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Ear to the Ground

Blackwater Back in the Spotlight

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Posted on Feb 23, 2010
Flickr / jamesdale10 (CC-BY)

The Senate Armed Services Committee is investigating a Blackwater subsidiary’s role in the shooting of two Afghans last year. The panel also criticized the Army for not properly supervising the company. Despite a dreadful track record, Blackwater, now called Xe, continues to have contracts with the U.S. government.

AFP via Google:

The US Army’s lax supervision was cited in a Senate investigation of controversial private security firm Blackwater, which allowed employees to use weapons without authorization in Afghanistan.

At the outset of a months-long probe, the Senate Armed Services Committee found several cases of “reckless” use of weapons by personnel from Paravant, a subsidiary of Blackwater, itself now renamed Xe Services.

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photoshock's avatar

By photoshock, February 25, 2010 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Another of President Obama’s campaign promises shot to hell! Are we supposed to take these incidents lying down?
I hope to whatever is out there, that in the next 3 years that President Obama moves away from the Centrist Right agenda that he and his staff have been following and start to work on the progressive agenda that he was elected to start.
As for Xe, they need to be held accountable for their actions as a company and as individuals of that company.
The very idea of someone signing out 200 weapons of mass killing under the alias ‘Eric Cartman,’ is utterly and completely ridiculous. Why should these people get a pass on the law when thousands of other respectable and upright citizens have to go through hours of background checks and hundreds of pages of documents to prove who they are?
Please President Obama, live up to the campaign of 2008, we need someone with enough intestinal fortitude to stand up to the corporate interests and show them the door when they do wrong, the door of the federal prison they need to be in.

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By pabelmont, February 25, 2010 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

Maani refers to
this reportabout “Eric Cartman”

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By Maani, February 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

Apparently, in at least one case, the Blackwater employee signed out 200 weapons under the alias “Eric Cartman.”  !!!

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 24, 2010 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

The tax money allocated directly or indirectly for these private contractors would be better spent on our own U.S. soldiers. 

Back in the day the soldiers did it all, mess duty, laundry, mail, the only subcontactors were the USO and variety shows in the clubs.

It is because of the excessive salaries that Xe is able to take good men from serving units and undermine that units cohesiveness.

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JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, February 24, 2010 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Anyone interested in examining the magnitude of the problems should read the reports by Jeremy Scahill.

This issue is another example of the Main Stream News Media’s not giving sufficient coverage to serious issues of corporate/government corruption.

This issue also serves to point out the consequences of right wing privatization and “Free Market” theories and policies.  Military contractors have been excessively expensive, grossly negligent, and astoundingly inefficient.  Lack of adequate regulation explains why there have been so many abuses and atrocities.

Finally, these Blackwater type military employees, remind me of the hired guns who were hired by evil land barons, in old Hollywood B western movies. To me, they’re morally deficient at best, opportunists, thugs, and goons at worst.

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By Basoflakes, February 24, 2010 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

Do the world a favor.  Next time you see a Blackwater dolt, shot ‘em.  You know, the same justice they gave innocent Iraqis.  The only good Blackwater employees I ever saw were dead.

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By Jim Yell, February 24, 2010 at 8:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is what happens when the government abdicates its responsibilities to perform its functions. Private Armies are a death sentence to any country. It is a death sentence to America. It is turning us into a Weimar Republic. We know how well that worked out for Germany.

And, we are paying for this crime with our tax money. Anyone in our government who continues to advocate privitization of government responsibilies should be tried for treason.

Ike warned us about the Military Industrial Complex, Ike was a Republican two term President. Where are the Republicans? Oh, yes they are the ones disemboweling our country with the help of Democratic Elected officials who are either sell outs, or in the wrong party.

We need a new Party, a new Progressive and Liberal Party.

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By pabelmont, February 24, 2010 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the US Army supervision of armed Blackwater employees was “lax”, does this not raise the question of whether those same Blackwater employees were illegal combatants, that is, armed people shooting at other people in a war zone but either NOT IN UNIFORM or NOT UNDER MILITARY DISCIPLINE.

We imprison people like that and throw away the key, don’t we?

But, it seems, perhaps we also hire them.

The Congressional holier-than-thou HooHaw about trying our Guantanamo prisoners in courts (or military commissions) should be directed towards Blackwater.

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