Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blackwater security - lost in the fog of war

Blackwater. A fitting name for the dirty little secret that nobody talks about. Bush, in the great "wisdom" of his war powers privatized our army. The last estimate I saw, we had about 100,000 private contractors working in Iraq. A large percentage of those are Blackwater security, which we used to call mercenary soldiers. Guns for hire.

You don't hear about them much. They fly under the radar unless they die in some spectular manner like the four who were hung at Fallujah or the unfortunate Blackwater soldiers who were executed in Baghdad this week. Wildly conflicting reports on that incident indicate from one to three helicopters were involved. The US military claims none were shot down while Sunni groups claim credit for doing so. One thing is clear. The men are dead and their ID is currently displayed on a Sunni website.

And many more Blackwater soldiers die than we never hear about. I saw a tally that put it in the 600s and those are not counted in the military figures yet they are our soldiers. Our tax dollars are paying their hefty salaries. They make much more than our enlisted men do. A big chunk of the billions a month it costs to run the occupation goes to that company.

Unsurprisingly Blackwater is Bush friendly firm. It has direct ties to Dick DeVos, who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Michigan on the Republican ticket using his own money and is a big contributor to both Bush and the GOP. I believe this is what Ike was talking about when he warned against the military-industrial complex.
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Anonymous romunov said...

I know how to solve military deaths in Iraq - employ every foot soldier at Blackwaterâ„¢. So you'll still have top brass who don't die. Win win!

3:04:00 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

"Private contractors". What a sugarcoat for hired filth that have no oversight and cause such misery and grief.

8:42:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Romunov, that'a a thought but it would cost a bloody fortune.

Nolo - and they say the left are PC. I'm sure not every single mercenary is a cretin, the lack of oversight is troublesome. They're answerable to no one although I read recently that they are going to fall under Pentagon purview in some way.

9:51:00 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Yes Libby, I read that too somewhere. But you know with so much at stake and so much money involved, and also because the precedent has been established, I wouldn't think much is going to be done to rein in the loose cannons. You know they love to exploit those grey areas, even though they love to make them black and white for us.
For a disturbing look at what some of them do, this short video shows how we're allowing the mercs to win hearts and minds -

2:04:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks for the link Nolo. That's the trouble of course is that the cretins make everyone look bad and the awful part is they get these guys all pumped up and when there's no one to fight, they just cause random damage out of boredom.

8:55:00 AM  

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