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I would like to discuss Blackwater and its use by this administration.

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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:05 AM
Original message
I would like to discuss Blackwater and its use by this administration.
Am I right in thinking they were not anywhere near the strength they are today, before this administration took office? Did they come about because of the "plans" of the neocons, or was it a fledgling business...say, a security mom and pop type operation?

I hope to be able to ask Biden about this company today, but my concern is what happens to them when this administration is out of office and, if they will no longer have these huge contracts, why are they building new training grounds?

I guess my curiosity is piqued about several of these companies: Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater, et al., who have been leeches on the back of America for the past 7 years. I don't see this cabal allowing this to end.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. and what are the dems going to do about it as they are complicit nt
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. they were founded in 1996 so yes, it's a young company
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 10:18 AM by AZDemDist6
here's a good interview on BW /

Scahill: Blackwater USA was founded by a man named Eric Prince. And Eric Prince is ... currently in his late 30s, but at the time of founding Blackwater in 1996 he was believed to be the wealthiest person that had ever enlisted in the U.S. Navy SEALs, which is widely considered to be the most elite force within the U.S. military. And Eric Prince came from a very conservative evangelical Christian family in the state of Michigan.

His father was a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps businessman who started a very successful auto parts manufacturing business called Prince Manufacturing. And what the company was best known for was inventing the now ubiquitous lighted sun visor. Any time youre in your car and you pull down that visor and it lights up, thats Eric Princes family that invented that. So this company was very successful throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and really, young Eric Prince watched as his father used his very successful business as a cash-generating machine to fund the rise of the Republican revolution in 1994 that brought Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America to power.

To give the kick-start money to Gary Bauer to start his group, the Family Research Council. They were heavy funders of James Dobson and Focus on the Family. And so young Eric Prince grew up in this family that was very strict Calvinist in their religion and then real free-market-gospel followers. And so he saw this sort of model from his father, and that really has been the model that he has picked up and ran with as hes built up his Blackwater empire.

Scheer: I was reading a fact that was kind of shocking ... one in every 60 soldiers in the first gulf war was a contractor. And in this war, its one to one. You know, what have you noticed, I mean is this war unique? Is this the most contractors weve ever used? How do you see these contractors, and whats their role in Iraq that were seeing today? And in modern warfare in general?

Scahill: The Bush administration came to power with the most radical privatization agenda in U.S. history, and we see it in our schools, we see it in prisons, we see it in healthcare, we see it in local law enforcement in the United States, federal law enforcement as well. And now with the so-called war on terror and the occupation of Iraq, weve seen the most militant privatization agenda sort of unfold before our eyes.

Donald Rumsfeld, on September 10th, 2001, gave one of his first major addresses at the Pentagon, and he laid out a plan for a wholesale sort of overhaul of how the U.S. would wage its wars. And he talked about a small-footprint approach and the use of the private sector, and at one point Rumsfeld said because governments cant die, we need to find other incentives for bureaucracy to adapt and improve. And of course this was one day before this sort of new Pearl Harbor moment happened on September 11th and all of a sudden Rumsfeld and Cheney get this blank canvas on which to paint their privatization dreams. And so what weve seen is as tanks rolled in, in March of 2003, to Iraq, they brought with them the largest army of private war contractors ever deployed.

Now, as you say, theres some 100,000 contractorsI actually think there are probably more than that. Thats a strangely round number. But the fact of the matter is that we know from internal government audits that were done on the Iraq occupation that there are some 48,000 employees of private mercenary companies operating in Iraq right now. And what these companies do is they give the Bush administration extraordinary political cover. Their deaths dont get counted, their injuries dont get counted, their crimes dont get reported, they dont get investigated, they dont get prosecuted. The fact of the matter is that with 100,000-plus contractors in Iraq, theres only been one indictment of a contractor for a crime or violation committed in Iraq. And that contractor wasnt even a mercenary contractor. It was a private contractor doing support work for the U.S. military. So what we see is a sort of revolving door.

The mercenaries provide the Bush administration with the ability to bloat the occupation forceseffectively double the number of occupation personnel on the groundand then in turn the Bush administration has given them almost total free-for-all environment where theres no accountability, theres no oversight, theres no effective laws governing their presence there. And its interesting that Blackwater USA and its executives are heavy funders of the campaigns of President Bush and his Republican allies, and that these are the very individuals that have essentially created a Wild West environment for these contractors in Iraq.
more at link.....
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LakeSamish706 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. This line is what has me concerned, along with others on DU...
"but my concern is what happens to them when this administration is out of office and, if they will no longer have these huge contracts"

Many don't think that this Administration intends on leaving office, but will cause some sort of emergency that will allow them to declare Martial law...
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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That is basically what I'm asking without forming it into words.
It doesn't make any sense to continue building training grounds when your benefactor is no longer going to feed you contracts.

Thanks for picking out my meaning from my words.
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