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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:03 AM
Original message
Blackwater protected Barack Obama in Afghanistan
Edited on Tue Jul-29-08 10:05 AM by RamboLiberal
Source: Telegraph

(Barack Obama) He added: "Most contractors act as if the law doesn't apply to them. Under my plan, if contractors break the law, they will be prosecuted."

In Pennsylvania in March he stated that "we have to crack down on private contractors like Blackwater, because I don't believe they should be able to run amok and put our own troops in danger and get paid three or four times or ten times what our soldiers are getting paid".

So who do you think protected Obama and his fellow senators Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel during their recent and much ballyhooed congressional delegation trip to Afghanistan? Yep, that's right - Blackwater.

In his Washington Whispers column, the well-connected Paul Bedard reports that Obama was overheard saying that "Blackwater is getting a bad rap". A fairly startling alleged observation given his previous utterances about the company - though perhaps unsurprising given he was in a war zone and his life was in the hands of Blackwater guards.

A tight-lipped Anne Tyrrell, spokeswoman for Blackwater, said she could neither confirm nor deny that the company had been involved in the visits by the senators to Afghanistan or Iraq. My request to Bill Burton, Obama's national spokesman, for comment on the Bedard story - including whether the alleged quote or its sentiment was genuine - went unanswered.





Read more: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/toby_harnden/blog/2008/07/29/blackwater_protected_barack_obama_in_afghanistan



WTF! Damn it, I don't want these mercenaries protecting our presidential candidates! BTW, the article says they didn't protect him in Iraq. F' this, how's a senator, congressperson or a president supposed to make a rational decision on Blackwater when they have to put their lives in these mercenaries hands?
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. Can this story get to the Obama 'Fight The Smears" somehow?
If only to have it be confirmed, denied, or otherwise brought to the table by Obama?
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. Will the real Barak Obama please stand up?
Edited on Tue Jul-29-08 10:14 AM by higher class
What could he have avoided saying? Yes, he could have avoided saying getting a bad rap. They deserve a bad rap.

I am confused. Where was the Secret Service and our trained military?

The Ebassy fiasco by Rice was one thing - this is much more serious.

Did contributor money pay for Blackwater.

This is getting very complicated.

We are totally integrated with murderers?
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. We are totally integrated with murderers.
I'm very sorry.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. Recall the Congressional hearing where we learn Blackwater not soldiers protects U.S. Generals?
Did you know that the PMMs are greater in number than U.S. military? Or, most of U.S. Intelligence and Security is 'contracted out'? Because of the current shadow government of contractors managing contractors, if not the contractor Blackwater, then who protects the U.S. State Dept and VIPs abroad?
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. Objection - Hearsay n/t
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
5. how can Obama not know what blackwater really is?


how can he associate himself with them.

they are a neo con construct - neo con equals criminal.

where's the change?
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
6. What's the alternative?
Walk into a war zone with no protection whatsoever?
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Get back to what it originally was
U.S. military protection and/or State Department security forces. How the hell were our government officials protected before Blackwater?????????
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I suspect there's nobody left
I'm reminded of the Emerson Lake and Palmer song Karn Evil 9

Rejoice! glory is ours!
Our young men have not died in vain,
Their graves need no flowers
The tapes have recorded their names.


Lacking the draft, they're running out of volunteers. Stop loss is only going to carry them so far.

My original point, however, was that pragmatically, Obama had to use what was available.
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Blackwater claims they are getting out of the security business.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/21/africa/blackwater.php

I don't believe it though. They are just angling for less oversight.

The choice for the warmongers is; institute a draft, or outsource. Blackwater is going to assume that they won't do a draft and therefore will have to give them less trouble about what they do.
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klyon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. the Marines
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
7. FWIW here's the Whispers Column
Blackwater Got the Gig Securing Obama in Afghanistan
July 25, 2008 05:00 PM ET | Paul Bedard | Permanent Link

Sen. Barack Obama has not been a fan of private police like Blackwater in war zones, and some news outlets even reported that they were spurned for his trip last week to Afghanistan and Iraq. But Whispers confirms that Blackwater did handle the Democratic presidential candidate's security in Afghanistan and helped out in Iraq. What's more, Obama was overheard saying: "Blackwater is getting a bad rap." Since everything appeared to go swimmingly, maybe he will take firms like Blackwater out of his sights, the company's supporters hope.

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/washington-whispers/2008/7/25/blackwater-got-the-gig-securing-obama-in-afghanistan.html

Yeah, Obama's comment is hearsay. I'll take that one with a grain of salt. What I want is for Blackwater not to be in the protection business! I'd rather have these mercenaries, epecially with Prince's RW leanings and Wingnut Christian leanings, protecting Democrats and especially our presidential candidate. I'm sure the Secret Service was also there. But still having Blackwater around makes me nervous.

In the broader picture I want diplomatic protection given back to a well-trained U.S. government security force. And I want to see mercenaries to not be allowed to be involved in war zones at all.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
9. Any US dignitary (Senator, Congressman, Presidential Candidate) will be protected by Blackwater
Obama did not have a choice on who provided his Personal Security Detail (PSD) while in Afghanistan or Iraq. It is determined by who the State Department has contracted to do PSD for visiting officials and dignitaries.

I assume the Secret Service provided the inner ring and Blackwater provided the outer ring, so Obama was not relying on Blackwater totally.
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Sadie5 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. so Obama was not relying on Blackwater totally
Give me a breakkkkkkkkkkk! He knew exactly what he was doing. Another flip flop...or another boneheaded mistake? You choose the best excuse.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. OK, what did you expect him to do?
First, I doubt Obama is going to second guess or tell the Secret Service how to do their job of protecting him. If the Secret Service told Obama, we're going to us Blackwater for your outer PSD protection, what is Obama going to say? No? Come on.

Second, Blackwater was selected by the State Department to provide PSD's to dignitaries. It is a, for now, legal agreement between the federal government and a US based corperation. Since Obama is a visiting dignitary of the US federal government, he is legally obligated to use the contracter that was selected to provide security for him. As a US Senator, he can't pick and choose which contracts he is going to abide by.



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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Exactly, this is the business in Iraq, Obama knows this.
To have demanded differently would be to leave himself open to criticism that he is an unnecessary "boat rocker" taking troops away from their necessary duties.

Eyes on the prize folks, Obama can't hold Blackwater accountable for anything if he's not in the White House.
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peace13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. Face it...
We have a military that can no longer protect or feed itself. By design, Shooter has decimated the forces. Our troops have been hung out to dry by the chicken-hawks who squat in our WH. Go figure.
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mayahbird Donating Member (28 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
18. Surge worked!!!
If the surge worked so well, why would he need anybody to
protect him????
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Ed76638 Donating Member (293 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
19. It's not his fault
Blackwater was contracted by our bitch-ass State Department.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. We're not talking choice - I'm not - 'getting a bad rap" are words that are
Edited on Tue Jul-29-08 09:05 PM by higher class
rubbing the people the wrong way - it's like absolving them. They deserve the bad rap. Perhaps they have kept Rumsfeld and all those who followed him safe - that makes sense.

He should have been given Marines - the Marines working with the Secret Service makes sense.

He was compromised and saying that, if true, means he also compromised himself in any future confrontation.

As an aside - the Embassies and Blackwater are on the budget and payroll of the State Dept. 'She' makes a big deal of ordering the Embassies not to serve him, then turns around and assigns Blackwater to protect him?

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ManiacJoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Standard marines would be a poor choice.
As would any other standard group of soldiers, outside of Special Ops. They have no training in personal protection duties. The only reason the military ever did such duties in the past was that they were the only ones available based on the theory that anything is better than nothing. When trained body guards are available, you let the guards do the protecting and the soldiers do the soldiering (two very different jobs).

Anyone wanting to debate how well/poorly Blackwater et al are trained, that is a different subject in need of its own thread.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Marines that guard the Embassies are specially trained. Someone had to teach Blackwater other than
Edited on Wed Jul-30-08 01:02 PM by higher class
the CIA.
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ManiacJoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. But specially trained at what?
Guarding embassies, sure. Being body guards, not likely.

The CIA did no training of Blackwater. However, there are lots of security schools in the private sector to learn at.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I put my mind to work and the logic of them protecting/escorting the Amabassador
and deputies/employees/visiting dignitaries in any event is very obvious. You make it sound like they are there to watch the building and someone else will appear to protect the humans.
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ManiacJoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. I think you misunderstand the jobs and their requirements.
There is a big difference between being an armed body guard and being an armed security guard whose job it is to secure a building and all the people in it. The two are very different jobs with very different training. The marines do their job very well as security guards given their specialized training for that task.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Are you familiar with the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security?
They protect the Ambassador.


http://www.state.gov/m/ds/
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. Wonder if McCain was protected by Blackwater
Edited on Tue Jul-29-08 01:34 PM by RamboLiberal
Seems to me that infamous stroll through the Baghdad market to buy some rugs that McCain and his buddies took he seemed to be protected by a lot of U.S. military troops, armored vehicles, helicopters, etc. I don't remember seeing the BH guys around. I'd have to go look up some photos from that PRBS trip.
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. He probably was.
There is a difference with respect to what Obama did in Iraq and the photos or clips you saw of McCain in the Baghdad market.

Obama did not go out to any markets or any other public areas. The only time he was off a base was when he was flying or when he when to Sheik Sittar's house in Ramadi, which about 200 meters across a street from a large US base.

When McCain went to that market he was accompnaing an Army unit as they went through their sector. He also probably had a Blackwater PSD. If Obama had wanted to do the same thing, you would have seen the same images from McCain's trip.
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AlinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
22. I doubt that they "protected" him.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-29-08 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
23. Can someone explain to me WHY obama needed to go to afghanistan
He appears to be campaigning for the world instead of the US which he really needs to make better rounds of by November.
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Because we are involved in an armed conflict there, and Senator Obama wanted
to better assess the situation.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. Because the corporate media was spouting McCain talking points as they knew
Iraq and or Afghanistan would make Obama most vulnerable to corporate mercenaries. It's all about corporations and McCain can rest easier doing this as he is the most corporate war loving candidate.

I wouldn't advise Obama to trust the corporate owned mercenaries again, even if the corporate media pressure him to do so.
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Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
32. If Blackwater is all there is available in Afghanistan, then what choice has he ?
They should NOT be there to begin with, but I do not blame Obama for this ... not at all ...

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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
33. I totally agree with your analysis,
and I believe we as a nation are riding on the back of a Tiger every time that happens. The American Peoples leader's security should not be trusted to money grubbing mercenary hands.

Not that this alone would make a difference but some of them aren't even Americans, they don't even have a pretense of allegiance to our Constitution.

It's the money pure and simple and if they're willing to accept money to kill one human being as their sole motivation, they will accept it to kill another, or look the other way, should enough money be offered.
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