Democrats & Liberals Archives

Blackwater Lawlessness

Blackwater is a so-called war contractor, a corporation that does the jobs of soldiers, gets lots of money for doing it, and is not subject to all the rules and regulations promulgated by the Defense Department. Worse! Blackwater, as well as other war contractors, is not subject to U.S. Law. This means members of Blackwater can kill Iraqis without fear of penalty - and they do kill.

Blackwater personnel acting as guards to VIP in Iraq, opened fire and killed 11 Iraqis. And officials in the Bush Administration are defending their actions. This is so outrageous that the House passed a bill by a huge margin - 389 to 30 - to subject Blackwater and other private contractors working in war zones to prosecution in U.S. courts.

Rep. Sheila Jackson said:

There is simply no excuse for the de facto legal immunity for tens of thousands of individuals working in countries [on behalf of the United States].

Senate Democrats are working on a similar bill. What does President Bush do? He threatens a veto! I was going to say "Unbelievable." But nothing is unbelievable coming from Bush. He is threatening a veto over a bill that adds a little justice to our system. We can't afford to have a separate justice system - more precisely, NO justice system - for mercenaries than we have for ordinary Americans.

All senators, not merely Democrats, must vote for this bill. All senators need to speak up in favor of justice for all.

The only way to get rid of Blackwater lawlessness is to prosecute contractor personnel in U.S. courts.

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 5, 2007 6:17 PM
Comments
Comment #235408

Paul… Although I am not sure it is as ‘lawless’ over there as the picture you paint, I do have to agree with your core assertion that these Americans need to be subject to American law.

Of course the Consitution, if we chose to follow it, actually already accounts for things like this, and there is a good discussion of it over in the red column in an article written about Blackwater.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at October 5, 2007 11:04 PM
Comment #235426

Paul,

Good article. I happened upon this brief commentary by Janessa Gans, who was a U.S. official in Iraq from 2003 to 2005, in the LA Times:

I survived Blackwater
http://tinyurl.com/2wu5sx

Janessa asks, “much more appalling than the ride was the deleterious effect each movement through town had on the already beleaguered people of Iraq. I began to wonder whether my meetings, intended to further U.S. policy goals and improve the lives of Iraqis, were doing more harm than good. With our drivers honking at, cutting off, pelting with water bottles (a favorite tactic) and menacing with weapons anyone in their way, how many enemies were we creating?”

Indeed, just how many new enemies are we creating? I can’t help but think we’ve become our own worst enemy. Who’d ever have thought we Americans would be debating the use of mercenaries, extraordinary rendition, torture, etc?

Posted by: KansasDem at October 6, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #235435

KansasDem… “Who’d ever have thought we Americans would be debating the use of mercenaries, extraordinary rendition, torture, etc?”

A great question indeed…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at October 6, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #235542

Who’d ever had thought Americans would be debating US bad behaviour? Get real and open your eyes…..

http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2007/10/04/imperial-playground-the-story-of-iran-in-recent-history-by-andrew-g-marshall/

Although I suspect it’ll be too long for most Americans to trouble themselves reading it. Ignorance is bliss, specially when you’re a shining city on hill, the exceptional and virtuous US. I am deeply pessimistic for our world, given the wilful blindness and ignorance of Americans at the depravity of their government. There is an evil empire out there all right, but it’s not the one we’re told it is.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 7, 2007 8:25 PM
Comment #235546

Kansas Dem,

“Who’d ever have thought we Americans would be debating the use of mercenaries, extraordinary rendition, torture, etc?”

Who would ever thought that after the debacle Vietnam turned into, that the Majority Party of the US congress would be doing everything they could to undermine our military while we are at war?

Sheila Jackson and her fellow Democrats would like nothing better than for us to surrender in Iraq.

What they don’t address is the consequences of our defeat and what will happen to millions of the same Iraqis for whom they now profess concern.

And all for Democrat short-term political gain. Shameful.

Posted by: Snardius at October 7, 2007 9:13 PM
Comment #235553

Paul… are you implying that America is the evil empire?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at October 7, 2007 10:30 PM
Comment #235564

Doug, how could you possibly believe I am implying that the US is the evil empire? How much more explicit do I need to be? Have you read the article behind the link?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 8, 2007 6:47 AM
Comment #235573

What a silly, stupid claim…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at October 8, 2007 10:38 AM
Comment #235860

Blackwater and its “activities” in Iraq ARE NOT THE PROBLEM! THEY ARE THE CONSEQUENCES.

The worst thing any intelligent discerning person could do at this point, with the most significant presidential election in American history looming (certainly in my lifetime, anyway), is to become distracted by this kind of NOISE.

Blackwater and, indeed ALL, autrocities steming from the Bush War in Iraq are mere consequences of what can happen when an IGNORANT, CHARACTERLESS, RECKLESS FOOL and his/her band of deralic evil minions rise to the pinecle of our Federal Government.

Don’t get me wrong, as some of you will do automatically regardless, I’m not condoning or supporting any kind of lawlessness or inhumanity; but don’t focus on just the manifestations of a serious problem. FIX THE PROBLEM! Examine the character, intellect, potential competance, platforms, etc. of political candidates who seek your vote. Educate and encourage others to do the same.

NOT ELECTING, and certainly NOT allowing the Supreme Court to APPOINT, George W. Bush should have been a “no brainer” (particularly in light of the fact that GWB, himself, is a NO BRAINER).

It is appauling to me at this point in the Bush Administration that so many are still focusing on the consequences of this “man’s” administration. The US Constitituion will soon rectify the utter blunder of the Supreme Court in 2000, and the blindness and stupidity of the majority of the American electorate in 2004.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at October 11, 2007 9:26 AM
Post a comment