Blackwater still getting US taxpayers’ money

This is called Video of Blackwater Contractors Driving Over Iraqi Woman.

Here is another video about Blackwater.

From The Raw Story in the USA:

Scahill: Blackwater still getting millions in federal contracts

By Muriel Kane

Published: August 7, 2009

Journalist Jeremy Scahill, who earlier this week revealed charges by two former employees of security contractor Blackwater (now Xe) that range from murder to providing child prostitutes for its employees in Iraq, is now taking aim at the US government’s continued use of Blackwater’s services.

The State Department announced last January that it would not be renewing Blackwater’s contract for security services in Iraq when it expired in May. According to Scahill’s latest article in The Nation, however, the Obama administration has just extended the contract through September 3. A State Department official explained, “They are still there, but we are transitioning them out.” …

The Washington Post suggested in January, “Some critics attribute Blackwater’s success to the political connections of owner Erik Prince, a big contributor to conservative and Christian causes. As the Post reported, in 2007, Prince ‘was a White House intern under President George H.W. Bush. His political donations over the past two decades total almost $263,000 to Pat Buchanan, Oliver North, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and former senator Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, among others. His sister, Betsy DeVos, is former chairwoman of the Republican party in Michigan.’”

Records reviewed by The Nation show that the State Department has contracted with Blackwater for some $200 million since January, much of it representing a continuation of Bush-era contracts. Other Bush-era contracts have been extended by the Army, despite the growing number of serious allegations and lawsuits against the firm.

Some members of Congress have called for all such contracts to be cancelled. On Thursday, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) wrote to both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates asking for a review of the Blackwater contracts. The letter to Clinton reads in part, “I believe that the behavior of Xe, its leadership, and many of its employees, puts our government and military personnel, as well as our military and diplomatic objectives, at serious risk.”

Blackwater Still Armed in Iraq: here.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

BAGHDAD, Aug. 9 — A British private security contractor was taken into custody by Iraqi authorities in Baghdad’s Green Zone early Sunday after he fatally shot two colleagues, Iraqi officials said.

Blackwater, Black Deeds: here.

C.I.A. Sought Blackwater’s Help in Plan to Kill Jihadists: here. And here.

The revelation that the CIA sought to contract out overseas assassinations to the politically connected mercenary outfit, Blackwater, underscores the grave dangers to democratic rights in the US itself: here.

ArmorGroup is just one of the “private security” contractors that have descended on Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. These companies have won millions of pounds of contracts from the US and Britain, and private firms, to provide “security” in Iraq: here.

Obama and Empire- John Pilger speaks at Socialism 2009: here.

6 thoughts on “Blackwater still getting US taxpayers’ money

  1. Obama Hammers Defense Waste

    By Greg Grant Monday, August 17th, 2009 4:46 pm

    Speaking today to an audience of military veterans, President Barack Obama called for cutting wasteful defense spending and for reforming the way defense industry does business. “Every dollar wasted in our defense budget is a dollar we can’t spend to care for our troops or protect America or prepare for the future,” he said.

    Echoing many of the same arguments for defense reform made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Obama criticized a defense establishment that has failed to adapt to the 21st century and remains wedded to Cold War-era doctrine and weapons “better suited to fight the Soviets on the plains of Europe than insurgents in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan.”

    He said the QDR “top-to-bottom” strategic review will produce a “new blueprint for the 21st-century military that we need.” Obama then previewed that blueprint: “an Army that is more mobile and expeditionary and missile defenses that protect our troops in the field; a Navy that not only projects power across the oceans but operates nimbly in shallow, coastal waters; an Air Force that dominates the airspace with next-generation aircraft, both manned and unmanned; a Marine Corps that can move ashore more rapidly in more places.”

    Obama really let if fly when he talked about the need to reform the “defense establishment,” calling wasteful defense spending an “affront” to the American people and the troops.

    “You’ve heard the stories: the indefensible no-bid contracts that cost taxpayers billions and make contractors rich; the special interests and their exotic projects that are years behind schedule and billions over budget; the entrenched lobbyists pushing weapons that even our military says it doesn’t want. The impulse in Washington to protect jobs back home building things we don’t need has a cost that we can’t afford.”

    “Think about it. Hundreds of millions of dollars for an alternate second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter — when one reliable engine will do just fine. Nearly $2 billion to buy more F-22 fighter jets — when we can move ahead with a fleet of newer, more affordable aircraft. Tens of billions of dollars to put an anti-missile laser on a fleet of vulnerable 747s. And billions of dollars for a new presidential helicopter.”

    “This waste would be unacceptable at any time, but at a time when we’re fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, it’s inexcusable,” Obama said, speaking at the VFW convention in Phoenix, Az.

    He vowed to put an end to “no-bid contracts” and to reform procurement so “weapons systems don’t spin out of control.” Obama said he was glad to have Republican Sen. John McCain as a “partner” in his effort to curtail wasteful defense spending.

    Using a similar approach the administration has used in its arguments to pass health care reform, Obama singled out “special interests, contractors, and entrenched lobbyists” who oppose changes to the status quo. “They’re putting up a fight. But make no mistake, so are we.” He vowed to cut any weapons program that doesn’t support the troops in the field or underperforms.

    The administration clearly sees a future security environment filled with irregular wars along of the Iraq and Afghanistan variety. “In the 21st century, military strength will be measured not only by the weapons our troops carry, but by the languages they speak and the cultures that they understand.”


  2. Pingback: US Greens in March 20 Afghanistan peace march | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Blackwater mercenaries on trial for mass murder in Iraq | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Blackwater mercenaries on trial for 2007 Iraq massacre | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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