Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Blackwater = U.S. terrorists?
Blackwater is a private security contractor working for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan. The record of their actions, if performed by a group that was not employed by the U.S., would be labeled as "terrorism". By extension, the U.S. State Department would be a government that "supports terrorism".
In a document published by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, the Committee writes the following:
"Blackwater Shootíng Incídents. Incident reports compiled by Blackwater reveal that Blackwater has been involved in at least 195 "escalation of force" incidents in Iraq since 2005 that involved the firing of shots by Blackwater forces. This is an average of 1.4 shooting incidents per week. Blackwater's contract to provide protective services to the State Department provides that Blackwater can engage in only defensive use of force. In over 80% of the shooting incidents, however, Blackwater reports that its forces fired the first shots. In the vast majority of instances in which Blackwater fires shots, Blackwater is firing from a moving vehicle and does not remain at the scene to determine if the shots resulted in casualties. Even so, Blackwater's own incident reports document 16 Iraqi casualties and 162 incidents with property damage, primarily to vehicles owned by lraqis. In over 80% of the escalation of force incidents since 2005, Blackwater's own reports document either casualties or property damage."
"The reports describe multiple Blackwater incidents involving Iraqi casualties that have not previously been reported. In one of these incidents, Blackwater forces shot a civilian bystander in the head. In another, State Department officials report that Blackwater sought to cover up a shooting that killed an apparently innocent bystander. In a third, Blackwater provided no assistance after a traffic accident caused by its "counter-flow" driving left an Iraqi vehicle in "a ball of flames." Blackwater also reports engaging in tactical military operations with U.S. forces."
"In addition to Blackwater, two other private military contractors, DynCorp International and Triple Canopy, provide protective services to the State Department. Blackwater reports more shooting incidents than the other two contractors combined. Blackwater also has the highest incidence of shooting first, although all three companies shoot first in more than half of all escalation of forces incidents.
State Department Responses. Documents provided by the State Department raise serious questions about how State Department officials responded to reports of Blackwater killings of Iraqis. In a high-profile incident in December 2006, a drunken Blackwater contractor killed the guard of Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi. Within 36 hours after the shooting, the State Department had allowed Blackwater to transport the Blackwater contractor out of Iraq. The State Department Charge d'Affaires recommended that Blackwater make a "sizeable payment" and an "apology" to "avoid this whole thing becoming even worse." The Charge d'Affaires suggested a $250,000 payment to the guard's family, but the Department's Diplomatic Security Service said this was too much and could cause Iraqis to "iry to get killed." In the end, the State Department and Blackwater agreed on a $15,000 payment. One State Department offrcial wrote:
"We would like to help them resolve this so we can continue with our protective mission. "The State Department took a similar approach upon receiving reports that Blackwater shooters killed an innocent Iraqi, except that in this case, the State Department requested only a $5,000 payment to "put this unfortunate matter behind us quickly." There is no evidence in the documents that the Committee has reviewed that the State Department sought to restrain Blackwater's actions, raised concems about the number of shooting incidents involving Blackwater or the company's high rate of shooting first, or detained Blackwater contractors for investigation."
If these actions were done by those opposing the will of the United States, the perpetrators would be labeled "terrorists" and hunted down to be "killed or captured". Their demise would be reported with great fanfare on Fox News and CNN. Please look at what this administration is doing in YOUR name...