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Citizens disarmed, but private security with M-16's?

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posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 03:27 PM
A Georgia-based doctor and military veteran who blogs under the name Otter has been down in the disaster zone the last few days, and he has seen the private Blackwater security forces everywhere. He wrote yesterday from a police precinct house in New Orleans:

Blackwater Security is here--clean, well-equipped, and armed to the teeth.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I'm not at triage point. It was closed down last night--too few survivors now. I'm at a NOPD precinct office. Mission is now to care for Cops/Fire/Rescue. They are running on fumes, but deny anything is wrong.

Main problems are podiatric and psych. Psych self-explanatory. Feet problems due to toxic soup. Two NOPD dogs drank from flood water--dead within hours. Cops have chemical burns on exposed skin.

Blackwater Security is here--clean, well-equipped, and armed to the teeth.

2 cop suicides so far. I was told by "head" doc that one was a search & rescue guy who went home to find family drowned.

Tragic stories abound--more tonight

The Washington Post:

North Carolina-based Blackwater USA, for example, has 150 security personnel in the Gulf Coast region. The company, which provided personal security for the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority and continues to have a large presence in Iraq, began by donating the services of a helicopter crew to help the Coast Guard with rescue efforts. But it since has added commercial clients that either have buildings in the region, such as hotels, or are sending employees there to help with the reconstruction.

"The calls came flooding in. It's not something that we went down and tried to develop," said Chris Taylor, Blackwater's vice president for strategic initiatives.

ArmorGroup International, a British company, has about 50 employees in the Gulf Coast. Most of the work came from existing clients that wanted security quickly as looters ran rampant through New Orleans last week, according to George Connell, president of the firm's McLean-based North American division.

Although it's not likely to become a major source of business, private-sector firms that specialize in rapid response to dangerous situations probably can have more of a role in a domestic disaster's wake, said Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association, a trade group.

"I think a lot of people are complaining about how long it took the federal government. But certainly these private companies are always ready to go," he said.

Peter W. Singer, an expert on private military contractors at the Brookings Institution, said he thinks the presence of such firms is "overkill" when firms that perform more conventional security work are available.

"This is not a war zone. The potential threats that might be faced are not insurgents armed with mortars and machine guns attacking convoys," he said. "This was basically looters and a small number of ne'er-do-wells taking potshots."

As the blog Attytood points out to counter Blackwater's non-solicitiation claim: "If that's the case, why did Blackwater put out
this news release one week ago offering its services in New Orleans...presumably not all free of charge?"

He goes on to write:

"We don't begrudge the existence of a private security company like Blackwater. But what does bother us is how quickly what was supposed to be a disaster relief effort turned so quickly into Gulf War III, the French Quarter now a Green Zone. At the very same time that Blackwater was offering its services in New Orleans, workers from the American Red Cross and other agencies carrying food supplies, not M-16s, were turned away.

Is the large Blackwater presence yet another sign that our National Guard and military -- who are supposed to perform the same functions, but under more clearcut marching orders -- are now stretched too thin? Or a dramatic symbol of something more sinister, a society that now views every problem as one to point semi-automatics first, ask questions later.

Either way, we don't like it.

As key threads here have illustrated, the first moves toward normalcy are supported with machine guns and barbed wire?
David Bowie singing " not" has been looping in my head since reading this......again.

posted on Sep, 9 2005 @ 04:01 PM

The disarming of citizens in NO is being discussed here:

Please repost or add you thoughts to that discussion.


PS: Bowie's "I'm afraid of Americans" has been running through my head for some time...

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