In 1904, Thorstein Veblen the renowned American economist mentioned in The Theory of Business Enterprise that Businesses protect their existing capital investments and employ excessive credit, leading to depressions and increasing military expenditure and war through business control of political power. Although his book concerned more about how consumption, capitalism and resulting business practices were intertwined, it drew my attention to another bit of information i was exposed to recently…namely, the Senate report about security contracters in Afghanistan.
According to politico.com private security contractors, backed by the Defense Department, of the United States, has been funneling U.S cash to Afghan warlords involved in murder, kidnapping and other crimes. The report also reveals that U.S. cash was being funneled not only to warlords but the Taliban, and anti-coalition activities. So the U.S. finds itself actually funding people that are undermining the entire coalition operation as well as the Taliban.
This is not the first time that Private Security contractors have been in the limelight, for the wrong reasons. What are private security contractors? These are private companies that offer military and security services, and personnel/soldiers working for these companies are called mercenaries, although they shy away from the term!
Since 1994, the U.S. Defence Department has entered into 3601 contracts worth over $300 billion with 12 U.S based Private Military Companies. It is an effective cost cutting measure, but it is a troubling trend, since many of these private companies are not accountable to a legislative body, and may cost more than the military providing the same functions. Also PMC’s have contibuted approx $12.4 million, for presidential and congressional campaigns which says a lot by itself.
The United Nations in one of its 2 year studies deemed that the use of private contractors like Blackwater by the US performing military activities, besides so called “security” functions amounted to ‘a new form of mercenary activity’ and it is illegal under international law.
In 2005 one of the employees for Aegis Defence Services, namely Danny Heydenreycher shot a video of himself shooting at Iraqi civilians, with Elvis Preslay, playing in the background. Also the Iraqi Govt has revoked the licence for American security firm Blackwater, over the firms involvement in the death of 8 civilians.
In September 2007 U.S Federal prosecutors announced an inverstigation into allegations that Blackwater employees had smuggled weapons into Iraq, which were transferred to the Kurdistan Nationalist Party, deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States.
“Mark Manzetti, writing in the New York Times on August 19, 2009, reported that the CIA had hired Blackwater “as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda.”. Newly appointed CIA director Leon Panetta had recently acknowledged a planned secret assassination program, one withheld from Congressional oversight. Manzetti’s sources, which tied the assassination program to Blackwater, declined to have their names made public. The CIA was acting on a 2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts. Several million dollars were spent on planning and training, but it was never operationalized and no militants were caught or captured.Jeremy Scahill reported in The Nationin November 2009 that Blackwater operate alongside the CIA in Pakistan in “snatch and grab” operations targeting senior members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The report cited an unnamed source who has worked on covert US military programs, who revealed that senior members of the Obama administration may not be aware that Blackwater is operating under a US contract in Pakistan. A former Blackwater executive confirmed that they operate covertly in Pakistan. A spokesman for Blackwater denied the claims, stating that they have “only one employee in Pakistan.”In December 2009, the CIA canceled their contract with Blackwater to load bombs onto drone aircraft in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
“In June 2009, an amended lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, alleging that Blackwater employees shot and killed three members of an Iraqi family, including a nine-year-old boy, who were traveling from the Baghdad airport to Baghdad on July 1, 2007. The suit also alleges that Blackwater employees used three company aircraft to kidnap Iraqi citizens from Iraq and further accuses the company of engaging in weapons smuggling, money laundering, tax evasion, child prostitution, illegal drug use and destruction of evidence. The child prostitution charge refers to young Iraqi girls allegedly being brought to the Blackwater compound in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, identified in the lawsuit as the “Blackwater Man Camp,” to provide oral sex to contractors for $1. If the court rules against Xe on the racketeering account, it could dissolve the company.”
Blackwater also known as Xe now provides military training to security forces in many countries, without the authorisation of the U.S. Government. The Commitee on Oversight and Governement Reform Staff report, describes Blackwater/ Xe “being staffed with reckless, shoot-first guards who were not always sober and did not always stop to see who or what was hit by their bullets.”
The most absurd part of it all…the cofounder for Blackwater objected to the term mercenaries, that was used to describe Blackwater employees, calling them loyal Americans. Of course they are…!! trigger happy and corrupt to the bone…yes…but ‘loyal’ Americans !
Very enlightening information at the following links, also the comments on one of these articles, by a couple of readers cheering anarchy, is disturbing as it is hilarious because its not very bright or original…the same pseudo intellectual- Nietzche reading teenager that spews out crap from semi processed information, presumably by pea sized brain…