- As suspected, Blackwater thugs in Iraq were not responding
to "militants" when they killed Iraqi motorists a few days ago.
"A preliminary Iraqi report on a shooting involving an American diplomatic
motorcade said Tuesday that Blackwater security guards were not ambushed,
as the company reported, but instead fired at a car when it did not heed
a policeman's call to stop, killing a couple and their infant," reports
the New York Times. "The report, by the Ministry of Interior, was
presented to the Iraqi cabinet and, though unverified, seemed to contradict
an account offered by Blackwater USA that the guards were responding to
gunfire by militants. The report said Blackwater helicopters had also fired.
The Ministry of Defense said 20 Iraqis had been killed, a far higher number
than had been reported before."
- But of course. After all, Blackwater's slogan is: "Providing
a new generation of capability, skills, and people to solve the spectrum
of needs in the world of security," that is to say killing people
in lands invaded and occupied, even lands hit by natural disaster, specifically
New Orleans after Katrina.
- Blackwater was formed by two former Navy Seals, one a
"billionaire right-wing fundamentalist Christian from a powerful Michigan
Republican family. A major Republican campaign contributor, he interned
in the White House of President George H.W. Bush and campaigned for Pat
Buchanan in 1992. He founded the mercenary firm Blackwater USA in 1997
with Gary Jackson, another former Navy SEAL," according to an NNDB
- It is a good idea to link when writing about Blackwater,
as they like to sue their critics. Back in 2006, Blackwater threatened
to sue journalist Mike Whitney.
- "The shooting, which took place on Sunday, has angered
Iraqi officials and touched off a harsh debate about private security companies,
which operate outside Iraqi law, a privilege extended to them by Americans
officials while Iraq's government was still under American administration,"
the New York Times continues. "Blackwater, which guards all top American
officials here, had its work suspended, and Iraqi officials agreed to rewrite
the rules to make the companies accountable." In other words, Blackwater's
trigger-happy thugs, politely called "security guards," are an
embarrassment and will now be asked to play by the "rules," although
one might conclude that any such "rules" in an invaded and occupied
country where around a million people have died is nothing short of a sick
- Blackwater, however, is not going anywhere. In fact,
it is the way of the future, as a "number of senior CIA and Pentagon
officials have taken top jobs at Blackwater, including firm vice chairman
Cofer Black, who was the Bush Administration's top counterterrorism official
at the time of the 9/11 attacks," Ken Silverstein writes for Harpers.
In other words, the bogus GWOT is now privatized, a for-profit enterprise.
You may recall Cofer's infamous remark after the nine eleven inside job
that "the gloves came off," i.e., a lot of people will die, as
indeed over a million Iraqis and an undetermined number of Afghans have
- As it turns out, according to Silverstein's sources,
Eric Prince, Blackwater's founder, has a "green badge" at the
CIA and "regularly, probably once a month or so" meets "with
senior people, especially in the D.O.," that is to say the CIA's
Directorate of Operations, now part of the National Clandestine Service.
In addition, Blackwater has recruited Rob Richer, the CIA's Associate Deputy
Director of Operations, who is now Blackwater's Vice President of Intelligence,
and at the time of Silverstein's writing was "aggressively recruiting
Jose Rodriguez, the CIA's current top spy as director of the National Clandestine
Service. Rodriguez has a number of former agency friends at Blackwater,
most notably Rick Prado, with whom he served in Latin America and who is
now Blackwater's Vice President of Special Programs." A well-informed
grade schooler can tell you what the CIA did in Latin America.
- As for the CIA's National Clandestine Service, we are
told it will concentrate on "overseas" intelligence gathering.
But then, as recently reported, the CIA "violated its charter for
25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance,
assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations
and reforms in the 1970s, according to declassified documents," the
National Security Archive announced on June 21. Of course, none of this
is revelatory, even news, as Seymour Hersh broke the story of CIA illegal
domestic operations with a front page story in the New York Times on December
22, 1974, writing that "a check of the CIA's domestic files ordered
last year produced evidence of dozens of other illegal activities beginning
in the nineteen fifties, including break-ins, wiretapping, and the surreptitious
inspection of mail."
- Of course, the CIA's charter is null and void. "The
CIA has assigned dozens of case officers and analysts to work with FBI
agents throughout the USA in the most extensive deployment of intelligence
officers on domestic soil in the spy agency's history," USA Today
reported back on November 7, 2004. "Officials at both agencies say
the deployment, which pairs CIA officers with FBI agents in the bureau's
offices to assist with terror-related investigations, also represents the
CIA's broadest association with federal law enforcement since the CIA was
created after World War II," despite the fact the agency is "prohibited
by law from participating in intelligence-gathering operations against
U.S. citizens. It also has no law-enforcement powers." Even so, "CIA
analysts have conducted briefings for local police to help identify potential
terrorist threats," no doubt as previously categorized by the CIA,
resulting in the "family jewels" embarrassment (see previous
- Lest you think Blackwater is something only Iraqis need
worry about, consider the fact the for-profit private army is currently
training police in Illinois. "Surrounded by pristine farmland, down
a series of bumpy rural roads, 'Blackwater North' took over an existing
80-acre shooting range" near Mount Carroll. "On the day ABC7
visited, officers from several departments including Chicago and Rockford
were in a tactical hostage exercise." Det. Steve Stoball of the Freeport
Police Department said there "are new techniques that the criminals
are using so we have to be updated with our techniques. Coming out to Blackwater,
these guys have seen it all," including "firing on innocent civilians,"
as Amnesty International notes. Blackwater, of course, has competition,
as other "security" corporations, including DynCorp, Zapata,
and Custer Battles, also engaged in random mass murder "in efforts
to clear roads." Be afraid, very afraid, that these people are now
training local cops, already employing "pain compliance" on students
asking one-worlders the wrong questions.
- All of this is quite natural, considering. "In many
ways, Blackwater represents the life's work of the neoconservative core
that has guided the Bush Administration since it first took power in 2000,"
Scahill. "We're talking about a company that was founded by a man
named Erik Prince, who comes from a family that was one of the top bank
rollers of, not only the 'Republican revolution' of the 1990s that brought
Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America to power, but also the rise
of what we now know as the religious right or the Christian conservative
movement. Erik Prince's family helped James Dobson found Focus on the Family.
Erik Prince's family gave the seed money for Gary Bauer to found the Family
Research Council. Erik Prince himself is a major bank roller of President
Bush, his allies, and the Christian conservative movement in this country.
Someone who is deeply linked to the Christian right, and to the current
Administration, has turned around and started what has become the world's
most powerful private mercenary army. These guys are like neo-Crusaders.
To have them on the government payroll to the tune of $750 million, operating
in a Muslim country, should be frightening to everyone who understands
- Frightening, indeed, although wholly predictable, as
the "Christian right," i.e., the Muslim-hating Christian Zionists,
are now in control of the horizontal and vertical when it comes down to
U.S. foreign policy-and are now training local police departments.
- But it should be even more frightful for Americans, usually
oblivious to the mass murder of Iraqis. "When Hurricane Katrina hit,
Blackwater started a domestic operations division of its company, and it
began seeking greater contracting opportunities domestically inside of
the United States. At one point, the federal government was paying Blackwater
about $240,000 a day for Hurricane Katrina. The company was billing the
government $950 per day, per Blackwater man deployed in the hurricane zone.
They had about 600 guys stretched from Texas all the way through the Gulf
region," Scahill continues.
- Now Blackwater's been in negotiations with several state
governments in the United States. Blackwater met recently with California
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about doing disaster response in California.
They're opening up a new private military base in San Diego. Another one
is in Mount Carroll, Illinois. They have applied for operating licenses
in every coastal U.S. state. This is the expansion of a privatized army.
- Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, speaks boldly
about Blackwater being the FedEx of the national security apparatus. They're
manufacturing surveillance blimps and trying to market them to the Department
of Homeland Security to use to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile,
Blackwater and its executives continue to pour money into these Christian
conservative causes, conservative politicians' campaign coffers. This is
really the embodiment of everything that President Eisenhower warned against
in his farewell address, when he talked about the dangers of unchecked
power of the private sector, and the rise of the military-industrial complex.
- Again, be afraid, very afraid, especially if you live
in a coastal state hit by a hurricane.
- In Iraq, Blackwater "initiated the shooting when
a car did not heed a police officer and moved into an intersection."
Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for Iraq's puppet government, said the "traffic
policeman was trying to open the road for them. It was a crowded square.
But one small car did not stop. It was moving very slowly. They shot against
the couple and their child. They started shooting randomly," the New
York Times continues. As noted above by Amnesty International, shooting
up cars seems to be the preferred method of traffic control in Iraq, that
is when a "security" corporation, i.e., mercenaries, is in control.
- "Among the rank and file of security contractors,
Blackwater guards are regularly ridiculed as cowboys who are relentlessly
and pointlessly aggressive, carry excessive weaponry and do not appear
to have top-of-the-line training," the New York Times notes. "Passing
Blackwater convoys sometimes intimidates even Westerners, who fear coming
under attack if they make a wrong move."
- And now Blackwater is passing this less than "top-of-the-line
training" on to local police here in the United States.
- Incidentally, the characterization of Blackwater as "thugs"
above in the first paragraph is my opinion, based on the facts that follow.
It is not slander. Last time I checked, opinion was protected by the First
Amendment of the Constitution.
- Of course, that may have changed since the last time
I checked, as our decider and commander guy considers the Constitution
"just a goddamned piece of paper" and has vested himself with
all manner of dictatorial power contrary to what that "goddamned piece
of paper" states, not that it matters as the average American cannot
be bothered, what with Britney running around in her underwear.