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Old 10-04-2007   #16 (permalink)
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If the US military were to be allowed to use the rules of engament like Black Water is. We'd been done with Iraq 2 years ago.
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Old 10-05-2007   #17 (permalink)
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Rob Riggle presents Blackwater on this Daily Show clip.

Quote:
"Basically it's all the action of the Marines with less accountability than carnies."
Steve
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Old 10-15-2007   #18 (permalink)
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Julian E. Barnes writes in the Los Angeles Times: "As the Bush administration deals with the fallout from the recent killings of civilians by private security firms in Iraq, some officials are asking whether the contractors could be considered unlawful combatants under international agreements. . . .

"The designation of lawful and unlawful combatants is set out in the Geneva Convention. Lawful combatants are nonmilitary personnel who operate under their military's chain of command. Others may carry weapons in a war zone but may not use offensive force. Under the international agreements, they may only defend themselves."

In light of reports of apparently unprovoked attacks, some State and Defense department lawyers now "think the contractors in Iraq could be vulnerable to claims that their actions make them unlawful combatants," Barnes writes.

"For a guard who is only allowed to use defensive force, killing civilians violates the law of war, said Michael N. Schmitt, a professor of international law at the Naval War College and a former Air Force lawyer. 'It is a war crime to kill civilians unlawfully in an armed conflict,' he said."

The guards "operate under immunity from Iraqi law -- immunity was granted in 2004 by U.S. officials -- and in a murky status with respect to American laws. . . .

"But some international law experts think Iraq could use international treaties to try contractors for killing civilians."

Barnes writes with great understatement: "Unresolved questions are likely to touch off new criticism of Bush's conduct of the unpopular Iraq war, especially given the broad definition of unlawful combatants the president has used in justifying his detention policies at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
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Old 10-15-2007   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roni View Post
Julian E. Barnes writes in the Los Angeles Times: "As the Bush administration deals with the fallout from the recent killings of civilians by private security firms in Iraq, some officials are asking whether the contractors could be considered unlawful combatants under international agreements. . . .

"The designation of lawful and unlawful combatants is set out in the Geneva Convention. Lawful combatants are nonmilitary personnel who operate under their military's chain of command. Others may carry weapons in a war zone but may not use offensive force. Under the international agreements, they may only defend themselves."

In light of reports of apparently unprovoked attacks, some State and Defense department lawyers now "think the contractors in Iraq could be vulnerable to claims that their actions make them unlawful combatants," Barnes writes.

"For a guard who is only allowed to use defensive force, killing civilians violates the law of war, said Michael N. Schmitt, a professor of international law at the Naval War College and a former Air Force lawyer. 'It is a war crime to kill civilians unlawfully in an armed conflict,' he said."

The guards "operate under immunity from Iraqi law -- immunity was granted in 2004 by U.S. officials -- and in a murky status with respect to American laws. . . .

"But some international law experts think Iraq could use international treaties to try contractors for killing civilians."

Barnes writes with great understatement: "Unresolved questions are likely to touch off new criticism of Bush's conduct of the unpopular Iraq war, especially given the broad definition of unlawful combatants the president has used in justifying his detention policies at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
I got a speeding ticket a few years ago, I think that may have been Bush's fault as well.
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Old 10-15-2007   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kirbyfan View Post
I got a speeding ticket a few years ago, I think that may have been Bush's fault as well.
I do not understand the connection

Write me an IEP
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Old 10-15-2007   #21 (permalink)
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I do not understand the connection

Write me an IEP
I am leaning toward qualifying you for one of the autism specrum disorders Roni...possibly Aspergers.

Lemme know your thoughts.
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Old 10-15-2007   #22 (permalink)
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I am leaning toward qualifying you for one of the autism specrum disorders Roni...possibly Aspergers.

Lemme know your thoughts.
I dunno that a communication disorder would be an appropriate diagnosis.

Probably oughta have a multi-disciplinary staffing

Invite PlayadelSoul to the staffing, I know he has some ideas about my disorders
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Old 10-21-2007   #23 (permalink)
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I just read another interesting article here on Blackwater....Beyond all the very serious and challenging questions regarding their behaviour and the problamatic tensions between State and Defense departments, what really concerns me is the sheer amount of money we spend on things like this in Iraq! We rightfully examine the effectiveness of our spending on social programs...we should all be just as concerned regarding the effectiveness of our spending on Defense programs..it would be nice to find ways to shift some of this money to other areas........Excerpts....

Ten months later, however -- after Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad traffic circle on Sept. 16 -- the State Department can no longer quietly manage the consequences of having its own private army in Iraq. The FBI is investigating the incident, Baghdad has vowed to overturn a law shielding contractors from prosecution, and congressional critics have charged State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security with failing to supervise Blackwater and other security companies under its authority.

.........


The next year, as the United States prepared to return sovereignty to the Iraqis and the State Department began planning an embassy in Baghdad, Rumsfeld lost a bid to retain control over the full U.S. effort, including billions of dollars in reconstruction funds. A new executive order, signed in January 2004, gave State authority over all but military operations. Rumsfeld's revenge, at least in the view of many State officials, was to withdraw all but minimal assistance for diplomatic security.

.........

When the sole-source contract expired in the summer of 2005, State invited bids on a massive "worldwide personal protection services" contract to put its operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere under one umbrella. Blackwater formed a consortium with U.S. firms DynCorp and Triple Canopy, and the group won a multiyear, $1.2 billion agreement.

Under the individual task orders that only the three are eligible to bid on, DynCorp provides personal security in northern Iraq, and Triple Canopy in the south. Blackwater covers Baghdad and Hilla, and has by far the largest share of the $520 million that State spends annually on contract security in Iraq.

Last edited by Jacko; 10-21-2007 at 09:48 AM..
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Old 10-21-2007   #24 (permalink)
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Did you happen to see this recently? Bill Moyers had Jeremy Scahill on who wrote a book about Blackwater. One of the most troubling things he brings up imo is the fact that,obviously, the State and Defense Departments can't contribute to politicians whereas these private armies have a history of doing so. Whether you agree or disagree with Scahill the growing use of corporate armies internationally should give us pause. Blackwater is not the largest in the world.Bill Moyers Journal . Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater | PBS

I noticed this little blurb in the WaPo recently
Quote:
WASHINGTON -- Blackwater USA tried to take at least two Iraqi military aircraft out of Iraq two years ago and refused to give the planes back when Iraqi officials sought to reclaim them, according to a congressional committee investigating the private security contractor.
washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines

Last edited by Just Lucky; 10-21-2007 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 10-21-2007   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacko View Post
I just read another interesting article here on Blackwater....Beyond all the very serious and challenging questions regarding their behaviour and the problamatic tensions between State and Defense departments, what really concerns me is the sheer amount of money we spend on things like this in Iraq! We rightfully examine the effectiveness of our spending on social programs...we should all be just as concerned regarding the effectiveness of our spending on Defense programs..it would be nice to find ways to shift some of this money to other areas........Excerpts....

Ten months later, however -- after Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad traffic circle on Sept. 16 -- the State Department can no longer quietly manage the consequences of having its own private army in Iraq. The FBI is investigating the incident, Baghdad has vowed to overturn a law shielding contractors from prosecution, and congressional critics have charged State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security with failing to supervise Blackwater and other security companies under its authority.

.........


The next year, as the United States prepared to return sovereignty to the Iraqis and the State Department began planning an embassy in Baghdad, Rumsfeld lost a bid to retain control over the full U.S. effort, including billions of dollars in reconstruction funds. A new executive order, signed in January 2004, gave State authority over all but military operations. Rumsfeld's revenge, at least in the view of many State officials, was to withdraw all but minimal assistance for diplomatic security.

.........

When the sole-source contract expired in the summer of 2005, State invited bids on a massive "worldwide personal protection services" contract to put its operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere under one umbrella. Blackwater formed a consortium with U.S. firms DynCorp and Triple Canopy, and the group won a multiyear, $1.2 billion agreement.

Under the individual task orders that only the three are eligible to bid on, DynCorp provides personal security in northern Iraq, and Triple Canopy in the south. Blackwater covers Baghdad and Hilla, and has by far the largest share of the $520 million that State spends annually on contract security in Iraq.

Summary of the Iraq situation today:

1) In Iraq, NO ONE wants us there, EXCEPT for a few members of the Iraq government.

2) In the United States NO ONE wants us there, EXCEPT for a few members of the US government.

So why are we still there?
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Old 10-21-2007   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewartG View Post
Summary of the Iraq situation today:

1) In Iraq, NO ONE wants us there, EXCEPT for a few members of the Iraq government.

2) In the United States NO ONE wants us there, EXCEPT for a few members of the US government.

So why are we still there?
Beautiful desert sunsets?
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Old 10-21-2007   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewartG View Post
Summary of the Iraq situation today:

1) In Iraq, NO ONE wants us there, EXCEPT for a few members of the Iraq government.

2) In the United States NO ONE wants us there, EXCEPT for a few members of the US government.

So why are we still there?

Like I said maybe we should leave. Let the enitre middle east implode. Then we can move in take over the oil fields.

If the Russians try to take over the middle east. We could employ finacial impilcations, go to the UN, and the cold war starts all over again.

Last edited by STOGEY; 10-21-2007 at 02:32 PM..
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Old 10-22-2007   #28 (permalink)
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I watched the Bill Moyers Journal w/ Scahill on Blackwater.
Eye opening for me, for sure! I also watched Naomi Wollf twice this weekend re: her book "End of America"
For me the Addington connection between Bush & Blackwater is the scary part.
Kind of makes me wonder why Walmart hasn't jumped in with a regime of their own, or have they? (just using an example here w/Wally World it could be any conglomeration with the right amount of money backing their own private forces)
O-blah dee, O-blah da.....
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Old 10-23-2007   #29 (permalink)
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What a freakin' mess...one wonders whose running the show over there sometimes.... See this article....2 Reports Assail State Dept. Role in Iraq Security

Excerpts...

A State Department review of its own security practices in Iraq assails the department for poor coordination, communication, oversight and accountability involving armed security companies like Blackwater USA, according to people who have been briefed on the report. In addition to Blackwater, the State Department’s two other security contractors in Iraq are DynCorp International and Triple Canopy.

At the same time, a government audit expected to be released Tuesday says that records documenting the work of DynCorp, the State Department’s largest contractor, are in such disarray that the department cannot say “specifically what it received” for most of the $1.2 billion it has paid the company since 2004 to train the police officers in Iraq.

.......................

Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the chief of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, said in an interview that while the department had made “significant strides” in scrutinizing payments to DynCorp in the past year, the police training contract “appears to me to be the weakest-staffed, most poorly overseen large-scale program in Iraq.”

He added that “when you put two people on the ground to manage a billion dollars, that’s pretty weak.”

The contract gave DynCorp the job of building police training facilities and deploying hundreds of police trainers to instruct a new Iraqi police force.


.........

As a sign of the confusion, the State Department reported to auditors that as part of its work in Iraq, DynCorp had purchased a $1.8 million X-ray scanner that was never used and spent $387,000 to house company officials in hotels rather than in existing living facilities.

Last edited by Jacko; 10-23-2007 at 07:20 AM..
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