December 23, 2007

aegis-video.jpg Remember this video and story I helped break called “The Trophy video,” which was posted back in ‘05? Paul Bremer and the US Gov’t have created a juggernaut of—civilian–mercenary squads with ties to the Christian Right. (Blackwater was founded by an extreme right-wing fundamentalist Christian mega-millionaire ex- Navy Seal named Erik Prince) Remind you of any other groups in Iraq?

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A “trophy” video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the Internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal. The video, which first appeared on a website that has been linked unofficially to Aegis Defence Services, contained four separate clips, in which security guards open fire with automatic rifles at civilian cars. All of the shooting incidents apparently took place on “route Irish”, a road that links the airport to Baghdad.

I post this video again as a reminder to us as a major reason why the Iraqi people want us out of Iraq. Here's a new article that provides a good overview of the entire " Blackwater" culture and the US response to the problems they've caused in Iraq. "Warnings about contractors went unheeded"

The U.S. government disregarded numerous warnings over the past two years about the risks of using Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms in Iraq, expanding their presence even after a series of shooting incidents showed that the firms were operating with little regulation or oversight, according to government officials, private security firms and documents.

This has Cheney's main man---David Addington's fingerprints all over it. You know---how to get around existing laws...

In previous wars, the Pentagon had prohibited contractors from participating in combat. But in Iraq, military planners rewrote the policy to match the reality on the ground. On Sept. 20, 2005, the military issued an order authorizing contractors to use deadly force to protect people and assets. In June 2006, the order was codified as an "interim rule" in the Federal Register. It took effect immediately without public debate.

Critics, including the American Bar Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warned that the Pentagon had used an obscure defense acquisition rule to push through a fundamental shift in American war-fighting without fully considering the potential legal and strategic ramifications.

If I was a soldier in Iraq and a mercenary was making triple the salary--I'd be pissed.

Here’s another sordid story I broke called: Another Civilian Contractor was under investigation for Homicide in ‘04. Read the pdf here

And if you don’t think the lawlessness these contractor’s have been granted are unknown to the Iraqi people, guess again. Paul Bremer is responsible for many of the problems in Iraq after Bush gave him the power to run things there and Order 17 stands out today after the Iraqis gave the boot to Blackwater today.

Washington Post:

The Bush administration has decided to take the unusual step of bestowing on its own troops and personnel immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts for killing Iraqis or destroying local property after the occupation ends and political power is transferred to an interim Iraqi government, U.S. officials said.

Order 17 gives all foreign personnel in the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority immunity from “local criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction and from any form of arrest or detention other than by persons acting on behalf of their parent states.”

U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer is expected to extend Order 17 as one of his last acts before shutting down the occupation n

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