FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Aren’t We Banning Blackwater Here?

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

Let’s give the Iraqi puppet government some credit: At least they have the sense to delicense and order out of the country the Blackwater mercenary outfit.

The real question is why we allow them here in the US.

Recall that FEMA and Homeland Security used heavily armed Blackwater troops in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. They were seen wandering around in flak jackets and helmets, with no identifying tags, carrying heavy weapons and M-16s. It is not clear how many people they may have killed or injured in those terrible days.

Worse yet, there’s word that Homeland Security has standing contracts with Blackwater and other private mercenary firms for other “national emergency” situations in the US.

This whole concept is an affront to democracy and a grave threat to the survival of our democratic freedoms.

While the rules are often honored in the breach by officers who tape over their badges during operations, the law requires police in the US to identify themselves with badges that show their number clearly, so that if they abuse their power, people know how to file a complaint or a lawsuit, which is the only recourse they have for illegal behavior by police forces.

Police are also supposed to be trained in things like Miranda rights, civil liberties and so on. Again, while many officers go on and act like laws unto themselves, particularly in poor and minority communities, there is a presumption that they will behave in a law-abiding manner, and when they don’t it is possible to challenge them.

Not so private mercenary “police.”

Such forces have no place in any democratic society, and they have no place in ours. Nor do they have any place in American military actions overseas.

Bear in mind that the British use of Hessian mercenaries during colonial times was one of the main grievances that fired up American revolutionaries (although in fairness to the German soldiers-of-fortune, many of them eventually went AWOL and become Americans).

Why isn’t it being decried as a scandal that today America is increasingly turning over its military and its police to mercenary forces, many of whom aren’t even Americans? Blackwater, DynCorp and other such firms are hiring Israeli veterans, former South African police, and Latin American graduates of the notorious School of the Americas (Torture U) to fill out their ranks, along with veterans of such US outfits as Delta Force, Navy Seals and the Green Berets.

The Iraqis have seen close up the inhumanity and ruthlessness of these mercenary outfits, and are starting to take steps to rein them in or toss them out. Americans should demand the same here at home.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail