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Is Blackwater USA's private army a threat to the United States?

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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 08:48 PM
Original message
Poll question: Is Blackwater USA's private army a threat to the United States?
Edited on Sun Jan-28-07 08:52 PM by originalpckelly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_USA

This is an announcement by President Bush in the State of the Union speech:
"A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/2007012...

Here is a document, found on another forum ( :puke:) explaining this, it's from the state department:

"The seventh tool that we are putting in place is the technical capacity to implement these programs. There are two aspects to this. One is using the existing authorities that we have across the interagency, and building up a database of indefinite quantity contracts that exist in USAID, in Treasury, in Justice, in the Corps of Engineers, et cetera so that we know what skills and capabilities are out there that can be tapped immediately, and expand out as effectively as we can. In addition to that, thanks to some funding that weve gotten from Joint Forces Command, were also doing a feasibility study on the creation of a civilian reserve. That civilian reserve would start with an initial phase with indigenous police trainers, rule of law experts. It would go to a second phase of civil services, and eventually a third phase of civil administrators. Were doing the feasibility work now because its critical that when we put this before the U.S. Congress, we can give them the most cost-effective mix of when you use reserves and when you use contracts and how you facilitate a mix."
http://www.state.gov/s/crs/rls/rm/54612.htm

Here is an LA Times article on this:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe...

Just what the fuck is that supposed to be?

And more importantly:
Is Blackwater USA's private army a threat to the United States?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. Mercenary
Function: adjective
1 : serving merely for pay or sordid advantage : VENAL; also : GREEDY
2 : hired for service in the army of a foreign country
- mercenarily /"m&r-s&-'ner-&-lE, -'ne-r&-/ adverb
- mercenariness /'m&r-s&-"ner-E-n&s, -"ne-rE-/ noun

____________________

Given the definition, nothing good comes from it.

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Aviation Pro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. I vote No for this reason....
Edited on Sun Jan-28-07 09:22 PM by Aviation Pro
...outfits like Blackwater, Triple Canopy, etc are doomed by their pickiness. Their core is made up of service members from SOCOM units, whose numbers are small to begin with (the attrition rate of SFQC, BUDS, and PJ/CCT is the highest of all combined services). Thus they are forced to recruit from outside the core nucleus of talent, which is always a non-starter. Furthermore, their profitability is based on the fact that their core employees are already trained courtesy of the American taxpayer. As they begin to dilute their core they will be forced to become training centers, which carries an enormously high expense. Lastly, this guy (picture below), Gen. Peter Schoomaker, knows how much of threat the private contractors are to the retention of qualified operators. I am sure he has developed a plan to retain members of elite units and will implement accordingly. (Last point: Senator Kerry mentioned increasing the number of Special Forces during the 2004 debates. In retrospect, this would have been a great idea because there would be no need for private army contractors if the manpower matched the OPTEMPO).

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RegimeChange2008 Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. They are absolutely a threat to this country.
We have already seen these fascist mercenary goons walking the streets of an American city, harassing its citizens. That city being New Orleans, of course, in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster, which as we all know was made much worse by the fact that the federal government refused to act at all until 6 days after the fact.

In the event that Chimpenfuhrer turns completely against the American people and imposes complete military style dictatorship, who is more likely to use weapons against US citizens? Actual US military, who are bound by oath to defend this country, or these soulless fascist thugs who consider themselves above all laws?

The day I see those bastards walking down my street is the day I serve them a breakfast of hot lead. And I don't say that about very many people.
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MikeNearMcChord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. The two time Medal Of Honor winner
Marine Major General Smedley Butler was once approached by businessmen to lead a merc army to overthrow FDR, he refused. I say that if the militias of the 1990's were considered threats, what about these Wall Street funded private armies, just take a look at Colombia and see what kind of terror these groups can do.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-29-07 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. speaking of Colombia, check out one the Blackwater's recruiting locals
From a chilling 2004 article:

Here Come the Death Squad Veterans

By Louis Nevaer, Pacific News Service. Posted June 16, 2004.

As violent attacks continue in Iraq, corporate America is turning to Latin America to "outsource" protection services to veterans of the region's 'dirty wars'.

If José Miguel Pizarro has his way, he will recruit 30,000 Chileans as mercenaries to protect American companies under Pentagon contract to rebuild Iraq. And undoubtedly, within those ranks will be former members of death squads that tortured and murdered civilians when dictatorships ruled in Latin America.

"There is no comparison with what they can earn in the active military or working in civilian jobs, and what we offer," José Miguel Pizarro, Chile's leading recruiter for international security firms, says. "This is an opportunity that few in Chile can afford to pass up."

Pizarro's firm, Servicios Integrales, was contracted by Blackwater USA to recruit the first batch of Chileans in November 2003. By May 2004 he had placed 5,200 men who, after one week of training in Santiago, head to North Carolina for orientation with Blackwater, the private security firm that made headlines when four of its employees where killed in Falluja, their bodies mutilated and hung from a bridge. After training, Blackwater flies the men to Kuwait City to await their assignments in Iraq.

As democratic governments were voted into office throughout Latin America in the 1990s, Latin militaries were downsized. Thousands of military officers lost their jobs. "This is a way of continuing our military careers," Carlos Wamgnet, 30, explained in a phone interview from Kuwait while awaiting his assignment in Iraq. "In civilian life in Chile I was making $1,800 a month. Here I can earn a year's pay in six weeks. It's worth the risks."

...

"Blackwater USA has sent recruiters to Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Guatemala for one specific reason alone," said an intelligence officer in Kuwait who requested anonymity. "All these countries experienced dirty wars‚ and they have military men well-trained in dealing with internal subversives. They are well-versed in extracting confessions from prisoners."

As the security situation in Iraq deteriorated in the spring of 2004, more "dedicated recruiting" began.
...



And then there's the still Colombian scandal involved staged bombings by military officers blamed on leftists, which is still unfolding:


Colombia's "para-political" scandal widens

By Hugh Bronstein | January 19, 2007

BOGOTA (Reuters) - More than a dozen Colombian politicians agreed in 2001 to cooperate with right-wing paramilitary criminals, says a document revealed on Friday, fueling the country's worst political scandal in years.

Three members President Alvaro Uribe's congressional coalition have been sent to prison for their links with the drug-running militias, and more lawmakers were under investigation before paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso turned the document over as part of his court case.

Signed by militia bosses including Mancuso, who this week admitted he ordered massacres and 336 assassinations in the name of fighting left-wing rebels, the document also carries the signature of 11 members of Congress, two provincial governors and five mayors from the Atlantic coast region.

It calls for the reinforcement of the rule of law in Colombia, which has suffered waves of bombings, kidnappings and assassinations over 42 years of guerrilla war.

The document was signed by politicians from across this Andean country's political spectrum, with the exception of the main opposition party, called the Polo Democratico.

"We are beginning to see the extent of what had long been an open secret, that many politicians in northern Colombia were under the influence of the paramilitaries. Willingly or unwillingly, they followed their instructions," said political commentator Ricardo Avila.

SIGN OR ELSE

Several politicians told reporters they were told to sign the document or risk being killed by the militias, which were organized in the 1980s to help landowners protect their property against the rebels.

Both illegal groups, branded "terrorists" by Washington, fund their operations with Colombia's multibillion-dollar cocaine trade.

More than 31,000 "paras" including Mancuso have turned over their guns in exchange for benefits including reduced prison terms. Peace talks with the rebels remain elusive.

Thousands of people are killed and displaced every year in the conflict as a mosaic of armed groups vie for control of lucrative cocaine-producing land and smuggling routes.

Opposition parties are meanwhile seeking to use the "para-political" scandal to their advantage.

"There is concrete evidence not that the president is a Mafioso, but that his closest collaborators are," Gustavo Petro, whose left-leaning Polo Democratico calls itself the "anti-mafia" party, told Reuters last week.

But Uribe, who won re-election last year based on his popular U.S.-backed crackdown on the rebels, ended 2006 with 63 percent popularity, a level that is likely to hold, according to local pollster Napoleon Franco.

"The polls show voters continue to have a high level of tolerance with Uribe," he said.

Uribe, a conservative whose father was killed by the rebels more than 20 years ago, says his government supports the Attorney General's probe into the scandal.

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OnceUponTimeOnTheNet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R I voted no. nt
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SanCristobal Donating Member (303 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. About the Civilian Reserve:
I don't think it is connected with any kind of mercenary forces, but rather a way to establish a readily available occupation government for future wars. The fact that someone seems to think we need this should be getting more attention then it is.
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MN ChimpH8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yes! Hell yes!!
A private army in the pay of reich-wing loonies is an indubitably bad thing.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. Anyone engaging in mercenary activity should be deprived of US
Edited on Sun Jan-28-07 09:35 PM by Zynx
citizenship and extradited to the country they committed their crimes in. It is a black mark on our nation that our government is employing mercenaries.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. Don't know, but I think we outnumber them. Didn't vote.
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Robson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. Not Good
These private military companies are a threat in theater because they have no accountabiity, they create resentment in the military due to their lucrative pay for going similar functions, they open the door to confusion and friendly fire deaths because they are not in the chain of command and operate on different communications networks, and they steal experienced highly trained military personnel. They raise the net cost of our military due to this cannibalization of trained specialized forces and they cost the taxpayer far more to perform the same functions as the military. 35K per yr versus 200K+ per year.

More and more multi-national corporations are employing these people for security. Corporations are already usurping the sovereignty of countries and these PMCs give them the clout to impose their will.

There are no advantage to PMCs except to the politicians that get kickbacks from the defense contractors that get rich on our tax dollars.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. Nazi Brownshirts come to mind.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
11. Can you say Sturmabteilung?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmabteilung

The term Sturmabteilung originally came from the specialized assault troops used by Germany in 1918 in World War I utilising Hutier infiltration tactics. Instead of a large mass assault, the Sturmabteilung were organized into small squads of a few soldiers each. First applied during the Battle of Caporetto, the wider use in March 1918 allowed the Germans to push back British and French lines tens of kilometers.

In Munich in the fall of 1920, Hitler himself created the Ordnertruppen, a body of muscular Nazis, ex-soldiers, and beer hall brawlers in order to protect his speeches and NSDAP (Nazi) gatherings from disruptions from Social Democrat and Communist elements. It originally functioned as a group of bodyguards to enforce order at Nazi gatherings. On November 4, 1921 the NSDAP held a large public meeting in the Munich Hofbrauhaus. After Hitler had spoken for some time the meeting erupted into a free-for-all in which a small company of Ordnertruppen distinguished itself by thrashing the opposition. After this the organisation came to be called the SA. Under their popular leader Ernst Rhm, the SA grew in importance within the Nazi power structure, eventually claiming thousands of members. In 1922, the NSDAP created a youth section, the Jugendbund, for young men between the ages of 14 and 18 years. Its successor, the Hitler Youth, remained under SA command until May 1932.

From April of 1924 until late February of 1925 the SA was known as the Frontbann to avoid the temporary ban on the Nazi party. The SA carried out numerous acts of violence against socialist groups throughout the 1920s, typically in minor street-fights called Zusammenste ('collisions'). The SS eventually took over their original role.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-29-07 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Yes I can, I can also say GESTAPO.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-29-07 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. Black Water and those like them...
...Have the capacity to become SS, SA or GESTAPO.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-29-07 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
16. Anybody know how Blackwater is funded?
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