An absolute must watch
And if you want to see the blueprint in print than here’s an exerpt by Naomi Wolf originally printed in the Guardian.
Or buy her book. I know I will.
An absolute must watch
And if you want to see the blueprint in print than here’s an exerpt by Naomi Wolf originally printed in the Guardian.
Or buy her book. I know I will.
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 Why is a private mercenary firm accused of war crimes, who has withdrawn from their lobbying organisation for fear of an investigation into their professional conduct allowed to train American police officers?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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A leading Democratic lawmaker on Tuesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of interfering in congressional inquiries into corruption in Iraq’s government and the activities of U.S. security firm Blackwater.
Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman said State Department officials had told the Oversight and Government Reform Committee he chairs they could not provide details of corruption in Iraq’s government unless the information was treated as a “state secret” and not revealed to the public.
“You are wrong to interfere with the committee’s inquiry,” Waxman said in a letter to Rice. “The State Department’s position on this matter is ludicrous,” added Waxman, a vocal opponent of the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.
by Dirk Adriaensens and Sarah Meyer
There is an uncanny resemblance between the the WW2 Italian Squadristi1, Blackwater and the thousands of other “security” forces.
SECURITY, OED. “The condition of being protected from or not exposed to danger; freedom from doubt; Now, chiefly, well-founded confidence, certainty; freedom from care, anxiety or apprehension.”
There is no such thing as “security”. “Security” companies were formed to make money on our anxieties, just as pharmaceutical companies financially thrive on anxiety about health and have a vested interest in illness.
Dirk Adriaensens has been involved with Iraq for 17 years. He is on the executive committee of the BRussels Tribunal and is the coordinator of SOS Iraq. He writes:
“Security guys and gals don’t have to abide by the Geneva Conventions. They do as they wish. No rules, no regulations. They can operate with impunity.
As such these “security companies” can be called “death squads”. Not “Angels of Death” but “Devils of Death”. For this, they make a lot of money. Privatization of war is big, big business.”
The documentation by The BRussels Tribunal in The Salvador Option Exposed asks “Who is Blowing up Iraq?” There is a full list of articles concerning death squads published on The BRussels Tribunal website.
We have to ask what is the motive for violent occupation, for violence in one’s own country as well as in another’s country. Security Company Death Squads Timeline is a follow – up to Sarah Meyer’s original article, Iraq Security Companies and Training Camps (17.05.06). This first research contained the history with lists of security companies. The present article is resource material which has been collected since May 2006.
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.
An Iraqi soldier guards the scene of a car bomb Thursday in eastern Baghdad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.
In biography excerpts, he says he initially wanted to maintain the forces: ‘Yeah, I can’t remember.’
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterSeptember 3, 2007
WASHINGTON – One of the most heavily criticized actions in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was the decision, barely two months later, to disband the Iraqi army, alienating former soldiers and driving many straight into the ranks of anti-American militant groups.
But excerpts of a new biography of President Bush show him saying that he initially wanted to maintain the Iraqi army and, more surprising, that he cannot recall why his administration decided to disband it.
“The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen,” Bush told biographer Robert Draper in excerpts published in Sunday’s New York Times.
Draper pressed Bush to explain why, if he wanted to maintain the army, his chief administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, issued an order in May 2003 disbanding the 400,000-strong army without pay.
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.
By Daniel Terdiman
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
newsmaker AUSTIN, Texas–If any figure from the world of mainstream journalism could be forgiven for nursing a grudge toward new media, Dan Rather comes to mind.
The longtime news anchor had his career prematurely shortened after bloggers drew attention to an erroneous document used by CBS as the basis of a report on President Bush’s National Guard service. CBS later disavowed the report, and Rather, who issued an on-air apology, was soon out the door.
But Rather has revived his career working with Internet entrepreneur Marc Cuban’s HDNet. In a one-on-one with CNET News.com at the South by Southwest multimedia festival here, this born-again cyberjournalist offered his views on how journalism is evolving in the digital era and the challenges he thinks the profession will face.
Q: Did you see blogging as a serious journalistic endeavor before the CBS dustup over President Bush’s military record?
Rather: Some parts of it I did. As I’ve said many times, I think it’s very easy to generalize about blogging, which is a big sphere, and growing bigger every day. But there were parts of it I considered to be serious. Anybody who blogs, who does real reporting, which is to say, make telephone calls, go interview people, go talk to people, in a spirit of independence…and (tries) to do journalism with integrity, I would consider a journalist.
by Robert Freeman
For the better part of a year every senior government official involved with the economy, from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to Treasure Secretary Henry Paulson, has said that the bursting housing bubble and the sub-prime mortgage meltdown were “contained.” This, we now know, was the financial equivalent of “Mission Accomplished.” If only reality could be managed forever with sound bites.
The question now is not whether the problem is contained but how damaging will be the fallout. Not whether the contagion will infect other sectors of the economy, but how badly. Not whether other economies will be dragged into the maelstrom, but how many and how deeply. And the most important question, where’s the bottom?
The easy truth is that nobody knows the precise answer to these questions. The harder truth is that things will get a lot worse before they get better and that the bottom will be much lower than official posturing now dares reveal.
The problem with the market today has two roots. The first one is intrinsic to the market itself. The second is part of the larger economic context in which the market operates.
Corporate Think Tanks and the
Doctrine of Aggressive MilitarismBy William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca
The aggressive first-strike military strategy now animating U.S. policy toward Iraq was developed during the 1990s by a network of corporate-backed conservative think tanks.
Each major element of the Bush administration’s national security strategy — from the doctrines of preemptive strikes and “regime change” in Iraq, to its aggressive nuclear posture and commitment to deploying a Star Wars-style missile defense system — was developed and refined before the Bush administration took office, at corporate-backed conservative think tanks like the Center for Security Policy, the National Institute for Public Policy and the Project for a New American Century.
Unilateralist ideologues formerly affiliated with these think tanks, along with the 32 major administration appointees who are former executives with, consultants for, or significant shareholders of top defense contractors, are driving U.S. foreign and military policy.
The arms lobby is exerting more influence over policymaking than at any time since President Dwight D. Eisenhower first warned of the dangers of the military-industrial complex over 40 years ago.
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.
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.