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slugbug

Update:

Update:
Iraq's Interior Ministry now is looking at other incidents involving Blackwater employees.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said the Moyock, N.C.-based company has been implicated in six other incidents over the past seven months, including a Feb. 7 shooting outside Iraqi state television in Baghdad in which three building guards were fatally shot.

Now it looks like the excuse for keeping the contracted "guns" in place is that there will be a "security vacuum" if they are removed, ie. the system is dependent on them now as the US military is stretched to the gills and the Iraqi military is not ready. After 4-1/2 years, alot of money had been made from this system.

Rice, Al-Maliki Keep Distance at Meeting
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092200776.html?hpid=topnews

Iraq unlikely to expel Blackwater for fear of 'security vacuum'
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/23/asia/iraq.php

Video Shows Blackwater Overreacted
http://www.abcnews.go.com/WN/IraqCoverage/story?id=3640457&page=1

slugbug

I posted this also at DailyKos (above thread) and a "lurker" emailed me personally and said Amway is tied in with Blackwater. I wouldn't doubt it one bit.

nmp

Rice’s Waning Influence: Networks Reject Secretary Of State As Sunday Show Guest

The secretary of state has always been considered a prize catch for the Sunday talk shows. But when the White House offered Condoleezza Rice for appearances eight days ago, after a week focused on Iraq, two programs took the unusual step of turning her down.

Executives at CBS and NBC say Rice no longer seems to be a key player on the war and that her cautious style makes her a frustrating guest.

“I expected we’d just get a repetition of the administration’s talking points, which had already been well circulated,” says Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” who questioned two senators instead. “We’d had a whole week of that with General Petraeus and President Bush.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/09/24/rice-influence/

PM Observer to DCP

This was posted at DCP:


For a fascinating look at Blackwater's treatment of its own employees, see the October issue of Harper's Magazine, or check it out online:

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/10/0081741

Posted by: pm observer at September 25, 2007 10:14 AM

Kos/DiAnne

Here are the comments from Daily Kos version:

Maliki has already been chastised. (5+ / 0-)
There will be no prosecution of anyone connected with Blackwater.
After all; they are doing Darth and Dumbya's dirty work.
How many School of the Americas graduates were ever punished for killing those dangerous Nuns in Central america?
This is the same story different day.

by manwithnoname on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 06:56:25 AM PDT
[ Reply to This ]
Don't forget the (3+ / 0-)
outstanding book by Jeremy Scahill.

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

by MsWings on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:15:27 AM PDT
[ Reply to This ]
* [new] The title should be (3+ / 0-)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Blackwater (But Were Afraid You'd Get Shot at in the Face or in the Back of the Head)

"I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed." —Marvin, The Paranoid Android

by londubh on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 07:34:43 AM PDT
[ Reply to This ]
* [new] Excuse (2+ / 0-)
The government pays Blackwater many times what it would cost to deploy service personnel to do the same job. Even their employees are paid mor, and then the company skims off a huge amount over that.
The excuse is that it is hard to get service personnel.
The reality is that mercs are people trained by the government. They are ex service personnel.

by Frank Palmer on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 08:40:10 AM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] What scares me most about BW... (2+ / 0-)
...is that at the same time we're breaking the people's military in Iraq, we're rising up the highest bidder military. Hell, they're already being deployed here in the US(Katrina) and there's at least been talk, if they're not already being used, of using them in the WOD. Privatizing the military, just another step on the road to dictatorship.

by Onyx on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 09:14:08 AM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] Maybe they should be called Blackshirts (1+ / 0-)
They could serve the same purpose that the Brownshirts did in Germany in the 30s.

by geph on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 01:56:57 AM PDT
[ Parent | Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] There May Be (1+ / 0-)
a smallish opening for Blackwater (and companies like them) to face civil liability in the U.S. court system. Granted, they would not face criminal charges, but by using the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), foreigners can bring suit against entities (both individuals and companies) that violate international law norms.

Having said that, there are a few obstacles that would get in the way.

First, the federal government could always attempt to have the lawsuit tossed by intervening and moving to dismiss under the state secrets doctrine (something they are apparently planning to do in Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, a suit over the CIA rendition flights).

Second, the companies could invoke the government contractor defense, wherein "legitimate" conduct within the scope of their work for the government could be rendered immune from liability. CACI International and Titan Corp. (now part of L-3 Communications) have moved for summary judgment in the two suits against them over Abu Ghraib.

Third, the federal courts have never directly addressed the issue of whether corporations can be held liable by using the ATS. The Supreme Court mentioned this in its decision in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain in 2004, but the question has yet to present itself before the court (and probably won't do so until at least the 2008-09 Term).

Fourth, there is a fair amount of openness as to exactly what constitutes "international law norms", and again, you can bet that the current Supreme Court would likely take a very narrow view.

There are other potential complicating factors, but this is enough for now. Importantly, though, use of the ATS could still possible be a mechanism for the victims of Blackwater (and/or other security contractors) to get some monetary compensation. It may not be the best solution, but it's better than nothing.

by The Maven on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 08:54:21 PM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] Many mahalo, DiAnne for a great diary, and (0 / 0)
excellent links as well!!

Go to the head of the class!!

Aloha .. .. ..

dolphin777

by dolphin777 on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 10:39:02 PM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] This should be in Kospedia so it doesn't get lost (0 / 0)
Bush Administration: Proving the saying, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and 30% all the time."

by Helpless on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 11:34:41 PM PDT
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* [new] Is this a typo? (0 / 0)
On September 17, 2007, the Iraqi government annouced it was revoking the license of the American security firm Blackwater USA. As of 9/1, they were going back to work as usual

-6.13/-6.31

by count on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 11:37:33 PM PDT
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* [new] Health care. (0 / 0)
If a mercenary has traumatic brain injury, has lost a limb, or is wounded as a result of Blackwater employment, who pays for medical care if the mercenary is a former Marine or Seal? Is the patient enrolled in the Walter Reed/VA Hospital/military-veteran medical system by virtue of being a veteran? Do Blackwater contracts pay for a separate medical benefits program for its soldiers?

-6.13/-6.31

by count on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 11:46:37 PM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] These are great questions that need (1+ / 0-)
answers.

This is another one,

Can Blackwater operate inside the US ?

Maybe it really is time to bring back the draft.

It will not only make future wars less likely. It will make it less likely that there is a Military Coup in the US

by rontripp on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 12:29:33 AM PDT
[ Parent | Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] FY 2008 Marine reenlistment bonuses (0 / 0)
MARADMIN 349/07

I don't know what jobs or specialties the MOS numbers signify, but some of the bonuses are substantial (up to $80,000.)

-6.13/-6.31

by count on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 12:06:31 AM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] reenlistment bonuses in general (0 / 0)
From military.com

The bonus to be paid may not exceed the lesser of the following amounts:

The product of 15 times the monthly rate of basic pay to which the member was entitled at the time of the discharge or release of the member; and

The product of the number of years (or the monthly fractions thereof) of the term of reenlistment or extension of enlistment of up to $90,000.
...

Each service's policy and guidelines for re-enlistment bonuses are different and change periodically based on the current needs of the service. For more information on the latest Reenlistment Bonus changes check out the Career Development News at the Military Professional Development Center.

I heard "an expert" say, within the last few days, that a Special Forces reenlisment bonus could be as high as $127,000 but I haven't been able to verify that. Looks like the max bonus is (for now) $90,000.

Each military service has its own Special Forces units.

The mission of the U.S. Special Operations Command is...in support of regional combatant commanders, American ambassadors and other agencies as directed.

heh.

-6.13/-6.31

by count on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 01:16:29 AM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]
* [new] Suppose Foreign Mercenaries Were In the US (1+ / 0-)
I was talking politics with one of my relatives from Georgia when the subject of Blackwater came up.

I asked him "Suppose a group of foreign mercenaries came here and were allowed to operate outside of our laws or any laws for that matter. They could shoot American citizens and not be prosecuted. What would you do?"

He replied, "I'd shoot 'em back."

Iraqis are like rednecks. They won't f*ck with you if you don't f*ck with them (which is why we should never have gone there in the first place). The problem with companies like Blackwater is that their cowboy stunts are counterproductive. Instead of winning over Iraqi hearts and minds they piss Iraqis off and make them want to shoot us back. There is no telling how many American servicemen have been killed because of these dumbasses.

by john horse on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 05:29:48 AM PDT
[ Reply to This |Recommend ]

CandyShopGirl

Yo!

What do you think about Tokio Hotel? >:)






slugbug

Funny you should ask?

Tokio Hotel is a German rock band who formed under the name "Devilish" in 2001 in Magdeburg, Germany. The quartet has scored four number one singles, two number one albums and sold nearly 3 million CDs and DVDs in their homeland.[4]
From 2001 onwards, they played in talent shows and small concerts. After Bill Kaulitz's participation in a children's Star Search in 2003 (which he lost in the quarter-final), he was discovered by music executive Peter Hoffmann. Devilish changed their name to Tokio Hotel ("Tokio", the German language spelling of the city Tokyo, Japan, which they love, and "Hotel", due to their constant touring and sleeping in hotels), and Sony BMG took them under contract. Hoffmann hired David Jost and Pat Benzner into the team of creators and authors, and had them give the children instruction on songwriting and instrument playing. However, shortly before publication of the first album, Sony terminated their contract. In 2005, Universal Music Group took Tokio Hotel under contract and developed a marketing plan.

Does that have something to do with Blackwater?

Probably.

not my president

sick

Blackwater Delves Into Spying
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110307Z.shtml
The Washington Post's Dana Hedgpeth reports that "The Prince Group, the holding company that owns Blackwater Worldwide ... has assembled a roster of former spooks - high-ranking figures from agencies such as the CIA and defense intelligence - that mirrors the slate of former military officials who run Blackwater. Its chairman is Cofer Black, the former head of counterterrorism at CIA known for his leading role in many of the agency's more controversial programs, including the rendition and interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects and the detention of some of them in secret prisons overseas."

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