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Ear to the Ground

Iraq’s ‘Hidden War’

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Posted on Apr 15, 2007
gun
salon.com

Private U.S. contractors roam the battle zones of Iraq with impunity, and the Bush administration doesn’t even know if the actions of these hired guns are governed by any code of law.


Washington Post:

On the afternoon of July 8, 2006, four private security guards rolled out of Baghdad’s Green Zone in an armored SUV. The team leader, Jacob C. Washbourne, rode in the front passenger seat. He seemed in a good mood. His vacation started the next day.

“I want to kill somebody today,” Washbourne said, according to the three other men in the vehicle, who later recalled it as an offhand remark. Before the day was over, however, the guards had been involved in three shooting incidents. In one, Washbourne allegedly fired into the windshield of a taxi for amusement, according to interviews and statements from the three other guards.

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By guntotin ganglion, April 15, 2007 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Blackwater mercenaries were killed and then mutilated (in Faluja) just over three years ago. It is notable that those soldiers of fortune were killed quickly in an intense firefight, and the burning of the bodies and the follow-on mutilation was done to their corpses…not to any living individual. The point being, they didn’t suffer…they weren’t tortured.

However, The Decider was apparently so pissed about them burning and mutilating the corpses, that he decided there and then to raze Faluja. He had to wait till after the election though, because of possible political blowback (politics? this President…no way!) and that’s exactly what he did.

Once the election was behind him, the siege of Faluja began. What was a city the size of Tampa, Florida, with a population of over a quarter of a million people, was targeted for destruction because of the claim that somewhere between 1000-3000 “terrorists” were in the city. That would be a maximum of 1% of the cities population. They destroyed an entire city, because there MIGHT have been a total of 1% of the population who were terrorists.

Faluja is another issue, and it was a war atrocity. So many violations of the Geneva Conventions occurred there, like targeting public infrastructure, aka water treatment plants, electric power stations, hospitals, police stations, hostage taking…the list goes on and on. Perhaps the worst of all was collective punishment. That too is a direct violation of the Geneva Conventions.

That is another issue though. The dependence on hired guns is beyond reprehensible. Most if not all of the soldiers of fortune are ex special forces who got bored with their peaceful, low paying jobs at home. When organizations like Blackwater got hefty contracts for Iraq, the killers came out of the woodwork, and joined up. Lots of money to be made killing “ragheads”, and how could any true mercenary deny himself the joy of killing with impunity. It’s the old west, middle eastern style. After a hard day of shooting Iraqi’s, it’s Miller time in the Green Zone! Crack a beer, have a Pizza Hut pizza, put on a porno DVD and get busy counting your “earnings”. Wadda country!

Old Rome, if I am not mistaken, fell at least partly due to the dependence on mercenary armies. Seems they were the sole superpower of their day too. Funny that the Decider was a history major when he was at Harvard, which makes you wonder why he seems to have learned nothing from history. I’m thinking he was too busy doin blow and hitting his favorite old bong a little too hard those days to care about actually learning shit about his major. Hell, when the time came his Dad would bail him out anyway…so he didn’t need to actually learn anything. And here we are, blatantly repeating historical mistakes that should be sending up a flare that we’re in great danger. But nope…the mercenaries are growing stronger, and they are operating in the US now as well. Gonna be some interesting years coming up folks…but I doubt they’ll be pleasant.

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By 911truthdotorg, April 15, 2007 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

Iraq is just Blackwater’s training ground.

bush will use them to enforce martial law in this country after a second fake terror “attack” that he will use as a pretext to bomb Iran. The sheeple in this country fell for the first one hook, line and sinker, so he has no reason to believe they won’t fall for a second one. Daddy will keep them safe.

I believe he’ll do it close enough to the 2008 election so he can cancel the election and keep himself in power indefinitely.

He and Congress have passed every law that will allow him to do this. Not to mention the labor camps around the country to send “dissenters”. Everything is in place.

Just thinking out loud. Hope I’m wrong.

Google video: 9/11 Press for Truth

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By rowdy, April 15, 2007 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

remember a year or so ago when those blackwater people were toasted and hung from that bridge? they got no sympathy from me. to quote a line from Airplane,“they bought their tickets, let them crash”. you must keep in mind,these people are being paid EXTRAVAGANTLY, with your tax money. they have no business being in iraq or afghanistan. i surely do not wish them well.

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By Bukko in Australia, April 15, 2007 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

That was regular military bumping cars out of the way, Jim. I can still hear the whine of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle engine when I recall the video. Now those guys look good by comparison because at least they weren’t machine-gunning people to make them move. At least not when the camera was rolling.

I’ve heard there IS another video on the ‘Net made by mercenaries that shows them shooting Iraqis at random, just for fun. I haven’t sought it out because I see enough death at work. Same reason I don’t download terrorist beheading videos like so many sick Muslims and Republicans. (You know the latter likes to see that to stoke their outrage and because it gives them a better stiffy than Cialis.) Why would I want to drag it into my home?

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By Kol Klink, April 15, 2007 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These creepy contract murderers are being used in the United States as well as overseas. They were on scene in New Orleans before the Red Cross or FEMA arrived.
Empires in decline often turn to mercenaries to fight their wars and the practice usually doesnt work out well. 
But, the biggest problem is that some if not most of these mercenary organizations are corporations or will become corporations when they need revenue for expansion. In a legal precedent set long ago in the US Supreme Court it was decided that it is the primary duty of a corporation to maximize profits for it’s shareholders. If the corporate officers fail to maximize profits then they will be tossed out on their ears. This means that if some other person, group, or state offers the contractors more money to fight for their side, the corporation is bound by law to do so.
So, as you can see hiring mercenaries is foolish because at any time they can switch sides for a better offer. Even if Al Queda made them a better offer they would be bound by law to accept it if they are a corporation. This is just one more episode in the ongoing saga ‘shrub vs the world.’

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By QuyTran, April 15, 2007 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Those who love killing for fun will surely be killed.
That’s the law of cause and effect. Jacob C. Washbourne’fate will come to this ending !

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By Tom Doff, April 15, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Y’know, we oughta quit foolin’ around with these half-a** measures, if we’re gonna contract things out, let’s do it right, let’s go all the way. No more of these No-Bid contracts for ‘reconstruction’, $500-$1000/day ‘jobs’ for assassins and leg-breakers, $100K positions for high-school kids to staff our embassys, that’s piece-meal cr*p, and expensive.

Let’s just sub-contract the whole damned war(s).

Imagine, we could make a deal with the Hell’s Angels to take over the Afghanistan contretemps, think of them rampaging their Harleys through the opium fields, swinging their chains to harvest the latest bumper crop. The Taliban wouldn’t stand a chance, they’d head for the hills to hold a seance with Osama.

And if we let the DEA negotiate the deal, there’s no reason the USA couldn’t make a healthy profit on the war, unlike what the dumbass Bushies are doing, which is costing us and our descendents an unimaginable fortune.

Think of it, we could send the Mongols to capture Russia and command all of Putin’s oil and gas reserves; the Hessians could command the French vineyards and guarantee us OPEC-like control over the Crystal and Dom Perignon supply; it would be apropos to send the Barbarians to take over the Iranian nuclear programs; the Satans could overcome the Saudis; the Outlaws could sort of free-lance and wipe out any infidels who protested Motorcycle hegemony.

And, US highways would be much more pleasant without all those pesky bikers careening in and out of traffic.

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By vet240, April 15, 2007 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The use of a privatized army should be illegal in this country, even if approved by Congress or the President.

The type of individual who goes there, either does so for the money or the thrill of the kill, unfettered by legal sanctions.

For every report of a “murder” in Iraq and Afghanistan there probably at least ten not reported.

While I feel a great loss for military personnel, I feel no such emotion for the loss of mercenaries.

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By cann4ing, April 15, 2007 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

re comment #64184 by QuyTran.  The growth of mercenary armies is not a “mistake.”  It is a logical extension of the Rumsfeld/Cheney privatizing schemes that permit the ruling class to evade accountability.

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By QuyTran, April 15, 2007 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

The use of those mercenaries in Iraq was a huge mistake of Paul WOLFowitz stupidity. Those animals were trying to kill someones for fun have been created lots of hate and resent among local people.
How come most of Bush/Cheney inner people are equally
slow-witted but still showing up they’re capable in all missions.

Only stupid masters are using narrowed-minded slaves !

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By Jim Yell, April 15, 2007 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I haven’t forgot the video of the Private? troops, or was it regular troops driving thru Iraq knocking civilian traffic out of their way. That is not the way to win people over. It was very disturbing and one has to wonder how we would feel if a foriegn army behaved that way in the US, while claiming to be there to protect us?

The actual fact is privatization has not been good in any sector of US government enterprise. Medical care was supposed to stablize with privatization, but that hasn’t happened and it has been a disaster for quality of care at VA hospitals. The whole idea of training and allowing private armies to enter a war zone is bad news, worse if there are no controls over their activities.

What happens when these people habituated to violence and ignorance of the law come back home to the US?

This just gets worse. Impeach Bush/Cheney now.

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By Dale Headley, April 15, 2007 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyboy heard a word of condemnation, disapproval, or even regret from the Bush Administration over these reported outrages by “hired guns”?  Have they expressed an iota of remorse over the mass murder by a batallion of marines who went on a rampage in Afghanistan, randomly killing women, children, and elderly people in a ten mile swath, in six locations?  Don’t make me laugh.  George W. Bush publicly and explicity informed the world community that any American, in any capacity, is and should be immune from any laws they might break when in a foreign country.  After all, Mr. Bush apparently reasons, we are Americans - superior in every way - and cannot be expected to respect the laws of lesser countries.  Of course, the world community pretty much ignores Bush these days; but Iraq is a different matter.  Iraq now belongs to Bush and he intends to see that it reflects his goals and ideology.  If American cowboys want to go around terrorizing and murdering innocent Iraqis, well,  9-11, you know!  If Iraqi police dare interfere, the bully boys can answer, “Don’t show us no stinking badges!”  Oh, and by the way, did you notice what happened to the three contractors who reported their murderous colleague?  They were fired.

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