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This is Just Bad. Period.

October 2, 2010

There’s just no other way to view it. This story is all over the internet and twitter.

Our over-reliance on private contractors serves the purpose of keeping the military industrial complex rich, fat and happy while preventing the need to institute a draft to enable us to continue to fight in these wars and maintain our long-term presence in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq (not to mention Yemen, Pakistan etc.). Unfortunately we have apparently contracted out a good deal of our intelligence functions and it seems like our diplomatic services have become quite militarized. Yes, I understand the diplomatic corp needs security but you would think that Blackwater and all it’s little shell companies and subsidiaries would be persona non grata at this point, considering all the abuses and controversies (including this most recent one) surrounding their thuggish, mercenary tactics. And then there is the legality aspect- what is the role of private mercenary armies in war zones, anyway? Where is the oversight?

And all of this is being paid for by We The Taxpayers. Where is the outrage from the fiscal conservatives?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. SpfcMarcus permalink
    October 2, 2010 9:53 am

    This is terrible. Those of us in the military who are in combat zones are getting peanuts in terms of pay while these drug-addled, testosterone bags are getting paid 100 times what we are to do what we should be doing. And they do a real shitty job to boot. As Stacy said, these guys prevent your sons and daughters from being drafted to combat zones so they can go to college instead. So it’s a win win for the government and the MIC (military industrial complex).

    Before someone comes along and says something like ‘but someone has to protect the diplomats and civilians’ let me let you in on a little secret- these f@ckers cause us real problems in Iraq and Afghanistan. The civilian population fears and hates them with good reason- they are totally trigger happy and operate with little to no oversight because they are considered indespensible. They run around in military-style uniforms so the civilians we are supposed to be protecting often can’t tell the difference between Steroid Bob and me for example. These guys are responsible for almost as much anti-American sentiment and terror recruiting as the drone strikes in Pakistan.

    I really respected Hillary when she came out in 2008 and stood up to the MIC and said these assholes had to be reigned in and in many situations, kicked out totally because she understood the damage they were causing. I’m really disappointed that under her watch at State she is letting them back in in such a sneaky way- she’s clearly trying to prevent the public from knowing it’s actually Blackwater behind all these shell companies. I think her friendship with Secretary Gates is causing his pro-military sentiment to rub off on her when instead she should be keeping a clear division between the military and the diplomatic force.

    If we don’t have enough people to fight wars and protect civilians diplomats then we need to rethink our policies.

    This makes me so fucking angry.

    • October 2, 2010 10:33 am

      Thanks for your input Marcus. Part of me didn’t want to even post this. I don’t enjoy finding stories that cast Hillary in an unflattering light but at the same time, these issues matter and no one is above any [constructive] criticism. Last night I wrote about this but I didn’t publish the post because this morning I re-read it and it was pretty harsh and I realize the issue is a bit more complex than it appears.

      On the one hand, Secretary Clinton faces a difficult situation- we have created embassies the size of Vatican City (no joke- that’s how big the new Iraq Embassy complex is) in these war zones and it is almost like spitting in the face of the countries we occupied. They resent our presence and yet we have left a lasting monument to the fact that we will be involved in every aspect of their lives and you can be damn sure a lot of it has to do with a) oil and b) maintaining military base of operations in the region to fight present and future wars. And we need diplomats and civilians to occupy those huge embassies and they deserve some security.

      If Clinton doesn’t approve these defense contractors she may not have anyone else to do it, but the question is, after all their crimes, fraud and abuse, why Blackwater? Also, not only has the Obama administration not only NOT cut down our use of these private contractors, they have increased our use of them. See here:

      As someone who opposed the Iraq War, I feel like this is one of those things that is the logical result of our foreign policy and military policy. Our politicians have once again escaped accountability for their poor planning and failure to see the long-term consequences of our actions. When the Obama admin. was considering whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan, guess who was lobbying them hard to do so? Defense contractors. It really is War Inc. Even putting aside issues of legality, morality and ethics, it isn’t even economically smart policy. We’ve wasted billions on fraudulent contracts.

      Now we are stuck and no politician (except Charlie Rangle) has the guts to admit that our reliance on them is to prevent the politically unpopular step of instituting a draft. I just wish that the media had allowed more of an open dialogue in the run-up to the Iraq War about all these likely consequences rather than just painting those of us who opposed the war as a bunch of unpatriotic hippies. Do the American people realize that when our political leaders offer them war without any sacrifice and instead just tell us to go shopping, something isn’t quite right? That it’s just not realistic and that there is ALWAYS a price to be paid? Gone are the days of FDR when our leaders DEMANDED sacrifice from all of society, not just those that were sent to fight (and their families). I support a war tax too, but our politicians don’t have the stomach for that either. So much for the deficit hawks.

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