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This is incredible. This is obscene. Is this legal? Are they going to claim these are "militia's"? Private contractors with the power to make arrests and use lethal force. Not answerable to the people.

The folly of the war in Iraq and the lack of preparation by the Bush administration (and the governor's office?) cannot be more clear. This is a dangerous precedent America.  

I say we tell the fundies and militia members what's going on with the mercenaries operating on US soil and see how they react to it... black helicopters of the UN, pshaw, you've got the black helicopters of Blackwater to deal with first...

From Democracy Now via Truthout:

Heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, are openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Some of the mercenaries say they have been "deputized" by the Louisiana governor; indeed some are wearing gold Louisiana state law enforcement badges on their chests and Blackwater photo identification cards on their arms. They say they are on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and have been given the authority to use lethal force. Several mercenaries we spoke with said they had served in Iraq on the personal security details of the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer and the former US ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte.

  "This is a totally new thing to have guys like us working CONUS (Continental United States)," a heavily armed Blackwater mercenary told us as we stood on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. "We're much better equipped to deal with the situation in Iraq."

    Blackwater mercenaries are some of the most feared professional killers in the world and they are accustomed to operating without worry of legal consequences. Their presence on the streets of New Orleans should be a cause for serious concern for the remaining residents of the city and raises alarming questions about why the government would allow men trained to kill with impunity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to operate here. Some of the men now patrolling the streets of New Orleans returned from Iraq as recently as 2 weeks ago.

What is most disturbing is the claim of several Blackwater mercenaries we spoke with that they are here under contract from the federal and Louisiana state governments.

    Blackwater is one of the leading private "security" firms servicing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.... The company rose to international prominence after 4 of its men were killed in Fallujah and two of their charred bodies were hung from a bridge in March 2004. Those killings sparked the massive US retaliation against the civilian population of Fallujah that resulted in scores of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees.

....

    Officially, Blackwater says it forces are in New Orleans to "join the Hurricane Relief Effort." A statement on the company's website, dated September 1, advertises airlift services, security services and crowd control. The company, according to news reports, has since begun taking private contracts to guard hotels, businesses and other properties. But what has not been publicly acknowledged is the claim, made to us by 2 Blackwater mercenaries, that they are actually engaged in general law enforcement activities including "securing neighborhoods" and "confronting criminals."

    That raises a key question: under what authority are Blackwater's men operating? A spokesperson for the Homeland Security Department, Russ Knocke, told the Washington Post he knows of no federal plans to hire Blackwater or other private security. "We believe we've got the right mix of personnel in law enforcement for the federal government to meet the demands of public safety." he said.

    But in an hour-long conversation with several Blackwater mercenaries, we heard a different story. The men we spoke with said they are indeed on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and the Louisiana governor's office and that some of them are sleeping in camps organized by Homeland Security in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

We encountered the Blackwater forces as we walked through the streets of the largely deserted French Quarter. We were talking with 2 New York Police officers when an unmarked car without license plates sped up next to us and stopped. Inside were 3 men, dressed in khaki uniforms, flak jackets and wielding automatic weapons. "Y'all know where the Blackwater guys are?" they asked. One of the police officers responded, "There are a bunch of them around here," and pointed down the road.

    "Blackwater?" we asked. "The guys who are in Iraq?"

    "Yeah," said the officer. "They're all over the place."

....

Two men we spoke with said they plan on returning to Iraq in October. But, as one mercenary said, they've been told they could be in New Orleans for up to 6 months. "This is a trend," he told us. "You're going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations."

Update [2005-9-11 15:46:46 by spiderleaf]:

A copy of the email press release announcing Blackwater on the ground in NOLA...

Black Water Tactical Weekly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 05, 2005

BLACKWATER JOINS HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF EFFORT!

This morning (September 1, 2005), Blackwater USA joined the ongoing relief effort in the Gulf Region devastated by Hurricane Katrina by dispatching a SA-330 Puma helicopter to help assist in evacuating citizens from flooded areas.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Erik Prince stated, "At this time, all Americans should band together and assist our countrymen who have been struck by this natural disaster."

Blackwater's aerial support services are being donated to the relief effort.

The following services are available:

Airlift Services

Security Services

Humanitarian Support Services

Logistics and Transportation Services

Sincerely,

Gary Jackson

President

Blackwater

{emphasis mine}

Thanks to nydem25 & Duke1676 for the diligence in tracking this info down.

Cross posted at BooMan

Originally posted to spiderleaf on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 12:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If this can be confirmed (4.00)
    this needs to be splashed across every major American newspaper.
    •  My friend is on their mailing list (4.00)
      Last week Blackwater put out a general call for anyone who worked for them in the past who wanted to pick up work in N.O. to contact them.. also they were taking applications for "qualified"  ( former special forces, CIA, special-ops training) applicants to contact them.

      I've e-mailed him to see if he can send over a link

      •  Unbelievable. (4.00)
        Thanks, I'll add it to the diary if you can get it.
      •  A-ha! ! ! (4.00)
        Last week I was telling people that THIS WAS who the 'Roving Bands of Gunmen' really were !

        Not the gangs of drug-crazed nigras that the wingnuts were screaming about.

      •  Get The Mailing List (4.00)

        Google the Names.

        Publish them on the web with as much information as can be found about each Blackwater employee.

        Let them know that we know where they live too.

        •  Here's a copy of one e-mail (4.00)
          JOB OPPORTUNITIES
          On April 15, 2005 Blackwater Security Consulting (BSC) was awarded orders under a Blanket Purchase Agreement through the PCO-Contracting Activity in Baghdad and will begin security operations on May 1, 2005 at the following locations: Mosul, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Ramadi and Baqubah. Blackwater will conduct a safe and seamless transition with one of our preferences being not to cause undue hardship for the current security professionals manning those sites, if that can be done without degrading the mission.

          Blackwater plans to offer to a significant number of the current security professionals (independent contractors) continuing work at those sites under a BSC IC agreement. Blackwater has vetted and trained individuals available to fill all the positions and will do so if a timely commitment is not made by current security professionals. BSC will not be extending this offer to K-9 handler teams. Our K-9's and handlers have been identified and are being moved into theater at this time. Current handlers that are qualified for PSS or Static Security may apply for those positions and transition on site.

          Due to the need for a rapid and robust rotation of personnel and equipment, it will be necessary for security personnel to commit to their intent within 48 hours (17 April 2005, 1200 EST). What is needed from incumbent security personnel is a one page resume with contact information and with an acknowledgment that they want to continue working at those sites.

          If you are not currently providing security at those sites but have in the past or would like to perform other work for Blackwater Security Consulting please indicate that in your response.

      •  Black Water Tactical Weekly (4.00)
        Sorry for the delay.  I trashed the email and had a tough time retreiving it.

        Black Water Tactical Weekly

        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
        September 05, 2005
        BLACKWATER JOINS HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF EFFORT!
        This morning (September 1, 2005), Blackwater USA joined the ongoing relief effort in the Gulf Region devastated by Hurricane Katrina by dispatching a SA-330 Puma helicopter to help assist in evacuating citizens from flooded areas.
        Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Erik Prince stated, "At this time, all Americans should band together and assist our countrymen who have been struck by this natural disaster."
        Blackwater's aerial support services are being donated to the relief effort.
        The following services are available:

        Airlift Services
        Security Services
        Humanitarian Support Services
        Logistics and Transportation Services

        Sincerely,
        Gary Jackson
        President
        Blackwater

        Ive been following blackwater ever since it became public the amount of merc that were stationed in Iraq.  I have a ton of info on them and will check through everything when I get a chance and email you over anything that pretains to the story!

    •  Something's Doesn't Seem Right (4.00)
      I'm confused by the part about working under both DHS and the Governor's office.  Part of the dustup between Blanco and the Bush administration is that she wouldn't cede control of the national guard and state and local police to DHS and the Pentagon.  So I don't know how the Blackwater guys would be the only people presumably under an unambiguous joint command.  

      It's possible that whatever authority they think they have, they are exagerating or just plain lying about their actual authority.  It's possible they aren't working for either the feds or the state, but for private interests.  I know the oil companies hired their own security people to secure their facilities, and I'm sure other companies did as well.  Maybe some chamber of commerce or downtown business authority-type group hired them to protect downtown or the French Quarter.

      If they're under contract with any public entitity, I think it's more likely it's DHS or some other Federal entity, because I can't imagine Blanco--who's politically very shrewd, especially on how to walk the racial tightrope like any successful Dem must in Louisiana--would bring in those thugs.  

      And I suppose another possibility is that they're there because there's some embarassing photos of Rumsfeld shaking Saddams's hand stored somewhere in New Orleans, and the Pentagon wants to make sure those records are secured.  If so, let's hope nobody decides to set fire to a library or museum.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:24:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you about the gov (none)
        I thought that sounded odd, which is why I posed the question in my opener... it is much more likely DHS if it's the government who's hired them, which seems possible.

        If it's not the gov't it could very well be private entities, but they seem to be operating with impunity and at least delusions of grandeur in NO, which is scary enough in and of itself.

        Regardless, answers are needed on this from a whole bunch of people.

      •  And do oil etc companies also use Navy Seals? (none)
        To rescue them from NO luxury hotels?

        Please see downthread  

      •  Maybe they have been hired privately? (none)
      •  Northcom's shown loyalty to Constitution not Bush (3.80)
        A couple of days after the hurricane, the commander of Northcom rebelled when Rumsfeld tried to order Northcom to federalize the National Guard of the disaster-affected states. The Northcom commander refused to put the State National Guards in the Northcom command structure, and issued a public statement stating that Northcom was only in the Gulf Coast region to conduct disaster relief activities. Then last Monday, the Northcom commander stated in a press conference that federalizing the State National Guards would not be helpful to Northcom or the State National Guard doing their appointed tasks.

        Since Northcom rebelled against tossing the US Constitution out the window, Bush put troops on the ground that were loyal to only the neo-cons. Those are the Blackwater mercs.

        •  Thanks For Providing Evidence (none)

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 08:28:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So glad you asked, DHinMI (none)
            "Q:  One quick follow-up.  Among the debate this week was whether or not the response should have been federalized, I understand is the term of art.  Can you just tell us about what advantage or disadvantage federalizing the operation would have meant?

                        ADM. KEATING:  From our perspective it would not have provided an advantage over our current situation.  I think this is a topic of, I know it's a topic of discussion between the president, the attorney general, the secretary of defense, and Secretary Chertoff, but from this headquarters through General Honore', Jamie, we're satisfied with the current command and control arrangement where the governors of Mississippi and Louisiana exercised their constitutional prerogative of control of the National Guard, and Russ Honore' as Joint Task Force Katrina's commander has command of the active duty forces."

            http://www.northcom.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.showstory&storyid=2B22D3E8-A9F6-2868-53D8AA58A 1B469D4

            And here's the page Northcom put up on their website about the Posse Comitatus Act.

            "Posse Comitatus Act

            Section 1385 of Title 18, United States Code (USC), states:

            "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

            The PCA does not apply to the U.S. Coast Guard in peacetime or to the National Guard in Title 32 or State Active Duty status. The substantive prohibitions of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) were extended to all the services with the enactment of Title 10 USC, Section 375. As required by Title 10 USC, Section 375 the secretary of defense issued Department of Defense Directive 5525.5, which precludes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps from direct participation in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.

            The PCA generally prohibits U.S. military personnel from direct participation in law enforcement activities. Some of those law enforcement activities would include interdicting vehicles, vessels, and aircraft; conducting surveillance, searches, pursuit and seizures; or making arrests on behalf of civilian law enforcement authorities. Prohibiting direct military involvement in law enforcement is in keeping with long-standing U.S. law and policy limiting the military's role in domestic affairs.

            The United States Congress has enacted a number of exceptions to the PCA that allow the military, in certain situations, to assist civilian law enforcement agencies in enforcing the laws of the U.S. The most common example is counterdrug assistance (Title 10 USC, Sections 371-381). Other examples include:

            • The Insurrection Act (Title 10 USC, Sections 331-335). This act allows the president to use U.S. military personnel at the request of a state legislature or governor to suppress insurrections. It also allows the president to use federal troops to enforce federal laws when rebellion against the authority of the U.S. makes it impracticable to enforce the laws of the U.S.

            • Assistance in the case of crimes involving nuclear materials (Title 18 USC, Section 831). This statute permits DoD personnel to assist the Justice Department in enforcing prohibitions regarding nuclear materials, when the attorney general and the secretary of defense jointly determine that an "emergency situation" exists that poses a serious threat to U.S. interests and is beyond the capability of civilian law enforcement agencies.

            • Emergency situations involving chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction (Title 10 USC, Section 382). When the attorney general and the secretary of defense jointly determine that an "emergency situation" exists that poses a serious threat to U.S. interests and is beyond the capability of civilian law enforcement agencies, DoD personnel may assist the Justice Department in enforcing prohibitions regarding biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction.

            Military support to civilian law enforcement is carried out in strict compliance with the Constitution and U.S. laws and under the direction of the president and secretary of defense."

            http://www.northcom.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=s.who_operatinglaw

            That right... Northcom put the info up on their website about the Posse Comitatus Act... and if you look at the page code, you figure out it was SPECIFICALLY for this reason...

                <meta http-equiv="pragma" content="no-cache">
                <META NAME="robots" CONTENT="all">
                <META NAME="url" Content="http://www.northcom.mil">
                <META NAME="title" Content="U.S. Northern Command Web Site">
                <meta name="distribution" content="Global">
                <meta name="rating" content="Safe For Kids">
                <meta name="classification" content="Internet">
                <META HTTP-EQUIV="expires" CONTENT="Sun, 11 Sep 2005 03:45:38 GMT">

            Get out your firefox browser and look at the code for that page. Look at that expiration date for the page. Sept 11, 2005. That an awful strange expiration date for a general info page for a Command that will still be in the middle of a deployment within the Continental US.... unless the page was put up for someone other than the soldiers of Northcom and the citizens of the affected region.

            •  Evidence That... (none)
              ..."Bush put troops on the ground that were loyal to only the neo-cons. Those are the Blackwater mercs."

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 08:57:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Adm. Keating told Bush to go jump. (none)
                "Q:  One quick follow-up.  Among the debate this week was whether or not the response should have been federalized, I understand is the term of art.  Can you just tell us about what advantage or disadvantage federalizing the operation would have meant?

                            ADM. KEATING:  From our perspective it would not have provided an advantage over our current situation.  I think this is a topic of, I know it's a topic of discussion between the president, the attorney general, the secretary of defense, and Secretary Chertoff, but from this headquarters through General Honore', Jamie, we're satisfied with the current command and control arrangement where the governors of Mississippi and Louisiana exercised their constitutional prerogative of control of the National Guard, and Russ Honore' as Joint Task Force Katrina's commander has command of the active duty forces."

                http://www.northcom.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.showstory&storyid=2B22D3E8-A9F6-2868-53D8AA58A 1B469D4

            •  Northcom Date May Change Daily (none)
              Now the date on the Northcom page is Sept 12 at 03:00...so maybe the page updates daily.
      •  Bush and Gov...maybe (none)
        This is pure speculation, but one rumor has been that the Gov would not agree to turn over all auth. to Bushco...and for that reason he held up the aid that was available. Maybe that's why he stayed on vacation and people sat in excrement for days...a little arm twist to get his mercenaries in there.

        ...I'm so cynical at this point, I put nothing past the power-mongers  among the Bush junta.

        some people who work for Blackwater used to be in Pinochet's military, and some are from South Africa.

        ...of course, this could be nothing more than the reality that Bush has called up so much of our national guard who are deployed in Iraq that it was easier to get Blackwater in there...

        but then again, you have to wonder why Bush would leave the United States undefended in order to overthrow a secular Arabic leader who was not connected to Al Qaeda, who did not have wmds... when supposedly terrorist threats at home made it necessary to warn of this or that threat..

        If I were an sob who shared more with Hussein than Lincoln, I might actually think up such a dirty trick.

  •  Blackwater (4.00)
    escorted the guests from a NO hotel (Fairmont) out of the city at gunpoint.  There was a standoff at the famed bridge where armed National Guard were keeping people off the bridge, and Blackwater won.

    This comment was posted in Maryscott's diary by YellowDog Blue:

    "A neighbor returned here to Berkeley
    last night after having been rescued from the Fairmont hotel.

    Some of what he told us and showed us on a cellphone camera:

    Fairmont hired Blackwater or a similar firm (heavily armed ex-military) to come in and take over the hotel, getting the occupants out  one floor at a time. They walked through floodwaters about a half mile to busses. People in the streets begged to be taken away with them, but were waved away by the armed guards.

    When they reached the checkpoint on I-10, National Guard (or Army) wouldn't let them pass until the mercs forced them to -- at gunpoint.

    On the other side of the checkpoint, a line of emergency vehicles stretched for perhaps 30 miles, rescuers trying to get in to NoLa, but not being allowed past the checkpoint.

    Private militias overruling state-sponsored military?  Check.

    •  Thanks for including this Lisa (4.00)
      I think it would be great if we could start compiling these stories, this is a serious concern for the current and future state of law enforcement in the US.
    •  The Federal National Guard (4.00)
      was forced by the State hired Mercs to lift their roadblock.  WTF?

      But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.

      by calipygian on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:25:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...the quote above.. (4.00)
        ..."you're going to see more of this," is correct.  You're going to see more American citizens (Padilla 9/9 decision) being designated "enemy combatants" and the govt hiring Blackwater to hunt them down. HERE. Call me crazy, just don't call me late to dinner. Question: are there shades of an American civil war going on in NO?
        •  It definitely is possible (4.00)
          with a complicit media, complicit congress and senate, complicit judges there is nothing to limit the excesses that have occurred and will escalate from here on out.
          •  That Isn't Civil War, Is It? (4.00)
            Sounds like insurrection.

            This reminds me of the stories of Pinkerton guards breaking strikes in the early 1900's.  Back then, according to this book, turn-of-the-century America was about as corrupt as it can get, with the 'media', capitalists, and the government (including judges) all in bed together to enhance the financial success of, well, all of them, at the expense of the poor working class.  Miners, factory workers, service employees, basically every person who was in a union in the 60's (not now, mayn unions are busted up since Reagan) had no recourse - except for Darrow.

            That is why he would often say "it only takes one good man"; he meant a good judge to not be bribed or threatened into giving a bad decision, or a good company employee to be a whistleblower; a good cop who refused to arrest an innocent, or a good politician.

            Anyway, back on topic, Pinkerton1 performed spying and 'security duties' (fifth column sabotage, riot incitement, bashing the heads of troublemakers) for Carnegie et al.

            This was the way capitalists were driving America at about the time of "It Can't Happen Here" and "The Jungle"; further into a corrupt, class-based society in which the vast majority of poor workers were exploited.  Basically, people like Darrow, these writers, and of course FDR turned the course of human events.  It took a worldwide depression to catalyze it, unfortunately.

            My theory?  The pendulum is swinging the other way now.  From the enlightened socialism of these people to the reactionary re-introduction of Dickensian sweatshops.

            It's been a long time coming.  Now its here.  The only thing we can do is help it swing back the other way.

            As someone else here said, [1984] was intended to be read as a warning about the evils of totalitarianism -- not a how-to manual!

            •  ...You nailed it... (none)
              ...this Bluesee post is one everyone should print out and keep.  Bluesee definitely nails where we are today.  Where I'm not clear on where this nightmare blueprint takes us, in a global, flat world?  Do we see US pilgrims heading back to Europe?
              •  Except that (none)
                Europe does NOT want us.  
                •  ...I agree... (none)
                  ..to a point.  Everytime I'm there I am aghast at how Americans act and dress.  We've learned nothing since the "ugly American" term was coined so long ago.  I see very heavy people in t-shirts and flip flops in 700 year old cathedrals.  As the years have gone on, as a reaction, I've tried to dress up a bit, wearing a sport coat, slacks, etc.  I put a smile on my face and try to use the local language in a low voice.  I don't bash America in conversation, but I do try to empathize with their exasperation and shock at what is going on here.  I may be wrong, but that's the kind of American they wouldn't mind having???
              •  Well, Thank You (none)
                I looked you up and noticed you like ellipses as much as me...  :P

                It's a working theory.  The problem with reforming Capitalism is that it requires Socialism to do that, and we all know how demonized Socialism has been.  They did to the word 'socialism' what they have done to the word 'liberal'.

                This is why I regard the noise machine as possibly the biggest evil confronting us today; it prevents an honest assessment of society's ills.

                We can't address global warming... abortion... right-to-death... anything without considering FIRST whether or not it benefits business.

                Remember what Calvin Coolidge said?

                "The business of America is business." was used in a Smith-Barney ad in the 80's.  I remember it because it was a shocking viewpoint.  Of course it was a misquote, and taken out of context.  To me it represents the dawning in my mind of the notion that people would argue for corporate domination of politics.  I was younger then.  I feel so much older now!

                Thanks again for the endorsement, SandManCan!

                •  ...had to look it up.. (none)
                  "Ellipsis: The omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction but not necessary for understanding."  I'm a frequent offender.  
                  Could a small cottage in Canada or France be a good backup plan?
                  •  Don't Fear Would be My Advice (none)
                    I know the foothills behind my house and keep myself in shape enough so that if it should all come down, I can at least flee.

                    I wouldn't get in my car, I would take my dogs and family to the hills.  Sure, I might die, but I don't believe that being a lemming is a viable answer.

                    One morning I was driving my children to school, on my way to work, and I looked out across the landscape (this was a year or so after the 9/11 disaster) and saw a giant mushroom cloud.  Such a feeling!  I was afraid to turn on the radio.  It was just a fire.

                    I am not opting to leave this great country because of a few asshats, myself.  And I would not offer that advice to anyone who cares for this great nation.  Just stay diligent, stay on the right side, is all, I guess.

            •  very glad you brought up (none)
              the Pinkertons, etc.
              That's exactly the period in US history, from the Gilded Age to the Dust Bowl, that the current climate most reminds me of.
              An age of terrorism, left and right, and State terror using fear of a Red menace (and a black menace) as a pretext for massive repression.

              "State and local governments are looking to us for leadership." -- Mike Brown to Joe Lieberman, June 2002

              by chickendove on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 08:18:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  True, for every one of the (none)
              dastardly acts we see today, they are only carbons of the actions from our past.  That is what is so frustrating about America (and possibly about God and Free Will).  We can be so good and so forward looking and then we can be so mean spirited and brutal to each other.
            •  How's this for a new motto (4.00)
              Blackwater: the Pinkertons of the New American Century

              There is now a new awareness in New Orleanians of something called "death by bureaucracy"

              by playon on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 01:01:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Heh... (none)
        well, we do know that the National Guard patrols stationed at airports throughout the country after 9/11 had empty magazines in their rifles (probably no bolt, either).  All those M-16s brandished near the metal detectors?  All for show.

        So maybe the NG down there are similarly equipped, and are not going to be able to bluff any rogue Blackwater goon squads.

        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought. -- Milan Kundera

        by Dale on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:38:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How far we've sunk (4.00)
      Part of me wants to cheer for these mercenaries forcing the army to let the civilians pass -- and part of me thinks of them as thugs for hire not to be touched with a ten-foot pole.

      "There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line" - Indigo Girls

      by AlanF on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:39:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it'd be one thing... (4.00)
        ...if they were there helping people as a volunteer relief effort.

        But they're not.  

        They're mercenaries, threatening American soldiers at gunpoint on American soil, so a big corporation can get its wealthy guests out of a disaster zone faster than everyone else.

        Two Americas?  Yep.  And one gets to point guns at the troops holding the other in hell.

        There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

        by Leggy Starlitz on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:07:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It 's just money (4.00)
        The trouble with cheering them is they weren't forcing the army to let `civilians' past, they were forcing the army to let their clients past. It's an amazingly straightforward example of where if you were from the affluent strata of society, you could buy your way to safety. If poor, too bad. If they had been getting paid to hold those same civilians back from crossing the bridge, I'm sure they would have cashed the pay check for that too.

        The opposite of war is not peace, it's creation --Jonathan Larson

        by MaggieEh on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:18:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The term is Condotierri (4.00)
          it even means contractor .  

          The greatest danger here is, these people represent a private army, loyal only to their paymasters (and, ultimately, as is always the case with mercenaries...not too loyal to them when the coin gets scarce).  This is another example of the spirit of Neoconservatism.  Why depend on patriots willing to die for an ideal, who might refuse to obey an illegal order when you have handy folks around who just want to see green?

          After all, can you think of a reason why the Bush administration would want to leave domestic security in the hands of the military they have so misused?  How long before these "contractors" are "guarding" polling places against "unruly elements" (by which I mean Democrats)?  I know our electoral system is already pretty much a sham, but don't we have a right to at least be opressed by the duly appointed federal authorities instead of Blackwater mercenaries who once worked for the Apartheid regime in South Africa?

          They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety -- Ben Franklin

          by TheGryphon on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:29:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read any William Gibson? (none)
            You should. It's beginning to look a whole lot like the political situation in the Cyberpunk genre Gibson created.

            For those who haven't read any of that genre, the power of governments decreases, the power of corporations increase, but no group is dominant. The result is social chaos.

            Throw in about 20 years of scientific advances on VR, designer drugs, and cybernetic implants, and New Orleans IS a William Gibson novel.

            •  Not really... (none)
              At heart, Gibson's future is anarchaic.  the Corporations don't control governemnt, they have made it irrelevant.  What we have here is good olde fashioned Fascism.  The Corporation controls the state.  Despite what they asy about "drowning it in a bathtub", they will never reach the Gibsonian dystopia.  Before that happens, open war between competing corporate groups (Big Oil and Pharma [GOP]  vs Lawyers and Accountantcy [Dems]) will begin.  I don't exempt us...our party is also beholden to corporate interests which distort our policies...but we are ashamed of it, while they revel in it.

              Sure there are scary paralels between Gibson and this, but the bottomline is that as long as the Corporatocracy can rob from the government, they have no incentive to eliminate it.

              They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety -- Ben Franklin

              by TheGryphon on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 08:46:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Close enough for horseshoes and nuclear weapons (none)
                I think we're in the same general ballpark.
              •  Corporations depend on governments more (none)
                than ever in many cases.

                The medicine that costs you $150 a month may actually only cost $2 to make. Only governments can force you to pay $150.

                The $25 bestseller could be typed into a computer and you could read it for the cost of keeping your laptop running. Only government keeps you paying $25.

                Those $100 designer jeans could be made for less than $10 in China. Only government can keep you paying top dollar.

                Even security contractors are heavily dependent on government.

                Imagine if Halliburton didn't get Federal government contracts.

                Imagine if there was no Medicaid. A mother and her asthmatic child would be approached by someone. The mother would hand over $2 and be told to buy an inhaler from a guy wearing blue shorts and a red shirt.

    •  "a line of emergency vehicles" (4.00)
       "stretched for perhaps 30 miles ["On the other side of the checkpoint"], rescuers trying to get in to NoLa, but not being allowed past the checkpoint."

      What the hell was that about?

      Private militias overruling state-sponsored military?  Okay, that's a big problem, but at least it saved the lives of a few people, even if they were hotel guests, not residents.

      This is insanity. Interview the people in these vehicles, somebody, please.

      "Mommy, what's 'f-a-s-c-i-s-m'?"

      by nhwriter on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:51:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Fascist" (4.00)
      Is not "over the top" rhetoric. We've gone over the edge already.
    •  Of course in that instance (none)
      That wasn't such a bad thing...

      Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

      Feingold for President

      by Goldfish on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:14:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is beyond belief (none)
      "On the other side of the checkpoint, a line of emergency vehicles stretched for perhaps 30 miles, rescuers trying to get in to NoLa, but not being allowed past the checkpoint."

      I think I'm going to throw up.

      "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." -- John F. Kennedy

      by commanda on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:26:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fairmont Hotel details (none)
      Here

      A 3-4 star ($160-300/night) 600 room full service luxury hotel near the French Quarter.

      I guess a few lazy shiftless stupid good-for-nothing rich people (with Bushie Regime connections?)  did not have enough sense to heed the evacuation warnings and get out before the hurricane, and so had to have their pampered asses quietly and expensively moved out by Blackwater, (paid for by DHS??).

    •  A couple of other published accounts (4.00)
      One is at the University of Texas at Arlington's Shorthorn Online

      Patel said the Fairmont officials told him the team pulling them out was a hired mercenary crew composed of Navy SEALs and Dallas SWAT members. Employed by the hotel to protect the occupants and get them safely out of the city, the team was forced to fend off others eager to escape on the buses.

      "They made it in, and these guys were ruthless," he said. "They were there to protect us, and that's what they did. Those guys didn't joke around."

      Once everyone was loaded on the buses, Patel said they moved to a church in Baton Rouge where they wanted to house the evacuees but discovered it didn't have the capacity. They then moved to Lafayette, where they stayed in the Cajundome, a convention center located on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

      Patel said they were going to lay over in the city for a few days while the buses continued pulling people out of New Orleans, but it was decided that the current group of people would continue.

      "They said that whoever wanted to stay in Lafayette could stay, and the rest of us were going to Dallas, and we could stay in a Fairmont in Dallas if we wanted," he said.

      Patel said he stayed on the bus as it traveled into Texas, covered by a police escort and moving above the speed limit.

      "These guys were driving around 80 miles per hour," he said.

      He said it was late Thursday when the group arrived at a hotel in Dallas and that he was treated to a warm welcome by the staff, complete with a `Welcome Home' banner.

      Some Canadian tourists also told their Fairmont evacuation tale.

      BTW, the Fairmont also evacuated its own employees and is helping them, post-Katrina.  See YellowDogBlue's comment here.

      •  Dallas? That's near Midland, GHB's home town (none)
        A Navy Seal-Blackwater combined  rescue of Jenna and Friends from a Wild-on Weekend in NO?
        •  GHB, GWB whatever. n/t (none)
        •  Nah, but another Fairmont cite sounded intriguing (none)
          New Orleans bachelorette party becomes a horror - Newark Star Ledger, NJ - Sep 7, 2005

          The Star Ledger article doesn't seem to be online anymore (but try Googling "New Orleans bachelorette party" and see what it gets you, just for fun.)  However, another friend of the future bride spoke to the North Jersey Media Group: 9/11 survivor from Lyndhurst found flood scarier.

          "I would have to say that this was more scary," said Comforti, 31, who left for New Orleans a week ago Friday for a bachelorette party and finally made it back home Saturday night. "It was dragged out for four days. I thought we were going to die."

          Ms. Comforti was not rescued by Navy SEALs, as expected, and her subsequent efforts to enlist the National Guard didn't pan out:

          They asked a few nearby National Guardsmen if they might help them get back to the hotel. The guardsmen were friendly and helpful, but surrounding people in the chaos became suspicious and angry.

          "We were eight white people - six white girls, two white guys," she said. The perception surrounding them, she said, was: "What's the special treatment here?"

          They abandoned the idea. Instead, they negotiated with a bus driver headed to Baton Rouge with his family.


          Once they got there,
          In a strange coincidence, the son of the couple whose home they stayed in was getting married the next day. They were invited to come.

          "Only in America could you go from being in guerrilla warfare one day to being at a wedding the next," Comforti said.

          Um, please think that one over, Ms. Comforti.  That could happen in a whole lot of countries. Think Iraq.  

      •  Fairmont rescue team were volunteers (none)
        At this point I don't know if anyone will see this, but I just found the story.

        I know one of the former SEALs that rescued the staff, hotel guests, and New Orleans residents that took refuge at the Fairmont and they aren't Mercenaries. They were volunteers.

        The team was three former SEALs, three Dallas PD Officers, one civilian, and one Fairmont Hotel rep. The CEO of Fairmont Hotels contacted one of the former SEALs and asked for his help after the National Guard had failed to show and the hotel was running low on supplies.

        The former SEAL formed the team and received permission from Homeland Security to conduct the operation, which they named "Toxic Gumbo". A Dallas car dealership gave them two large SUVs and the hotel contracted buses. They were armed, to prevent anyone from harassing the evacuees. There was no standoff with the National Guard. The only National Guard comment I heard was: they were very poorly equiped, Vietnam era weapons etc., and didn't appear well trained.

        It took them about six hours, but they were able to evacuate over 800 people from the hotel.

        •  Interesting story - thanks for the update (none)
          So they came from Dallas to do the derring-do? And they were able to get DHS permission to enter New Orleans for the rescue?  (Did that require personal contacts in the agency to arrange?) And if there were no stand-offs with the National Guard, were there any encounters with the Gretna police?

          Again, it sounds like the Fairmont guests were very grateful for your friend's help. It's too bad FEMA never showed such get-up-and-go, or allowed other rescue teams into town, so that ordinary NOLA residents could have gotten the help they needed, too.  

          Think about doing a diary with your info - I'm sure it would interest others!

          •  Answers to your questions (none)
            Thanks for the reply. I'd like to do a diary on the Fairmont rescue, but I'm a Daily KOS noob. So no diaries until next week. By then the story will be pretty stale. My co-worker, I'll call "SoCal SEAL", has given interviews to the local Los Angeles Fox News channel, picked up by UPN, and an industry newspaper called "The Credit Union Times". I'm not sure if any of these are available on the web.

            To answer your questions. The rescue team was formed in Dallas. My co-worker "SoCal SEAL" and I live in the Los Angeles area, but he was visiting family in Dallas, when his friend "Dallas SEAL" called to ask for his assistance.

            They did get Homeland Security permission before leaving for New Orleans. "SoCal SEAL" doesn't want to publicly discuss the details, and I'll respect that, but this is what was said in the "The Credit Union Times": "Based on their Seal experience and with Dallas police officers also on the team, they were cleared to enter".

            They didn't have any problems with local police. I'm sure it helped that they had buses to transfer all the evacuees back to Dallas. The National Guard was arriving as they were leaving the area.

            •  Thanks for the additional details (none)
              No telling what next week's news might bring, and even if the Fairmont story seems stale, by then, you've got access to a tale worth telling.  Why not write it up and archive it here, once you've got the kos-credentials?

              Just look at all the passionate comments in these diaries (check other comments here for links) on armed private security details in action in NoLa from last week.  I bet YellowDogBlue (whose friend was among those evacuated from the Fairmont) would be especially interested.

              Thanks again, and welcome to the hive!  

    •  lots of people in the regular army (none)
      absolutely despise these high dollar 'elite' mercs, due to a divide that has existed in the army for a long time and has only gotten wider under rumsfeld - these so called spec ops guys getting the best in weapons and gear while the a huge majority of the rest of the non-tabbed army gets unarmored vehicles and vietnam flak vests.  Within certain circles of the army (75th regiment, socom) blackwater is simply the next step up once you get your ticket punched, and it represents the ultimate state of existence in their screwed up Republican world - a license to kill, zero accountability, and money, lots of money.

      If you were to ever actually train alongside these spec ops guys or participate in operations in the field you'd quickly observe that they're mostly all hype - 7.62 kills them just as quickly as a part time reservist and their situational awareness sucks, just like everyone else's.

      It is disappointing to see soldiers who swore an oath to defend the Constitution yield to mercs who swore oaths to no one, but that is simply the direction the country is going.

      •  Remember "The President's Analyst"? (none)
        Godfrey Cambridge is in analysis, troubled by the fact that he's ordered to kill by his CIA bosses, and does so, frequently.  James Coburn is elated: that's marvelous!  Don't you see?  You have the perfect mechanism for working off a bad day or any kind of problem.  You're perfectly sane, but with a licnese to kill.  Enjoy!

        When satire becomes reality, get the hell out.

        "Figs! In the name of The Prophet, figs!" E.A. Poe

        by moltar on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 01:01:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  somehow more important to me (none)
      is the 30 miles worth of relief being stopped
      WTF?!?
      30 miles worth of relief?
      that's a picture that would shock the world...
  •  Blackwater Merc Call Iraqis Niggers While Shooting (4.00)
    As captured on video, I downloaded it, a few weeks back, from a link at www.militaryphotos.net ....
    Has anyone else seen that?
    Can you help with a link?
    Can't find a live one anymore.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 12:36:39 PM PDT

    •  I vaguely recall hearing that too... (none)
      can't remember where though...
    •  They are there to protect... (4.00)
      the white elite in New Orleans, especially those with palatial abodes in the Garden District.

      Check this aside from Common Dreams, via the WSJ on Thursday of this week:

      The green expanse of Audubon Park, in the city's Uptown area, has doubled in recent days as a heliport for the city's rich -- and a terminus for the small armies of private security guards who have been dispatched to keep the homes there safe and habitable.

      And again...

      When New Orleans descended into a spiral of looting and anarchy, Mr. Reiss helicoptered in an Israeli security company to guard his Audubon Place house and those of his neighbors.

      And who else has asked for this kind of patrolling?

      [S]ociety is still dominated by these old-line families, represented today by prominent figures...Their social pecking order is dictated by the mysterious hierarchy of "krewes," groups with hereditary membership that participate in the annual carnival leading up to Mardi Gras.

      They are not playing around.  Don't think Bush isn't listening to these guys or doesn't have any connection to them.  Elites are elites no matter where they reside.

      An untypical Negro...since 1954.

      by blksista on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:04:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  RECOMMEND RECCOMEND RECCOMEND (4.00)
    Please. This is majorly important stuff. this is back to the Pinkertons but with automatic weapons. This should be addressed on the front page. Extremely significant.
    This is freak out time folks, if you have any idea what is going on here, and if you don't... Pay attention.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 12:39:16 PM PDT

    •  Needs 1k recs & front page (none)
      This is old-school crackpot "UN black helicopter" beginning of the end stuff along with FEMA detention camps.

      But it's real.

      I would not be surprised to hear about the Feds going door to door confiscating radio transmitters, firearms, and computers. From select demographics, of course.

      "Can we all get along?"

      by hotspur on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:13:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't believe this just scrolled away! (4.00)
    THere is so much important information coming out in the diaries of the Iraqi-azation of New Orleans. No bid contracts being handed out like candy, the blocking of the press from doing their job, chaos, negligence of the local citizenry,and now mercenaries....as I am typing this there is a live news briefing with Allen the new FEMA ground guy and he mentioned how well the coordination of the local police with the national guard and private contractors was going. These diaries are all scrolling away and there is a real thread here, it is like Iraq is the template of how this administration is handling NO et al. Blanco seemed to stand up to him when he first tried to strong-arm her into handing over the reins and now it looks like she is getting into bed with him, but where is the oversight? Democrats are getting bullied again. Another diary that barely got any attention was about the contract for handling the dead that was awarded to a subsidiary of CSI the huge funeral corporation that Allbaugh (and Bush during his days as governor) has ties to. I'm sorry I am on dial up right now and I cant go back and get the link to the diary.

    "The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing"....Oscar Wilde

    by 313to212 on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 01:37:59 PM PDT

    •  I know (4.00)
      I wish it weren't so because this development is so freakin' important. But with so many diaries and diarists, and the inane diary right above this one about a poll on LGF that has over a hundred comments, people I think just haven't taken notice. Hopefully in the next couple of days someone else will diary it as well... or mention it in someone elses diary, etc.
      •  There is a new one up right now (none)
        He mentioned that he didn't know if it was already diaried. Why don't you go in and link yours. I would do it but my computer is soooo damn slow.

        "The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing"....Oscar Wilde

        by 313to212 on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:12:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is VERY important (4.00)
        Will recycle what I wrote in another post because this is so important.  Yes, Blackwater will be around for a long time and they are infiltrating and obtaining a position of strength.

        DoD IG now Blackwater CEO

        The Department of Defense (DoD) just lost its top financial auditor.

        In a staff announcement obtained by CFO.com from the non-profit watchdog group Project on Government Oversight (POGO), Joseph E. Schmitz, the Inspector General of the DoD, announced his resignation. He informed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last Friday that Sept. 9 would be his last day at the department.

        Unconfirmed reports claim that Schmitz, who was appointed by President Bush in March of 2002, will be joining Blackwater USA as CEO. Blackwater is the private defense contractor that, among many other military assignments, is active in Iraq.

        The IG's office includes the Defense Financial Auditing Service, and according to the DoD website, the IG is the "the only DoD Officer qualified to issue opinions on the financial statements of the Department of Defense, the annual budget for which exceeds $400 billion."


        Also, this is starting in the south --way down south --where it has the chance of deflecting any noticeable scrutiny.  If this were happening in Ohio, it wouldn't go down.  But, it will spread like a cancer.

        Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

        by bronte17 on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:00:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  MSP Star Tribune... (4.00)
          ...confirms this. I've posted it downthread. He's leaving after all of this:

          The resignation comes after Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, informed Schmitz this summer that he was the target of a congressional inquiry into whether he had blocked two criminal probes last year. Grassley also accused Schmitz of fabricating a Pentagon news release, planning an expensive junket to Germany and hiding information from Congress.

          Just the kind of guy big business loves.

          Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

          by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:09:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And Cofer "take the gloves off" Black (none)
          Former CIA antiterrorism muckity-muck  became  Blackwater Vice Chairman within a couple months of retiring from CIA.
        •  Blackwater's parent company is the Prince Group (none)
          It is the Prince Group Schmitz is heading. This includes Blackwater, but to say he's heading Blackwater isn't quite right. Blackwater has their own head.

          we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

          by Tirge Caps on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 11:17:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've also thought that... (none)
      the fobbing off of blacks to other, farther states rather than within Louisiana itself may yet another, darker reason...

      Fewer disgruntled poor blacks would not influence others to dissent or to rebel.

      An untypical Negro...since 1954.

      by blksista on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:09:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Iraq and NO (4.00)
      Same shit, different fuckup.  There is a kind of grim consistency to the way BushCo handles everything.  Or perhaps efficiency is the word.  Not the efficiency you and I are familiar with where we actually try to get useful things done but the efficiency of ants at war.  They send their soldier ants out against the other colony, thousands are killed but the survivors dutifully carry the dead back to the colony - and feed them to the others.  Every situation, no matter how disastrous, is just another opportunity to shift wealth into the pockets of the crony capitalists.  Whether the disaster is of human or natural origin the methods and tactics will be the same.
  •  New York Times: (4.00)
    New Orleans Begins Confiscating Firearms as Water Recedes

    No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

    But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:44:53 PM PDT

  •  Criminal. (4.00)
    And fucking terrifying.

    Now Americans will get a little first hand experience of what it feels like to be an innocent Iraqui civilian living through chaos, where your life is totally out of your control.

    That'll drum up more support for your "war", won't it, George?

    "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

    by hopesprings on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:47:19 PM PDT

  •  Where is Governor Blanco on this? n/t (none)

    What is essential is invisible.

    by bebimbob on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:48:51 PM PDT

  •  Global Research: (4.00)
    Private Security and Mercenary Companies Patrol New Orleans

    Blackwater USA is a private mercenary firm, one of many "war outsourcing" outfits working for the Pentagon. In the spring 2004 Fallujah assault, Blackwater was involved with combat as well as logistics (food shipments, etc.). Four Blackwater USA mercenaries were killed in Fallujah, raising worldwide attention.

    In February 2005, the former Director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, and the Bush State Department's former Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Cofer Black, became Blackwater USA's Vice Chairman.

    In "The Mercenary Variable: Outsourced combat in Iraq", US Army Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff describes Blackwater as follows:

        "Blackwater USA is a guns-for-hire training-and-recruitment outfit on a 6,000 acre military training compound on the northern coastal plain of Moyock, North Carolina, a stone's throw from the Virginia border."

        "What differentiates them from the crazed, ex-military flotsam that rampaged through Congo in the 1960's is that they are (1) incorporated, (2) they use legally recognized financial/contract instruments, and (3), they work for recognized governments. The latter is a very finely drawn point, because governments frequently hire these legalized mercenaries at the insistence, and with the support, of multinational corporations who just happen - as it turns out - to be in the same place these outfits are doing their security.

        "On the combat end, Blackwater USA is mostly ex-SEALs with a few former SWAT cops thrown in, run by a blustering hyper-macho ex-SEAL named Gary Jackson. One of the victims of the Fallujah ambush - a WWF-looking body-builder-type - had boasted to a reporter staying in his hotel in Baghdad that he preferred hand-to-hand combat so he could see his quarry eye to eye. When I was running a Special Forces A-Detachment, this kind of talk would have sent me seeking a way to reassign you out of my team."

    The infamous Halliburton-KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root), the "classic" private military firm connected to Dick Cheney, is already in the area as well. Where there is oil, war, destruction and "rebuilding", there is KBR.

    What are they doing in New Orleans? What is the Bush administration and FEMA up to, that the world is being kept from seeing?

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:49:58 PM PDT

  •  Blackwater hires South African ex-army (4.00)
    Like from the Aparthied days ex-army... I guess the New Orleans ultra-rich want people with experience shooting at black people.
  •  Oh Lawd! (4.00)
    Just what we need ... legal militias roaming the streets. How will the public know who they are? What law enforcement authority do they have?

    With all the stereotypes about of armed gangs of black folks, I can easily see some innocent people getting picked off by one of these goons.

    What have we become?

    One day we ALL will know the truth about the 2000 presidential election. God help us all.

    by CocoaLove on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:51:16 PM PDT

  •  Negroponte's "death squads" (4.00)
    Live and in person and coming to an occupation near you!

    I am so glad I took out UK citizenship.  This is very scary shit.

    It was a sniper from Negroponte's security detail that shot the Italian journalist and Italian intelligence agents last fall.

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

    by LondonYank on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:52:46 PM PDT

  •  Oh My God (none)
    I think I've run out of words to express how outraged I am by each new way our government is handling this disaster.

    The administration headed this country in the wrong direction in 2000, and Ta Da, now we are there!

    Be afraid, be very afraid...

    "I am your king!" "Well, I didn't vote for you." "You don't vote for kings." - Monty Python

    by Liberaljentaps on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:53:17 PM PDT

  •  Salon.com: (4.00)
    The Lost World

    A sparkling, cream-colored Rolls-Royce sits on the curb outside the jail. It was found with a window busted out and the dashboard ripped apart on Wednesday, the sort of looting trophy that a disaster like this makes seem ridiculous. Over at the Sheraton, Blackwater Security, famous for its exploits in Iraq, has taken up position, each man with a machine gun and a pistol. They are the alpha males of the security set, which now includes police and National Guard members from nearly every state.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:53:52 PM PDT

  •  That's ONE way around (4.00)
    Posse Commitatus
  •  Washington Times: (4.00)
    Katrina-hit States Turn to Security Firms

    Blackwater USA, a Moyock, N.C., security services firm, also has sent about 150 of its workers to the region, said spokeswoman Anne Duke. The company's guards started helping the U.S. Coast Guard Sept. 1 with search-and-rescue missions, lending one of its Puma helicopters for the missions, Ms. Duke said.

    Additionally, Blackwater guards are protecting facilities that house "priceless art pieces" and special landmarks, Ms. Duke said, refusing to disclose which cultural centers or landmarks are being guarded.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:57:28 PM PDT

    •  This should be an entire diary (4.00)
      There is much in New Orleans that is priceless, and cuts close to real national security concerns.  This is a major American city.  I'd note, for example, that the Federal Reserve has a branch just blocks from the Superdome, which I never heard noted in press reports.

      As the storyline follows the victims out of New Orleans, it's extremely important to itemize exactly who is controlling what's left of value IN New Orleans.  Powerful interests taking de facto control of valuable assets will be disinclined to relinquish a full stake in their newfound acquisitions.

      This family of stories is my candidate for most censored of the entire tragedy.  

  •  Investor's Business Daily: (4.00)
    Security companies deploy to New Orleans

    Blackwater USA is sending about 50 employees to the Gulf region along with a transport helicopter and two cargo planes, according to spokeswoman Anne Duke. The security company has offered to help the Coast Guard with pro bono rescue work and is working with private-sector firms to help protect infrastructure and cultural buildings in the city, she said.

    "I definitely don't think Blackwater would have been contacted if it wasn't a serious situation," said Duke. She declined to detail who the company is working for in the area.

    Blackwater, which draws on former military and law enforcement personnel, has taken on some very high-profile tasks in Iraq.

    The company's armed guards protected the former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Amb. Paul Bremer. Blackwater also runs a substantial training facility where it offers courses for police and military training.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:01:23 PM PDT

    •  serious indeed (none)
      "I definitely don't think Blackwater would have been contacted if it wasn't a serious situation,"

      There were white people sharing the same circumstances as the poor black folk!

      Of course someone would pay to get them the hell out of there.

      Shit.

      The GOP and the Elephant are both Introduced Species

      by roboton on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 09:07:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MSP Star Tribune: (4.00)
    This is very interesting: World/Nation Briefs

    The Defense Department's top investigator has resigned from office amid accusations that he stonewalled inquiries into senior Bush administration officials suspected of wrongdoing. Inspector General Joseph Schmitz told staffers that his resignation takes effect Friday and that he intends to take a job with the parent company of Blackwater USA, a defense contractor.

    The resignation comes after Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, informed Schmitz this summer that he was the target of a congressional inquiry into whether he had blocked two criminal probes last year. Grassley also accused Schmitz of fabricating a Pentagon news release, planning an expensive junket to Germany and hiding information from Congress.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:04:27 PM PDT

  •  You go (none)
    to a natural disaster with the army you have, not the army you want.  And when there isn't enough army for Afghanistan, Iraq, and domestic disasters, you hire the mercenaries you have, not the mercenaries you want.

    The good news is, the mercenaries you have just happen to be the mercenaries you want, so fuck eveyrone else.

  •  Legal authority, contract documents? (none)
    Has anyone seen any legal authority that authorizes Blackwater and its ilk to make arrests?  (I can think only of a citizen's arrest, which is allowed in California and allows someone to detain a criminal until law enforcement arrives)

    What about the contract documents?  Has anyone seen those?

    •  It was posted above (none)
      That the Blackwater operators were deputized by LA officials, which would give make them ad hoc law enforcement officers as far as the law is concerned.

      Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

      Feingold for President

      by Goldfish on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:26:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some of these guys (4.00)
    are being hired by private property owners as well.

    Some homeowners have hired companies such as Blackwater USA, whose contractors protected members of the U.S. occupation in Iraq and charge up to $1,000 a day for their work.

    I suspect that the majority of these guys are there as private contractors, and are claiming powers similar to those used in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I cannot believe that even this President and his cronies would be dumb enough to hire mercenaries directly.

    Don't want to be an American idiot -- Green Day

    by jsmdlawyer on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:10:12 PM PDT

  •  This American Life: contractors in Iraq (none)
    (FYI)They discuss Blackwater and other groups  but it's up to the usual TAL standards and in en target.

    For realone player
    http://207.70.82.73/ra/266_bonus.ram

    Yes it is truely frightening that they are in NO.

    "There can be no real individual freedom in the presence of economic insecurity." Chester Bowles

    by coigue on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:10:47 PM PDT

  •  What pigs (4.00)
    Bush and his keepers "strangle" our armed forces by sending them to die in Iraq for lies, then, since they don't have enough soldiers to properly protect their own citizens in New Orleans, conveniently hire mercenaries. The road to total privatization and complete fascism continues. What pigs. The majority of Americans, judging by polls, are slowly waking up to the horror in their midst, the question is will they wake up in time?

    "In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility..."

    by assyrian64 on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:11:59 PM PDT

  •  I diaried my thoughts on this earlier (4.00)
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/10/94950/5455

     Yes, I've been saying it for a while.  Once the mercenaries were used to "augment" the army in Iraq, it was only a matter of time before they were used to "augment" the Guard here.  Sure, they waited for a disaster first ... I mean, you don't just roll out the new product line full force for no reason.  That would be "boiling the frog" too fast.  People would notice.

    It's only 150 so far, and reports are unclear who brought them in, but it's clear that the Feds are allowing this and telling local officials to allow them in.

    Link below the fold:

    http://www.pnionline.com/dnblog/attytood/archives/002349.html

    Attywood brings us the story on his cheez whiz filled blog.

    Pick whatever metaphor you like.

    I prefer the GenX metaphor of the Star Wars Prequels.  We're well beyond the Battle of Geonosis, and we're up to seeing the Stormtroopers on the streets of Coruscant.  We must WAKE UP NOW.

    Or, if you're a Southerner, I don't know if GWB is from the Party of Lincoln, but he's certainly from the Party of Reconstruction.  He's done an end-run around Posse Comitatus.  In a disaster, it makes sense to federalize the guard ... BUT it does not allow the Feds to control or even permit unaccountable mercenaries to roam the streets of an American city.

    The Peacekeepers have turned their guns on their fellow Sebaceans.

    Napoleon has unleashed the puppies he kept in the attic.

    The Terran Federation is out in force, and it will brook no dissent against Servalan in this time of crisis.

    The proverbial feces has hit the cooling unit.

    From Attywood (by way of the NYT - don't say the old gray lady is completely senile):

    "The New York Times has seen them too:

    No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

    But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons. "

    HOO BOY.

    Here's Blackwater's PR ... or advertisement, as most people would term it:

    "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    September 01, 2005

    This morning (September 1, 2005), Blackwater USA joined the ongoing relief effort in the Gulf Region devastated by Hurricane Katrina by dispatching a SA-330J Puma helicopter to help assist in evacuating citizens from flooded areas.

    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Erik Prince stated, "At this time, all Americans should band together and assist our countrymen who have been struck by this natural disaster."

    The following services are available:

    # Airlift Services

    # Security Services

    # Communication Support

    # Crowd Control

    # Humanitarian Support Services

    # Logistics and Transportation Services

    Anyone having a security or evacuation request may call
    (252) 435-2488. All requests shall be prioritized and acted upon as quickly as possible.

    We would also like to thank Iridium Satellite www.iridium.com for providing satellite phones for our relief efforts due to Hurricane Katrina."

    Yeah, thanks Iridium Satellite.  Iridium hasn't been this helpful to the Planet Earth since the K-T extinction.  Okay, only Darksyde would get that joke.

    How many other ways do I have to spell this out?  Blackwater doesn't belong there.  They aren't doing this like Sean Penn or John Travolta.  They are being paid to do a job that thousands of doctors, firefighters, and police volunteered to do and were prevented from doing.  They are being paid to fight American citizens over here, so our volunteer armed forces and national guard can die in a completely pointless war over there.

    THIS IS NOT RIGHT.

    So what do we do people?

    •  wrong... (none)
      "Yeah, thanks Iridium Satellite.  Iridium hasn't been this helpful to the Planet Earth since the K-T extinction.  Okay, only Darksyde would get that joke."

      you're talking about the dino extinction by asteroid...leaving a thin layer of iridium as its marker...

      Be a patriot...Buy a hybrid vehicle!

      by billlaurelMD on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:35:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's OK If Republicans Do It n/t (none)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:15:48 PM PDT

    •  But not if it's an old guy (none)
      in his unflooded home with plenty of supplies refusing to evacuate because he knows he'll come back to an empty house looted by the soldiers/cops/whoever, or bulldozed because "it caught on fire" or "the damage was too bad where you didn't see it".....

      Give that guy a private security license for the duration...

      "I came to see that news is what people want to keep hidden, and everything else is publicity". ...Bill Moyers, 5/15/05

      by revsue on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:38:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Washington Post: (4.00)
    Private Security Contractors Head to Gulf

    North Carolina-based Blackwater USA, for example, has 150 security personnel in the Gulf Coast region. The company, which provided personal security for the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority and continues to have a large presence in Iraq, began by donating the services of a helicopter crew to help the Coast Guard with rescue efforts. But it since has added commercial clients that either have buildings in the region, such as hotels, or are sending employees there to help with the reconstruction.

    "The calls came flooding in. It's not something that we went down and tried to develop," said Chris Taylor, Blackwater's vice president for strategic initiatives.

    [snip]

    Peter W. Singer, an expert on private military contractors at the Brookings Institution, said he thinks the presence of such firms is "overkill" when firms that perform more conventional security work are available.

    "This is not a war zone. The potential threats that might be faced are not insurgents armed with mortars and machine guns attacking convoys," he said. "This was basically looters and a small number of ne'er-do-wells taking potshots."

    Blackwater's Taylor said local authorities are notified when company employees move into an area. So far, he said, none of his workers has had to take any action; the idea is that their presence should be enough. "We're saying to potential looters, 'This is a place you don't want to be right now,' " he said.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:17:29 PM PDT

  •  Frontline's Private Warriors (4.00)
    The recent excellent Frontline program "Private Warriors" details many of the disastrous problems with the growing number of private contractors in Iraq, many of them armed and many of them doing work that has been performed by the military in previous wars.  Very disturbing stuff.  If you haven't seen the program, I highly recommend it:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/

  •  This is why they dont want reporters down there. (4.00)
    Fucking disgraceful.  

    The corporate police state has arrived.  

    "...and the riot be the rhyme of the unheard." -- ratm

    by Billy Shears on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:22:38 PM PDT

  •  Might be time (none)
    for a little digging into Blackwater's ownership and political connections, a la Gannon/Guckert.

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

    by Catriana on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:38:06 PM PDT

    •  Am I the only one who finds this scary? (none)
      Maybe I'm paranoid, but out of all the ruthless corporations in the world, Blackwater isn't the first one I'd like to antagonize...

      Support IWT
      Independent World Television
      The Alternative to the Corporate Media

      by Cool Blue Reason on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:52:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  <sigh> (none)
        That's a good point... maybe its the name, but these guys strike me as shady in the extreme.  

        Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

        by Catriana on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 05:03:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So look into "Custer Battles" instead (none)
        Remember them? Same overall theme except they had an even higher (i.e. worse) ratio of Contract Kleptocracy/Technical Competence than Blackwater. (Blackwater at least seems to insist that their people really be able to do what they're advertised as being able to do; C/B employees need only be physically able to tote the duffle bags full of cash.)

        And the two owners really are named "Custer" and "Battles." There was much hoo-rah over their abominable work at Baghdad Airport back in the spring but (sigh) it faded away without much in the way of, oh, accountability or punishment.

        Oh, and has anybody else been having trouble with Google lately when trying to find links to stories you KNOW you've seen, or else backstory on people and events? Haven't seen so many dead links/pages gone 404 in a long damn time. After reading the rare stories to trickle out about how "accomodating" the Google folks have been in designing their services to the specs of the Chinese government--so as to keep troublesome information out of the hands of potentially troublesome people of course--I meditate on what sort of uses other governments could put these tactics to.

        Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

        by Xan on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 07:50:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I could cry (none)
    These guys are better armed, better equipped, and better paid than our own military, and they're not accountable to anyone but the Bushies. Yet, ulitmately, they are paid by us. Where will we see them next, outside our polling boths? We certainly have ringside seats for the last throes of our democracy.
  •  I thought I recognized the beer bellies, (none)
    automatic weapons, sunglasses and sneering "I'd just as soon shoot you as look at you" expressions.

    Can Jerry "privatize-this" Bremer be far behind.

  •  ah the insanity continues.... (none)
    imagine what BushCo would unleash on us in the event of a major terrorist attack in the United States.

    "Its when murder is justice that martyrs are made..." Lamb of God

    by Darth Codis on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:39:41 PM PDT

    •  They don't even have to. (none)
      Bird flu is coming, and the WHO has said it is inevitable.  HHS Secretary Leavitt has called it an "absolute certainty".  So what are they doing about it?  Stockpiling enough vaccine and antivirals for about 8.5 million people. The Infectious Disease Society of America says we need enough for at least 70-120 million people, and WHO has stated that countries need enough for a quarter of the population (http://www.idsociety.org/Template.cfm?Section=News_Releases1&CONTENTID=13276&TEMPLATE=/Conte ntManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm).  The Administration  intends to control the distribution of the vaccines and antivirals.  They are contemplating sending it through the US mail (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/08/03/aid_in_flu_pandemic_concerns_health_chief/).  Think about it.  Will you be on their short list of recipients?  Check out those links.  Go to your doctor and ask for Tamiflu or Relenza.  Say you're going on a trip to Asia.  Save it for the pandemic.

      Here's one of my recent diaries on it for background:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/5/222035/9177

      "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

      by eyeswideopen on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:58:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I forgot to mention (none)
        ... that a physician who gave Tamiflu to my sister said the Bush Administration plan for bird flu involved martial law.

        "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

        by eyeswideopen on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:59:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As Bush would say: "Bring 'em on" (none)
        Yeah the avian flu is going to be devastating WHEN it hits. With natural disasters and disease all Al Qaeda has to do is sit back and watch as God unleashes its fury unto the US.

        I wonder who the lucky 8.5 million will be to get the vaccine...the haves or the have-nots. Hmmm....well judging by the tax-cuts....ah crap...good-bye cruel world.

        "Its when murder is justice that martyrs are made..." Lamb of God

        by Darth Codis on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:23:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Darth (none)
          Beg, borrow or steal some Tamiflu.  Go to your GP and tell them you're taking a trip to Asia.  Tell them you need enough for your whole family.  There are some doctors who are very well-informed on this and will happily prescribe.  Gotta take care of ourselves and our loved ones.  

          "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

          by eyeswideopen on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 07:06:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks for the tip.... (none)
            things just keep getting worse. Lets have a look...we have the threat of Al Qaeda, increases in extreme weather, an imminent flu pandemic, and solar flares, and the ground in Oregon is buldging due to liquid-hot magma....someone throw us a freakin bone here.  Oh and CheneyCo wants to turn the US into a police state...Canada keeps looking better and better

            "God forbid you read the signs, watch for meanings between the lines..." Lamb of God

            "Its when murder is justice that martyrs are made..." Lamb of God

            by Darth Codis on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 09:15:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  How (none)
            would one convince their doctor to give the shots for you to take with you as opposed to administering the shot in their office?

            I wonder if we can get this from Asian friends.

            The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

            by TXsharon on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 07:59:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Please put down the sneakers (none)
    you have 20 seconds to comply.
  •  I was wondering where (none)
    all the "snipers" that appeared all of a sudden in NO came from.

    FEMA rents them at $2000/day plus expenses and ammo.

    •  Geez, $2000 per DAY (none)
      PLUS expenses?  

      And, we thought the $1000 per day for the mercs to undercut our soldiers' work in Iraq was bad.

      Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

      by bronte17 on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:06:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's time to learn self-defense. (4.00)
    The SS started as private security.

    These elements are the mercenary arm of corpratist/fascist forces seeking to impose their will. They have no patriotism, honor, accountability, respect for the constitution or civil rights. They may work for the highest bidder, but their choice of occupation and willingness to operate military formations against American will without military oversight makes their long-term intentions clear.

    They are the executioners of the corpratist, fascist will. They will not hesitate to use whatever lethal taxpayer funded skills learned in Iraq and Capetown against American citizens.

    Some of us need to begin preparing for the possibility of armed confrontation with these fascist elements and be prepared to win. Means don't necessarily have to be lethal, but we have to be prepared to be engaged at by non-accountable agents with military training and lethality.

    True patriots, it's time to start investing some intellectual capital into self-defense.

    Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

    by HunterKiller on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 03:50:58 PM PDT

    •  praetorian guard (4.00)
      Sometimes the emperor may find it convenient to send his legions of citizen-soldiers loyal to the state to distant lands on wars of conquest and employ foreign mercenaries loyal only to their purse to provide for his own personal safety and that of his supporters.

      This tactic very seldom backfires.

      How about this one???

      http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=2684985&cat=418414&type=21&dept=41 25&path=0%3A4125%3A4155%3A170080%3A170083%3A418414

      "Can we all get along?"

      by hotspur on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:43:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Outstanding. (none)
        This is a shot over our collective heads. Every liberal should now become familiar with the operation of small-arms and basic military tactics.

        We also need to be prepared to offer non-violent resistance in the face of an armed and willing threat. Having options is a good thing.

        Ya know the interesting thing about mercenaries is, if you 'take out' (Pat Robinson's language, not mine) enough of them they don't hang around very long.

        Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

        by HunterKiller on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:17:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You think (none)
          civilians are going to be out-shooting experienced, well-armed and armoured trained killers?

          Don't think so...  unless we overwhelm them with sheer numbers.

          There is now a new awareness in New Orleanians of something called "death by bureaucracy"

          by playon on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 01:22:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it happened before (none)
            yeah, times have changed, but it has happened before
            •  Welcome to the world of 4GW. (none)
              Yes, it can very much happen. It happened in Mogadishu. It also happened in Afghanistan and Bosnia and it is happening right this minute in Iraq.

              There are millions of Americans with military training and this nation swimming in weapons of all types. The technological delta of the opposing force in the United States is much smaller than the examples provided, therefore, the desire to maintain an overmatch would be extremely difficult for an American junta.

              Of course this could be the reason Rummy is trying so hard to get his robot army :). I pray that doesn't happen.

              A larger group of semi-trained soldiers can soundly beat a smaller army of highly trained soldiers; provided the opposing forces don't employ genocide or possess complete control of medium distance communications.

              Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

              by HunterKiller on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 03:14:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Not from WalMart. (none)
        I'll pick up a new bolt-action soon enough, but I won't buy it from WalMart. It almost feels self defeating. <^_^

        Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

        by HunterKiller on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:35:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Semi-auto (none)
          Get a gas operated semi-auto if you can buy them in your area.  Something like the civilian AK-47 or the FAL.  High capacity magazines are available for these as well and they should be making new ones again since the assault weapons ban expired (yes, there is ONE and only ONE good thing Republicans have done).  Another advantage - Walmart doesn't carry them :)

          On the other hand lots of people rave about these Hornady .17 bolt actions.  Yeah, the bullet is tiny (bb-caliber) but it's a high-power and the muzzle velocity is very high and the trajectory very flat.

    •  Take gun lessons (none)

      "What luck for rulers that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler

      by Bensdad on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:10:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ubiquitous live video; and 2nd-A preparedness (4.00)
      Here's something we can start with, that's not going to stir up any legal controversies or give the baddies an excuse to put people in camps.  

      If the media can't get into an area, what you want is to have ubiquitous cameras deployed well in advance, so that information still gets out.  So:

      ---

      1)  Amateur radio.  

      You don't need a large antenna in back of your house.  Local journalists and citizen-reporters should get "HAM" licenses and set themselves up with equipment for transmitting videos and still pictures, as well as recorded and live audio.  This is affordable and doable.  

      ---

      2)  Redundant broadcast networks.

      Networks of webcams watching public areas, connected to redundant broadcast infrastructure to get the pictures on the internet in such a way that can't be taken down without making it clear that there's overt censorship going on.

      This can be done with consumer- and commercial-grade cameras and wireless network infrastructure.  It can be configured to broadcast via internet, the regular telephone network (as per Fidonet in the early days of "bulletin board systems"), amateur radio, non-licensed wireless wide area network (WAN) and so on.  

      Power supply can be backed up with batteries (the "uninterruptable power supplies" such as you might have at the office providing backup power to your company's servers and PBX).  A small photovoltaic panel is all it takes to keep a couple of cameras and a router going.  PV-powered systems with battery backup can be built easily and widely deployed.

      Think like the original designers of the Internet (ARPAnet): redundancy and survivability.  This is not difficult.  Once you start thinking along the right track, the technical implementation details become very very obvious.  

      The key task is to get the pictures to someone outside of the affected area.  Once the pictures are received by anyone outside, getting them to the rest of the world is much easier.  

      ---

      3)  The how & why:  

      Government can make excuses for shutting down specific communications channels, e.g. "we're not letting the media in because it's dangerous" or "we've shut down the phone network except for essential traffic," but there is no valid excuse for shutting down all communications out of an area.  With proper technical design, there is no way for them to even  find it all, short of a military-scale SIGINT operation.  And if that actually occurs, the very fact of it makes clear that there is a concerted effort at censorship going on, which in turn should draw even more scrutiny.  

      Daylight is the best disinfectant for the germs of fascism.  

      ---

      4) For folks concerned with 2nd Amendment issues:  

      Regular informal get-togethers by friends, at the local shootin' range, are not "militias."   Nor are hunting trips, even if you don't bring back any duck or deer.  

      In wartime people often get interested in military history, strategy & tactics, etc., and hang out with their friends studying these topics.  Nothing particularly remarkable about that, eh?

      And how'bout organized groups of "re-enactors" who do historical re-enactments of e.g. the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and so on.  And groups like SCA who set up simulated medieval societies.  And for science fiction enthusiasts, why not study "future history" and have a "wars of the future" historical re-enactment club?  Or an "alternative timelines" re-enactment group, e.g. "what if Hitler had won WW2?" or "what if the nasty commies had won the cold war?", or choose your favorite "what-if".   Perhaps an "It Can't Happen Here" re-enactment group, based on the scenario in the Sinclair novel by that name?  

      Then if real & serious tyranny descends, people will pretty quickly figure out what to do.  

      ---

      5)  All forms of "association" protect freedom:

      Humans are hard-wired for significant overlap between their social & recreational activities, and those activities needed to survive under hostile conditions.  Think of popular games, sports, and so on.  

      Consider why real tyrannies, e.g. the old USSR, banned all forms of unofficial association.   Even a "Saturday Afternoon Soccer Club" (organized team exercise) or a "Model Railroad Club" (building small high-precision things) or a "Bird-watchers' Society" (silently observing through binoculars) holds the potential for teaching & practicing skills relevant to protecting a truly free society.  And whenever you have people gathered together, you have the potential for discussion & opinions to get traction.

      Even something as "innocuous" as a game of hide-and-go-seek, when seen through that lens, is relevant.  

      Now go do it.  

    •  Insanity (none)

      Blackwater Security, at your service!

      This is crazy. I had no idea the SS started as private security. To be sure, they were a sort of private, perhaps voluntary, bodyguard group for the leaders of the Nazi party. I couldn't quite figure out who was paying the SS throughout their history, but Wikipedia provides a lot of information in their entries on the Nazi SS and the Nazi SA (the precursor organization).

      This blackwater stuff is scary close to that history.

      Do you have any more details as to the parallels between Blackwater and the Nazi SS? Particularly, who was paying these guys in the early days, before Hitler came to full power and then they went on the government payroll (and after Hitler had the bad ones killed in the middle of the night)

      Also, on a slightly humorous, but no-less frightening note, this sure stinks of that foretold in RoboCop, doesn't it?

      •  and people say... (none)
        Bush doesn't have enough of an army to enforce his complete holdout of POTUS office and cancellation of elections because the country isn't safe and secure enough to hold proper elections? Looks to me like he's got enough of them. He doesn't need the U.S. Armed Forces when he's got Blackwater. This is like a missing piece of the puzzle of all the tinfoil hat stories about prison camps being built and whatnot. I'll keep praying this evil to pass, but jeebus! What happens tomorrow? (to quote my namesake band)

        "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by rioduran on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 12:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  super rich and private military (none)
    Here we go, occupation by the super rich in our own nation, not answerable to anyone.

    This is why privatization is a very bad idea.

  •  And get this: Blackwater competitor Triple Canopy (4.00)
    is now even protecting US generals according this NYT story:

    And companies like Triple Canopy shield American government compounds from attack. With guns poking out from sport utility vehicles, they usher American officials from meeting to meeting. They defend the buildings and people whom the insurgency would most like to reach.

    Throughout his time as head of the C.P.A., L. Paul Bremer III, whom the insurgency may well have viewed as its highest-value target, was protected by a Triple Canopy competitor, Blackwater USA. Private gunmen, according to Lawrence Peter, are now guarding four U.S. generals. Triple Canopy protects a large military base. And throughout Iraq, the defense of essential military sites like depots of captured munitions has been informally shared by private soldiers and U.S. troops. If the 25,000 figure is accurate, the businesses add about 16 percent to the coalition's total forces.

    Yet it is hard to discern who authorized this particular outsourcing as military policy. No open policy debate took place; no executive order was publicly issued. And who is in charge of overseeing these armed men?

    Shows you how much confidence our military and civilian leadership has in US Troops, when they don't even allow them to guard their persons or bases.

    •  Preemptive CYA??? (none)
      If things continue going down this way, our higher-echelon military and civilian leadership will NEED paid protection.  When ordinary citizen-soldier grunts or groundpounders wake up enmasse to the new reality, it ain't gonna be pretty.  The true patriots among them--and it would be a mistake to underestimate the sheer number of them, as well as their fierce loyalty to the ideals of our collective existence as a nation--will rise up, and do whatever necessary to reclaim and restore all that is decent and pure.

      This is not to say that there aren't a few heroic men and women in the leadership mix already.  They will not kowtow to the tyrannical elements, either.  It will not always be transparent, early-on, who these fine individuals (i.e., those who are not mere careerists, or generally bought-off by the PTB) are, or will be, but the extraordinary circumstances yet-to-come will reveal them.  Hope is not lost.

    •  Life imitates art (none)
      Anybody remember that old Monty Python skit where the mafioso comes to the general's office and starts making none too subtle threats "you know all them tanks you got General?  It'd be a shame if... you know, somethin' wus to happen to 'em, cuz you know, things break..."  Ah, if we could only laugh at this though.
  •  DEMAND THE MEDIA INVESTIGATE! (4.00)
    sorry for the all caps, but this is a HUGE story - if, in fact, the DHS is hiring private mercenaries, with guns, who are able to arrest and shoot US citizens - this needs to be ALL OVER THE PRESS!

    Besides private people - WHO HIRED THESE PEOPLE?  WHO IS PAYING THEM?  Who indemnifies them against wrongful death claims?  IF an innocent civilian is killed by one of these guys - or, for that matter, a guilty one - what are the laws that pply to this?

     Has the DHS really hired mercenaries to intimidate US citizens? Why?  Aren't there enough national Guard troops?

    Could some lawyers weigh in here?  It seems to me that this is very, very shaky, legally speaking.

    I've emailed Anderson Cooper, Keith Olbermann, NY Times, and the WaPo  - if everybody who read this diary emails 4 people, we should be able to make some noise!

  •  Met a mercenary on vacation in Belize in April (4.00)
    He was ex-US army, and quite stupid. Mentally challenged, giddy with self-importance at getting to enforce authority and kill people. Willing to blab in a tourist bar to all within earshot about how much money he was making from his assignment in Iraq, and how much was tax-sheltered, and how much more would be tax-free if he established residency in Belize. (And Belize at the time was having a political/economic convulsion and riots over rampant government corruption, which were unreported, except as "Belize having phone problems.")
    The merc was vague about his Iraq duties and exact employer, but happy to brag about the big bucks he was making. Many hundreds of thousands a year. A repulsive face of the USA, and one I assumed was an exception. Maybe not.
    •  We may have to face this thug one day ... (none)
      ... so be prepared.

      I wonder if liberals should flood the NRA offices and get memberships now? Are only people of the right politics and persuassion allowed to own guns now?

      Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

      by HunterKiller on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:02:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All together now... (none)
    SCREW THEM!

    (yes I agree with Markos...)

    The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

    by peeder on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:14:41 PM PDT

  •  Here's a history of racism in Jefferson Parish (4.00)
     
    From a post at my blog Attytood.

    "If there are some young blacks driving a car late at night in a predominantly white area, they will be stopped. If you live in a predominantly white neighborhood and two blacks are in a car behind you, there's a pretty good chance they're up to no good. It's obvious two young blacks driving a rinky-dink car in a predominately white neighborhood - I'm not talking about on the main thoroughfare, but if they're on one of the side streets and they're cruising around - they'll be stopped."

    -- Jefferson Parish, La., Sheriff Harry Lee in 1986.

    In 2005, Harry Lee is still the sheriff of Jefferson Parish -- a county that also once sent David Duke to the statehouse and tried to erect physical barriers from a mostly black New Orleans community. And last week, his deputies took part in what may become the most notorious racial incident of our young new millennium.

    There's a lot more.

  •  Wondering... (none)
    I have never owned a firearm but am seriously starting to reconsider my position on gun control. God forbid a disaster befell the area where I live and mercenaries like this were hired by the Federal government to terrorize the populace. Accountable to no one. How much of the 20% swing vote could be persuaded to vote blue if the Democratic party changed its stance on gun control?

    A pessimist sees a glass half empty. I see a paper cup with holes punched in it.

    by Paper Cup on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 04:32:56 PM PDT

    •  You're quite right (none)
      My uncle in Idaho hates everything about Bush and the Republican platform, but votes for them soley because he perceives Democrats as trying to take away his guns.  He's a hunter and he teaches gun safety to kids.

      "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

      by eyeswideopen on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:05:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tables turned (none)
        It's ironic that those who are most rabid about gun control - and I'm not saying your uncle is in that group - have long feared that the a Democratic government would take their guns away, and now when the chips are on the table it's the Republicans who are actually doing it!

        How about this... If guns are outlawed then only Republicans will have guns. I'm not running out and buying any guns yet; I need a gun like I need a hole in the head. I'm really starting to wonder about it lately though.

        A pessimist sees a glass half empty. I see a paper cup with holes punched in it.

        by Paper Cup on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 09:26:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Abridging the Second Amendment is a dead letter. (3.50)
      Gun control is a failed issue because it only guarantees that the powerful will control the guns and keeps us from finding common cause with many, many good people. We can get a lot of voters if we start defending all ten Amendments.

      We need to get really honest about what kind of people we're dealing with and how we're going to deal with them.

      Are we willing to get mowed down and disappeared for principle? Are we willing to defend the social contract Jeffersonian style or should we find a new way? Is even contemplating standing up against the statist going to make us 'unlawful combatants' in the eyes of the plutocrats. Will organizing progressive militias is a stabilizing or destabilizing influence. Can progressives and patriots mobilize enough non-violent protesters to crush a junta with sheer numbers and willpower? Will we have a choice in the matter of whether to arm ourselves?

      We need to develop a strategy for dealing with violent incursions now and we need it to be very quick for the nazi marches have already started.

      Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

      by HunterKiller on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:29:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FOLLOW THE DOLLARS... (none)
    Follow the dollars...follow the dollars...follow the dollars...follow the dollars...follow the dollars...follow the dollars...follow the dollars...  Oh yeah, one more thing...FOLLOW THE DOLLARS.
  •  What's Next? Roadside Bombs? (none)
    I left my computer for a while to do some "weekend stuff" and came back just to say:

    Front Page. Front Page. Front Page. Front Page....

  •  ...VERSUS PRIVATE SECURITY GUARDS (none)
    Any entity, a corporation, governmental agency, private citizen, club, etc. can hire a security guard/security service, either armed or unarmed, to provide whatever security they require.  But this appears to be something different, something troubling, something larger involving general "police powers..?"  I wonder if "marshall law" statutes effects this matter in any way.  I'd love for a lawyer type to explain the differences and ramifications here.  
  •  this is something i can (none)
    rub in the face of my gun control friends.  its easy to be for gun control when your in idealistic la la land.  
  •  Blackwater Guards Have AUTOMATIC Weapons? (none)
    Is that accurate?  That statement piqued my curiosity, so I did a little research. The answer to whether Blackwater guards have fully automatic weapons or not ties in closely to who they work for and if they are deputized.  It is possible that whoever wrote the text describing them meant "semi-automatic weapons".

    For non-gun types:
    Semi-automatic weapons discharge one cartrige with each trigger pull.

    Automatic weapons (like machine guns and hand-held submachine guns) discharge a steady stream of rounds when the trigger is held down. A machine gun can normally fire between 400 and 1,000 rounds (bullets) per minute, or between 7 and 17 rounds per second.

    It is legal in about half the states for private citizens to possess fully automatic weapons--machine guns. Apparently Louisana is one of those.  But there are federal and local rules to comply with in order to be legal.

    Federal Firearms Regulations

    It has been unlawful since 1934 (The National Firearms Act) for civilians to own machine guns without special permission from the U.S. Treasury Department. Machine guns are subject to a $200 tax every time their ownership changes from one federally registered owner to another, and each new weapon is subject to a manufacturing tax when it is made, and it must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) in its National Firearms Registry.

    To become a registered owner, a complete FBI background investigation is conducted, checking for any criminal history or tendencies toward violence, and an application must be submitted to the BATF including two sets of fingerprints, a recent photo, a sworn affidavit that transfer of the NFA firearm is of "reasonable necessity," and that sale to and possession of the weapon by the applicant "would be consistent with public safety." The application form also requires the signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the applicant's residence.

    Since the Firearms Owners' Protection Act of May 19, 1986, ownership of newly manufactured machine guns has been prohibited to civilians. Machine guns which were manufactured prior to the Act's passage are regulated under the National Firearms Act, but those manufactured after the ban cannot ordinarily be sold to or owned by civilians.

    Louisana's Gun Laws require a permit for a concealed weapon. They apparently allow individuals to possess a fully automatic weapon with prior notification and approval of the Department of Public Safety.

    Maybe somebody could check out the statement about Blackwater's automatic weapons.

    •  That's an interesting question. (none)
      How many of those 'private security' guards carrying full automatics filed the proper forms? What legal authority do these 'contractors' have to arrest, detain or confiscate outside of their employer's property?

      Now, what liberties are they taking?

      Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

      by HunterKiller on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 05:57:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm no gun-nut but (none)
      it looked from TV like nearly everyone in uniform or para-military garb in NO  was carrying full-auto weapons.
  •  $10B has already been spent (4.00)
    No wonder the $10B is already gone.  They are hiring expensive contractors when they could use military or the national guards.

    Hope the media be a watchdog on these transactions.

    Hope the MSM has reported this.

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!! http://www.democrats.org/democracybonds.html

    by timber on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 06:04:55 PM PDT

  •  yep (none)
    I diaried this earlier today... but mine vanished... what's the deal with that?

    There is now a new awareness in New Orleanians of something called "death by bureaucracy"

    by playon on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 06:07:02 PM PDT

  •  Loophole (none)
    Clearly, someone in the Federal Government - specifically, in the Bush administration - has figured out that the Posse Comitatus Act doesn't cover mercenaries.

    Time to arm yourselves, folks.

  •  Another Confrimation (none)

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 07:01:35 PM PDT

  •  On Americablog (none)
    Update from Kyle - the Blackwater mercenaries are in New Orleans
    by John in DC - 9/10/2005 07:55:00 PM

    Kyle and the guys just had a run-in with the Blackwater mercenaries, the same guns for hire that they have in Iraq. I told the guys to write it up and post it, as it's a very interesting and odd story - what are these guys doing there? And according to Bob Brigham, who's part of Kyle's posse down there, no civilians are allowd to have guns in the area EXCEPT the mercenaries. Huh?

    link

    "We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately." - Ben Franklin

    by RandyMI on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 07:14:53 PM PDT

  •  Who better to evict (none)
    these folks from their homes taken by emminent domain because someone else can make more money with the land?
  •  Bush's private army has arrived (none)
    courtesy of of American citizen taxpayers.
    •  now I get it (none)
      That's where all our tax dollars went! No wonder they couldn't afford to feed and rescue all the stranded people in New Orleans!

      "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

      by rioduran on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 12:54:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's another trend (none)
    Lawsuits and jail terms up the ying-yang once these guys start committing manslaughter, negligent homicide and murder on US soil, against US citizens.

    Who exactly is bankrolling Blackwater? Since they're obviously a bunch of fucking clowns, how'd these guys like to do something substantial, like go to the Astrodome, give some exhausted parents a break, and entertain the kids in that crowd who must be bored out of their minds. Of course their idea of entertainment would probably involve demonstrating advanced choke hold techniques.

    •  Don't confuse (none)
      the clowns in power with the Black Water Ops people. They are mercenaries, but they're good at what they do. You don't last long as an incompetent special ops soldier. The penalties for that shortcoming include death for you and your unit. Most of those guys and gals are smart, tough, badass folks. They're adrenaline junkies, but they're not insane and the ones I've met are all come from SEALS, Rangers, Deltas, and so on. They're not likely to fire blindly into a crowd on an American Street. It's too bad they're being used to do the things they do by the WH. But these folks have their place and when you need special ops folks, private or AF like them, there is no substitute.

      Read UTI, your free thought forum

      by DarkSyde on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 11:08:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome to feudalism (4.00)
    I used to think the Bush regime just wanted to take the United States back to the 19th century.  I was off by a millennium.
  •  Relax people (none)
    Relax people. No need to start stockpiling arms. Jeez, nationwide martial law enforced by Blackwater dicks has not been instituted. And if it was, don't worry. The Fallujahens showed us exactly how to deal with mercenary scum if it comes to that.
    •  Yep (none)
      So far these two things:

      1.  Deployment of Mercs     and
      2.  Halliburton getting contracts

      is almost an immediate PR blow for Bush...but they are so out of touch...you watch..when they try to run this show for profit they pull another Enron.
    •  Martial Law? (none)
      Martial law has been declared in New Orleans. Do you want to hold on preparations until national martial law is declared?

      The Fallujahens who 'dealt' with the mercenaries had some degree of military training with plenty of weapons and ammo supplied courtesy of Saddam.

      I would never stockpile weapons because it's irresponsible, but purchasing and training on a decent rifle isn't really a bad idea.

      Gun control" is out of season, my friends, when your country is sliding into fascism! - proudtinfoilhat

      by HunterKiller on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 05:13:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe, but.... (none)
    I went to their site yesterday and saw pictures they posted of "relief operations" in New Orleans so they are there.

    However, it may be that they voluntered for relief help and also picked up some "private" contracts from individuals and corporations.

    BTW, Cofer Black, the CIA guy that was fired after he threw a temper fit about something to do with Rumfailed recently joined the board of BlackWater.

    According to the WSJ article Thursday, some 'elites' in New Orleans have quote.."choppered in Israeli security teams"..un quote..which is odd considering the gov turned down Israel's offer to help with the dead bodies in NO.

    Then the NYT says all the wheelers and dealers are meeting right now in hotel suites to plan the re builidng of the city. Evidently the Mayor and Governor aren't invited or available to partake in having a say about the future of New Orleans.

    I sound like a parrot or a broken record but so what...Mafia/USA,Mafia/USA,Mafia/USA,Mafia/USA

    Like the little tough guy in the movie Casino said.."with the bosses it's always the money, always the money"

  •  As crazy as it is (none)
    If Federal Guard are keeping people by force the disaster zone, then they are the criminals, not the mercs who get people out. It's a situation very much like turn of the century robber baron america or the old west.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 12:42:21 AM PDT

  •  Corporate Info (none)
    As they have incorporated in Delaware, the ownership is well-hidden.

    Many Google sources say that Erik Prince is the head of the company and Prince Group of  McLean, VA is the parent company; however, I found a domestic business registration for Prince Group LLC in Michigan, NOT Virginia. There is a registration for Prince Household LLC in McLean, Virginia, but not for the parent company.

    If Prince Group is doing business out of Virginia, they haven't properly registered with the state.

    NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
    Company Name: BLACKWATER SECURITY CONSULTING LLC.
    Name Comment: DUNS NO. 101051782
    Mailing Address:
    850 PUDDIN RIDGE ROAD
    MOYOCK, NC 27958
    Type: LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY (LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY)
    Status: ACTIVE
    Filing Date: 9/29/2003
    Duration: PERPETUAL
    State or Country of Incorporation: DELAWARE
    Registered Agent: JACKSON, GARY
    Registered Office:
    850 PUDDIN RIDGE ROAD
    MOYOCK, NC 27958
    Filing Number: 692831LLC
    History:
    File Date: 9/29/2003
    Type: MISCELLANEOUS
    Comments: APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY-DOCUMENT ID: C20032680005

    MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER & INDUSTRY SERVICES, BUREAU OF COMMERCIAL SERVICES, CORPORATION DIVISION
    Company Name: PRINCE GROUP, LLC
    Type: DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
    Status: ACTIVE
    Filing Date: 11/26/1997
    Purpose: ALL PURPOSE CLAUSE
    Registered Agent: ERIK PRINCE
    Registered Office:
    161 OTTAWA AVE STE 301A
    GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49503
    Filing Number: B24210
    History:
    File Date: 1/20/1999
    Comments: PREV RO: 33533 W. TWELVE MILE ROAD SUITE 150 FARMING HILLS MI 483315645
    Transaction: CHANGE OF AGENT AND/OR OFFICE

    VIRGINIA STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
    Company Name: Prince Household, L.L.C.
    Mailing Address:
    1106 MILL RIDGE
    MCLEAN, VA 22102
    Type: LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
    Status: ACTIVE
    Status Date: 11/16/2004
    Filing Date: 6/23/2000
    Duration: PERPETUAL
    State or Country of Incorporation: VIRGINIA
    Registered Agent:
    ERIK PRINCE
    Status: ACTIVE
    Creation Date: 6/23/2000
    Registered Office:
    1106 MILL RIDGE
    MCLEAN, VA 22102
    Additional Information: INDUSTRY: GENERAL
    Filing Number: S051094
  •  Report from the street in NO (none)
    The guys at DirectNIC in NOLA have been out and about today.  They met some of the local mercenaries.

    Pay is 300 to 500 dollars per day.  They expect to be on site for four more months.  The particular group they spoke with talked up the presence of snipers in the city.  "A terrorist element".

    They were carrying things that "I didn't know the US had in its arsenal" by way of small arms.

    Feel safer?

  •  Will they be at the DC demos on the 26th? (none)
    We need to know the extent to which they will use these people at this time.

    While in beautiful Ithaca, do not miss Cornell's gorgeous parking lots. http://www.redbudwoods.org (They bulldozed it down.)

    by Percheronwoman on Sun Sep 11, 2005 at 12:36:15 PM PDT

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