Police State America – A Look Back and Ahead

Something to ponder while you eat your X-mas turkey.

Operation FALCON – Police State America in Real Time

Mike Whitney won a 2008 Project Censored Award for his February, 2007 article titled “Operation FALCON and the Looming Police State.” In it, he reported that the Bush administration “carried out three massive sweeps in the last two years, rolling up more than 30,000 minor crooks and criminals” that he calls a “blueprint for removing dissidents and political rivals” reminiscent of Nazi Germany or any other repressive police state. Those chickens now reside at home, but the public is largely unaware and unconcerned. We all should be as Whitney raises a “red flag for anyone who cares at all about human rights, civil liberties, or simply saving his own skin.”

Operation FALCON stands for “Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally” and came out of the Bush Justice Department and right-wing think tanks “where fantasies of autocratic government have a long history” and are now playing out in real time. The scheme centralizes power in Washington and uses resources of local authorities for its own purposes.

Whitney traces its short history starting in the week of April 4 – 10, 2005 when over 10,000 criminal suspects were arrested in “the largest criminal sweep in the nation’s history” in a “single initiative.” Its aim was “quantity,” not “quality,” but Whitney asked why did the Feds get involved in local police work and suggested something more sinister was involved “than just ensuring public safety.” His answer – “to enhance the powers of the ‘unitary’ executive” by giving Washington power over local law enforcement, and that makes perfect sense under an administration obsessed with wanting unchallengeable control.

Operation FALCON II followed a week later from April 17 – 23 and swept up another 9037 “alleged fugitives.” The final FALCON III came from October 22 – 28, 2006 with 10,773 more arrests. Each sweep was the same and concentrated on alleged criminal types out of character for a federal operation, so clearly another motive was involved. Further, no one arrested was charged with a terrorist-related crime, and that alone looks fishy. Whitney thought so and called FALCON “new drills for a new world order” that’s waging permanent war, defiles the law, ignores checks and balances, condones torture, repealed habeas, and illegally spies on everyone.

Police State America Preparations

Today, dissent is an endangered species, and preparations are underway for mass detentions in the “war on terrorism” targeting anyone seen as a threat. Halliburton is the beneficiary with a DHS contingency contract worth nearly $400 million to build US-based camps for “detention and processing” in case of an “emergency influx of immigrants….or to support the rapid development of new programs (for planned) expansion facilities (for anyone with capacity for 5000 or more persons).”

This language is cover for planned US-based concentration camps for anyone labeled an enemy of the state or threat to “national security.” The plan is clear – to have facilities in place if martial law is declared with plenty of reasons to fear it’s coming. Why else these camps and why all the repressive laws, EOs, NSPDs, and HSPDs put in place if they weren’t for a purpose.

The Pentagon is also ready with a DOD action plan called “Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support.” It envisions an “active, layered defense” both within and outside the country that pledges to “transform US military forces to execute homeland defense missions in the….US homeland.” It lays out a strategy for increased reconnaissance and surveillance to “defeat potential challengers before they threaten the United States.” It also “maximizes threat awareness and seizes the initiative from those who would harm us.”

These are ominous developments that suggest a likely real or contrived homeland terror attack severe enough to warrant suspending the Constitution and declaring martial law with the public acquiescing out of fear. If it comes, anyone may be targeted as a “national security” threat, indefinitely detained in a camp, and no evidence is needed for proof. The state and military will be empowered by law to act preventively through mass roundups and detentions that appears the reason for three test-run FALCON operations.

Full-scale militarization of the country is already lawful under the 1988 Reagan administration’s “national security emergency” EO 12656. It was meant for “Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.” “Police state America” has been in the works a long time, and it now may be near the boiling point.

The Role of Blackwater USA in Police State America

Most people know about Blackwater but not how it operates. We better learn because it’s coming to a neighborhood near you, and that means trouble. Author Jeremy Scahill wrote the book on the company he calls “the world’s most powerful mercenary army” and describes it as a “shadowy mercenary company (employing) some of the most feared professional killers in the world accustomed to operating without worry of legal consequences (and) largely off the congressional radar.” It has friends in high places who give it “remarkable power and protection within the US war apparatus” with unaccountable license to practice street violence with impunity to include cold-blooded murder wherever their paramilitaries are deployed.

For now, that’s mostly abroad, and controversy surfaced about the company after its mercenaries killed two dozen or more Iraqis and wounded dozens more in al-Nisour on September 16. It was the latest incident involving a company with a disturbing history of unprovoked violence and then claiming self-defense. Blackwater is contracted to provide security services for US diplomats, officials and others that once was assigned to the military at one-sixth or less what the company charges under an administration that believes anything government can do private business does better, so let it whatever the cost.

Using Blackwater and other paramilitaries is part of the scheme to militarize America, and New Orleans is its first test case. Scahill wrote that “about 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear” arrived in the Crescent City right after Katrina hit and spread out into the city’s chaos. Others came later. Their cover was to provide hurricane relief, but that was a ruse as local residents still around in the wrong places soon discovered. They patrolled like Gestapo in SUVs with tinted windows and their logo on the back. Others used unmarked cars with no license plates, and relief wasn’t their mandate. They came to secure neighborhoods from their legal residents and treat those wanting to return like criminals. They wore flak jackets, carried automatic weapons and had extra guns strapped to their legs. They weren’t for show.

Instead of helping hurricane victims, they came as vigilantes to terrorize them and be empowered by federal, state and local authorities to do it. Blackwater USA is the face of paramilitarism on US streets as the “war on terrorism” comes to a neighborhood near you with New Orleans the first test case to see if the company can operate here the way it does in Iraq and get away with it. It’s doing it.

More than two years after Katrina, New Orleans is still a disaster zone, and many thousands of its residents are still without homes. Instead of helping them rebuild and restore their lives, federal funds instead go to private mercenaries to protect the privileged from desperate people needing help. Blackwater is another element in place in “police state America” where the streets of Boston, Boise or Buffalo may one day resemble Baghdad and bring the “war on terror” to the homeland with chilling implications of what that means.

Read the whole article

Blackwater denies involvement in illicit arms trade

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Allegations that Blackwater USA — whose operations were suspended after 20 Iraqi civilians were shot to death last weekend — was “in any way associated or complicit in unlawful arms activities are baseless,” the company asserted Saturday.

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Blackwater employees patrol Baghdad by air in a February 2005 photograph.

Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that employees of Blackwater illegally purchased weapons and sold them in Iraq, according to U.S. government sources.

A U.S. government official has said the U.S. attorney’s office in Raleigh, North Carolina, is in the early stages of an investigation that focuses on individual company employees, and not the firm.

Blackwater, which is based in Moyock, North Carolina, is a security firm hired by the State Department to guard U.S. staff in Iraq.

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U.S. military says it nabbed Iranian commando in Iraq

And Voila, now we have the argument. No worries about an accidental war, they started it and now they’ve got it coming.

Especially now that witness after witness confirms what we already know: Blackwater fired first.
And what with Greenspan finally saying what we also knew way back when that it is all about the oil.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Coalition forces on Thursday arrested a suspected member of an elite Iranian unit that has been accused of training and equipping insurgents in Iraq, the U.S. military said.

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An Iraqi soldier guards the scene of a car bomb Thursday in eastern Baghdad.

The military said the suspect, who was not identified, is a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force.

The U.S. military calls the force “a covert action arm of the Iranian government responsible for aiding lethal attacks against the Iraqi government and coalition forces.”

The military said the Quds Force suspect was involved in bringing roadside bombs from Iran into Iraq and in training foreign terrorists in Iraq.

The man, captured in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya, is one of several Iranians in U.S. custody in Iraq.

Also on Thursday, an Iraqi National Police intelligence officer was taken into custody for “suspected involvement in illegal militia activities,” the U.S. military said.

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Update: Rice apologises for US security firm shootings

Yep, looks like Blackwater is going nowhere. 

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Tuesday September 18, 2007
The Guardian

Members of Blackwater scan Baghdad from their helicopter
Members of Blackwater scan Baghdad from their helicopter. Photograph: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty
 

The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, apologised to the Iraqi government yesterday in an attempt to prevent the expulsion of all employees of the security firm Blackwater USA.The ministry of interior yesterday took the decision to expel Blackwater after eight Iraqi civilians were killed and 13 wounded in Baghdad when shots were fired from a US state department convoy on Sunday.

Diplomats, engineers and other westerners in Iraq rely heavily on protection by Blackwater. The Iraqi decision created confusion on the ground, with uncertainty over whether protection was still available and whether Blackwater staff should leave the country immediately.

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Update: Blackwater in Iraq

According to the Veterans 911 truth site:

Randi Rhodes just reported that Bush called Malaki and that Iraq will reconsider its decision to ban Blackwater. who’s attorney is Ken Starr…!
Remember, Blackwater does not have that many Mercenaries in Iraq, but they are by far the most well connected.

Update: Will Iraq Kick Out Blackwater?

Blackwater US private security contractors secure a site in Baghdad where a roadside bomb exploded near the Iranian embassy, 2005.

Ahmad al-Rubaye / AFP / Getty

TIME has obtained an incident report prepared by the U.S. government describing a fire fight Sunday in Baghdad in which at least eight Iraqis were reported killed and 13 wounded. The deadly incident occurred when a convoy of U.S. personnel protected by Blackwater security contractors came under small arms fire. Blackwater returned fire, resulting in the Iraqi deaths. The loss of life has provoked anger in Baghdad, where the Interior Ministry has suspended Blackwater’s license to operate around the country. Several Iraqi government officials have indicated their opposition to Blackwater’s continued presence in their country.

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Iraqi police say security contractors open fire in western Baghdad, killing at least 9

BAGHDAD: Security contractors opened fire in western Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least nine civilians and wounding 18, Iraqi police said. The U.S. Embassy said contractors working for the State Department were involved in an incident but provided no further details.

The shootings happened about 12:30 on Nisoor Square in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Mansour, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information.

The security contractors were in a convoy of six SUVs and left the scene after the shooting. The policeman said he did not have more details, but a witness said the shooting erupted after an explosion.

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Military Drills – False Flag Provocation, Attack On Iran?

‘Solid Curtain’ And ‘Citadel Shield 2007′ Military Drills
Raise Spectre Of Imminent False Flag Provocation And Attack On Iran
By Webster G. Tarpley
9-13-7WASHINGTON, DC — US military bases in the continental United States (CONUS) will go on special lockdown between September 17 and September 21 under the auspices of Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield ’07, a reliable source reported today. Under these exercises, US installations will institute enhanced anti-terror force protection measures, with increased security at all gates. The increased security was so elaborate that base personnel were being warned to expect significant delays at all base entrances.

According to William Arkin’s 2005 directory of military code names, Solid Curtain is a US Navy Fleet Forces Command anti-terrorism/force protection exercise. In Solid Curtain ’03, Arkin reports, the drill scenario involved 15 simultaneous attacks across the country including the Corpus Christi naval air station, the Ingleside naval station, local shipyards, and other targets of attack in the coastal bend of south Texas. In earlier versions of Solid Curtain, the Newport Rhode Island naval station was featured in the scenario.

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Information Warfare, Psy-ops and the Power of Myth

This article was first published in February. 

By Mike Whitney

02/15/07 “ICH” — – The bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra is the cornerstone of Bush’s psychological operations (psy-ops) in Iraq. That’s why it is critical to have an independent investigation and discover who is really responsible. The bombing has been used as a “Pearl Harbor-type” event which has deflected responsibility for the 650,000 Iraqi casualties and more than 3 million refugees. These are the victims of American occupation not civil war.

The bombing was concocted by men who believe that they can control the public through perception management. In practical terms, this means that they create events which can be used to support their far-right doctrine. In this case, the destruction of the mosque has been used to confuse the public about the real origins of the rising sectarian tensions and hostilities. The fighting between Sunni and Shiite is the predictable upshot of random bombings and violence which bears the signature of covert operations carried out by intelligence organizations. Most of the pandemonium in Iraq is the result of counterinsurgency operations (black-ops) on a massive scale not civil war.

The Pentagon’s bold new approach to psychological operations (psy-ops) appears to have derived from the theories of former State Dept official, Philip Zelikow (who also served on the 9-11 Commission) Zelikow is an expert on “the creation and maintenance of ‘public myths’ or ‘public presumptions’. His theory analyzes how consciousness is shaped by “searing events” which take on “transcendent importance” and, therefore, move the public in the direction chosen by the policymakers.

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Major alert!!! “We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime”

This article was first posted on DAILY KOS. written by Maccabee.

It was removed and I found it back on the Yahoo vetererans 911 truth group.

Another V911 Blogger wrote that he heard the same rumour fromone of his active duty mates:

Re: [v911t] “We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime”

im getting similar comments from my friends in the 82nd….they have started doing more strategic training, ie jump in and secure an airport / lz for follow on troops..etc now this is old school training, stuff we used to do in our sleep during the cold war, not the same tactics needed for the war in Iraq or afghanistan….so that leaves Iran….and that is the rumor mill.

as for the administration being competent, maybe but when you consider the fact that all the sr. advisers to the president knew over a decade ago that invading Iraq was a losing battle, one has to question their intentions.

id like to know where they plan on getting the troops for Iran, plus maintain the situation in Iraq and afghanistan as well as here on the home-front?

Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 03:50:24 PM PDT

I have a friend who is an LSO on a carrier attack group that is planning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf of Hormuz. (LSO: Landing Signal Officer- she directs carrier aircraft while landing) She told me we are going to attack Iran. She said that all the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished. That means that all the targets have been chosen, prioritized, and tasked to specific aircraft, bases, carriers, missile cruisers and so forth.

I asked her why she is telling me this.

Her answer was really amazing. She started in the Marines and after 8 years her term was up. She had served on a smaller Marine carrier, and found out through a friend knew there was an opening for a junior grade LSO in a training position on a supercarrier. She used the reference and the information and applied for a transfer to the United States Navy. Since she had experience landing F-18Cs and Cobra Gunships, and an unblemished combat record, she was ratcheted into the job, successfully changing from the Marines to the Navy. Her role is still aligned with the Marines since she generally is assigned to liason with the Marine units deploying off her carrier group.

Like most Marines and former Marines, she is largely apolitical. The fact is, most Marines are trigger pullers and most trigger pullers could care less who the President is. They simply want to be the tip of the sword when it comes to defending the country. She voted once in her life and otherwise was always in some forward post on the water during election season.

Something is wrong with the Navy and the Marines in her view. Always ready to go in harms way, Marines rarely ever question unless it’s a matter of tactics or honor. But something seems awry. Junior and senior officers are starting to grumble, roll their eyes in the hallways. The strain of deployments is beginning to hit every jot and tittle of the Marines and it’s beginning to seep into the daily conversation of Marines and Naval officers in command decision.
“I know this will sound crazy coming from a Naval officer”, she said. “But we’re all just waiting for this administration to end. Things that happen at the senior officer level seem more and more to happen outside of the purview of XOs and other officers who typically have a say-so in daily combat and flight operations. Today, orders just come down from the mountaintop and there’s no questioning. In fact, there is no discussing it. I have seen more than one senior commander disappear and then three weeks later we find out that he has been replaced. That’s really weird. It’s also really weird because everyone who has disappeared has questioned whether or not
we should be staging a massive attack on Iran.” “We’re not stupid. Most of the members of the fleet read well enough to know what is going on world-wise. We also realize that anyone who has any doubts is in danger of having a long military career yanked out from under them. Keep in mind that most of the people I serve with are happy to be a part of the global war on terror. It’s just that the touch points are what we see since we are the ones out here who are supposedly implementing this grand strategy. But when you liason with administration officials who don’t know that Iranians don’t speak Arabic and have no idea what Iranians live like, then
you start having second thoughts about whether these Administration officials are even competent.”

 I asked her about the attack, how limited and so forth. “I don’t think it’s limited at all. We are shipping in and
assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens. And whatever the consequences, whatever the consequences, they will have to be lived with. I am sure if my father knew I was telling someone in a news organization that we were about to launch a supposedly secret attack that it would be treason. But something inside me tells me to tell it anyway.”
I asked her why she was suddenly so cynical. “I have become cynical only recently. I also don’t believe anyone will be able to stop this. Bush has become something of an Emperor. He will give the command, and cruise missiles will fly and aircraft
We’ll fly and people will die, and yet few of us here are really able to cobble together a great explanation of why this is a good idea.
Of course many of us can give you the 4H Club lecture on democracy in the Mid East. But if you asked any of the flight officers whether they have a clear idea of what the goal of this strike is, your answer would sound like something out of a think tank policy paper. But it’s not like Kosovo or when we relieved the tsunami victims. There everyone could tell you in a sentence what we were here
doing.”
“That’s what’s missing. A real sense of purpose. What’s missing is the answer to what the hell are we doing out here threatening this country with all this power? Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can’t build a nuke. I mean the table got EF Hutton quiet. Not so much because the man was asking a question that was off culture. But
that he was asking a good question. In fact, the discussion actually followed afterwards topside where someone in our group had to smoke
a cigarette. The discussion was intelligent but also in lowered voices. It’s like we aren’t allowed to ask the questions that we always ask
 before combat. It’s almost as if the average seaman or soldier is doing all the policy work.”
 She had to hang up. She left by telling me that she believes the attack is a done deal. “It’s only a matter of time before their orders come and they will be sent to station and told to go to Red Alert. She said they were already practicing traps, FARP and FAST.”
 (Trapping is the act of catching the tension wires when landing on the carrier, FARP is Fleet Air Combat Maneuvering Readiness Program- practice dogfighting- and FAST is Fleet Air Superiority Training). She seemed lost. The first time in my life I have ever heard her sound off rhythm, or unsure of why she is doing something. She knows that there is something rotten in the Naval Command and she, like many of her associates are just hoping that the election brings in someone new, some new situation, or something.
“Yes. We’re gong to hit Iran, bigtime. Whatever political discussion that are going in is window dressing and perhaps even a red
herring. I see what’s going on below deck here in the hangars and weapons bays. And I have a sick feeling about how it’s all going to turn
out.”

John Feal wants us to make a noice and spread the word: let’s roll.

Is George Bush Restarting Latin America’s ‘Dirty Wars’?

By Benjamin Dangl, AlterNet. Posted August 31, 2007.Signs are emerging of a new wave of U.S.-backed militarism in Latin America.

Two soldiers in Paraguay stand in front of a camera. One of them holds an automatic weapon. John Lennon’s “Imagine” plays in the background. This Orwellian juxtaposition of war and peace is from a new video posted online by U.S. soldiers stationed in Paraguay. The video footage and other military activity in this heart of the continent represent a new wave of U.S.-backed militarism in Latin America.

It’s a reprise of a familiar tune. In the 1970s and 1980s, Paraguay’s longtime dictator, Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, collaborated with the region’s other dictators through Operation Condor, which used kidnapping, torture and murder to squash dissent and political opponents. Stroessner’s human rights record was so bad that even Ronald Reagan distanced himself from the leader. Carrying on this infamous legacy, Paraguay now illustrates four new characteristics of Latin America’s right-wing militarism: joint exercises with the U.S. military in counterinsurgency training, monitoring potential dissidents and social organizations, the use of private mercenaries for security and the criminalization of social protest through “anti-terrorism” tactics and legislation.

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War Privatization is Public Scandal

by Jesse Jackson

They guard U.S. officials. They patrol the Green Zone, the U.S. headquarters in Iraq. They supply the food, the oil, clean the barracks and fix the machines. They aren’t U.S. soldiers; they are private contractors. The Bush administration has privatized war. The second-biggest army in Iraq consists of armed security forces supplied by private contractors.
They act above the law — and with unclear lines of authority. They work abroad, so they are largely beyond the reach of U.S. law. On contract from the U.S. government, they are beyond the reach of Iraqi law, as established in an order issued by the U.S. Authority there before turning power over to the Iraqi government. When the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandals were revealed, private security forces and interrogators were at the center of it. But none was held accountable.The British have followed suit. The British charity, War on Want, reported last year that there are three British private security guards to every British soldier in Iraq.

Congressional investigators are about to unearth massive abuses and corruption in Iraq, but the mercenaries operate across the world. In 1998, for example, DynCorp security agents in Bosnia were implicated in a sex-slave scandal. The firm quickly recalled at least 13 agents; none faced criminal prosecution.

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The modern-day mercenaries also operate largely free of government scrutiny or oversight. Companies, unlike government agencies, are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and often stonewall congressional inquiry.

Is Cheney resigning?

I have no idea if it is true or not, but apparently the Blogger called “Deep modem”has been right about Rove and Gonzales slithering back under their rocks, so here is the link.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=1684981&mesg_id=1685119

I have been baffled by the disappearance of some the major players around Bush. I have also been baffled by the refusal of the democrats to instigate impeachment proceedings. Impeachment was clearly the mandate given to them when they were elected.
But than I remembered that the democrats are part of the same elite of course.
My suspicion is that the corporate Democrats have too much to hide themselves and can not afford scrutiny. I also suspect that the powers that be (Cheney and bush’s handlers) are not happy with the nuclear showdown and have given up on the dollar.
The international corporations don’t depend on the dollar for power and don’t want to engage in a nuclear holocaust with Iran. I think a a rift has emerged between Cheney who wants American world domination and the globalist elite who just wants to be in power whatever the currency that rules the world. They are in control now and want to be in control after the collapse of the USA.
Perhaps they hadn’t counted on the impact of the Internet, the way the 9/11 truth started to come out, and they are running for the hills until the next time. Perhaps the army leadership threatened to rebel and refuse to use nuclear weapons or attack Iran period. Who knows. 

My guess is that there have been a lot of negotiations behind the scenes and that this is part of the payoff to the criminals.
Sort of : You shut up and you won’t have to face criminal prosecution. We can’t afford it and that’s why you get away with treason.
If you think that this is outrageous that take a look at this little video.

Prescott Bush negotiated his way out of a treason conspiracy to kill FDR and put in his place a Nazi regime in 1933 and they are doing it again.

More on this at this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/document/document_20070723.shtml

CheneyBush’s “Mercenary” Legions

By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
August 28, 2007″Outsourcing” jobs overseas is only the tip of the iceberg. How about the CheneyBush Administration “outsourcing” our military, our intelligence-gathering, our nation’s soul?

Taking private enterprise way beyond what is reasonable, or desirable, or safe, the CheneyBush Administration has turned over a huge raft of national-security functions to those not adequately trained, not accountable to the public or the law, not showing up on the political radar.

In short, CheneyBush have created what amounts to their own private legions — soldiers, intelligence analysts, security guards, construction experts, supply specialists, et al. — in effect, a “mercenary” force bought and paid for by the American taxpayer.

That’s why there will probably be no draft: There is no guarantee of loyalty from those dragooned into service. Besides, many draftees have politically-connected constituencies. But when one’s mercenary “volunteer” forces are totally beholden to the paymaster for their livelihood and under-the-table payoffs, they will dance with them that brung ‘em.

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National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive

Educate yourselves on the National homeland presidential directive.

http://crazyrichguy.wordpress.com/national-security-and-homeland-security-presidential-directive/

Coming To A State Near You: Blackwater Air Force

A while ago I posted the news that Blackwater USA was buying combat aircrafts from Brazil.
I found this follow up.

Remember that this site is trying to make the case for an unhealthy relationship between Cheney and Blackwater USA, and the possible involvement of Blackwater with the 911 attacks.

Read the page; All you need is a crazy rich guy with a private army.

More will follow shortly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Coming To A State Near You: Blackwater Air Force

As if having them run around Iraq like loose cannons wasn’t bad enough, Blackwater is building an Air Force. Via Scholars & Rogues:

Security company Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work…. The bubble canopy provides excellent visibility. This, coupled with its slow speed (versus jets), makes it an excellent ground attack aircraft.

Now why would the good patriots at Blackwater need airplanes that “can carry up to 1.5 tons of weapons, including 12.7mm machine-guns, bombs and missiles”? For their missions in Iraq, of course. Because, you know, the world’s largest military merely owning everything that flies over a third-world country isn’t enough in the way of air superiority.

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Dr. Michael Parenti: “Terrorism, Globalism and Conspiracy”

I love this speech and wanted to share it with you.

Outsourcing intelligence

THE WAYS in which the Bush war has degraded the structures and culture of Iraq are obvious. Less so are its insidious effects on the United States, but President Bush is similarly destroying something essential to our own democracy. A signal of that was sounded last week when The Washington Post reported that the Defense Intelligence Agency is transferring “core intelligence tasks of analysis and collection” to private contractors — up to a billion dollars worth. This raises the prospect that hired guns, instead of sworn officials, will be conducting covert operations, spying missions, interrogations, “renditions,” surveillance — the whole dangerous complex of shadow activity that began as the government’s most sensitive responsibility.

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Blackwater Buys Brazilian Bombers

August 27, 2007: Security company Blackwater U.S.A. is buying Super Tucano light combat aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. These five ton, single engine, single seat aircraft are built for pilot training, but also perform quite well for counter-insurgency work.

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