FOIA Request Yields Shocking Truth
By David Edwards
hat tip: Raw Story
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
A Code Pink protester claimed a high-ranking Blackwater official threatened his life during a break of a Senate Armed Services hearing focused on the military contractor’s actions in Afghanistan.
Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin reported that the threat was made by Johnny Walker, a program manager with one of Blackwater’s subsidiaries. Walker testified at the hearing about the role his company, Paravant, played during its mercenary deployments to the Middle East.
Shortly after the break was announced, Tighe Barry criticized the US military’s use of Blackwater to the court and the CNN camera. As Walker brushed past on his way out of the courtroom, Barry claims Walker said “I’m gonna kill you.”
“This is how they run their business,” Barry said to the camera after Walker left the room. “They are trained murderers. They will threaten you at any moment and they’ll be in our communities soon.”
Settlement amounts to implicit admission that guards were responsible for series of unjustifiable killings
January 7, 2010.
hat tip: The Guardian.co.uk The Center for Constitutional Rights
The US security company Blackwater agreed today to pay compensation over the killing of Iraqi civilians by company guards accused of reckless disregard for human life.
The deal comes just days after a US court threw out the prosecution of five of those guards over a notorious slaughter of up to 17 people in Baghdad.
The settlement amounts to an implicit admission by the highly secretive company that some of its guards were responsible for a series of unjustifiable killings. Blackwater appears to have reached the deal in order to avoid a court hearing that threatened to force the company to lay bear what critics contend was a policy of shooting first as well as the involvement of its employees in an array of criminal activities.
Blackwater, which has since renamed itself Xe after a deluge of bad publicity over its actions in Iraq, did not release details of the settlement of seven lawsuits that accused the company of a pattern of illegal activity and reckless killings.
by Paul Rosenberg
Hat tip: Open Left
In a discussion with Bill Moyers, Jeremy Scahill gives credit to Obama for recognizing the existence of a problem.
In “Why Not A Progressive Foreign Policy? Part 1: The Military”, I wrote about a better way of combating terrorism than bringing war to Afghanistan, and continuing to kill innocent civilians–a way much more consistent with the main thrust of Obama’s speech in Cairo. In the transition between laying out the problem, and presenting that better way, I wrote:
But before we turn to what that better way is, I just want to take note of former Democracy Now producer Jeremy Scahill on Bill Moyers Journal last night, sketching out some of what’s going wrong right now. I’ll be looking at what he talked about more closely in a follow-up diary, which will serve to underscore just how much is at stake if we don’t get serious about crafting a progressive alternative. Scahill discusses the continuation of military privatization under Obama, and the dangerous direction it threatens to lead us
It’s now time to take a closer look at what’s at stake, at what we risk if we do not adopt a more progressive military policy. The future is never certain, of course. But closing our eyes to foreseeable risks only makes it more uncertain, more threatening, more potentially dangerous.
In the discussion with Bill Moyers, Jeremy Scahill gives credit to Obama for recognizing the existence of a problem, if not really grasping its essential nature:
BILL MOYERS: How do explain this spike in private contractors in both Iraq and Afghanistan?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I think what we’re seeing, under President Barack Obama, is sort of old wine in a new bottle. Obama is sending one message to the world, but the reality on the ground, particularly when it comes to private military contractors, is that the status quo remains from the Bush era. Right now there are 250 thousand contractors fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s about 50 percent of the total US fighting force. Which is very similar to what it was under Bush. In Iraq, President Obama has 130 thousand contractors. And we just saw a 23 percent increase in the number of armed contractors in Iraq. In Afghanistan there’s been a 29 percent increase in armed contractors. So the radical privatization of war continues unabated under Barack Obama.
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, December 15, 2008
Frighteningly accurate trends forecaster Gerald Celente says that America will see riots similar to those currently ongoing in Greece and that the cause will be a hyper-inflationary depression, leading to the inevitable use of troops and mercenaries to deal with the crisis as Americans are incarcerated in internment camps.
As we have highlighted before, Celente’s accuracy is stunning – he predicted the 1987 crash, the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the “panic of 2008,” and is routinely cited even by mainstream news networks as highly credible.
The cause of the riots would be a hyper-inflationary depression, Celente told interviewer Lew Rockwell, causing Americans to revolt in similar circumstances that we have witnessed recently in Iceland and Greece. The trouble would be sparked off by Obama declaring a “bank holiday” whereby people won’t be able to withdraw their money.
“What’s going on in Greece with these riots has nothing to do with a 15-year-old boy being killed, that was only the spark that ignited the pent up, really hatred and disdain, people have for the scandals and corrupt government and the same thing is going on in this country as well,” said Celente.
Celente reiterated his prediction of a revolution and riots in America, and said that the first signs of it could even emerge before the end of the year.