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http://www.comcast.net/news/index.jsp?cat=...=itn_blackwater

"Prince cast his company as a scapegoat for broader problems associated with the government's reliance on security contractors and the murky legal jurisdiction. He said his staff was comprised of courageous individuals who face the same threats and high-stress environment as U.S. military personnel, and noted 30 Blackwater personnel have been killed and no Americans have died under the company's watch."
 

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I think it is necessary to note that there are ongoing investigations and while there does appear to be problems its not as simple as seems... I recall a car bomb being involved in the latest incident... no one is talking about that.
 

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I'm guessing they'll be convicted in the media of public opinion before all the facts are out....similiar to what Murtha did to those Marines in Haditha.....Obama saying our troops are air raiding villages......Kerry talking about troops raiding homes of poor defenseless Iraqis.....or Dick Durbin comparing our troops to Nazi's, Soviets in their Gulags, or some regime of Pol Pot.....


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Discussion Starter #24
Rice accepted preliminary recommendations from an internal review board that call for Diplomatic Security agents to accompany every convoy, the installation of video cameras in security vehicles, audio recordings of radio traffic between the embassy and such convoys and improved coordination and communication between convoys and the U.S. military.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21148655/
Great....Diplomatic Security has to go along. Those guys are unbelievable (in a good way ;). I am CERTAIN all the rules will be adhered to with these two looking out for one another.

There was an incident with about twenty journalists trapped at a hotel in a hot zone and who went to get them against orders? Diplomatic Security....and they took out a sniper in the process.
 

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House Blackwater hearings more about lawsuit than reform

October 8, 2007
ROBERT NOVAK [email protected]

A month after voters last year had given Democrats control that would elevate Nancy Pelosi to House speaker, she received a letter from a trial lawyer in Santa Ana, Calif., named Daniel J. Callahan. "We look forward," he wrote, "to the New Direction of America, and to your dedication to putting an end to the fleecing of the American taxpayers and death to its citizens in the name of war profiteers such as Blackwater." That plea was answered last week by House hearings.

Callahan did not disguise his political orientation, requesting a full-scale investigation of an "extremely Republican" company: Blackwater Security Consulting, which provides security guards in Iraq. He asked Pelosi to investigate "now that there has been a shift in power in Congress." It required nearly a year for Chairman Henry Waxman to find a peg for holding a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing last Tuesday.

Callahan and Waxman are driven by quite different motives. The trial lawyer seeks a big payoff for the families of four Blackwater guards who were ambushed and massacred in 2004. For the congressman, a fierce Democratic partisan, this issue is part of his wide-ranging investigation of the Bush administration, with emphasis on its conduct of the Iraq war. Their divergent paths merged last Tuesday and will continue together for two more planned hearings.

Under federal regulations, the families of the four guards would receive $57,000 each year and be prohibited from suing Blackwater. But Callahan and North Carolina lawyer David Kirby went to court at Raleigh, N.C., (Blackwater's home) claiming gross negligence.

The case immediately elicited interest from investigation-minded Democrats in Congress, Waxman and Sen. Byron Dorgan. But they could do little until the Democrats gained control of Congress. Waxman's inquiry still received scant attention until Sept. 16, when Blackwater private security forces were reported to have killed 13 Iraqis. The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior -- which has been discredited as dysfunctional -- assailed Blackwater's performance.

Four days later, Waxman demanded testimony from Blackwater founder and CEO Erik Prince, a former Navy Seal lieutenant with Republican connections. On that same Sept. 20, Callahan initiated a telephone conversation with Blackwater counsel Joseph E. Schmitz. A memo by lawyers representing Blackwater quoted Callahan as saying "the company can bury" its bad publicity "by paying $20 million . . . consisting of $5 million per family." (Callahan confirmed to this column that he mentioned $20 million but also required the families' approval, Blackwater's release of its after-action reports and a plaque honoring the dead men at the place they were killed.)

No deal was struck. While the trial lawyers wanted money, Democrats wanted more bad publicity for Blackwater -- and the Bush administration. Paradoxically, the killing of 13 Iraqis, which put Blackwater on front pages and the evening TV news and made possible a show hearing, could not be mentioned Tuesday because of an ongoing criminal investigation. The core of the anti-Blackwater hearings was the Fallujah incident, as Callahan clearly hoped when he wrote Pelosi a year ago.

Questioning by Democrats seemingly came straight from Callahan's legal briefs. Democrats ventured into broader questions of whether private firms should function in war zones, though they did not make clear who would guard State Department personnel and visiting members of Congress.

Waxman followed the path suggested by Callahan to Pelosi a year ago, which pointed to a crusade against "corporate greed." But the focus was on the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, with families of the Fallujah four present in the hearing room. Asserting that their loved ones were "killed in a tragic and unnecessary accident," the chairman said to the survivors: "I want you to know that Blackwater will be accountable today."

What could have been a serious inquiry into the role of private firms performing tasks that cannot be handled by the U.S. and its overburdened military was inseparable from a precedent-setting private lawsuit. It was attached from the moment trial lawyers seeking a big payout solicited help from Demo-crats seeking a political advantage.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/novak/593147,...novak08.article
 

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I've worked with and around Blackwater for two tours now. They don't f--k around, but neither do the people trying to kill them.
I wasn't there for this incident currently in the news, but I will say that they are professionals. They do their job well for the
resources they have. Their job is dangerous. That's why they get paid what they do.

No one should be hating on these guys. Most are former/retired military that found a way to get back into the game and make
some real money. For guys like me and other soldiers, a Blackwater guy makes BANK.

My cousin was a former Marine that joined them back in late '04 and was killed in March '05. We were going to
meet at BIAP before I got on the plane for R&R leave. He never showed up. So I spent my leave burying a man
I grew up with.

All this hype and name calling is by a bunch of turds who know jack and schit. I group those cowards in the same
crowd as Fred Phelps.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I've worked with and around Blackwater for two tours now. They don't f--k around, but neither do the people trying to kill them.
I wasn't there for this incident currently in the news, but I will say that they are professionals. They do their job well for the
resources they have. Their job is dangerous. That's why they get paid what they do.

No one should be hating on these guys. Most are former/retired military that found a way to get back into the game and make
some real money. For guys like me and other soldiers, a Blackwater guy makes BANK.

My cousin was a former Marine that joined them back in late '04 and was killed in March '05. We were going to
meet at BIAP before I got on the plane for R&R leave. He never showed up. So I spent my leave burying a man
I grew up with.

All this hype and name calling is by a bunch of turds who know jack and schit. I group those cowards in the same
crowd as Fred Phelps.
well said.

Junior or Senior BTW, because they had some divergent views ;)
Well not really
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KZPsTM-4qgg
 

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In short, yes.

Article 47 Section D through F of the Geneva Convention defines a mercenary as "Is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict; Is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and Has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces. "

Since Blackwater USA employees foreign nationals, that are not U.S. or Iraqi citizens, with some of the contractors being from nations that are not involved in the conflict in any way... that makes them mercenaries. Regardless of what their promotional literature may say.

Since their role is one of protection, training and security, they are not in violation of any conventions. But should they be used in an offensive combat role, they would be in violation.

Ronin Z
well said. they seem like mercenaries, act like em, dress like em, Like in the movies ..
 

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Poor, poor terrorists! They hide behind women and children (most willing) and then squeal like pigs when they get their nose bloodied. I have good, solid advice for anyone seeing some Diaper Head with an AK or an RPG; run like a MO FO! Black Water is being railroaded IMO.
 
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