Tuesday, October 02, 2007

State Department on Hot Seat Re Blackwater

A 15-page report by Congressman Henry A. Waxman’s (D-CA) House Oversight Committee, says the Bush State Department covered up and ignored misconduct by Blackwater USA mercenaries. The founder of Blackwater, religious fanatic ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince, is scheduled to appear before Waxman’s committee today. The New York Times reported this morning that “Employees of Blackwater USA have engaged in nearly 200 shootings in Iraq since 2005, in a vast majority of cases firing their weapons from moving vehicles without stopping to count the dead or assist the wounded, according to a new report from Congress.” The LA Times says, “The detailed allegations, which the committee said were backed by thousands of documents, depict a security firm that almost routinely opens fire in Iraq's streets, occasionally attempts to cover up its transgressions and is frequently protected from censure and prosecution by its State Department overseers...The memo describes incidents in which Blackwater guards eagerly rushed to battles involving U.S. soldiers; plowed their armored trucks into civilian vehicles for no apparent reason; and left scenes of violence without assisting wounded civilians.” This is the private militia contractor in Iraq that the Bush administration most favors. In fact, the White House loves Blackwater so much that the State Department has paid Blackwater more than $832 million to guard US diplomats and to fight the Bush administration’s war in Iraq. The NYT says, “The committee report places a significant share of the blame for Blackwater’s record in Iraq on the State Department.” The Washington Post reported this morning “Blackwater security contractors in Iraq have been involved in at least 195 "escalation of force" incidents since early 2005, including several previously unreported killings of Iraqi civilians...In one of the killings...Blackwater personnel tried to cover up what had occurred and provided a false report. In another case, involving a Blackwater convoy's collision with 18 civilian vehicles, the firm accused its own personnel of lying about the event.” WaPo goes on to report, “The State Department has made little effort to hold Blackwater personnel accountable beyond pressing the company to pay financial compensation to the families of the dead, In a case involving a drunken Blackwater employee who killed a security guard to one of Iraq's vice presidents last Christmas Eve, U.S. government personnel helped negotiate a financial settlement and allowed the employee to depart Iraq.” Blackwater paid the dead man’s family $15,000. In another fatal shooting a State Department official in Baghdad told Blackwater to pay the victim’s family $5000 and wrote in a memo, “I hope we can put this unfortunate matter behind us quickly.” The NYT says, “Blackwater has dismissed 122 of its employees over the past three years for misuse of weapons, drug or alcohol abuse, lewd conduct or violent behavior, according to the report. It has also terminated workers for insubordination, failure to report incidents or lying about them, and publicly embarrassing the company. One employee was dismissed for showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.” Many otherwise intelligent Republicans have held their noses and supported George W. Bush and the neocons in the White House simply because they are Republicans. Presumably, they believe that eventually the White House will be inhabited by a president who not only is a Repub but also is sane and is not a religious fanatic. However, now that the far-right zealots have taken over the US State Department and are polluting the military in Iraq with their amoral behavior and jihad-like tactics re ethnic cleansing, it’s time for thinking Republicans to stand up and to call a halt on the religious fanaticism that abounds in the Bush administration. This blog will repeat over and over and over the fact that religious fanatic madman James Dobson’s entire career as a rightwing hate-spewing zealot has been bankrolled by the Erik Prince family. And James Dobson counsels George W. Bush on all matters political and religious. The Prince family started Blackwater USA in order to have a militia at its beck and call when Dobson and his believers force their version of Christianity on the United States und Morgan die Welt. Let me say that I do not believe for one minute that Bush, Prince and Dobson would be successful in their fanatic scheme. However, the fact that they have a scheme and a military force like Blackwater USA to back them up, and the fact that their military force is already marauding and killing in Iraq like crusaders on a mission, should be sending shivers of horror through every Republican in America.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

[I]t’s time for thinking Republicans to stand up and to call a halt on the religious fanaticism that abounds in the Bush administration.

But Norm Ornstein already has been standing up and calling for a halt to this and more. So we need to try something else.