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The World of Blackwater: Private Wars for Public Money

By Mumia Abu-Jamal  Posted by Hans Bennett (about the submitter)     Permalink
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The World of Blackwater: Private Wars for Public Money
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{col. writ. 9/20/07}
(c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal
 
The news running off the wire was unexpected in its rarity: the Iraqi 'government' announced that the U.S. private security company, Blackwater, would no longer be able to function in the country, following the killing of over 20 Iraqis by Blackwater personnel.
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According to published reports, the U.S. State dept. will essentially ignore the Iraqi order, announcing that Blackwater would continue to work in the country.
Blackwater provides security for many Americans working in Iraq, as well as some of its chosen puppets.
 
(So much for 'a sovereign nation.')
 
The recent Blackwater shootout wasn't the first, and unless I miss my guess, it won't be the last.
 
For folks who've been following the American security company (and others like them), it should surprise no one that this company was involved in the shooting of civilians.
 
According to some researchers and reporters, Blackwater was getting down similarly -- in the U.S.!
 
Think back to 2005, when the winds, rains, and gushing waters from Lake Pontchartrain swept through New Orleans, another force beset the already besieged town.
 
Blackwater was one of the number of such companies, armed with automatic weapons and contracts from the Dept. of Homeland Security. They were allowed to play cowboy when people were suffering from this natural disaster.
 
Several years ago, writer and "Democracy Now!" correspondent, Jeremy Scahill reported a conversation he had with a man from one of those private security companies during the height of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
 
Scahill described his conversation with a man named Michael Montgomery, who worked with an Alabama-based company known as Bodyguard and Tactical Security (BATS). This guy told Scahill that he was in New Orleans on the second night of the catastrophe.
 
As Scahill explained:
 
They got stopped in the ninth ward. He said they came under fire from a group of people on an overpass that he described as black gang bangers. He said, "At the time I was on the phone with my business partner." I said, "What did you do then?"
He said, "I dropped the phone and opened fire." I said, "With what kind of weapons?" --"AR-15 assault rifles and Glock 9's."
Fired up at the people he described as black gang bangers on this bridge. I said, "Then what happened?
Did you kill them?" He said, "Well, let's just put it this way, I heard a lot of moaning and screaming, and the shooting stopped. Enough said. "
 
Scahill was making his remarks on the Friday, Sept. 23rd, 2005 edition of the nationally broadcast program, "Democracy Now!"
 
According to Scahill, these and other such groups were functioning in Louisiana, without licenses to operate in the state. What they had were contracts from the Homeland Security Dept., and a letter from the Governor of Louisiana!
 
Thus, armed with automatic weapons, they patrolled the property of the rich, while they waged war against the poor.
 
Scahill explained that after the shooting, army officers and Louisiana State Troopers came on the scene - but neither agency filed a report.
 
Scahill continued:
 
So this is the climate of impunity.....[H] ow do we know that he was fired upon? How do we know what that incident was? Why wouldn't law enforcement file any kind of report on a shootout in which this guy is openly bragging to having shot up a bunch of people he described as black gang bangers on an overpass? [p.4 of downloaded text]
 
There are almost as many contractors working in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers -- but the Blackwater people make a whole lot more money, and are better equipped.
That's because they aren't fighting for 'democracy', they're fighting for good old American money. They are fighting for those who can afford them.
 
What do they care about Iraqis?
 
What did they care about 'Americans' in the midst of the whirlwind and the storm?
--(c) '07maj
 
 
Spanish Translation:
 
El mundo de Blackwater: las guerras privadas por dinero público

21 de septiembre de 2007. El último reporte de la sala de noticias es insólito: el gobierno de Irak anunció que la empresa de seguridad privada estadounidense Blackwater ya no podrá operar en su país tras los asesinatos de por lo menos ocho, tal vez 20, iraquíes por sus contratistas.

Según otros informes, sin embargo, el Departamento de Estado hará caso omiso a la declaración iraquí.  Anunció que Blackwater continuará con sus operaciones en el país.

Blackwater provee seguridad para varios estadounidenses trabajando en Irak y también para algunos títeres escogidos. ¿Una nación soberana? ¡Ni hablar!

La reciente balacera a manos de contratistas de Blackwater no fue la primera y, si no me equivoco, no será la última. A quienes hayan seguido las actividades de esta empresa de seguridad y de otras parecidas, no les debe sorprender que la compañía fuera involucrada en la matanza de civiles. Según unos investigadores y reporteros, Blackwater hizo lo mismo en Estados Unidos.

Acuérdense del 2005, cuando los vientos, lluvias y torrentes de agua del Lago Ponchartrain arrastraron todo a su paso en Nueva Orleáns. También hubo otra fuerza que asaltó a la ciudad sitiada.

Blackwater fue una de varias empresas equipadas con armas automáticas y contratos del Departamento de Seguridad Doméstica. Su personal pudo jugar a vaqueros mientras la gente sufría este “desastre natural”.

Hace un par de años el escritor y corresponsal para Democracy Now, Jeremy Scahill, habló de una conversación con un agente de una empresa de seguridad privada durante lo más recio del desastre del huracán Katrina. Scahill describió su conversación con Michael Montgomery, quien trabajaba con una compañía del estado de Alabama llamada Bodyguard and Tactical Security (Guardaespaldas y Seguridad Táctica).

El tipo dijo que estaba en Nueva Orleáns la segunda noche de la catástrofe, que él y otras personas fueron detenidas en el Distrito Noveno y  que se encontraron bajo fuego de un grupo de personas sobre un puente que el describió como “pandilleros negros”.

Dijo: “En ese momento hablaba por teléfono con mi socio de negocios”. Dije: “Y ¿Qué hiciste?” Dijo: “Dejé caer el teléfono y abrí fuego”. Dije: “¿Con qué tipo de arma?”
Dijo: “Con rifles de asalto AR-15 y Glock 9s”.  (Disparó hacia arriba a los “pandilleros” en el puente). Dije: “¿Luego que pasó? ¿Los mataste?” Dijo: “Digámoslo así. Escuché muchos gemidos y gritos y luego no hubo más disparos. Basta con eso”.

Scahill hizo este comentario el viernes, 23 de septiembre de 2005 en el programa nacional de radio, Democracy Now.

Según Scahill, estos grupos operaban sin licencia en el estado de Louisiana. Tenían contratos del Departamento de Seguridad Doméstica y una carta del gobernador del estado de Louisiana. Así que, armados con fusiles automáticos, patrullaron la propiedad de los ricos mientras hicieron guerra contra los pobres.

Scahill explicó que después de los disparos, los soldados del ejército y luego policías estatales de Louisiana llegaron a la escena pero no hicieron ningún informe.

Scahill continuó: “Éste es el clima de la impunidad... ¿Cómo sabemos que le dispararon? ¿Cómo sabemos qué tipo de incidente fue? ¿Por qué los oficiales no quisieron presentar ningún informe sobre una balacera en la que este tipo alardeó de haber balaceado a unas personas que él describió como “pandilleros negros” sobre un puente?”

En Irak, hay casi tanto contratistas como soldados, pero los de Blackwater ganan mucho más dinero y tienen mejor equipo. No pelean por la democracia, sino por el buen dinero estadounidense. Pelean para los que pueden pagar. ¿Qué les importan los iraquíes? ¿Qué les importaron los americanos en medio del torbellino y la tormenta?

Desde el corredor de la muerte, soy Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Derechos Reservados 2007 Mumia Ab-Jamal
Fuente: Prison Radio, grabación en inglés
 
 
[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org');">http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================


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