Blackwater - the new domestic SS force

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by TorontoTrader2, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Coming to a town near you.

    Fresh from Iraq, trained in the most brutal destabilization and crackdown techniques.
    Paid for by tax dollar.

    ---------------------------------------------------


    Blackwater's Bu$ine$$





    By Jeremy Scahill

    12/06/07 "The Nation" -- -- Gunning down seventeen Iraqi civilians in an incident the military has labeled "criminal." Multiple Congressional investigations. A federal grand jury. Allegations of illegal arms smuggling. Wrongful death lawsuits brought by families of dead employees and US soldiers. A federal lawsuit alleging war crimes. Charges of steroid use by trigger-happy mercenaries. Allegations of "significant tax evasion." The US-installed government in Iraq labeling its forces "murderers." With a new scandal breaking practically every day, one would think Blackwater security would be on the ropes, facing a corporate meltdown or even a total wipeout. But it seems that business for the company has never been better, as it continues to pull in major federal contracts. And its public demeanor grows bolder and cockier by the day.

    Rather than hiding out and hoping for the scandals to fade, the Bush Administration's preferred mercenary company has launched a major rebranding campaign, changing its name to Blackwater Worldwide and softening its logo: once a bear paw in the site of a sniper scope, it's now a bear claw wrapped in two half ovals--sort of like the outline of a globe with a United Nations feel. Its website boasts of a corporate vision "guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world." Blackwater mercenaries are now referred to as "global stabilization professionals." Blackwater's 38-year-old owner, Erik Prince, was No. 11 in Details magazine's "Power 50," the men "who control your viewing patterns, your buying habits, your anxieties, your lust.... the people who have taken over the space in your head."

    In one of the company's most bizarre recent actions, on December 1 Blackwater paratroopers staged a dramatic aerial landing, complete with Blackwater flags and parachutes--not in Baghdad or Kabul but in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium during the halftime show at the San Diego State/BYU football game. The location was interesting, given that Blackwater is fighting fierce local opposition to its attempt to open a new camp--Blackwater West--on 824 acres in the small rural community of Potrero, just outside San Diego. Blackwater's parachute squad plans to land at the Armed Forces Bowl in Texas this month and the Virginia Gold Cup in May. The company recently sponsored a NASCAR racer, and it has teamed up with gun manufacturer Sig Sauer to create a Blackwater Special Edition full-sized 9-millimeter pistol with the company logo on the grip. It comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. For $18, parents can purchase infant onesies with the company logo.

    In recent weeks, Blackwater has indicated it might quit Iraq. "We see the security market diminishing," Prince told the Wall Street Journal in October. Yet on December 3 Blackwater posted job listings for "security specialists" and snipers as a result of its State Department diplomatic security "contract expansion." While its name may be mud in the human rights world, Blackwater has not only made big money in Iraq (about $1 billion in State Department contracts); it has secured a reputation as a company that keeps US officials alive by any means necessary. The dirty open secret in Washington is that Blackwater has done its job in Iraq, even if it has done so by valuing the lives of Iraqis much lower than those of US VIPs. That badass image will serve it well as it expands globally.

    Prince promises that Blackwater "is going to be more of a full spectrum" operation. Amid the cornucopia of scandals, Blackwater is bidding for a share of a five-year, $15 billion contract with the Pentagon to "fight terrorists with drug-trade ties." Perhaps the firm will join the mercenary giant DynCorp in Colombia or Bolivia or be sent into Mexico on a "training" mission. This "war on drugs" contract would put Blackwater in the arena with the godfathers of the war business, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

    In addition to its robust business in law enforcement, military and homeland security training, Blackwater is branching out. Here are some of its current projects and initiatives:

    § Blackwater affiliate Greystone Ltd., registered offshore in Barbados, is an old-fashioned mercenary operation offering "personnel from the best militaries throughout the world" for hire by governments and private organizations. It also boasts of a "multi-national peacekeeping program," with forces "specializing in crowd control and less than lethal techniques and military personnel for the less stable areas of operation."

    § Prince's Total Intelligence Solutions, headed by three CIA veterans (among them Blackwater's number two, Cofer Black), puts CIA-type services on the open market for hire by corporations or governments.

    § Blackwater is launching an armored vehicle called the Grizzly, which the company characterizes as the most versatile in history. Blackwater intends to modify it to be legal for use on US highways.

    § Blackwater's aviation division has some forty aircraft, including turboprop planes that can be used for unorthodox landings. It has ordered a Super Tucano paramilitary plane from Brazil, which can be used in counterinsurgency operations. In August the aviation division won a $92 million contract with the Pentagon to operate flights in Central Asia.

    § It recently flight-tested the unmanned Polar 400 airship, which may be marketed to the Department of Homeland Security for use in monitoring the US-Mexico border and to "military, law enforcement, and non-government customers."

    § A fast-growing maritime division has a new, 184-foot vessel that has been fitted for potential paramilitary use.

    Meanwhile, Blackwater is deep in the camp of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Cofer Black is Romney's senior adviser on counterterrorism. At the recent CNN/YouTube debate, when Romney refused to call waterboarding torture, he said, "I'm not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we're able to do and what things we're not able to do. And I get that advice from Cofer Black, who is a person who was responsible for counterterrorism in the CIA for some thirty-five years." That was an exaggeration of Black's career at the CIA (he was there twenty-eight years and head of counterterrorism for only three), but a Romney presidency could make Blackwater's business under Bush look like a church bake sale.

    In short, Blackwater is moving ahead at full steam. Individual scandals clearly aren't enough to slow it down. The company's critics in the Democratic-controlled Congress must confront the root of the problem: the government is in the midst of its most radical privatization in history, and companies like Blackwater are becoming ever more deeply embedded in the war apparatus. Until this system is brought down, the world's the limit for Blackwater Worldwide--and as its rebranding campaign shows, Blackwater knows it.
     
  2. Sounds like a kick ass company.

    "...it has secured a reputation as a company that keeps US officials alive by any means necessary."
     
  3. Yeah, what a scandal. They were hired to protect US diplomats in the world's most dangerous posting and they did just that. Never lost a single foreign service officer, despite repeated attempts by al qaeda and others.

    What we have here is the left cannot attack the military drectly because the public will not tolerate it. So Blackwater is attacked instead. I wonder what the left would have the State Department do? Use Iraqi guards? The State Department has said they don't want to be under the control of the US military, so that is why they use private security. That may be one reason, but if you had a choice of being protected by hand-picked elite ex-special forces operators or guys fresh from basic training in the the regular army, whch would you pick?
     
  4. they should be protected by the US military. if regular infantry isn't good enough for them, they should deploy special forces to perform the mission.

    basically what it says is that the US military isn't properly equipped. equipped enough to go and die, but not enough to transport the people ordering them to do so
     
  5. Blackwaters personal are mostly all former spec ops guys Rangers, SF, Marine recon, SEALs...etc. I know one of them..former Ranger. These guys get paid well..and deserve every penny. I would never fault a spec ops guy for joining that company instead of re enlisting in the service.

    Their job is highly specialized. It is simply not a matter of being properly equipped but trained in the ways of high value target protection.

    I do agree that the military should be doing this job 100%. Perhaps after all this backlash the Marine Corps or Army will create a "high value bodyguard detail" sort of company.
     
  6. right yes. i think the soldiers deserve a lot more money than they get too. basically by advocating blackwater, imo aaa is tacitly not 'supporting the troops'
     
  7. Except for Brazil of course.


    :p
     
  8. They won't detail spec ops to do the security, but yet they will take FORMER special warfare operators and pay them $200K or more a year to do it.

    Weird logic.

    Read up on Eric Prince and it will all make more sense to you. He's part of the friends network in politics and has been for a long time because of his family. It's all the same game.
     
  9. And these guys.
    Obviously they are not going to bother with some Bill of Rights.


    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/2818211.html?page=1

    "No one sees them coming. There are no flashing lights, no sirens. The black Suburban simply glides out of Fifth Avenue traffic and pulls into a no-parking zone in front of the Empire State Building. Moments later, four men spill out in combat helmets and heavy body armor: Two carry submachine guns; the others, snub-nosed shotguns.

    Camera-toting tourists stop jabbering and stare at this intimidating new presence, their faces a mixture of curiosity and fear. Even jaded New Yorkers, many of whom work inside the midtown Manhattan landmark, look impressed.

    A stone's throw down the sidewalk, Abad Nieves watches the scene unfold. Nieves is a detective with the Intelligence Division of the New York Police Department (NYPD). Casually clad in slacks and a black leather jacket, he monitors the response of people loitering in the area. Is anyone making notes or videotaping? Does anyone seem especially startled by the out-of-the-blue appearance of a heavily armed NYPD squad?

    On this day, Nieves doesn't see anything overly suspicious, but he is pleased that the deployment created a strong impression. Known as a Hercules team, it makes multiple appearances around the city each day. The locations are chosen either in response to specific intelligence or simply to provide a show of force at high-profile sites.

    "The response we usually get is, 'Holy s---!'" Nieves says. "That's the reaction we want. We are in the business of scaring people--we just want to scare the right people."

    "
     
  10. hey... whats a little fascism? when there are boogie men under our beds we need our rights to be usurped.
     
    #10     Dec 9, 2007