Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Obama Will Almost Double the Role of Blackwater in Afghanistan

A scathing article by Jeremy Scahill, author of the definitive book on the mercenary company once known as Blackwater, has appeared in The Nation, called Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan. The criminally-run firm is also waging war against Afghanistan and - this information is newly public - Uzbekistan.

War has become immensely profitable for Blackwater, and its owner, Erik Prince, wants to destroy Islam. His firm, according to Scahill, is involved in all sorts of questionable operations in central Asia. His war - paid for by U.S. tax dollars - was so compartmentalized under the Bush administration, that the President didn't even know about it. That may have continued up until publication of the article.

The fact that Obama's administration has widened the role of incredibly expensive mercenaries in Iaq, Afghanistn, Pakistan and elsewhere has long troubled me. Some of my Lower 48 blogging friends are preparing to bring the new revelations about the illegality of Blackwater's secret operations to the attention of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, upon which Sen. Mark Begich sits.

Here's Jeffrey Scahill on Grit TV today:


And here is Scahill on MSNBC's Morning Joe:


The increasing evidence that President Obama is expanding illegal or questionable war policies of the Bush administration is troubling, to say the least. Here's Glenn Greenwald's view on what it all seems to be adding up to:

So, to recap: we have indefinite detention, military commissions, Blackwater assassination squads, escalation in Afghanistan, extreme secrecy to shield executive lawbreaking from judicial review, renditions, and denials of habeas corpus. These are not policies Obama has failed yet to uproot; they are policies he has explicitly advocated and affirmatively embraced as his own.


Here's a new film by Robert Greenwald that touches upon aspects of this problem:

18 comments:

AKjah said...

Yes i about got sick to my stomach.
Jsoc is outside of the perview of OUR government. And these same people back Scarah. What me worry!. Did you listen to_Talk of Alaska-today? The commentator Chris Hedges was so right it just sent me. So much we have to be conscernd of here in AK. Will the dickheads leave or will they flock here? I am prepared for one and not the other. Perhaps some forward thinking is in line. I dont want to give my home to a bunch of ignorant bigots.

Philip Munger said...

AKJah,

I listened to the first 40 minutes. Rick was on Shannyn Moore's panel tonight, so I talked to him about Chris. And to Steve H. I told Steve that Chris didn't waste a word, and that we might get him up here. Rick's going to get me into contact with Chris. We'll see.

ZIP NOLAN said...

Hey, I would be worried if Obama wasn't fighting a secret war against the islamofascists. Seems like some of you think this is a gentlemanly bout of boxing to be fought by the Queensbury Rules. No, it's a fight against those who would destroy Western civilization.

ZIP NOLAN said...

I'm just wondering what evidence you have for your statement

"... Blackwater, and its owner, Erik Prince, wants to destroy Islam."

So, you have proof that Erik Prince intends on wiping out ONE BILLION people ? Is this "factual nugget" from the same sources who pimped "Iraqi war veteran" Jessie Mcbeth's fabrications to the world ?

Philip Munger said...

ZIP,

The allegation was made under oath in a court case:

"A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

ZIP NOLAN said...

"The allegation was made under oath in a court case:"

Perhaps you don't understand the meaning of the word "allegation"? Are you saying that no-one lies under oath? This must mean that virtually every criminal in America's prisons must be innocent because I'm sure they would never lie under oath.

Didn't Scahill write a ringing endorsement for one of Dahr Jamail's books. Birds of a feather.......

Philip Munger said...

ZIP,

I worked in law enforcement and public safety for over 13 years. I know how court works.

Do you even know what the firm Blackwater is?

If you don't start answering questions instead of spewing bullshit, you will be banned from PA for a period of time.

Philip Munger said...

ZIP,

I'm removing all your new comments until you answer the question.

ZIP NOLAN said...

So demeaning your fellow countrymen as "teabaggers" isn't bullshit ? Ho hum..

I called you out for stating as fact something you should have reported was an allegation. As for your question...yes, I know all about Blackwater...yes, I'm aware that they have been involved in some very disturbing incidents and that the US government need to make them accountable for their actions.

BUT I'm not willing to join in with a Leftist witchhunt that seeks to devalue EVERYTHING they have done. The attack on Blackwater by the Left is merely another extension of the Left's attack on the War On Terror. Since 9/11 the radical Left and their islamic allies have sought, at every step of the way, to neuter America's ability to fight islamic terrorism. In fighting an asymmetrical war against terrorists who slit the throats of female flight attendants and are willing to detonate shoe bombs on passenger jets, the West cannot fight as though it was a criminal justice issue. Sadly, the Left are against everything that would make us safer...no enhanced interrogations, no drones, no military tribunals, no profiling, no assassination of terrorist leaders, no phone tapping, no monitoring of foreign bank accounts....

And then we look at the people who are most vocal in demanding America fight with one hand behind it's back and what do we find ? They are the very same people who defend Cuba, who defend Iran's attempts to get the bomb, who defend North Korea, who see America as the biggest source of evil in this world, who hate Israel, who defend the crooks at ACORN, who hate Christianity, who hate their fellow countrymen if they don't worship Obama. Their agenda is just all too obvious...for them the Cold War never ended.

And BTW , didn't someone ask you for answers a while back on the thread about Dahr Jamail...How did that go...did you ever reply to those questions ?

Your attempts to whip up hatred and fear of fellow Americans because of their religious and political beliefs, are helping to create a dangerous climate in this country. What are you hoping to achieve by denouncing Sarah Palin and those who like her as a "danger to the country", and by trying to dehumaize fellow Americans with your crude insults ?? What is the logical conclusion to your scarcely-concealed rage against those who disagree with you ?

Polarbear said...

ZIP: You need to calm down, and stop your cowardly peddling of fear in the face of adversity. You are letting some Muslim wackos living in caves in Pakistan rattle you. In your fearfulness, you are making their point for them about America being weak. Most Americans are not weak, but you are. Get a grip, man.

Yusef Asabiyah said...

"Sadly, the Left are against everything that would make us safer...no enhanced interrogations, no drones, no military tribunals, no profiling, no assassination of terrorist leaders, no phone tapping, no monitoring of foreign bank accounts...."

I am as a matter of fact very much against all these things, but for this reason: these tactics do not make us safer, they make us much less safe.

As one example--it is very clear to me that the drone attacks in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan have aided the resurgence of the Taliban. Why? Because the drones kill so many civilians--there is so much collateral damage.

60 drone hits kill 14 Al-Qaeda, 687 civilians:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21440

This is the way a counter-insurgency war gets lost...The population is pushed to supporting the insurgency. We have a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, and if we keep killing civilians in Pakistan, we may very well see a new Taliban gov't in Pakistan. It's possible. And that would make us very, very unsafe--the Taliban will govern nuclear Pakistan.

AKjah said...

Zip. Your living in lala land. " Disturbing instances" If you dont know your history then it's best to keep quiet. If you wish to acknowledge past blunders of the American involvments. Then do so with the history of their beggeting. Right now we have the thinking part of America facing the unthinking part of america. Who do you think will win???

ZIP NOLAN said...

"I am as a matter of fact very much against all these things, but for this reason: these tactics do not make us safer, they make us much less safe."

Enhanced interrogation, assassination of terrorists and wire tapping has kept us safe in the USA for the last eight years (excluding the Fort Hood massacre when profiling and a stand against Political Correctness would have saved lives), to believe otherwise is to contradict reality. One has to wonder if you actually consider any resistance to terrorism to be deemed fair and balanced, Thank God our military and intelligence services believe more in safety then assuaging liberal guilt.

"As one example--it is very clear to me that the drone attacks in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan have aided the resurgence of the Taliban. Why? Because the drones kill so many civilians--there is so much collateral damage."

You are completely wrong...the Taliban resurgence began before the drone policy even kicked in. If anything, the drones have kept the Taliban on the backfoot as their high command is constantly being depleted. As for the civilian death figures you quoted , they are pure Taliban propaganda. You, presumably would want US troops to go after the Taliban and AQ elites armed just with knives...that way there would presumably be no collateral damage although hundreds of US troops would die. But, of course, if the knife policy became too effective you would protest that as well.

The counter-insurgency fails when we have too few troops on the ground and for the last three months our dithering C-in-C has postponed reinforcing our troops.

ZIP NOLAN said...

"You need to calm down, and stop your cowardly peddling of fear in the face of adversity. "

Somewhere, in another galaxy, that sentence might possibly make sense.

"You are letting some Muslim wackos living in caves in Pakistan rattle you."

You're not really keeping abreast of world events are you? FYI those "wackos" helped kill 3,000 Americans a few years ago. Their comrades-in-extremism have killed thousands more in London, Madrid, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Russia and elsewhere. "Few wackos in a cave" ! Sheesh !

Polarbear said...

ZIP: Extremist and devisive language, like yours, is precisely what Al Qaeda wants to see. You are weak, plain and simple. In truth, most Americans see you, and the few others like you, as cowards, unable to stay calm and focused in the face of a bit of adversity. No, the basics of being an American have not changed, despite your fear and negativity. Our core values serve us well. It is your alarmist voice and your violent distractions which are the real danger to our county.

Yusef Asabiyah said...

"If anything, the drones have kept the Taliban on the backfoot as their high command is constantly being depleted."

If we in the USA had no understanding of counter-insurgency operations, I would take this statement more seriously.

As it is, I doubt even you take this seriously...This is more chain-jerking, isn't it?

You cannot defeat an insurgency by assassinating its leadership. The insurgency simply replaces its assassinated leaders. We see this very clearly in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan, but why we needed to see this again is beyond me--we should know already.

Do you want to lose? What in the hell is wrong with you? You don't seem stupid or ill-informed. You seem perverse.

"As for the civilian death figures you quoted , they are pure Taliban propaganda."

So very, very predictable.

Anything you don't want to hear is taken as enemy propaganda.

I know you don't care about the innocent civilian victims, many of whom are women and children, of US foreign policy, but unless you also don't care about contributing to the demise of the US (and that's what we're talking about here) I recommend you try to the best of your ability to seriously evaluate what is and isn't pure propaganda.

ZIP NOLAN said...

"I recommend you try to the best of your ability to seriously evaluate what is and isn't pure propaganda."

So you are the only one able to judge that. How nice for you to be so perceptive.

ZIP NOLAN said...

"ZIP: Extremist and devisive language, like yours, is precisely what Al Qaeda wants to see.'

Like your comrade, Yusef, you seem to have given yourself unusual powers. Please document for me where Al Qaeda informed you what precisely they wanted to see. THat you seriously imagine that the current global jihad is about a few wackos in caves shows your frightening disconnect from reality.

Do you seriously think that your "few Wackos in a cave" are responsible for the slaughters in Mumbai, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq etc., etc. etc. Do you not understand that this is a highly organized, well financed, suicidal movement with the support of tens of millions ? Your brand of appeasement is vile because if we ignore evil and treat terrorism as something to be laughed off then more innocent people will die. You should be ashamed of your ignorance but instead, sadly, I think you probably cling to it as a shield against realities you just cannot face.