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  #1  
Old 02-24-2008, 05:03 AM
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Gladiator Gladiator is offline
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Default Blackwater Worldwide

Formerly Blackwater USA, is a self-described private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark. It has alternatively been referred to as a security contractor or a mercenary organization by numerous reports in the international media. Blackwater is based in the U.S. state of North Carolina, where it operates a tactical training facility that it claims is the world's largest. The company trains more than 40,000 people a year, from U.S. or foreign military and police services, as well as other U.S. government agencies. The training consists of military offensive and defensive operations, as well as smaller scale personnel security. Technologies used and techniques trained are not limited by U.S. domestic law, although it is unclear what legal status Blackwater operates under in the U.S. and other countries, or what protection the U.S. extends to Blackwater operations globally.

Blackwater is currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors, providing a total of 987 contractors. Of the 987 provided, 744 are U.S. citizens.At least 90 percent of its revenue comes from government contracts, two-thirds of which are no-bid contracts.

On March 31, 2004, four Blackwater Security Consulting (BSC) employees were ambushed and killed in Fallujah, and their bodies were hung on a bridge to cheering Iraqi crowds. In a response to this, U.S. forces attacked the city of Fallujah.

On September 16, 2007, Blackwater employees in Nisour Square, Baghdad shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians, at least 14 of whom were killed "without cause" according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Blackwater Worldwide is currently contracted by the United States government to provide security services in the Iraq War. In October 2007, Blackwater USA rebranded themselves as Blackwater Worldwide.
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2008, 05:08 AM
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Default Legal status and oversight of Blackwater Worldwide

Blackwater's license to operate in Iraq was revoked by the Iraqi Government on September 17, 2007, resulting from a highly contentious incident that occurred the previous day during which seventeen (initially reported as eleven) Iraqis were killed. The fatalities occurred while a Blackwater Private Security Detail (PSD) was escorting a convoy of U.S. State Department vehicles en route to a meeting in western Baghdad with United States Agency for International Development officials. The US State Department has said that "innocent life was lost." An anonymous U.S. military official was quoted as saying that Blackwater's guards opened fire without provocation and used excessive force. The incident has sparked at least 5 investigations, with the FBI now saying it will begin a probe. Blackwater helicopters were dispatched to evacuate the Polish ambassador following an insurgent assassination attempt on October 3, 2007.

On October 2, 2007 Erik Prince was subject to a congressional hearing conducted by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform following the controversy related to Blackwater's conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blackwater hired the public relations firm BKSH & Associates Worldwide, a subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller, to help Prince prepare for his testimony at the hearing. Robert Tappan, a former U.S. State Department official who worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, was one the executives handling the account. BKSH, a self-described "bipartisan" firm (U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, is also a client), is headed by Charlie Black, a prominent Republican political strategist and former chief spokesman for the Republican National Committee, and Scott Pastrick, former treasurer of the Democratic National Committee.

When testifying before Congress, Prince complained about the lack of remedies his company has to deal with employee misdeeds. When asked why an employee involved in the killing of a vice-presidential guard incident had been "whisked out of the country" he replied, "We can't flog him, we can't incarcerate him." Asked by a member of Congress for financial information about his company, Prince declined to provide it. "We're a private company, and there's a key word there ó private," he answered. Later he stated that the company could provide it at a future date if questions were submitted in writing. When the term "mercenaries" was used to describe Blackwater employees, Prince objected, characterizing them instead as "loyal Americans".

A Committee on Oversight and Government Reform staff report, based largely on internal Blackwater e-mail messages and State Department documents, describes Blackwater as "being staffed with reckless, shoot-first guards who were not always sober and did not always stop to see who or what was hit by their bullets." A staff report compiled by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on behalf of Representative Waxman questioned the cost-effectiveness of using Blackwater forces instead of U.S. troops. Blackwater charges the government $1,222 per day per guard, "equivalent to $445,000 per year, or six times more than the cost of an equivalent U.S. soldier," the report alleged. During his testimony on Capitol Hill, Erik Prince disputed this figure, saying that it costs money for the government to train a soldier, to house and feed them, they don't just come prepared to fight. "That sergeant doesn't show up naked and untrained", Prince stated.

In the wake of Prince's testimony before Congress, the US House passed a bill in October, 2007 that would make all private contractors working in Iraq and other combat zones subject to prosecution by U.S. courts and Senate Democratic leaders have said they plan to send similar legislation to President Bush as soon as possible. The legal status of Blackwater and other security firms in Iraq is a subject of contention. Two days before he left Iraq, L. Paul Bremer signed "Order 17" giving all Americans associated with the CPA and the American government immunity from Iraqi law. A July 2007 report from the American Congressional Research Service indicates that the Iraqi government still has no authority over private security firms contracted by the U.S. government. On October 5, 2007 the State Department announced new rules for Blackwater's armed guards operating in Iraq. Under the new guidelines, State Department security agents will accompany all Blackwater units operating in and around Baghdad. The State Department will also install video surveillance equipment in all Blackwater armored vehicles, and will keep recordings of all radio communications between Blackwater convoys in Iraq and the military and civilian agencies which supervise their activities.

On September 23, 2007, the Iraqi government said that it expects to refer criminal charges to its courts in connection with a shooting involving Blackwater guards. However, on October 29, 2007, immunity from prosecution was granted by The U.S. State Department, delaying a criminal inquiry into the Sept. 16 deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians. Immediately afterwards, the Iraqi government approved a draft law to end any and all immunity for foreign military contractors in Iraq, to overturn Order 17. The U.S. Department of Justice also said any immunity deals offered to Blackwater employees were invalid, as the department that issued them had no authority to do so.

Legal specialists say that the U.S. government is unlikely to allow a trial in the Iraqi courts, because there is little confidence that trials would be fair. Contractors accused of crimes abroad could be tried in the United States under either military or civilian law; however, the applicable military law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, was changed in 2006, and appears to now exempt State Department contractors that provide security escorts for a civilian agency. Prosecution under civilian law would be through the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which allows the extension of federal law to civilians supporting military operations; however, according to the deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Departmentís criminal division Robert Litt, trying a criminal case in federal court would require a secure chain of evidence, with police securing the crime scene immediately, while evidence gathered by Iraqi investigators would be regarded as suspect
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2008, 05:12 AM
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[URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJUEULWEP9c&feature=related"]Contravertial video [/URL]on Black water
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2008, 01:54 PM
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Exo1 Exo1 is offline
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Default Mercs!!!

Good Post Gladiator... Have to say, Im not suprised at the content as the regulation of Private Armies is always a contentious issue... The obvious lack of descipline and adherance to any form of ROEs is the reason why its safer for Goverments to do it in house.... and if that "Prince" dude thinks he employes "Loyal Americans".... then why on earth arnt they showing it by being IN the US Army??... Seems they like to shoot up the place and leave American Soldiers to clean up their mess....

I never trusted Mercs, and with good reason... A soldiers lot is one of service to his or her country, a merge of values allowing the individual to go above and beyond for the greater good!!.... This is my take on it, and one thats incompatible in every respect to a private soldier working for a private company,whos bottom line is profit, not the security of a free nation!!....
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2008, 02:38 PM
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Black water protecting a Coalition compound in Najaf

[URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEvAa_-4lF8&feature=related"]#1[/URL]

[URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_rMGJUCxLE"]#2[/URL]
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2008, 03:16 PM
Tacky Tacky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo1 View Post
Good Post Gladiator... Have to say, Im not suprised at the content as the regulation of Private Armies is always a contentious issue... The obvious lack of descipline and adherance to any form of ROEs is the reason why its safer for Goverments to do it in house.... and if that "Prince" dude thinks he employes "Loyal Americans".... then why on earth arnt they showing it by being IN the US Army??... Seems they like to shoot up the place and leave American Soldiers to clean up their mess....

I never trusted Mercs, and with good reason... A soldiers lot is one of service to his or her country, a merge of values allowing the individual to go above and beyond for the greater good!!.... This is my take on it, and one thats incompatible in every respect to a private soldier working for a private company,whos bottom line is profit, not the security of a free nation!!....
Better back up there a few guy.

A great many private contractors are prior US military, some of them prior SOF that have served in the military. There is a difference in Mercs and Contractors, and that's been put out on this board before. Before you go painting with such a broad brush and insulting many of my close friends and former co-workers, you may want to educate yourself on the topic a bit more.

I don't have the greatest love for Blackwater or many other PMCs, but to insult all that work for them for lack of loyalty to their country and service is ignorant at best.
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2008, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Tacky View Post
Better back up there a few guy.

A great many private contractors are prior US military, some of them prior SOF that have served in the military. There is a difference in Mercs and Contractors, and that's been put out on this board before. Before you go painting with such a broad brush and insulting many of my close friends and former co-workers, you may want to educate yourself on the topic a bit more.

I don't have the greatest love for Blackwater or many other PMCs, but to insult all that work for them for lack of loyalty to their country and service is ignorant at best.
On the issue of serving ones country. The place to do that is in the military. But if you wish to make lots of money and have virtually no rules of engagement, then join Blackwater or any equivalent security contrator.

Its a clear choice for anybody with an above average IQ.

Last edited by Gladiator; 02-25-2008 at 01:12 AM..
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2008, 03:55 PM
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I don't know if I like your attitude, Gladiator.

You seem to be under the impression that Blackwater works for the higher bidder that would put themselves in a position to harm or kill American citizens. Blackwater has never done that and I seriously doubt they would. A mercenary is someone who could give a damn who they were killing, fellow citizen or not.

And for a point of reference as you seem to be too ignorant or maybe even too plain stupid to understand, but their ROEs are even stricter than our combat forces over there. They are not rogue bands of blood thirsty monsters looking for their next rape victim.

And I agree with Tacky in the sense that PMCs are not my favorite types of business, but your gross disregard for anything resembling logic has shunned you away from a clear and concise argument.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2008, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SniperAlpha1 View Post
I don't know if I like your attitude, Gladiator.

You seem to be under the impression that Blackwater works for the higher bidder that would put themselves in a position to harm or kill American citizens. Blackwater has never done that and I seriously doubt they would. A mercenary is someone who could give a damn who they were killing, fellow citizen or not.

And for a point of reference as you seem to be too ignorant or maybe even too plain stupid to understand, but their ROEs are even stricter than our combat forces over there. They are not rogue bands of blood thirsty monsters looking for their next rape victim.

And I agree with Tacky in the sense that PMCs are not my favorite types of business, but your gross disregard for anything resembling logic has shunned you away from a clear and concise argument.
I clearly stated on the issue of serving ones country. The Iraq war has created many dilema's. But yes their is a role for the black waters of this world. I just feel the parameters have not been clearly defined as yet.

So please don't deliberately misinterpret my words in future.

Please feel free to calm down and make a rational arguement, ready when you are
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2008, 01:58 AM
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Spike Spike is offline
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I found this stand up comedian doing a sketch on this very subject........

[URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6Z1tevub9I&feature=related"]Vid[/URL]

Spooky!
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