KABUL, Afghanistan: Taliban militants ambushed a convoy of private security guards on a dangerous highway south of the capital, and officials said Monday up to 13 guards were killed.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said the ambush was against civilians, but Afghan officials said the attack came against private security guards on the Kabul-Kandahar highway Sunday, the same roadway 23 South Koreans were kidnapped from on July 19.
The Taliban attack Sunday sparked a three-hour gunbattle and resulted in the deaths of 13 private security guards and five Taliban militants, said Jailani Khan, the commander of highway police in Zabul province.
Joseph E. Schmitz’s family intermarried with the Bush family. The sister of Jeb’s wife is Married to John G. Schnitz.
Why is this important? Joseph E. Schmitz is now chief operating officer for the Prince Group
Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s president
Document uncovers details of a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American businessmen.
The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.
Sam Husseini has an article at Znet that looks back darkly at Lee Hamilton, once (still?) one of the most respected Democrat elder statesmen:
Many think they now see through the Democrats’ complicity with the Bush administration’s illegal wars and unconstitutional actions. If they think this is new, they don’t know that half of it.
Exactly twenty years ago today, on July 13, 1987, I witnessed the Democratic Party establishment covering up — and therefore helping — the subversion of the U.S. Constitution. It was actually on national TV, but few seemed to care.
I know that this has nothing to do with Contractors, but this guy just doesn’t stop.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Investigative Report
Thursday 19 July 2007
In-depth investigation shows how Vice President Dick Cheney pressured federal energy regulators to conceal evidence of widespread market manipulation by energy companies during the California electricity crisis in 2001.
In March 2001, while California’s two largest utilities were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and the state’s electricity crisis was spiraling out of control, Vice President Dick Cheney summoned Curt Hebert, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to his office next to the White House for a hastily arranged meeting.
Cheney had just been informed by his longtime friend Thomas Cruikshank, the man who handpicked the vice president to succeed him at Halliburton in the mid-1990s, that federal energy regulators were close to completing an investigation into allegations that Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Companies and AES Corporation of Arlington, Virginia had created an artificial power shortage in California in April and May of 2000 by shutting down a power plant for more than two weeks.
The Pentagon approves disputed costs on Iraq contracts at a much higher rate than on military contracts as a whole, Defense Department records show.
Through last October, almost two-thirds of costs challenged by Pentagon auditors as inflated, erroneous or otherwise improper — more than $1 billion — were eventually approved by project managers. That compares with 44% for all defense contracts in 2005.
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Wednesday July 18, 2007 The Guardian
American intelligence officials who were deeply opposed to the secret transfer of terror suspects to interrogation centres across Europe cooperated with an investigation into the CIA’s undisclosed network of jails, it was claimed yesterday.
There are two coalition armies in Iraq: the official one, which fights the war, and the private one, which supports it.
This latter group of civilians drives dangerous truck convoys, cooks soldiers’ meals, and guards facilities and important officials. They rival in size the US military force there, and thousands have become casualties of the conflict. If this experience is any indication, they may change the makeup of US military forces in future wars.
Mike Hager The Santiago Times
July 9, 2007
Hired Mercenaries Are Second Largest ‘Coalition Force’ in Iraq
A United Nations work group arrived in Chile today to begin investigating the recruitment of Chilean mercenaries in the American war in Iraq. The U.N. Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries (UNWG) also hopes to get Chile to sign on to the 1989 U.N. Mercenary Convention aimed at restricting mercenary activity.
It appears that Blakwater USA is not the “good neighbors” they claim to be nor are they good citizens. According to sources, that want to remain anonymous, who live in the vicinity of Blackwater USA’s headquarters in North Carolina, “They (Blackwater) don’t take “no” for an answer.”
WASHINGTON, July 7 — A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.
OK, they don’t address what really happened on 9/11, but it is important to help and support the firefighters of New York to get Giuliani defeated. Maybe it will embolden them to ask for new and independent investigations
by Jeremy ScahillGlobal Research, June 15, 2007TomDispatch.comThe Democratic leadership in Congress is once again gearing up for a great sell-out on the Iraq war.
While the wrangling over the $124 billion Iraq supplemental spending bill is being headlined in the media as a “showdown” or “war” with the White House, it is hardly that.
In plain terms, despite the impassioned sentiments of the anti-war electorate that brought the Democrats to power last November, the Congressional leadership has made clear its intention to keep funding the Iraq occupation, even though Sen. Harry Reid has declared that “this war is lost.”
For months, the Democrats’ “withdrawal” plan has come under fire from opponents of the occupation who say it doesn’t stop the war, doesn’t de-fund it, and ensures that tens of thousands of US troops will remain in Iraq beyond President Bush’s second term. Such concerns were reinforced by Sen. Barack Obama’s recent declaration that the Democrats will not cut off funding for the war, regardless of the President’s policies. “Nobody,” he said, “wants to play chicken with our troops.”
As the New York Times reported, “Lawmakers said they expect that Congress and Mr. Bush would eventually agree on a spending measure without the specific timetable” for (partial) withdrawal, which the White House has said would “guarantee defeat.” In other words, the appearance of a fierce debate this week, Presidential veto and all, has largely been a show with a predictable outcome.
The Shadow War in Iraq
While all of this is troubling, there is another disturbing fact which speaks volumes about the Democrats’ lack of insight into the nature of this unpopular war–and most Americans will know next to nothing about it. Even if the President didn’t veto their legislation, the Democrats’ plan does almost nothing to address the second-largest force in Iraq–and it’s not the British military. It’s the estimated 126,000 private military “contractors” who will stay put there as long as Congress continues funding the war.
Military contractors write that a site manager sent four Americans on an ill-advised, fatal mission
Joseph Neff, Staff Writer
When four Blackwater USA security guards were ambushed and massacred in Fallujah in 2004, graphic images showed the world exactly what happened: four men killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the streets. A chanting mob hung two mutilated corpses from a bridge.Since then, Congress and the families of the murdered private security contractors have been demanding answers: Why did the lightly armed and undermanned team go through the heart of one of Iraq’s most hostile cities? Why did the two teams sent out that day have four members, not the usual six?