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mfk
So this is weird... Blackwater, the mercenary 'security contracting' company has had it's license to operate in Iraq after a bunch of mercs shot and killed a bunch of civilians. But what's weird is that Iraq might not have any authority over them and the US military is also saying they don't have authority over them. So now we're in a situation where we have a mercenary army that is beholden to no laws. Thoughts?


September 18, 2007
U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings
By SABRINA TAVERNISE

BAGHDAD, Tuesday, Sept. 18 — Blackwater USA, an American contractor that provides security to some of the top American officials in Iraq, has been banned from working in the country by the Iraqi government after a shooting that left eight Iraqis dead and involved an American diplomatic convoy.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf, said Monday that authorities had canceled the company’s license and that the government would prosecute the participants. But under the rules that govern private security contractors here, the Iraqis do not have the legal authority to do so.

The shooting took place in Baghdad on Sunday, but the details were still unclear, and American officials stopped short of saying whether the Blackwater guards in the diplomatic motorcade had caused any of the deaths. Bombs were going off in the area at the time, and shots were fired at the convoy, American officials said.

“There was a firefight,” said Sean McCormack, the principal State Department spokesman. “We believe some innocent life was lost. Nobody wants to see that. But I can’t tell you who was responsible for that.”

The deaths struck a nerve with Iraqis, who say that private security firms are often quick to shoot and are rarely held responsible for their actions. A law issued by the American authority in Iraq before the United States handed over sovereignty to Iraqis, Order No. 17, gives the companies immunity from Iraqi law. A security expert based in Baghdad said Monday night that the order, issued in 2004, had never been overturned. Like others, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains under official inquiry.

Senior officials, including Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, expressed outrage.

“This is a big crime that we can’t stay silent in front of,” said Jawad al-Bolani, the interior minister, in remarks on Al Arabiya television. “Anyone who wants to have good relations with Iraq has to respect Iraqis. We apply the law and are committed to it.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Mr. Maliki on Monday afternoon to express her regret “over the death of innocent civilians that occurred during the attack on an embassy convoy,” said Tom Casey, another State Department spokesman.

Mr. Maliki’s office said Ms. Rice had pledged to “take immediate steps to show the United States’ willingness to prevent such actions.”

Because Blackwater guards are so central to the American operation here, having provided protection for numerous American ambassadors, it was not clear on Monday whether the United States would agree to end a relationship with a trusted protector so quickly. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker praised private security companies in a speech on Sept. 11, referring to Blackwater by name.

“This incident will be the true test of diplomacy between the State Department and the government of Iraq,” said one American official in Baghdad.

Blackwater defended its actions, saying it had come under attack from armed militants.

“The ‘civilians’ reportedly fired upon by Blackwater professionals were in fact armed enemies, and Blackwater personnel returned defensive fire,” said Anne Tyrrell, a company spokeswoman, in an e-mail message. “Blackwater professionals heroically defended American lives in a war zone.”

The American official said he believed that the contract had been pulled, although Ms. Tyrrell said that there had been no official action by the Ministry of Interior “regarding plans to revoke licensing.” Mr. McCormack said the State Department had not been informed about any cancellation.

It was not clear what legal mechanism the Iraqi government was using to block the company. All security contractors must obtain licenses for their weapons. Companies must also register with the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Interior.

One of the most terrifying images of the war for Americans involved four of Blackwater’s contractors in Falluja who were killed in 2004, and their bodies hung from a bridge. Reports of the number of Blackwater employees in Iraq ranged from at least 1,000 to 1,500, but the numbers were impossible to confirm.

At the end of the cold war, Congress and the Pentagon were eager to take advantage of new, less threatening landscape and drastically scaled back the standing Army, leading to the outsourcing of many jobs formally done by people in uniform. The Bush administration expanded the outsourcing strategy after the invasion of Iraq, with companies like Blackwater and its two main competitors, Triple Canopy and DynCorp, supplying guards and training at many levels of the war. About 126,000 people working for contractors serve alongside American troops, including about 30,000 security contractors.

A Blackwater employee was responsible for the shooting death of a bodyguard for one of Iraq’s vice presidents, Adel Abdul Mahdi, on Christmas Eve last year, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal in May. The Blackwater guard had been drinking heavily in the Green Zone, according to the report, and tried to enter an area where Iraqi officials live. The employee was fired, but left Iraq without being prosecuted, the report said.

In the shooting on Sunday, initial reports from the American Embassy said a convoy of State Department vehicles came under fire in Nisour Square, a commercial area in western Baghdad that is clogged with construction, traffic and concrete blocks. One vehicle became “disabled” in the shooting, officials said. The officials did not say whether any of the convoy’s security guards had fired back.

But two bombs exploded around the time of the convoy’s passage. Iraqis who were there said Monday that guards in the American motorcade, which had apparently been stuck in traffic, began shooting in response. That appeared to be confirmed by the embassy’s information officer, Johann Schmonsees.

“The car bomb was in proximity to the place where State Department personnel were meeting, and that was the reason why Blackwater responded to the incident,” he said on a conference call for reporters in Baghdad on Monday afternoon.

Mirenbe Nantongo, the embassy spokeswoman, said directly, “Our people were reacting to a car bombing.”

But typical for Iraq, confusion prevailed over who was firing at whom. Iraqis who had been at the scene said they saw helicopters, though American officials did not speak of air power. Ms. Tyrrell said helicopters came but did not shoot.

“There were several groups on the scene,” said a senior American administration official. “Bad guys. Us. Iraqi police. We don’t know if other parties were there, too. So we have to do forensics.”

A grocery shop owner, Abu Muhammad, reported seeing two helicopters firing down into the area, around the time of the bombing. “I was hearing the shooting continuing every now and then, for about 15 minutes,” he said, adding that the gunfire sounded low and fast, different from the sound of an AK-47 firing.

He said he saw a charred car with a man and a woman inside. A man whom he knew had been shot to death. Video images of the scene after the fighting subsided showed charred cars and bodies, though it was not clear what had caused the damage.

An official at Yarmouk Hospital, where the dead and wounded were taken, said 12 dead Iraqis had been taken in from three different incidents. Thirty-seven more Iraqis were wounded.

It was still unclear on Monday night whether the company had been ordered to leave. Mr. Schmonsees said earlier, “No one has been expelled from the country yet.”

Refugee System Criticized

In an internal cable dated Sept. 7, Mr. Crocker, the United States ambassador to Iraq, criticized the American government’s handling of Iraqi refugees for admission to the United States as too slow. He called on officials to smooth “bottlenecks” that make Iraqis wait months for their applications to be processed.

In the cable, which was first reported by The Washington Post, Mr. Crocker said the numbers of Department of Homeland Security officials conducting interviews in the region should be doubled. He said the United States should seriously consider alternatives, like having State Department officials process Iraqis inside Iraq, a step not allowed under the current rules.

Reporting was contributed by Mudhafer al-Husaini, Ahmad Fadam and Khalid al-Ansary from Baghdad, Thom Shanker from Washington, and Alain Delaquérière from New York.
Mike C
Is the same company that has prostitute slaves and still won US contracts? Or is that Dyncorp, Bechtel, Halliburton, Wackenhut, Carlysle? It's getting hard to keep track.

MARSMAN
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 03:40 PM) *

So this is weird... Blackwater, the mercenary 'security contracting' company has had it's license to operate in Iraq after a bunch of mercs shot and killed a bunch of civilians. But what's weird is that Iraq might not have any authority over them and the US military is also saying they don't have authority over them. So now we're in a situation where we have a mercenary army that is beholden to no laws. Thoughts?
September 18, 2007
U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings
By SABRINA TAVERNISE

BAGHDAD, Tuesday, Sept. 18 — Blackwater USA, an American contractor that provides security to some of the top American officials in Iraq, has been banned from working in the country by the Iraqi government after a shooting that left eight Iraqis dead and involved an American diplomatic convoy.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf, said Monday that authorities had canceled the company’s license and that the government would prosecute the participants. But under the rules that govern private security contractors here, the Iraqis do not have the legal authority to do so.

The shooting took place in Baghdad on Sunday, but the details were still unclear, and American officials stopped short of saying whether the Blackwater guards in the diplomatic motorcade had caused any of the deaths. Bombs were going off in the area at the time, and shots were fired at the convoy, American officials said.

“There was a firefight,” said Sean McCormack, the principal State Department spokesman. “We believe some innocent life was lost. Nobody wants to see that. But I can’t tell you who was responsible for that.”

The deaths struck a nerve with Iraqis, who say that private security firms are often quick to shoot and are rarely held responsible for their actions. A law issued by the American authority in Iraq before the United States handed over sovereignty to Iraqis, Order No. 17, gives the companies immunity from Iraqi law. A security expert based in Baghdad said Monday night that the order, issued in 2004, had never been overturned. Like others, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains under official inquiry.

Senior officials, including Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, expressed outrage.

“This is a big crime that we can’t stay silent in front of,” said Jawad al-Bolani, the interior minister, in remarks on Al Arabiya television. “Anyone who wants to have good relations with Iraq has to respect Iraqis. We apply the law and are committed to it.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Mr. Maliki on Monday afternoon to express her regret “over the death of innocent civilians that occurred during the attack on an embassy convoy,” said Tom Casey, another State Department spokesman.

Mr. Maliki’s office said Ms. Rice had pledged to “take immediate steps to show the United States’ willingness to prevent such actions.”

Because Blackwater guards are so central to the American operation here, having provided protection for numerous American ambassadors, it was not clear on Monday whether the United States would agree to end a relationship with a trusted protector so quickly. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker praised private security companies in a speech on Sept. 11, referring to Blackwater by name.

“This incident will be the true test of diplomacy between the State Department and the government of Iraq,” said one American official in Baghdad.

Blackwater defended its actions, saying it had come under attack from armed militants.

“The ‘civilians’ reportedly fired upon by Blackwater professionals were in fact armed enemies, and Blackwater personnel returned defensive fire,” said Anne Tyrrell, a company spokeswoman, in an e-mail message. “Blackwater professionals heroically defended American lives in a war zone.”

The American official said he believed that the contract had been pulled, although Ms. Tyrrell said that there had been no official action by the Ministry of Interior “regarding plans to revoke licensing.” Mr. McCormack said the State Department had not been informed about any cancellation.

It was not clear what legal mechanism the Iraqi government was using to block the company. All security contractors must obtain licenses for their weapons. Companies must also register with the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Interior.

One of the most terrifying images of the war for Americans involved four of Blackwater’s contractors in Falluja who were killed in 2004, and their bodies hung from a bridge. Reports of the number of Blackwater employees in Iraq ranged from at least 1,000 to 1,500, but the numbers were impossible to confirm.

At the end of the cold war, Congress and the Pentagon were eager to take advantage of new, less threatening landscape and drastically scaled back the standing Army, leading to the outsourcing of many jobs formally done by people in uniform. The Bush administration expanded the outsourcing strategy after the invasion of Iraq, with companies like Blackwater and its two main competitors, Triple Canopy and DynCorp, supplying guards and training at many levels of the war. About 126,000 people working for contractors serve alongside American troops, including about 30,000 security contractors.

A Blackwater employee was responsible for the shooting death of a bodyguard for one of Iraq’s vice presidents, Adel Abdul Mahdi, on Christmas Eve last year, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal in May. The Blackwater guard had been drinking heavily in the Green Zone, according to the report, and tried to enter an area where Iraqi officials live. The employee was fired, but left Iraq without being prosecuted, the report said.

In the shooting on Sunday, initial reports from the American Embassy said a convoy of State Department vehicles came under fire in Nisour Square, a commercial area in western Baghdad that is clogged with construction, traffic and concrete blocks. One vehicle became “disabled” in the shooting, officials said. The officials did not say whether any of the convoy’s security guards had fired back.

But two bombs exploded around the time of the convoy’s passage. Iraqis who were there said Monday that guards in the American motorcade, which had apparently been stuck in traffic, began shooting in response. That appeared to be confirmed by the embassy’s information officer, Johann Schmonsees.

“The car bomb was in proximity to the place where State Department personnel were meeting, and that was the reason why Blackwater responded to the incident,” he said on a conference call for reporters in Baghdad on Monday afternoon.

Mirenbe Nantongo, the embassy spokeswoman, said directly, “Our people were reacting to a car bombing.”

But typical for Iraq, confusion prevailed over who was firing at whom. Iraqis who had been at the scene said they saw helicopters, though American officials did not speak of air power. Ms. Tyrrell said helicopters came but did not shoot.

“There were several groups on the scene,” said a senior American administration official. “Bad guys. Us. Iraqi police. We don’t know if other parties were there, too. So we have to do forensics.”

A grocery shop owner, Abu Muhammad, reported seeing two helicopters firing down into the area, around the time of the bombing. “I was hearing the shooting continuing every now and then, for about 15 minutes,” he said, adding that the gunfire sounded low and fast, different from the sound of an AK-47 firing.

He said he saw a charred car with a man and a woman inside. A man whom he knew had been shot to death. Video images of the scene after the fighting subsided showed charred cars and bodies, though it was not clear what had caused the damage.

An official at Yarmouk Hospital, where the dead and wounded were taken, said 12 dead Iraqis had been taken in from three different incidents. Thirty-seven more Iraqis were wounded.

It was still unclear on Monday night whether the company had been ordered to leave. Mr. Schmonsees said earlier, “No one has been expelled from the country yet.”

Refugee System Criticized

In an internal cable dated Sept. 7, Mr. Crocker, the United States ambassador to Iraq, criticized the American government’s handling of Iraqi refugees for admission to the United States as too slow. He called on officials to smooth “bottlenecks” that make Iraqis wait months for their applications to be processed.

In the cable, which was first reported by The Washington Post, Mr. Crocker said the numbers of Department of Homeland Security officials conducting interviews in the region should be doubled. He said the United States should seriously consider alternatives, like having State Department officials process Iraqis inside Iraq, a step not allowed under the current rules.

Reporting was contributed by Mudhafer al-Husaini, Ahmad Fadam and Khalid al-Ansary from Baghdad, Thom Shanker from Washington, and Alain Delaquérière from New York.


Is the jury not still out on wether they actually killed civilians ..?


Iraq sucks
mfk
QUOTE(Mike C @ Sep 18 2007, 03:52 PM) *

Is the same company that has prostitute slaves and still won US contracts? Or is that Dyncorp, Bechtel, Halliburton, Wackenhut, Carlysle? It's getting hard to keep track.


Ooof. I hadn't heard that one. Link?
elk
It's a conspiracy. I mean, really. Has anyone even seen these supposed Iraqis?

BTW, where the hell has El Gato been? Did he quit the board or go underground?
Danny Vermin
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 03:54 PM) *

Ooof. I hadn't heard that one. Link?

www.batshitcrazystuffallthetime.com
MARSMAN
QUOTE(Danny Vermin @ Sep 18 2007, 03:55 PM) *

www.batshitcrazystuffallthetime.com

laughing.gif
MikeG
QUOTE(Mike C @ Sep 18 2007, 03:52 PM) *

Is the same company that has prostitute slaves and still won US contracts? Or is that Dyncorp, Bechtel, Halliburton, Wackenhut, Carlysle? It's getting hard to keep track.


Prostitute slaves? Do they have a website? I mean, for research purposes.
mfk
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 03:53 PM) *

Is the jury not still out on wether they actually killed civilians ..?
Iraq sucks


I've been hearing about civilian killings by contracters for years.

This one is fairly well documented:

On Dec. 24, 2006, a drunken Blackwater employee shot and killed a bodyguard for Iraq's Shiite vice president, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.

The contractor had gotten lost on the way back to his barracks in the Green Zone and fired at least seven times when he was confronted by 30-year-old Raheem Khalaf Saadoun, an official in the vice president's office said on condition of anonymity because the case is still under investigation.
Story continues below ↓advertisement

The contractor fled after the incident. Eventually, he made his way to the U.S. Embassy, where Blackwater officials arranged to have him flown home to the U.S., said American officials.


from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20824738/
MARSMAN
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 03:57 PM) *

I've been hearing about civilian killings by contracters for years.

This one is fairly well documented:

On Dec. 24, 2006, a drunken Blackwater employee shot and killed a bodyguard for Iraq's Shiite vice president, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials.

The contractor had gotten lost on the way back to his barracks in the Green Zone and fired at least seven times when he was confronted by 30-year-old Raheem Khalaf Saadoun, an official in the vice president's office said on condition of anonymity because the case is still under investigation.
Story continues below ↓advertisement

The contractor fled after the incident. Eventually, he made his way to the U.S. Embassy, where Blackwater officials arranged to have him flown home to the U.S., said American officials.


from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20824738/


And that makes this case true ..how ?
mfk
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 03:59 PM) *

And that makes this case true ..how ?


Ok. you're right. Since i was not there at the scene, I cannot offer any evidence besides 261,000 google search results for "blackwater killing civilians".
dillirgaff
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 03:53 PM) *

Is the jury not still out on wether they actually killed civilians ..?
Iraq sucks

sure they were civilians, all the weapons must have been planted on them by the ugly Americans
mach313
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 04:03 PM) *

Ok. you're right. Since i was not there at the scene, I cannot offer any evidence besides 261,000 google search results for "blackwater killing civilians".

I,for one,cannot wait for the US leg of the tour!
I've heard their pyro show is wayyyyyyyy better than Great White's!!
Danny Vermin
so let me get this straight -

The IRAQI Government hires these private Blackwater goons for Security, and when these goons kill someone, this is a reflection upon the US Govt. or the US Military in what way?
Jason Halogen
QUOTE(mach313 @ Sep 18 2007, 04:07 PM) *

I,for one,cannot wait for the US leg of the tour!
I've heard their pyro show is wayyyyyyyy better than Great White's!!

There needs to be a band called "Blackwater".
guest_bob
I hate these assholes. It was a blackwater guy that shot an Iraqi policeman in the greenzone when he was drunk and just fled the country. these guys make it tougher on the actual soldiers...one by not being held accountable for anything they do and also because they make warfare less of a burden for the WHOLE society and more of a finacial opportunity for a dedicated few. my brother, a frmr Cpt. in thje Marines, and his co-workers all felt pretty much the same about this. he said nobody wanted to be around them and nobody really had too much respect for what they did and what their "company" was about.

one major distinction b/w how the army and te marines goverened their areas was that marines would walk down the streets instead of just buzz down the road in humvees and bradleys ...and because of this they got to know people, were seen as being "actual people" and that way did better getting info from locals, feedback, etc. a simple matter of human respect.

the blackwater (et al) guys were the polar opposite of this - treating everyone with blind disdain. their "mission" was short trips for big money....which was not the US military mission....

...We'd like to hope anyway.



MARSMAN
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 04:03 PM) *

Ok. you're right. Since i was not there at the scene, I cannot offer any evidence besides 261,000 google search results for "blackwater killing civilians".


Do these people not get their civil rights ?

Innocent till proven guilty ?

Christ you expect more to be giving to enemy combatants that are not even US citizens ..

But in your eyes they are always innocent and Blackwater always guilty ..

Nice backwards thinking
RockZilla
Old Blackwater, keep on rollin
Mississippi moon, wont you keep on shinin on me
Old Blackwater, keep on rollin
Mississippi moon, wont you keep on shinin on me
Old Blackwater, keep on rollin
Mississippi moon, wont you keep on shinin on me
Yeah, keep on shinin your light
Gonna make everything, pretty mama
Gonna make everything all right
And I aint got no worries
cause I aint in no hurry at all
MikeG
If an American does something wrong, it's their fault. If a non-American does something wrong, it's America's fault.
RI chick
hmm...

banning of a private company by Maliki who essentially has no power in a country that has no government which is in the throes of a civil war.

civilians die every day by the hands of differing malitias/insurgents. Interesting that they have been banned. Blackwater makes themselves extremely obvious via their vehicles etc. All the other groups look like civilians themselves.

Jason Halogen
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 04:12 PM) *

Do these people not get their civil rights ?
Innocent till proven guilty ?
Christ you expect more to be giving to enemy combatants that are not even US citizens ..
But in your eyes they are always innocent and Blackwater always guilty ..
Nice backwards thinking



QUOTE(MikeG @ Sep 18 2007, 04:18 PM) *

If an American does something wrong, it's their fault. If a non-American does something wrong, it's America's fault.

Nice backwards thinking. We're not talking about self-defense, we're talking about shitheads who know damn well they can't be prosecuted rolling around town with guns out the window.
guest_bob
QUOTE(RI chick @ Sep 18 2007, 04:19 PM) *

hmm...

banning of a private company by Maliki who essentially has no power in a country that has no government which is in the throes of a civil war.

civilians die every day by the hands of differing malitias/insurgents. Interesting that they have been banned. Blackwater makes themselves extremely obvious via their vehicles etc. All the other groups look like civilians themselves.


maliki "banning" american mercanaries is a PR move if anything ... an unavoidable one though.

any and all BAD pr about blackwater is GOOD.

mfk
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 04:12 PM) *

Do these people not get their civil rights ?

Innocent till proven guilty ?

Christ you expect more to be giving to enemy combatants that are not even US citizens ..

But in your eyes they are always innocent and Blackwater always guilty ..

Nice backwards thinking


Ok, you're making all sorts of assumptions here, putting words in my mouth and kinda pissing me off. First of all, my initial post was supposed to be a discussion about the weird legal position where these guys are beholden to no laws. 2nd of all, please point out where I stated ANY of the things you're accusing me of in this post. Sheesh Tim, i kind of expected more from you here.
MikeG
QUOTE(Jason Halogen @ Sep 18 2007, 04:21 PM) *

Nice backwards thinking. We're not talking about self-defense, we're talking about shitheads who know damn well they can't be prosecuted rolling around town with guns out the window.


I'm not talking about the scenario in your head, bubbleboy.
Dave K.
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 03:40 PM) *

So this is weird... Blackwater, the mercenary 'security contracting' company has had it's license to operate in Iraq after a bunch of mercs shot and killed a bunch of civilians. But what's weird is that Iraq might not have any authority over them and the US military is also saying they don't have authority over them. So now we're in a situation where we have a mercenary army that is beholden to no laws. Thoughts?

I believe that they are employed by the US State Department. Which should make them
beholden to US laws, I would think.
Jason Halogen
QUOTE(MikeG @ Sep 18 2007, 04:23 PM) *

I'm not talking about the scenario in your head, bubbleboy.

Your comment implied that perhaps the Iraqis being shot by American contractors deserved it somehow. That's asinine. If I misread you, I'm sorry.

If these contractors are so terrified of Iraqis that they carry guns and shoot civilians, or shoot the vice-president's guards when drunk and belligerent, they shouldn't be there. They're feeding the existing sentiment like a tube.
RI chick
QUOTE(guest_bob @ Sep 18 2007, 04:21 PM) *

maliki "banning" american mercanaries is a PR move if anything ... an unavoidable one though.

any and all BAD pr about blackwater is GOOD.


I'm certainly not defending Blackwater. Unfortunately they are a fairly important part of our military over there. Which I'm not happy about...along with the entire mess over there.

Seriously, Iraqis are killing Iraqis every moment over there. That's the big issue. THE CIVIL WAR.
Deal with that, Maliki.
mfk
QUOTE(Dave K. @ Sep 18 2007, 04:27 PM) *

I believe that they are employed by the US State Department. Which should make them
beholden to US laws, I would think.


Actually, not so. They are in iraq under the authority of the CPA which issued this decree immunizing them from any prosecution http://www.cpa-iraq.org/regulations/200406...ith_Annex_A.pdf

The CPA is now defunct, so they are supposed to be under the jurisdiction of the Iraqi govt.

However, as of May, they still hadn't obtained permission to operate from the Iraqi government.
Dave K.
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 04:35 PM) *

Actually, not so. They are in iraq under the authority of the CPA which issued this decree immunizing them from any prosecution http://www.cpa-iraq.org/regulations/200406...ith_Annex_A.pdf

The CPA is now defunct, so they are supposed to be under the jurisdiction of the Iraqi govt.

However, as of May, they still hadn't obtained permission to operate from the Iraqi government.

OK - that is kind of fucked up.

I can only imagine the type of people that would be attracted to this type of work.
Small town cop asshole mentality X 1000000.
RI chick
QUOTE(Jason Halogen @ Sep 18 2007, 04:28 PM) *

Your comment implied that perhaps the Iraqis being shot by American contractors deserved it somehow. That's asinine. If I misread you, I'm sorry.

If these contractors are so terrified of Iraqis that they carry guns and shoot civilians, or shoot the vice-president's guards when drunk and belligerent, they shouldn't be there. They're feeding the existing sentiment like a tube.


The war would be resolved if only someone could figure out who the "civilian" Iraqis are.
MARSMAN
QUOTE(Jason Halogen @ Sep 18 2007, 04:21 PM) *

Nice backwards thinking. We're not talking about self-defense, we're talking about shitheads who know damn well they can't be prosecuted rolling around town with guns out the window.


You have no idea if it was self defense or not at this point ...
mfk
QUOTE(RI chick @ Sep 18 2007, 04:39 PM) *

The war would be resolved if only someone could figure out who the "civilian" Iraqis are.


technically, they all are since we dismantled their military and police forces after we invaded.
mhaverty
QUOTE(elk @ Sep 18 2007, 03:55 PM) *

It's a conspiracy. I mean, really. Has anyone even seen these supposed Iraqis?

BTW, where the hell has El Gato been? Did he quit the board or go underground?


He has posted a few times. I think he said something about hurting his shoulder and rehabing so he could head back.

I do know that the Military has tried to ban soiders from blogging while in Iraq. I have no idea if he is there now.
Jason Halogen
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 04:45 PM) *

technically, they all are since we dismantled their military and police forces after we invaded.

Come on, rephrase that in a way that's not so easy to tear apart.
MARSMAN
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 04:23 PM) *

Ok, you're making all sorts of assumptions here, putting words in my mouth and kinda pissing me off. First of all, my initial post was supposed to be a discussion about the weird legal position where these guys are beholden to no laws. 2nd of all, please point out where I stated ANY of the things you're accusing me of in this post. Sheesh Tim, i kind of expected more from you here.


I am sorry if I let you down in someway ..
I have a simple point here .. My reading of this is you already have these guys guilty yet an investigation has yet to start ..they claim their innocence..

I say wait to see if they are guilty or not ..I am sure fighting in Iraq is no picnic ..

But I have seen you say how so many in Abu Ghraib "might" be innocent and they deserve a trial before keepng them any longer ..

I figure if it's good enough for non-USA citizens to get the benifit of the doubt don't ya think these guys working for Blackwater should as well ..?
Jason Halogen
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 04:49 PM) *

I am sorry if I let you down in someway ..
I have a simple point here .. My reading of this is you already have these guys guilty yet an investigation has yet to start ..they claim their innocence..

I say wait to see if they are guilty or not ..I am sure fighting in Iraq is no picnic ..

But I have seen you say how so many in Abu Ghraib "might" be innocent and they deserve a trial before keepng them any longer ..

I figure if it's good enough for non-USA citizens to get the benifit of the doubt don't ya think these guys working for Blackwater should as well ..?

I absolutely get your point. The precedent here, though, is the killing of Iraq's newly elected vice-president's personal guard by a drunken contractor following an altercation, after which he simply left the country and faced no charges. This comes back to the pre-sidetracked mfk point about accountability. It's not whether these people are guilty or not, it's about the fact that presently, there is NO legal recourse if they are.
mfk
QUOTE(Jason Halogen @ Sep 18 2007, 04:48 PM) *

Come on, rephrase that in a way that's not so easy to tear apart.


that was supposed to be a joking, snide remark
RI chick
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 04:45 PM) *

technically, they all are since we dismantled their military and police forces after we invaded.


Well, that's the point I was trying to make. There are certainly some "true" civilians living in Baghdad and in villages, but hey are few. Most are militia. No one knows who the enemy is....it's called chasing ghosts. Civilians are militia.
MARSMAN
QUOTE(Jason Halogen @ Sep 18 2007, 04:53 PM) *

I absolutely get your point. The precedent here, though, is the killing of Iraq's newly elected vice-president's personal guard by a drunken contractor following an altercation, after which he simply left the country and faced no charges. This comes back to the pre-sidetracked mfk point about accountability. It's not whether these people are guilty or not, it's about the fact that presently, there is NO legal recourse if they are.


I feel people are way to quick to judge our troops ..just like they our cops in the states ..

I understand what you are sayin but I guess mfk's opening sentence should not have read like this ..

"So this is weird... Blackwater, the mercenary 'security contracting' company has had it's license to operate in Iraq after a bunch of mercs shot and killed a bunch of civilians"
mfk
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 04:49 PM) *

I am sorry if I let you down in someway ..
I have a simple point here .. My reading of this is you already have these guys guilty yet an investigation has yet to start ..they claim their innocence..

I say wait to see if they are guilty or not ..I am sure fighting in Iraq is no picnic ..

But I have seen you say how so many in Abu Ghraib "might" be innocent and they deserve a trial before keepng them any longer ..

I figure if it's good enough for non-USA citizens to get the benifit of the doubt don't ya think these guys working for Blackwater should as well ..?


OK. I see where you're going with this. I wasn't passing judgement on these guys. I was just trying to provoke a discussion about how people feel about their legal status. But yeah, now that i think about it, i'm not sure that i'm willing to PERSONALLY give them the benefit of the doubt here. Even the state department is saying that innocents had been killed in the firefight. Given their less-than-rosy history in Iraq, I'm more inclined to believe the reports. If the Iraqi government is looking to kick out 126,000 security personnel in the midst of one of the worst security situations in the world, something big has to be amiss. But yes, innocent until proven guilty.
mfk
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 04:58 PM) *

I feel people are way to quick to judge our troops ..just like they our cops in the states ..

I understand what you are sayin but I guess mfk's opening sentence should not have read like this ..

"So this is weird... Blackwater, the mercenary 'security contracting' company has had it's license to operate in Iraq after a bunch of mercs shot and killed a bunch of civilians"


First off, Blackwater are not our troops. they work for money, not to protect us. Hence my "mercenary" comment. Please tell me how a soldier of fortune is not a mercenary.

Secondly, the fact that a firefight occurred and a bunch of civilians died is not at issue here. That actually happened.
Jason Halogen
QUOTE(MARSMAN @ Sep 18 2007, 04:58 PM) *

I feel people are way to quick to judge our troops ..just like they our cops in the states ..

On the contrary - I think these contractors' actions are ruining the efforts of and vastly increasing the danger to the troops. We know that there are some yahoos in our armed forces, but we also know there are people like El Gato that aren't there just out of bloodlust and are trying to make things make sense.

One or two weapon-carrying, trigger-happy, paranoid contractors can ruin whatever precarious peace there might be in a given moment and don't have to face any kind of reprimand from their superiors. They have no rules of engagement. They're dishonoring the troops and making a mockery of us, and making it far more likely that another good kid in the service takes an angry bullet to the neck.
MARSMAN
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 05:03 PM) *

Secondly, the fact that a firefight occurred and a bunch of civilians died is not at issue here. That actually happened.


No we don't know if they were civilians or not at this point..
MARSMAN
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 05:03 PM) *

First off, Blackwater are not our troops. they work for money, not to protect us.
happened.

Correct ..

My comment still stands
plcmat
QUOTE(Dave K. @ Sep 18 2007, 04:39 PM) *

OK - that is kind of fucked up.

I can only imagine the type of people that would be attracted to this type of work.
Small town cop asshole mentality X 1000000.


Except no small town cop would have the balls to go there. 0 x 1000000 = 0.
MikeG
QUOTE(Jason Halogen @ Sep 18 2007, 04:28 PM) *

Your comment implied that perhaps the Iraqis being shot by American contractors deserved it somehow.


No, it didn't. But thanks for the explanation.
Jason Halogen
QUOTE(MikeG @ Sep 18 2007, 05:18 PM) *

No, it didn't. But thanks for the explanation.

It did in context with the other posts I was reading. Again, apologies if I misread.
RI chick
QUOTE(mfk @ Sep 18 2007, 05:03 PM) *

First off, Blackwater are not our troops. they work for money, not to protect us. Hence my "mercenary" comment. Please tell me how a soldier of fortune is not a mercenary.

Secondly, the fact that a firefight occurred and a bunch of civilians died is not at issue here. That actually happened.


They were hired initially to protect those who work in the Embassy and those trying to get to and from the Embassy. They still do that. In addition, more were hired to do exactly what the troops are doing.

By the way, our troops are being paid incentive money in addition to their regular pay to remain there or go back.
Jason Halogen
QUOTE(RI chick @ Sep 18 2007, 05:28 PM) *

In addition, more were hired to do exactly what the troops are doing.

That's a very, very messed up situation.
RI chick
QUOTE(Jason Halogen @ Sep 18 2007, 05:30 PM) *

That's a very, very messed up situation.


Indeed.
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