Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mercinaries: The Threat No One Is Talking About

As I was watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq Wednesday night, I kept thinking about our troops left behind. We left 50,000 non-combat troops in Iraq to provide security for our Embassy and “other” interests. 
MSNBC had some vague mention of private (for profit) contractors in their coverage last night.  Mentions of private contractors are always vague.  I want a policy-wonk journalist to go after this story, find out what they do and for whom and at what cost.  What are we paying them to do? What have they done?
We know so little about these private contractors with huge no-bid contracts for…whom? the CIA? the State Department? the Pentagon? the Defense Department of the United States Government?
We know that the State Department uses private security forces to guard diplomats and politicians traveling in foreign countries.  We know that they work for the CIA. We pay their salaries.
One of the private contractors is Xe Services LLC; that is their official name now. They used to be called Blackwater, and then Blackwater Worldwide until that name became too associated with lethal lawless cowboys, unrestrained, unregulated, uncounted, murdering civilians in Iraq. 
When Blackwater became an embarrassment for the United States, Eric Prince changed the name of his private army. But Blackwater by any another name is still a lethal and uncontrolled threat.
To me, they represent the most lethal form of cancer a body politic could have. No one in our government controls them. They are not part of the government, we do not control them but we pay for them.
Wikipedia tells us that “Blackwater USA was formed in 1990 to provide training support to military and law enforcement organizations.” The part of that simple statement that takes my breath away is the “…law enforcement organizations”.  I imagine by now they are everywhere. 
A private army embedded in our body politic is a dangerous thing.
In a time of economic difficulties where corporations are bigger than countries and authoritarianism is on the rise, a private army training 40,000 people a year to embed our law enforcement agencies (but not playing by the same rules) is insanely dangerous to the security of our country.
Fascism with a private army is a time bomb within and it’’s ticking.


The Blog Fodder said...

Fascism with a private army is a time bomb within and it’’s ticking.

Less than 10 years may be optimistic.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

"To me, they represent the most lethal form of cancer a body politic could have."

Sharp. It was totally overlooked. Well, at MSNBC. Which kinda is strange... Maddow is over there and her shows have been interesting. Great pick up. I agree with you... somebody should be talking it up on network and cable. Pretty sharp, Utah.

Lisa said...

It's a very dangerous thing. As we're seeing a going backward instead of forward in our nation's collective thinking, I think alarm is extremely appropriate.

MRMacrum said...

It would seem that "privatizing" everything the government does is the rage on both sides of the aisle. It makes sense given the cable like business purse strings attached to any pol who exists inside the Beltway.

The "smaller government" types may end up with what they want, but the price paid will mean less freedom, not more.

Utah Savage said...

I don't understand how it's more fiscally responsible to pay a private army more than we pay our soldiers? Can someone tell me how this makes sense?

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

posted a relative video on this topic or I'm trying to LOL

Dave Dubya said...

Mercenaries are not cheaper than soldiers. They are the war profiteers we put in place to avoid a draft.

Susan said...

Great post. As far as why we buy our soldiers from private contractors, it isn't about saving $$ it's about not enough soldiers in the military to keep two wars going. They do anything to keep from instituting a draft. We have a draft - the wars end quickly. Can't have that.

Susan said...

I just saw Dave Dubya said it. I could have just said +1 to his comment.

Fran said...

Hey Utah~ this is off topic, but falls under the header of mercinaries & a bit off topic.

A recent death in the family had one relative show up & put stickers on items she wanted. But she made a point of showing up first & putting her name of pretty much every thing of value.
really- you show your love for deceased by swooping in & laying claim to the big screen tv, computer, all the big & expensive furniture, the washer & dryer, area rugs AND the vacuum?

I mean really. It was clear to everyone else- who were going through photo albums, or things w special meaning- like this was the desk her foster daughter dusted as a kid. thankfully my older son stepped up & said take your name sticker off this item.... her daughter should have this. It did not have sentimental value to the greedy grabber.

So I'm just saying.... whatever your wishes are, get them in writing- also make your designated POA swear they will not tamper w your medical directives. Or you wind up with some greedy bitch grabbing "merchandise", or some well meaning person inadvertently putting you through hell because they changed your directive to Full Code (meaning all effort to sustain life is to be taken), when you said you wanted DNR.

Fran said...

Sorry I just had to vent.
After witnessing this chaos ensue, I am convinced you have to lay things out how you want things or
things can go south.

But some good news to follow- the freaking washing machines belong to the care facility & the living relative of the deceased said he wants the big screen tv.

Ha ha !!! Take your frickin' name tags off this stuff & get that egg off your face.

no_slappz said...


To join the mercenary forces, an applicant must have either military experience or law-enforcement experience. These operations do not take entry-level fighters.

Meanwhile, it's the Obama administration keeping them on the payroll. They will handle the dirty work in Iraq as of now, the new Post-Combat Era in Iraq.

As you should know, the biggest threat to the lives of Iraqis -- is other Iraqis. It's fundamentalists who hate freedom, democracy, capitalism, equality, plurality and prosperity who are responsible for killing the vast majority of dead Iraqis.

Meanwhile, Iraq, can become a prosperous nation simply because it has oil. Due to the oil, it can generate the capital to create a diverse economy capable of lifting the entire population up from poverty.

Meanwhile, the biggest threat to the surrounding muslim dictatorships is a free, prospering, muslim democracy right in the middle of the middle east. Its success will give the oppressed people in the neighboring nations ideas about their own futures.

That's bad news for dictators

Jennyablue said...

My thoughts exactly! Well written and bravely shared. Plus, these people are Christian soldiers, which makes them even more dangerous to our country and the World. They won't rest until the USA is a Fascist Theocracy. Fuck!