Tag Archives: Blackwater

Harper: “Don’t Shoot, We Surrender”

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Stephen Harper has surrendered Canadian sovereignty to the Americans.

What’s that?  Where was all the fanfare and declarations about it?

That’s right … there were none.

A couple of weeks ago, the “Harper Government” has surrendered Canada’s sovereignty in the event of civil emergencies.  In essence, Steve has bought himself a back-up plan for when Canadians get really pissed off and decide to get rid of ‘the Harper Government’.  All he has to do is click a button and American troops (and likely a lot of Blackwater goons) come storming across the border to save his butt.

Feedback from the Council of Canadians sums it up nicely:

“It’s kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-U.S. relations and contentious issues like military integration. We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites,” said Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians.

Trew said there is potential for the agreement to militarize civilian responses to emergency incidents. He noted that work is also underway for the two nations to put in place a joint plan to protect common infrastructure such as roadways and oil pipelines.

“Are we going to see (U.S.) troops on our soil for minor potential threats to a pipeline or a road?” he asked.

Trew also noted the U.S. military does not allow its soldiers to operate under foreign command so there are questions about who controls American forces if they are requested for service in Canada. “We don’t know the answers because the government doesn’t want to even announce the plan,” he said.

Why is our government silent on this huge step in relations between the US and Mexico?

When Stephen Harper always talks tough about sovereignty against those pesky Ruskies way up north, why are American troops or mercenaries on Canadian soil not a concern?

Blackwater Hired by Canadian Government

Jeffrey Scahill continues to expose the inner-workings of a company known as Blackwater, the mercenary-for-hire American company that had some minor issues with killing 17 Iraqis in a public plaza three years ago today.

In his piece in The Nation, Jeffrey Scahill identifies that Disney and Monsanto are among many of those in corporate America who are turning to mercenaries to protect their assets and activities across the planet.

The company – through one of its subsidiaries – also provided services to the Canadian RCMP:

Some of the training Blackwater provided to Canadian military forces was in Blackwater/TRC’s “Mirror Image” course, where trainees live as a mock Al Qaeda cell in an effort to understand the mindset and culture of insurgents. Company literature describes it as “a classroom and field training program designed to simulate terrorist recruitment, training, techniques and operational tactics.” Documents show that in March 2009 Blackwater/TRC spent $6,500 purchasing local tribal clothing in Afghanistan as well as assorted “propaganda materials—posters, Pakistan Urdu maps, etc.” for Mirror Image, and another $9,500 on similar materials this past January in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

According to internal documents, in 2009 alone the Canadian military paid Blackwater more than $1.6 million through TRC. A Canadian military official praised the program in a letter to the center, saying it provided “unique and valid cultural awareness and mission specific deployment training for our soldiers in Afghanistan,” adding that it was “a very effective and operationally current training program that is beneficial to our mission.”

Apparently, the Democrats are the next group of people in the sites of Erik Prince (the leader of Xe Services, the new name for Blackwater) as he prepares to release a book in November during the midterm elections:

He’s now writing a book alleging that officials in the Clinton and Obama administrations “approved of his most sensitive and controversial operations,” according to a report by veteran intel reporter Jeff Stein published in The Washington Post earlier this month.

The Post‘s Jeff Stein cited two unnamed sources who say Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, is hurrying to sell his company before he can go public with a book that takes aim at the Democratic Party. One of the sources told Stein that Prince and his friends “think this will destroy the Democratic Party in the elections.”

The source, who is described as having a “business relationship with Xe,” said Prince had “given his people three weeks to complete the sale of the company and the book will be released then,” in time for the November elections.

Be careful who you do business with.  Some of them will sting you.

Blackwater Exposed?

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Barely … it’s hard to imagine that anything will come of an investigation of Blackwater, but the US Senate Armed Services Committee will try.

At question is the 30+ corporate shells that the parent company – Xe Services – holds under its wing.

Should we expect the same in Canada as we explore the nature of untendered contracts here?

Blackwater Case Dismissed

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Blackwater has used Iraq as a bit of a playing field, and people in that country are describing a recent court decision ‘unacceptable’.  Link here, full story below.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq expressed anger on Friday with a U.S. federal court ruling that threw out all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of gunning down Iraqi civilians in 2007.

The ruling was “unjust and unacceptable” Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement, adding that Iraq had started to take steps to sue the private security company, now known as Xe Services.

A federal judge threw out the charges against the guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007, saying the U.S. government had recklessly violated the defendants’ constitutional rights.

Dabbagh called for the ruling to be appealed against. He gave no details on how or where Iraq would take legal action.

The Baghdad shooting strained U.S.-Iraqi relations and became a symbol for many Iraqis of foreign disregard for local life.

“The Iraqi government regrets and is disappointed by the U.S. court’s decision,” Dabbagh said by telephone.

After the 2003 invasion, private guards protecting U.S. personnel enjoyed immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, but that ended with a bilateral pact that took effect in 2009.

The five guards were charged in a U.S. federal court a year ago with 14 counts of manslaughter, 20 counts of attempt to commit manslaughter and one weapons violation count.

General Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, echoed the Iraqi government’s displeasure.

“Of course we’re upset when we believe that people might have caused a crime and they are not held accountable,” he told reporters in Baghdad, adding the dismissal might create a backlash against other security firms operating in Iraq.

The shooting happened as a heavily armed Blackwater convoy escorted U.S. officials in downtown Baghdad on September 16, 2007.

The guards, U.S. military veterans, said they heard a nearby explosion and gunfire, and began shooting across a crowded intersection in self-defence.

One Iraqi at the scene, whose young son was killed in the incident, said the guards indiscriminately rained gunfire on cars at the intersection near the convoy.

Mohammed Usama, the son of a man killed in the incident, said he was surprised at the U.S. judge’s verdict.

A sixth Blackwater guard had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and attempt to commit manslaughter, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

The Justice Department said it was disappointed by the judge’s action. “We’re in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options,” Dean Boyd, a department spokesman, said in response to a question about whether the government would appeal.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas, Jim Loney, Muhanad Mohammed and Khalid al-Ansary, writing by Mohammed Abbas: Editing by Dominic Evans)

Blackwater Guards Charged for Iraq Massacre

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Blackwater is the hired military present in Iraq and they’ve abused their power on a number of occasions.

This story refers to a case in Iraq where 5 Blackwater Guards were charged for a massacre in Iraq.