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

 

More articles by:

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).

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castille’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail