Blackwater in the news (privatization of war, part 1)
Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 27, 2007
On Friday, May 25, 2007, Reuters reported (here) that a US judge moved a wrongful death and fraud suit, brought by the families of four civilian contractors against Blackwater, out of the courts and into private arbitration. A victory for Blackwater, the decision confirms that Blackwater’s contract with the contractors “is iron-clad and that its terms absolve the company of liability” according to legal expert Jeffrey Addicott.
And today, The Washington Post reported that Blackwater contractors opened fire in Baghdad in two separate incidents this week (here). Blackwater will neither confirm nor deny that there were casualties.
There is plenty of information out there about the insidious nature of Blackwater in particular, and about the dangers of military privatization in general, beginning with Jeremy Scahill’s excellent book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. No need for me to belabor the point.
In the fast-paced BBC TV drama “The State Within,” one of the characters in the last episode comments that military and security privatization is the Klondike (or was it the Yukon) of the current century. The reference is to the 19th century Alaskan gold rush. “The State Within” is about a conspiracy between US State Department officials, a Halliburton-style development corporation and a private security firm, modeled after Blackwater, to overthrow the government of a former Soviet republic in central Asia using a fabricated terrorist incident, the blowing up of a British airplane in America, to create an international crisis. Chilling, and well worth renting at your local video store.