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Blackwater Founder Takes a Beating in Congress

Posted on Oct 2, 2007

Blackwater USA founder and chairman Erik Prince stubbornly defended his company Tuesday while members of the House Oversight Committee grilled him with questions such as “Why are we privatizing our military to an organization that has been aggressive and in some cases reckless in the handling of their duties?”


The committee’s chairman, Henry Waxman, referred to an incident in Afghanistan in 2004 when a Blackwater plane flown by inexperienced pilots crashed, killing US service personnel on board.

An investigation showed the pilots did not follow procedure, did not know where they were going and were treating their mission as “fun”.

“Is Blackwater, a private military contractor, helping or hurting our efforts?” Mr Waxman asked, referring to Iraq.

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Check out the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Web site for video of the hearing and more information.

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By c. hughes, November 16, 2007 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought the name of your site was truth dig. Why promote a dvd contending Jesus never existed. That shows your ignorance of Christian scholarship. Dig a little deeper if you want my respect.

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By cyrena, October 5, 2007 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Driving Bear,

I’ve never had much luck trying to send a Private Message, though I’ve tried. I can receive them, but I’ve never been able to initiate one on my end. Could just be me, or a fluke in the system.

Feel free to send one to me, and I’ll be on the lookout for it. I’m glad to answer any questions that I -can-, and I’m always clear about the difference between what I KNOW, and what I might “speculate” based on any collection of facts.

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By cyrena, October 5, 2007 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

Part I#104788 by driving bear
•  As for WMD I have one important point which both the left and the right has overlooked.
The Only reason we know Sadam did not have WMD is because the US military went in a conducted a search.

This is actually not at all true DB, but I understand why you wouldn’t know that. Sill, I fear that you didn’t read my lengthy post about pre-invasion/occupation Iraq. So, I’ve elaborated for you. It may be boring, because it’s “legal stuff”. But, at least you’ll understand better, that I’m not just “saying” all of this, without knowing what I’m talking about.

The Cheney admin and the neoconners were fully aware that there were no WMD in Saddam’s Iraq. And, it’s OK if you believed it, because a whole bunch of people did.

There WERE people who ‘knew’ that Saddam had no WMD, INCLUDING Colin Powell himself. (he may have been one of the “Americans” who wanted to believe, -or not believe- about the real reason.) At least he claims now, that he was thwarted at every turn, by Cheney and his crew. And, I’m sure there is some truth to that. I’m willing to believe that he may have been “tricked” but I also believe that he should have done the right thing, when he realized it.

I mentioned much of this before. They KNEW. The WMD was ALWAYS a pretext,(just as 9-11 was). But, it wasn’t just some vague or political thing we had in our minds, because we “didn’t like GW”. In all fairness, I think I’ve made it clear, that while I certainly track the politics of our country, I’m an objective person. YES, we all have biases. And, anyone who had been around during GW’s earlier years, would know just how awful he is, and basically always has been.

STILL, professional scholars/researchers/analysts do their utmost to “follow the facts” based on documentation, in a way that allows them to can ‘set aside’ those biases, when examining anything for what is - the facts. That’s because they MUST, in order to maintain any intellectual credibility. Experts in any field, take their work seriously. No academic or intellectual is going to put something “out there” that they cannot back up. So, it takes time to honestly –and with credibility- check, and double check, and find the information, before they can “or should” commit an opinion or analysis to writing or publication. (the same way that a real aviation professional is not gonna sign off on a bad flight plan, or a bad airplane)
So, that’s what experts do, and it takes more than just “one type” of expert. And, there’s not time to go through all of it here. But, I’ll give you a few short things that were KNOWN, long before the invasion of Iraq, and I’ll only concentrate on the legal stuff, because I’d like you to check the other post for the rest.

Iraq has been a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty for many decades. I’m not suggesting to you, that Saddam did not at some point in his lengthy dictatorship; attempt to acquire a nuclear program, or even WMD. HOWEVER, the laws of the NPT are very clear, very well laid out, and it is the job of the UN and it’s watchdog body the IAEA, (Intl Atomic Energy Agency) with their EXPERTS, to administer to, and to be certain that all signatories to the treaty are NOT in violation of the NPT. These are experts who KNOW, not only the laws, but everything they need to know about nuclear weapons, and nuclear everything. It’s their WORK. It’s WHAT THEY DO.
Their activities, mission, expertise, etc, are ALL -OFF the radar of the average American. It’s International Law, and most Americans don’t have a clue…INCLUDING THE US MILITARY. Colin Powell has some knowledge of it, (as a long time military person) but Condi Rice (as Sec State) should also know these things, and…she DOES NOT. Still, at the time that the neoconners asked Colin Powell to present that fake evidence to the UN, his first –loudly uttered- response at seeing/hearing it, was an emphatic…”THIS IS BULLSHIT!! I’m not presenting this shit to anybody!

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By cyrena, October 5, 2007 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

Now the UN is important, because based on very long established laws of war, and all the rest, the UN has to approve any “pre-emptive” use of force against any other country, (for ANY reason) and so the Cheney Cabal DID initially try to obtain the necessary resolution, (just as GHWB had done in the first Gulf War). And, for THAT war, (GHWB) the UN DID provide the required authorization.

BUT, they are there to make sure that any country, doesn’t just throw out an accusation about another country. (like GW was doing) So, the Cheney Cabal proceeded to create evidence, and even Colin smelled a rat, but he went through with it anyway, and of course it caused his only political/career destruction.

So, I said all of that to say that the IAEA was ALL OVER Iraq in the 6 months preceding the invasion, because IT’S THEIR JOB, and they have the experts who know WHAT to look for, and WHERE to look for it. Hans Blix, (who was the chief inspector at the time) had indeed been all over Iraq, with his expert team. That includes not only a physical search, but all of the paperwork…like, could a “dictator” be –hiding- them somewhere. The search was intensive and expert, and at the end of it, Blix was about to submit his report, which would have CERTIFIED that Saddam did NOT have any nuclear or biological WMD.

Now, the IAEA, (since it is their job to monitor these things –continuously-) was already aware that Saddam had abandoned any nuclear ambitions back in the mid-90’s. Sanctions prevented him from following it through, even if he’d wanted to. But, Saddam was no dummy, and in the end, he knew that it wasn’t worth the hassle, even if he had the funds, which he did not. So, he had dropped those aspirations long ago. Still, he made EVERYTHING available to inspectors during the run-up, because he didn’t want Iraq attacked again.

So, in the months leading up to the invasion, (when the UN Security Council HAD in fact issued one resolution calling for Saddam to “disarm” based on what the US was claiming) the IAEA was there all along, to check out these “claims” and in the early part of 2003, (actually, they’d finished up by late December) Hans Blix – the chief inspector, was about to prepare and submit the report for the UN-IAEA. That report would have indicated, that Iraq did NOT possess any WMD. It’s that simple. But, as word of this was coming down, and because Colin Powell already KNEW that China, Russia, and France would have BLOCKED the resolution allowing authority to use force to invade Iraq, he quietly withdrew the request, on behalf of the US…and GW told the inspectors to GET OUT of Iraq, because it was “too dangerous” for them to be there.

And, as I mentioned, Colin withdrew the request at the SC, because he knew it would not pass anyway, because of the 3 above mentioned permanent members of the SC. That is one of the many reasons why the invasion and occupation of Iraq is not just ‘morally’ illegal, but it’s a violation of International Law.

My point. EVERYBODY knew, (except for the American citizens) that Saddam did not have WMD. Not only were there the other more ‘common sense’ reasons…like the fact that Iraq was drastically weakened as a result of 8 years of war with Iran, the Gulf War by the US, and the economic sanctions that had been levied against Iraq for nearly 12 years, but far more importantly, BECAUSE the experts did indeed check it out. And, as of February, 2003…it was CONFIRMED that there were no WMD there.

If you’d like to see the far more extensive work I’ve done on this, I’ll be happy to share it. But, I admit this is boring stuff to the average person, so I won’t “force it” on you. Still DB, is IS what it IS. There were no WMD in Iraq. And, Cheney knew that. Joe Wilson, a former diplomat to in the region, ALSO knew that something smelled really ‘fishy’ about it, which is why he went to investigate the ‘yellow cake’ allegations, and found that claim to have resulted from forged documents.

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By cyrena, October 5, 2007 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

Part III to db104788
That’s also why his wife, (the former CIA agent Valerie Plame – actively undercover) was targeted by Cheney- as revenge against Joe Wilson, and to smear his credibility.
But, that’s not how I know that there were no WMD, but rather because I’ve had time, (no job right?) to actually investigate it, all the way back. I didn’t make a half-baked political “hatred” decision to just spread rhetoric. I put it together based on an entire collection of information, that requires a look at more than I think you (or the average American) has bothered with. Or, would even know to look. So, you were “surprised” and I was not.
But again, I wouldn’t expect the average American to know that, because I wouldn’t have known it either, had I not spent months “verifying” what I suspected all along. I didn’t believe that Saddam had these weapons, but it was because of the common sense reasons that we could all put together. I still had to do a whole bunch of work, ( and dig through all kinds of documents from the IAEA) before I could piece it together. And, I’ve since had help myself, from some of the experts. In that, I’ve been fortunate.
So really, I’m not just saying this because “it’s clear that I don’t like bush”. It’s not about that at all. This is just the truth, in all of its boring details. The WMD was a lie, to use as a pretext to invade. In the end, the UN security counsel knew it was a lie, which is why they would not authorize the attack.

I also never suggested that Iraq pre-invasion was a “paradise”. I made it very clear in my earlier post, that Saddam was a dictator, and that he used oppression to control the majority, who were the Shia. So no, I never said that all 26 million of Iraq’s citizens where happy in paradise.

However, your torture chambers and such were reserved primarily for his enemies in the North. They were his political enemies. Nobody said that Saddam was NOT the “Butcher of Baghdad” or that he didn’t kill whoever was likely to stand in his way, or presented a threat to his power, and we can certainly talk about that at some point in time. BUT, I’ve had to read a whole bunch of history, and study it over an extended period of time, to understand what those dynamics were, and I can tell that you are only referencing the standard version that has been spread for American digestion. More importantly, I can tell that you’ve spent no time speaking to the Iraqi people themselves, who will TELL you that Saddam was awful, but that now, they have 50 Saddams, and their country is in tatters, with millions of lives destroyed. \

So no, I never claimed it was –paradise- What I DID claim, was that the Iraqis were NOT in a “civil war” prior to their eventual destruction, and despite his tyranny, Saddam was a nationalist. He acted on behalf of the Iraqis as a nation, and what had been the birthplace of civilization, -Mesopotamia- was a society and a landscape rich in cultural history, the diversity of its landscape, and other intellectual resources, (science, medicine, engineering, more) not to mention the OIL.

That is my point. 97% percent of the population was Muslim, be they Shia, Sunni, Kurd or Turkmen, with the rest made up of Christians, Jews, and whatever else.
The “religious” differences between the Sunni and the Shia were like the religious differences between Catholics and Protestants. They intermarried, they shared neighborhoods, institutional facilities, and there were surely a large percentage of Shia in the Ba’ath Party, as well as a representation in Saddam’s parliament. He could not have operated otherwise. Their judicial/legal system was good, and most importantly, under Saddam, Iraq was the only Middle Eastern nation that could be called “secular”. (not run by religious clerics or law based on a radical interpretation of Islam).


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By cyrena, October 5, 2007 at 2:52 am Link to this comment

Part IV db 104788

So you see, I’m gonna call things like they are. No, I’m not ignoring that Saddam locked people up, or tortured them (if they were part of any ‘dissention”) but much of his “opposition”/dissenters were from the clerics because he was not, -for them at least- “religious enough”. And yes, he gassed some of those people in the North, but it’s real important to know that the US – Rummy himself, SUPPLIED those weapons to Saddam, (back in the 80’s) and then turned their eyes away and said nothing, when he used them on his own people.

So, if you look far enough into the history of US relations with Iraq, you’ll find that former republican Administrations, beginning with Regan, but maybe sooner, were MAJOR supporters of Saddam, back when he was in a position to do them some good.

It was when Saddam started threatening to switch over to the Euro for his oil transactions, that the Cabal (and all of the “insiders” including Congress) went into panic mode. And, the panic was real. It hasn’t left either, which is why you may not have paid much attention, but Iran is now asking Japan to pay for their oil in YEN. The US buck is in trouble. That’s why it’s been so critical for Cheney et all, to get to that OIL in Iraq, and that’s why he’s about to blast Iran off the map as well. NOT because of nukes, because Iran doesn’t have any nuclear WEAPONS, nor are they anywhere close to making them, even if they wanted to. I should also mention the same thing is happening here. The IAEA has been all over Iran, and they have found no evidence that Iran is intending to use their program for such ends. And, the NPT says that they are perfectly within the rights of the laws of that treaty, to conduct the program that they have.

So driving bear, there’s more to this than meets the average eye. There were no WMD in Iraq, and while you and other Americans may have been fooled, (many were), It simply isn’t true.

Gotta go. Need to prepare a lecture for tomorrow. I hope you find this helpful.

And…sorry…I think I did see the Robo thing once, but only because I was being “sociable”; it’s just not my style. No offense. Just not into those sorts of “action” films.

Now since you do enjoy action films, I’ve recommended an excellent one before on this sight, and I hadn’t seen it, prior to when it was assigned for a course. It’s Spielberg’s, “Munich” I think you might enjoy it, (lots of action) and it’ll provide some helpful history as well.

The End

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By driving bear, October 5, 2007 at 12:40 am Link to this comment

to cyrena

PS send me a PM I would like to ask you an aviation question and opinion, Its personal and VERY Important

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By driving bear, October 5, 2007 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

to #104821 by cyrena on 10/04 at 10:27 pm

I must admit I find it hard to believe that people in SO CAl doubted the war was about OIL. Here in East Tennessee , which you would be hard pressed to find a more loyal GOP stronghold I say 95%+ knew that from the start.
I don’t know about SO CAl but here i am sorry to say a lot of people also just wanted dead muslims or in the local language dead “sand niggers”

Have you heard similar in california

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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment

PS to last post and driving bear…

Just as an “aside” because it’s been so long now, that many folks are not aware. But, just like I’m out of a job? Well, in reality, after 9-11, the commercial airline industry purged THOUSANDS of workers from the rolls. I’m not “dramatizing” this either. It came in one large purge, (from ALL of the “major” carriers, within 3 weeks of 9-11, which is when many of my former co-workers were -slashed- some a few years from retirement, and others who had “planned” to be around another 8, 10, or 12 years. That was the first -slash-.

But, it continued…another few months down the road…maybe another 10-15 thousand, on top of the 35-40k that were whacked intitally after the disaster.

So, while the government did a major ‘bail-out’ of the airlines after that, please be assured that it wasn’t to save employee jobs.

Since then, but only gradually, and over an extended period of time, they’ve slowly replaced those purged employees, but NEVER to the levels that staffed the industry before. And of course, they have all been replaced with those who earn less than a third of what the purged group was earning. And, they have no benefits that matter.

So, for those who survived those massive lay-offs, they are now working far more hours than they did before, and they’ve also taken large pay cuts and benefit cuts.

So, it wasn’t just the wal-mart shoppers and fliers who benefitted from that 9-11 “disaster”. Coporate stock holders have done quite nicely as well, and the CEO salaries are probably 7 times what they were before.

And, that really IS, all true.

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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

Sorry DB, (and all) I accidentally hit the key with only your prompt posted,. But, you may have a point here.
•  The war was about oil all along and everyone knew it from the beginning. I hate to say it but I think the American people wanted to here the lies… without oil planes don’t fly and you would be out of a job and the American people could not drives cars to the mall or wal-mart and buy more crap from China. The American people believed bush because they wanted to.
Believe me, I DID know that the war was all about oil to begin with, which is why I had my old butt out there on the lines, PRIOR to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. My sign said: “No BLOOD for OIL – LET’S JUST BUY IT FROM THEM!!
But, absolutely none of the people that I knew – personally- at the time, believed me. So, I’m not sure that MOST Americans realized that the war was about oil, if only because they didn’t consider it at all.
And, I can only add to that, my own experience with so many military families since then. Many have lost their kids in Iraq. One – a beautiful young woman, just out of West Point, was killed there. Her family will not accept that it was about oil. And, I don’t have the heart to push the point. What good would it do?
So….FOR THOSE PEOPLE, (and it’s true that maybe I know more than my fair share of these casualties, just because of the work that I do – NOW) they still cannot accept that as the reason. Their loved ones are dead, and they have told me, that they died ‘defending US’.
I remember when Cindy Sheehan kicked off her own movement…she was the first to do so…so that’s where the bravery is. She figured out, (because she didn’t know before either) that her son died because of the oil, and NOT for the “noble cause” that GW claimed. And at the time, my dear friend, (who’s child was just arriving in Iraq) was nearly hysterical. She accused Cindy Sheehan of “spreading hate”. And when that girl was blown up in Iraq, (first report was ‘friendly fire’ and then they told the family it was an IED) there was no way on God’s earth, (and I’m not religious) that I would have EVER told that woman then – or now, that her beloved child was NOT ‘defending us”, but –securing the oil-.
So, we don’t discuss it. And, I can’t tell you how many others are in that same painful sort of denial. Some may come to know the real thing later, but you’d be surprised about how few Americans know, if only because they don’t even think about it.
Still, I agree that there are many who DO know, and because they don’t have a personal stake in the war, it’s probably OK with them. (or, they sort of just “don’t think about it”)

And, you’re right about the “wal-mart” thing. (I refuse to shop there) and you’re right about the airplane thing as well, since they use mucho fuel. However, I don’t fly those, (or dispatch them) any longer either. Matter of fact, I left my own long term career just before 9-11, and if I hadn’t left then, I would surely have left immediately after that. I’ve only flown a couple of times since then, and only because it was urgent business, and because it was (Canada) which was too far to drive or rail both ways. (I took the train up). Otherwise….I don’t fly now. I have a new career, (or at least one that I’m working on) and I’m grateful for the knowledge that came from my old one. But, I can’t –in good conscience- serve the public and the corporate greed at the same time.

So, I’m already out of a job…been out of one for over 6 years now. But, I was willing to bite the bullet. (and believe me, I did….it’s hard to be “retired” without an income). But, my only experience was in the aviation industry, and I wasn’t going to go back to it. Not the way things have become. Still, your point is well taken. My former co-workers are still there, and there is NO WAY that they will admit this to themselves, even if they really know that’s what it’s about.

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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment I will let you in on a secret. The war was about oil all along and everyone knew it from the beginning. I hate to say it but I think the American people wanted to here the lies. Face it without oil planes don’t fly and you would be out of a job and the American people could not drives cars to the mall or wal-mart and buy more crap from China. The American people believed bush because they wanted to.

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By driving bear, October 4, 2007 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

to cyrena

Your logic has one flaw.

No one and truly wish you try has convinced me that bush is to blame for Iraqi on Iraqi violence.
Is he or rove perhaps using “jedi mind powers ” to turn the Iraqi against each other. I can understand attacks against US forces being bush’s fault but not the sectarian violence.

Cryene you might find this hard to believe but I like and respect you because you have the courage to step into the arena of ideas so I will let you in on a secret. The war was about oil all along and everyone knew it from the beginning. I hate to say it but I think the American people wanted to here the lies. Face it without oil planes don’t fly and you would be out of a job and the American people could not drives cars to the mall or wal-mart and buy more crap from China. The American people believed bush because they wanted to.
Now I think Scott Ritter said it best “the American people are not opposed to the war , But against losing the war” explains the war unpopularity now.

As for WMD I must admit I was surprised no WMD was found. You are probably surprised by the last statement after reading the above paragraph but let me give you an insight into my thinking. Driving bear likes watching movies , and one movie driving bear watched was ROBO COP II. If you have not seen it watch it. At the end of the movie after the OCP company robot has killed half of Detroit the big wigs in the company are trying to figure out what to do to save their butt. They decide to put all the blame on the woman who “picked the brain” for the evil robot. The CEO said we will need evidence the lawyer said “WHERTHER IT EXIST OR NOT I WILL FIND IT”

Therefore I was surprised when the army did not FIND WMD

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By driving bear, October 4, 2007 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

cyrena on 10/03
As for the Iraq being this paradise you describe before the war. All I can say is pull your head out of Sean Penn’s butt. Sadam H. brutally oppressed the Shia and the sunni who did not blindly follow his orders. Or do you not remember the torture chambers , the mass graves and while his people were starving sadam built about 100 new palaces

As for WMD I have one important point which both the left and the right has overlooked.
The Only reason we know Sadam did not have WMD is because the US military went in a conducted a search.

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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

#104780 by driving bear on 10/04 at 6:31 pm

Where or where did those 8 division go?
maybe we should form a search party and look for them.

Nope. I don’t wanna search for them. I don’t really care where they went. But, just off the top of my head, I can tell you were some of them went. A handful came to my former employer, and some went to a competitor of my employer, and I know that 3 of my cousins, (Airforce- 2 Army 1) all retired during that time after having served 20 years in their respective branches of the Armed forces.

In everyday language, we call that ATTRITION? Ever heard of the concept? People retire, etc, etc, move on to other jobs? So, I think maybe your question (if you really wanted to make an intelligible argument, (minus the partisan politics) would be, WHY WEREN’T those divisions staffed with new blood, to make up for that very normal LOSS, due to attrition.

ONE answer, might be that SINCE WE DO NOT HAVE REQUIRED MILITARY SERVICE FOR ALL, we must not have had enough people just signing up voluntarily. (The National Guard has remained well staffed). And, maybe there wasn’t a concern about recruiting new people, (voluntary or otherwise) since we were not in a war, and since we did not need the standard army for DEFENSE, which is what a standing army is for. NOT wars of choice, but for the DEFENSE of our nation.

Just like the National Guard is for the purpose of defending us here our own soil, in the occasion of DOMESTIC disasters, (earthquakes, hurricanes, civil unrest, etc). Well, did you notice Katrina? Gee, where were all of our National Guardsmen? OH! They were in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, driving bear, you can send out a search party for those missing divisions from a decade ago, but I already have a pretty good idea where they went.

At least we’ve resolved that question though. I was trying real hard to figure out how Clinton had managed to lay them all off, and I never heard about it.

Meantime, those guys that came to my company, (I worked for a commercial airline for 27 years) they were the absolute WORST. The navy guy, (who at least had the equivalent of the navy’s Air Traffic Controller license – NOT the same as an FAA Air Controllers license, which actually does require a modicum of intelligence as well as common sense) was DANGEROUSLY stupid). So stupid that I could never, ever put my name to a flight plan or release that he had prepared, without basically doing the work myself. He was just too stupid.

BUT, he’d been working in a Navy control tower for 8 years. Scary, huh? And, guess what? He’s still there. The boss didn’t seem to mind a bit, because….well…the kid was a republican, and a red neck to boot!! Now, that’s what I mean about partisan politics and the damage that they do to operations that shouldn’t have a damn thing to do with it. Would you really care the pilot of your aircraft was a dem or a republican, or if they had worked under Clinton or Bush?

If so, then you deserve whatever you wind up with.

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By driving bear, October 4, 2007 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

To #104552 by cyrena on 10/03 at 11:05 pm
First off a few facts

When B.Clinton took over from Old Bush the US Army had 18 Combat Divisions.
When young Bush took over from Clinton the us Army had 10 combat divisions.

Where or where did those 8 division go?
maybe we should form a search party and look for them.

Also those of us who were awake during the 1990’s remember the political fight in DC over military base closings.

Let me share some personal stuff. during the mid and late 1990’s i worked for a company that used temp employee and my job was to train them. About 1/3- 1/2 of these temps were former military. The pay for these temps was $7-8/hour and they were glad to get it.

Also the driving bear is 1/2 Jewish and the study of WWII and the holocaust is a hobby of mine.
On 12/8/41 the US 1st marine division was a about 1/2 strength and the division commander told the pentagon/ White house that it would take until Jan 1943 to bring it up to full strength. Also look at the Airborne during WWII , the 82 Airborne was authorized in early 42 and did not see action until D day. So I stand behind my 2-3 estimate to create a new division.
So do not confuse sending replacement to an existing division which happens even in peacetime to creating a new one.

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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

Part IV for crawling bear.

So, NO WMD. NO al-Qaeda. No Osama bin Ladin, and no connection to 9-11. And.. no civil war. NONE of the above was in place at the time of the planned invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The invasion and occupation (or neo-colonization) of Iraq was planned at least a decade ago, during the time that Cheney was on his “hiatus” from his career position in the highest offices of the land. (he was kicked out during the Clinton admin) So, they planned everything back then, in conjunction with the PNAC.

The formula is old as dirt. Create a pretense to attack. Then, set up permanent occupation (the Green Zone – US capitol in Baghdad). Build a whole bunch of PERMENENT military bases all over the country, and lock up as many of the male population as you can, so they can’t fight back. Then, kill off as much of the population as possible, or at least cause them to flee in mass numbers. In the process, civil war or strife is GUANANTEED to occur, (it was predicted by the experts, and your buddy Shurb was advised..Cheney already knew) but just to make sure, stage a few targeted attacks against one group, and blame it on the other. And oh, I forgot…set up a dummy puppet government, stage an “election” and tell the people that THEY selected those people their own leaders.

Once the civil strife kicks in, then supply weapons to BOTH/ALL sides, so they’ll hopefully kill off each other. Meantime, our troops and the helpful Blackwater death squads, are guarding the paths to the oil, and making their way to those multiple pots of gold, and Dick’s lawyers have ALL of the paperwork done up. (The hydrocarbon Draft) Force the puppet government to sign it, and Dickie neoconners are happy as pigs in mud. (not to mention their transcontinental partners in crime).

WHOOPS! What went wrong Bear? It’s those sneaky Iraqis of course. If it wasn’t for them protesting the theft of their oil, and trying to keep us from getting to it, you and your Blackwater friends could be kicking back in the guilded swimming pools of the Emerald City in the US Capitol of Baghdad, eating grapes. Damn them anyway! Don’t they have any better sense than to try and resist a robbery/burglary.  Don’t they know that if the thug with a gun/razor/etc demands your wallet, you’re supposed to have enough sense to HAND it over?! The Iraqis shouldn’t have tried all of this resistance stuff. It’s all their fault. That’s why Dick had to hire the blackwater guys. To protect the robbers (from those resistant Iraqis) so they could get the oil out of the ground.

So, does that answer your questions driving bear? You see how it’s really not about the Biking Shrub at all? (though the money surely doesn’t hurt the Bush Dynasty). And, check it out DB, they got to make all of these TRILLIONS of bucks in the process. BUT they haven’t even gotten to any of the really BIG pots of oil yet, because those Iraqis still refuse to sign the contract that would effective seal their death as a nation.
Still, the Thugs didn’t have to spend any of their OWN money to do this. Because…they just used ours. And, the Big Oil Cabal in Texas, (old headquarters – Houston/Dallas, now Dubai) decided not to bother with the pesky paperwork after all. Hunt Oil of Dallas has already cut a side deal for all of the oil in Kurdistan.

Meantime, the repugs and their blue dog dems know what the deal is, (that we never planned to leave Iraq) and so why spend THEIR OWN money for the heist, when they can use ours? I mean, we can just keep borrowing as much $$$$ as we need from China.
Your great-great-great-great-grandkids are gonna have to pay it back though. Humm, they’ll be overdrawn before they’re even conceived.

Got it now? I hope. I’ve tried to be thorough. No charge for the lesson, but no repeats either. I’ve got my own work to do now.

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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

Part III for wading bear 104276

But, as I said, I leave the best for last. Maybe we should define, “unnecessary” while we’re at it. It’s important here, because war is generally approved by the population when it’s considered a DEFENSE. Exp..we have to DEFEND ourselves against an enemy, or somebody we think is trying to steal something from us, as a nation…land maybe? So, conventional wisdom considers and approves war on the basis of providing a ‘defense’.

But…ALAS! Not so! We are not in Iraq to ‘defend” ourselves. Let’s examine the lies
I think the Shrubs team has come up with 4 main LIES, (they keep changing) so we’ll look at them.

1) Saddam had WMD. NO!!! Saddam was a dictator, and he used oppression (of dissent) to maintain control over his population. (like we have here, but ours is worse now, than what Saddam EVER did to his population). Still,  Saddam didn’t have any WMD, and our “leaders” KNEW that! That’s why they had to create those FORGED documents about the alleged “yellowcake”. It was all lies DB. Yeah…they duped you. Everybody else knew that Saddam had scratched his nuclear program aspirations way back in the 90’s, and the UN had been all over Iraq in the months leading up to the US invasion, and so they KNEW there were no WMD. (I’m not sure if the Shrub knew at first or not. Cheney may have kept him in the dark on that until later)

In fact, the Iraq that Cheney invaded and occupied was, by 2003, a pretty broken Iraq, as a result of years and years of war, (Iran - US) and even more years of sanctions. That’s why the neoconners were so sure it would be a “cakewalk”. Even the Saddam army of old, had been drastically diminished. So, when you know you have no resistance, a cakewalk can be predicted, eh? Isn’t that the way all “bullies” operate? They don’t pick on anybody that might put up a fight. Saddam couldn’t fight back, and what was left of his army was immediately disbanded by the Cheney-Rummy CPA.

2).Next reason. The “terrorists”. We had to go fight Osama’s band of terrorist warriors; the ‘al-Qaeda’. Whoops! ANOTHER LIE! No al-Qaeda existed in Iraq before the US invasion, because we know that Saddam absolutely prevented such an “element”. He was a dictator. He wouldn’t allow ANY group to gain that sort of control in Iraq, but ESPECIALLY those “religious extremists”. And, we also know that Saddam and OBL were BITTER ENEMIES. NO connection DB. Sorry bear, either you were fooled, or you think we are.

3). 9-11? Nope, that wasn’t the reason either, because while we know, (or at least I do) that those were NOT “ARAB terrorists” that attacked us on 9-11, (at least not without help from the “inside”) EVERYBODY should know that even the “official lie” about 9-11, did not involve Saddam, or Iraq. Even the Biking Shrub has admitted that, though it took him a few years, and he didn’t say it very loudly, and he only said it one time, and then went back to his original lies WMD and AQ. So, you might have missed it.

4) Next lie…now that we’re there, we have to stay and help them because of this damned civil war. We have to keep them from killing each other…right? WRONG!! There was no “civil war” in Iraq before the US invasion that created it. Sunni and Shia lived together, shared the community; shared the nation. The Kurds/Turkmen kept pretty much to themselves in the North, but they share a religion and a culture far more advanced than our own society. And so Iraq, (which was the birthplace of civilization – check your history books for this) was NOT in any “civil war”, nor were they suffering anywhere near the kind of “civil strife” that we have here at home, as perpetrated by our “domestic terrorists”.

No, the Iraqis all got to eat, they all had places to live, and their kids all got to go to school. Surely there was an “uneven” distribution of the limited wealth, (far less of it after US sanctions) but overall, they were in a hell of a lot better shape (collectively) than we are in OUR dictatorship.


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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Part II to DB #104276

•  As for a draft the military is meeting it’s recruitment goals so why do we need a draft.

I think you’re lying here DB. The truth is that the military has had a major struggle in “voluntary’ recruitment in the past 5 years, which is why the “standards” have been drastically diminished. The ‘age’ for active combat personnel has been raised. The requirement for at least a semblance of HS Diploma has been lowered. (they can now fake a GED,-  answers provided by your local military recruitment office) and whereas a criminal record would have, (in the past) prevented someone from being accepted into the military, the DoD now gives multiple “exemptions” for such criminals. Physical and psychological standards are also tossed out the window now. (no time to be picky about that) and HUGE “signing bonuses” (not unlike the major sports teams utilize) are promised in order to lure young men and women into the military, because in these days, there is no other option for them. (worked for the privates – right) Besides, back in the pre-neocon days, (pre-nixon) it was a way for many to make it to the middle-class. Do you have any idea where these MAJOR recruiting events take place NOW?

Here’s a clue. Hang around any ‘border’ town. (I’m most familiar with the So Calif border just a tad north of TJ) The recruiters go after potential “immigrants” promising them, well…jobs!!! “Here, join up, and we’ll find a way to get you your “papers”, (put in a good word with INS) and we’ll pay you to fight.” Then, heaven forbid they become injured or die in the war… Then the feds start TAKING BACK whatever that “signing bonus” was, because they got wounded or killed, and didn’t finish the contract. So, we have food lines on bases, wounded soldiers without incomes for months and months on end…because the feds are “taking back” their money.

Now, if it really takes 2-3 years to “train” a military division, why do all of the ones I PERSONALLY know, (or knew, because many are dead now), go IMMEDIATELY from boot camp to the deserts of Iraq? Can you help us out there, or do you even know what the hell you’re saying? I would certainly admit that it SHOULD take that long, but that ain’t what’s happening now, IS IT?

And, can you help us connect the dots between ‘not needing a draft”, when we have sent the SAME divisions, the SAME people to do 2, 3, and even 4 tours of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, so that the SAME small percentage of our population carries the entire “sacrifice” that your biking shrub loves to “thank them” for, while the other 97% of the population goes shopping, or sleeps in the streets? THAT would be a reason for the draft, eh? (Think WWII, when we actually fought a legitimate war, and the “sacrifice” was a collective one…that’s how the Constitution intended it to be).

•  As for the war being unnecessary then why do the dems keep funding it?

(this is another red flag to your very partisan non-logic)

Why INDEED do “the dems” keep funding it? Could it be that there’s really not much difference at all, between “the dems” and the ‘repugs’, at least at the levels that get the votes? I think the answer is the same for both..all the same Cable of Thugs. It’s the MONEY…stupid!!! Money for them, kickbacks for them, and tons and tons of bucks for their private enterprises. (like Blackwater, Halliburton, Bechtel…I could go on). I should note however, that it only takes the same handful of ‘blue dog dems’  (who really aren’t ‘dems’ in the traditional sense) to add their votes to the repugs on this issue, which thereby negates anything that the ‘majority’ of the dems have as an agenda. It’s realpolitik at its most cynical. So, I said all of that to say that you probably shouldn’t just “loosely” throw that term around. You should actually check to find out which ONES continue to support the repugs.


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By cyrena, October 4, 2007 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

Part I of response #104276 by driving bear

Oh Lordy, driving bear, (companion to Biking Shurb) you’ve sort of left yourself a bit open here. Your last statement confirms what I’ve only suspected from your other posts.

•  From you post it’s clear to me that you are so blinded by your hate for bush that you can no longer see reality

Yours is an ideology, (very EMOTIONALLY partisan – you’ll have to look that word up on your own, but it will be good exercise) that is similar to so many of the masses of ‘group-think’. (you were obviously in the military for some time). So, you have me “hating” bush, because it’s how you operate, how you’ve been ‘programmed’. (except yours is a ‘hate clinton”) I have a relative who thinks like you. The guy has been bitching about the Clintons, -both of them- for well over a decade, and still sends these 10 or more year old “jokes” around, even though Clinton left the WH and government life over 7 years ago. At least Big Willie did. He doesn’t have a clue. If the “boys” tell him that he’s supposed to hate the dems, than that’s what he does. Makes him feel “important” I guess, like he’s one of the in-crowd. He has no idea how many of our military service personnel I’ve had to “escort” through airports, or dig into my own pocket to give phone money, or food money to, because even in uniform, they didn’t know their asses from a hole in the ground, and couldn’t find their way from gate 1 to gate 14 with a map.

So, while you’re very “absorbed” in your Clinton v Bush, and unable to connect any real dots, I’ll say right up front, that I don’t “hate” bush, nor am I blinded by anything but the occasional noon-day sun, without sunglasses. And, it’s only temporary. So no, it’s not possible (at least for me) to “hate” bush. He’s like any other pathetic alcoholic or drug addict, and while we may “hate” the behaviors of these kinds of people, we know that they aren’t the real cause of the horrors that have befallen us, because they don’t have the “power” –at least not alone- to wreck that type of damage. Such as it is with the Biking Shrub. And, while he will go down in history as the absolute worse president ever to hold the ‘title’, GW is not DIRECTLY responsible for the woes that have been perpetrated against us and the rest of the world, by ‘his’ administration. He’s too stupid to ever figure out the details of any of this. He just wanted to play Cowboy’s and Arabs, and get the oil that had so far eluded him, since he’s been a failure at every business venture he’s ever undertaken.

So, this isn’t about him, but rather HIS bosses. Dick Cheney, et al. THEY run the show…not the Shrub. Now that we’re clear on that, lets find out if you have any idea what you tried to convince us of in this post. (or how stupid it sounds)

•  First off where do you think blackwater found the guys it has in Iraq. They are the guys Clinton put on the unemployment line when he cut the military.

Are you suggesting here, that there was ever a time when ACTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL have been FIRED/LAYED-OFF from their jobs? Like, do you know any soldiers, marines, flyboys, navy SEALS, etc, that were actually told that they had to LEAVE the military, and go stand in the unemployment line? It sounds preposterous. I know many people who left the service during the period you’re speaking of, but I don’t think Clinton ordered any mass layoffs. I think they left because they wanted to,  since it’s pretty much been the norm for our military, at least in my lifetime. People enlist, do their time. Some make it a career, others leave sooner. (so they can go to blackwater and make 100 times the $$) But, if you can show me a time when Clinton “cut” the military, like GM, or GE, or the technology purge left people in those lines, or the mass layoffs in our mfg industry, then please pont that out for us. I honestly don’t know any military personnel that were involuntarily purged from the ranks as a result of a Clinton “cutback”.


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By rage, October 3, 2007 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This rascal needs a to have taken a literal beating from every Representive in the Congress. All Prince has gotten is RICH from this murderous atrocity. Contractors are not held accountable to any semblance of a standard in Iraq. Right now, more of these mercenaries are on the ground than American GIs. This has to be a crime against humanity during a time of war.

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By Jeanine Molloff, October 3, 2007 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


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By tom mcmanus, October 3, 2007 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the video of Erik Prince being questioned by the Congressional committee does not play.  Is there a reason for this?

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By mary, October 3, 2007 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

When are Americans going to wake up.  Congress should put this agency out NOW!  Have they lost their minds! What is it going to take to stop this insanity, more Blackwater in our own streets.  Anyone who thinks this can’t happen is living in a cave.  Let’s start by voting, then voting out every incumbent.  Let’s start by demanding journalists who report real news.  Let’s start…....

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driving bear's avatar

By driving bear, October 3, 2007 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

to #104268 by cyrena on 10/03 at 12:13 am

First off where do you think blackwater found the guys it has in Iraq. They are the guys Clinton put on the unemployment line when he cut the military.
As for a draft the military is meeting it’s recruitment goals so why do we need a draft.
Also remember in the 04 race when Kerry said he would add another division to the army. FYI it takes about 2-3 years minimum to train and outfit a new division.
As for the war being unnecessary then why do the dems keep funding it?
From you post it’s clear to me that you are so blinded by your hate for bush that you can no longer see reality

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By cyrena, October 3, 2007 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

#104264 driving bear on 10/02 at 11:42 pm

•  Why is president bush using blackwater? Because president Clinton cut the military too much during his two terms. Because of Clinton cuts bush is forced to use private contractors because the US military is two small. During Clinton terms in office the Generals wanted to keep a military large enough to conduct 2 desert storm type operations. Clinton refused and allowed only a enough for 1 desert storm type mission plus a small reserve.

Your fake logic is always so transparent driving bear. It’s all Clinton’s fault because he CUT our army. How did he do that driving cub. Did he refuse to allow soldiers to join up? Did he refuse to allow our own citizens to join in the armed forces? Have any of you and your attempted to VOLUNTEER to serve your country, only to be REJECTED by Willie Clinton? Ok… answer that part first.

Now, here’s the second part, when Clinton left the government nearly EIGHT years ago, (presumably after refusing to provide funding to any people who would sign up to join our military), did Bush-Cheney do anything at all to set up a system that would INCRASE the size of our traditional military, like say by returning to that provision of the Constitution that allows for CONSCRIPTION. (in a word that you might better understand, it’s ‘mandatory’ military service – similar to the “draft” that we had in place back in our last most deadly war of aggression Vietnam, prior to the assault on the Middle East).

Nope, as a matter of fact driving cub, when it was suggested by others (that we reinstate the draft, knowing that we didn’t have enough of the standard military forces before we even launched the voluntary attack on Iraq) the American people OVERWHELMINGLY said NO!! NO WAY were they willing to let “THEIR” kids/spouses/siblings risk their lives in order to steal oil for the Dick Bush dynasty. WHOOPS…not enough “volunteers”.

So, Dick Bush just paid some mercenaries 10 times more than he pays our own “volunteers” to do the job, and gives them a cut in the proceeds of the theft.

That’s why we have Blackwater. If your president Shrub had really been interested in funding a larger military, we wouldn’t have a war. If the American people were willing to “sacrifice” their own to the OIL HEIST, Dick Bush wouldn’t be paying Blackwater to do it.

Sorry, your “it’s Clinton’s fault” dots don’t connect anymore than anything else you post here. Nice try though. Does the Shrub pay you for this?

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driving bear's avatar

By driving bear, October 3, 2007 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

Why is president bush using blackwater? Because president Clinton cut the military too much during his two terms. Because of Clinton cuts bush is forced to use private contractors because the US military is two small. During Clinton terms in office the Generals wanted to keep a military large enough to conduct 2 desert storm type operations. Clinton refused and allowed only a enough for 1 desert storm type mission plus a small reserve.
Remember this the next time bush is criticized for not listening to the generals

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By Grousefeather, October 2, 2007 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is he still in business? He is! Then congress hasn’t taken the appropriate action. Since when is scolding an appropriate punishment for conducting murderous rampages against women and children?

Our leaders, from both political parties, can not, will not, and should not, ever be forgiven for condoning the exsistance of such barbarous and murderous entity to act on behalf of the American people.

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By Mariam Russell, October 2, 2007 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is that the final hilarity? We pay the tab for these killers to kill and torture us?

Damn! Are we really that stupid?

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By Kevin James, October 2, 2007 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

German Brownshirts,
Italian Blackshirts,
Iranian Basij,
American Blackwater
What do they have in common?

Blackwater is increasing it’s presence in the United States and will eventually be unleashed to quash any opposition to the right wing government. They were already used in New Orleans to protect the government and it’s agents against poor citizens who were the victims of Katrina but were mostly Black. Next time there is a riot by the frustrated minority or a massive demonstration against the government don’t be surprised to see this well trained, well armed and well paid paramilitary force to protect the rich and powerful from the ordinary citizens. Dissent is no longer tolerated.

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By Mariam Russell, October 2, 2007 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Correct, QuyTran, but he is a Made-to-order beast.

Created by nurture, raised to believe he is more deserving than everyone else, and then training by the military to be a specialized killer, then buying his way into the present set of thugs who have control of the public purse so that he can dip into said purse to pay him to do what he is trained to do….kill.

We, the payers-into the public purse, are the idiots of this piece.

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By QuyTran, October 2, 2007 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

Erik Prince is not a human beings. He’s kind of ferocious beast !

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