Showdown in Blackwater’s Backyard

Marshall Adame is a Democrat running for Congress in North Carolina’s 3rd District, a jurisdiction along the Tar Heel state’s low-lying eastern coast that is home to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune, Air Station Cherry Point, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, as well as Blackwater Worldwide’s 7,000-acre corporate headquarters and training facility. Adame is an underdog in the congressional race, where he will likely face seven-term Republican incumbent Walter B. Jones—who brought the term “freedom fries” to Congress—in the general election. Jones has since become an opponent of the Iraq war, atoning for his vote to authorize the war by writing letters of condolence to the families of dead soldiers—a “mea culpa to my Lord,” he says. But the incumbent and his Republican party are not the only obstacles Adame will have to overcome if he hopes to take over the 3rd District’s congressional seat. He also faces tough opposition from Blackwater.

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The Homeland Security Campus: Repress U

by Michael Gould-Wartofsky

Global Research, January 25, 2008
The NationFree-speech zones. Taser guns. Hidden cameras. Data mining. A new security curriculum. Private security contractors. Welcome to the homeland security campus.
From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to “violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention”–as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name–have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university.

Building a homeland security campus and bringing the university to heel is a seven-step mission:

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US quietly demands Iraq give defense contractors, US military immunity from prosecution

US officials are dragooning Iraq into accepting immunity for US civilian contractors in new negotiations with the Iraqi government just months after a feud over a private defense contractor exploded into an international outcry.

The Bush administration insists that Baghdad give the US “broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials,” a front page story in Friday’s New York Times reports.

The Administration’s proposed security agreement would replace the current United Nations mandate authorizing the US presence in Iraq, which is set to expire Dec. 31, 2008.

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All private security firms must close: Afghanistan

KABUL (AFP) – Authorities in Afghanistan want to close down all private security firms operating in the country, many of them illegally, President Hamid Karzai’s office said.

About nine unlicensed companies have already been shut down in a crackdown that has been under way in Kabul for weeks, according to city police.Under the constitution “only the Afghan government has the right of having and handling weapons, so private companies are against the constitution,” the president’s spokesman Siamak Hirawi told AFP late Wednesday.

A cabinet meeting Monday argued that the dozens of private security firms were illegal and a source of criminality.
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Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater

I thought about boycotting Bill Maher but then I could not put this on the site so I caved, sorry.

Private US military contractors move into Helmand

By Kim Sengupta in Kabul

Published: 14 October 2007

 

Large numbers of US private military personnel are expected to arrive in Helmand, the focal point of British involvement in Afghanistan, as part of a new effort to promote reconstruction and development in the war-torn province.

The US has contributed the largest sum to the new aid effort, over $200m. But British officials striving to win “hearts and minds” in the conflict against the Taliban have expressed concern over the potential influx of military contractors, amid a continuing furore over the shooting of civilians in Iraq by Blackwater.

As Nato troops reclaim territory from the Taliban, the movement has increasingly resorted to suicide attacks and roadside bombings. “The worry is that there will be a blast, and some contractors will panic and open fire, as happened with Blackwater in Baghdad. That is the very last thing that Helmand needs at the moment,” said a Western diplomat.

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Good neighbor?

Apart from the fact that no reasonable human being would want Blackwater anywhere near were they live, why does a private mercenary firm need three bases spread all over the country? Why is a private mercenary firm accused of war crimes, who has withdrawn from their lobbying organisation for fear of an investigation into their professional conduct allowed to train American police officers? There are only a thousand Blackwater mercenaries in Iran, so what else do they do on those bases? And let’s not forget that they also have a fourth base in the Philippines.(Travellerev)

Blackwater keeps its eye on a tiny East County enclave.

By Pat Sherman 10/09/2007

Blackwater USA Vice President Brian Bonfiglio flashed a self-satisfied smile, gazing east across Round Potrero Road where, on Sunday, more than 200 Potrero residents and antiwar activists streamed onto an adjacent parcel of land. They had come-some from as far as Ventura-to protest the 824-acre paramilitary training facility the company hopes to open a mile down the snaky dirt road.”I don’t think the war profiteering signs are appropriate, quite frankly,” Bonfiglio said. “At the end of the day, this will be determined as a land-use project by the [San Diego County] Board of Supervisors.”

As the public face of the project-dubbed Blackwater West-it’s Bonfiglio’s job to sell the facility as a non-invasive windfall to the residents of Potrero, a rural hamlet 45 miles east of San Diego. Given his employer’s image as a supplier of trigger-happy mercenary armies, unaccountable to neither the Iraqi nor American governments, wooing Potrero’s 850 residents has been a dicey game. Five members of the Potrero Planning Board who voted in December to support the project are facing a recall election. Some 320 residents signed a petition opposing the project that was sent to the county Board of Supervisors and Congressman Bob Filner, the Democrat whose district includes Potrero.

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Erik Prince and the Council for National Policy: Armageddon Soon

So now we have a groups of loonies helped by a crazy rich guy with a private army running around causing mayhem in the part of the world that they deem to be the theater of the coming Armageddon.

Today, Blackwater founder Erik Prince defended all of his company’s actions in Iraq to the Congress (and to the American people) as being as close to earthly perfection as humans can achieve on god’s earth. Prince, who is a also a founder of a right-wing foundation called “Freiheit,” which is German for “liberty,” aimed a laser-like scowl at the forehead of Chairman Henry Waxman and the other Democrats as they dared to ask questions of a CEO who has clearly grown accustomed to operating without oversight.

Herr Prince’s appearance before the committee led me to wonder what he has been discussing behind closed doors lately as a member of the super-secret “Council for National Policy.” Other right-wing luminaries who belong to the Council for National Policy include the Armageddonist novelist Tim LaHaye, and the right-wing evangelical leaders Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Ralph Reed. The late Jerry Falwell was also a member. There also close ties between the CNP and the beer magnate Holland Coors, the NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, Phyllis Schlafly, Oliver North, Grover Norquist, and Frank Gaffney.

The Council for National Policy recently held a top-secret meeting in Utah that Vice President Dick Cheney attended. “The media should not know when or where we meet,” the Council instructs its members, “or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting.”

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All you need is a crazy rich guy with a private army. part 4

Erik Prince’s connections read like a who is who of the 9/11 suspects and war profiteers.

If like me you have come to the realization that the official conspiracy theory about the events of 9/11 is impossible and that the body of scientific evidence proves that 9/11 was an inside job than you have to wonder how the perpetrators and planners could realize their ideologies. You have to wonder about how they could form a cadre of men prepared to ruthlessly kill Americans to further their own greedy agenda. This is one possible way.

Secretive and well connected Erik Prince, a ultra right wing re-converted catholic with a drive for a new crusade, might very well fit the bill. The next few weeks I will present the case.

In the mean time have a look at this PDF. It is a visual lay out of all the connections that have helped Erik Prince and Blackwater.
It will be updated as I find more connections. It will be followed by articles about the connections and what they mean in the bigger picture. 

Let me count the ways in which Erik Prince is connected

Iraqis: Put Blackwater guards on trial

BAGHDAD – The official Iraqi investigation into last month’s Blackwater shooting has been submitted to the government and recommends the security guards face trial in Iraqi courts, and that the company pay compensation to the victims, an Iraqi government minister told The Associated Press on Thursday.The three-member panel, led by Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi, finished its work earlier this week and submitted the report and recommendations to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Tuesday, the government minister told AP on condition he not be identified by name.

The minister said the report was issued under the signatures of al-Obeidi, Maj. Gen. Tariq al-Baldawi, the deputy minister of national security; and Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali Kamal, the deputy interior minister for intelligence and security affairs.

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Iraq PM says ‘unfit’ Blackwater must go

BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday that Blackwater should leave the country because of the mountain of evidence against the under-fire US security firm.

His comments came amid growing anger among Iraqis that “above-the-law” security contractors are continuing to operate in Iraq while Blackwater is being probed over a deadly shooting 17 days ago.

“I believe the abundance of evidence against it makes it unfit to stay in Iraq,” Maliki told a televised press conference in Baghdad.

A New York Times report on Wednesday citing witnesses, Iraqi investigators and a US official said that as many as 17 people were killed and 24 wounded when Blackwater employees opened fire in central Baghdad on September 16.

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Private soldiers no longer above the law

A Hughes 500 helicopter operated by the US private security company Blackwater provide cover for a US ground convoy in Baghdad
A helicopter operated by the US private security company Blackwater provides cover for a US ground convoy in Baghdad. Photograph: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images
 

The House of Representatives today passed a bill to end the immunity of private security companies such as Blackwater in war zones.Blackwater, at the centre of a controversy over the killing of at least 11 civilians in Baghdad last month, is, like the other 170 private security companies operating in the country, subject to neither US nor Iraqi law.

The House bill closes this loophole. It secured the support of both Democrats and Republicans and was passed with an overwhelming majority, 389 to 30.

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Diplomatic immunity: the latest attempt to keep Backwater’s employees from prosecution

Charges for Blackwater ex-guard? Lawyer doubts it.

The Seattle attorney representing a former Blackwater contractor under investigation in the high-profile shooting death of an Iraqi said his client is being pilloried by Congress and the media, and he questions whether criminal charges can ever be filed.

“There are jurisdictional issues. And there are factual issues, including the issue of self-defense,” said Stewart Riley, who represents Andrew Moonen of Seattle. “You have to remember that the Green Zone is still a war zone.”

Riley said he has represented Moonen, a former Army paratrooper, since January, just a few weeks after Moonen allegedly shot and killed the bodyguard to the Iraqi vice president during a Dec. 24 confrontation in the Baghdad “Green Zone,” the heavily guarded compound that contains the U.S. embassy and Iraqi government offices.

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Oh, And He Is;”Not A Financially Driven Guy”

Come to think of it he probably isn’t. He just likes to kill and maim and the only way to do that legally is to rent himself and his boys out to the government.

According to Jeremy Scahills exellent book about Blackwater USA, he acctually has partaken in some military actions in Afghanistan.
He is a trained marine who has seen action in former Yoegoslavia and only quit the army when his father died and his wife was ill with cancer. Handy to have a billion or so lying around to build a private army with. Also very handy to know Cheney from his internship in the Whitehouse in 1992 accidently the same time Cheney asked Halliburton to research the possibility of privatizong the army.
Maybe he can’t kill anymore but he can sure let his boys do it for him. Also it probably helps to have converted back to Catholisism after all he’s fighting the Moslem infidels and GOD is on his side.

Blackwater contractor wrote government report on incident

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The State Department’s initial report of last month’s incident in which Blackwater guards were accused of killing Iraqi civilians was written by a Blackwater contractor working in the embassy security detail, according to government and industry sources.

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In this September 24 photo, an Iraqi looks at a car that was destroyed during the September 16 incident.

A source involved in diplomatic security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said a Blackwater contractor, Darren Hanner, drafted the two-page “spot report” on the letterhead of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for the embassy’s Tactical Operations Center.

That office — which tracks and monitors all incidents and movements involving diplomatic security missions — has outsourced positions to Blackwater and another private firm, the embassy source said.

A highly placed industry source said that Hanner, who was listed on the report as the TOC watch officer, was working for Blackwater at the time the report was written, just after the September 16 incident occurred. He was to rotate out of Iraq this past week, the source said.

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Blackwater incident witness: ‘It was hell’

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — An Iraqi police officer who was directing traffic at Baghdad’s Nusoor Square on September 16 said Blackwater guards “became the terrorists” that Sunday afternoon when they opened fire on civilians, an incident the Iraqi government said was unprovoked.

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An Iraqi man rides through Baghdad’s Nusoor Square a few days after the Blackwater incident there.

A 37-year-old Baghdad businessman and a father of four, whose youngest son was killed by a Blackwater bullet, said he wanted no monetary compensation but only for the guards to “admit to the truth.”

The police officer and businessman on Monday gave CNN vivid descriptions of the incident in which a senior Iraqi investigator said 17 people were killed and 24 wounded

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Iraq’s WMD Myth

Why Clinton is Culpable

By ANDREW COCKBURN

A former senior UN diplomat has revealed to me details of how, just over 10 years ago, the Clinton administration deliberately sabotaged UN weapons inspections in Iraq.

American officials were fearful that Iraq would be officially certified as weapons-free, a development that was seen as a political liability for Bill Clinton. Thus the stage was set for the manufacture of the Iraqi WMD myth as the excuse for George Bush’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq.

It was March 1997. For six years the UN inspectors had been probing the secrets of Saddam’s weapons programs, in the process destroying huge quantities of chemical munitions and other production facilities. To enforce Saddam’s cooperation, Iraq was subject to crushing sanctions.

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BACK IN IRAQ: THE ‘WHORES OF WAR’

America’s hired guns in Iraq have been called ‘the coalition of the billing’, but Blackwater mercenaries are accused of more than just taking the money.
Investigations Editor Neil Mackay examines the links between the security firm and the US political elite

EVEN FOR Blackwater, it was an atrocity too far. If an Iraqi government report is to be believed, Blackwater, a US mercenary company which is unofficially the world’s largest “for hire” private army, indiscriminately and without provocation opened fire earlier this month on civilians in a Baghdad street, killing at least 20 people.

Iraq immediately revoked the firm’s licence to operate in the country and moved to expel its staff and prosecute those responsible for the shootings, but Blackwater’s activities have since resumed.

This coincides with the release of a US Embassy report on the September 16 shooting, obtained by the Washington Post and described by a State Department official as a “first blush” account. It details the events, as given by Blackwater guards, and has stirred controversy in Iraq and Washington and prompted an inquiry into the role of Blackwater and other private security firms in Iraq.

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Ms. Moneypenny and Blackwater – Yanking on Loose Threads

There’s an itch that I haven’t been able to scratch in the past couple of days. The State Department has forbidden Blackwater, LLC from providing documents to a congressional subcommittee investigating security contractors in Iraq. In particular, Henry Waxman’s committee is looking into the Blackwater Massacre in Baghdad – but is getting stonewalled every inch of the way…

Commentary By: Richard BlairKiazan Moneypenny has been in the news over the last day or so. Who’s Ms. Moneypenny, you might ask? She’s the State Department contract official who directed Blackwater not to disclose any information to the congressional committee investigating the Blackwater Massacre in Iraq without State Department approval. Her title at State is Contracting Officer – Office of Acquisition Management.

But it wasn’t always so. In fact, it was only recently that she acquired the title.

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International narcotics agenda behind Myanmar instability

by Larry Chin

Global Research, September 28, 2007
For the past month, the military government of Myanmar has been the focus of increasingly strident demonstrations, resulting in violent military crackdowns in recent days.

What must be noted is the Bush administration’s open support for the dissidents, in conjunction with growing international (Western) support behind a coup attempt, and the likely parapolitical goals behind this agenda.

The demise of the Golden Triangle: bad for business

According to a report by Thomas Fuller of the International Herald Tribune, the Golden Triangle has, in recent years, lost its prominence as a narco-region. In fact, the legendary Triangle now accounts for as little as 5% of world opium supply, according to some estimates.

Notorious Golden Triangle loses sway in opium trade

Thomas Fuller, International Herald Tribune, September 11, 2007

Not surprisingly, the Golden Crescent and Afghanistan now under control of the US and its drug-intelligence proxies, is by far and away the world’s number one opium supplier, as well as the top overall drug producing region, dwarfing Colombia and the Golden Triangle.

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