Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Answer Man – Blackwater

In the old days on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show he had a routine called The Answer Man. Carson would flash a word on the TV screen and then pop an answer to the word. My favorite was CHICKEN CACCIATORE; answer: A COWARDLY JAPANESE KAMIKAZE PILOT. So let us play the game; the word is BLACKWATER.

Blackwater – a private US mercenary army funded mainly by the US government to reduce the size of US government..

Blackwater – a private US mercenary army established because the US ground forces, i.e. US Army and USMC, could not handle their missions.

Blackwater – a private US mercenary army established because CIA could not handle its mission and was searching for plausible denial.

Blackwater – a private security firm employed by Coalition Government Chief Paul Bremer in occupied Iraq when 9 billion dollars went missing and US ground forces were unable to stop looting.

Blackwater – a private US mercenary army fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan without command and control by US federal military forces... not integrated in unity of command.

Blackwater – a private military army in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan operating outside of Iraq and Afghanistan law and not governed by the United States Courts Martial code.

Blackwater – a private military army whose deaths do not count in the total US killed in action. These are just soldiers of fortune.

Blackwater – one of many private military organizations funded by federal funds that employ those who like to makes things go boom, but eschew military discipline and responsibility. Also it competes with military services and the CIA for talent with more attractive pay scales.

Blackwater is a private military force with guns, ammunition and combat vehicles and aircraft. It has highly skilled personnel and up-to-date lists to mobilize even more. Along with US military forces and decentralized police forces, it is rapidly developing as an internal security force least regulated. It has its own closed and extensive 6000 acre training facilities, large enough to stage troop formations. It has potential for unconstitutional use as an illegal instrument to force political change. To quote Napoleon, "...you can do anything with bayonets except sit on them."

Blackwater has been embroiled in bloody incidents in Iraq and recently been under investigation for violent crimes, gun running, illegal drugs, prostitution, racketeering and assassination. It has been banned by the Iraqi government from operations in Iraq. Despite its unsavory reputation, there is little question GW Bush and now Obama could execute their military and clandestine operations without them or other private military organization like them. There are roughly 150,000 of the private contractors in Iraq and another 175,000 in Afghanistan.

Erik Prince, a former navy SEAL, is the main founder of Blackwater which emerged 1997. Unlike another former navy SEAL, Jesse the Body Ventura, who parlayed his specialized navy training into buffoon professional wrestling, then to the governor of Minnesota and finally as sometime bobble head on CNN Larry King Show, Erik put his energy into building a private rent-a-soldier corporation.

Erik is a remarkable person. He inherited wealth from his father, but chose to prove himself, enduring rigorous training as a highly skilled elite navy SEAL. A born-and-bred Republican, he served as a HWBUSH White House intern. He was to take advantage of the GWB wars – 90% of his contracts came from the US government; 66% of those were no-bid contracts. He became a living example of Eisenhower's military-industrial complex – this state capitalism is now so imbedded in the US economic system, that it now has to be fed through permanent war.

Another way to look at it is that the corporations now have a skilled, ready and willing organized military strike force that can be hired without complication. Blackwater, though one of the best, is just one of many.

Erik is under heavy pressure from law suits and congressional over-sight committees. He is spending big time on lobbyists, public relation firms and lawyers to protect his empire. Based on his recent interview in VANITY FAIR, he now feels caught holding the bag. He may want to reconsider that contribution to the GWB Presidential library.

Recently 5 Blackwater members who were accused of manslaughter for killing 15 Iraqi in September 2007 had charges dropped by US federal judge because the US Justice Department botched the case. Iraqis are outraged. Some are calling reciprocally for the release from Iraqi prisons those who killed Americans.

Whether his organization survives is a open question. For a new image, Prince even changed the name Blackwater to Xe Services in February 2009. Time will tell whether he is a crook Scooter Libby or, a baggage-burdened hero Dick Cheney. Under any condition, like Scooter, he most likely will be be rewarded Keeper of The Flame Award from the neocon Republicans. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


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