Skip to comments.House Blackwater hearings more about lawsuit than reform
Posted on 10/08/2007 3:15:17 PM PDT by txroadkill
A month after voters last year had given Democrats control that would elevate Nancy Pelosi to House speaker, she received a letter from a trial lawyer in Santa Ana, Calif., named Daniel J. Callahan. "We look forward," he wrote, "to the New Direction of America, and to your dedication to putting an end to the fleecing of the American taxpayers and death to its citizens in the name of war profiteers such as Blackwater." That plea was answered last week by House hearings.
Callahan did not disguise his political orientation, requesting a full-scale investigation of an "extremely Republican" company: Blackwater Security Consulting, which provides security guards in Iraq. He asked Pelosi to investigate "now that there has been a shift in power in Congress." It required nearly a year for Chairman Henry Waxman to find a peg for holding a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing last Tuesday.
Callahan and Waxman are driven by quite different motives. The trial lawyer seeks a big payoff for the families of four Blackwater guards who were ambushed and massacred in 2004. For the congressman, a fierce Democratic partisan, this issue is part of his wide-ranging investigation of the Bush administration, with emphasis on its conduct of the Iraq war. Their divergent paths merged last Tuesday and will continue together for two more planned hearings.
(Excerpt) Read more at suntimes.com ...
Under federal regulations, the families of the four guards would receive $57,000 each year and be prohibited from suing Blackwater. But Callahan and North Carolina lawyer David Kirby went to court at Raleigh, N.C., (Blackwater's home) claiming gross negligence.
Four days later, Waxman demanded testimony from Blackwater founder and CEO Erik Prince, a former Navy Seal lieutenant with Republican connections. On that same Sept. 20, Callahan initiated a telephone conversation with Blackwater counsel Joseph E. Schmitz. A memo by lawyers representing Blackwater quoted Callahan as saying "the company can bury" its bad publicity "by paying $20 million . . . consisting of $5 million per family." (Callahan confirmed to this column that he mentioned $20 million but also required the families' approval, Blackwater's release of its after-action reports and a plaque honoring the dead men at the place they were killed.)
October 3, 2007: Iraqis are upset with Blackwater International, the security firm that provides protection for American diplomats (and many other VIPs) when they travel about. Blackwater recruits experienced military veterans, especially commandos, to do the job. When Blackwater is attacked, they attack right back. Blackwater’s aggressiveness and competence is well known in Baghdad, and Iraqi police and civilians stay out of the way. As a result, Blackwater has never lost any of the State Department people they have escorted. But 30 Blackwater personnel have been killed, along with hundreds of Iraqis (armed and unarmed, the terrorist attacks often use civilians for cover). American politicians, who are opposed to the Iraq war, are joining in to attack Blackwater, and accuse it of misbehavior. The State Department remains silent, but is unwilling to give up Blackwater. There are enough experienced people inside the State Department who understand that Blackwater is professional and effective, and you can’t beat a perfect record when it comes to security. Considering what high value targets U.S. diplomats are, and the success of Blackwater in defeating hundreds of attacks, the State Department cannot afford to abandon Blackwater. But the diplomats cannot afford to openly defend Blackwater either, lest they anger Democratic politicians who run Congress. So the media circus will play out, and life goes on.
Actually they're driven by the same motivation: lust for power. It's just a matter of scale. This 2-bit lawyer wants to rip off a private firm, while Bat Boy seeks to rip off the entire country.
Dems using power to strong arm Black Water into a $20 Million settlement.
That the American people (and the GOP base, by staying home over a 30 year in the making domestic issue / immigration) put the disgusting ilk of the Democrat leadership in power....will be shameful throughout our history.
This anti-American, anti-success in the WOT ilk of the Dem leadership that is in power today will cost good men their jobs...and lives...
I’m not criticizing you
But could you hit the space for paragraphs so your comment is easier to read
It looks like my first emails I sent out on my WebTV in early 2001
Good post enyhoo
Keep it up!
Im not criticizing you
that’s good......it IS one paragraph at its source.
None of their sorry a$$e$ would have been able to go to iraq without blackwater covering their backs. What a bunch.
Very nicely posted graphics.
I often cut paragraphs shorter in emails I send out of text I’ve cut & pasted in
And have to correct spelling of those professional reporters too
Your screen captures helped me figure these full screen graphic posts for PCs out
usually I don’t bother with posting-nannies, but feel free to register your criticism at strategypage
Still running just a tad over but look fine. Like the black framing.
And you’re right, more than 4 sentences ‘deep’ makes hard reading on the forum. The article at the top is done just right!
I don’t ever comment on spelling or grammar
I look for good content
Could be the way my WebTV displays the text only at 544 pixels width on my TV screen
500x375+border=10 (side by side cells)
= width=1040 (+?)
You see 980x735 well
I’ll trim parameters better next time!
Yes, I have an inch of ‘scrollbar’ showing.
1024 is considered my ‘width’, right?
Gotta go fix food!!
I vividly remember the contractors being ambushed but I never really thought much about BW. Now, my brother just contracted with them and is leaving at the end of the month so I have been pouring over everything I can find about them. The thing that bothers me the most is that in 99.9% of the articles, more than anything they make the biggest deal about Prince being a conservative. The articles are so venomous. That is the basis of their disdain and that really bothers me.
I have also read article pertaining to the families who lost their loved ones and their lawsuit. When my brother was offered the contract, I asked him specifically, can you quit at anytime? He said yes. Luckily I have never been in the situation but, I have to believe that my brother is a grown man, educated and trained. He is choosing to take a very high risk job, nobody is forcing him. God forbid anything should happen to him but I have to go with the fact that he made an informed decision and he is an adult so I don’t think we would have any recourse.