Breaking Blackwater

When we look back at how the Blackwater Empire came tumbling down, one of the most important dates will be September 26th, the day Blackwater backed out of a contract to by more land in North Carolina. In some ways it's a small thing, but in other ways, it is the beginning of the end.

There's a new dimension to the fallout from the Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad that left 11 Iraqis dead: Blackwater USA apparently has stopped all its expansion projects.

On Wednesday, the North Carolina private military contractor canceled a $5.5 million real estate deal to buy 1,800 acres of farmland near Fort Bragg, where the company was going to set up a training ground for soldiers and corporate executives.

The diplomatic and public relations damage from the shooting, combined with Tuesday's scheduled testimony at Congress by Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince, prompted Blackwater to put all new projects on hold, according to the president of a company that had a deal to sell the land to Blackwater.

Over the past five years, the use of mercenaries by United States of America has distorted everything honest and true about our nation. And Blackwater's headquarters in North Carolina is the epicenter of the evil for more reasons than you can count.

Congressman David Price (NC-4) is out in front on this issue and is correctly positioned as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to go all the way. Please write to Congressman Price and encourage him to stop at nothing to set things right. This fundamental break in our nation's integrity deserves nothing less.

The cancellation of Blackwater's expansion is a signal of weakness. It is time to step up the pressure.

Comments

Nailed in a big way!

Over the past five years, the use of mercenaries by United States of America has distorted everything honest and true about our nation.

There arrogance is hurting us way more then any help they could generate.

Cary's White Tiger Martial Artsschool screw again by BlackWater?

TigerSwan planned to train soldiers from Fort Bragg, as well as corporate executives from Research Triangle Park and elsewhere.* N&O Story

According to some sources in the Cary Area, John Hood sign up as a corporate executive along with Cary's Boy Scout troop # 12363 White Tiger Martial Arts school unit and the Republican Mayor of Cary. Art Pope failed the medical test when was unable to jump over two lawn chairs from Krogers. In fact the whole John Locke foundation is glad that the land deal fell though since most of them are lazy and out of shape and didn't want to go to Baghdad.

Thanks for this

These guys are seriously sick, probably diagnosable. Yeah, I've written David Price. I would also suggest sending a kindly worded email to the commissioners of Currituck County (commissioners@co.currituck.nc.us), Blackwater's NC home. Anything and everything we can do to keep this story alive will help.

This organization is a stain not only on American foreign policy, but on the great state of North Carolina. Every time I hear in the news the phrase "North Carolina-based Blackwater," I cringe. Isn't it enough we have to put up with Liddy Pineapple and little Patty McHenry without having these testosterone-driven Rambos linked to the state as well?

All politics is local

I'm sure the neighbors are torn by the economics of this . . . BW no doubt fuels the local tax base and many of the mercenaries are probably nice guys.

Except that they kill people for profit.

Oh they'll say the "defend" people for profit, guaranteed. I would if I were their PR guy. BUT DEFENDING IS THE JOB OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY. NOT THE UNITED STATES MERCENARIES.

Congrats - Recommended at Big Orange.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Amazing

I went out to do some gardening and came back in . . . and Boom!

It's only getting the recognition

it deserves, James.

Great diary. :)

Sweet.

Getting people to communicate the right Congressman is so important. I was very happy to see this riding high over there.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Savanah paper acknowledges Price's leadership

in their lead editorial today.

If it looks like I'm sucking up to David Price, I am. He's the guy on this issue and I want him to know we're behind him when he goes nose-to-nose with Blackwater and others like them.

NEW RULE: US government contractors don't carry guns. Period.

......................................

"The results of a congressional investigation released this week indicated Blackwater sent four men into Fallujah without the proper equipment or preparation. The grisly death of the Blackwater contractors led to the U.S. military's bloody assault on Fallujah - a move that cost lives on both sides, and did much to alienate average Iraqis from U.S. troops."

Price's Leadership is Encouraging

Excellent diary, Anglico.

I am encouraged to see Price doing good work. We need to get all of the contractors under control. Blackwater's killing must be stopped. We will bring Blackwater down if we get the truth out.

I have been discouraged with the votes of my Congressman, Ethridge. He voted with Bush against health care for children. I'm glad Price is doing good. Thanks for the good news.

A good letter from a commenter at Kos

Congressman Price,

For the sake of our democracy and our country's standing around the world, I urge you, as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, to curtail the mercenary activities of Blackwater USA in Iraq and other places in which they are allowed to operate.

Blackwater USA operates with no accountability and absolute immunity against prosecution for gross miscarriages of justice which reflect a callous disregard for human life and which have contributed to destroying our country's credibility and respectability around the world. They have made a mockery of the rule of law, one of the very principles upon which our country was founded. They must not be allowed to continue to operate with impunity and with such obvious contempt for human life - the lives of Iraqis, our brave soldiers, and every other poor unfortunate soul stuck in the quagmire that is Iraq.

You must take the lead and reign in Blackwater's 'civilian security forces' that run amok wherever they are before it's too late to restore our country's respectability, not to mention the rule of law.

Thank you for all you do. I look forward to your leadership on this incredibly important issue.

Wish I had written that.

James

The question now is

Will it make a difference?

All the "progress" we've been making, all the "surge is working" talk - how much of that will change when Iraq rightly throws Bilgewater out of their country (if they can actually do it)?


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

One of the comments from the link sounds right

sounds like another rendition airline.

Have you called to support H. Res 333 Impeach Cheney Today? call 202-224-3121 & ask for your Congress member by name

Holy heavens

This is so wrong that it's actually hard to believe.

According to data provided to the House panel, the average per-day pay to personnel Blackwater hired was $600. According to the schedule of rates, supplies and services attached to the contract, Blackwater charged Regency $1,075 a day for senior managers, $945 a day for middle managers and $815 a day for operators...

An unmarried sergeant given Iraq pay and relief from U.S. taxes makes about $83 to $85 a day, given time in service. A married sergeant with children makes about double that, $170 a day.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Baghdad overseeing more than 160,000 U.S. troops, makes roughly $180,000 a year, or about $493 a day. That comes out to less than half the fee charged by Blackwater for its senior manager of a 34-man security team.

And yet Moveon.org

are the ones being disrespectful to Gen. Petraeus. Please.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Wow.

So, how much would the war have cost if we had upped the pay of the military to half of what we paid contractors? I know a lot of people who would have signed on to cook meals for $400/day, 30 days a month = $12000 a month.
One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Those numbers do not include...Free airfare, Free Food,

Paid vacation, Paid transportation, Paid rest days (Weekend) in Jordan, Kuwait or Dubai, Free quarters with cable and internet, bonuses, medical, Special training, overtime........All of which is being paid by you and me.....

In addition, the Blackwater compound across the street from the US Embassy is ridiculasly built far beyond the American built facilities anywhere else in the Green Zone, including the Embassy personnel facilities.....again....all paid by you and me.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Marshall

You have to get elected, because you know all of this stuff, and more.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Not only that

. . . consider making this the centerpiece of your campaign.

It's time for America to put an end to its mercenary armies. It's hurting our Marines and it's hurting our nation's integrity. Walter Jones isn't doing anything to stop them. Marshall will.

It's your best move.

Not only that. You know what

Not only that.

You know what you're talking about. You've been there.

He doesn't. He hasn't.

the House and Senate Democrats must seize the moment.....

We do not need to wait!.... A bill must be passed restricting all DoD funding for private civilian security contractors. No American security contractors should ever be allowed to operate as a seperate American entity in any war zone. All civilian security personnel hired by the DoD must be required to be Federal DoD employees. (That little caveat will prevent the DoD from hiring private security, or expanding their own federal security personnel).

America security companies must be prevented and prohibited from owning or operating fighter aircraft, or any aircraft armed with cannons or automatic weapons. (Yes, Blackwater does have fighter aircraft which they purchased in South America).

Mercenary armies, acting under the guise of "security companies" must be prevented altogether.

The Democrats in Our House and Senate could do this right now. They won't, but they could.

I will work to enact legislation to this effect.

Our personal liberties may well hang in the balance.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

How do active duty Marines

feel about this issue, Marshall?

The active duty folks I know who have been to Iraq

and Afghanistan have very mixed feeling about private security operatives in their Battle areas.

I am sure most would like to see private security operatives gone from the battle field.

Answer me this........Why would an Army General want "private security" civilians guarding him in Iraq instead of his very own guys?&^%%$#@^............Why?...Because he is being told that is the way it is!

Yes that is right...The US Army has civilians guarding their Senior (3 stars and up) generals in Iraq.
What is that saying to the troops? I do not trust you with my safety!

The White House (Cheney I am sure) is ensuring a wide scope of operation for the Blackwater, DynCorp, Washington Group, Armour and many other private security armies in Iraq.

Democrats Must act!

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I saw a stat somewhere that showed that

there are 10,000 mercs in Iraq and that 1,000 were Blackwater. Is this accurate?

If so, who are the other 9,000 and what have they been up to other than adding to the overall bloating of the war budget??

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Triple Canopy, DynCorp, Blackwater, Armor Group,

The Washington Group, at least 9 British Mercenary groups and several South African Mercenary groups. They are everywhere in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am told that BlackWater has about 6,000 not counting the Iraqi they have hired there which could number in the thousands.. The actual numbers are very hard to come by. Makes me wonder why the DoD protects information like that if it is not damageing to their image.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03