Tag Archives: Blackwater

Can Private Security Firms Protect USA?

Throughout the history of the United States its military handled dealing with prisoners and by World War II, it created the initial secret intelligence outfit, the OSS. The Bush era ushered in use of private firms such as Blackwater which were provided authority to deal not only with spies but with insurgents. For some reason, the CIA believed it necessary to contract out work dealing with captured terrorists to Blackwater. The CIA allowed Blackwater to contract with foreigners in order to deal with interrogation tactics. Charles Faddis, a former CIA official raises the question, “why did we need Blackwater? I remain mystified. This is quintessential CIA work. You wonder what it means that the CIA has to rely on Blackwwarter? Why are we still funding the CIA?”

I remain mystified. For example, during WW II, Army and Navy intelligence dealt with captured prisoners. Both did outstanding jobs and it was our intelligence which uncovered the secret Japanese strike at Midway Island that became one of America’s great naval victories. if we fund the CIA with billions, why in heaven are they subcontracting any work?

It is time for President Obama to announce all ties with private security firms will end when it comes to dealing with interrogation and treatment of prisoners.

NRA-Did You Know No Guns For Civilians In Afghanistan?

As the NRA feared, once elect that weak liberal Barack Obama and honest decent Americans will not be allowed to go around carrying a weapon to protect themselves against terrorists. Four American contractors who work for the company formerly known as Blackwater are accused of illegally having weapons in their possession when they opened fire on Afghans and killed one and wounded others. The men insist their employer issued weapons to them which apparently is a breach of the contract between the company and the military. However, according to Col. Chris Kubik, “by the terms of the contract, they were not authorized to carry weapons.”

Just wait until the NRA learns God-fearing Americans can’t go around with their rifles and assault weapons in Afghanistan, but must adhere to a no-gun policy. Didn’t the US military ever hear about the 2nd Amendment!! David Callahan, a lawyer for the company argues the men had stopped when they were approached by a car so they took out their weapons and fired. Hey, NRA, let’s get Congress to pass laws saying American rights to their gun supersede any damn law by some foreign government. It’s in the Constitution!

Investigation Continues Of Blackwater Guards

Federal investigators examining the shooting death by Blackwater guards of Iraqi civilians have narrowed their focus to three men who were involved in the incident that caused great anger in Iraq. A federal grand jury is conducting the investigation and there apparently are great concerns over testimony that has already been provided the group. An ongoing issue arises from the Blackwater company use of the same lawyer being assigned the cases of more than one guard. This raises concerns about conflict of interest since client “A” might be giving information that could convict client “B.” It also brings to light an integrity issue that might hinder efforts of the grand jury to get at the truth about the shooting that resulted in the deaths of 17 Iraqis. Sources indicate that testimony of the four guards who so far have appeared before the grand jury are raising questions about the shootings which might lead to indictments being taken against at least three of the guards.

Blackwater continues muddying up the situation with its policy of allowing lawyers to handle more than a single client. The goal should be getting at the truth but this might be hampered by the current system in operation. Undoubtedly, those being charged with possible crimes are satisfied to have the company decide on legal support even though, in the long run, it might be detrimental to their own self interests.

US Military Plans Greater Control Over Security Firms

Under a new agreement between the Pentagon and the State department, the military would have more control over Blackwater and other private security contractors working in Iraq. Under the new accord there will be more stringent supervision over coordinating movement of the civilian security convoys and the reporting and investigation of any incident they’re involved in, as well as they question when they are allowed to use force. US military commanders in the field have been complaining they frequently they do not know security firms are even moving convoys through their areas of operation, and are then shocked to learn of some incident which might impair their working relations with the people of Iraq. The new agreement came about after Defense Secretary Gates and Secretary of State Rice got together to iron out differences.

This agreement will assist in ensuring some type of monitoring of the private security firms given their irresponsible behavior in firing quickly and without accuracy. Hopefully, there will also be provisions that make certain any member of a security firm who injures or kills an Iraqi will stand trial.

Fat Cats Of War — New Growth Industry Of Murder

A reporter, from The Independent of England, was in Nisour Square a few days after the Blackwater massacre of innocent Iraqi civilians and encountered continuing fury on the part of the local population. They are demanding an end to private armies in their nation. Lawyer Hassan Jabar Salman, who was shot four times in the back by Blackwater gunmen, said: “This is not the first time they have killed innocent people and they will do it again, you’ll see.” Prime Minister Mailki threatened to expel Blackwater from Iraq, but he was forced to back down under American pressure. The past few days, Robert Griffin, who was in charge of overseeing private contracts, resigned from the State Department. An Independent reporter talked with Mark, a former Royal Marine, who now is in the private army business. “I suppose,” he said, “we should thank George Bush and Tony Blair for what they have done for our industry much as I dislike their policies. And, if I was an Iraqi, I would not be thanking them.” Patrick Toyne Sevell, of Armor Group, told the press, “We believe Iraq as a market will continue to grow for some time..”

The use of private contractors is a recent phenomenon in American history. It fits in with conservative philosophy that private enterprise is more efficient than government institutions. In this case, the government institution is the armed forces. They are not “private contractors,” they are mercenaries who are not bound by civilian or military law. It is time America confronting reality, if this nation intends to conduct military operations around the world it is necessary to institute a draft system and end reliance on private corporations to do the work of our government. A few days ago, Robert Griffin, who oversees contracts with private corporations, resigned from the State Department and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is ordering an investigation. Why? What is there to investigate? The erratic, lawless behavior of private contractors is common knowledge and it has been going on for years. Griffin is a convenient scapegoat. Isn’t it time the real criminals who allowed this lawlessness to proceed were brought before a court of justice? We can begin with Secretary of State Rice who had the responsibility of dealing with these mercenaries and allowed them to run wild without any supervision.

Iraqis Sue Blackwater For Wrongful Deaths

Families of Iraqis who died in a shooting involving Blackwater USA sued the company charging it violated US law and encouraged a culture of lawlessness among its employees. The Center for Constitutional Rights which brought the suit on behalf of the families charged, “Blackwater has turned lawlessness into profit at the expense of the lives of innocent civilians.” Seventeen Iraqis died in the September 16th shooting. The lawsuit charges Blackwater should be held responsible for assault and battery, wrongful death, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, training and supervision of its personnel. The FBI is currently conducting an investigation of the shooting.

Iraqi officials claim Blackwater’s license to operate in iraq expired on June 2, 2006 and therefore it no longer has immunity against lawsuits. There is something wrong with an American military operation in which private companies can operate with impunity against law. In prior American wars, the military handled construction activities or provided security, but under the Bush program of privatizing war, the corporate world now occupies a prominent role in warfare. One can only wonder how secure fighting men and women feel when mercenaries are protecting them and bringing supplies instead of well trained soldiers. In WWII, the famous and outstanding Seabees handled construction and won universal praise for their work. Perhaps, it’s time to bring back the Seabees.

Secretary Of State Rice Orders Supervision Of Blackwater

In a long overdue move, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ordered federal agents to ride with Blackwater security guards on trips dealing with transportation of diplomatic personnel. She also had video cameras installed and insisted on close monitoring of communication systems. On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed legislation which would place all private contractors under U.S. criminal statutes.

There are many tragedies in the Blackwater killing of Iraqi citizens including why the Bush administration ever agreed in the first place that private contractors were not to be governed either by military or civilian statutes. This agreement is unprecedented in American history. There is need for a Congressional investigation for the reasons such an agreement was ever made in the first place. In effect, Bush created a new nation — the nation of private contractors who are not bound by law but only by their own interpretation as to how to behave. This is the road to anarchy.

Who Us? Asks Blackwater Founder

Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater corporation, challenged congressional and Iraq government reports that Blackwater personnel acted in an out-of-control fashion during the killing of 11 Iraqis in a September 16th shootout. He claimed guards responded to hostile shooting and acted in a responsible manner. Mr. Prince says that “every life is precious whether American or Iraqi,” but “based on everything we currently know, the Blackwater team acted appropriately when operating in a very complex situation.”

Mr. Prince claims that “everything we know” indicates Blackwater guards acted “appropriately,” but everything we know based on congressional and Iraqi government reports indicates the exact opposite. His company has had twice the number of shootings as the next two largest security companies combined, but Mr. Prince claims every Iraqi life “is precious.” Observers from various nations, and from the American government note conclusively Blackwater guards were frightened and shooting without concern for human life. The real tragedy is having a system in operation which prevents placing on trial the Blackwater guards for the murder of innocent people– unless congressional and Iraqi government reports are erroneous.