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Iraqis Reject Blackwater Mercenary Thugs
Private army thrown out of Iraq after years of unimpeded killing

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
Wednes
day, Sept 19, 2007

After years of running riot in Iraq with impunity, the license of private contractor company Blackwater USA has been revoked by the Iraqi government, and the company has been banned from operating in the country all together according to reports, a move that will see the withdrawal of tens of thousands of armed mercenaries from Iraq.

CNN reports:

Iraq's Interior Ministry has revoked the license of Blackwater USA, an American security firm whose contractors are blamed for a Sunday gunbattle in Baghdad that left eight civilians dead. The U.S. State Department said it plans to investigate what it calls a "terrible incident."

In addition to the hundreds of thousands of US troops in Iraq, The Bush administration has deployed a shadow army of private contractors.

Earlier this summer it was reported that the number of U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of American combat troops, with more than 180,000 civilians -- including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis -- working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense Department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

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Blackwater USA, which has a 6,000 acre training facility as part of its headquarters in North Carolina, is one such company that currently has tens of thousands of heavily armed mercenaries stationed in Iraq who are accountable to no one and have hit the headlines on multiple occasions.

In March 2004, four Blackwater personnel died in a grisly attack in Iraq in Falluja, west of Baghdad. The Four, all of whom were military veterans, were ambushed, killed, mutilated and had their charred remains strung from a bridge overlooking the Euphrates River in an incident that sparked shock and outrage.

However, after Blackwater refused to share information about why and how they were killed, and callously told the families of the men that they would need to sue to get any information, a lawsuit was filed, marking the first time a company has been sued for deaths in the line of work. Blackwater has since attempted to reverse the situation and sue the families for $10 million to silence them and keep them out of court.

By the end of 2004 Blackwater's president, Gary Jackson, was bragging to the press of "staggering" 600 percent growth. "This is a billion-dollar industry," Jackson said in October 2004. "And Blackwater has only scratched the surface of it.". This prompted outrage that security in Iraq is partly (and we now know mostly) in the hands of private companies who profit from the continuation of conflict and chaos.

In 2005 the LA Times reported that Private security contractors, including Blackwater, have been involved in scores of shootings in Iraq, but none have been prosecuted despite findings in at least one fatal case that the men had not followed proper procedures. Instead of facing any kind of accountability, contractors suspected of reckless behavior are simply sent home with the full knowledge of U.S. officials.

Last February one Blackwater employee got into an argument with an Iraqi security contractor working for the Vice President as a security guard. It is not cleared what transpired but the Blackwater employee emptied the entire magazine of his pistol into the Iraqi. Rather than being arrested and sent to prison for murder the contractor was simply returned to the US and dropped from the payroll.

Most recently, a Congressional Research Service report stated that a news article discussing an incident in which a Blackwater guard shot dead an Iraqi driver in May 2007 quoted an Iraqi official's statement that the Iraqi Interior Ministry had received four previous complaints of shootings involving Blackwater employees.

Everyday Iraqis have dubbed the mercenaries "Mossad" and many have gone on record to state that they have witnessed Blackwater contractors killing innocent people in the street without a care.

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Blackwater USA does not hide the fact that it has hired fascist thugs—for instance, Chilean commandos, “many of who had trained under the military government of Augusto Pinochet,” according to Blackwater head honcho Gary Jackson. Other investigative journalists have alleged that Blackwater is engaged in recruiting U.S. trained former soldiers and police officers from Colombia as well as Filipino mercenaries.

According to Ken Silverstein of Harper's Magazine, Blackwater also has a "revolving door" with the CIA and the Pentagon and is engaged in "aggressively recruiting" top CIA officials. In 2006 Silverstein wrote:

"A number of senior CIA and Pentagon officials have taken top jobs at Blackwater, including firm vice chairman Cofer Black, who was the Bush Administration's top counterterrorism official at the time of the 9/11 attacks (and who famously said in 2002, 'There was before 9/11 and after 9/11. After 9/11, the gloves came off'),"

The Nation's Jeremy Scahill has also pointed out the many ties that Blackwater has to the GOP:

Blackwater's success in procuring federal contracts could well be explained by major-league contributions and family connections to the GOP. According to election records, Blackwater's CEO and co-founder, billionaire Erik Prince, has given tens of thousands to Republicans, including more than $80,000 to the Republican National Committee the month before Bush's victory in 2000. This past June, he gave $2,100 to Senator Rick Santorum's re-election campaign. He has also given to House majority leader Tom DeLay and a slew of other Republican candidates, including Bush/Cheney in 2004. As a young man, Prince interned with President George H.W. Bush, though he complained at the time that he "saw a lot of things I didn't agree with--homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act, those kind of bills. I think the Administration has been indifferent to a lot of conservative concerns."

Blackwater contractors were also used by the Department of Homeland Security in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They were authorized to carry loaded automatic assault weapons, make arrests and use lethal force if it was deemed necessary, a fact that had Constitutionalists up in arms:

"This vigilantism demonstrates the utter breakdown of the government," says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "These private security forces have behaved brutally, with impunity, in Iraq. To have them now on the streets of New Orleans is frightening and possibly illegal."

For more information on Blackwater watch the short piece below from Jeremy Scahill, who has also authored a book titled Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.


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