T Nation



I haven't paid too much attention to the growth of Blackwater and the privatization of the US military in general. However, I just listened to a very interesting radio show (On Point radio - Tom Ashbrook) on the topic:


Based on the analysis and discussion, I don't think it's too much of an exaggeration to say that this an insidiously anti-democratic & dangerous development. Who on earth - what political persuasion - can actually think otherwise? In short, Katzenjammer - as a traditional conservative - is not pleased.

Love & kisses to you all. ~katz


Wish I could work for Blackwater. They only take the best operators. I'd love to cap some fucking terrorists scum!!


Well that goes without saying HH. Maybe I'm just brimming with resentment because they aren't including me in their fun and games? Not to mention the wads of cash everyone is making.


I think they need to be put in their place. They have done much good but I don't like the potential for abuse and I am sure there are many instances of real abuse.



It's the potential abuse I'm really worried about.

Among other things:

-the analyst on the show qouted an astounding figure: that 70% of foriegn intelligence is gathered by private companies like Blackwater. Their profits on the enforcement side are directly tied to the level of alarm caused by intelligence they gather.

-there is now also an offshore company, called Greywater, which can be hired by any government. These are our best trained, navy-seal type forces. That's rather scary.

-there is so much money being made, that now these companies have a huge influence on policy via lobbyists and cash contributions to candidates.



Yes, we should rewrite the constitution so that "Due Process" means guilty until proven innocent. That would make the governments job easier to rid the world of evil. We can just start tossing everyone in prison who might have the "potential" to be evil.


I think the million dollar pay check is a bit more encouraging than that...


Maybe some of their "agents" need a remedial math tutor..?


Anyone heard of Seal Team 6's main guy, Dick Marcinko? This Blackwater reminds me alot of their tactics. And I agree with ya HH, I'd love to get paid to be as rogue as I wanted! Fuck the UCMJ! LOL....


Teaching operators how to multiply the number of scumbags capped and planted --- sweet!!

Anyway, ops like Blackwater are filling a void created by the US Congress. When the military men in the field have to get permission to fire back, that's just a plain load of horseshit. We get PC wars that never can be fucking ended. Instead of killing all the motherfuckers, you have to wipe their noses, pat 'em on the head, and wish 'em a good night's rest. Fucking soccer mom war...


You know what would be a better idea? Incentivize a real Iraqi liberation by leaving and making the own up to their country. We can pay for it, as we are responsible, but they should have to do all the work. Let them pay Blackwater if they want some help. We should have as little to decide as possible as it isn't our country or our business how they run it.


Did anyone else hear about the ridiculous 1200$ proposed to the families of the victims of the 16th September Blackwater shootings? Proof, if needed, that Iraqi lives are expendable in the eyes of the US government.


Its unclear if the Blackwater guys are at fault. If I tell someone to stop their vehicle as they come toward me and they don't stop, I don't give a damn who is in the car, I'm opening up. I don't care if its a family out for a picnic. How would anyone know their intentions?

Given the training of the Blackwater guys, I'd bet that they felt threatened and responded. Good riddance.


Blackwater isn't going anywhere.

Why Blackwater is Invulnerable
by James Dunnigan
October 25, 2007

Iraqis are upset with Blackwater International, the security firm that provides protection for American diplomats (and many other VIPs) when they travel about. Blackwater recruits experienced military veterans, especially commandos, to do the job. When Blackwater is attacked, they attack right back. Blackwater's aggressiveness and competence is well known in Baghdad, and Iraqi police and civilians stay out of the way. As a result, Blackwater has never lost any of the State Department people they have escorted. But 30 Blackwater personnel have been killed, along with hundreds of Iraqis (armed and unarmed, the terrorist attacks often use civilians for cover). American politicians, who are opposed to the Iraq war, are joining in to attack Blackwater, and accuse it of misbehavior. The State Department remains silent, but is unwilling to give up Blackwater. There are enough experienced people inside the State Department who understand that Blackwater is professional and effective, and you can't beat a perfect record when it comes to security. Considering what high value targets U.S. diplomats are, and the success of Blackwater in defeating hundreds of attacks, the State Department cannot afford to abandon Blackwater. But the diplomats cannot afford to openly defend Blackwater either, lest they anger Democratic politicians who run Congress. So the media circus will play out, and life goes on.

Al Qaeda has lost half its leadership over the Summer, and American intelligence collectors have amassed a huge number of desperate messages from al Qaeda leaders and operatives. Terror attacks are down by more than half because al Qaeda keeps getting run out of their refuges, and, in desperation, keeps asking each other for help. There is not much help. Couriers are still getting through with cash, to buy people and bomb making materials. But most of this stuff is now getting captured, as safe houses are quickly abandoned. When the terrorists are unable to escape, they more frequently surrender, rather than fight to the death. This is a sign of falling morale. This is what the psychologists predicted as the number of desperate messages grew. For the troops, this is a mixed blessings. But as more of the hard core are cornered, you also come up against heavily armed men, ready to fight to the death. Sure, you can eventually clear out the civilians, back away and let the smart bombs finish the job. But that initial encounter with desperate terrorists, determined to take an infidel with him, can be unnerving, and dangerous. Increasingly, large groups of terrorists are being cornered. Over the weekend, at least sixty terrorists were killed in several engagements.

The increasing amount of intelligence, from captured materials and interrogations, has also uncovered the identities of many Iraqi army and police personnel who are working for Sunni and Shia terrorist groups. The Shia militias have also been under increasing attack lately, producing much evidence of traitorous cops. As a result, dozens of security force personnel have been arrested in the last week, and accused of working for the enemy. Some worked out of conviction, but most were either bribed or blackmailed (threats of death or kidnapping of kin).


I don't know, what's the going rate to the families of suicide bombers?


Did you just claim that innocent civilians are like criminals? If not, please elaborate.


I am claiming that paying an innocent victim's family is morally better than paying the family of a suicide bomber, who in killing himself, claims scores of (as of yet unpaid) victims.

And yet muslim leaders, terror organizations and charities pay the families of suicide bombers. Which is really ridiculous.

Proof, if needed, that infidel's and lives of preceived enemies of "Islam" are also expendable.


Gee, thanks Cpt. Obvious.

This whole thing is insane. Whoever pays suicide bombers to blow up Iraqis should be taken out. Period. Now, what's all this have to do with my comment and why did you reply to it with that junk? Did you ever see me defend people paying the families of suicide bombers who go after Iraqi civilians?


Ahem, Saddam paid the families of suicide bombers. You're welcome, yours truly the US.

Edit: Oh, nevermind, you said Iraqis. Israeli civilians don't count.


This whole scenario is funny to me. Blackwater runs aggressive, because that is what saves lives. Obviously there are many ways to skin a cat, but that is what they have found works. And BTW, the pointing guns and waving off vehicles thing? That is straight DOD policy for military convoys, so why would security contractors have to play any different?

Convoy ROE: hold up your hand or wave a flag to tell them to back off,
draw down on them with weapon,
fire 2-3 rounds to their oblique as warning,
shoot for the engine,
kill the driver.

This is standard practice in every unit over there, but Blackwater is a bunch of assholes for doing the same thing.

Regarding the Sep 16 shooting: war sucks. Sometimes the wrong people die. We are talking about a society and religion where the rulebook(the Koran) states emphatically that it is perfectly fine to lie to anyone you want if they are not a Muslim, or if you decide they are supporting non-Muslims.

A Blackwater team, made up of highly experienced and qualified operators says they were attacked and returned fire, but that isn't good enough. The Muslims--who we already established have a full license to lie--say there was no attack, these guys just started shooting.

Am I the only one who sees a problem here? Of course they are asking for money, the media made a big deal of how other families have been compensated when something happened, so why wouldn't these guys ask for money too?