Open thread: Blackwater Down

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Thank goodness for this.

The Iraqi government said Monday that it was revoking the license of an American security firm accused of involvement in the deaths of eight civilians in a firefight that followed a car bomb explosion near a State Department motorcade.

Comments

It's about time

Good for the Iraqi government. Send Erik Prince and his merry band of war-profiteers home.

That would be Erik Prince

and his merry band of Christianist war-profiteers. Not too sure the Big Guy Upstairs is on board with that bunch. And I'm pretty sure their presence and activities in Iraq quickly kill any Good Will our regular soldiers work to build up amongst the Iraqi people.

I don't know any of those Blackwater guys -- they all might pray to God like monks -- but every single news story or general report I've ever heard about them is clear on one thing; they DO NOT do the "justice, mercy, humility and grace" thing out in the field. They do whatever is necessary to get out alive without any accountability to civilian or military authority, police or courts. Gotta make sure they get home to enjoy the fruits of that 6 figure salary they get, yaknow.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

BlueNC stats

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More than 5,000 absolute unique visitors last week.

Cool.

I don't know how to do that analysis

Maybe Betsy can. The three or four Patty stories were definitely among the most frequently visited from what I can tell.

What's the "Bounce Rate"?


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

Absolut Visitors?

What have you been drinking Anglico? I assume you've tried to weed out the bogus hits. Pretty good stats, I'm sure it'll only get better.

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

My Bad

I was thinking it meant the user "Unique" visited over 5,000 times.

I think she's busier than that.

She wouldn't have time to come by here 5000 times.


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

Must read

by Steve Turner at the NC Policy Watch blog. Good facts, worth bookmarking.

Yeah, supply side economists were my professors

at uVa in my major. When Reagan got elected they all headed to DC.

And I didn't do that well. Got a D minus in my favorite class. It seems that if a corporation is killing people you can't fine them too much. You don't want to "hurt" them and possibly put them out of business. It would cost jobs. And if a corporation is killing people under no circumstances do you want them to lose their ability to employ someone. That would be wrong.

Can I have my GPA adjusted now that they've been proven to have ruined our country?
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Liddy's getting bad press...

for dumping on Steven Laffey in Rhode Island.

Dome.

STEPHENS AND DOLE: We're not here to defend Lincoln Chafee.

That's funny, I thought, because that's exactly what you told me you were going to do — defend Linc Chafee because he's the incumbent.

Thomas S. Brock
www.brocknet.net
http://blogs.brocknet.net/brocklog/

What have YOU done today to elect a Democrat?

Thomas

What have YOU done today to make the world a better place?

Naomi Klein on Democracy Now today

puts a perspective on Iraq policy like I've never seen before.

Award-winning investigative journalist Naomi Klein brings together all of these world-changing events in her new book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism."

Economist Milton Friedman once said, "Only a crisis produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. " Naomi Klein examines some of what she considers the most dangerous ideas -- Friedmanite economics -- and exposes how catastrophic events are both extremely profitable to corporations and have also allowed governments to push through what she calls "disaster capitalism."

Hour long video of today's program:

democracynow07/09/17

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

Re: Senate Race

Do we have any official announcements coming from Grier Martin or Kay Hagan? Does anyone have a read on whether and when either of them will make a final decision?
And is there anyone else considering running?

Another good story on Backwater

Really good.

1) It was inevitable. Private military contractors have been involve din all sorts of questionable incidents, since the very start of the Iraq enterprise. U.S. military officers frequently expressed their frustrations with sharing the battlefield with such private forces operating under their own rules and agendas, and worry about the consequences for their own operations. For example, Brigadier General Karl Horst, deputy commander of the US 3rd Infantry Division (responsible for Baghdad area) put it tellingly two years back, “These guys run loose in this country and do stupid stuff. There’s no authority over them, so you can’t come down on them hard when they escalate force. They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath.”

CharO combined two stories perhaps not unintentionally?

That Dan Johnson is running against Pat and problems with public restrooms I'll start with the last two 'graphs of the first article and the first graph of the second piece:

Johnson, 31, was a Navy ensign when he lost both legs below the knees while helping to free another sailor who had become entangled in a rope on the USS Blue Ridge in August 1999. The Navy gave him the Navy-Marine Corps Medal, its highest peacetime award for bravery.

McHenry, also 31, would be running for his third term next year. -- hannah mitchell

Public restrooms closed to discourage crime

Hickory city officials have closed public restrooms on Union Square for more than a week while they wait to see whether the move will stop suspected criminal activity around the facilities.

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

Tap! Tap! Is that you Patty?

Public restrooms closed to discourage crime

Hickory city officials have closed public restrooms on Union Square for more than a week while they wait to see whether the move will stop suspected criminal activity around the facilities.* Town Fathers at work

So far the local Police Blotter reported that one Congressman had cancel his Town Hall meeting this coming week when informed about a Republican Sting operation was in progress. Several unknown sources claim the Hickory undercover stall task force name was " Operation Patty"

Thomas Brock makes a very good Blackwater point.....

Who will kick them out? Blackwater security is , for the most part, contracted to the US Government via subcontractors. These types of official mission related affiliated contracts allow the US State Department to issue, "Federal Affiliate" credentials to whomever falls into that category.

On the State Department side these credentials can be easily justified, and I dare say, will be issued because the State Department Uses Private Security almost exclusively, under the supervision, but not authority, of a State Department Security officer who carries Diplomatic credentials (so that person cannot be held liable either for Blackwater actions). It is very cozy for Blackwater.

On the US Army side of the house, I doubt that the US Army will permit the Iraqi "Soverign" Authorities to even come close to apprehending criminal elements of Blackwater. Additionally, they may just do a quick Joint Venture with another "existing security company" in Iraq.....Suddenly, all the Blackwater folks are instantly Armor Group, Washington Group, DynCorp, or one of many others now working there. Good point Thomas.

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

Exactly, Marshall

they may just do a quick Joint Venture with another "existing security company" in Iraq.....Suddenly, all the Blackwater folks are instantly Armor Group, Washington Group, DynCorp, or one of many others now working there. Good point Thomas.

All it takes is a short phone call and these guys are subbed out to whatever entity wants to make a few extra bucks.

Didn't they also (recently) form another separate security company by peeling off some of their Blackwater guys and stealing a few more CIA operatives? I thought I read something about that.

If bush is truely willing to recognize

the sovereign government of Iraq, then he must remove blackwater as a mercenary group sponsored by this government.

It was inevitable that this group of freelance mercenaries would do something that would be extremely detrimental to what we are trying to do in that country.

Because bush would not control these guys, we have a report of helos shooting at civilians. All the work our military has been doing for so long is now in jeopardy because these trigger happy jerks opened up on anyone that was in the area. The civilian population may not realize, or care that there is a difference between blackwater and real United States Soldiers.

Bush, do you see what you have enabled by relying on blackwater and other groups like that to be working along side our soldiers?

I do not see the value added vs the damage these groups are doing for our soldiers and our country. Get rid of those mercs and let professional soldiers represent our country. Everytime blackwater kills a civilian, it gives the insurgents something to rally behind.

Failure of bush to remove blackwater from Iraq shows the Iraqi people that we are indeed an occupying force and not a country trying to help them. Iraq asked us to remove them, we are honor bound to do as they ask. There is no other option for bush.

Person Co. landfill update

Our commissioners bailed on the public hearing tonight, voting to adjourn and reschedule. They were caught off guard by the lawyer hired by the group opposing the landfill. As the county lawyer could not attend, they were bare handed in a knife fight. The hundreds of people in the audience had them squirming in their chairs. The chairman had to second the motion to adjourn, and you couldn't hear the 'ayes' even though they were mic'd and the place was reletively quiet.

round one - a draw

( but the deer in headlights looks in their eyes was priceless.)

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

what are your commissioners doing

if they get hundreds of people to show up for something they called and they don't even have their ducks in a row?

Did they think no one was going to oppose this?

Sounds like a few commissioners are ripe for losing their jobs. What cowards to not move forward. You call a meeting, you should be prepared to move forward. What an insult to all the people who took the time to show up and make a stand. Sounds like your commissioners can only make the easy decisions and are unprepared to make the hard decisions.

I wonder if using your county lawyer to support this landfill on behalf of the commissioners might be wrong. Thought the county lawyer was only to advise the commissioners on subjects of law but it is the responsibility of the commissioners to formulate the plan. This means your commissioners are clueless and spineless.

I think they figured that they would see the same dozen or so

people saying the same things they have been ignoring for 2 years now. The county lawyer could not be in attendance so they bailed.
I don't get why 4 of the 5 are so enamored of having megalandfill in our county. 2 of the 4 are dems who have been 100% sensible on every major issue. I just don't get it. There have been dozens of LTE's voicing concerns and none in favor. Literally the only people in the county who are in favor of this are 4 of the commissioners, the mayor of Roxboro and the head of the local republican party. It's like someone has pictures of the commissioners or some under the table payoff has happened.

And it's not just a Person Co. issue. This landfill impacts the Tar river watershed close to its source.

I see nasty contested primaries for 2008 already on the horizon.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

It's that whole Privatize Everything Disaster Capitalism

doctrine. Here's the link to the Naomi Klein interview again:

article

And, you know, this is somewhere where I think that the research I did for No Logo really intersects with this disaster capitalism stage that we’re in right now, because Rumsfeld took the 1990s revolution in branding, in corporate branding, where -- and this is what I wrote about in No Logo, where you had all of these companies that used to produce products announcing with great fanfare that they don't produce products anymore, they produce brands, they produce images, and they can let other people, sort of lesser contractors, do the dirty work of actually making stuff. And that was the sort of revolution in outsourcing, and that was the paradigm of the hollow corporation.

Rumsfeld very much comes out of that tradition. And when he came on board as Defense Secretary, he rode in like a new economy CEO that was going to do one of these radical restructurings. But what he was doing is he was taking this philosophy of this revolution in the corporate world and applying it to the military. And what he oversaw was the hollowing out of the American military, where essentially the role of the Army is branding, is marketing, is projecting the image of strength and dominance on the globe, and then -- but outsourcing every function, from healthcare –- providing healthcare to soldiers to the building of military bases, which was already happening under the Clinton administration, to the extraordinary role that Blackwater has played and companies like DynCorp, where we -- you know, as Jeremy has reported, they’re actually engaged in combat.

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

Allergies hitting hard

but I'm loving this weather. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thought this video was interesting

Jeremy Scahill re Blackwater

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

WOW, what the hell are they doing in New Orleans

or deployed anywhere in the states? That is the responsibility of each states national guard, not an independent merc group. This truly sickens me.

As a military member, I prayed I would never have to point a weopon at a fellow United Statesin. I held the oath I took to support and defend my constitution, country and people seriously. What oath do the people of blackwater take when they are handed a weopon and pointed in a direction? "Make sure your around every other friday to collect your paycheck?" No, these groups do not need to be deployed anywhere at anytime and be supported by any competent government authority.

While we as a nation have the right to bare arms, we do not have the right to be an organization outside the law.

bush keeps saying "rule of law" but is it appropriate for the person who is saying rule of law to allow a group to work outside the law to help enforce the plans and policies he wishes set up?

There actions prove to me that they are not supporting and defending the constitution, my country or me. They are a detriment to everything I did for 20 years and what our founding fathers set up 220 years ago.

Dare I say it -

The National Guard (too many of them) has been activated and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. When we need them here at home to do the things we depend on them for, they're not here.


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

Legislation to restrict foreign deployment of the National Guard

should be introduced in the US Congress. This President has totally ravaged our National Guard to the detrement of all of the individual States who have and are suffering natural desasters and other desasters like fire.

The republican Congress could have stopped him, but they didn't. The Democrats must.

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

DIdn't Congress decide to deploy National Guard troops

overseas because of Viet Nam? Someone thought it would be harder to get into that kind of "quagmire" if the more experienced and mature troops were being sent instead of young naive draftees from the boonies. I vaguely remember hearing something about that in my youth.

If so, I guess that didn't work.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,