Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Peacekeepers



Blackwater's Bu$ine$$

Jeremy Scahill

Gunning down seventeen Iraqi civilians in an incident the military has labeled "criminal." Multiple Congressional investigations. A federal grand jury. Allegations of illegal arms smuggling. Wrongful death lawsuits brought by families of dead employees and US soldiers. A federal lawsuit alleging war crimes. Charges of steroid use by trigger-happy mercenaries. Allegations of "significant tax evasion." The US-installed government in Iraq labeling its forces "murderers." With a new scandal breaking practically every day, one would think Blackwater security would be on the ropes, facing a corporate meltdown or even a total wipeout. But it seems that business for the company has never been better, as it continues to pull in major federal contracts. And its public demeanor grows bolder and cockier by the day.

Rather than hiding out and hoping for the scandals to fade, the Bush Administration's preferred mercenary company has launched a major rebranding campaign, changing its name to Blackwater Worldwide and softening its logo: once a bear paw in the site of a sniper scope, it's now a bear claw wrapped in two half ovals--sort of like the outline of a globe with a United Nations feel. Its website boasts of a corporate vision "guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world." Blackwater mercenaries are now referred to as "global stabilization professionals." Blackwater's 38-year-old owner, Erik Prince, was No. 11 in Details magazine's "Power 50," the men "who control your viewing patterns, your buying habits, your anxieties, your lust.... the people who have taken over the space in your head."


MKUltra, anyone? Or Sith Lord mind tricks?

...The dirty open secret in Washington is that Blackwater has done its job in Iraq, even if it has done so by valuing the lives of Iraqis much lower than those of US VIPs. That badass image will serve it well as it expands globally.

Prince promises that Blackwater "is going to be more of a full spectrum" operation. Amid the cornucopia of scandals, Blackwater is bidding for a share of a five-year, $15 billion contract with the Pentagon to "fight terrorists with drug-trade ties." Perhaps the firm will join the mercenary giant DynCorp in Colombia or Bolivia or be sent into Mexico on a "training" mission. This "war on drugs" contract would put Blackwater in the arena with the godfathers of the war business, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

In addition to its robust business in law enforcement, military and homeland security training, Blackwater is branching out. Here are some of its current projects and initiatives:

§ Blackwater affiliate Greystone Ltd., registered offshore in Barbados, is an old-fashioned mercenary operation offering "personnel from the best militaries throughout the world" for hire by governments and private organizations. It also boasts of a "multi-national peacekeeping program," with forces "specializing in crowd control and less than lethal techniques and military personnel for the less stable areas of operation."

§ Prince's Total Intelligence Solutions, headed by three CIA veterans (among them Blackwater's number two, Cofer Black), puts CIA-type services on the open market for hire by corporations or governments.

§ Blackwater is launching an armored vehicle called the Grizzly, which the company characterizes as the most versatile in history. Blackwater intends to modify it to be legal for use on US highways.

§ Blackwater's aviation division has some forty aircraft, including turboprop planes that can be used for unorthodox landings. It has ordered a Super Tucano paramilitary plane from Brazil, which can be used in counterinsurgency operations. In August the aviation division won a $92 million contract with the Pentagon to operate flights in Central Asia.



§ It recently flight-tested the unmanned Polar 400 airship, which may be marketed to the Department of Homeland Security for use in monitoring the US-Mexico border and to "military, law enforcement, and non-government customers."

§ A fast-growing maritime division has a new, 184-foot vessel that has been fitted for potential paramilitary use...


You got that right, pilgrims.

Blackwater is putting eyes in your skies, armored cars on your highways and its own Navy in your ports.

...Meanwhile, Blackwater is deep in the camp of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Cofer Black is Romney's senior adviser on counterterrorism. At the recent CNN/YouTube debate, when Romney refused to call waterboarding torture, he said, "I'm not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we're able to do and what things we're not able to do. And I get that advice from Cofer Black, who is a person who was responsible for counterterrorism in the CIA for some thirty-five years." That was an exaggeration of Black's career at the CIA (he was there twenty-eight years and head of counterterrorism for only three), but a Romney presidency could make Blackwater's business under Bush look like a church bake sale...


Praise the Lord and pass the ammo, pilgrims, the Peacekeepers are coming home, and the locals are sure to get restless.



But if you want to precipitate martial law, Blackwater is your ticket, your bludgeon, and your three ring circus, too.

3 comments:

Logan said...

*weeps*

Meanwhile the "journalists" are busy with I.Q.-lowering discussions about the subtle differences between Romney's mormon, and mainstream christianist dogma -- as if it were important to what bu$iness executives do. (And as if it weren't all bullshit to begin with.)

Sigh. It's probably exactly how THEY want me to feel, but nevertheless, I feel like the best I can hope for in life is to have a nice girlfriend for a few years. (Perhaps Europeans of the early 1930s, who saw what was coming, felt the same way...?)

And then, it'll be time once again for the Topaz Mountain detention camps, for us Utahns.

C'est la vie moderne.

kelley b. said...

You realize that people in the Rocky Mountains really do have the advantage in resistance if things go really sour for the nation.

Look how the people of Afghanistan are doing, even though their "government" is a total Company puppet.

Look at how D.o'D. hesitates at Iran, a very geographically similar place.

Things haven't gone so far south yet, Logan. They've lost a tremendous advantage. Most of America is now aware of at least part of what they're doing, and most of America actively resents it.

We have to use the change in the tide to our advantage.

Anonymous said...

[quote]You realize that people in the Rocky Mountains really do have the advantage in resistance if things go really sour for the nation.

Look how the people of Afghanistan are doing, even though their "government" is a total Company puppet.

Look at how D.o'D. hesitates at Iran, a very geographically similar place.

Things haven't gone so far south yet, Logan. They've lost a tremendous advantage. Most of America is now aware of at least part of what they're doing, and most of America actively resents it.

We have to use the change in the tide to our advantage.[/quote]

You make the assumption that it matters if most of America is aware of them and actively resents what they are doing. If they cannot meet their goals one way they will try to find a way to meet their goals another way. Fascists never give up. They will look for any opportunity to consolidate their power and if possible do what they can to create their own opportunities. To say that I have no trust of them would be a vast understatement.