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Thread: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

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    Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    More trouble for Blackwater...

    Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died
    By MARK MAZZETTI and JAMES RISEN
    November 10, 2009
    New York Times

    WASHINGTON — Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.

    Blackwater approved the cash payments in December 2007, the officials said, as protests over the deadly shootings in Nisour Square stoked long-simmering anger inside Iraq about reckless practices by the security company’s employees. American and Iraqi investigators had already concluded that the shootings were unjustified, top Iraqi officials were calling for Blackwater’s ouster from the country, and company officials feared that Blackwater might be refused an operating license it would need to retain its contracts with the State Department and private clients, worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Not to support Blackwater, but isn't that what we call political donating?
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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    For purely tactical and strategic reasons, I have a fundamental opposition to Blackwater and companies like them in war zones with little or no accountability.

    I believe there is a place for them, but not NEARLY in the capacity to which we allow(ed).

    1. They are not accountable to anyone for their actions.
    2. Iraqis see them as part of the the occupation and Coalition and not separate from the uniformed services, which hurts the military when they misbehave.
    3. During the war, U.S. military organizations owned "battlespace" in which they were accountable for all actions inside those geographically designated areas. Private security contractors conducted missions and operated in that battlespace without coordination or communication with the "land owning" U.S., British and Iraqi forces. This led to severe command and control problems, not to mention security forces having to "clean up" the messes of private security contractors that they weren't responsible for.
    4. Each military unit that owns battlespace has a meticulously crafted "campaign plan" that outlines the very specific measures needed to be taken by the Coalition military and civilian enablers. This include lethal and non-lethal operations, information operations, media coverage, stability operations and governance assistance. Any variations from this campaign plan could result in a mission failure. The sole existence of rogue security firms operating in the area runs the risk of compromising the carefully crafted objectives of the campaign plan and run great risk for the military units responsible.

    Escort missions are one thing. Kinetic operations are another. Blackwater and those of their stripe blurred the lines often and caused a great deal of stress for military units trying to conduct COIN and Stability Operations.

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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    For purely tactical and strategic reasons, I have a fundamental opposition to Blackwater and companies like them in war zones with little or no accountability.

    I believe there is a place for them, but not NEARLY in the capacity to which we allow(ed).

    1. They are not accountable to anyone for their actions.
    2. Iraqis see them as part of the the occupation and Coalition and not separate from the uniformed services, which hurts the military when they misbehave.
    3. During the war, U.S. military organizations owned "battlespace" in which they were accountable for all actions inside those geographically designated areas. Private security contractors conducted missions and operated in that battlespace without coordination or communication with the "land owning" U.S., British and Iraqi forces. This led to severe command and control problems, not to mention security forces having to "clean up" the messes of private security contractors that they weren't responsible for.
    4. Each military unit that owns battlespace has a meticulously crafted "campaign plan" that outlines the very specific measures needed to be taken by the Coalition military and civilian enablers. This include lethal and non-lethal operations, information operations, media coverage, stability operations and governance assistance. Any variations from this campaign plan could result in a mission failure. The sole existence of rogue security firms operating in the area runs the risk of compromising the carefully crafted objectives of the campaign plan and run great risk for the military units responsible.

    Escort missions are one thing. Kinetic operations are another. Blackwater and those of their stripe blurred the lines often and caused a great deal of stress for military units trying to conduct COIN and Stability Operations.
    I don't believe that there is any place within our military operations for Blackwater, or any org like them.

    IMO, I think the US needs to create a foreign legion, a copy of the French Foreign Legion. The Blackwater types can join that unit and do their thing.
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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    I don't believe that there is any place within our military operations for Blackwater, or any org like them.

    IMO, I think the US needs to create a foreign legion, a copy of the French Foreign Legion. The Blackwater types can join that unit and do their thing.
    Private Security Contractors do missions that would take up manpower from the military; like diplomatic escort, local political escort, etc. Our guys still pick up some of the slack on this. But when they start targeting and hunting, they give us a real headache.

    The accountability thing is something I can't get over.

    FFL? American Foriegn Legion...THAT would be pretty cool.

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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    I don't believe that there is any place within our military operations for Blackwater, or any org like them.

    IMO, I think the US needs to create a foreign legion, a copy of the French Foreign Legion. The Blackwater types can join that unit and do their thing.
    What the hell does Blackwater do that the military can't?
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    Private Security Contractors do missions that would take up manpower from the military; like diplomatic escort, local political escort, etc. Our guys still pick up some of the slack on this. But when they start targeting and hunting, they give us a real headache.

    The accountability thing is something I can't get over.

    FFL? American Foriegn Legion...THAT would be pretty cool.
    I understand their role as private security, but I was referring to actual operations.

    An American Foreign legion would be cool as hell. Too bad you and I couldn't join.



    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    What the hell does Blackwater do that the military can't?
    Nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Not to support Blackwater, but isn't that what we call political donating?
    Depends on whether the US Atty in your district likes you or not. If they don't, it's called a violation of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act.

    Since the article doesn't include many details, I can't say where I think this one would come down. However, this is by no means a rare occurrence in the corporate world, especially where corporations deal with less than savory regimes.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Depends on whether the US Atty in your district likes you or not. If they don't, it's called a violation of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act.

    Since the article doesn't include many details, I can't say where I think this one would come down. However, this is by no means a rare occurrence in the corporate world, especially where corporations deal with less than savory regimes.
    Can the US DA regulate what monies are given to foreign governments?
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    I understand their role as private security, but I was referring to actual operations.

    An American Foreign legion would be cool as hell. Too bad you and I couldn't join.





    Nothing.
    Then the military should start doing it.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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