While it is save to assume that, if you run a blog critical of the official 9/11 conspiracy theory, you will be on a watch list and the site will be monitored, and it would be dangerously naive to assume you can write about or investigate Blackwater or other creepy private military organisations without them finding out, it is not common to find out who does the monitoring. And while we thought we were relatively safe, doing all this from a country that seemingly has all it’s civil rights firmly secured, it seems that the monitoring is done by a group that brings the threat these private contractors pose for all of us much closer to home that we find comfortable.
This morning as we checked the usage of the site, as we do every morning, we found something strange.
Wordpress lets you see which sites referred people onto your site, and lets you go back through those sites by clicking on the hyperlink.
In other words, someone puts a link to your site much as we link people trough to the sites of the articles we choose to publish.
Nothing strange in that. We sometimes click on those links to see what site has linked onto our one. If it’s an interesting site we make it part of the blog roll or read what people have to say. The links are generally made by people who agree with what they find here and want to share it on forums with their mates.
So it was somewhat surprising to find that one of the referrals was made from a private military contractor site called; Sharp End International.
What made it down right unnerving was the fact that there was no link on the page we connected too.
In other words the referrer wasn’t actually referring since there was no link.
A quick Google led me to a wikipedia entry about the company which apparently trains government and corporate entities. And this is were it gets down right scary. The company uses mostly Australian and New Zealand ex-special forces instructors and it is New Zealand were this site comes from.
Additionally; one of the photos used to promote the sites clearly shows Bremer III the “viceroy” of Iraq responsible for it’s destruction in the early days of the occupation. Paul Bremer the III was guarded not by Sharp End International but by Erik Princes Blackwater USA.
In fact it shows one of the Blackwater guys right behind Bremer.
And this is were we come close to drawing the line as this site is dedicated to 9/11 truth and the possible connection of Erik Prince with the traitors who are really responsible for the horrors of that day.
The same Wiki entry claims that the main customers of SEI are petroleum companies, mining facilities, financial institutions, corporate identities or celebrities.
While we are so not interested in celebrities all the other clients are very much on our watch list.
In fact the two other blogs we run are http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com and http://kasm.wordpress.com. The first one is about international finance and its connection to John Key the rich banker turned politician and the leader of the opposition party of New Zealand and the second one is about Kiwis against seabed mining.
We will investigate further and in the mean time please be carefull, and above all; be warned.
Big Oil’s big dreams are close to coming true as Iraq’s Oil Ministry prepares deals for the country’s largest oil fields with terms that aren’t necessarily what companies were hoping for but considered a foot in the door of the world’s most promising oil sector.Iraq’s proven oil reserves are only smaller than those in Saudi Arabia and Iran — and the country is only about 30 percent explored.
Iraq produces about 2.4 million barrels per day, a recent increase from the 2 million bpd post-invasion average, but far below what its reserves could handle. Its oil sector is suffering from decades of Saddam Hussein-era mismanagement, U.N. sanctions and the effects of the current war.
A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world’s most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.
The Defense secretary says guards who protect clients at any cost are working ‘at cross-purposes’ with soldiers trying to gain Iraqis’ trust.
WASHINGTON — The behavior of private security contractors in Iraq is in direct conflict with the goals of the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday in an unusually frank critique, adding that the guards’ mistreatment of Iraqis is hindering Pentagon efforts at winning hearts and minds.
Gates said at a Pentagon news conference that he planned to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in coming days to iron out new regulations governing the conduct of the estimated 8,500 armed guards working for the Pentagon and State Department in Iraq.
Last month, the Defense secretary sent a five-man team to Iraq to investigate contractor oversight after the high-profile killing of 17 Iraqis in a Baghdad shooting involving Blackwater USA, the private security contractor hired to protect U.S. diplomats.
Although Blackwater works for the State Department, the Pentagon employs the vast majority of such hired guns in Iraq — about 7,300 — and Gates within days ordered commanders in the country to be more aggressive in using military law to discipline contractors in their areas of responsibility.
The Iraqi justice system was good enough for Sadam but not for Blackwater’s “Guys”?
A defiant Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince said yesterday he will not allow Iraqi authorities to arrest his contractors and try them in Iraq’s faulty justice system.
“We will not let our people be taken by the Iraqis,” Mr. Prince told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. At least 17 of 20 Blackwater guards being investigated for their roles in a Sept. 16 shooting incident are still in a secure compound in Baghdad’s Green Zone and carrying out limited duties.
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.