Blackwater’s Bu$ine$$

By Jeremy Scahill

Gunning down seventeen Iraqi civilians in an incident the military has labeled “criminal.” Multiple Congressional investigations. A federal grand jury. Allegations of illegal arms smuggling. Wrongful death lawsuits brought by families of dead employees and US soldiers. A federal lawsuit alleging war crimes. Charges of steroid use by trigger-happy mercenaries. Allegations of “significant tax evasion.” The US-installed government in Iraq labeling its forces “murderers.” With a new scandal breaking practically every day, one would think Blackwater security would be on the ropes, facing a corporate meltdown or even a total wipeout. But it seems that business for the company has never been better, as it continues to pull in major federal contracts. And its public demeanor grows bolder and cockier by the day.

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Weather Warfare: Beware the US military’s experiments with climatic warfare

“HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems globally.”

“‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.”

Pdf version of article on Weather Warfare by Michel Chossudovsky, The Ecologist, December 2007 (pdf)

Rarely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the world’s weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.

Environmental modification techniques have been applied by the US military for more than half a century. US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defense, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw ‘forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined’. During the Vietnam war, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns. The technology, which is being perfected under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), is an appendage of the Strategic Defense Initiative – ‘Star Wars’. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.

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CIA Tapes Furor: A Legacy of Mistrust

This week’s uproar over the destruction of interrogation tapes by the CIA offers a rare public glimpse into a perennial battle within the agency’s clandestine service. Since Watergate, the CIA’s case officers have been restrained by the expectation that taking risks in pursuit of actionable intelligence would bring career-ending, or even life-threatening, exposure if things went badly and details came to light. CIA leaders, especially after 9/11, have sought to unshackle their operatives by reassuring case officers they would be protected if they took risks. Current CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday that the tapes of the questioning of al-Qaeda suspects were destroyed to protect the identities of the interrogators.

Indeed, the man who ordered the tapes destroyed is certainly familiar with the case that agency employees view as one of the worst political betrayals of an operative. Jose Rodriguez headed the National Clandestine Service when he ordered the interrogation tapes destroyed. But during the 1980s and 1990s he was a case officer in Latin America and in the CIA headquarters office that oversees operations there. He served under Terry Ward, the onetime director of Latin American operations who was fired in 1995 by then-CIA director John Deutch. President Bill Clinton’s foreign intelligence advisory board had found Ward “derelict” in his duties for failing to inform Congress of human rights violations by agents of the CIA in Guatemala, including complicity in the death of an American citizen.

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Blackwater probe narrows focus to guards

WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors investigating the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians have narrowed their focus on as few as three Blackwater Worldwide bodyguards and have given others immunity for cooperating in the case, The Associated Press has learned.

New information about the deadly Sept. 16 incident, which has strained relations between the United States and Iraq, reflects progress by the government to prosecute Blackwater guards for the shooting in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square.

A final decision on whether to prosecute the guards – and how many – may still be months away. But two weeks into a federal grand jury investigation, people close to the case told AP that authorities have focused the number who could face charges to about three of the dozen or more guards on the security detail.

Despite the progress, the people who discussed the case noted concerns about testimony given by the four Blackwater guards who have so far appeared in front of the secret panel. Details were discussed on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.

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“Operation Iraqi Freedom” Exposed: Bush Negotiates Permanent Military Presence in Iraq

Yup, it was all about democracy.

The revelation that Bush will sign an agreement for a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq before his term is up confirms the real reason he invaded Iraq and changed its regime.

It was never about weapons of mass destruction.  It was never about ties between Saddam and al Qaeda.  And it was never about bringing democracy to the Iraqi people.  These claims were lies to cover up the real motive for Operation Iraqi Freedom: to create a permanent American presence in Iraq .  With Bush’s November 26, 2007 announcement that the United States and Iraq were negotiating a permanent “security relationship,” his lies have been exposed.

 

Bush declared, Iraqi leaders “understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic, and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency.”  His outline for the permanent U.S.-Iraqi “Economic” relationship is “to encourage the flow of foreign investments to Iraq .”  Two senior Iraqi officials told the Associated Press that Bush is negotiating preferential treatment for U.S. investments.

 

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Witnesses testify in Blackwater lawsuit

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury investigating Blackwater Worldwide heard witnesses Tuesday as a private lawsuit accused the government contractor’s bodyguards of ignoring orders and abandoning their posts shortly before taking part in a Baghdad shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead.Filed this week in U.S. District Court in Washington, the civil complaint also accuses North Carolina-based Blackwater of failing to give drug tests to its guards in Baghdad – even though an estimated one in four of them was using steroids or other “judgment altering substances.”

A Blackwater spokeswoman said Tuesday its employees are banned from using steroids or other enhancement drugs but declined to comment on the other charges detailed in the 18-page lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of five Iraqis who were killed and two who were injured during the Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. The shootings enraged the Iraqi government, and the Justice Department is investigating whether it can bring criminal charges in the case, even though the State Department promised limited immunity to the Blackwater guards.

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The Bush Rules of Evidence

In the history of the American Republic, perhaps no political family has been more protected from scandal than the Bushes.When the Bushes are involved in dirty deals or even criminal activity, standards of evidence change. Instead of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” that would lock up an average citizen, the evidence must be perfect.

If there’s any doubt at all, the Bushes must be presumed innocent. Even when their guilt is obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense, it’s their accusers and those who dare investigate who get the worst of it. Their motives are challenged and their own shortcomings are cast in the harshest possible light.

For decades – arguably going back generations – the Bushes have been protected by their unique position straddling two centers of national power, the family’s blueblood Eastern Establishment ties and the Texas oil crowd with strong links to the Republican Right.

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