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Blackwater Reaches Deal on U.S. Export Violations

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posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 05:36 AM
Article by the remarkable James Risen in yesterdays NYT...

The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in south Sudan and providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers, according to company and government officials familiar with the deal.

As an aid to discussion I would like to add the following link. I am aware that when reading the Risen article linked to above, one might say " so what? that's peanuts". But this seems to be one of the dangers that experts have been warning about. Peter Singer, one of the worlds greatest experts on the subject, has been writing about the issue of "lost control" induced by the deployment of PMC's long before these issues really came up. To quote a passage from him:

Still more worrisome from a policy standpoint is the question of lost control. Even when contractors do military jobs, they remain private businesses and thus fall outside the military chain of command and justice systems. Unlike military units, PMFs retain a choice over which contracts they will take and can abandon or suspend operations for any reason, including if they become too dangerous or unprofitable; their employees, unlike soldiers, can always choose to walk off the job. Such freedom can leave the military in the lurch, as has occurred several times already in Iraq: during periods of intense violence, numerous private firms delayed, suspended, or ended their operations, placing great stress on U.S. troops. On other occasions, PMF employees endured even greater risks and dangers than their military equivalents. But military operations do not have room for such mixed results.

So what do you think? Is this the genius of the market setting things straight or is Blackwater starting to cross lines that bring up the question of whom they are working for exactly? Are they following the leads of profit? Or are they following their own agenda`? Or do they only take jobs that have been cleared by some Pentagon-officials nod?
What's the threat here? Covert US policy or corporate policy? And how would we, the public, ever come to learn th difference?

[edit on 22-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]

posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 07:55 AM
Good to see some light shining on this dark entity.

I think people are afraid of what Blackwater is doing, to the point of avoiding the whole can of worms.

posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by NichirasuKenshin

from article:
But by paying fines rather than facing criminal charges on the export violations, Blackwater will be able to continue to obtain government contracts.

That's just plain sick!

The Protocol Additional GC 1977 (APGC77) provides the most widely accepted international definition of a mercenary, though not endorsed by some countries, including the United States. The Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, (Protocol I), 8 June 1977 states:

Art 47. Mercenaries

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.
2. A mercenary is any person who:
(a) is especially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;
(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;
(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;
(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;
(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and
(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.

The US totally has double standards regarding who is and who is not a lawful combatant. Blackwater and other "contractors" have been caught and held in countries where they were bringing arms and military equipment to support coups.

I think the US should sign the protocol and quit all the outsourcing to mercenaries. Already private corporations have way to much access to top secret info. When it comes down to it, only the American citizen is left out of the loop as far as knowing what's going on. No informed democracy, no accountability.

[edit on 22-8-2010 by pthena]

posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 01:41 PM
reply to post by pthena

Interesting notion you got there. That's a further implications of PMC's that should be discussed: the one-sidedness of the discussion.

Also... Isn't it tragic that no matter what sort of corruption or criminal behavior these companies engage in, they never seem to get excluded from the gravy train.

In a better world a company like Blackwater would have gone Bankrupt because of such news. But it doesn't really matter. As long as the crimes are "individual mistakes" they will just go on making millions off of our taxes. Basically the only way Blackwater can go bust is if they incriminate themselves - as long as they're bold enough to come up with ridiculous cop-outs Washington will keep on throwing millions towards them.

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