Blackwater Digs A Hole For U.S. Troops

Me, two days ago:

Does the Iraqi government have a home video showing mercenaries from the Blackwater firm firing wild into a crowd of Iraqi civilians? If so it could be very, very bad news. Words can inform but pictures, especially moving pictures, carry emotional impact in a way that written accounts almost never do. Fairly specific stories about what we did at abu Ghraib circulated from reporters like Seymour Hersh for quite some time before one CD of pictures blew the story wide open.

WaPo, today:

“This is a nightmare,” said a senior U.S. military official. “We had guys who saw the aftermath, and it was very bad. This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib…”

The Pentagon is furious, State has pushed the panic button and Condoleeza Rice finds herself inventing new privileges to dodge Congress. Read the whole scoop at TPM Muckraker.

Of the many lurid angles to this story, I keep coming back to Donald Rumsfeld’s abu Ghraib defense, which was to claim (falsely) that he knew nothink! and that he acted properly once it came to his attention. If the Blackwater scandal grows into another abu Ghraib-scale fuckup for America, I don’t think that Rice can even pretend to make that sort of defense. Rice plainly knows what happened and she knows that it keeps happening, yet (1) she steadfastly refuses to allow the faintest hint of oversight, (2) she openly refuses to allow consequences for the shooters, and (3) she goes on using Blackwater as if nothing has happened. When and if this story goes to hell Rice will be operating without Rumsfeld’s fig leaf of deniability.

Whether that even matters, though, is another story. An administration that kept Alberto Gonzales for months after most Republicans wrote him off can probably hang on to a disgraced Secretary of State for a surprisingly long time.






91 replies
  1. 1

    I’m often amazed at republican nutcases defending mercs, who actively work against the interests of US soldiers.

    It seems clear that Republicans care only about ideology, and not what is best for this country.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    just wait, Waxman and Leahy write their sternly-worded letters, those bastards will get their comeuppance! uppance!

  3. 3
    Teak111 says:

    Remember Tim, the management philosophy of this Admin is DWTFWW. That apparently includes the SD.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=8732

  4. 4
    zmulls says:

    My issue with Blackwater goes even beyond the fact that we are paying through the nose for lawless mercenaries to fight our battles for us because we don’t have the fortitude to insist on a draft if we want to expand our military might…..

    If the Pentagon is willing to pay Blackwater to provide obscene salaries, why would anyone re-enlist in our military to work for peanuts? If you were a soldier, and had fulfilled your commitment to the US, and Blackwater offered you a bucket of money to do similar work with fewer regulations……???

    Just the notion that we support privatized military functions is enough to damage our real military….

    Support the troops my a$$…..

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    It seems clear that Republicans care only about ideology money, and not what is best for this country.

    To be honest, I thought Condi Rice was going to be one of the few cabinet members who was able to keep her head down long enough to completely disappear from the radar and escape with her integrity intact.

    Oh well.

  6. 6
    Wilfred says:

    It seems clear that Republicans care only about ideology, and not what is best for this country.

    Not true, they also care about Jesus, and cash.

    Some folks may have missed the Christian Fundamentallist connection to Blackwater:

    “Blackwater was co-founded by former Navy Seal Erik Prince, a “billionaire right-wing fundamentalist Christian from a powerful Michigan Republican family. …

    “Prince’s father, Edgar Prince, and Gary Bauer started the Family Research Council, where Prince interned. Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, is a former chair of the Michigan Republican Party.”
    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/2249

    On the De Vos family see:
    http://www.seekgod.ca/cff.htm

    An influential advisor on foreign policy to the Family Research Council/Bauer etc. is one Frank Gaffney (Neocon tribe of the flathead nation). Here is Frank’s org in DC:
    http://www.jinsa.org/home/home.html

    VP Cheney was on Frank’s all star board. They have done an efficient job penetrating the US military brass (oh yes indeed)…on top of their activity on Capitol Hill.

    An enterprising blogger might get quite a few good posts out of ol’ Blackwater.

  7. 7
    dingo says:

    If this crowd ran Ford Motor Company, they would still be making Edsels and declaring them one hell of a great car and with just a little more time, the most popular car ever!

    Any oversight of the entire mess will have to be done by Congress and the Bush White House will just tie them up in court and get out of Dodge before anything changes. I lived through both the Nixon and Carter administrations and have never been so discouraged about the American experiment as I am now. The rule of law has become the smirking defiance of the law.

  8. 8
    Dreggas says:

    “I don’t think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile”
    – Condi

  9. 9
    Wilfred says:

    I forgot to add that these incestuous, Christian Right/Neo-con connections provide the only logical reason for Rice maintaining colonial extra-territoriality at the precise moment a simple gesture towards Maliki would have helped him quite a bit in terms of credibility.

    I’ve been wrong before but my money says that this is the perfect storm scenario that will bring this criminal government down once and for all.

  10. 10
    whippoorwill says:

    Absolutely 100 percent correcto. I believe re-instituting a draft at this time in our history has to be done or we’re going to have more Iraq’s and a more divided country at some point to a critical mass. Blackwater types are not the only mercenaries now fighting our wars. American soldiers are getting bonuses to re-enlist of 50,000 bucks or more. More and more the military and the industrial complex that feeds off it is spinning out of control. Billions and billions of tax payer money has vanished and there is just about no accountability for anything. The GAO has said the Pentagon in unauditable At the same time very few Americans have any connection to the military and are blissfully ignorant of what’s happening.

  11. 11
    whippoorwill says:

    My issue with Blackwater goes even beyond the fact that we are paying through the nose for lawless mercenaries to fight our battles for us because we don’t have the fortitude to insist on a draft if we want to expand our military might…..

    I forgot blockquote . This is 100 percent correcto.

  12. 12
    Dreggas says:

    Ya know what pisses me off. I was watching Future Weapons on the Military channel and where do you think they were? The blackwater complex in Cal. They were testing blackwater’s private armored vehicles that can withstand RPG’s and roadside bombs. Now why the fuck aren’t the REAL soldiers in our military using these things?

  13. 13
    Timb says:

    A dissent, but stay with me. As much as Condi should have resigned over the yellowcake fiasco or the lies she told the 9/11 Commission, this President prizes loyalty above all else. Politically weakening her in his eyes can only hurt sane policy, in that Condi and State are the only ones keeping Cheney and Addington from attacking Iran. State, not Georgie’s favorite place to start with, is a bulwark against the crazies.

    Now, I am NOT saying that Blackwater is good or deserves to be in Iraq. I’m not saying Eric is a good guy or even that Blackwater isn’t criminal. All I’m saying is maybe we can find a different Bush incompetent to take down?

    What you guys think?

  14. 14
    PK says:

    Worse than Abu Ghraib!!?
    I have not been following this too closely, but how can this be worse? What on earth did these guys do?

  15. 15
    BFR says:

    Now why the fuck aren’t the REAL soldiers in our military using these things?

    Part of the reason is that Blackwater isn’t incentivized to spend money on stuff it doesn’t need – ie the procurement process. If the US military stopped buying new aircraft carriers, ballistic missile subs, F-22s (etc etc etc) then they would have more money to spend on things that are useful in the field but have no political value.

    I’m sure there are other reasons, but I don’t think this can be discounted.

  16. 16
    Face says:

    Since it’s so damn reflexive for the media to throw “-gate” onto any and all controversies (“travelgate”, “plamegate”, “spygate“, etc.), why the fuck hasn’t this been labeled, “Blackwatergate”?

    Is the media suddenly too chickenshit to tag it “-gate” just b/c it forms the words of a past Republican transgression? Me thinks so…

  17. 17
    TenguPhule says:

    “I don’t think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile” – Condi

    Obviously she fucking failed to mention that Steven Seagal starred in a movie in the 90s that had that EXACT SAME IDEA except with the addition of bioweapons onboard the plane too.

  18. 18
    Tax Analyst says:

    Condi and State are the only ones keeping Cheney and Addington from attacking Iran. State, not Georgie’s favorite place to start with, is a bulwark against the crazies.

    If Condi is all that’s preventing an attack on Iran then we’re fucked. It’s like saying a damp paper towel (or maybe a tampon) could have kept the New Orleans levees from giving way. She carries no real weight that I can see other than being one of Boy George’s enablers. She keeps popping up in “cameo” appearances across the Middle-East talking some of the most inane and unrealistic happy-talk bulllshit I’ve ever heard. I’m not sure how much competence exists at State anymore. This Administration has totally disregarded advice and warnings from the career “pro’s” that are (or were) there. I don’t think any remaining hold much sway with the Bushites.

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    I have not been following this too closely, but how can this be worse? What on earth did these guys do?

    Blackwater mercs allegedly blew away 11 civilians and wounded 22 more with automatic weapons fired without provocation into a crowd. These mercs face no criminal damages because of the 2004 law written by the US puppets that exempts them from any legal prosecution by Iraqis and they can’t be tried in the US either because lack of jurisdiction.

    Blackwater has just given the Iraqis their own version of the Boston Massacre. Except this one was caught on camera.

    If they react the same way the Colonies did, our troops are royally fucked six ways from Sunday.

  20. 20
    BFR says:

    Obviously she fucking failed to mention that Steven Seagal starred in a movie in the 90s that had that EXACT SAME IDEA except with the addition of bioweapons onboard the plane too.

    It also had already been tried in real life of course (1994):

    The French special forces left Spain and landed just twenty minutes before 8969 touched down at Marseille, on the coast of France, just after 03:30. Tired from the two day stand off, the hijackers maintained radio silence until late morning when the hijackers demand they receive nearly 27 tons of fuel; considerably more than the 9 needed to make the five hundred mile flight to Paris. It was suspected that the hijackers wanted as much fuel as possible in order to make the Airbus into a flying bomb; the concern was that GIA planned to either fly the plane into the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or simply blow it up over the city.

  21. 21
    Dreggas says:

    Tenguphule says:

    Blackwater has just given the Iraqis their own version of the Boston Massacre. Except this one was caught on camera.

    If they react the same way the Colonies did, our troops are royally fucked six ways from Sunday.

    Most apt comparisson of the day. Almost every revolution started due to shit like this.

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    “I don’t think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile” “I have never read a Tom Clancy Novel. I don’t think anyone else has, either.” – Condi

  23. 23
    chopper says:

    Obviously she fucking failed to mention that Steven Seagal starred in a movie in the 90s that had that EXACT SAME IDEA except with the addition of bioweapons onboard the plane too.

    and the fact that bin laden was thought to have wanted to crash planes into the G8 summit months before 9/11, to the point that they cleared the airspace around the area.

  24. 24
    pharniel says:

    Obviously she fucking failed to mention that Steven Seagal starred in a movie in the 90s that had that EXACT SAME IDEA except with the addition of bioweapons onboard the plane too.

    Or the UA adventure where it was an ascension plot to slam the plane into the sear’s tower to become the Terroist and replace the Warrior.

  25. 25
    Punchy says:

    I’m often amazed at republican nutcases defending mercs, who actively work against the interests of US soldiers

    TOS, the reason is the same as you mentioned yesterday…if the Dems decry it, the R’s must reflexively then support it.

    THere’s no better example than the SCHIP bill. The Dems are for children’s healthcare, and simply inexplicably, many of the R’s voted against helping out poor children (cant wait for THOSE ads) simply b/c the Dems wanted it.

    It’s a broken, vile, nasty party. Period.

  26. 26
    Zifnab says:

    Most apt comparisson of the day. Almost every revolution started due to shit like this.

    And the whole time I thought the Iraqis were revolting over taxes.

  27. 27
    Punchy says:

    If you were a soldier, and had fulfilled your commitment to the US, and Blackwater offered you a bucket of money to do similar work with fewer regulations……???

    You’ve heard of the “stop-loss” order(s), right? Are any soliders every really fulfilling their commitments, to the point of not having to worry about going back?

  28. 28
    farmgirl says:

    Frankly, I hope the Iraqis do go apesh!t over this, as it seems they have justification. Maybe we can finally GTFO of Iraq.

  29. 29
    jenniebee says:

    TOS, the reason is the same as you mentioned yesterday…if the Dems decry it, the R’s must reflexively then support it.

    I absolutely insist that religious instruction be given in public schools, and that the nature of that instruction should be decided democratically. The vote would, naturally, go to Catholics, which means that Priests and Nuns would be teaching your kids to say the Hail Mary, all the reasons that the Reformation was pure heresy, and all about the miracle of transubstantiation. This is necessary, or God will turn his back on us.

    I demand that the military should be engaged at all times. Yes, it puts a strain on the troops and many of them will die, but hey – it’s an all-volunteer army, isn’t it? They signed up for us to have them sent into a meat-grinder for any reason we see fit, didn’t they? Their purpose is to get shot – you wouldn’t want to deny them their purpose would you? Support the troops!

    I call, in the strongest terms, for a complete and immediate squashing of all power of Congressional oversight over the executive. We elected the President, didn’t we? That’s the people’s oversight, and that should be enough. It doesn’t matter if we know what the President is doing or how he’s doing it, either. We see the results and the results are what really matter.

    And whatever you do, Red State, LGF, Malkin, Reynolds and Protein Wisdom, oh, whatever you do, please don’t throw me in that thar briar patch!

  30. 30
    rawshark says:

    TenguPhule Says:

    “I don’t think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile” – Condi

    Obviously she fucking failed to mention that Steven Seagal starred in a movie in the 90s that had that EXACT SAME IDEA except with the addition of bioweapons onboard the plane too.

    Tom Clancy – Debt Of Honor. A Chinese 747 intensionally crashed into the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress.

  31. 31
    John S. says:

    Off-topic, but…

    The Lieberman/Kyl Amendment has passed the Senate by an unbelievable 76-22 vote.

    And a majority of Democrats voted to condemn the MoveOn ad in the House. The vote was 341-79.

    The Democrats are a fucking joke.

  32. 32
    rawshark says:

    Maybe it was a Japanese 747. I can’t remember exactly. 9/11 had a surreal feel to it for me because of that book.

  33. 33
    garyb50 says:

    Less Bad News
    More Condi Shoes

  34. 34
    LITBMueller says:

    Why Blackwater will be protected – two word: Cofer. Black.
    This goes way beyond Abu Ghraib in that any Graib-scale scandal involving Blackwater will blow the cover on the dirty little secret: while the numbers of US troops in Iraq may come down, the presence and power of private contractors will increase.

    The killing & mutilation of the 4 Blackwater employees in Fallujah in 2004 may have been more to do with Fallujans hating Blackwater than hating the US. And, the resulting seige of Fallujah probably had more to do with saying, “Don’t fuck with Blackwater, or we’ll bring the hammer down on you.”

    But, is there any government entity that can ever make Blackwater actually leave Iraq? No. We are facing a situation where the next President will be held hostage to Bush’s failed policy & war. No matter how strong (or weak) the next President’s desire is to remove the American presence from Iraq, there will always be an American presence there – whether government/military or private contractor beholden to no one at all.

    Blackwater’s contract with the State Dept. is the most famous, but mostly because it is publicly known. The question: what other secret, no bid contracts are out there for Blackwater? What do they say? What other activities has Blackwater been involved in?

  35. 35
    Stooleo says:

    The Lieberman/Kyl Amendment has passed the Senate by an unbelievable 76-22 vote.

    Supposedly most of the inflamatory language was removed.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/054282.php

  36. 36
    Fe E says:

    Maybe it was a Japanese 747. I can’t remember exactly. 9/11 had a surreal feel to it for me because of that book.

    It was Japanese. Same here on the Surreality of 9/11.

  37. 37
    stickler says:

    Not to get too OT, but this is perhaps not the right analogy to be making:

    If this crowd ran Ford Motor Company, they would still be making Edsels and declaring them one hell of a great car and with just a little more time, the most popular car ever!

    The crowd currently running Ford isn’t actually much better than this. Those geniuses turned one of the most profitable corporations in America into a money-losing behemoth ($12 billion last year!), partially by ignoring the likelihood of higher gas prices and partially by sticking with doddering, elderly car designs. Like, for example, the Crown Victoria/Town Car platform, which first debuted in 1978 … and is still in production. Or the Ford Focus, which was pretty good when it was introduced in 1999. But is still essentially the same car in 2008, only with fewer choices (sedan only now, no more hatchback or wagon). Way to respond to $3/gallon gasoline, eh?

    Of course, Bill Ford hasn’t started any foreign wars, so far as we know. Yet.

  38. 38

    Off-topic, but…

    The Lieberman/Kyl Amendment has passed the Senate by an unbelievable 76-22 vote.

    And a majority of Democrats voted to condemn the MoveOn ad in the House. The vote was 341-79.

    The Democrats are a fucking joke.

    Still no backbone. Why did either of these two bills see the light of day? Or why didn’t they attach SCHIP to it, to get the Republicans to vote against it?

    Fucking retards.

  39. 39
    Fe E says:

    The Lieberman/Kyl Amendment has passed the Senate by an unbelievable 76-22 vote.

    Supposedly most of the inflamatory language was removed.

    I truly hope that the “inflammatory language” which was left out is that essential declaration of war.

    Democratic uselessness drove me to the Green Party for most of the nineties, the incompetent evil of the GOP drove me back to Dems, but with shit like this….

  40. 40
    Tsulagi says:

    Easy solution. Would be a win/win for our fiscal conservative Decider and for Condi who has to listen to the Iraqis bitch about sovereignty issues. RedState like blogs could trumpet further success in Iraq.

    Current problem: Blackwater and other security companies in Iraq cost taxpayers hundreds of millions each year. Iraqis are bugged seeing private foreign infidels operating with almost complete immunity in their country. Doesn’t give them warm fuzzies toward us or even their own government that allows it to continue. Our soldier on patrol, who’s been told a 3.5% pay raise would bankrupt the country, watches the Blackwater guy pass in a sweet riding, air conditioned SUV knowing he’s making 500% more for less work. Sucks.

    Solution: Use Iraqi Security Forces. Simple. Our president and our Iraq Decider, GEN Petraeus, have insisted they’ve come a long way and they’ve got the charts to prove it. MNF-I issues glowing success reports from MTT teams. They’re standing up. Use them. Next time Condi visits she could be protected by a company of only ISF. Actually much less since The Surge has furthered the success. She could rest easy. And even if we picked up their salaries we’d be saving hundreds of millions. Fiscally responsible. Plus, Iraqis would be proud we demonstrate faith and trust in them. Win/win.

    Show us what Republicans are made of, Condi.

  41. 41
    capelza says:

    Call and bitch out your reps. Bitch, bitch and then bitchsome more. Call them, e-mail them and then send a hand written letter. Gordon Smith is getting an earful from me as we speak.

    These voted against it.

    Biden (D-DE)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Webb (D-VA)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) didn’t vote.

    Hagel is my favourite Republican right now.

  42. 42
    BFR says:

    Why did either of these two bills see the light of day? Or why didn’t they attach SCHIP to it, to get the Republicans to vote against it?

    During the GOP era of congress, the only items that came to a vote in the house were those that were supported by the house leadership which meant that the votes were pre-ordained/foregone conclusions. This was an awful way to govern and if the Democratic party has decided to reverse the GOP and allow bills unpopular to the leadership (and to the majority of Dems) to come to a vote, then I’m all for it.

  43. 43
    Punchy says:

    Still no backbone. Why did either of these two bills see the light of day?

    This has been answered on several *other* blogs. This is an amendment to a spending bill. The amendments cannot be blocked by Reid for coming up for a vote, apparently, and the whole bill cannot be blocked (can, but would never be) cuz it’s giving money to buy the troops shitty armor and more MREs.

    Shorter–everyone’s attaching Crazy Shit to a bill that must pass. I’m totally expecting Stevens to ask for a $83.9 billion Bridge to Nantucket (from Anchorage).

  44. 44
    JoeTx says:

    whippoorwill Says:

    Absolutely 100 percent correcto. I believe re-instituting a draft at this time in our history has to be done or we’re going to have more Iraq’s and a more divided country at some point to a critical mass.

    I’m afraid by the time we institute a draft, it will be too late to make use of it. How long do you think it will take China and Russia to act if we keep screwing with their sources of Oil…

  45. 45
    rawshark says:

    How long do you think it will take China and Russia to act if we keep screwing with their sources of Oil…

    Tom Clancy again. The Bear and The Dragon, Red Storm Rising. Don’t fuck with China or Russia’s oil supplies.

  46. 46

    Shorter—everyone’s attaching Crazy Shit to a bill that must pass. I’m totally expecting Stevens to ask for a $83.9 billion Bridge to Nantucket (from Anchorage).

    Like say SCHIP?

  47. 47
    John S. says:

    Supposedly most of the inflamatory language was removed.

    Somewhat, but it still closes with:

    the United States should designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization…and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

    That brands the IRG as a terrorist group, which essentially gives Bush a blank check to do whatever the fuck he wants to them in the name of the War on Terrah. So when you hear about our troops engaging the IRG across the border it won’t be that we’re invading a sovereign territory, it will be that we were engaging a terrorist organization.

    If the Democrats that voted for this failed to realize that this is precisely how Bush will interpret it, then they are too fucking stupid to be in office. Those Democrats that voted for this knowing the cover it would give Bush to engage Iran are too fucking wreckless to be in office.

    I won’t be voting for Bill Nelson next time around because his voting record as of late on these matters is absolutely disgusting. He is indistinguishable from a Republican.

  48. 48
    zmulls says:

    Once again, Obama isn’t around when the tough vote comes up. What I’ve come to expect…

  49. 49

    I’m with you, John S. Job one is getting rid of Mel Martinez in 2010, and then taking out Nelson in 2012. Hopefully he’ll retire, but if no one else is willing to challenge him, I’ll run against him in a primary, even though I’m a nobody.

  50. 50
    Tax Analyst says:

    The Lieberman/Kyl Amendment has passed the Senate by an unbelievable 76-22 vote.

    Voting AGAINST:

    Biden (D-DE)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Hagel (R-NE)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Lugar (R-IN)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Webb (D-VA)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL) didn’t vote.

    Ah…I see CA Senator Boxer there, but Where The Fuck is Diane Feinstein? OH…She voted FOR it…I’m getting really tired of her fecklessness. Maybe she should have retired while she still had some of the respect of her constituents…too late now.

    Actually, from my POV every Democrat should have abstained from voting on this amendment in order to highlight the farcial nature of this bullshit.

  51. 51
    Tax Analyst says:

    Actually, from my POV every Democrat should have abstained from voting on this amendment in order to highlight the farcial AND DANGEROUS nature of this bullshit.

    My error…I left the CAPPED words out of my first post. This is, indeed, most likely a set-up to justify attacking Iran. That over 1/2 of the Democrats in the Senate could or would not recognize that is not particularly encouraging. They either lack brains or balls (or both). They need to wake up and quit playing “Charlie Brown” to Bush’s “Lucy”. It’s pathetic.

  52. 52
    Zifnab says:

    Actually, from my POV every Democrat should have abstained from voting on this amendment in order to highlight the farcial nature of this bullshit.

    Here’s to that. When the Republicans were going on their wingnut-spree down in Texas some years back, the Democratic Party just up and left the state. No quorum, no vote. End of story. I’d love for Democrats to collectively boycott a vote. Don’t bother filibustering. Don’t bother debating it. Just bring the bill up for a vote and walk out.

  53. 53
    Jake says:

    I can hear it now:

    “No one could have possibly foreseen that a President crazy enough to lie the US into one war would do it again.”

    The rest of these chickenshits will say they only voted Yea as a rebuke to Ahmadicukoo and put on their Serious Senator Faces to say they are Shocked and Saddened by the images of Iranian children being shot by Blackwater goons.

    My new rule: A sentinent being that can’t figure out war is not a game is a being that can get fucked five ways from Friday.

  54. 54
    Wilfred says:

    . This is, indeed, most likely a set-up to justify attacking Iran. That over 1/2 of the Democrats in the Senate could or would not recognize that is not particularly encouraging. They either lack brains or balls (or both)

    How about this possibility: THEY VOTED FOR IT BECAUSE THEY ALSO WANT A FUCKING WAR WITH IRAN. It was a straight up and down AIPAC vote, hosted by St. Joe Lieberman (Ind-Israel). Nobody opened up their mouth, not even here, when Bush authorized 30 billion be given to Israel to buy American made weapons (not all of it, they got a 10% right to buy from someone else), do you really think they would complain now? You get what you pay for. You pay for dead brown people, you get ’em in droves.

  55. 55
    stickler says:

    Before we get too tinfoil hat regarding geopolitics, let’s clear something up:

    I’m afraid by the time we institute a draft, it will be too late to make use of it. How long do you think it will take China and Russia to act if we keep screwing with their sources of Oil…

    Russia doesn’t need Iranian oil — Russia floats on a huge ocean of oil all its own, from Baku to western Siberia. The high prices for oil lately have enabled Putin to pay off Russia’s debt and start spending money on bombers, submarines, and dachas. Russia has Europe by the short hairs regarding energy supplies (oil and natural gas).

    It’s China that is trying to get more Middle East oil, and needs it bad. They’ve completed a pipeline (I think) to the Indian Ocean (through Burma?) to make transportation easier, and they’ve signed a passel of contracts with Iran. China has the USA by the short hairs, financially at least.

    Draw from that whatever conclusions you will.

  56. 56
    Cain says:

    It’s nice to know that teh state I used to live in (indiana) and the state I live now (oregon) both voted no. Lugar’s been my senator since I was 6 years old.

    cain

  57. 57
    Fe E says:

    How about this possibility: THEY VOTED FOR IT BECAUSE THEY ALSO WANT A FUCKING WAR WITH IRAN. It was a straight up and down AIPAC vote, hosted by St. Joe Lieberman (Ind-Israel). Nobody opened up their mouth, not even here, when Bush authorized 30 billion be given to Israel to buy American made weapons (not all of it, they got a 10% right to buy from someone else), do you really think they would complain now? You get what you pay for. You pay for dead brown people, you get ‘em in droves.

    Goodness, that’s depressing.

  58. 58
    kirkaracha says:

    Ms. Rice is either incompetent or a perjurer (or a zesty combination of both). In 1974 Samuel Byck tried to hijack a plane and crash it into the White House. In 1994 Auburn Calloway tried to hijack a FedEx plane and crash it into FedEx’s headquarters. Al Qaeda’s 1995 Bojinka Plot included a plan to crash a plane into CIA headquarters. In 1998 the FAA was warned that Al Qaeda could “seek to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark.” (“http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E5D91131F937A2575AC0A9639C8B63) In September 1998, “the [Intelligence Community] obtained information that Bin Laden’s next operation might involve flying an explosive-laden aircraft into a U.S. airport and detonating it.” In the two years leading up to the September 2001 attacks, NORAD had drills about hijacked planes being crashed into buildings, including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In October 2000, the Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise simulated a plane crashing into the Pentagon. In July 2001 security measures at the Genoa G-8 conference included surface-to-air missiles to prevent terrorist attacks from the air.

    Also, if you prevent a hijacking, it doesn’t matter what the hijackers intend to do with the plane.

  59. 59
    Punchy says:

    The Craigster is staying in the Senate.

    Word on the street is that he’s thanking his constituents, his wife, and Thymezone, all for the mad support and crazy-ass notion that his crime wasn’t a crime despite his guilty plea.

  60. 60
    Dreggas says:

    Tax Analyst,

    You should read Greenwalds post about our “beloved” senator feinswein…

  61. 61
    Tax Analyst says:

    Dreggas Says:

    Tax Analyst,

    You should read Greenwalds post about our “beloved” senator feinswein…

    Thanks, will-do…right after I teach this here Tax Class in about…oh…6 minutes…SIX MINUTES????!!

    SHIT…I’d better get my ass in there, huh?

  62. 62
    binzinerator says:

    And when these many tens of thousands of mercenaries eventually return to the US, what then? Just turn in those liberated AKs and put the semtex in the trash? With a black Democrat in the White House? Or Hillary?

    We’ve already had domestic terrorists with past military experience kill dozens and dozens of people with bombs and bullets, especially when they are of fundie christian/white supremacist/anti-gummin’t mindset. McVie or Rudolph ring any bells?

    The well-developed operational knowledge, organization and communication networks will make them especially dangerous as homegrown rightwing terrorists.

    Erik Prince has his own private army, well armed, combat experienced, organized, well funded, and with contacts to the rightwing jesusfreek elements of the government to help with legal protections and propaganda.

    We have here in these proliferating ‘private contractors’ a germinating seed of right-wing death squads. The fringe right has been into the eliminationist talk more and more. And the fringe right has metastasized and infected the mainstream right.

    Perhaps Blackwater will be our Brownshirts.

    In the Middle Ages, groups of mercenaries, supported and perpetuated by similarly foolish princes, were increasingly used in private wars.

    Ironically, these mercenary groups were referred to then as ‘Companies’.

    The companies grew in number and power until the mercenary groups became the scourge of Europe. These Companies eventually answered to neither king nor law, and became powerful enough that the rulers were unable to contain or control them. They did what they pleased, took bribes from governments as protection, and were also used as intermediates between governments to do the business of massacre and terror for political leverage while providing cover for the patron.

    In short, the large number of mercenary Companies found they could destabilize legitimate governments.

    “Terrible worms in iron cocoons”, indeed.

    The fundie Christian Erik Prince and his Blackwater killers and others like them sound like an echo from this forgotten lesson in the past.

    Another catastrophically stupid policy enacted by Bush and his dumbass What-Me-Worry fools that will in the long run be detrimental to US security abroad and at home. They have foolishly opened yet another Pandora’s Box, and welcomed and fed the creature inside.

    These Blackwater types answer to *wingnuts*, not law. Why on earth would any sane person encourage and grow those kind of organizations?

    Only fools and other wingnuts.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Beej says:

    I find it VERY interesting that the Democratic senator from Nebraska, Ben Nelson, either voted for it or abstained while the Republican senator from my state, Chuck Hagel, voted against. And Hagel is not going to run for reelection? God help us all!

  65. 65
    jake says:

    Now the only question is how Bush will parlay the resolution of the irresolute into permission to invade Zimbabwe.

    Sorry to wander OT but I can’t really think of much to say about Blackwater except fuck the mother fuckers who put them in Iraq and a double fuck for Sec. Rice. If this shit doesn’t constitute a war crime then the concept no longer exists.

  66. 66
    Rick Taylor says:

    The Lieberman/Kyl Amendment has passed the Senate by an unbelievable 76-22 vote.

    Supposedly most of the inflamatory language was removed.

    John, I understand they don’t have a veto-proof majority, I understand we can’t expect them to end the war. But is it really too much to expect them not to start another one?

  67. 67
    conumbdrum says:

    Now the only question is how Bush will parlay the resolution of the irresolute into permission to invade Zimbabwe.

    Jesus. I love living in a country where Robert Fucking Mugabe can lecture us on human rights… and after reading what the butcher of Zimbabwe has to say about Bush, all I can think is “Shit – he has a point there.”

  68. 68
    TenguPhule says:

    But is it really too much to expect them not to start another one?

    Yes.

    This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

  69. 69
    bago says:

    I absolutely insist that religious instruction be given in public schools, and that the nature of that instruction should be decided democratically. The vote would, naturally, go to Catholics, which means that Priests and Nuns would be teaching your kids to say the Hail Mary, all the reasons that the Reformation was pure heresy, and all about the miracle of transubstantiation. This is necessary, or God will turn his back on us.

    I amsolutely insist that hedonism be decided democratically. The Priests giving wine to the altarboys would be teaching your kids to say hail mary (and other names), and be teaching them about the miracle of ejaculationion. This is needed or the guy that gave us water into wine will turn his back onto us. Granted, this could be a tease, but how else to truly teach the gospel of hedonism other than priests willing to turn their back on us?

  70. 70
    bago says:

    Imagine that with better grammar. I just beat halo3 dammit!

  71. 71
    laneman says:

    Imagine that with better grammar. I just beat halo3 dammit!

    You got a functional disk – wow.

  72. 72

    Hey, we’ve supported private death squads since Reagan’s blood party in Central America in the 80s. Now that our economy is so toilet-like for the working class, why shouldn’t the Hessians speak English?

  73. 73
    zmulls says:

    I said

    If you were a soldier, and had fulfilled your commitment to the US, and Blackwater offered you a bucket of money to do similar work with fewer regulations……???

    Punchy said:

    You’ve heard of the “stop-loss” order(s), right? Are any soliders every really fulfilling their commitments, to the point of not having to worry about going back?

    And today Robert Gates says:

    Gates also said he was troubled by security contractors’ practice of luring soldiers out of uniform by offering them higher salaries. He said he was looking for ways to put legal limits on that practice.

    (from an AP story reported at TPM)

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/n.....ractor.php

  74. 74
  75. 75
    Zifnab says:

    And today Robert Gates says:

    Gates also said he was troubled by security contractors’ practice of luring soldiers out of uniform by offering them higher salaries. He said he was looking for ways to put legal limits on that practice.

    Why does our Secretary of Defense hate the free market?
    More importantly, why would any US Soldier turn down higher pay, better gear, more time off-duty, better medical benefits, and a “get out of massacring people for free” card to do the exact same job he’s doing now? Joining Blackwater is an absolute no-brainer for any soldier looking at re-enlistment. It’s like the public high school history teacher who gets offered a tenure at a major University. Except you get to kill people and the pay is way better. Why on god’s green earth wouldn’t you take the job?

  76. 76
    Jake says:

    Gates also said he was troubled by security contractors’ practice of luring soldiers out of uniform by offering them higher salaries. He said he was looking for ways to put legal limits on that practice.

    Of course giving the soldiers better salaries is out of the question. But at least he’s talking legal means of limiting the practice. Whatever those might be.
    Contractors can’t offer soldiers jobs within a certain amount of time after discharge?
    Soldiers can’t accept jobs from contractors within a certain amount of time after discharge?
    Good luck with either, Rice won’t let him.

  77. 77
    grandpa john says:

    Well one way to stop it would be to quit starting illegal wars that rewards republican stooges by hiring their mercenaries. If there was no demand for them then they couldn’t be lured away

  78. 78
    Dreggas says:

    Great, Gates is going to basically impose the same type of deal that congress did. No lobbying (ie working for blackwater) for 2 years after seperation from service.

    Of course in a state of perpetual war, that’s like taking a vacation after leaving one job then going to take another.

  79. 79
    ThymeZone says:

    Where The Fuck is Diane Feinstein? OH…She voted FOR it…I’m getting really tired of her fecklessness

    Finding nothing (so far) on her website about the vote, I called her office in Washington and got tangled up in the gears of their (the Senate’s) godawful phone system. I will keep trying and if I find out anything, I will report it on these pages.

  80. 80
    wasabi gasp says:

    The U.S. pays Blackwater to offer soldiers a more attractive military career than a career in the U.S. military.

    Supporting the troops makes me dizzy.

  81. 81
    Tax Analyst says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    Where The Fuck is Diane Feinstein? OH…She voted FOR it…I’m getting really tired of her fecklessness

    Finding nothing (so far) on her website about the vote, I called her office in Washington and got tangled up in the gears of their (the Senate’s) godawful phone system. I will keep trying and if I find out anything, I will report it on these pages.

    Maybe that’s because as far as the incipient Iranian invasion is concerned she’s almost as reliable a vote for Bush’s dismal, moronic war plans as most Republicans. Has she become infected with Lieberman’s Disease? You know, if this is to kow-tow or appease the American Israeli Lobby she should just resign her Senatorial seat and campaign for the Knesset. I happen to be Jewish but I also happen to realize that Israel’s interests are not necessarily America’s interests and when they do not intersect we need to stay clear and do what makes sense for THIS country. Besides, the American Israeli lobby often advocates agressive policies that go well beyond what most ACTUAL Israeli’s would agree with.

    And no, I am not “Filled With Self-Hate & Loathing”. However, I do have a fair reserve of loathing for politicians who allegedly inhabit my side of the aisle who vote to further enable our current War-Mongering Dim-Witted Dip-Wad of a President. Would it be too much to expect our Elected Representatives to represent US for a change?

    TZ – I appreciate your efforts to get a straight answer out of Sen. Feinstein’s minions. It’s not a real good sign when the senior senator from the most populous state in the union makes crucial votes about our biggest issue and is not willing to offer a statement or rationale for it. It’s one thing for Democrats to lack the votes to end the current fuck-fest in Iraq – I understand; they just don’t have the numbers. It’s an entirely different and disgusting state of affairs when they make votes that put Boy George in position to ignite another foolhardy and potentially much more serious conflagration.

    Christ! What do these people think when they wake up in the morning? Have they been in a coma the past 6+ years? Call Dr.Frist to see if Diane appears cognitive to him these days.

  82. 82
    ThymeZone says:

    Call Dr.Frist to see if Diane appears cognitive to him these days.

    Heh. At least her face still follows the balloon back and forth …….. I mean, the microphone ……

  83. 83
    Tax Analyst says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    Call Dr.Frist to see if Diane appears cognitive to him these days.

    Heh. At least her face still follows the balloon back and forth …….. I mean, the microphone ……

    Well, I went to the Senator’s official Website and unsurprisingly was unable to find any mention of the Lieberman-Kyl vote, so I got off my arse and sent “Lady Di” a little missive with regards to that issue.

    So I’ll bore you all with the contents –

    “I’m wondering what Senator Feinstein was thinking when she voted in favor of the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment designating the IRG as a “terrorist organization”. Doesn’t she realize this gives President Bush a back door invitation to attack Iran? The one thing I really expect from our California Representatives is that they will recognize and remain cognizant of this President’s record and pattern of deceit and not make votes that allow him to continue to avoid oversight and start wars upon his personal whims or to advance partisan political gains or goals.

    So mark me down as EXTREMELY disappointed in Senator Feinstein’s vote on the Lieberman-Kyl amendment. To me that represents an abdication of her responsibilities to the citizens of California and America at large. In my POV no Democrat should have even registered any vote other than “ABSTAIN”. Let the record show “49-0” or “46-3″ or whatever with only Republicans voting on it to demonstrate exactly where this amendment comes from.

    As I said…VERY DISAPPOINTED. I’d like to hear her rationale and reasoning behind this vote and whether the Senator recognizes that she may have voted to enable this most feckless President to embroil us in another very bloody, costly and avoidable conflagration.

    We are counting on our Elected Representatives to exercise all due caution and care in all matters involving the use of force. I just don’t think the Senator is measuring up in that area and I find that extremely frustrating and disappointing.

    Thank you,

    (My Real Name & Address)”

    This and a couple of bucks or so might get me a pretentiously named cup of coffee at some coffee joint, but WTF…they all say they want to know what we think…

  84. 84
    Chris Johnson says:

    Actually, it’s better not to go for the cheap gag:

    NO it is not too much to expect these morons not to start another war.

    It is NOT too much to expect.

    Because they’re gonna get us, our military, and themselves killed by being so ridiculous and insane, and we will deserve every bit of it. The least we can do is expect better, and the least they can do is live up to that.

    If they don’t live up to it, time to sharpen up the guillotines.

    If WE don’t expect better, well holy shit. I really don’t get it. It would be bad enough if our military could SURVIVE yet another retarded war, but knowing that it would destroy us, that it is a suicide mission? That we’re lucky if we can hang in there in Iraq, much less whack on another nest of hornets? If we don’t expect our country to avoid even the most absurdly suicidal acts of aggression, what are we doing here? I personally expect my country not to run off and slaughter people who weren’t doing anything to us. WOOPSY. Very well, I’ll expect my country not to jump off the cliff. And gosh, if that turns out to be too much to expect, at least we won’t be in any position to do any MORE invasions after that. We’ll be lucky not to be bombed to crap ourselves, and we’ll deserve that, we really will.

  85. 85

    […] Blackwater Digs A Hole For U.S. Troops […]

  86. 86
    Tax Analyst says:

    Chris Johnson Says:

    Actually, it’s better not to go for the cheap gag:

    NO it is not too much to expect these morons not to start another war.

    It is NOT too much to expect.

    Because they’re gonna get us, our military, and themselves killed by being so ridiculous and insane, and we will deserve every bit of it. The least we can do is expect better, and the least they can do is live up to that.

    If they don’t live up to it, time to sharpen up the guillotines.

    If WE don’t expect better, well holy shit. I really don’t get it. It would be bad enough if our military could SURVIVE yet another retarded war, but knowing that it would destroy us, that it is a suicide mission? That we’re lucky if we can hang in there in Iraq, much less whack on another nest of hornets? If we don’t expect our country to avoid even the most absurdly suicidal acts of aggression, what are we doing here? I personally expect my country not to run off and slaughter people who weren’t doing anything to us. WOOPSY. Very well, I’ll expect my country not to jump off the cliff. And gosh, if that turns out to be too much to expect, at least we won’t be in any position to do any MORE invasions after that. We’ll be lucky not to be bombed to crap ourselves, and we’ll deserve that, we really will.

    Well, except for the “guillotine” stuff, I’m pretty much with you. That kind of thing never really works out all that well…things come around and things go around, you know. If you doubt it check out what folks in Iraq do to one another these days or bone up on Kosovo.

    We OUGHT to be able to bring Criminals to account, regardless of titles or authority…especially War Criminals. And if some of the crap they have pulled in creating the current shit-stew somehow doesn’t qualify as a “War Crime”, well then there just is no such thing…which means “Rule of Law” is just a bunch of fancy-sounding bullshit we pull out when it seems convenient and tuck away when we don’t feel like living up to it. If that’s how Americans want to live then that’s how they (we) will live…hope they aren’t chagrined when the “goes around/comes around” shit comes down. Pay-back can be a real bitch.

  87. 87
    Soliton says:

    So many people forget that Leahy and Daschle received weaponized anthrax laden letters shortly after 9/11/2001.

    “Such beautiful grandchildren you have, it would be crying shame if anything were to happen to them”.

    These people make the Mafia look like saints in comparison.

  88. 88
    Chris Johnson says:

    Leahy’s my senator and one of the few who isn’t a treacherous weasel. We just added another, the Socialist Bernie Sanders (he was our Congressman for basically life, we kicked him upstairs)

    I don’t think those guys will cave just because of being afraid of being killed. I don’t see Leahy cringing around, anthrax or no anthrax. People who get too involved in the politicization of everything forget that it’s possible to stick to your guns and your principles even when threatened or bribed or pressured.

    I’m actually a rule of law fan, I like that way better than guillotines. I bring that up in case rule of law itself fails us, or is discarded. “Woopsy, got a correction- we still have the best rule of law ever, then the President has the final say, and the national guard/Blackwater to back him up. This is still law and order, trust us. Now, we ORDER you to shut up. There’s your order right there…”

    Some things matter more than grandchildren, personal safety, etc.

    Please can we have our constitutional, political crisis in such a way that it does NOT come down to the failure of rule of law and open guerrilla war within our borders? Because we got war criminals that we have to start dealing with or it will be dealt with for us, and we have to be able to take responsibility.

  89. 89
  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    Please can we have our constitutional, political crisis in such a way that it does NOT come down to the failure of rule of law and open guerrilla war within our borders?

    No. This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

  91. 91
    RLaing says:

    The US military, as presently constituted, is the target of an active program of destruction. The idea is to replace this ‘socialist’ relic of state planning with a decentralized system of corporate mercenaries, even more profitable and less accountable than what the country has now. The public will obviously continue to fund it; but it will no longer be public in any meaningful sense of the word. The Democrats will not do anything to interfere with this, as they want it just as much as the Republicans.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Blackwater Digs A Hole For U.S. Troops […]

Comments are closed.