Why Aren’t We Banning Blackwater Here?



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).

December 01, 2015
John Wight
From Iraq to Syria: Repeating a Debacle
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: the Left Takes Charge
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Revenge? The Fight for the Border
Sami Al-Arian
My Ordeal: One of America’s Many Political Trials Since 9/11
Steffen Böhm
Why the Paris Climate Talks Will Fail, Just Like All the Others
Gilbert Mercier
Will Turkey Be Kicked Out of NATO?
Bilal El-Amine
The Hard Truth About Daesh and How to Fight It
Pete Dolack
Solidarity Instead of Hierarchy as “Common Sense”
Dan Glazebrook
Rhodes Must Fall: Decolonizing Education
Colin Todhunter
Big Oil, TTIP and the Scramble for Europe
Eric Draitser
Terror in Mali: An Attack on China and Russia?
Linn Washington Jr.
Torture and Other Abuses Make Turkey as American as Apple Pie
Randy Shaw
Krugman is Wrong on Gentrification
Raouf Halaby
Time to Speak Out Against Censorship
Jesse Jackson
It’s Time for Answers in Laquan McDonald Case
Patrick Walker
Wake Up Zombie, Kick Up a Big Stink!
November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Uri Avnery
There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Patrick Cockburn
Nasty Surprises: the Problem With Bombing ISIS
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Bill Blunden
Glenn Greenwald Stands by the Official Narrative
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Karen Lee Wald
Inside the Colombia Peace Deal
Geoff Dutton
War in Our Time
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism