Tuesday, September 18, 2007

BlackWater rising (NOT)

BoingBoing got me started with a post about Blackwater's license to operate in Iraq being revoked.

I ranted a lot to my email newsgroup. We covered a range of topics, such as how Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater, sits on the board of a crazy Christian fundie group.

Mentioned this Guardian article, which talks about how overused the contractors seem to be.

A nice TomPaine.com article on the no-bid contracts, from 2004 - frighteningly prescient article.

Found Chris Hedges' report on "America's Holy Warriors" We discussed how bad an idea it seems to be to have people with this inclination stomping around Iraq or Afghanistan.

And grand finale:
Wired's National Security blog, Danger Room, has an extensive analysis of the Blackwater situation (and the general scene with contractors in Iraq) written by P.W. Singer, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution who has done extensive scholarship on private defense contractors:

As we now see in Iraq and elsewhere, the privatized military industry is a reality of the 21st century. This entrance of the profit motive onto the battlefield opens up vast, new possibilities, but also a series of troubling questions – for democracy, for ethics, for management, for law, for human rights, and for national and international security. At what point do we begin answering them?

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