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Archive for the ‘private military contractors’ Category

Jeremy Scahill at Counterpunch writes:

[O]n Oct. 20, a group of about 50 activists gathered outside Blackwater’s gates in Moyock, N.C. There, they reenacted the Nisour Square shooting and staged a “die-in,” involving a vehicle painted with bullet marks and blood. The activists stained their clothing with fake blood and dramatized the deadly shooting spree. Some of the demonstrators marked Blackwater’s large welcome sign — with the company’s bear claw in a sniper scope logo — with red hand prints. The demonstrators believed these “would be a much more appropriate logo for Blackwater,” according to Baggarly. “We’re all responsible for what is happening in Iraq. We all have bloody hands.” It took only moments for the local police to respond to the protest, the first ever at Blackwater’s headquarters. In the end, seven were arrested.

The symbolism was stark: Re-enact a Blackwater massacre, go to jail. Commit a massacre, walk around freely and perhaps never go to jail. All seven were charged with criminal trespassing, six of them with an additional charge of resisting arrest and one with another charge of injury to real property. “We feel like Blackwater is trespassing in Iraq,” Baggarly later said. “And as for injuring property, they injure men, women and children every day.” The activists were jailed for five days and eventually released pending trial.

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According to to Robert Baer (“Iraq’s Mercenary King,” Vanity Fair, April 2007), the private military makes up “the second largest foreign armed-force in [Iraq]… behind America’s but ahead of Britains. These men aren’t officially part of the Coalition of the Willing, because they’re all paid contractors-The Coalition Of The Billing…”

On September 10, 2001, before most Americans had heard of Al Qaeda or imagined the possibility of a “war on terror,” Donald Rumsfeld stepped to the podium at the Pentagon to deliver one of his first major addresses as Defense Secretary under President George W. Bush. Standing before the former corporate executives he had tapped as his top deputies overseeing the high-stakes business of military contracting–many of them from firms like Enron, General Dynamics and Aerospace Corporation–Rumsfeld issued a declaration of war…

Read the rest of: Blackwater: Bush’s Shadow Army: here.

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