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Author Topic: Iraq bans Blackwater operations, all Blackwater personnel told leave immediately  (Read 17154 times)
Manedwolf
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« on: September 17, 2007, 12:45:08 AM »

Well now. This is gonna get...interesting...

Quote
(BBC)

Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

The Iraqi interior ministry said the contractor, based in North Carolina, was now banned from operating in Iraq.

The Blackwater workers, who were contracted by the US state department, apparently opened fire after coming under attack in Baghdad on Sunday.

Thousands of private security guards are employed in lawless Iraq.

They are often heavily armed, but critics say some are not properly trained and are not accountable except to their employers.

The interior ministry's director of operations, Maj Gen Abdul Karim Khalaf, said authorities would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force.

"We have opened a criminal investigation against the group who committed the crime," he told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

All Blackwater personnel have been told to leave Iraq immediately, with the exception of the men involved in the incident on Sunday.

They will have to remain the country and stand trial, the ministry said.

US investigation

The convoy carrying officials from the US state department came under attack at about 1230 local time on Sunday as it passed through Nisoor Square in the predominantly Sunni neighbourhood of Mansour.

The Blackwater security guards accompanying the convoy returned fire, killing eight people and wounding 13 others, Iraqi officials said.

Blackwater bodyguards protected ex-US civilian head Paul Bremer

Most of the dead and wounded were bystanders, the officials added. One of those killed was a policeman.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Baghdad later confirmed its security vehicles had been involved in the gunfight.

"They received small arms fire. One of the vehicles was disabled in the shooting and had to be towed from the scene," he said.

"The incident is being investigated by department of state diplomatic security service law enforcement officials in co-operation with the government of Iraq and multinational forces."

Blackwater has not yet commented on the incident.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6998788.stm
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The Rabbi
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2007, 12:59:13 AM »

I had one customer recently tell me he had a friend who had done that sort of work for a long time.  He went to Iraq and quit pretty quickly, saying people there had absolutely no clue what they were doing.
I realize that's a general hearsay 3rd hand anecdote, but it meshes with what's here.
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 01:30:02 AM »

Sad to see that shooting back is no longer approved . . .

Tell me, has the Iraqi "government" (and I use the term loosely) told the terrorists to leave the country?
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TexasRifleman
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2007, 02:54:36 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297022,00.html

Full story there, short version is they are all banned from Iraq and subject to arrest and prosecution there.

There has been lots of talk about what a bad idea Blackwater was, doing what the military traditionally did.

Can't say that I am unhappy to see them fall apart like this, it was a bad idea from the start.

My worry is now that there is nothing to do in Iraq that we'll see them used more here domestically like in Katrina etc.

Disclaimer: I know there are some BW contractors that post over at THR, this is nothing personal, just my opinion on the organization as a whole.

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Joe Demko
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 03:57:56 AM »

"Shooting back" isn't the problem, apparently.  "Shooting bystanders" is the problem according to the article.
Another 3rd hand anecdote:  A former student of mine who recently returned from Iraq (following a tour in Afghanistan) said that the Blackwater people were a "clusterf*ck waiting to happen."
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 04:02:39 AM »

A friend of mine worked with quite a few Blackwater people in Iraq over the past couple of years or so...

He's a lot LESS complimentary than anything seen here so far...
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 05:38:22 AM »

Too many of them are into "spray and pray" and "I'm bulletproof if I'm throwing enough lead." They get paid a lot, and they buy a LOT of toys... And then they want to use them. There's some real deal guys with 'em, but there are a lot more gunshop commandos...
 
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wooderson
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 06:22:04 AM »

Are mercenaries ever anything BUT bad news?
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Manedwolf
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 06:28:52 AM »

Too many of them are into "spray and pray" and "I'm bulletproof if I'm throwing enough lead." They get paid a lot, and they buy a LOT of toys... And then they want to use them. There's some real deal guys with 'em, but there are a lot more gunshop commandos...

That would be why I was dismayed to see them in the New Orleans area doing the peacekeeping thing around the camps and such.

If I was in a post-disaster area and saw a member of the US military walking around, I'd say good morning or offer them a bottle of water or coffee or such. If I saw a Blackwater merc doing the same, I'd just keep my head down and any weapons well out of sight, including just a hip-worn holster. I suspect a lot of people feel the same way.

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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2007, 06:58:16 AM »

Blackwater: When Tacticool meets Politically Corrupt.
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 07:52:35 AM »

What do you think was going to happen when your government outsources occupation duties?  According to some accounting math it is cheaper to hire merc than it is to put on full time grunts.  Count me skeptical.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2007, 08:28:40 AM »

You know, this really isn't politics, so I'm going to shift it over to Roundtable.
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2007, 08:35:38 AM »

Quote
According to some accounting math it is cheaper to hire merc than it is to put on full time grunts.
But that's almost always the rule: for someone to make money in the outsourcing process, something has to be shorted. 'Efficiency' is a curious code word.
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2007, 01:51:16 PM »

A buddy of mine is DSS.  They apparently hire Blackwater at times to provide support to the actual DSS guys when on State Dep't. escorts, protective details and such.

The convoy in this case (per the story) was State Dep't.

I don't know any details beyond the news story but the need for manpower isn't going to "go away" and I don't think the Army is going to be able to supply support if they couldn't before.  So a new contractor will probably step in and things will continue as before.
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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2007, 01:59:16 PM »

What do you think was going to happen when your government outsources occupation duties?  According to some accounting math it is cheaper to hire merc than it is to put on full time grunts.  Count me skeptical.

It isn't (and wasn't) about dollars, it is (and was) about bodies. Remember, the U.S. doesn't really have enough soldiers to support even the number we now have in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only way they can pull it off is by sending the same guys/units back with far less time between deployments than ever before, and longer deployments than ever before ... topped off by stop loss ("Yes, your term of enlistment is over but you don't get to go home. Tough ... read the fine print.") So we "outsourced" a lot of the jobs/tasks/roles that in previous times would have been handled by the military.
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2007, 02:03:13 PM »

Quote
"said that the Blackwater people were a "clusterf*ck waiting to happen."

Corruption associated with Bush's war, do tell.... rolleyes

I've always put more faith in the honest "I was there, I dealt with these folks" type of reports than anything the media or the government has ever told me.  Like in big corporations, the analysts put more faith in what the employee base says compared to what the PR department spews.

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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2007, 02:14:58 PM »

Sad to see that shooting back is no longer approved . . .

Tell me, has the Iraqi "government" (and I use the term loosely) told the terrorists to leave the country?

Shooting back is approved.  Shooting bystanders is not approved.  Shooting at Iraqi or American soldiers is not approved.  I won't even touch on the subject of looting and various other activities Blackwater employees have been known to commit.  From most of the soldiers I know who worked anywhere near them, Blackwater security personnel are not people you'd want to trust with training sims, live ammo being completely out of the question.  A lot of the instructors are decent folks.  The self-proclaimed "operators", generally not. 

I don't like mercs.  Actual security personnel ain't bad.  I actually came in contact with plenty of decent security folks who understood their jobs.  They didn't pretend to be soldiers, their exclusive job was to keep whoever was paying them alive.  That's it.

My only gripe about the Iraqi decision to ban Blackwater and all Blackwater personnel is that the US hasn't passed a similiar law.
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longeyes
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2007, 03:41:15 PM »

Blackwater was doing jobs we apparently don't have the military manpower to handle.

I suspect it will end up being done by Blackwater's subsidiary, Whitewater.
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Sergeant Bob
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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2007, 03:52:45 PM »

Well, Blackwater gets banned, some other firm takes over, needs more manpower, hires all the laid off Blackwater guys......
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2007, 04:40:23 PM »

Privatization of war is simply wrong. When the most formidable military power in the history of the world spends hundreds of millions of $$ to employ mercenaries to engage in secret activities it becomes criminal.  And since more than one person is involved, this is a criminal conspiracy, yet there will be no indictments because the overseers, the trustees, are themselves participants in the crimes.

The primary purpose here is to transfer massive amounts of public wealth into private hands; to rob the treasury.   That has been successfully accomplished, to the tune of billions of dollars.   The secondary purpose is to make an end run around the entire military chain of command/protocol/ROE system. The administration gets its own private army to do its will without question and without barriers such as the Geneva Convention or the UCMJ.

They've mostly gotten away with it, too.  These 'subcontractors' have committed acts in Iraq that would get them life imprisonment, if not the the death sentence, had they done the same things in this country.

GWB is CIC of the U.S. military.  Nowhere in the Constitution is he granted the power to hire a private army of thugs to do his will, like some Columbian drug lord (at least Columbian drug lords use their own money)

The U.S. Congress is complicit in this conspiracy because they've been writing the checks and completely neglecting their oversight responsibilities.  The result is that the U.S. government has become a criminal enterprise, yet there will be no prosecutions because we are all asleep.

Our decline has begun, we've lost any moral authority we once had (earned at the expense of the blood of millions of real patriots).  Thanks, GWB, you've done more damage to this country in 8 years than all of our enemies over the past 232 years.  May you burn in hell.
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Manedwolf
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2007, 05:05:25 PM »

Hopefully DynCorp won't get the replacement contracts. Their running of a child sex ring in Bosnia showed what their ethics are like.
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2007, 06:20:33 PM »

You know, some old people got kind of mad about this some 200 odd years ago. They even wrote about it....

Quote from: Declaration of Independence
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

I think that was one of the many reasons they did that whole revolution thingy.


It scares me when the government starts using private armies to do their bidding. You can see that same thing in past governments that went from a democracy/republic to fascism.
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Matthew Carberry
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« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2007, 07:27:19 PM »

What exactly was Blackwater doing that was "secret" or not accountable to military/government, thus ultimately civil, authority?  rolleyes

Don't overreach here, if they were performing contract labor for DoD or State those contracts are/were most certainly NOT secret, open to FOID, and fully under the purview of our elected representatives in Congress (civil authority).
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2007, 08:05:31 PM »



Our decline has begun, we've lost any moral authority we once had (earned at the expense of the blood of millions of real patriots).  Thanks, GWB, you've done more damage to this country in 8 years than all of our enemies over the past 232 years.  May you burn in hell.
You're forgetting the kittens... rolleyes
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Joe Demko
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« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2007, 10:54:52 PM »

American private security companies have a history of violence and being hazardous to bystanders.  Study up on the Pinkertons sometime and Blackwater won't seem at all unusual.
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