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Congress Report On Blackwater Released  
User currently offlineZak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8
Posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1455 times:

http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20071001121609.pdf


some interesting quotes:

Quote:
In over 80% of the shooting incidents, however, Blackwater reports that its forces fired the first shots.



Quote:
Costs to Taxpayers. Using Blackwater instead of U.S. troops to protect embassy officials
is expensive. Blackwater charges the government$.I,222 per day for the services of a private
military contractor. This is equivalent to $445,000 per year, over six times more than the cost of
an equivalent U.S. soldier. In total, Blackwater has received over $1 billion in federal contracts
from 2001 through 2006, including more than $832 million under two contracts with the State
Department to provide protective services in Iraq.



Quote:
The Blackwater and State Department records reveal that Blackwater's use of force in
Iraq is frequent and extensive, resulting in significant casualties and property damage.
Blackwater is legally and contractually bound to only engage in defensive uses of force to
prevent "imminent and grave danger" to themselves or others.2t In practice, however, the vast
majority of Blackwater weapons discharges are preemptive, with Blackwater forces firing first at
a vehicle or suspicious individual prior to receiving any fire.



10=2
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB752fanatic From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 918 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1453 times:

Everything started because the gunfire that erupted in the Baghdad street killing dozens of innocent civilians. Reports indicate that an car engine backfired and so the Blackwater agents, thought they were being shot at.

They were shooting at innocent civilians, a woman and her infant son died. Also apparently one of the blackwater commanders told one of them to stop shooting, but the guy didn't want to stop, he was so into to it he even put the gun to the commander.



"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain
User currently offlineZak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1439 times:

Quoting B752fanatic (Reply 1):
Everything started because the gunfire that erupted in the Baghdad street killing dozens of innocent civilians. Reports indicate that an car engine backfired and so the Blackwater agents, thought they were being shot at.

They were shooting at innocent civilians, a woman and her infant son died. Also apparently one of the blackwater commanders told one of them to stop shooting, but the guy didn't want to stop, he was so into to it he even put the gun to the commander.

have you actually read the report before replying? it is not about single incidents, even though alot of them were analyzed.
it is about congress summarizing that blackwater consistently defies their defined mission borders and constantly acts as agressor.
now, given that the united states congress has access to a significant amount of information and accounts, of whom all were synthesized into this report, some people might just consider that report more credible than the "reasoning" commonly brought forward as to why they have to kill people all over the place.

i have caught alot of flak on here for basically stating that blackwater is to be considered a reckless, lawless mercenary organization that is involved in killing of civillians. i am happy that the united states congress comes to a similar conclusion after researching this issue.



10=2
User currently offlineB752fanatic From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 918 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1429 times:

Well, my point is if that wouldn't have had happened, they wouldn't have done anything. Yes hopefully companies like "Blackwater" won't continue to operate around the world.


"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain
User currently offlineZak From Greenland, joined Sep 2003, 1993 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1427 times:

Quoting B752fanatic (Reply 3):
Yes hopefully companies like "Blackwater" won't continue to operate around the world.

agreed, on so many accounts. not only "from the left" but also from the "right", as costs and other issues seem to make the use contraproductive.



10=2
User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1412 times:

Quoting Zak (Thread starter):
some interesting quotes:

Quote:
In over 80% of the shooting incidents, however, Blackwater reports that its forces fired the first shots.

Meaningless statistic. Just because you shoot first doesn't mean it wasn't a defensive engagement.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21522 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1385 times:

What's even more disturbing is that the US government has made no attempts to hold the mercenary forces accountable for their screwups and even attempted to cover them up - which indicates that that may exactly be the point: Having a "shadow army" outside of cumbersome democratic control and oversight...

User currently offlineWingnut767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1380 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
What's even more disturbing is that the US government has made no attempts to hold the mercenary forces accountable for their screwups and even attempted to cover them up - which indicates that that may exactly be the point: Having a "shadow army" outside of cumbersome democratic control and oversight

That does seem to be commonplace in the world over the years, not just the US. And it is wrong. I am not comfortable with the farming out of security to a private organization. Especially if it is controlled from someone in the Government. Not that i am saying that blackwater is but if they are then....


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21522 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1377 times:

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 7):
That does seem to be commonplace in the world over the years, not just the US.

At least in Germany it would simply be unconstitutional. Military defense is a public responsibility which cannot be transferred to a private organisation.


User currently offlineWingnut767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1361 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 7):
That does seem to be commonplace in the world over the years, not just the US.

At least in Germany it would simply be unconstitutional. Military defense is a public responsibility which cannot be transferred to a private organisation.

I think that even though it is unconstitutional it probably still happens more that we would like. That being a shadow organasation operating without the knowledge of the public.

Has there been much change to the German constitution regarding the military since it was redone after the war. Or has it changed any with the end of the cold war and Germany partaking in more NATO missions overseas. I guess a good post would be to see how the EU effects the individual countries military mission?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21522 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1347 times:

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 9):
Has there been much change to the German constitution regarding the military since it was redone after the war. Or has it changed any with the end of the cold war and Germany partaking in more NATO missions overseas.

The Bundeswehr was formerly destined strictly for defense. No exceptions allowed.

The delay and hesitation in our participation in the balkan war has to do with both the necessary change of our constitution (which was hotly debated but ultimately went through) and with the fact that the Reichswehr and the SS had wreaked havoc in that same area during WWII.

We've been changing the role of our military very cautiously, but the balkan massacres and later the taliban-supported 9-11 attacks made it necessary to make readjustments.

The cold war is over, and Germany is no longer a frontline state but is surrounded by partners in peace.

We've gone from two armies on hostile sides of the iron curtain to a unified army and from a western defense army (the eastern one had a much more aggressive mission) on the way to an out-of-area mission-capable one.

The german army is still definitely a parliamentary army (not deployable at a whim of the executive) and its legitimacy cannot be transferred to a private for-profit organisation. Our Constitutional Court would be invoked immediately and is certain to stifle any such attempt right away.

Quoting Wingnut767 (Reply 9):
I guess a good post would be to see how the EU effects the individual countries military mission?

Almost not at all. Our armies are still fully under the respective national control (jointly in the case of the franco-german brigade) and the EU simply has no military executive. We use NATO for joint operations (although if the course of the Bush administration was(!) continued, a separate alternative to the US-controlled NATO would probably have emerged at some point).

There will probably be an increased tendency for EU integration in the form of mutual coordination, but a central military EU command with actual authority over all national armies is and remains extremely unlikely.

Back to the topic: Europe was ravaged by marauding mercenary groups and other factions for 30 years in the middle of the last millenium (and some of the devastation has visible consequences to this very day), so there is a much larger public reluctance to permit mercenaries to run wild as they're apparently doing in Iraq. The concept has no innocence or attraction for central europeans - and given that their "services" are outrageously expensive to boot, restrictive military budgets don't leave financial room for this kind of adventure, even if the respective government had any chance in hell of surviving the discovery...


User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1340 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
The delay and hesitation in our participation in the balkan war has to do with both the necessary change of our constitution (which was hotly debated but ultimately went through) and with the fact that the Reichswehr and the SS had wreaked havoc in that same area during WWII.

What kind of Grundgesetz changes do you have in your mind?


pelican

P.S. The German armed forces were called Wehrmacht not Reichswehr by that time.


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