Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: IMPEACHMENT: The BlackWater Mercenary Army; A Stand Alone Impeachable War Crime!
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Thursday, April 5, 2007

IMPEACHMENT: The BlackWater Mercenary Army; A Stand Alone Impeachable War Crime!
















MATERIALS FROM THE PRECINCT MASTER’S GROWING IMPEACHMENT NOTEBOOKS: BUSH IS IMPEACHABLE ON THIS ISSUE ALONE; IT IS A WAR CRIME, PLAIN AND SIMPLE, LET ALONE AN ACT OF BLATANT FINANCIAL CORRUPTION.

THE BLACKWATER BUSH MERCENARY ARMY ISSUE: MILITARY OUT SOURCING in direct defiance of The Geneva Conventions…A WAR CRIME!

War is not polite recreation but the vilest thing in life, and we ought to understand that and not play at war. Our attitude towards the fearful necessity of war ought to be stern and serious. LEO TOLSTOY

“When asked about their mission, Blackwater refused to comment--and told reporters to talk to their lawyers.

The Geneva Conventions make hired mercenaries illegal--so private armies today "officially" claim that they are not in the battle zones to actually fight or assassinate, but only for "security" or "training" or (perhaps) "guarding food shipments."

Blackwater USA is the most comprehensive professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability Operations Company in the world.

Blackwater USA comprises nine separate business units to offer the most comprehensive professional security, peacekeeping, and stability Operations Company in the world.

VISION
To support security, peace, freedom, and democracy everywhere.

MISSION
To support national and international security policies that protect those who are defenseless and provide a free voice for all with a dedication to providing ethical, efficient, and effective turnkey solutions that positively impact the lives of those still caught in desperate times.

Blackwater is committed to the foot soldiers -- the men and women who stand on the frontlines of the global war on terror and who believe in a peaceful future for their communities and nations.

Whether serving in or out of uniform, Blackwater is committed to providing these men and women with the very best in training and tactical support to ensure they are fully prepared to meet current and future global security challenges.http://www.blackwaterusa.com/

Saturday 10 September 2005 {It’s not like no one knows}

New Orleans -
Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans.

Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms.They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force.

Several mercenaries we spoke with said they had served in Iraq on the personal security details of the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer and the former US ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte."This is a totally new thing to have guys like us working CONUS (Continental United States)," a heavily armed Blackwater mercenary told us as we stood on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

"We're much better equipped to deal with the situation in Iraq."

Blackwater mercenaries are some of the most feared professional killers in the world and they are accustomed to operating without worry of legal consequences.

Their presence on the streets of New Orleans should be a cause for serious concern for the remaining residents of the city and raises alarming questions about why the government would allow men trained to kill with impunity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to operate here.

Some of the men now patrolling the streets of New Orleans returned from Iraq as recently as 2 weeks ago.What is most disturbing is the claim of several Blackwater mercenaries we spoke with that they are here under contract from the federal and Louisiana state governments.

Blackwater is one of the leading private "security" firms servicing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has several US government contracts and has provided security for many senior US diplomats, foreign dignitaries and corporations.The company rose to international prominence after 4 of its men were killed in Fallujah and two of their charred bodies were hung from a bridge in March 2004. Those killings sparked the massive US retaliation against the civilian population of Fallujah that resulted in scores of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/091005A.shtml

"We have established a global presence and provide training and tactical solutions for the 21st century.

Our clients include federal law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense, Department of State, and Department of Transportation, local and state entities from around the country, multinational corporations and friendly nations from all over the globe."

Blackwater corporate website (http://www.blackwaterusa.com)

"I would like to have the largest, most professional private army in the world."
Gary Jackson, president of Blackwater USA

"Blackwater. right now has contracts that [Gary Jackson] says are so secret that he is not able to tell one branch of the Feds that he's working for a different branch of the Feds..

Much of the interview I had with them was couched in this -- this almost cowboy-like secrecy. They were very proud of being on these top secret missions."Barry Yeoman, author of "Soldiers of Good Fortune," on Democracy Now

Soldier Of Fortune Magazine (A Watch Source of these types of things)

Soon after the four U.S. "civilian contractors" died in Fallujah, it became obvious they weren't "civilians" at all. All four were trained commandos--at least three had years of experience in elite U.S. military units. They were working for the private mercenary army called "Blackwater USA." All were heavily armed.

One carried a Department of Defense ID card.What were they doing deep in Fallujah? At this point, it is not known.The official story is that these heavily armed mercenaries were in Fallujah to "protect food shipments."

But that day, there were no "food shipments" in sight. The Marines had just gone door-to-door arresting men for interrogation--and so there has been speculation in Fallujah that these commandos were on a mission to capture or assassinate people fingered as part of the resistance.When asked about their mission, Blackwater refused to comment--and told reporters to talk to their lawyers.

The Geneva Conventions make hired mercenaries illegal--so private armies today "officially" claim that they are not in the battle zones to actually fight or assassinate, but only for "security" or "training" or (perhaps) "guarding food shipments."

Blackwater is a highly connected mercenary corporation--based in North Carolina, but with offices in McLean, Virginia, near CIA headquarters. They operate a 5,200-acre state-of-the-art commando training ground in North Carolina's Great Dismal Swamp--basically a private military base. It provides privatized training for U.S. military personnel and police.

http://rwor.org/a/1236/blackwater.htm

Nestled inconspicuously amid the pinelands and horse farms of northeastern North Carolina lays a small but increasingly important part of the nation's campaign to stabilize Iraq.

Here, at the 6,000-acre training ground of Blackwater U.S.A., scores of former military commandos, police officers and civilians are prepared each month to join the lucrative but often deadly work of providing security for corporations and governments in the toughest corners of the globe.

On Wednesday, four employees of a Blackwater unit -- most of them former American military Special Operations personnel -- were killed in an ambush in the central Iraqi city of Fallujah, their bodies mutilated and dragged through the streets by chanting crowds.The scene, captured in horrific detail by television and newspaper cameras, shocked the nation and outraged the tightly knit community of current and former Special Operations personnel.

But it also shed new light on the rapidly growing and loosely regulated industry of private paramilitary companies like Blackwater that are replacing government troops in conflicts from South America to Africa to the Middle East."This is basically a new phenomenon: corporatized private military services doing the front-line work soldiers used to do," said Peter W. Singer, a national security fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington who has written a book on the industry,

(1) "Corporate Warriors" (2) (Cornell University Press, 2003).

http://www.warprofiteers.com/article.php?id=11235

There are currently thousands of mercenaries serving in Iraq. Their high salaries and shorter terms of employment will inevitably make a serious dent on the military's budget -- and soldiers' morale.

With the casualty toll ticking ever upward and troops stretched thin on the ground, the Bush administration is looking to mercenaries to help control Iraq. These soldiers-for-hire are veterans of some of the most repressive military forces in the world, including that of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and South Africa's apartheid regime.

In February, Blackwater USA, a North Carolina-based Pentagon contractor, began hiring former combat personnel in Chile, offering them up to $4,000 a month to guard oil wells in Iraq.

The company flew the first batch of 60 former commandos to a training camp in North Carolina.

These recruits will eventually wind up in Iraq where they will spend six months to a year.

"We scour the ends of the earth to find professionals -- the Chilean commandos are very, very professional and they fit within the Blackwater system," Gary Jackson, the president of Blackwater USA, told the Guardian.

While Blackwater USA is not nearly as well known as Halliburton or Bechtel -- two mega-corporations making a killing off the reconstruction of Iraq -- it nevertheless is doing quite well financially thanks to the White House's war on terror.

The company specializes in firearm, tactics and security training and in October 2003, according to Mother Jones magazine, the company won a $35.7 million contract to train more than 10,000 sailors from Virginia, Texas, and California each year in 'force protection.

http://www.alternet.org/story/18193

With the casualty toll ticking ever upward and troops stretched thin on the ground, the Bush administration is looking to mercenaries to help control Iraq. These soldiers-for-hire are veterans of some of the most repressive military forces in the world, including that of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and South Africa's apartheid regime.

In February, Blackwater USA, a North Carolina-based Pentagon contractor, began hiring former combat personnel in Chile, offering them up to $4,000 a month to guard oil wells in Iraq. The company flew the first batch of 60 former commandos to a training camp in North Carolina.

These recruits will eventually wind up in Iraq where they will spend six months to a year.

Blackwater Mercenaries Are Some Of The Most Feared Professional Killers In The World. What are they doing prowling the streets of NOLA?

A Short repeat of some often cited material_

Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for its work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms.

They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force. Several mercenaries we spoke with said they had served in Iraq on the personal security details of the former head of the U.S. occupation, L. Paul Bremer and the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte.

"This is a totally new thing to have guys like us working CONUS (Continental United States)," a heavily armed Blackwater mercenary told us as we stood on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. "We're much better equipped to deal with the situation in Iraq."Blackwater mercenaries are some of the most feared professional killers in the world and they are accustomed to operating without worry of legal consequences.

Their presence on the streets of New Orleans should be a cause for serious concern for the remaining residents of the city and raises alarming questions about why the government would allow men trained to kill with impunity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to operate here. Some of the men now patrolling the streets of New Orleans returned from Iraq as recently as two weeks ago.What is most disturbing is the claim of several Blackwater mercenaries we spoke with that they are here under contract from the federal government and the state of Louisiana.

Blackwater is one of the leading private security firms servicing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. It has several U.S. government contracts and has provided security for many senior U.S. diplomats, foreign dignitaries and corporations.

The company rose to international prominence after four of its men were killed in Fallujah and two of their charred bodies were hung from a bridge in March 2004. Those killings sparked the massive U.S. retaliation against the civilian population of Fallujah that resulted in scores of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees. (Blown Cover)

Who Sent In the Mercs? (Now there’s one that needs an answer!)

That raises a key question: under what authority are Blackwater's men operating?

A spokesperson for the Homeland Security Department, Russ Knocke, told the Washington Post he knows of no federal plans to hire Blackwater or other private security.

"We believe we've got the right mix of personnel in law enforcement for the federal government to meet the demands of public safety," he said.

But in an hour-long conversation with several Blackwater mercenaries, we heard a different story.

The men we spoke with said they are indeed on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and the Louisiana governor's office and that some of them are sleeping in camps organized by Homeland Security in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

They told us they not only had authority to make arrests but also to use lethal force.

Read On!http://www.alternet.org/katrina/25320

In addition to the thousands of military troops patrolling the streets of New Orleans, there are also scores of private soldiers that are now spreading out across the city, like those from the Blackwater Security firm.

Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill reports. [includes rush transcript]*Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! producer and correspondent.

Read: "Overkill: Feared Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleanshttp://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/09/12/1426242

On Tuesday, five employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA were killed in a violent Baghdad neighborhood.

Hours later, President Bush used his State of the Union address to call on what some are calling an undeclared surge of private mercenaries in Iraq.

We speak with Jeremy Scahill, author of the forthcoming “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” [includes rush transcript]

The private security firm Blackwater USA is back in the news again. On Tuesday, hours before President Bush’s State of the Union address, one of the company’s helicopters was brought down in a violent Baghdad neighborhood.

Five Blackwater troops - all Americans - were killed. Reports say the men’s bodies show signs of execution-style deaths with bullet wounds to the back off the head.

Blackwater provided no identities or details of those killed. They did release a statement saying the deaths “are a reminder of the extraordinary circumstances under which our professionals voluntarily serve to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people.”

President Bush made no mention of the incident during his State of the Union. But he did address the very issue that has brought dozens of private security companies like Blackwater to Iraq in the first place: the need for more troops.President Bush.Is the president looking to further outsource war?

My next guest writes that Blackwater is a reminder of just how privatized the Iraq war has become. Jeremy Scahill is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and is author of the forthcoming book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.”

He has an OpEd in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times titled “Our mercenaries in Iraq.”

He joins me in the firehouse studio.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/26/1559232

Tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims remain without homes. The environment is devastated. People are disenfranchised. Financial resources, desperate residents are told, are scarce.

But at least New Orleans has a Wal-Mart parking lot serving as a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center with perhaps the tightest security of any parking lot in the world.

That's thanks to the more than $30 million Washington has shelled out to the Blackwater USA security firm since its men deployed after Katrina hit.

Under contract with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Protective Service, Blackwater’s men are ostensibly protecting federal reconstruction projects for FEMA.

Documents show that the government paid Blackwater $950 a day for each of its guards in the area.

Interviewed by The Nation last September, several of the company's guards stationed in New Orleans said they were being paid $350 a day. That would have left Blackwater with $600 per man, per day to cover lodging, ammo, other overhead--and profits.

*A Scahill Must Readhttp://www.thenation.com/doc/20060529/scahill

The powerful private army that the U.S. government has made its Praetorian Guard for the “global war on terror.” Blackwater has the world's largest private military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and 20,000 soldiers at the ready.

Run by a multimillionaire Christian conservative who bankrolls President Bush and his allies, its forces are capable of overthrowing governments, and yet most people have never heard of Blackwater.

That is about to change.

http://www.blackwaterbook.com/

There's a $400 million question facing the Pentagon's largest contractor, KBR, the former Halliburton subsidiary responsible for more than 50,000 personnel in Iraq and billions in government contracts:

Will the mammoth corporation be forced to repay the government nearly half a billion dollars because it hired private security forces in Iraq, including Blackwater USA, when the Army itself was supposed to be providing it with protection?

It's a scandal that has been brewing for more than two years, kept alive largely through the efforts of Representative Henry Waxman.

The California Democrat has been on a warpath against Halliburton and KBR almost since the Bush Administration took power in 2000. But it was actually an incident involving the private military company Blackwater USA that sparked the current controversy, which could result in the hefty KBR repayment to the government.

It began with one of the most iconic incidents of the Iraq War: the March 31, 2004, ambush of four Blackwater contractors in the Sunni city of Falluja. The men were burned, dragged through the streets and strung from a bridge. For many in Congress--and the broader population--it was the first they had heard of private soldiers operating in the war zone. Finding out who exactly they were working for in Falluja that day would take nearly three years.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070326/scahill_ordower

Blackwater USA, the private military contractor in the Bush Administration's "war on terror," has a new lawyer working to defend it against a ground-breaking wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families of four of its contractors killed in Iraq.

The new "counsel of record" for the North Carolina-based company is none other than former Whitewater investigator Kenneth Starr--the Independent counsel in the 1999 impeachment of President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.

Starr was brought in last week by Blackwater to file motions in front of the US Supreme Court in a case stemming from the killing of four Blackwater contractors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah on March 31, 2004.

"I think that Blackwater has brought in Kenneth Starr to somehow leverage a political connection to help them succeed in a case where they can't win on the merits," says Marc Miles, an attorney for the families of the Blackwater contractors.

Starr takes over from Blackwater’s’s previous counsel, Greenberg Traurig, the influential Washington law firm that once employed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

"They bring in all these big-time lawyers from nationwide firms with hundreds of attorneys. Blackwater is really painting this David and Goliath picture themselves."

In the lawsuit, originally filed in January 2005 in state court in North Carolina, the families of the men argue that Blackwater cut corners in the interest of profits, and sent the men into Fallujah without proper personnel, armored vehicles and adequate weapons.

The men were ambushed, their vehicles burned and their charred bodies hung from a bridge. The incident sparked the first US siege of Fallujah, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Iraqis and the destruction of the city.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061113/whitewater_to_blackwater

In a major blow to one of the most infamous war profiteers operating in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, a federal appeals court has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the mercenary firm Blackwater USA can proceed in North Carolina's state courts.

The suit was brought by the families of the four Blackwater contractors ambushed and killed in Falluja, Iraq on March 31, 2004. Blackwater had tried to have the same case dismissed or moved to federal court."I've been bawling ever since I've heard the decision," says Katy Helvenston, whose son Scott was killed in Falluja, his charred body hung from a bridge. "It's been overwhelming.

I am so glad that they ruled this way. Blackwater has stalled and stalled.

Look at the hundreds of millions of dollars in profits in Iraq and New Orleans they've made since my son was killed. It's time to go to trial and let the chips fall where they may."

The lawsuit, filed in January 2005, alleges that Blackwater cut corners in the interest of profits, leading to the brutal deaths of the four men: Scott Helvenston, Jerko "Jerry" Zovko, Mike Teague and Wes Batalona. "

It has now been more than a year and a half since the lawsuit was filed, and Blackwater has managed to stall and frustrate the litigation," Marc Miles, an attorney for the families, told me. "I anticipate that this matter will now be on a fast track to trial, and believe that a jury will ultimately find Blackwater liable for its wrongful conduct in causing the deaths of these four Americans."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060911/blackwater_shot_down

While the Bush Administration calls for the immediate disbanding of what it has labeled "private" and "illegal" militias in Lebanon and Iraq, it is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into its own global private mercenary army tasked with protecting US officials and institutions overseas.

The secretive program, which spans at least twenty-seven countries, has been an incredible jackpot for one heavily Republican-connected firm in particular:

Blackwater USA. Government records recently obtained by The Nation reveal that the Bush Administration has paid Blackwater more than $320 million since June 2004 to provide "diplomatic security" services globally.
The massive contract is the largest known to have been awarded to Blackwater to date and reveals how the Administration has elevated a once-fledgling security firm into a major profiteer in the "war on terror."

Blackwater’s’s highly lucrative "diplomatic security" contract was officially awarded under the State Department's little-known Worldwide Personal Protective Service (WPPS) program, described in State Department documents as a government initiative to protect US officials as well as "certain foreign government high level officials whenever the need arises."

A heavily redacted 2005 government audit of Blackwater's WPPS contract proposal, obtained by The Nation, reveals that Blackwater included profit in its overhead and its total costs, which would result "not only in a duplication of profit but a pyramiding of profit since in effect Blackwater is applying profit to profit."

The audit also found that the company tried to inflate its profits by representing different Blackwater divisions as wholly separate companies.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060828/scahill

It is one of the most infamous incidents of the war in Iraq: On March 31, 2004, four private American security contractors get lost and end up driving through the center of Falluja, a hotbed of Sunni resistance to the US occupation. Shortly after entering the city, they get stuck in traffic, and their small convoy is ambushed. Several armed men approach the two vehicles and open fire from behind, repeatedly shooting the men at point-blank range.

Within moments, their bodies are dragged from the vehicles and a crowd descends on them, tearing them to pieces. Eventually, their corpses are chopped and burned. The remains of two of the men are strung up on a bridge over the Euphrates River and left to dangle.

The gruesome image is soon beamed across the globe.In the Oval Office the killings were taken as "a challenge to America's resolve," according to the Los Angeles Times.

President Bush issued a statement through his spokesperson. "We will not be intimidated," he said. "We will finish the job." Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt vowed, "We will be back in Falluja.... We will hunt down the criminals.... It's going to be deliberate. It will be precise, and it will be overwhelming."

Within days of the ambush, US forces laid siege to Falluja, beginning what would be one of the most brutal and sustained US operations of the occupation.For most people, the gruesome killings were the first they had ever heard of Blackwater USA, a small, North Carolina-based private security company.

Since the Falluja incident, and also because of it, Blackwater has emerged as one of the most successful and profitable security contractors operating in Iraq.

The company and its secretive, mega-millionaire, right-wing Christian founder, Erik Prince, position Blackwater as a patriotic extension of the US military, and its employees are required to take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution.

After the killings, Blackwater released a statement saying the "heinous mistreatment of our friends exhibits the extraordinary conditions under which we voluntarily work to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people.... Our tasks are dangerous and while we feel sadness for our fallen colleagues, we also feel pride and satisfaction that we are making a difference for the people of Iraq."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060508/scahill

Jamie Wilson in New OrleansMonday September 12, 2005The Guardian

Hundreds of mercenaries have descended on New Orleans to guard the property of the city's millionaires from looters.The heavily armed men, employed by private military companies including Blackwater and ISI, are part of the militarisation of a city which had a reputation for being one of the most relaxed and easy-going in America.

After scenes of looting and lawlessness in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans has turned into an armed camp, patrolled by thousands of local, state and federal law enforcement officers, as well as 70,000 national guard troops and active-duty soldiers now based in the region.

Blackwater, one of the fastest-growing private security firms in the world, which achieved global prominence last year when four of its men were killed and their bodies mutilated in the Iraqi city of Falluja, has set up camp in the back garden of a vast mansion in the wealthy Uptown district of the city.

David Reagan, 52, a semi-retired US army colonel from Huntsville, Alabama, who fought in the first Gulf war and is commander of Blackwater's operations in the city, refused to say how many men he had in New Orleans but indicated it was in the hundreds.

Asked if they had encountered many looters so far, Mr Reagan said that the sight of his heavily armed men - a pump action shotgun was propped against the wall near to where he was standing - was enough to put most people off.

Two Israeli mercenaries from ISI, another private military company, were guarding Audubon Place, a gated community. Wearing bulletproof vests, they were carrying M16 assault rifles.Gill, 40, and Yovi, 42, who refused to give their surnames, said they were army veterans of the Israeli war in Lebanon, but had been living in Houston for 17 years.

They had been hired by Jimmy Reiss, a descendant of an old New Orleans family who made his fortune selling electronic systems to shipbuilders. They had been flown by private jet to Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, and then helicoptered to Audubon Place, they said."I spoke to one of the other owners on the telephone earlier in the week," Yovi said. "I told him how the water had stopped just at the back gate.

God watches out for the rich people, I guess."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/katrina/story/0,16441,1567656,00.html

Posted by mrspickles on January 26th, 2007Our mercenaries in Iraq

The president relies on thousands of private soldiers with little oversight, a disturbing example of the military-industrial complex.

By Jeremy Scahill, JEREMY SCAHILL is a fellow at the Nation Institute and the author of the forthcoming “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.”January 25, 2007

http://mrspickles.wordpress.com/2007/01/26/blackwater-mercenaries

Our mercenaries in IraqThe president relies on thousands of private soldiers with little oversight, a disturbing example of the military-industrial complex.

By Jeremy Scahill, JEREMY SCAHILL is a fellow at the Nation Institute and the author of the forthcoming "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army."January 25, 2007

AS PRESIDENT BUSH took the podium to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, there were five American families receiving news that has become all too common: Their loved ones had been killed in Iraq. But in this case, the slain were neither "civilians," as the news reports proclaimed, nor were they U.S. soldiers. They were highly trained mercenaries deployed to Iraq by a secretive private military company based in North Carolina — Blackwater USA.

The company made headlines in early 2004 when four of its troops were ambushed and burned in the Sunni hotbed of Fallouja — two charred, lifeless bodies left to dangle for hours from a bridge. That incident marked a turning point in the war, sparked multiple U.S. sieges of Fallouja and helped fuel the Iraqi resistance that haunts the occupation to this day.

Now, Blackwater is back in the news, providing a reminder of just how privatized the war has become. On Tuesday, one of the company's helicopters was brought down in one of Baghdad's most violent areas. The men who were killed were providing diplomatic security under Blackwater's $300-million State Department contract, which dates to 2003 and the company's initial no-bid contract to guard administrator L. Paul Bremer III in Iraq.

Current U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who is also protected by Blackwater, said he had gone to the morgue to view the men's bodies, asserting the circumstances of their deaths were unclear because of "the fog of war."

Bush made no mention of the downing of the helicopter during his State of the Union speech. But he did address the very issue that has made the war's privatization a linchpin of his Iraq policy — the need for more troops. The president called on Congress to authorize an increase of about 92,000 active-duty troops over the next five years. He then slipped in a mention of a major initiative that would represent a significant development in the U.S. disaster response/reconstruction/war machine: a Civilian Reserve Corps.

"Such a corps would function much like our military Reserve. It would ease the burden on the armed forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them," Bush declared.

This is precisely what the administration has already done, largely behind the backs of the American people and with little congressional input, with its revolution in military affairs. Bush and his political allies are using taxpayer dollars to run an outsourcing laboratory. Iraq is its Frankenstein monster.

Already, private contractors constitute the second-largest "force" in Iraq. At last count, there were about 100,000 contractors in Iraq, of which 48,000 work as private soldiers, according to a Government Accountability Office report. These soldiers have operated with almost no oversight or effective legal constraints and are an undeclared expansion of the scope of the occupation.

Many of these contractors make up to $1,000 a day, far more than active-duty soldiers. What's more, these forces are politically expedient, as contractor deaths go uncounted in the official toll. The president's proposed Civilian Reserve Corps was not his idea alone. A privatized version of it was floated two years ago by Erik Prince, the secretive, mega-millionaire, conservative owner of Blackwater USA and a man who for years has served as the Pied Piper of a campaign to repackage mercenaries as legitimate forces.

In early 2005, Prince — a major bankroller of the president and his allies — pitched the idea at a military conference of a "contractor brigade" to supplement the official military."There's consternation in the [Pentagon] about increasing the permanent size of the Army," Prince declared. Officials "want to add 30,000 people, and they talked about costs of anywhere from $3.6 billion to $4 billion to do that. Well, by my math, that comes out to about $135,000 per soldier."

He added: "We could do it certainly cheaper."

And Prince is not just a man with an idea; he is a man with his own army. Blackwater began in 1996 with a private military training camp "to fulfill the anticipated demand for government outsourcing."

Today, its contacts run from deep inside the military and intelligence agencies to the upper echelons of the White House. It has secured a status as the elite Praetorian Guard for the global war on terror, with the largest private military base in the world, a fleet of 20 aircraft and 20,000 soldiers at the ready.

From Iraq and Afghanistan to the hurricane-ravaged streets of New Orleans to meetings with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about responding to disasters in California, Blackwater now envisions itself as the FedEx of defense and homeland security operations.

Such power in the hands of one company, run by a neo-crusader bankroller of the president, embodies the "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned against in 1961.

Further privatizing the country's war machine — or inventing new back doors for military expansion with fancy names like the Civilian Reserve Corps — will represent a devastating blow to the future of American democracy.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-cahill25jan25,0,7395303.story?track=tothtml

Earthside Comments: Below is a link and excerpts from an important artricle by Jeremy Scahill on the largest private army in the United States.Blackwater, Inc. -- the people behind it, its supporters in the Bush regime and the philosophy that rationalize its existence -- are direct threats to freedom and democracy in our Republic.

We are seeing the danger of private militias in Iraq right now ... and private armies have been important ingrediants in the rise of almost every totalitarian government in modern times.

And ... Bush wants this dangerous idea made a part of the national military! Yet more evidence of the fascistic tendencies of the Bushites and radical Republicans.


Our Mercenaries in Iraq Jeremy Scahill/Los Angeles Times


As President Bush took the podium to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, there were five American families receiving news that has become all too common: Their loved ones had been killed in Iraq. But in this case, the slain were neither "civilians," as the news reports proclaimed, nor were they U.S. soldiers. They were highly trained mercenaries deployed to Iraq by a secretive private military company based in North Carolina — Blackwater USA..


Blackwater is back in the news, providing a reminder of just how privatized the war has become. On Tuesday, one of the company's helicopters was brought down in one of Baghdad's most violent areas. The men who were killed were providing diplomatic security under Blackwater's $300-million State Department contract, which dates to 2003 and the company's initial no-bid contract to guard administrator L. Paul Bremer III in Iraq. Current U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who is also protected by Blackwater.


Bush made no mention of the downing of the helicopter during his State of the Union speech. But he did address the very issue that has made the war's privatization a linchpin of his IraqU.S. disaster response/reconstruction/war machine: a Civilian Reserve Corps. policy — the need for more troops. The president called on Congress to authorize an increase of about 92,000 active-duty troops over the next five years. He then slipped in a mention of a major initiative that would represent a significant development in the idea.


"Such a corps would function much like our military Reserve. It would ease the burden on the armed forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them," Bush declared. This is precisely what the administration has already done, largely behind the backs of the American people and with little congressional input, with its revolution in military affairs. Bush and his political allies are using taxpayer dollars to run an outsourcing laboratory. Iraq is its Frankenstein monster.


Already, private contractors constitute the second-largest "force" in Iraq. At last count, there were about 100,000 contractors in Iraq, of which 48,000 work as private soldiers, according to a Government Accountability Office report. These soldiers have operated with almost no oversight or effective legal constraints and are an undeclared expansion of the scope of the occupation.


he president's proposed Civilian Reserve Corps was not his idea alone. A privatized version of it was floated two years ago by Erik Prince, the secretive, mega-millionaire, conservative owner of Blackwater USA and a man who for years has served as the Pied Piper of a campaign to repackage mercenaries as legitimate forces. In early 2005, Prince — a major bankroller of the president and his allies — pitched the idea at a military conference of a "contractor brigade" to supplement the official military.


And Prince is not just a man with an idea; he is a man with his own army. Blackwater began in 1996 with a private military training camp "to fulfill the anticipated demand for government outsourcing." Today, its contacts run from deep inside the military and intelligence agencies to the upper echelons of the White House. It has secured a status as the elite Praetorian Guard for the global war on terror, with the largest private military base in the world, a fleet of 20 aircraft and 20,000 soldiers at the ready.


Further privatizing the country's war machine — or inventing new back doors for military expansion with fancy names like the Civilian Reserve Corps — will represent a devastating blow to the future of American democracy.


Link: Blackwater's Top Brass Virginian-Pilot

A July 24, 2006 report on the main players of the Blackwater private army.

http://www.blackwaterusa.com/btw2006/archive/011507btw.html

The Emergence of a New Dog of War: Private International Security Companies, International Law, and the New World Disorder

JUAN CARLOS ZARATE* http://sjil.stanford.edu/zarate.pdf
American Hegemony or Global Governance? Competing Visionsof International Security

ELKE KRAHMANN Department of Politics, University of Bristol, U.K.
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1468-2486.2005.00531.x?cookieSet=1

Outsourcing War: Mercenaries and the Privatization of Peacekeeping STEVEN BRAYTON “If other nations, individually or collectively, are not willing to contribute to multilateral peacekeeping or peacemaking forces, why should a state not have the right to hire a force able to keep order?”

Blackwater Faces California Protest

New Troubles For Blackwater USA

Blackwater The $40 million Question

Kikos House

Wikipedia Give the content a good look Internally



The Next Jihadists: Iraq's Lost Children (Report From Falluja)The Question In the End will be: “What The Hell Did We Think We Were Doing?”Ammar will tell you he's proud to be carrying a gun. His father was a brigadier in Saddam Hussein's Army, a man who saw combat in his country's several wars, and from an early age Ammar had accompanied him to the shooting range.

"I got used to the sound of guns then," Ammar says. So he was ready, last fall, when the imam in his Baghdad neighborhood urged residents to take up arms against the invader-who in this case happened to be members of a Shiite militia trying to push into the predominantly Sunni area. Ammar joined the neighborhood watch, a ragtag bunch of men who stand guard nightly at improvised roadblocks and rooftop observation posts.

In mid-October Ammar fought his first big battle against soldiers from the Mahdi Army-"the garbage collectors and robbers," as he contemptuously refers to the Shiite militia. He says he put his Kalashnikov assault rifle to good use: "I think I injured or even killed two of them. Our group killed more than six of them that night."

Ammar is 17 years old. A tall, thin boy with a beard just starting up, he has already seen far more of the dark side of life than anyone really should. As the grisly toll of Baghdad's death squads spiked last fall, he helped out in the room at his local mosque where bodies are ritually washed before they are buried. Some corpses had been burned with chemicals. Limbs had been cut off, eyes torn out.

One day at the beginning of November, a neighbor of Ammar's, a college student and fellow Sunni, disappeared at an impromptu checkpoint set up by the Mahdi Army. When the neighbor's body finally turned up at the mosque for burial, Ammar saw that he had been beheaded. (He recognized his friend from the clothing.) "I ran into the garden and threw up," Ammar says. Then he vowed revenge.

Sectarian warfare is reshaping Iraq in all sorts of malevolent ways day in and day out. But it is also forging the future by poisoning the next generation of Iraqis. Like many of its neighbors, Iraq is a young country: nearly half the population is under the age of 18. And those children have had a particularly turbulent upbringing.

Kids like Ammar were born in the aftermath of one debilitating war, against neighboring Iran, then suffered two others and years of impoverishing sanctions in between. They are especially vulnerable to the demons that now grip Iraq. Hassan Ali, a sociologist at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, estimates that at least 1 million Iraqi kids have seen their lives damaged by the war-they've lost parents and homes, watched as their communities have been torn apart by sectarian furies.

"These children will come to believe in the principles of force and violence," says Ali. "There's no question that society as a whole is going to feel the effects in the future"-and not only Iraqi society.

From the Middle East to Europe to America, violence may well beget violence around the world for years to come.

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