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Cindy McCain Bankrolled Conference That Called for Ban on Mercenaries [View All]

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-17-09 12:57 AM
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Cindy McCain Bankrolled Conference That Called for Ban on Mercenaries
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Source: Jeremy Scahill



"he use of deadly force must be entrusted only to those whose training, character and accountability are most worthy of the nation's trust: the military," reads the executive summary of the U.S. Naval Academys 9th Annual McCain Conference on Ethics and Military Leadership, which was held in April at the Annapolis Naval Station. "The military profession carefully cultivates an ethic of 'selfless service,' and develops the virtues that can best withstand combat pressures and thus achieve the nation's objectives in an honorable way. By contrast, most corporate ethical standards and available regulatory schemes are ill-suited for this environment."

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According to the Fall 2009 newsletter, "Taking Stock," published by the U.S. Naval Academy's Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership -- the host of the McCain Conference -- among the speakers at the 2009 event was none other than Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater. Princes company is the most infamous of those engaged in the type of armed activity explicitly condemned by the conference's leadership.

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Despite the fact that the McCain conference, which publicly advocated against the use of armed contractors in combat areas bears Sen. McCain's name and was bankrolled by his wife, when it has come to making this a major issue on Capitol Hill, the Arizona Senator has been largely silent. In 2007, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Jan Schakowsky introduced the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, which sought to do precisely what the McCain conference called for two years later: to ban the use of mercenaries in U.S. war zones. McCain did not endorse or co-sponsor that legislation, which would certainly have benefited from his support (neither did then-Senator Barack Obama). Responding to a reporter's question on the campaign trail in July 2008 about whether he believed that U.S. troops and not private guards should protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq, McCain said, "I'd like it, but we don't have enough. Yes, and I'd love to see pigs fly, but it aint gonna happen.

The McCain campaign hired people with deep ties to the mercenary industry to work on his presidential bid. Among these was senior strategist, Charlie Black, whose firm BKSH & Associates worked for Blackwaters owner Erik Prince, helping to guide Prince through his appearance on Capitol Hill in the aftermath of the September 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad. McCain also brought on as a senior foreign policy advisor Richard Armitage, the former deputy Secretary of State. After leaving the government, Armitage served as a senior adviser for Veritas Capital from 2005 to 2007. Veritas owns the mercenary giant DynCorp, which holds billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan security and training contracts.

Read more: http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/cindy_mccain_bankrol...



This is more ironic than anything else.
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