OpEdNews Op Eds

Why Don't We Ban Blackwater and other Mercenary Outfits Here?

By       Message Dave Lindorff     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


Author 63
Become a Fan
  (73 fans)
- Advertisement -
By Dave Lindorff
Let's give the Iraqi puppet government some credit: At least they have the sense to delicense and order out of the country the Blackwater mercenary outfit.
The real question is why we allow them here in the US.
Recall that FEMA and Homeland Security used heavily armed Blackwater troops in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. They were seen wandering around in flak jackets and helmets, with no identifying tags, carrying heavy weapons and M-16s. It is not clear how many people they may have killed or injured in those terrible days.
Worse yet, there's word that Homeland Security has standing contracts with Blackwater and other private mercenary firms for other "national emergency" situations in the US.
This whole concept is an affront to democracy and a grave threat to the survival of our democratic freedoms.
While the rules are often honored in the breach by officers who tape over their badges during operations, the law requires police in the US to identify themselves with badges that show their number clearly, so that if they abuse their power, people know how to file a complaint or a lawsuit, which is the only recourse they have for illegal behavior by police forces.
Police are also supposed to be trained in things like Miranda rights, civil liberties and so on. Again, while many officers go on and act like laws unto themselves, particularly in poor and minority communities, there is a presumption that they will behave in a law-abiding manner, and when they don't it is possible to challenge them.
Not so private mercenary "police."
Such forces have no place in any democratic society, and they have no place in ours. Nor do they have any place in American military actions overseas.
Bear in mind that the British use of Hessian mercenaries during colonial times was one of the main grievances that fired up American revolutionaries (although in fairness to the German soldiers-of-fortune, many of them eventually went AWOL and become Americans).
Why isn't it being decried as a scandal that today America is increasingly turning over its military and its police to mercenary forces, many of whom aren't even Americans? Blackwater, Dynecorp and other such firms are hiring Israeli veterans, former South African police, and Latin American graduates of the notorious School of the Americas (Torture U) to fill out their ranks, along with veterans of such US outfits as Delta Force, Navy Seals and the Green Berets.
The Iraqis have seen close up the inhumanity and ruthlessness of these mercenary outfits, and are starting to take steps to rein them in or toss them out. Americans should demand the same here at home.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now out in paperback. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0

Free John Walker Lindh, Bush's and Cheney's First Torture Victim!