Alex Constantine - February 10, 2009
Goodbye Gitmo, Next Up Blackwater
It's probably music to the ears of many to hear the detention camps at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base will be closed under executive orders by President Barack Obama.
After one dark embarrassing chapter in our history has been closed, it feels right to end another one. All that is left is for President Obama to shut down Blackwater Worldwide, along with any similar organizations, just like Nelson Mandela did in South Africa.
Allowing a business such as Blackwater to operate is evidence the economy is on the border of entering a market of anarchy, where stocks for a mercenary army are available on Wall Street ....
Iraq won't Authorize NC-Based Blackwater Worldwide to Operate in Country
By Associated Press
January 29, 2009
BAGHDAD (AP) — A senior Iraqi official says Iraq will not authorize North Carolina-based Blackwater Worldwide to operate in the country anymore. Moyock-based Blackwater is the U.S. Embassy's main security company.
Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf says his ministry's decision was sent last Friday to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and "they have to find a new security company."
Khalaf adds that the decision was prompted by what he called the guards' "improper conduct and excessive use of force" in a shooting that killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured dozens of others in 2007. ...
Blackwater Guards Immune Under Law, Pentagon Says (Update2)
By Ken Fireman
Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Defense Department concluded in 2007 that Blackwater Worldwide contractors can’t be prosecuted under federal law for a shooting incident in Iraq that left 17 civilians dead.
In a letter to North Carolina Representative David Price, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said contractors are subject to prosecution under federal law for alleged misconduct committed overseas only when they are working for the Pentagon or supporting its mission.
Blackwater was working for the State Department when the September 2007 incident took place in Baghdad. The company was “not engaged in employment that was in support of the DoD mission,” England said in a letter to Price on Dec. 14, 2007.
The Democratic congressman’s office released a copy of the letter today. It was reported earlier by the Associated Press.
A spokesman for Price, Paul Cox, said in an e-mailed statement:
“Regardless of the views expressed in this letter, it’s up to the courts alone to determine whether these security contractors fall under federal criminal jurisdiction.” ...