babble home - news for the rest of us
today's active topics

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » current events   » international news and politics   » Worse than terrorists

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Worse than terrorists
Jerry West
Babbler # 1545

posted 07 February 2007 02:01 PM      Profile for Jerry West   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The threat to progressive, democratic societies posed by mercenary armies is far worse than that posed by terrorism.


War privatization is public scandal

February 6, 2007
They guard U.S. officials. They patrol the Green Zone, the U.S. headquarters in Iraq. They supply the food, the oil, clean the barracks and fix the machines. They aren't U.S. soldiers; they are private contractors. The Bush administration has privatized war. The second-biggest army in Iraq consists of armed security forces supplied by private contractors.

They act above the law -- and with unclear lines of authority. They work abroad, so they are largely beyond the reach of U.S. law. On contract from the U.S. government, they are beyond the reach of Iraqi law, as established in an order issued by the U.S. Authority there before turning power over to the Iraqi government. When the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandals were revealed, private security forces and interrogators were at the center of it. But none was held accountable.

The British have followed suit. The British charity, War on Want, reported last year that there are three British private security guards to every British soldier in Iraq.

Congressional investigators are about to unearth massive abuses and corruption in Iraq, but the mercenaries operate across the world. In 1998, for example, DynCorp security agents in Bosnia were implicated in a sex-slave scandal. The firm quickly recalled at least 13 agents; none faced criminal prosecution.

The modern-day mercenaries also operate largely free of government scrutiny or oversight. Companies, unlike government agencies, are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and often stonewall congressional inquiry....

Link to full article

From: Gold River, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
Babbler # 8273

posted 07 February 2007 02:38 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Already, private contractors constitute the second-largest "force" in Iraq. At last count, there were about 100,000 contractors in Iraq, of which 48,000 work as private soldiers, according to a Government Accountability Office report. These soldiers have operated with almost no oversight or effective legal constraints and are an undeclared expansion of the scope of the occupation. Many of these contractors make up to $1,000 a day, far more than active-duty soldiers. What's more, these forces are politically expedient, as contractor deaths go uncounted in the official toll.

The president's proposed Civilian Reserve Corps was not his idea alone. A privatized version of it was floated two years ago by Erik Prince, the secretive, mega-millionaire, conservative owner of Blackwater USA and a man who for years has served as the Pied Piper of a campaign to repackage mercenaries as legitimate forces. In early 2005, Prince — a major bankroller of the president and his allies — pitched the idea at a military conference of a "contractor brigade" to supplement the official military. "There's consternation in the [Pentagon] about increasing the permanent size of the Army," Prince declared. Officials "want to add 30,000 people, and they talked about costs of anywhere from $3.6 billion to $4 billion to do that. Well, by my math, that comes out to about $135,000 per soldier." He added: "We could do it certainly cheaper."


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 12603

posted 07 February 2007 03:03 PM      Profile for Noise     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fear Everything!
From: Protest is Patriotism | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 11490

posted 07 February 2007 03:58 PM      Profile for sidra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Evil empire it is.
From: Ontario | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
Babbler # 8273

posted 09 February 2007 07:06 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Private Warriors
"Private Warriors" also explores a very different kind of contractor -- the private world of security teams that work for firms like Blackwater, Aegis, and Erinys. They provide armed protection for U.S. government officials, government offices, military installations and even military commanders.

"The Pentagon's increasing reliance on outsourcing military functions raises important questions about accountability and the chain of command," says Smith. Through conversations with top military commanders, policy planners, military experts, and contractors, "Private Warriors" explores some of the dangers in bringing in the private sector to prosecute the war.

Warns George Washington University Professor Steve Schooner, an expert on military contracting, "We have tens of thousands of armed contractors in Iraq defending the Green Zone, defending the military, defending contractors… But they're not part of the military command structure." Schooner suggests there can be trouble when private contractors carry weapons and have tactical responsibilities yet aren't getting the same information or direction.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 14115

posted 14 November 2007 11:17 AM      Profile for radiobirdman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
F.B.I. Says Guards Killed 14 Iraqis Without Cause

Representative David E. Price, a North Carolina Democrat who has sponsored legislation to extend American criminal law to contractors serving overseas, said the Justice Department must hold someone accountable for the shootings.

“Just because there are deficiencies in the law, and there certainly are,” Mr. Price said, “that can’t serve as an excuse for criminal actions like this to be unpunished. I hope the new attorney general makes this case a top priority. He needs to announce to the American people and the world that we uphold the rule of law and we intend to pursue this.”

Does anyone seriously think that any of these murderers will face any justice? At the very least I would hope that Blackwater itself could be held responsible and forced to pay compensation (hopefully enough to bankrupt the company).

From: Canada | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008