RANGER AGAINST WAR: Violence is Golden <

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Violence is Golden

--Crisis, Pavel Constantin (Romania)

I hurts so bad when you finally know just how

low, low, low, low, low, he'll go

Baby did a bad bad thing,

Baby did a bad bad thing

--Baby Did a Bad Thing
, Chris Isaak

The five Blackwater contract security guards who had been charged with killing 17 in a 2007 Baghdad shooting "incident" (the Nisour Square case) were acquitted of all charges last Thursday (Iraqis Angered as Blackwater Charges Dropped.)

On Thursday, Judge Ricardo M. Urbina threw out manslaughter and weapons charges against five Blackwater guards because he said prosecutors had violated the men’s rights by building the case based on sworn statements that had been given by the guards under the promise of immunity.

Of the decision, Spencer Ackerman wrote, "For all I know that was the right legal call. It was stunning to hear that the first U.S. agents to interview the Blackwater guards offered them immunity: not only were they from the State Department, not the Justice Department, but they were from the division of State that oversees the contract Blackwater held. Whether they intended to sabotage a prosecution is unknown, but that’s exactly what they effectively did.

"Legal technicalities like that, preventing justice from going forward, used to cause outrage in this country ... " (No Guilt on New Year's Morning, Blackwater edition.)

In the trial resulting in their conviction December '08, "prosecutors described a chaotic scene with guards firing assault rifles, machine guns and grenades at unarmed civilians in their cars and on the street. One man was shot in his chest 'while standing in the street with his hands up,' the government claims (Manslaughter Charges in Blackwater Case.)"

This brings to mind the provocation for the Falujah battles, when four Blackwater Worldwide employees were killed and their bodies hung like pieces of meat from a bridge. Bad stuff, but Blackwater employees are seen as being a little loose on the trigger finger in Fallujah before the battle was joined. The Baghdad incident did not occur in a vacuum.

IslamOnline.net expresses the region's general view of Blackwater, quoting reporter Jeremy Scahill's description of it as the "world's most powerful mercenary army". "Riding machine-gun mounted utility vehicles, Blackwater’s armed contractors have gained notoriety for shooting first and not bothering to ask questions later."

"'The world quaked [sic] because of this crime,' said Fareed Waleed Hasson, who was injured in the shooting. 'How have we lost our rights so quickly?'" We ask the same question of ourselves, Mr. Hasson.

Interesting to note that Jose Padilla and John Walker Lindh received no such considerations of their rights when being ramrodded through the Federal court system. Rights abound for Blackwater killers but not for accused terrorists.

At the time of these killings, any Iraqi even suspected of anti-coalition forces activity was thrown into jail without the slightest nod to due process. These same suspects were tortured and held without any judicial oversight by either Iraqi or other tribunals. This is a mockery of the rule of law.

Ditto the dismissal of charges against the Blackwater contractors.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

why indeed?

why was the immunity offered by the state department even at issue? if they don't have the authority, or the power to offer immunity for the justice department, then, there is simply no standing.

the fix was in on this one from the beginning.

i hate blackwater, guts and livers.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 12:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

It was worse than a crime. It was a mistake.

The Germans, who used to know something about soldiering, had a system when one of their troops raped a local girl in one of the garrison towns in Alsace or Lorraine.

The commander would parade the troops, choose one by lot, and hang him.

He knew that the life of one of his soldiers wasn't worth the trouble they'd have with the locals if word got out that rape or murder would go unpunished. Better an innocent soldier hang than to have the local bastards pissing in the wine and sniping at the patrols for a twelvemonth.

But we're fools, and can't reason from A to B, and thus have no idea of how this will effect the REAL soldiers forced to serve in this Third World shithole.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous sheerahkahn said...

Yeah, mistake, or intentional the end result will still be the same...more dead.

I hate mercenaries, they have no allegiance other than their own pocketbook.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 12:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

MB says,

"i hate blackwater, guts and livers"

But they'd go nicely with some fava beans and a good Chianti, no?

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 1:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

we will soon be facing the age old problem with mercenaries.

loyalty, and taking orders.

the romans, the athenians, the cartheginians, and the persians all relied heavily on mercenary troops to fight their conquests.

the use of mercenaries was especially heavy on campaigns where they knew that they would not be receiving the blessing of the people and ruling elites for the adventure. (caesar in gaul, carthage in sicily, and so forth, does this scenario sound a bit familiar?)

caesar reached a point where he became dead set against mercenary troops. more than once he was unable to capitalize on a victory, or even a probe because his mercenaries would be too busy looting to reform and march on.

mercenaries serve only gold. when the gold goes elsewhere, so do they.

when i was in the teams, there were often some very tempting offers for mercenary work in africa, central america and such. in africa especially. there i was making my $680 a month and seeing mercs pulling down $20K for the same risk, and the same work.

of course, they didn't have our dental plan...

thing was, and what usually stopped anybody from jumping ship was to sign on as a merc would have meant loss of citizenship and a whole raft of other unacceptable consequences.

there have been some cases of either u.s. support of a mercenary outfit (like the flying tigers) but it is something very rare.

now we have prince with his "mercs is us" outfit, ready, and willing, for a hefty price, to go and do the bidding of government when the government entities involved know for certain that there would be no fucking way on the face of the earth that the citizens of the country would be able to stomach the idea. things like being "security" for CIA black ops, things like protection details for guys from halliburton on no bid (and mostly no performy worky) contracts in iraq, afghanistan, and lord the fuck knows where else.

that we have a standing mercenary force existing in our nation is a fucking disgrace. and i fear, it is something that will end badly.

private armies usually end up biting off the tits they suck as soon as the milk runs out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I trust a greedy person more than i do a patriotic fool.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Your points are all on target, but let's take your comments 1 step further.
It's obvious that these mercs have a get out of jail free pass that goes beyond what we have ever seen.
Vinnell Corp was a forerunner and they kept cover and out of the public eye.
BW flaunts illegality and NOBODY will pull them in line or call them to accountability.
Their actions in theater amount to war crimes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...

the fix was in on this one from the beginning


Mercenaries are the bane of civilized society. It's no mistake that suppressing mercenaries is a key step in building a modern state.

Sadly, the power of these mercenary corporations is growing. They've made themselves indispensable to our military forces. Yet another legacy of Darth Vader Cheney.


Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 8:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Ranger Hazen said...

In his book "The Wrecking Crew" Thomas Frank clearly spells out how Republicans were hell bent on turning government into a for profit enterprise...Not only is the Military being privatized but so are branches of the NSA CIA Army Corps of Engineers and on and on...

Folks they have succeeded to an unprecedented degree.

All I know is that there is a certain kind of veteran I despise...and that gentleman is one who will kill folks in the name of profit...
I can think of about ten guys that If I ever get a chance to meet them will get no sympathy from me.
The Iraq War has birthed a monster mothered by Red State Christianists and Arm Chair Profiteers... ripping off the taxpayer in the name of profit.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 8:57:00 PM GMT-5  

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