those nations - because we are the gold standard.
We had/have 70,000 of these laborers in our war zones at any one time. To put that in perspective, in 2009 we had a total of 30,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. The New Yorker was right to call it an Invisible Army. Please do send the web page URL to your reps (there's a button on the page that will take you there) because they really do care about the opinions of their constituents.