U.S. Cannot Manage Contractors In Wars, Officials Testify on Hill

With even more U.S. contractors now in Iraq and Afghanistan than U.S. military personnel, government officials told Congress yesterday that the Bush administration is not prepared to manage the contractors’ critical involvement in the American war effort.

At the end of last September, there were “over 196,000 contractor personnel working for the Defense Department in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Jack Bell, deputy undersecretary of defense for logistics and materiel readiness.

Contractors “have become part of our total force, a concept that DoD [the Defense Department] must manage on an integrated basis with our military forces,” he also said in prepared testimony for a hearing yesterday of the Senate homeland security subcommittee. “Frankly,” he continued, “we were not adequately prepared to address” what he termed “this unprecedented scale of our dependence on contractors.”

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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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Blackwater dropped blinding tear gas on Iraqis, US soldiers in 2005

Blackwater security contractors employed in Iraq dropped a blinding riot-control gas on Iraqi civilians and US military personnel on a busy Baghdad street in May 2005, according to the reporter who first broke the NSA wiretapping scandal in the New York Times.”The copter dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders,” James Risen writes. “An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.”

CS gas — 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile — is among the most common tear gases used by law enforcement and militaries in conflict zones.

Use of CS gas in war is prohibited by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (signed in 1993), as it could trigged retaliation with more toxic substances such as nerve gas. “A 1975 presidential order allows their use by the United States military in war zones under limited defensive circumstances and only with the approval of the president or a senior officer designated by the president,” the Times notes.

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9/11 and the incompetence excuse: Could a bunch of sociopathic screw-ups really pull off the crime of the century?

By Warren Pease
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Jan 9, 2008, 00:18

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Many who deny government complicity in 9/11/01 maintain that some of the best evidence against official involvement in the crime of the century lies in the Bush administration’s unbroken record of sheer incompetence, an argument bolstered by the perception that key members of the administration, notably The Commander Guy, spent that entire day running around like headless chickens.

On the contrary, they did no such thing. Rather, the administration was highly competent and enormously successful that day — they just had different criteria for success than would sane people. And they’ve been highly competent ever since. You just have to adjust your standards for evaluating success, then view the past six years through the PNAC/neocon lens. Let’s review some of their primary accomplishments — on 9/11 and in the six eternal years since:

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Blackwater USA steps up lobbying efforts

WASHINGTON — Private-security contractor Blackwater Worldwide, which protects U.S. government officials in Iraq and faces scrutiny over its role in the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians, has ramped up its lobbying representation on Capitol Hill.

Law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice was tapped by the company, whose chairman is Erik Prince, a Holland native. They’ve been hired to lobby the government on contracting and other issues, according to the form posted online Tuesday by the Senate’s public records office.

Womble Carlyle is the third lobbying firm to be hired by Moyock, N.C.-based Blackwater since October.

The company has attracted considerable congressional scrutiny and criticism from the Iraqi government and human rights groups for its involvement in several dozen shooting incidents.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Turning The Police State Apparatus Against Dissenters

Second major phase of the coordinated destruction of freedom in America targets those who refuse to go along with it
Turning The Police State Apparatus Against Dissenters
A sustained media propaganda campaign in support of the move to swing the apparatus of tyranny away from phantom Muslim terrorists and towards the American people is in full operation and may pave the way for further attacks on US soil to be blamed on dissenting Americans who speak out against the war and the rise of the domestic police state.

A sustained media propaganda campaign in support of the move to swing the apparatus of tyranny away from phantom Muslim terrorists and towards the American people is in full operation and may pave the way for further attacks on US soil to be blamed on dissenting Americans who speak out against the war and the rise of the domestic police state.
Over the past decade we have witnessed an extreme acceleration of the physical implementation of a framework and infrastructure ready to receive those who will not go along with a coordinated destruction of traditional American values and freedom. With 9/11 came the first opportunity of the 21st century to radically alter the mentality of America and introduce a new order of society.

The corporate media is now preparing the psyche of the American public for a second major shift. This time the effort will be to direct the understanding of the manufactured and fraudulent “war on terror”, away from “Islamofascists” and “Al Qaeda” and towards dissenting American citizens.
Over the past month or so we have highlighted this ongoing propaganda campaign in the following articles:

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