Investigate. Now.

Several have already pointed to this story, and one even has direct experience with the mercenaries at Blackwater. But when I wrote this yesterday, I had no idea this was happening on the ground in Iraq.

It is time to shut down this mercenary army. Please contact David Price today and tell him Congress should stop funding mercenaries to do the jobs our military is supposed to be doing.

Employees of Blackwater USA, a private security firm under contract to the State Department, opened fire on the streets of Baghdad twice in two days last week, and one of the incidents provoked a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

Do it. Contact David Price now.


Comments

Thanks.

I "done" too.

Done, and Done

And as usual in my case, probably over done.

But I don't care any more. I have HAD it!

Done, too.

n/t

I see why these guys are over there

I dont like the idea that:
they are not part of the military or fall under there control.

Not sure what department they are under, but having two groups of good guys fighting near each other without any kind of briefing about mission etc is a serious blue on blue potential.

The people of Iraq probably do not know these guys from the military which means if these guys do something that is not in-line with what the military are doing, the people of Iraq will say it is the military doing this, or American military, or Coolition forces. I dont want these guys ruining what the military is trying to do over there.

These guys can do what they feel is correct. They do not have to worry about the consiquences of their actions as it relates to the overall goals and objectives in Iraq.

These guys are there to perform a mission of protection for the private company paying them. If they feel threatened, they can and did shoot with deadly intent. The military will hold fire for as long as required/possible. Blackwater will hold for a while, but if they feel threatened, then all bets are off. These civilians mental state is survival at the expence of all else. The military guy will do a trade off first with survival equal two but not at extremis of.

So my comment about all this is these blackwater folks do not have the engrained training of protecting themselfs AND the local population when confronting a potential advisary. When they pull their triggers, it is them first and if the local citizens of Iraq get hit, its not their problem.

The military do not feel this way.

If blackwater is not over there, the military would have to take on more of these protection missions.

Are these guys causing more problems then good over there?

Seeings how they do not do post mission briefs to the military, we have no clue how many Iraqies have been killed by them or how many blackwater or other civilian hired guns have been killed. But you can bet your bottom dollar that every action they do toward the Iraq population is attributed to the American military guy.

That is a major problem for our mission over there.

Defunding Blackwater <> Not Supporting Our Troops

It occurs to me that the right could not accuse Dems of not supporting the troops if we voted to remove support for Blackwater simply because they are not our troops in the normal sense. In other words, it should be politically possible.

That said, I suspect that Blackwater would still get funding through third parties needing "security", etc. I wonder if it's even possible to defund them.

-- ge

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo
http://george.entenman.name

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo
https://george.entenman.name

I Think They Did

voted to remove support for Blackwater

or they are working on it. This was a supplemental bill - the only kind the a**hat in chief has used so far, IIRC.

And you're right -

I wonder if it's even possible to defund them.

There are some black ops budgets that are so deep I wonder if more than a few (like 10 or 12) people even know what they are funding.

Transparency in Government - NOW.

It is possible through legislation..

to prevent this kind of mercenary force to exist in America. At the moment the US Government is funding about 126,000 mercenary forces in Iraq! That in essence really doubles the fighters we actually have there.!!! The difference is, the military is bound by the UCMJ and the mercenaries are bound only by the need collect a check.
The Blackwater like groups are scarring the American reputation all over the world. They are commiting acts of barbarism under the guise of American security fighters.

They are, in some cases, doing more damage to the American Military than the insugency itself. We cannot know how many American Military men and women have been killed or injured by Iraqis who were themselves firt injured or otherwise hurt by Black water and thier kind.

Unlike other security groups operating in Iraq, Black water is not even registered with the Iraqi Government!!! The implication in this is that they are being santioned by the US Military.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I don't even want to defund them, necessarily.

I just want them to be subject to the same regulations, laws, and oversight to which our official military is subject. I want them to have to answer to We the People when they do something wrong. I want them subject to the Geneva Conventions, no matter how "quaint" the A.G. thinks they might be.
_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Oh, Really?

"This secretive army is said to have as many as 20,000 mercenaries trained by a company started by a Christain fundamentalist fighting and killing in Iraq. Some estimate there are as many as 70,000 ..."
[from A's link]

[from an email I sent]
"Blackwater IS a private army. Rendition flights were taking place out of my local (rural) airport. And how about those 'no-bid' contracts? Going to folks with no prior experience in providing said services.

The National Guard - I can dig it. Mercenaries that make 8x the pay of our combat soldiers - NOT.

Yep, the crazies in Waco did barricade themselves - the government accused them of being private militias ... lots of fuzzy math and worse logic going on here."

[from a email I received]

"Erik Prince, 37, Blackwater's ambitious founder and sole owner,...was a
White House intern under Bush's father.....His family have long been
GOP donors; his sister Betsy Prince DeVos [can you say Amway?/big
Republican bucks?] chaired the Michigan Republican Party."

[edited from someone you know]

I have long suspected that Blackwater Security and L. Paul Bremer
(what's his nickname? Scooter? Pookie?) were responsible for the
insurgency in Iraq and subsequently the death of my son, Casey. I am
reading Jeremy Scahill's new book: Blackwater and it is doing nothing
to
decrease my suspicions, only confirm them.
Bremer arrived in Iraq in 2003 to oversee reconstruction and the
occupation {edit} to BushCo and the war profiteers. He
surrounded himself with a virtual small army ("Praetorian Guard", as
Scahill calls them) of Blackwater security personnel; two helicopters;
armored humvees; and armored SUVs. He traveled from place to place
heavily guarded, as a hated, marked man, while Casey (a motor pool
driver and mechanic) was sent to do battle in the back of a wide open
trailer.

Bremer's devastating "Orders" disbanding the Republican Guard…causing
400,000 former armed soldiers to hate and target the US
; he began
de-Baathification which let go myriads of professionals who could help
with putting the Bush-torn country back together
and the mere fact he
slunk out of the country, secretly, under the cover of darkness with
almost 9 billion reconstruction dollars missing
only increased Iraqi
hatred of Americans.

So Punky Bremer, {edit} is awarded the Presidential
Medal of Freedom
for totally making FUBAR of the occupation and
escalating an insurgency by allowing Blackwater to run rampant over the
citizens of Iraq. In one horrible instance, a Blackwater employee brags
about using a bullet that can pierce through armor, but when it gets
into a body it explodes and does horrible damage. He was really proud
of
himself when he shot someone in the ass who died from internal
injuries.
Blackwater agents randomly kill innocent Iraqis with impunity because
Bremer also issued an order that they could not be held accountable for
killing innocent Iraqis, unlike our soldiers who are subject to the
Uniform Code of Military Justice.[this may have since been changed]

So, on March 31st, 2004, the residents of Fallujah, who were already
mad
at America for a "stray" bomb during the first Gulf War that missed a
bridge and hit an apartment complex, killing and injuring dozens of
residents, were already fed up with the oppressive occupation of Iraq,
Buster Bremer and Blackwater, who strut around like cocks of the walk
with their Oakley sunglasses and sub-machine guns. On that fateful day,
four security agents were killed, burned and hung from a bridge in
Fallujah. I don't condone or support those killings and my heart aches
for their families…and for the families of Fallujah who have been
devastated (time and again) by Bush and his cronies. On that day,
Sporty
Bremer instituted oppressive measures against the Fallujans and Moqtada
al-Sadr called for ambushes on American soldiers. That's as far as I
have gotten in the book…

Enter Spc. Casey Sheehan. On the fateful day of March 31st, he began a
letter to us, because he finally knew where we could write to him. He
never finished the letter or sent it to us. We got it back with his
"personal effects" from Iraq. He said that they had an uneventful
convoy
to Baghdad from Kuwait and that they were looking forward to a pretty
"smooth year" because "only two" soldiers from the unit that they were
replacing were killed the previous year. He also said something that
broke my heart and will haunt me until I die.

He called me from Kuwait one day before his unit convoyed to Iraq. It
was about noon his time and after midnight our time. I was thrilled to
hear his voice and I would have kept him talking forever if I knew it
was the last time I would hear from him. But in his letter, he
expressed
his doubts that I would remember the conversation because I was half
asleep. How could my boy think I would forget that he called me? {edit}

Anyway, on April 04, 2004, his unit got the call that some soldiers had
been trapped in one of the insurgent's ambushes. Casey's sergeant was
told to put together a Quick Response Force to go help them. There was
no room in the back of that open trailer for Casey, but he made a
private get out, pulling rank on him. His sergeant. told him: "Sheehan
you don't have to go." "Where my sergeant goes, I go," Casey replied.
Well, Casey and 6 other soldiers…5 from the first Cavalry like Casey,
and one, Michael Mitchell from the First Armored Division who only had
one week left in Iraq were killed in an ambush on the way to rescue the
other soldiers that were ambushed. Eight soldiers were killed that day
in Baghdad, and from reports I have heard from two un-embedded
reporters
that were there: scores of innocent Iraqis were killed in a First
Cavalry bloodbath retaliation.

{edit}

My courageous, sweet, honorable, honest, funny, irreplaceable Casey is
dead so companies like Blackwater, Halliburton, KBR, Exxon, Raytheon,
etc can rape the American taxpayers. But can it be rape when the
partner
is willing?

I am outraged that Congress expediently buys into Bush's evil rhetoric
that voting to cut off the funding will not be supporting the troops!
THE TROOPS AREN'T GETTING THE MONEY! Blackwater security agents make
more in two days in Iraq than our troops do in a month. Blackwater
security agents are better equipped and armored than our troops. Our
troops are dying guarding pipelines and Halliburton convoys.

I am angry for 3200 other wonderful lives cut short like Casey's and I
am angry that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, because L. Paul
did his job of increasing the insurgency well and was rewarded
handsomely for it.

The people who say I am angry are correct. I am also angry that there
is
not sufficient fury in this country to get our citizens to demand that
Congress pull back the money from the war profiteers and bring our
troops home.

I am especially enraged that BushCo are still in power: reigning free
to
commit any crimes impervious to all slings and arrows. I am sick of
waiting for the time when BushCo's "Get out of jail free" card expires.

When will the nightmare end?

I suspect never, as long as the Military Industrial Complex is running
roughshod over every branch of our government with the silent
complicity
of the American public.

[from democraticdiscussions]

In early 2007, Germany indicted three Aero pilots who flew an innocent citizen to Afghanistan for torture. Khaled El-Masri, a German of Lebanese descent, was snatched away while on family vacation, and his family did not know where he was for five months. After even more months of torture at CIA hands in Afghanistan, El-Masri was expeditiously dumped in Macedonia. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice weakly apologized as she admitted he was falsely accused. The American Civil Liberties Union has represented El-Masri in two suits against our government for kidnapping and torture. Two courts have bowed to U.S. government pressure and have not dealt with the merits of the case, citing state secrets that must be protected. Our federal government refuses to comply with the German indictments, and is protecting their CIA pilots, who operate under aliases.

Three of these Aero pilots live in Johnston County. Their identities were made clear by Los Angeles Times investigation and verified by investigation of the NC-based Institute of Southern Studies. So, with today’s action, NC Stop Torture Now has continued the collective exposé of extraordinary rendition and our state’s complicity. Today’s witness follows our letters to Aero and Global TransPark leaders, to NC legislators, to the Governor, to the state SBI, and to the Attorney General, asking for a NC SBI inquiry into Aero’s documented criminal actions. At this point, the investigation sits with the Charlotte office of the FBI. Attorney General Roy Cooper sent our files about Aero to the FBI after 22 NC legislators asked him to have SBI look into Aero’s legal violations. Mr. Cooper claimed the state did not have jurisdiction, but the FBI did. We as citizens are watching our government default and punt on our national involvement with torture. We persist in looking for ways to display and end this atrocity.

Yeah, really.

I want Congress, the FBI, the DOJ (pausing to spit on the ground), and whoever else has possible jurisidiction to do their job and investigate the shit out of this. I want the true evildoers brought to justice.

But I don't want all government contracts ended just because of this, and that's what I'm afraid would happen.

_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Gotcha

But I don't want all government contracts ended just because of this, and that's what I'm afraid would happen.

Anything's a possibility but I don't see it. There are just too darn many of them.

I'm all for a 'revolution'; an implosion - not so much. ;)

That's a gotcha?

Girlfriend, you need more sleep.

I want them brought to justice. I want real, honest to goddam American justice the way it's supposed to be.

But I"m not for throwing out the baby with the blackwater. There are contractors in Iraq right now who are not doing black ops - they are doing laundry, for gods sake. The soldiers are busy enough. Let's make sure that there is someone there to wash their damn underpants for them, ok?
_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Not That Kind Of Gotcha

The 10-4 kind of gotcha.

And as for laundry detail & food service -

The REMF crap we had in 'Nam looks like total equality comparitvely speaking.

Some folks get good chow; some get scrounge. Some guys get their clothes washed; LOL. There are slide shows on the one link A gave to Parm. Ask him about laundry.

I saw one video (I think Iraq for Sale) $100 for a bag of laundry done. And IIRC - he had it deducted from his pay!

not taken from pay

just only way for soldiers to get clothes washed is to use this service which charges $99 a bag to the government.

in the philpeans,(gads sp) folks do sailors whole seabag worth of laundry, cleaned, pressed, folded, etc for like $10.

there, your whites in one bag, colored in another, good for about 1 weeks worth of laundry.

civilian run (holybertian????????) laundry service. yea, its a service alright. what a rip off.

That would be ok

when you're not in a combat zone.

But for goodness sake - these people are putting their lives on the line - whether I agree with the reason for them being there or not, they ought not to have to worry about the laundry, and no matter who pays for it, it shouldn't cost $100 dollars a bag for a weeks worth of laundry. Geebus.
_____________
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

We could never end all contracts

a huge amount of the government is fully outsourced. All sorts of stuff that used to be done by government employees is now in the hands of private enterprise.

I'd mostly like to see us not hiring people to carry guns that soldiers could otherwise carry. And if we don't have enough soldiers to do the job, well, we probably shouldn't be having those wars in the first place.

Why David Price?

Is he on a particularly relevant committee?

Blackwater, btw, is in Moyock, in the 1st district.

If you haven't seen Robert Greenwald's gut-wrenching documentary Iraq for Sale, I highly recommened that you take some time out to do so. You can watch it at Google Video: Iraq for Sale

Re: unique's comments, I just popped over to NC Stop Torture Now. I live in Clayton and I had no idea what was going on at Johnston County Airport. *shamed* Maybe this bit of local atrocity will help me get through to some people I've been talking to who still can't seem to be bothered with politics these days. "Look, guys, see that little plane? The airport it flew from has sent prisoners to other countries to be tortured. Just a few miles away from here. How does that square with your American values?"

Three reasons

1. He's got a decent committee assignment. Appropriations Committee (sub = Homeland Security)
2. He's already expressed interest in reining in contractors.
3. He gets stuff done. He jumped on the OLF like jumping on snakes, even though it's out of district.

Plus he's my Congressman.

Feel free to go after any of them, including Butterfield (after all it's his district), but I don't expect much from anyone besides Price, Watt and Miller. Butterfield, McIntyre and Etheridge voted to keep funding the occupation - and I don't waste my time talking to Republicans about accountability.

I may have this wrong, but all is know is to go with my gut.

yup

he is the ONLY rep from NC on the appropriations comm.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

just gotta

be a young whipper snapper

Financial Services Committee
Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises
Housing and Community Opportunity

Committee on Science
Subcommittee on Environment, Technology, and Standards
Subcommittee on Space
Subcommittee on Research

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

That, I am not

More like an old slipper flapper.

:)

And Foreign Affairs

He's on three committees

Lovex7

hmm

maybe Anglico is right.

I just copied that straight from his webpage.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

I wrote David Price too

And I agree that he can make things happen on this front. This is more than an embarrassment to NC and the nation. These guys are America to the Iraqis. We need to cast a bright light on who they are, to whom they are accountable, and what rules govern their behavior.

Rep Price

He is the Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

Whatever you do -

Just do it.

Contents of my next email to Congressman Price:

As a veteran, I am very disturbed, no, enraged that the Iraq conflict and subsequent occupation continues - years after "mission accomplished" has been declared.

I never paid much mind to Memorial Day or Veteran's Day because I usually had to WORK.

This bothers me:

"In Mosul, in 2003, it felt like we were making the city a better place," he said. "There was no sectarian violence, Saddam was gone, we were tracking down the bad guys. It felt awesome."

But now on his third deployment in Iraq, he is no longer a believer in the mission. The pivotal moment came, he says, this past February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber's body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army.

"I thought, 'What are we doing here? Why are we still here?' " said Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. "We're helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us."

His views are echoed by most of his fellow soldiers in Delta Company, renowned for its aggressiveness.

I'm sure it bothers you as well. How can I help you make it bother a whole lot more people in these great United States?

I just heard

this program the other day on Free Speech TV (law, I love Dish). I've got a copy of the Jeremy Scahill interview podcast on my server. Here's the URL.

If you don't have Dish Network, you might want to think about it. They rate well in BuyBlue (well, far better than DirecTV which is a Murdoch entity to be avoided at all costs). Dish carries Free Speech TV and Link TV. Jeremy Scahill has been interviewed on both and if you check the links, you'll find some good information (you will probably wish you didn't know) about Blackwater and Scallywagburton.

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

Spew Alert

Listen to the 'commander guy' expound on Blackwater.

(for a warm fuzzy feeling ... like a tarantula in your underwear drawer)

I wonder what answer we'd get today?

Inpeach the son of a bitch

nough said

I would say more, but dont want secret service crashing down my door.

he makes jokes about what this entire thread is talking about. He totally blew off the question asker.

Is it because she was a girl? She sounded young, because she was a young girl is our senior reprsentitive of the legislative branch (he does not deserve to be called by his true title) basically making a mockery of her question? Is this how that creature thinks? He dam sure is not an American.

this thing is making a travisty of the seat he sets in and he thought it was funny??

I dont care when he made these statements. This tells me he is allowing those people overthere with no freaking oversite.