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Ear to the Ground

Blackwater Gassed Baghdad Checkpoint in 2005

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Posted on Jan 10, 2008

The questionable actions of Blackwater Worldwide are coming back to haunt the private security contractor once again, this time regarding an incident in May 2005.  In that incident Blackwater teams on the ground and in the air near a busy Green Zone checkpoint released CS gas, which is used by the U.S. military only sparingly and only in strictly controlled circumstances.  The gas temporarily compromised American troops’ ability to maintain security in the area.


The New York Times:

“You run into this issue time and again with Blackwater, where the rules that apply to the U.S. military don’t seem to apply to Blackwater,” said Scott L. Silliman, the executive director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at the Duke University School of Law.

Officers and noncommissioned officers from the Third Infantry Division who were involved in the episode said there were no signs of violence at the checkpoint. Instead, they said, the Blackwater convoy appeared to be stuck in traffic and may have been trying to use the riot-control agent as a way to clear a path.

Anne Tyrrell, a spokeswoman for Blackwater, said the CS gas had been released by mistake.

“Blackwater teams in the air and on the ground were preparing a secure route near a checkpoint to provide passage for a motorcade,” Ms. Tyrrell said in an e-mail message. “It seems a CS gas canister was mistaken for a smoke canister and released near an intersection and checkpoint.”

She said that the episode was reported to the United States Embassy in Baghdad, and that the embassy’s chief security officer and the Department of Defense conducted a full investigation. The troops exposed to the gas also said they reported it to their superiors. But military officials in Washington and Baghdad said they could not confirm that an investigation had been conducted. Officials at the State Department, which contracted with Blackwater to provide diplomatic security, also could not confirm that an investigation had taken place.

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By cyrena, January 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Whew!! Glad you let us off the hook on this one Louise. I couldn’t possibly compete, and you’ve already done such an excellent job, that there’s really no point in duplicating the work.

So, I’ll just work on something else…not like there isn’t enough work to go around, eh? wink

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By Louise, January 12, 2008 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Well, if I thought any of them were smart enough to realize they were psychotic and diabolical warmongers, I might just do that. But, truthdig only allows 4000 characters in a single post!

It would take several hundred posts ... or more!

So I’ve got a better idea.
How about we have some sort of competition? You know, nominate the best example of uncool and decidedly stupid individuals running/influencing our government today!

Someone who exemplifies the so-called Christian who hates in the name of love.

Someone who can’t comprehend the concept of consequence.

Someone who cant remember history past last year.

Someone who thinks people don’t count after they’re dead. Actually someone who thinks people don’t count period ... unless there’s something in it for them.

Someone who thinks cool means getting away with lying.

Someone who thinks stealing is OK as long as they don’t get punished. Getting caught is OK ... so long as nothing happens.

Someone who keeps getting money and power in spite of the fact they have earned neither.

Someone who thinks war is the first step to peace.

Someone who thinks peace is only for the “right” people.

Someone who gets their rocks off by smiling at a camera.

Someone who has no conscience, no awareness of personal responsibility, and no sense of loyalty to the U.S. first, last and always.

Someone who trashes the Constitution.

Someone who can shed tears at will ... if it’s politically expedient.

Never mind. I just realized while there are many who could compete ... from both parties. The obvious winner is George W. Bush!

No point in having a competition. Although it might be fun and informative if anyone cares to nominate someone else! smile

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By cyrena, January 11, 2008 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t this the kind of stuff they do all of the time?

Seriously. I mean, we’re HEARING about this incident, probably because some of the victims were US troops, and they reported it. Even with that, it was how long ago?

But, from what I’ve been reading via alternative sources, and directly from some of those actually IN Iraq, this is standard procedure for the Blackwater Militia, and has been, since the beginning. Normally, their targets are Iraqis, (civilians - men, women and children) but I think it’s definitely a standard part of their militia operation.

Ok Louise, you can give us the rest of the list of the psychotic and diabolical warmongers whenever you can get to it. We don’t want any of them to cry discrimination if you leave them out.

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By Maani, January 11, 2008 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

Is everyone here aware that Blackwater has a contract with the U.S. government that allows them to “assist the government ” during “national crises and emergencies?”  In other words, this right-wing paramilitary organization is now essentially equal to the National Guard.  In fact, consider what this means in light of the fact that Bush’s undermining of the Posse Comitatus Act now allows him to unilaterally declare martial law - without the consent of Congress…

It’s getting even scarier out there…

Peace.

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By Louise, January 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

“It just seemed incredibly stupid,” he wrote. “The only thing we could figure out was for some reason, one of them figured that CS would somehow clear traffic. Why someone would think a substance that makes your eyes water, nose burn and face hurt would make a driver do anything other than stop is beyond me.”

I think you got it right Clark ... incredibly stupid!

And I love,  “This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous”

That about sums up the whole Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Bremmer, Prince, Black, Blair, Rice, Krystal, Jeb, republican, idiot american mess doesn’t it?

Decidedly uncool and incredibly stupid.

[sorry I had to slight so many screwed in the head warmongers by leaving them off the list ... I’ve got to get to work]

By the by ... Guess who Romney selected to be an advisor on foreign affairs.

Black.
Of Blackwater fame.
Talk about a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Or is that stomach flue?

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 11, 2008 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

Article quote: “It seems a CS gas canister was mistaken for a smoke canister and released near an intersection and checkpoint.”

Not to worry it only “seems” to be a mistake.

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By Don Stivers, January 11, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Gosh!  Too bad!  They were granted immunity by the State Department.

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By purplewolf, January 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

news article January 10 2008 by Dibya Sarkar The Associated Press

Blackwater Worldwide has ramped up its lobbying representation on Capitol Hill.

Law firm Womble,Carlyly, Sandridge & Rice was tapped by the company on contracting and other issues. This is the third lobbying firm to be hired by Moyrock,NC.- based Blackwater since October.
Blackwater previously hired Richard Cockrum and Gregory Hahn as well as C & M Capitolink LLC, a public affiliate of Cromwell & Moring LLP.

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