Blackwater USA’s efforts may be concentrated in Iraq, but one day those services will no longer be needed. What then for this private company and its employees?
Like employees of Blackwater USA, I work for a government contractor who’s contract will eventually expire. Both companies have plans for surviving beyond their current contracts with private contracts. Unfortunately, Blackwater USA’s expertise is unregulated, heavily-armed and lead by a righteous evangelical neocon.
Here are Blackwater USA’s vision and mission as stated on their web site:
Blackwater USA comprises nine separate business units to offer the most comprehensive professional security, peacekeeping, and stability operations company in the world.
To support security, peace, freedom, and democracy everywhere.
To support national and international security policies that protect those who are defenseless and provide a free voice for all with a dedication to providing ethical, efficient, and effective turnkey solutions that positively impact the lives of those still caught in desperate times.
Blackwater is committed to the foot soldiers — the men and women who stand on the front-lines of the global war on terror and who believe in a peaceful future for their communities and nations. Whether serving in or out of uniform, Blackwater is committed to providing these men and women with the very best in training and tactical support to ensure they are fully prepared to meet current and future global security challenges.
Blackwater USA was founded by Erik Prince. According to a London Review of Books (LRB) book review of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill, Mr. Prince:
- … is a privately educated, avowedly devout Roman Catholic, a former member of US Navy special forces and the father of six children.
- … declared: “Our corporate goal is to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did to the postal service.“
- … Is part of the right-wing Republican DeVos-Prince dynasty of Michigan, which has bankrolled radical Christian evangelical movements that campaign against homosexuality, abortion and stem-cell research.
- … was an intern in the administration of the elder President Bush, but found him too liberal and backed the extreme right-winger Pat Buchanan to replace him.
- … has given a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions to Republican politicians.
- … donated half a million dollars to an organization set up by Charles Colson, a felon convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal, to get prisoners to become born-again Christians in exchange for better jail conditions (in 1996, Colson floated the possibility of a Christian coup against the re-elected President Clinton).
- … in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when survivors were desperate for food, drinking water, shelter and medical supplies, his company flew ammunition into New Orleans to supply the groups of heavily-armed mercenaries it had rushed to the disaster zone.
- … helps fund campaigners against high taxation and welfare spending, while the hundreds of millions of dollars Blackwater has taken in fees since 2001 have come almost exclusively from the US taxpayer.
According to the LRB’s review, Mr. Prince has hired “a squad of elite lawyers to fight to protect his company from liability for anyone’s death, foreign or American, anywhere overseas …” There have been multiple incidents where he needed these lawyers:
- … at least one incident of Blackwater mercenaries in Iraq shooting death of an innocent man
- … the death in Fallujah of four Blackwater mercenaries to whom the company hadn’t given proper armored vehicles, manpower, weapons, training, instructions or maps
- … the death of three US servicemen in Afghanistan at the hands of a reckless Blackwater aircrew, who also died
Blackwater USA was started in 1998. Initially, Erick Prince used his company to respond to incidents like the Columbine High School shooting and show others how to better apply guns to a problem while they make a profit. Then with the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. They won their first government contract for $35,700,000 to train sailors how to defend large ships with small-calibre weapons. But what really boosted the fortunes of Blackwater USA was the attack on September 11, 2001. This tragedy allowed Mr. Prince to convert his company from training others how to shoot to becoming hired guns for service anywhere in the world while also supporting his above stated corporate goal. (Do you remember those movie westerns where the local land baron had his personal civilian army to keep control of the local town and abuse its citizens?)
Scahill summarized Blackwater’s ascent this way, “it has risen out of a swamp in North Carolina to become a sort of Praetorian Guard for the Bush administration’s ‘global war on terror’.”
Speaking of the Praetorian Guard, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia, “The Nazis regarded the SS as an elite unit, the party’s ‘Praetorian Guard,’ with all SS personnel selected on the principles of racial purity and unconditional loyalty to the Nazi Party.”
Blackwater USA may be small now, with about 2,300 private soldiers, but Hitler’s SS started small too, according to Wikipedia. “‘Die Schutz-Staffel der NSDAP’ (shield squadron of the Nazi party) Under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler between 1929 and 1945, the SS grew from a small paramilitary formation to become one of the largest and most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany.”
As discussed elsewhere in this blog, Posse commitatus has been abridged. So now, if our own military is busy elsewhere and cannot be used against us in the next state of emergency, the President has a backup to maintain control – Blackwater USA.
Can you spell T-h-e L-a-n-d B-a-r-o-n?