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Nothing like lawless mercenaries to brighten your international image and foreground your commitment to transparency, justice and the American Way.

Despite US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign promise to no longer award military contracts to Blackwater – the now renamed notorious security contractor – the US state department has recently awarded the company another lucrative contract.

“Blackwater was renamed Xe after a string of legal cases against the company in the US and in Iraq.

Wired.com reports that while neither Xe nor Blackwater appear on the list of eight firms hired for the Worldwide Protective Services contract (a group of contracts combined into one), one of the company’s fronts, International Development Solutions LLC (IDS) is on the list.

In total, the contract for all eight companies is worth up to $10bn.”

Well, nothing wrong with a share of 10 billion dollars.  Wow, I bet a lot of schools could be build for 10 billion dollars.  But we cannot go around letting the evildoers win, so sorry little bobby, no schooling for you after all recruits are needed for the Army.

“A press officer from the state department returned Al Jazeera’s call, but was unable to say what specific services IDS could provide and why, given Blackwater’s tarnished reputation, (which lead to the company’s name change in 2009) it was still eligible for such a contract.

She did, however, read out a prepared statement, indicating that while the state department is aware of IDS’s ties to Blackwater, that that fact was not prohibitive in accepting its bid.

“The contract was competed in accordance with the Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR),” read the statement.
“The FAR allows any company that is not been debarred or suspended to submit a proposal in response to an acquisition process based on full and open competition.”

Oh hey, we certainly cannot infringe on the market.  That would be unseemly and more to the point, unethical.  Everyone needs a fair chance to get paid by Uncle Sam and deal death in foreign lands.  Nothing could go wrong with hiring out mercenaries to do your bidding…

“Two former Blackwater employees are currently on trial in the US on charges of murdering Afghan civilians and keeping human remains as trophies. The charges stem from a 2009 incident in Kabul.

In 2008, five Blackwater guards were charged in the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians, who were shot in Baghdad’s al-Nisoor Square in 2007. Those charges were ultimately dismissed.

Another employee of Triple Canopy – another contractor included in the new Worldwide Protective Services contract – was charged with killing at least one Iraqi after he fired into a civilian vehicle for “sport.”

Whoops!  I guess things can go wrong, unless I’m getting the wrong “spin” on things but killing people for sport seems to be actions we like to attribute to official enemies as opposed to our own highly ethical and clean foreign slate.

No accountability, No Problem!

Iraq is a free for all.  Although a glimpse of accountability has been reported.

“The private security contractor previously known as Blackwater, has agreed to pay $42m in fines for hundreds of violations of US export rules, according to the New York Times.”

Not particularly surprising given the ethical free fall that has characterized the mercenary forces hired by the US government in Iraq.

“The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in southern Sudan, and providing sniper training for police in Taiwan, the newspaper said on Friday”

Whoops!  But is anyone going to jail for this?  Or course not.  The status quo will be maintained after a fine is payed.

“The New York Times reported that by reaching the agreement with the US state department to pay the fines, the company avoids criminal charges over the violations of US export control regulations.”

Export control violations.  I suppose this is a limping stride toward justice.

‘Paying the fines will allow Xe to continue to compete for government contracts, the New York Times said.  US export rules mandate government approval for the export of certain types of US military technology or knowledge.  But Xe “began to seek training contracts from foreign governments and other foreign organisations without adhering closely to American regulations”, the newspaper reported.

War is a profitable business.

It “also shipped automatic weapons and other military equipment for use by its personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan in violation of export controls, and in some cases sought to hide its actions”, the New York Times said.

Again, rather unsurprising given the lack of oversight and murky chain of command that mercenaries follow.  I mean, they are not bound by military regulations or even the Geneva Conventions.  They are there to ‘get’er done’.  And usually by any means necessary.

Wrist thoroughly slapped, Blackwater Ex, can continue on its merry way, making the world safe for democracy and freedom.

Update:    I’m not sure about RT, but they do get more voices on the air that represent dissident opinion.   Their piece on the US ‘Withdrawal” in Iraq.

Lawless Mercenaries anyone?

Blackwater, private mercenaries, you remember the ones that ran wild in Iraq shooting civilians pretty much as they pleased as they were busy making millions ‘restoring democracy’ in Iraq?

Al Jazeera reports: “The former president of Blackwater, the controversial American private military contractor, has been indicted for firearms violations and making false statements.

Gary Jackson has been charged with the illegal possession of machine guns, receiving unregistered weapons and making false statements according to an indictment submitted to a North Carolina court on Friday.”

They have tagged the head weasel, but will the rest be held accountable for the mayhem they are responsible for in Iraq?  I highly doubt it.

“Jackson left Blackwater, which is now known as Xe Services, last year. The company  has struggled to restore its image after a 2007 shooting in Baghdad which saw several of its guards charged with federal crimes.

That case was thrown out of court when a judge found that prosecutors had mishandled evidence, and so far the company’s executives have escaped censure despite a range of investigations in the incidents involving its staff.”

You see, when it comes to justice, we get due process.  Our enemies, well they get dead or Gitmoized.  I swear, if I hear another commentator bleating “why do they hate us?” or similar courtier-esque drivel that propagates the false history we are being fed… I”ll…I’ll…write another blog article.

Take that forces of evil.

In the lawless shamble that is occupied Iraq the private mercenaries have, and continue to run amok.

“Saad al-Muttalibi, an adviser to the Iraqi council of ministers, said on Friday that if the [5] guards did not receive a just sentence for the killing of 14 Iraqis in 2007, the issue would complicate relations between Iraq and the United States.”

Not particularly surprising.  Gunning down innocent people is usually frowned on, unless of course they the enemy.  Then it is O.K..

” Ali al-Dabbagh, the Iraqi government spokesman, said in a statement: “The Iraqi government will follow up on this issue in strength and resolution to bring those murderers of Blackwater to accountability in order to return the rights of iraqi people who are the victims of this crime.”

He said “the investigations carried out by the specialised Iraqi authorities confirmed with no doubt that the guards of Blackwater company have committed a criminal murder act and they have violated the combat environment rule to use force while there was no threat against them”

The Iraqi authorities are justifiably pissed off as Blackwater has had a history of shooting and looting in their country and want to see justice done.  Yeah right:

“Ricardo Urbina, a district judge, dismissed the charges against the five men on Thursday, saying US justice department prosecutors improperly built their case on sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity.

Urbina said the government’s explanations were “contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility”.”

Technicality observed.  Get out of Jail Free card handed out, problem solved.

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