Blackwater employees were involved in a massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians including women and children. The Army defined it as a criminal act. No one did anything and Backwater is still there, being paid by the US Government to provide security. Their employees receive better pay and benefits than our own soldiers do for inferior service.
It appears that private mercenaries are not subject to Congressional oversight. Bush hires private soldiers to "help" fight the war in Iraq and to guard diplomats etc. No one accepts responsibility for their actions.
Soldiers complain that they could do the same work with their eyes closed. They complain that these private security guards are better paid than our own soldiers. The also complain of arrogant attitudes, that they flood their chow halls forcing our own soldiers to wait in line to eat...and the list of complaints goes on.
Why does Bush feel it is necessary to rely on private mercenaries to do military work? Two things come to mind. Perhaps it is a way to avoid a GI Bill. Pay Blackwater a set fee and let them worry about pay and benefits etc. Or could it be that Bush wants a second army to do illegal work that is not reported to Americans or Congress. A way to break the law and avoid personal responsibility?
One thing for sure, any dollars spent paying Blackwater and other contractors is money not being spent to support our own troops. It is taking bread out of the mouths of soldier's families and downgrading their futures at the same time.
Congress is complicit in this. They refuse to take any action so far to either eliminate or otherwise demand any oversight into their activities. A shroud of secrecy surrounds a contractor who kills innocent people in our name while collecting tax dollars that should be earmarked for our military.
This is one more step in the direction of letting corporations control our Congress, our administration and ultimately our nation.
We cannot continue to sit idly by as voters and let Congress give our nation away to the highest bidder...assuming anyone else even gets to bid. We have to ask ourselves by election time this fall:
"Does keeping the same people in office for another term work in our best interest?"
No it does not. Those in office now have proven to us by example where their priorities lie and what they will do. It is time to replace them.
I am posting this in the hopes of getting more people involved in contacting Congress to demand they stop allowing corporations in general and Blackwater in particular, to run un-supervised in a war zone.
From the book. These are some excerpt lifted from an interview posted today on Alternet in review of the new book:
~ Jeremy Scahill, "Blackwater, the rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army.
( Read full interview here )