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Blackwater Down
IBD Editorials ^ | January 6, 2009

Posted on 01/07/2009 6:02:12 AM PST by Kaslin

Justice: Once again, Americans asked to put their lives on the line go on trial. Their crime was doing the very job we asked them to do in Iraq. Will they now be sacrificed for an ungrateful Iraq?


On Tuesday, five members of a tactical support team of Blackwater Worldwide security guards in Iraq made their first appearance in U.S. District Court on charges ranging from voluntary manslaughter to the use of automatic weapons. The "crime" was protecting State Department personnel under fire in a war zone and firing back.

On Sept. 16, 2007, 18 members of the "Raven 23" team came under fire while responding to an attack on another Blackwater group transporting a State Department official. It was a typical mission under their contract. This freed up military personnel for combat.

To aid their comrades, Raven 23 had to take the most direct route, which took them through Baghdad's Nisour Square on their way to the Green Zone. As radio logs show, they came under fire while trying to set up a temporary roadblock through which their comrades could pass quickly and safely.

They returned fire and when the firefight ceased 14 Iraqis were dead and 20 wounded.

To call this action "voluntary manslaughter in the commission of a crime" is a tragic joke. They were protecting State Department personnel in a war zone, as they were contracted to do. They had no reason or motive to show up in downtown Baghdad and start randomly shooting civilians.

(Excerpt) Read more at ibdeditorials.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: baghdad; blackwater; blackwaterbridge; blackwaterusa; fallujah; greenzone; ibd; iraq; raven23
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1 posted on 01/07/2009 6:02:14 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

No offense, but the Blackwater guys weren’t “asked” to do ANYTHING.

Their company is a for-profit entity which bid on and entered into a CONTRACT to do certain things for the U.S. government.

They actually ASKED to go to Iraq. They are quite different from U.S. military personnel.

With that said, I hope they are not found guilty, but I also hope our government gets out of the business of hiring mercenaries to do the job our military is supposed to be tasked with doing.


2 posted on 01/07/2009 6:08:42 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: WayneS

Re: but I also hope our government gets out of the business of hiring mercenaries to do the job our military is supposed to be tasked with doing.

Agree with this 100%.


3 posted on 01/07/2009 6:10:08 AM PST by Red in Blue PA (Guns don't kill people; abortion clinics do.)
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To: Kaslin

I hope this incident makes the government realize it should stop paying mercenaries $1000 a day to do what our soldiers and marines do.

this for-profit military company nonsense is really creepy to me


4 posted on 01/07/2009 6:14:34 AM PST by ChurtleDawg (voting only encourages them)
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To: Kaslin

—bflr—


5 posted on 01/07/2009 6:15:03 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: Allegra

ping


6 posted on 01/07/2009 6:16:06 AM PST by nina0113 (Hugh Akston is my hero.)
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To: Kaslin; Travis McGee

Will anyone in the “msm” even mention the Raven 23 in their “news” programs or articles?

This morning the abc radio top “news” article every hour is about the discomfort that unemployed folks are having at not being able to reach their unemployment office on the first phone call.

The implication is that America is looking more and more like the bread lines of the 1930s. There was no mention of the fact that Congress’ recent passage of another thirteen week extension of benefits means that many more people are Still on the dole. The phone lines are not crashing because of new registrants.


7 posted on 01/07/2009 6:16:09 AM PST by maica (Barack Obama is a Weathermen Project.)
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To: Red in Blue PA; WayneS

What is the problem hiring paramilitary personnel for temporary duties?

Seems there are provisions for it in the Constitution.


8 posted on 01/07/2009 6:18:06 AM PST by Eagle Eye (Libs- If you don't have to play the rules then neither do we...THINK ABOUT IT!)
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To: Kaslin

Blackwater Security needs to grow into the equivalent of an American Foreign Legion, like the French Foreign Legion. I compare the two, because there are some important parallels that Blackwater must embrace in its business model.

To start with, Blackwater needs a corporate headquarters outside of the United States, especially now, to protect it from a hostile Democrat party. But this also would allow Blackwater to recruit from the best soldiers around the world, who are not US citizens.

As with the FFL, Blackwater would optimally keep American leadership, to avoid conflicts with US, NATO and other friendly forces.

This also allows the US to more freely subcontract with Blackwater, to use it on missions of importance to the US, but far less expensive than using US military, and in places we would prefer not to send US military forces, either. Extended, low intensity missions like Bosnia would save the US billions of dollars by using contracted light infantry.

The US could optionally provide support to Blackwater operations in things such as transport and logistical support, as well as diplomatic agreements to protect them from legal ramifications of their activities.


9 posted on 01/07/2009 6:19:00 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: WayneS
Calling defense contractor's mercenaries is a disservice to them. Everyone gets paid for their work, but almost all of these guys are very patriotic vets. I ought to know I have worked for a Defense Contractor for 15 years and we are not mercenaries.
10 posted on 01/07/2009 6:24:50 AM PST by ohioman
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To: Eagle Eye

Which provisions are those?


11 posted on 01/07/2009 6:26:00 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: WayneS
Would it be better to have our soldiers on trial? The events occurred regardless of who was doing the protecting. Correct me if I'm wrong but these are highly trained personnel and didn't they meet the prime directive? Secure the safety of their client in an extremely hostile environment?

I'm all for innocent people not getting hurt or killed but my lord, why is it that we expect our bravest to fight with one hand behind their back? Like you, I hope it's proven that they didn't indiscriminately fire on civilians.

I see very little difference in the results of this action than occurred with Haditha. Our guys in very difficult circumstances doing what they're trained to do and then we prosecute them...

12 posted on 01/07/2009 6:26:38 AM PST by Paco
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To: WayneS

IMO Article 1 section 8 has everything needed to hire contract soldiers and sailors.


13 posted on 01/07/2009 6:30:34 AM PST by Eagle Eye (Libs- If you don't have to play the rules then neither do we...THINK ABOUT IT!)
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To: WayneS
No offense, but the Blackwater guys weren’t “asked” to do ANYTHING.

The government put out a RFP (or some similar acronym) which is a request for somebody to do the job. They probably didn't ask Blackwater directly, but they did ask. And Blackwater asked for employees willing to go.

So they did ask. And guess what, we have a volunteer army too. Both groups volunteered, though the Army folks might not have know specifically what they were volunteering for if they signed up on 9/10/2001. Since then, Army volunteers know they are likely to go to Iraq or Afghanistan and we still get volunteers.

Maybe using mercenaries isn't a good idea, but you are on the wrong track arguing that they weren't asked.

14 posted on 01/07/2009 6:30:46 AM PST by slowhandluke (It's hard work to be cynical enough in this age)
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To: WayneS
Which provisions are those?

Letters of marque, I believe is the term.
15 posted on 01/07/2009 6:31:15 AM PST by JamesP81 (Let the Great RINO Hunt of 2009 begin)
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To: ohioman

My apologies.

I shall henceforth refer to them as “paramilitary defense contractors”.


16 posted on 01/07/2009 6:32:35 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: WayneS
Which provisions are those?

Article 1, Section 8

...
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Letter of Marque
Archaic. A letter of marque was issued by a nation to a privateer or mercenary to act on the behalf of that nation for the purpose of retaliating against another nation for some wrong, such as a border incursion or seizure.

Reprisal
Archaic. An act taken by a nation, short of war, to gain redress for an action taken against that nation. For example, seizing a ship in retaliation for a seized ship.

17 posted on 01/07/2009 6:34:43 AM PST by An.American.Expatriate (Here's my strategy on the War against Terrorism: We win, they lose. - with apologies to R.R.)
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To: JamesP81
Nope. A letter of is a granting of permission to a private citizen, by our government, to seize the property of another nation, usually on the high seas. When used properly, it is also almost exclusively issued to redress a specific grievance by that private citizen against the nation in question.

That is NOT the function Blackwater was performing in Iraq, and if our government claims that their power to grant such letters allows them to hire others to do the job of our military forces then that is just further evidence of their total usurpation of the Constitution.

18 posted on 01/07/2009 6:40:21 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: WayneS

I agree with you on this. The use of these mercenaries in military capacities in foreign countries has presented serious legal questions that places those involved on pretty shaky ground, in my opinion.


19 posted on 01/07/2009 6:43:55 AM PST by Alberta's Child (I'm out on the outskirts of nowhere . . . with ghosts on my trail, chasing me there.)
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To: WayneS
letter of is a granting of permission to a private citizen,

Don't think anything prohibits a Corporate entity from acting on behelf of the government. Don't kid yourself, they already do just not ususally so openly.

20 posted on 01/07/2009 6:47:53 AM PST by Eagle Eye (Libs- If you don't have to play the rules then neither do we...THINK ABOUT IT!)
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