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Blackwater CEO Says His People Couldn't get a Fair Trial in Iraq

By       Message John Moffett       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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In a House oversight committee hearing today Erik Prince, CEO of Blackwater, said many interesting things, including that he did not want to disclose how much profit his company had made off of the American taxpayer. But one thing that struck me as particularly interesting was when he said his people couldn’t get a fair trial in Iraq. He didn’t elaborate, and no one pursued the issue further.

Mr. Prince was discussing an incident in Iraq where a drunken Blackwater employee allegedly murdered the Iraqi vice president’s security guard on Christmas Eve of 2006. The employee was fired, and quickly shipped back to the States before any investigation could be done.

What was Mr. Prince hinting at in his testimony before Congress today when he said Blackwater employees couldn’t get a fair trial in Iraq? That the Iraqi people are inherently unfair, and would never give anyone a fair trial? How could a country of people like that be worth “liberating”? How could inherently unfair people ever form a functional Democracy?

Or was Mr. Prince more likely hinting at something else. Was he admitting that Blackwater personnel are distrusted, or even hated by the vast majority of the Iraqi people, and therefore couldn’t get a fair trial for crimes they commit? If that is the case, which it appears to be, then how can we liberate the Iraqi people with hired guns? If we are employing forces that are distrusted and hated by the population, then how can we end the so-called insurgency, when the actions of contractors undermine the very goal of gaining the support of the population?

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Contractors such as Blackwater are costing US taxpayers more than if US troops performed the same duties, and they are operating outside the military chain of command. The Justice Department is not prosecuting any contractors, such as the Blackwater employee accused of killing the Iraqi Vice President’s security guard, so there currently is no accountability. Excessive use of force is undermining the “mission” of quelling the Iraqi insurgency, and prolonging the occupation of Iraq. This prolongs the profitable situation for Blackwater.

The Democrats on the committee brought up many of these points, which is a small start in what is going to have to be a long fight over privatizing our military, and the issue of war profiteering on the backs of the American taxpayer.


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John R. Moffett PhD is a research neuroscientist in the Washington, DC area. Dr. Moffett's main area of research focuses on the brain metabolite N-acetylaspartate, and an associated genetic disorder known as Canavan disease.

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