New Rule

While I appreciate the hard work of Congressman Price to begin the long process of bringing mercenary armies under control, the legislation approved today goes not nearly far enough to mend the disastrous policies of George W. Bush.

The next step is clear.

Effective January 1, 2009

Except as specifically authorized by Congress, no contractor of the United States government or any of its agencies or departments shall be permitted to carry weapons while engaged in work for hire.

Write to Congressman Price and encourage him to help restore America's integrity and end our nation's reliance on hired killers.

Comments

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Blackwatergate, from Charlie Cray of the Center for Corporate Policy.

During yesterday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Blackwater, for instance, we heard about how a drunk Blackwater employee killed one of Iraqi Vice President Abdul-Mahdi’s bodyguards in the Green Zone on December 24.

Not only was the unnamed Blackwater employee almost immediately flown out of Iraq to avoid prosecution under the Iraqi legal system, but 10 months after the case was referred to the Department of Justice, he apparently has yet to face any charges. In fact, not one Blackwater or other private military contract employee has been charged for crimes committed in Iraq.

It’s obvious that problems like that are the inevitable result of the use of private contractors. And rather than try to regulate them (as Rep. Price has proposed in his bill — an approach that I previously endorsed but now do not because, as Jeremy Scahill has pointed out, the law would be virtually unenforceable), we need to push for a reversal of the privatization of war.

How on earth do you begin to change the whole corporate mindset of outsourcing our national interests begun by President Cheney when he was Bush One's Defense Secretary?

How?

It's easy. Pass the New Rule.

I concur..I read the Bill and I listened to the debate ...

The Bill was not at all tough enough or comprehensive in its articulation. This bill does not prohibit Contractors from being armed and it does not call for the Congressional review and concurance which would be necessary for earmarking funding authorization. All the Bill really calls for is that contractors come under the authority of the Military Chain of Command. In the meantime dozens of families are going to the funerals of their fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers, some of whom were shot in the back by Blackwater operatives who simply were told to "go Home" after having killed with impunity.

I have a significant amount of time with Blackwater. I have seen them operate and have been under their care on several occassions. They are not doing America any favors. I never felt safe in their company, in fact, I felt threatened.

If anybody tells you that Blackwater guys are acting with professional conduct and working under the same rules of engagement that the US forces are utilizing, they are either talking from ignorance, or are simply lying.

John Edwards is the ONLY Presidential Candidate who will put a stop to mercenary activity under the color of US authority.

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

James, I would love to do just that, but I need the forum which

will have the maximum exposure in North Carolina. If I were to use the Blue for the purpose of hitting Jones, I would be talking to my greatest supporters.

I need to hit him where it hurts; In the counties of Onlsow, Pit, Dare Carteret, Craven and Nash. I am hoping to have fundraisers in each, where I will be most effective in detailing his crippled definition of "Representative"..

Additionally, Jones is in a Primary battle with a retired Army Neocon. I need to stay out of their fight.
They will bloody each other pretty much befor it is over. One of them will face me. That person will lose.

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

Marshall, would your local papers love

an op-ed written by you? Or call a press conference better yet?

Have you called to support H. Res 333 Impeach Cheney Today? call 202-224-3121 & ask for your Congress member by name

Great minds!

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I offered an OP-ED to my local "Jacksonville Daily News"

but the paper is pretty "right wing" in their leanings. Never got a reply.

To this day, although many papers all over the District have recognized me as a Democratic Candidate for Congress in the 3rd District, my own home town paper has not made a single mention of it with the exception of mentioning it when they did a story about the Iraqi refugees living in my house.

When the Republican who is opposing Jones announced his candidacy here in Onslow county, he was front page. You do the math.

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

Let the Republicans have their primary.

And as soon as you have a direct opponent, it's on. We will get on a schedule of writing letters about you. We will not only write to the papers (and tv stations, etc.) in your district, but every single one in the state. We can help you organize and energize the constituency in your district. It's not that far of a drive.

I'm serious as a heart-attack. You are one of the best Democratic Candidates to emerge since ...Larry Kissell. That primary is on what - May 2? Boots on the ground on May 3.

In the meantime, write letters to the editor to smaller papers around the state. Start getting your positions out there.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Fair enough

I can't wait for the day when you hold a press conference calling him to account for his complicity in this horror.

Stay strong.

I must disagree. IMHO your rule goes too far.

Congress should not have to allow US citizens the rights guaranteed in the Constutution, in this case the 2nd amendment, on a case by case basis. If I am hired to work at an embassy or corporation, and I want to carry a firearm for personal defense or keep a pistol in my home overseas, then your rule would make it illegal. According to the language in your OP, a contractor couldn't even carry a knife.
I woud favor language that mirrors current domestic gun restrictions - background check, no assault weapons, no 30 round clips, no full autos etc.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Sorry. That doesn't cut it.

The government places all kinds of restrictions on people when they are working on its behalf. Security checks, requirements to remain silent about certain kinds of intelligence, and restrictions on the carrying and use of firearms.

I'm talking about a condition of employment - there's no infringement on rights. What you do in your "spare time" is your business.

You would restrict all weapons

Did you see this from my post?

"According to the language in your OP, a contractor couldn't even carry a knife.I woud favor language that mirrors current domestic gun restrictions - background check, no assault weapons, no 30 round clips, no full autos etc."

I have no problem with restrictions, just a ban on all weapons.

Also, if you are speaking of war zones, or some other specific circumstance, then say so.

I have concerns about proposed legislation, usually via resolutions, that is incomplete or otherwise impractical.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

You are right, if refering to the Territory of the US..but,

when referring to a contrator in a foreign overseas theater of operation, that right does not exist. A Status of Forces Agreement exist between our country and the country we are in to allow who will be armed in that foreign country. (I am talking about contractors in foreign countries where the 2nd amenndment does not apply). In IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN the US has NO Status of Froces agreement with those countries.

In any case, if a "Federal" contractor needs to be armed, then that person should not be a "contractor", but rather a "Federal Affiliate" which designates that person as a "Federal" employee for the purpose of that mission. Under that circumstance, that person is totally under Federal rules and laws and cannot be excused from that obligation by caveate or agreement.

State Department Security personnel fall under this category as federal civilians who are armed in overseas enviorments.

When on US Territory, no civilian has the right to have automatic weapons, as a tool of their trade. Collectors are licenced, but not as contractors. Allowing ANY civilian contractor, who is not a sworn State , or Federal deputy or officer , to have automatic weapons under the color of Federal authority is a recipe for desaster and the degregation to the Rule Of Law in America.

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

Nice post. Thank you for the info.

Likewise, I had no idea about the differing levels of "Contractor" vs. "Affiliate".
You are correct, the laws of the host country would take precedence and our constitution moot. So if allowed by local law, a contractor shouldn't be restricted to no weapons as stated in A.'s rule. That is my point.
I wouldn' t want any contractor to have auto's either as I mentioned previously.

State Department Security personnel fall under this category as federal civilians who are armed in overseas enviorments.

So you are ok with such persons being armed?

I guess then there is no point of contention as the folks I would be concerned about would be labeled affiliates and so able to carry arms. If that is the case, restrict contractors all you want, just be sure that no one goes into a risky situation lacking protection.
The thing is, I am not sure I would be comfortable relying on our governmental bureacracy getting my label correct so I could carry a firearm if desired.

Sorry for the ramble. Just "talking" my way through it.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Private Security Contractors are "Mercenary Soldiers"....

America has an ample Military and does not need civilian contract fighters of questionable, or any other repute. If our military has become to small to contend with world events, then we should draft again and continue the draft until our country is again in a state of peace.

Mercenaries on the streets of America is a horrible thought.

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

Would we be able

to keep the volunteer military in place if we paid soldiers, sailors and Marines even half of what mercenaries get?

Hell, yes we would.

James, My point about the draft is this......

If we began the draft again....without deferments....the elite, privledged, rich , politically connected and powerful in America would not escape the draft, exposing their children to harm. In those circumstances, we would rarly go to combat and when we did, it would not last very long.

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

I'd support that.

I support the draft.

I was just wondering how it would go without one . . . because there are lots of people who would do just about anything besides vote to re-institute a draft (for example, most Republicans).

If necessary that is the only way to do it.

... but do you think that the reality would match the expectation? The
Rich and/or the well connected can have lots of angles to play. I could see a market developing for "medical" deferments for example.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Just for the record...about 95% of the soldiers I knew in Iraq

did NOT approve of Blackwaters tactics or presence in Iraq. Blackwaters presence endangered the real soldiers. I know in Ramadi this was true. To the point that Blackwater was removed permanenetly from Ramadi. Why have we not heard about that anyway?

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

Medical Deferments would ONLY be approved by DoD Medical

Other than that, there would be little we could do, but at least America would clearly see a truth which has been denied by those groups for the past 50 years.

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

Another Blackwater story:

I followed the link from HuffPo to the SF CBS affiliate. It's in a post about DNI McConnell by Frank Viviano:

In the summer of 2005, I was on assignment in Kirkuk, the most ravaged city in Iraq after Baghdad, conducting an interview of Major Khattab Omar Arif, commander of an elite rapid-deployment police force. Without even the courtesy of a knock on the door, six men suddenly barged into Arif’s office. They gave a withering look at me and my photographer colleague, both of us clearly not Iraqis, and immediately took up positions around the room, their arms cradling automatic assault weapons outfitted with sniper scopes.

I didn’t know what the purpose of their visit was then, and I don’t know now. The six men wore no identification badges, and their leader’s only response when I asked who they were was “no questions, no photographs.”

Their “uniforms” – black t-shirts, skull-and-crossbone emblems, camouflage hunting trousers – were drawn from the violent fantasies of Hells Angel comic books and Sylvester Stallone films. Indeed, the Iraqis called them “Rambos.” They sported either shaved heads or ponytails, and their firepower gave new meaning to the term “armed to the teeth.” In addition to assault weapons, all of them had combat knives and pistols strapped to their legs, and extra pistols in shoulder holsters or tucked into the rear of their slacks.

They and their fellow contractors are the most common face of America for many Iraqis, especially outside of Baghdad, where U.S. soldiers and marines seldom leave their walled bases apart from brief, precisely targeted sorties.

The image of the United States – the image planted by thousands of private contract workers in the employ of our public agencies abroad – is a team of hitmen. An image explicitly groomed to instill fear. An image of mercenaries roaming a shattered countryside, with no names and no accountability for their acts.

This is the world that private contracting in Iraq has wrought, the unintended consequence of what Admiral McConnell characterizes as “the goodness of the American system.”

The six men sat wordlessly in Major Arif’s office throughout the interview, listening intently to my questions and his answers. They remained there when the photographer and I got up to leave. Their gun barrels followed us to the door.

 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,