Saturday, September 29, 2007

Evict Blackwater and Get Your End to the War

So today five witnesses and one senior Iraqi police officer gave public testimony against Blackwater, attesting that the mercenaries opened fire without provocation in the September 16th shooting incident in Baghdad, which left at least eleven innocent civilians dead. Blackwater mercenaries involved claimed last Friday to ABC NEWS that they opened fire on a white car after if refused to give way to them in rush-hour traffic... even after they threw water bottles at it and gave the driver the finger. After an outraged Prime Minister Maliki announced his intention to hurl Blackwater out of his country, he was pressured by a phone call from Secretary of State Condollezza Rice. If Blackwater was gone the next day, the occupation would be shut down. Crying shame, really.

The horror continues... despite claims by representatives, Blackwater didn't kill those civilians in defense of any State Department officials. The timeline works like this: a car bomb went off near a place their "State" was visiting. Half an hour later, as they are leaving to go back to the Green Zone, Blackwater dispatches two other groups to help escort them back. TST-22, the first group of back-up finds the original group, and escorts them back to the Green Zone. TST-23, the second group gets "delayed," which given it's a group of men in SUVs read "lost and refused to stop for directions." TST-23 ends up in a crowded traffic circle, and gives in to a fit of bloody road-rage, then flees back to the Green Zone. TST-22 doubles back to provide protection for TST-23, and ends up in the traffic circle after they have left. At which point, TST-22 end up surrounded by a quick-reaction force from the Iraqi Army with it's large caliber machine guns. A US military QRF scrambled onto the scene to mediate before Blackwater got slaughtered, and TST-22 retreated to the Green Zone. You read me right, our "money-saving" mercenaries had to be rescued by the real deal. Yet another classic bail-out of a bad private investment scheme.

The State Department released a report yesterday detailing how in fact, Blackwater is quite trigger-happy.

"The officials said that Blackwater’s incident rate was at least twice that recorded by employees of DynCorp International and Triple Canopy, the two other United States-based security firms that have been contracted by the State Department to provide security for diplomats and other senior civilians in Iraq.

The State Department would not comment on most matters relating to Blackwater, citing the current investigation. But Sean McCormack, the department’s spokesman, said that of 1,800 escort missions by Blackwater this year, there had been “only a very small fraction, very small fraction, that have involved any sort of use of force.”

In 2005, DynCorp reported 32 shootings during about 3,200 convoy missions, and in 2006 that company reported 10 episodes during about 1,500 convoy missions. While comparable Blackwater statistics were not available, government officials said the firm’s rate per convoy mission was about twice DynCorp’s."

What is the State Department afraid of if it has to conceal this information? Accountability?

The Pentagon hurried to show their equal support for Blackwater with a $92 million dollar contract. The money goes to Blackwater's aviation subsidiary Presidental Airways... who killed three American soldiers by flying a helicopter into the side of a mountain. Right after one of the Blackwater pilots assured his passengers that "All we want is to avoid seeing rock at twelve o'clock" Yes, because you should give $92 million dollars to men who can't tell mountain from clear sky. Given the difference.

And despite the infusion of cash, there may be more blood in the water than people think. Just last Wednesday, "the North Carolina private military contractor canceled a $5.5 million deal to buy 1,800 acres of farmland near Fort Bragg, where it was going to set up a training ground for soldiers and corporate executives." Blackwater refused to officially comment to the press, of course. And in a little story from September 9th there's more innocent blood in Iraq that's on Blackwater's hands:

A clerk in the Iraqi customs office in Diyala province, she was in the capital to drop off and pick up paperwork at the central office near busy al Khilani Square, not far from the fortified Green Zone, where top U.S. and Iraqi officials live and work. U.S. officials often pass through the square in heavily guarded convoys on their way to other parts of Baghdad.

As Hussein walked out of the customs building, an embassy convoy of sport-utility vehicles drove through the intersection. Blackwater security guards, charged with protecting the diplomats, yelled at construction workers at an unfinished building to move back. Instead, the workers threw rocks. The guards, witnesses said, responded with gunfire, spraying the intersection with bullets.

Hussein, who was on the opposite side of the street from the construction site, fell to the ground, shot in the leg. As she struggled to her feet and took a step, eyewitnesses said, a Blackwater security guard trained his weapon on her and shot her multiple times. She died on the spot, and the customs documents she'd held in her arms fluttered down the street.

Before the shooting stopped, four other people were killed in what would be the beginning of eight days of violence that Iraqi officials say bolster their argument that Blackwater should be banned from working in Iraq.

So beyond a few dropping jaws, where is the liberal outrage? Rice was clear enough with her marching orders for people who want a change in Iraq. Get rid of Blackwater and it all comes tumbling down...

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Anonymous TomDem55 said...

mercenaries, that is HOW Rome fell
more evidence of the total failure of the Repulicans in charge of that clusterfuc# in IRaq that the only ONLY thing that matters to them is MONEY

8:32:00 PM  
Blogger omelas said...


8:23:00 AM  

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