Bin Laden. What a great guy.

Happily for U.S. intelligence authorities, Bin Laden was a highly meticulous record keeper. One of the quirkier observations now being made from those records is that he offered his fighters excellent benefits.

As NPR reports "As odd as it sounds, al-Qaida had excellent HR benefits. The seized documents showed that al-Qaida paid an unusual amount of attention to its fighters and their families. Married members were allowed to have seven days of vacation for every three weeks worked. Bachelors got five days off a month."  That really is generous.

What makes those benefits all the more notable is that they were being given to definitively nontraditional workers.  It's unclear whether his fighters were recruited by an agency (not impossible, it seems Al-Qaida operated in a very up-to-date fashion) or whether they were volunteer "independent contractors," but either way, thanks to the effectiveness of U.S. and allied troops, their stints have tended to be of an, er, temporary nature.  It may well be that Bin Laden was the most generous contingent manager ever.

However NPR also reports "Now that the organization has less money and is under such pressure, it is unclear whether the benefits are as generous as they used to be." We all know what that means--without those generous benefits, it's going to be harder to recruit. Gee, that's a tough break.

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