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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:02 PM
Original message
Why Is Obama Still Using Blackwater?

Why Is Obama Still Using Blackwater?
by JEREMY SCAHILL

September 16, 2009

Two years ago on September 16, 2007, on a steamy hot Baghdad day with temperatures reaching 100 degrees, a heavily armed Blackwater convoy entered a congested intersection at Nisour Square in the Mansour district of the Iraqi capital. The once-upscale section of Baghdad was still lined with boutiques, cafes and art galleries dating back to better days. The ominous caravan consisted of four large armored vehicles with machine guns mounted on top.
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As the Blackwater convoy was entering the square that day, a young Iraqi medical student named Ahmed Hathem Al-Rubaie was driving his mother, Mahasin, in the family's white sedan. As fate would have it, they found themselves stuck near Nisour Square. The family were devout Muslims and were fasting in observance of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ali Khalaf Salman, an Iraqi traffic cop on duty in Nisour Square that day, remembers vividly when the Blackwater convoy entered the intersection, spurring him and his colleagues to scramble to stop traffic. But as the Mambas entered the square, the convoy suddenly made a surprise U-turn and proceeded to drive the wrong way on a one-way street. As Khalaf watched, the convoy came to an abrupt halt. He says a large white man with a mustache, positioned atop the third vehicle in the Blackwater convoy, began to fire his weapon "randomly."


http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090928/scahill3
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. It became the right thing to
do in January 2009. :shrug: I don't get it either.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. Why indeed?!
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sicksicksick_N_tired Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
33. Priorities?
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 08:43 PM by sicksicksick_N_tired
This man has been burdened with cleaning up,...a HUGE DUMP,...while determined to achieve those things every single American DESERVED to gain for well over 40 years.

Please, allow him to GAIN for matters American citizens deserved long ago, FIRST. Then, he will clean up the rest of the mess left behind by those preceding him.

I am CERTAIN he has delegated, for better or worse, the job of cleaning some of that shit up. But, for those who expect "miracles" from any man, just sit back for the armageddon you MUST have.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. I think that the reason is that we've grown dependent on these
contract thugs, and have nothing to replace them, so we continue to use them. There's not enough military to handle the particular jobs, so we're stuck. President Obama can't come up with enough people to do whatever jobs they're doing, so they keep getting used.

Now, if we pulled the hell out of there, the problem would be solved. That's my suggestion.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. that's one part of it
the other imo is people keep forgetting how well entrenched bilgewater is politically and inside the pentagon...although technically independent they have essentially become a well-funded arm of the pentagon--one that does dirty and highly illegal jobs, no questions asked...
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Those are the jobs I was talking about...
We've abdicated our responsibilities, even in wartime, and have delegated them to overpaid, undertrained thugs, who act with impunity in ways that would be illegal for our military.

Trouble is, we're pretty much dependent on Blackwater to do the dirty work. If we cut them off, we'd be forced to admit that the jobs they were doing are against the law for our military to do.

President Obama's in an impossible situation. If he orders Blackwater out of Iraq by stopping payments, he leaves a big hole behind there, which will soon become evident as many things break down.

Since there's no real alternative source of these workers, he's stuck. I don't see a good solution, other than 'fessing up to the illegalities and prosecuting. I don't see that happening, though.

Bad business, all around.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
23. Blackwater has sucked up enough monies for its projects
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 05:07 PM by truedelphi
That it has a solid lobbysit base.

And Obama, though he said he hated lobbyists, has expanded the lobbyists. Another case of the Obama we liked and loved during his campaaign days, and the man who must be his evil twin, who is running things now.
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cap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. we are deliberately circumventing a call for a military draft by using these contractors
If we called for American citizens to do the job, we would not be in a war. The RWingers would refuse to go.

It's time we went back to the old way of doing things. If Americans don't want to fight and die for a war, we shouldn't go. If we don't have enough American troops to do the job, we don't get involved and we scale down our commitments.
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LaydeeBug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. I rec'd this and I've criticized this man before BUT, can we get Public Option done first?
I know it's awful. I know it's hedging my bets. But can we just let him get that all important make or break thing done before we go rocking the boat any further? :shrug: There *is* a lot to be done, but a lot more can GET done if he gets a second term. (And I truly don't think that will happen if there is no po)
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I think we can do more than one thing at a time --
chew gum, breathe and walk all at once!

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LaydeeBug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
32. I would hope so too, but this one thing is too important. really. nt
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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. Maybe I'm Just Ignorant...BUT...
...even if you take away the allegations what LEGITIMATE service do they supposedly perform that couldn't be accomplished through the use of the military?

(not that they should be roaming the planet at will either, I'm just askin')
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. There's isn't a large enough army of "volunteers" to fight all the wars they want to fight . . .
it's an end run against reinstating the draft --

which I would be against --

However, the result of lack of "volunteers" should be that you stop the

warmongering and the "false flag" operations to create wars!!!



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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. But these BW types don't work cheap
At least not from what I've read. They can make 6-figures a year...TAX FREE.

I know this is going to seem silly but if (hypothetically, don't shoot me, I'm just askin') they're a legitmate use of US foreign policy why not pay select uniformed US troops 6-figures? If money is the draw to get X amount of additional troops into a certain place it seems to me that we can write the same kinds of paychecks but it would make it easier to cut down on the rogue element if they were under direct military control.

We don't need a BIGGER bang for our buck...only a more DISCIPLINED bang for our buck.

"However, the result of lack of "volunteers" should be that you stop the warmongering and the "false flag" operations to create wars!!!"

No offense but I find it incredible in the extreme that Obama extended their contracts to engage in false flag operations.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. Right -- they've been ripping off soldiers .. . and work some of them have done on Embassy . . .
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 08:48 PM by defendandprotect
has killed a number of them -- electrocution in the shower!!!

My husband was telling me a few years ago that someone had shown him a circular where

they were offering HUGE sums -- $140,000 - and bonuses, etc -- think they were looking

for like ex-police officers?

Understand your question, but I'd prefer if they found all of this Un-Constitutional.

PLUS I don't think they'd like to pay a real volunteer that kind of money -- that volunteer

for his country might not want to do some of the filthy things that these people are doing!!!

Don't know who in Congress is monitoring this now -- they sure have lots to catch up with!!!

But someone was checking into the contracts and profits these guys were making.

We need more hearings--!!!

Btw, I understand that if we combined our forces as other countries do we could save like

$26 BILLION a year!!!

Agree -- I sure hope that Obama isn't letting anyone get away with any more "false flag"

operations -- 9/11 MIHOP . . .

But, I'd sure like to see him get us out of Afghanistan/Iraq-Vietnam, rather than increasing

troops. All of that is bankrupting our Treasury and has been since '01 --



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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Health care has to be "deficit neutral"
but when it comes to war and war profiteers, "money is no object".

This administration needs to get its priorities straight.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. Sadly, that's been going on a long, long time --
And the more you think about this the more you realize that they have to

continue creating enemies --

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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. A damn good question. nt knr
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. Remember the Swedish Hospital incident - Blackwater (Xe) "raided" it on 13 July

World News
U.S. Coalition Forces raid Afghan hospital
By Jonathon Burch
Alertnet
Sunday, Sep 6, 2009

......The hospital is located in an area where community acceptance is essential to the continued functioning and safety of the hospital and its staff. The hospital has faced a further intrusion on 13 July, when private security guards escorting a convoy came under attack from insurgents and sought shelter/treatment in a very aggressive manner in the hospital and proceeded to assault staff and damage property.

........

And there is this:

Blackwater: CIA Assassins?
By Jeremy Scahill

August 20, 2009

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090831/scahill1

....One of the former employees alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life." They also charge that Prince was profiting from illegal weapons smuggling. In a motion filed August 10, Prince's lawyers asked Judge Ellis to strike from the record the sworn statements of the two former employees, saying that "the conclusory allegations they contain are inadmissible on multiple grounds, including lack of foundation, hearsay, irrelevance, and unfair prejudice." They charge that the lawyers suing Blackwater are attempting to "use this litigation as a 'megaphone' to increase their ability to influence the public's perceptions regarding the use of contractors in military battlefield situations, the Iraq War, and most particularly about Erik Prince and the other defendants. Unsubstantiated statements made in filings in this Court become 'newsworthy' simply because they appear in those filings." The lawyers characterize the allegations as "scandalous, baseless, inadmissible, and highly prejudicial." Interestingly, nowhere do Prince's lawyers say flatly that the allegations are untrue.

As the cases against Prince move forward, the company continues to do a robust business with the federal government, particularly in Afghanistan. Schakowsky has called for a review of all of the companies' current contracts, and she has called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stop awarding the company contracts. The "Obama administration should at the very least cancel and debar present and pending government contracts," says Nader. "Otherwise corporate crimes, privileges and immunities continue to pay and pay and pay."

..........

Is there any sense to this madness? I say Hell NO!

:argh:
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Sick_of_Rethuggery Donating Member (853 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
13. SIMPLE:
Because BlackWater (despite its ironic name) is not ACORN and therefore not targeted by the right.
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branders seine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
14. and why are we still illegally occupying two sovereign countries?
I like him though. He called Kanye a jackass. That showed me something.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
15. It's only bad when the other guy does it. n/t
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kjackson227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. Maybe they have a contract ??? I've wondered about this also.
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
17. God, I love Jeremy Schahill - my version of a highschool girl crush on a rockstar

Love...Love....Love Jeremy!

:loveya:
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
18. It keeps troop deployments "off the books".
It gives the government the ability to appear to be withdrawing troops.
Also, "contractors" who are killed or wounded don't appear in the "official" death tally of US Soldiers.

Who cares how much it costs?
We are not paying.
We're sending to bill to our children.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
19. My theory is he's holding them close to his vest..
So they don't go rougue in America and start murdering godless Democrats.

I'm not sure even I believe that, but it's the only reason that makes any sense.
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Boxerfan Donating Member (710 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
20. Because he wants to stay alive???
Sheeesh but I think I might be right. Not that he doesn't have enough to worry about without an inside man( AND YOU KNOW THEY HAVE ONE )doing the bidding of Cheney.
Yikes.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
21. Maybe a better question is how/why Prince is supporting a Democrat
It seems to run counter to his reported idiology. Could the cold-eye SEAL of lore be just a grubbing cash-whore in reality?
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. What is the nature of a corporate tool?
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Ardent15 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
27. Because the military-industrial complex is still very much....
...alive and well.

They are in every state,in every congressional district, and they are a threat to our republic.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
28. Beats me
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. +1 nt
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
30. Because the Chinese are still willing to fund them.

Then comes the rude awakening of disaster capitalism, when BLackWater flows back into America with a new master.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
34. they know where he lives.
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