Monday, June 11, 2007

More on Mercenaries, "Security Contractors"...

Yeah, so I'm guessing that this week's 'toon is about the zillionth "Bush as Darth Vader" parody you've seen, but I've had Star Wars on the brain lately. Partly because of all the 30th anniversary crap on TV, but also because I've been playing the demo for "Lego Star Wars" on my Mac (where you reenact the movies in a world made of Legos). Totally freakin' addictive game... and the little cut-scenes, with the SW characters as stubby little Lego people, are hilarious.

Here's some articles:
  • There are currently 100,000 civilian contractors operating in Iraq, which is approaching the number of U.S. soldiers there. The so-called "security contractors" there are operating virtually free of any kind of oversight or accountability, and until recently, were not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    Jeremy Scahill is "the man" when it comes to investigating this subject. Check out two articles of his on Iraq, and two articles on the use of Blackwater mercenaries in post-Katrina New Orleans.

    Johann Hari also has an excellent column on this topic:
    In April 2004, mercenaries working for a private militia named Blackwater were guarding US occupation headquarters in Najaf when a protest by Shia Iraqi civilians began to stir outside. According to the Washington Post and eyewitnesses, Blackwater opened fire on the protesters, unleashing so many rounds so rapidly they had to pause every 15 minutes to allow their gun barrels to cool down. A video of this attack made it on to the Web, where a mercenary can be seen describing the Iraqis they are gunning down as "fuckin' niggers".

    He also notes that mercenaries in Iraq have been allowed to use "experimental ammunition" that the military is forbidden from using. The bullets are made from "blended metal" so as to leave wounds that are "untreatable." Nice.

  • So we have mass murder by psycho racist mercenaries... anything else?

    Check out a previous post and cartoon on war profiteering, inspired by Robert Greenwald's documentary, Iraq For Sale.

    See also an AP article on a lawsuit against Blackwater by the families of mercenaries killed in Iraq, which alleges that the men were killed because they were not given proper armor (Blackwater has successfully moved the suit into private arbitration).

    Of course, there's the involvement of CACI Int'l in documented cases of torture.

    The ACLU is currently suing Boeing, alleging the company has facilitated the shipping of detainees to secret CIA prisons.

    And, Zia Mian writes that some contractors have violated laws banning human trafficking in the shipping of laborers to Iraq to do the slop work.

    All paid for by you and I, the taxpayers.

  • I also previously posted on this column by Chris Hedges, where he argues that the radical Christian Right's infiltration of the military and police "signals the final and perhaps most deadly stage in the long campaign... to dismantle America's open society and build a theocratic state." When I first read this, I was a little skeptical, and I felt he was taking the argument a bit far. No more.

    The Founder of Blackwater is a right-wing, Christian conservative named Erik Prince, who is extremely well-connected within the Republican party. Reading Scahill's column on Blackwater's activites in post-K New Orleans, you have to wonder if you're going to be seeing mercenary "security contractors" coming soon to a street near you.


Blue Ibis said...

Fine wall of Shame you have there! Thanks for bringing this collection together. Here's another article to add to the Blackwater file. We all know what they are really about:

"Blackwater, a North Carolina company that is now one of the most profitable military contractors operating in Iraq, and proves just what a land of opportunity Iraq really is. Blackwater's president, Gary Jackson, acclaimed a "staggering" 600% growth in 2004: "This is a billion-dollar industry," he said, "and Blackwater has only scratched the surface of it."

Read the rest here:

You can find plenty more interesting material here too:


blondel93 said...

Blackwater is a Christian crusader military force. It is akin to Hitler's political army the Waffen SS. I believe that after our troops leave Iraq, Blackwater will take over and rake in billions of bucks. They will then create a revolving door with Congress and begin to do their dirty work in America as part of the campaign against terrorism which will be mainly directed at Democrats and liberal organizations.