Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 26, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

BLACKWATER UPDATE....Apparently there's a major State-Defense bureaucratic battle brewing over the role of Blackwater contractors in Iraq:

"This is a nightmare," said a senior U.S. military official. "We had guys who saw the aftermath [of the shootings in Nisoor Square last week], and it was very bad. This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib, and it comes at a time when we're trying to have an impact for the long term."

...."This is a big mess that I don't think anyone has their hands around yet," said another U.S. military official. "It's not necessarily a bad thing these guys are being held accountable. Iraqis hate them, the troops don't particularly care for them, and they tend to have a know-it-all attitude, which means they rarely listen to anyone — even the folks that patrol the ground on a daily basis."

....A State Department official asked why the military is shifting the question to State "since the DOD has more Blackwater contractors than we do, including people doing PSD [personal security detail] for them....They've [Blackwater] basically got contracts with DOD that are larger than the contracts with State."

There are plenty of other juicy quotes in the story too, including one from a Lt. Colonel who — if I'm reading it right — says that no one believes Blackwater's story that it was Iraqis who fired first in the Nisoor Square incident.

In related news, David Kurtz reports that (a) the State Department has refused to allow Blackwater to testify at congressional oversight hearings, (b) Condoleezza Rice has also refused to testify, and (c) nobody else from State will testify either unless it's done in closed session. In other words, Blackwater's actions, just like its employees, are in a legal limbo that prevents any effective oversight from either congress or the judicial system. Nice work if you can get it.

Kevin Drum 1:43 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (107)

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Waxman has a hearing scheduled to look into Blackwater, but the State Department forbids Blackwater from turning over pertinent information to Congress.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 26, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

from a Lt. Colonel who . . . says that no one believes Blackwater's story that it was Iraqis who fired first in the Nisoor Square incident.

Yeah, from the beginning I thought it looked like the Blackwater guys just shot the lawyer in the back because they didn't like seeing an Iraqi guy in a suit. Unfortunately, even guys who have created the impression around themselves that they are really professional can be guys who give into impulses to do really unprofessional, dumb things, just for kicks.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

(a) the State Department has refused to allow Blackwater to testify at congressional oversight hearings, (b) Condoleezza Rice has also refused to testify, and (c) nobody else from State will testify either unless it's done in closed session. In other words, Blackwater's actions, just like its employees, are in a legal limbo that prevents any effective oversight from either congress or the judicial system.

Totally unreviewable. It's ridiculous. We even try to have laws governing conduct in war zones. But flying a helicopter above an SUV carrying Condaleeza Rice through a city street-- how many places do we have to pretend are chaotic war zones to even begin to excuse the crap these guys are pulling? I understand these guys have their own ideas of what they think makes things safer for them, and those ideas may be based on their military training and experience. That is not an excuse for murdering innocent people like a marauder.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Blackwater's behavior should have been expected. It should be prosecuted. Instead, Blackwater's influence will begin to infiltrate our political economy, and their values will become our values. What is good for Blackwater is good for America.

Posted by: Brojo on September 26, 2007 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

Just try to imagine if you had something like this happening in your own country. Not just an invading military force, but these sunglassed private contracters going around shooting up the place for no good reason.

Do you really expect the Iraqis to put up with it?

I have to say, I tend to side with the Resistance against these thugs, and I mean both the military thugs and the private ones.

Posted by: John de Hoog on September 26, 2007 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

It may be worse than Abu Ghraib . . .

Supposedly, the Iraqis have a video of the incident, so we'll soon find out. But, Jesus, can we do anything right over there, maybe just by accident? We might succeed in uniting Iraq after all, in their hatred of us.

Posted by: Mark S. on September 26, 2007 at 3:48 AM | PERMALINK

"This is a nightmare," said a senior U.S. military official. "We had guys who saw the aftermath [of the shootings in Nisoor Square last week], and it was very bad. This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib, and it comes at a time when we're trying to have an impact for the long term."

Impact for long term????

Ah yes, the benchmark that is the Hydrocarbon Framework Law. What other long term impact could the Bushies be hoping for? BUT if the Bushies touches it - it's ruined. It's like one of those Murphy's law things.

Posted by: Me_again on September 26, 2007 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

They've [Blackwater] basically got contracts with DOD that are larger than the contracts with State.

Jeremy Scahill has repeatedly pointed out that Blackwater is contracted almost entirely through the State Department. What's going on here?

Posted by: Bill on September 26, 2007 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

The Iraqi's *DO* have video of this incident. That is why they've finally spoken up - because after many, many past such incidents, they were not believed. They've been patiently waiting for an opportunity to prove to the world what has been going on.

But still, Bushco rolls on. Not stopped. Not slowed. Not even thinking of looking where they are going. Mainly because the Democrats acquiesced.

And the Dems were warned. I wrote letters, and I'm not the only one. They were warned that once they bought into this war - they would never be able to turn around and take it back, without being called traitors or backstabbers or whatever handy leftover McCarthyite rhetoric was laying around at the time.

That's why Hillary is a poison-pill-president. You elect her, and you will get 8 more years of Iraq, at least.

At least Edwards was MAN enough to admit it was a mistake, and apologize.

At least Obama says he would not have voted for it.

But who we really need, is Kucinich - who was *NOT* on board with Bush's war, 100% *NOT* on board, from the start. Kucinich - who is also the ONLY Dem candidate who is not obviously independently wealthy enough to call into question whether he gives a crap about you and me. Kucinich, the ONLY Dem candidate who is not on the under-the-table payroll of the Health Insurance Industry, and apparently the defense contracting industry, players like Blackwater.

But let's be honest. No chance in hell. If he had a chance in hell, they would have Wellstone'd him.

Posted by: Osama's Heroin Habit on September 26, 2007 at 4:17 AM | PERMALINK

Osama's Heroin Habit: "And the Dems were warned. I wrote letters, and I'm not the only one. ... That's why Hillary is a poison-pill-president. You elect her, and you will get 8 more years of Iraq, at least. ... But who we really need, is Kucinich ... But let's be honest. No chance in hell. If he had a chance in hell, they would have Wellstone'd him."

And a good morning to you, Mr. Ray F. Sunshine, sir! Aren't we just a bundle of good cheer this fine day!

So, then who're you going to support, if or when Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee? St. Ralph of the Naderites?

I have an idea for you. The next letters you write to all these Democrats, instead of berating them, why don't you thank them for their efforts so far in trying to end this war (they've made quite a few, you know!), and tell them that you will continue to support them when the inevitable blowback from the right-wing comes. Because that's what the Democrats in Congress really need to hear right now -- that we are standing with them, and we will have their backs in the anxious days and weeks ahead, especially when they come under attack by the GOP.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 26, 2007 at 5:13 AM | PERMALINK

Remember when Kos was raked over the coals when he wasn't real upset over the Blackwater dudes in Fallujah? He grew up with "contractors". Now we're seeing what he saw.

Posted by: Rich McAllister on September 26, 2007 at 5:26 AM | PERMALINK

The State Department should have shut down Blackwater's operation long ago. Beside being criminal, it's ineffective as a way of providing security because it just makes you a more desirable target. The hyper-agressive tactics are ultimately counterproductive. It's too bad it takes a tragedy for people to wake up.

Posted by: jnickens on September 26, 2007 at 6:24 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Donald from Hawaii:

"Repeatedly voting 'yes' on war appropriations will bring an end to the war."

Posted by: Guy from Jersey on September 26, 2007 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

"He who picks up the sword, shall die by the sword".
--Jesus Christ

Posted by: Quotation Man on September 26, 2007 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

Come January, 2009 there will be a collective sigh and thoughts of "Finally, our long national nightmare is over".

Posted by: steve duncan on September 26, 2007 at 7:41 AM | PERMALINK

A State Department official asked why the military is shifting the question to State "since the DOD has more Blackwater contractors than we do,

Maybe because the ones who did the shooting work for State? Maybe because the ones who work for DOD were hired by Rumsfeld, not the the guys on the ground in Iraq?

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

I would say the little experiment of hiring mercenaries to do our dirty work for us in Iraq has failed. But that won't stop it from happening in the future.

Posted by: e. nonee moose on September 26, 2007 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraqis hate them, the troops don't particularly care for them, and they tend to have a know-it-all attitude, which means they rarely listen to anyone — even the folks that patrol the ground on a daily basis."

Good lord. They're Political Animal winger trolls.

Seriously, I want to see Rice crushed like a bug over this latest bit of stonewalling. Some freaking gall.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2007 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

Blackwater, and the contractors in Iraq, are the Bush War in Iraq's Achilles heal.
Find the funding for mercenaries.
Find who signed the contracts for how much under what circumstances.
How much tax does Blackwater and the others pay?
Find out everything.
Publish results.
Repeat daily until irrelevant.
That's why the press and media are called the fourth branch of government.

Posted by: slanted tom on September 26, 2007 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

I'm mostly with Mr. Ray F. Sunshine. I'll support whoever the D's nominate, on account of the R's are all insane, but "moderation" is killing people, wasting billions, and ruining our nation. We sure got into Iraq in a hurry, I'll bet we could leave in a hurry if we really wanted to.

I suggest, if our Dear Leader is so intent on saving money that he would veto S-CHIP, that we should find some even larger savings for him, and tell him firmly that there will be no more emergency funding bills for Iraq, so he had better think long and hard about the money that he has left to spend over there.

Posted by: dr2chase on September 26, 2007 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii has been pushing the DLC version of Dolchstoßlegende. Apparently Ralph Nader has supernatural powers that dogged Gore throughout his campaign.

How else do you explain that for most of the campaign his lead over Bush was within the statistical noise?

And I guess the Ralph Nader voters are to blame for Gore losing his own state in the election as well as Arkansas. Both states he and Bill Clinton won twice before.

Like I said, supernatural powers!

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on September 26, 2007 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Continuing to be fascinated by all those who think this contractor story is NEW NEWS...for those of us who have the time to give to daily blogging/reading/watching/and listening to what passes for INFORMING THE PUBLIC here in "merica" this is NOT NEWS...but has only now bubbled up to general interest level after the recent incident in Iraq with Blackwater. Little less Brittany, OJ, Vick, Craig, and others and little more actual investigative reporting and presenting and perhaps the public would actually know what is going on...MY GOD, wouldn't that be awful!!!!

Posted by: Dancer on September 26, 2007 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Rich -- I hear ya. Kos's comment certainly seems apropos again. I'd be willing to throw Blackwater under the bus at this point, if it would do anything to contribute to ending the occupation.

Posted by: farmgirl on September 26, 2007 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Here is my guess: that State Department has given instructions to Blackwater as to how they should weigh the relative interests of SoD employees versus ordinary Iraqis in determining whether to use force or not that would be like dynamite under a barrel of gunpowder if they were ever to become public. That's why Blackwater acts with such impunity -- they already know that their actions are defensible under any accountability framework that they might have to face.

Posted by: Barbara on September 26, 2007 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

I think what we have here are some guys who are just hyped up on testosterone. They want to be feared. They go over there trying to be something from a movie. They may tell themselves and each other that they have to do these things to increase their chances to survive. But what they're really doing is giving vent to sadism and enobling it, throwing shit around and calling it ice cream. They've heard a lot about Ghengis Khan and the SS, and so they want to be it, even if the conditions they're in don't really call for them to be that way.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Waxman has a hearing scheduled to look into Blackwater, but the State Department forbids Blackwater from turning over pertinent information to Congress."

I read an article the other day that said crime is way up in the USA. Well, why not. If our government doesn't have to follow the law, why should citizens have to follow the law. When you kill the rule of law like this administration has, there really is nothing left between us and the bad guys.

Posted by: Kate Henry on September 26, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Supposedly, the Iraqis have a video of the incident, so we'll soon find out. But, Jesus, can we do anything right over there, maybe just by accident? We might succeed in uniting Iraq after all, in their hatred of us.
Posted by: Mark S"

We didn't need this incident to unite Iraq in hating us. We did that a long time ago when we failed to repair the infrastructure we destroyed. There really is little we can do now to regain their trust and respect. The only thing we can do now is to leave and allow them to put their country back together on their own.

Posted by: Kate Henry on September 26, 2007 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

"Because that's what the Democrats in Congress really need to hear right now -- that we are standing with them, and we will have their backs in the anxious days and weeks ahead, especially when they come under attack by the GOP."

They already know that we have got their backs. That's what the election in 2006 told them and that's what the polls are telling them. Unfortunately it has no effect. They still continue to cave to Bully Boy Bush. I am not going to write them a letter congratulating them because they have done NOTHING to be congratulated for. I will continue to write them letters telling them how disappointed I am in the fact that they don't seem to be able to find their spines.

Posted by: Kate Henry on September 26, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

"We might succeed in uniting Iraq after all, in their hatred of us."

We did do that early on. We've spent most of the time since trying to split them, and fairly successfully.

Posted by: Boronx on September 26, 2007 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

In other words, Blackwater's actions, just like its employees, are in a legal limbo that prevents any effective oversight from either congress or the judicial system.

Um. No they aren't. And I really don't understand why anyone would want to make the case that Rice sticking her fingers in her ears and going "Nananana. You can't investigate me!" is all the argument needed for agreeing with her. You issue the subpoenas. When Blackwater and/or state refuse to testify, you bring criminal/impeachment proceedings. When the piggies squeal, you point out to everyone why it is happening. Do it early and often and show exactly how ridiculously corrupt the Republicans are. It really isn't that hard. And no amount of Republican whining about Democrats being slaves to "partisan politics" will cover up how absurdly and consistently corrupt they have become.

Posted by: socratic_me on September 26, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

It really isn't that hard.

That hasn't stopped the Democrats from not doing it before.

Posted by: Boronx on September 26, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

In other words, Blackwater's actions, just like its employees, are in a legal limbo that prevents any effective oversight from either congress or the judicial system.

Er, no. That's what the Bush regime is claiming. The fact that they are claiming it, however, doesn't make it true. Congress certainly has oversight authority here. This will only be free from effective oversight if the Democrats in Congress play along and allow them to get away with this dodge.

Yes, yes, I know, I know....

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2007 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

"This is going to hurt us badly. It may be worse than Abu Ghraib, . . ."

Oh. So the MSM might actually pay attention this time?

Posted by: JeffII on September 26, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

You know, some of you guys need to remember that it's Bush, Cheney, Rice and Blackwater and the rest of them who are the enemy.

You might want to remember that for all your bitchin about how spineless the Dems are, it was the Dems who were pasted by the voters for years over the Vietnam thing. The same voters who bought the "weak on defense" line the Repugs worked for years.

You act like the Dems have some huge majority. They've got 51-49 in the Senate and that's counting Joe Lieberman, who definitely isn't with them on the war. And they've got what, 30 votes in the House?

Sure, 2006 was a good year for the Dems, but it didn't put them in control of the government and it doesn't necessarily indicate a new trend in the voters. Give them a break, eh?

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Kind of Germany allowing any Blackwater operative killed in Iraq to be buried in Bitburg.

Embossed Totenkopfs on their tombstones.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 26, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraqis hate them, the troops don't particularly care for them,

two groups whose opinion matters not a whit. american troops are big government employees aka bureaucrats, iraqis are untermenschen. the heroes of the free-market system shuld be given every benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: 101st keyboarder on September 26, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Do you really expect the Iraqis to put up with it?
Posted by: John de Hoog on September 26, 2007 at 2:43 AM

Nope, and that's why I think we will be leaving there a lot sooner than most people think. The incompetence of this administration is ruining our country on every front. They are consistently behind the curve on EVERYTHING they do. Retroactive policy on everything. No forward thinking, no thought-out plans of any substance. We either do something out of vengeance or spite, or we just spend time mopping up the latest mess.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on September 26, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Blackwater's actions, just like its employees, are in a legal limbo that prevents any effective oversight from either congress or the judicial system.

Actually, if the Blackwater employees are considered independent contractors, subject to day-to-day instruction from State (rather than controlled by the corporation) - Secretary Rice might be on the blame line for failure to set and enforce standards.

Of course, nobody could have anticipated hiring mercenaries and not enforcing any discipline or law could have possibly resulted in this current situation.

Dr. Rice might have the academic credentials, but the woman suffers from a recurring lack of imagination and foresight. Nobody could have anticipated that putting Dr. Rice in a position of increased authority after 9/11 was a stupid fucking idea.

Posted by: Wapiti on September 26, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

You *nincompoops.* /Emphasis added!

The word "oversight" doesn't even appear in the US Constitution. It is a figment of the drooling Left.

This is all a tempest in a teapot. The Left wants officials in Iraq to be shot at and they want a good company providing a valuable service to disappear. How's that for capitalism?!?

The enemy are the al Qaeda insurgents in Iraq. You morons need to remember that. And you wonder why I think you're all idiots. Sheesh, Drum. Ban some of these people and be done with it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Blackwater. We have to allow them to provide "security" in Iraq, or they'd be providing "security" over here.

Posted by: Nemo on September 26, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Alright Norman, you know damned good and well that the "oversight" and "accountability" are both most certainly implied by the system of checks and balances and co-equal branches of government. Back in 1787, people didn't have to be told the obvious - for example, that coffee is served hot.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 26, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

In related news, David Kurtz reports that (a) the State Department has refused to allow Blackwater to testify at congressional oversight hearings,

Under what authority? The State Department has no authority to forbid a private corporation from refusing to obey a lawful Congressional subpoena.

(b) Condoleezza Rice has also refused to testify,

Again, under what authority? She has no privilege that would allow her to refuse to appear and testify.

and (c) nobody else from State will testify either unless it's done in closed session.

Again, under what authority? The State Department has no right to dictate to Congress the terms under which it will make itself available for lawfully-mandated testimony.

This is a feast of lawlesness, contempt, and outright refusal to obey American laws.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Normie is loose once again spraying the US Constitution with his new toy, sights filed off, M-4.

Yeah, Normie, tell us how Frank Nitti would clean up Iraq. - Oh, he's already there?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 26, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Incompetent men have not botched the invasion, occupation and pacification of Iraq. Most of the plans have come to naught, indeed things are now far worse than under the dictatorship, because Iraqis of various factions have effectively resisted the will of Dick Cheney and the neocons. There was never a time or a set of circumstances under which the Iraqis would embrace American occupation. There was never a time when hearts and minds could be won. The incompetence of the neocon cult is stunning but the end result would be the same under the best American leadership. It is just far more messy than it could have been.

This is because the United States is a foreign nation whose ambitions are regarded by locals and their neighbors as nothing more than the latest chapter in Western imperialism. Their culture is rich in stories of murder, abuse, exploitation, and defeat at the hands of the French, the British, the Russians and now the Americans who have all come to get the oil. They also revel in the glory of rejection of these foreign powers.

We have gone so far down the road with Dick Cheney and his friends in Israel that we have forgotten about the old dual containment strategy of Iraq and Iran. It is questionable even if these nations required containment, but if they did was it more costly in the long run than this mismanaged hot war? Seems like the neocons calculated that on the optimistic end they could achieve compliant states. At the very least they would have removed the military capacity, and much of the state apparatus, by physically destroying it. Certainly the Project for a New American century was thinking of the long term. But the millions dead, displaced, the chaos, the breeding of terrorism and interstate conflicts, the threat to oil prices, the loss of US prestige, and the staggering cost of the war for the United States should give even the most wickedly ambitious Machiavellian pause.

Which makes me think that something more insidious than Machiavellian calculation is at work. It is the same blinkered muscular nationalism, with all its accompanying miscalculations, that has broken many 20th century states.

Posted by: bellumregio on September 26, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Guy from Jersey: "Shoter Donald from Hawaii: 'Repeatedly voting "yes" on war appropriations will bring an end to the war.'"

Don't put words in my mouth.

You demand that Democrats bring action to the floor -- well, three times last week they did just that, and the Republicans in the Senate had to resort to the filibuster to prevent it from passing. Got anything to say about that? Did you even know those votes took place? No, I didn't think so.

It sounds like many of you just want to continue to bitch about how imperfect Hillary Clinton is for your liking, and / or pine away for the political utopian Never-Neverland offered by Dennis Kucinich -- which is exactly what the fucking Republicans want you to do. So, I ask you, who's being played for the chump by whom here?

You want to vent your spleen, then I suggest that you spew your ire at the Republicans, because they are the ones who are prolonging this war, not the Democrats.

What do you believe would happen if the Dems simply voted to immediately discontinue funding for the war? You all don't think that motherfucker currently squatting in the White House isn't fuckin' vindictive enough that he wouldn't just leave our forces in Iraq, regardless of what the Democrats demand? Then what do we do? Watch them run out of supplies, frozen in place, while the federal government is mired in political stalemate for the next 18 months?

Some people find it really easy to issue demands or ridicule others from behind their computer keyboards. Well, here's the bottom-line reality, people:

We don't have the votes in the Senate to end GOP filibusters.

We don't have the votes in either chamber of Congress to override presidential vetoes.

And last but certainly not least, we don't have the votes necessary to impeach and remove these fuckin' bastards from the executive branch.

I'm not saying the Democrats are God's gift to an America starving for a little truth and justice, because they're far from it, as are most of us. But they are trying, and God bless them for that.

Want to bitch about the non-binding MoveOn.org reso? Yeah, it was a stupid move on the part of the 20-something Senate Democrats who voted in favor. It won't be the last, I assure you. But if it's non-binding, forget about it and focus instead on more substantive issues.

And for Christ's sake, wake up and take note of what's been accomplished so far since the Dems took control of Congress.

Donald Rumsfeld: Gone.

Karl Rove: Out the door.

Alberto Gonzales: Adios.

The Republicans no longer set the agenda, and now have to resort to parliamentary procedure to sustain ol' Chimpy McCokespoon's position.

Numerous long-overdue investigations into administration misconduct and crimes continue apace, and will lead to legal action against the perpetrators.

And Democrats in Congress already passed legislation last May mandating troop withdrawal (Yeah, I know, Bush vetoed it and the Democrats failed in their attempts to override. But at least they did something, and are poised to do it again, especially if we call them up and show our support.)

So, stop your complaining, stop regurgitating what the talking heads in mainstream media are saying, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to go back to work, so we can sweep these Republicans into a minority status from which it will take them decades to recover.

Because electing more Democrats to Congress and putting one in the White House is the only way this fiasco is going to be brought to any sort of conclusion, once and for all, and no amount of your continued moaning and whining about those things Democrats can't control is going to change that fundamental dymnamic.

OK, I'm done here. Spew away.

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 26, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraqis are untermenschen"

How fitting then, that Blackwater's real name is the "Colonel Joaquim Peiper Brigade".

Funny, too, that the SS was an elite group of body guards, originally, who became a paramilitary force of zealots.

Posted by: stupid git on September 26, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

The word "oversight" doesn't even appear in the US Constitution.

Same for "implied powers as Commander in Chief," "signing statements," "tax cuts" or "Bring 'em on." Looks like your boy Bushie has been oversteppin' his bounds.

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, Norman, Article I, Section 8 very clearly provides that Congress should have the power to regulate these types of activities, to wit, here are some of Congress's enumerated powers:

"To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states...."

and

"To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;"

"To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;"

It is the word "capitalism" that is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, my friend.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 26, 2007 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK


It's even crazier than it looks. The US Government, in funding these assholes, is bidding against itself: the superhigh salaries paid to the mercenaries have forced re-enlistment bonuses for experienced Special Forces types to fantastic levels, as high as $150,000. So first you hire people who are far more expensive than regular troops, relinquish most control over their actions
and make them immune from all law, then let them hire away some of your best guys and drive military pay through the roof. The dumbest thing since letters of marque.
I haven't even mentioned the foreign mercs who make Blackwater people look like little angels: Colombians, Russians, South Africans.
Think about it.




Posted by: gcochran on September 26, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't even mentioned the foreign mercs who make Blackwater people look like little angels: Colombians, Russians, South Africans.

Not to mention the Serbians. And we know how much they love Muslims....

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I fail to see the difficult moral decision for State. The supposedly sovereign Iraqi government order Blackwater out of the country. Simply kick them all out! No moral ambiguity at all.

Posted by: bigTom on September 26, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Have any liberals found the word "oversight" in the US Constitution yet?

No.

Have they stopped the war yet, daddy?

No.

Daddy, what's Vietnam?

It's the war liberals lost for America.

Daddy, what's Iraq?

It's the war liberals think they know how to run, but they don't, so they just need to shut their pieholes and let the generals run the war.

End of discussion, morons. Have you learned anything today? Probably *God-Damned* not.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Thank God we live in a democracy where we can vote for two identical corrupt parties.

Posted by: Luther on September 26, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

The word "oversight" doesn't even appear in the US Constitution.

And neither do the words "Norman Rogers". Could that mean that you're a figment of our imagination, Normie?

Nah, we couldn't be that lucky.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 26, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

norman, that voice asking you the questions -- that's you too. seek help.

Posted by: benjoya on September 26, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Daddy, how many years do I have to wait before i can go kill brown people for you?

Posted by: Norman's offspring on September 26, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

hey, norm, if you just say "shut up" a couple of dozen times it will increase the substance of your comments exponentially.

Posted by: benjoya on September 26, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

It's the war liberals lost for America.

Oh no, Normie, Vietnam was the war that you were too chickenshit to fight in.

Which makes you the perfect republican.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 26, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

You demand that Democrats bring action to the floor -- well, three times last week they did just that, and the Republicans in the Senate had to resort to the filibuster to prevent it from passing. Got anything to say about that? Did you even know those votes took place? No, I didn't think so.

Wow, the Republicans filibustered three times last week? And here in my reality, they merely threatened to do so, and the Dems promptly bent to their will.

Like they do every single time, enabling headlines like, "Congress fails to pass..." "Senate blocks..."

I guess it doesn't matter because everyone in the country understands that it's not Congress or the Senate in general blocking these bills...it's the Republicans. I mean, Democrats never fail to get that message across, right?

Right?

Posted by: on September 26, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers,

It's the war liberals think they know how to run, but they don't, so they just need to shut their pieholes and let the generals run the war.

So you are predicting that if we keep on with the present course, things will turn out just great?

Which leads to the matter of your past predictions. Before the invasion, did you agree with Bush that after Saddam was defeated Iraq would make a quick transition to a peaceful democracy? And a year later when we were facing a a growing insurgency, did you predict it would be quickly defeated?

And if your past predictions have been wrong, as I strongly suspect they were, then why should we put any faith in your present one?

Posted by: bobo the chimp on September 26, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Democratic Elected Politician:

Thank you. After Hillary was elected in 2008 and you received a super majority in Congress I expected a quick withdrawal from Iraq to end the American military presence in that devastated country. Thank you for knowing what is best for the Americans, American soldiers and Iraqi people and continuing America's overwhelming presence in Iraq and daily bombing sorties. I look forward to more bail outs of mortgage lenders, to my mandatory payments to the private insurance companies and the spending of trillions of dollars on defense spending.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, master.

Your humble servant,

Brojo


Posted by: Brojo on September 26, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

The tactics the Blackwater guards used are the same tactics the military used the first two years in Iraq. Remember all the midnight raids and enhanced interrogations so that we could capture Sadam and collapse the insurgency? The military finally figured out they were making the Iraqi’s hate us and switched belatedly to an anti-insurgency strategy. For the Blackwater people they are still back in 2003. Or as Norman and his kind might put it: “Shoot em all, let God sort them out.”

Posted by: fafner1 on September 26, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Blackwater: America's SS. So how does one tell some grieving Gold Star Mother that vengeful Iraqis couldn't tell the difference between her soldier son (or daughter) and a Blackwater "cowboy" (or "cowgirl")?

Posted by: Ray Waldren on September 26, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

End of discussion, morons. Have you learned anything today? Probably *God-Damned* not.
Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 11:44 AM

What's next, Norman? Throwing feces at your monitor, sheesh.

If you cannot answer a man's argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names. ~Elbert Hubbard

Posted by: Zit on September 26, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
the State Department has refused to allow Blackwater to testify at congressional oversight hearings

Um, since when does the State Department (or the Executive Branch more generally) have the legal authority to decide whether private parties are allowed to testify at Congressional hearings?

Whoever asserted such authority should either be fired or they (or their impeachable superior) should be impeached; this is a clear offense against the Constitutional order of government for which there is no remedy in regular legal process, IOW, exactly the kind of thing that impeachment exists to address.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

What's probably going on is that the contract between Blackwater and State involves a non-disclosure clause whereby neither party can make public the details of the contract. State is asserting its contractual right to order Blackwater not to testify or else be in breach of contract.

HOWEVER, this is ultimately irrelevant, as parties cannot contract out of Congressionally mandated oversight. If Congress orders Blackwater to testify, then Blackwater must testify, and the State Department's only recourse against Blackwaters is a breach of contract suit. State is attempting to convert a purely private contractual right into a broad public immunity against Congressional oversight, which is both legally and logically ridiculous.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2007 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

This Blackwater debacle and the apparent agreement today of Iraq allowing Turkey to have the right of hot pursuit into Northern Iraq will probably add more Oak Leaf Cluster****s to the Iraqi medals worn by Betrayus.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 26, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

"...So first you hire people who are far more expensive than regular troops, relinquish most control over their actions and make them immune from all law, then let them hire away some of your best guys and drive military pay through the roof..."
Posted by: gcochran on September 26, 2007 at 11:24 AM
---
Yes, and all that just to keep from drafting people which would kick the prop out from under the entire misadventure.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on September 26, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK
If Congress orders Blackwater to testify, then Blackwater must testify, and the State Department's only recourse against Blackwaters is a breach of contract suit.

While I suppose they could sue for that, I don't think you can generally be awarded damages for breach of contract for legally-mandated (e.g., under subpoena) testimony. Even if contract provisions expressly provided for that, I'd have to think they'd be found to be void as contrary to public policy.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Once again Bush policy choices have obstructed America's chances of succeeding in Iraq.

Not that we had a snowball's chance in hell to begin with, but what little chances there have been, Bush has utterly obliterated with his personal arrogance and incompetence, as well as that of the persons he has chosen to serve in his administration.

Bush: worst president ever.

Cheney: worst VP ever.

Rumsfeld: worst SecDef ever.

Rice: worst Secretary of State ever.

Rice: worst National Security Advisor ever.

The more incompetent you are, the greater your rewards in the Bush administration.

That's why Condi is still around despite making the list twice.

Posted by: anonymous on September 26, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Rice: worst Secretary of State ever.
Posted by: anonymous

No. That "honor" would have to go to Powell, who could have torpedoed the Iraq debacle before it got beyond the planning stages.

Posted by: JeffII on September 26, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

State is attempting to convert a purely private contractual right into a broad public immunity against Congressional oversight, which is both legally and logically ridiculous. Posted by: Stefan

As congress "belongs" to the American public, I don't believe anything they do can be considered "private," particularly anything being done that could be considered "national business."

Posted by: JeffII on September 26, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

It has become clear that Blackwater USA has become a threat to any hope for peace in Iraq. How can Iraqi citizens possibly feel safe when a paramilitary organization, which seems to answer to no one, is running lose on their streets.


Please sign the petition asking Congress to demand that the DoD fire Blackwater
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/its-time-to-fire-blackwater

Posted by: Pamela Lyn on September 26, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII: That "honor" would have to go to Powell, who could have torpedoed the Iraq debacle before it got beyond the planning stages.

It appears to me that the invasion of Iraq was planned and ready for implementation long before Powell became involved, with a consequent psychological and political investment by the Bush administration that was not to be denied.

It is also very debatable whether Powell could have done anything to stop the Bush-Cheney Juggernaut to War even had he been involved at the planning stage.

While Powell was the mouthpiece for some of the evil that poured forth from the administration in proffering a rationale for the war, it is unclear whether Powell's resignation and objections and his replacement by a different mouthpiece would have altered the administration's pre-determined course of action.

The unitary executive theory under which the administration operates makes it abundantly clear that Bush and his cohorts never believed, even on a political level, that they needed congressional or public support for the invasion or would be deterred by the lack thereof, much less a UN resolution, which are the only things Powell could have possibly affected, short of a policital/military coup.

While I certainly understand anger at Powell's involvement, the invasion of Iraq was inevitable the minute Bush and Cheney took office and at least Powell made attempts to mitigate the potential fallout, while Condi is no more than a pusillanimous lapdog for Bush's idiocy who apparently has never had an original thought of her own while a part of the administration.

Posted by: anonymous on September 26, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

While I suppose they could sue for that, I don't think you can generally be awarded damages for breach of contract for legally-mandated (e.g., under subpoena) testimony. Even if contract provisions expressly provided for that, I'd have to think they'd be found to be void as contrary to public policy.

True. Every non-disclosure agreement I've ever negotiated or drafted has had a provision allowing for legally-mandated disclosure; I've never seen one that expressly forbade it, and even if such a provision were there it would be void as you cannot contract out of legal obligations.

Even if that were not the case, the State Department has no authority or ability to "forbid" Blackwater, a private corporation, from testifying to Congress.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK


If Powell had deviated slightly from his prepared speech at the UN and said that Iraq was fully as threatening as 'ring around the collar', that the President was a lazy, ignorant, vicious frat boy, and that the proposed war was utter nonsense, it might have been a bit harder to pull off. And it wouldn't have hurt Powell personally - he might have lost out on corporate board seats, but think of the book deal !

Posted by: gcochran on September 26, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: The unitary executive theory ...

says that the president is an elected dictator. He is not.

Any more detailed discussion of this absurd theory gives it more credibility than it deserves.

Posted by: alex on September 26, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

I don't want to out-and-out condemn these guys. What these guys should be doing is being the military consultants to the Democrats, telling them (people who want to really win this war on terror) how to wage the war on terrorism effectively. Even more, these guys could be paid pro-athlete type salaries to go on the real terrorist-hunting missions, and be real heroes. The reason they're doing the kinds of things they're doing is because of their context, just like anyone else. It's because of the corrupting influence on them that they're not heroes. The leaders in America today are unwise leaders and the militaristic faction in American politics today is an unwise faction. That's the company these guys keep and that's why they've become this way.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I heard Blackwater contractors will be stationed at all Blue state polling places in 2008.

Posted by: Mary Chaney on September 26, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

While I certainly understand anger at Powell's involvement, the invasion of Iraq was inevitable the minute Bush and Cheney took office and at least Powell made attempts to mitigate the potential fallout, while Condi is no more than a pusillanimous lapdog for Bush's idiocy who apparently has never had an original thought of her own while a part of the administration. Posted by: anonymous

Utter horse shit. Regardless of the fact that the plans for the invasion of Iraq existed before 9/11 (dating to 1992 to be exact), there was nothing "inevitable" about it. Powell did nothing "to mitigate the potential fallout . . ." However, had he gone public (or even semi- talking to congress) with the nonsense of it all, and that would have done enough.

Once the lies had been exposed, you never would have gotten congressional approval, such as it was, the Pentagon, which never wanted the mess, would have been a lot more resistant, and regardless of what apparently blood thirsty shits like Judy Miller wrote, the press would have started digging more.

Up until that point, Powell had greater credibility about matters of war than anyone else in the cabinet if for no other reason than he'd actually fought in one.

Posted by: JeffII on September 26, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why doesn't Congress just hire another mercenary outfit to go seize the info from Blackwater anyway?

Posted by: Fitzhugh` on September 26, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

I don't want to out-and-out condemn these guys. What these guys should be doing is being the military consultants to the Democrats, telling them (people who want to really win this war on terror) how to wage the war on terrorism effectively. Even more, these guys could be paid pro-athlete type salaries to go on the real terrorist-hunting missions, and be real heroes. The reason they're doing the kinds of things they're doing is because of their context, just like anyone else. It's because of the corrupting influence on them that they're not heroes. The leaders in America today are unwise leaders and the militaristic faction in American politics today is an unwise faction. That's the company these guys keep and that's why they've become this way.

There is no way this person is for real. Just no way.

What did Political Animal ever do to Rutgers? First what's-his-name, now this.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I don't want to out-and-out condemn these guys. What these guys should be doing is being the military consultants to the Democrats, telling them (people who want to really win this war on terror) how to wage the war on terrorism effectively.

Hilarious--you actually believe the balderdash dripping from your ignorant lips?

Democrats don't want to win the war on terror--if they did, our President would have the cabinet officers he wants. Democrats want to surrender and hide, take us back to a pre-9/11 mindset, and give us another sex-crazed Southern democrat to sit in the White House and allow another al Qaeda to foment and gain strength.

Even more, these guys could be paid pro-athlete type salaries to go on the real terrorist-hunting missions, and be real heroes.

What are you babbling about? Are you the stupidest liberal who ever squatted and left droppings on a web posting? Some pro atheletes make 20 million dollars a year--do you seriously think a trigger-happy commando who is searching for beer and poon tang is worth that kind of scratch.

Delusion, thy name is Swan, and Swan is just a bird that poops in the lake. Drinking that water much, moron?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I don't want to out-and-out condemn these guys. What these guys should be doing is being the military consultants to the Democrats, telling them (people who want to really win this war on terror) how to wage the war on terrorism effectively. Even more, these guys could be paid pro-athlete type salaries to go on the real terrorist-hunting missions, and be real heroes. The reason they're doing the kinds of things they're doing is because of their context, just like anyone else. It's because of the corrupting influence on them that they're not heroes. The leaders in America today are unwise leaders and the militaristic faction in American politics today is an unwise faction. That's the company these guys keep and that's why they've become this way.

Dipshit of the year.

Indeed - Kevin, search your memory. What did you do to Rutgers? There is always some puffed-up Rutgers idiot fouling your threads with pure, unadulterated, mind-boggling dipshittery.

(And I have been to your blog - in your June 20 V-Blog, you confirm that you are every bit as idiotic in speech as you are in text.)

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on September 26, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, don't think I haven't been reading the archives. Swan really is the stupidest fucking person on the planet.

Do you hate America, Swan? Are you an over educated fop with long hair and a smelly shirt? Do you make a woman get you coffee and then tell all of your friends what a liberated and enlightened fellow you are.

They wrote a song about you--it's called Love me, I'm a Liberal, and it goes like this:

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Could you be any more of a moron? Sheesh!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Are you an over educated fop with long hair and a smelly shirt?

No, he is a pencil-necked geek with short mousy-brown hair. Probably Who Apatow had in mind when he made The Forty Year Old Virgin.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on September 26, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Even more, these guys could be paid pro-athlete type salaries to go on the real terrorist-hunting missions, and be real heroes.

Maybe they could kill all the people of Halabja or My Lai again. Gunning down unarmed civilians is the only heroics these type of people know. Like cops who go after crack whores and avoid the real dangerous criminals or Nazi SS who round up women and children for extermination while real troops fight the Russians, special ops types avoid confrontations with equals out of fear for their lives. That is why Blackwater Americans kill pregnant Iraqi women and shoot little Iraqi girls when a car backfires.

Blackwater's viciousness belies their cowardice. Thinking Blackwater can do anything to advance American interests indicates the use of torture, assassination and mass murder is legitimate as long as it is done to advance some American national goal. Blackwater and the American ideal they represent needs to be eliminated and elevated to taboo status. The behaviors they represent must become too reprehensible to even contemplate and their practitioners considered embodying the epitome of shame and odium.

Posted by: Brojo on September 26, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

These people voted today for FREEDOM, something you liberals know nothing about. These people voted to take Iran to the woodshed and beat it's snotty little ass.

Note how many Democrats realize we need to take the fight to our enemies--sadly, there are few courageous people who insist on putting "d's" by their names:

Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lott (R-MS)
Martinez (R-FL)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Because sometimes you have to run for President instead of standing up and being counted:

Not Voting - 2
McCain (R-AZ)
Obama (D-IL)

Democrats--courage escapes you, doesn't it?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

There sure be a lotta trolls around here.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on September 26, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Shut up Norman, you little chickenshit...

Y'all Chickenhawks to Me - by Elmo (MP3)

(If you have trouble with the link right click and "save target as")

Posted by: elmo on September 26, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats don't want to win the war on terror--if they did, our President would have the cabinet officers he wants. Democrats want to surrender and hide, take us back to a pre-9/11 mindset, and give us another sex-crazed Southern democrat to sit in the White House and allow another al Qaeda to foment and gain strength.


If I were the author of drivel like this, I'd be careful of who I called stupid. In fact, I'd probably stop writing and speaking in public. Hey, you aren't the Americanbullshitist, are you?

Posted by: tomeck on September 26, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, I don't think I have to say a lot about the last 10 or 12 comments or the few posters who have been giving me a hard time on this website the last few days. The comments following my last comment seem to be intentionally confusing my last comment as one about these particular guys, when it was more addressed to the use of mercenaries in general. Even in my last comment, though, the one people were quoting at length and criticizing, I described these guys as corrupt. Besides this, I'll just say it's clear to anyone who thinks about it a little that mercenaries can be useful-- they can go after the bad guys, and be paid a salary that compensates both their expertise and the risks they take. Only foolish liberals think there's never a time for war, always a time to concede, and that therefore people who can fight arene't necessary. Paying military consultants instead of just regular generals is a way to get advice based more on expertise than on the promotion structure of military schools and the military, which may have more to do with "old boy" networks than combat experience and merit, to some degree. Besides this, calling the mercs a product of their environments is perfectly in sync with the more liberal point of view on criminal behavior. Blackwater doesn't have to be a goon squad, they can be warriors who are socially beneficial and pursue their interests in the best way possible for all of us.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Also, ny two comments upthread of the one in which I called Blackwater corrupt should have made clear that I condemn these actions as heartily as they require.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Re: taking Iran to the woodshed and beating its snotty little ass.

Gee, Norman, it worked out so well when you and Bush took Saddam out to the woodshed . . .

The illusion to beating and violence seems to be common with conservatives. Did you have an unhappy child hood like Richard Perle? As a kid he was the little nerd who was always picked on, so as a grown up he obsesses with having his Uncle Sam take anyone he doesn’t like out to the woodshed for a beating.

Posted by: fafner1 on September 26, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

"These people voted today for FREEDOM, something you liberals know nothing about. These people voted to take Iran to the woodshed and beat it's snotty little ass.

Note how many Democrats realize we need to take the fight to our enemies--sadly, there are few courageous people who insist on putting "d's" by their names"


Hey I've got a bold, radical and crazy idea here: maybe before embarking on another war of choice with elusive goals that will be next-to-impossible to achieve (Iran = Iraq x 3+), maybe we could focus our efforts on catching and killing the people who actually attacked us on 9/11. You might have heard of them, Ayman Zawahiri and someone named Bin Laden. What's that group called? Oh yeah, Al Qaeda.

Maybe we should put some political capitol in and start sending Predator drones into the Pakistani tribal area to take out the Al Qaeda leadership and terrorist training camps. Maybe, in the name of FREEDOM, we should stop propping up the autocratic General Pervez Musharaf and support democracy in that nation. Islamists were trounced in the last parliamentary election, and the main opposition party in Pakistan are democrats! How about putting a little pressure on "our boy" Musharaf before taking on Iran?

Iran did not attack us on September 11. Ahmadinijad is the ELECTED president of Iran, but the power lies with Khomeini, who is not the apocapyptic firebrand that Ahmnedihemiwhatshisname is. Shiite Iran is not considered to be a supporter of Sunni Al Qaeda. So tell me, Norman, why are you focusing on Iran and not Pakistan? Is it just a matter of wanting to go blow something up and kick some Persian tail?

Why are conservatives SO FREAKING AFRAID OF EVERYTHING? Why do they continue to make excuses and treat like a puppy dog General Musharaf, who is harboring (not willingly perhaps, but we know that they are there) the top leadership of Al Qaeda.

When was the last time Iran attacked the United States? What does Iran have to do with September 11?

Where will the troops for this new adventure come from? Who will pay? Will taxes be raised? A draft instated?

Will QWERT Keyboard Commando Norman Rogers be enlisting as soon as the bombs start falling?

Posted by: Bryan on September 26, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII: Once the lies had been exposed, you never would have gotten congressional approval . . .

You must be thinking of a fantasy Congress, instead of the one we had.

You also seem to assume that Powell was aware of all of the duplicity and was in a position to expose it.

Heck, even the Dems have given in to Bush on numerous occasions, AFTER a multitude of lies were exposed no less, a fact you and others have ranted about on this very blog.

You seem to forget that Congress was dominated by the GOP in 2003.

You are on some seriously hallucinogenic stuff if you think anything Powell could have said or not said would have diverted the GOP-controlled Congress from voting out the resolution that got approved.

Posted by: anonymous on September 26, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Just to elaborate on this a little more:

I don't think any of us, when we're talking about mercenaries nowadays, are talking about guys you hire, and they work for anybody, and kill anybody, and all that matters is who's the highest bidder. That's just legalized murder, and that's not what I'm talking about when I write about sending mercenaries out on attack operations. What you do is you have a law that says that mercenaries can't work for any nation we're at war with, or any nation allied with any nation we're at war with. And the law says that the only people who can hire them are the U.S. government, or another merc group pursuant to it's contract with the US government (subcontracting), or a nation we are not at war with pursuant to specific time-place authorizing legislation from congress. I would allow for hiring out to unfriendly nations if congress authorizes it, because we always might find ourselves in a bind where our military goals are the same as an unfriendly nation and it works better to work together. And of course you say in the law that nothing in it is meant to repeal the law of treason, under which waging war against the U.S. is a crime. Then the specific of merc operations would be governed by the law of war (same international law sopurces that prevent human rights abuses by armies) or by other law.

I wrote in my last comment about paying "salary" to mercenaries, but of course I meant a contract fee or whatever.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

You must also have missed today's vote where Sen. Clinton and gang sided with Lieberman and his GOP buddies to once again give Bush the green light to invade another country.

When exactly are the Democrats going to learn that voting for anything even remotely authorizing action against a foreign state or that state's functionaries is providing an open door through which Bush will drive his Mack truck of foreign policy failures?

Congress would have reacted to lies exposed by Powell and prevented the war?

Hardee har har!

That's a good one.

Remind me again how valiantly the Democrats, with an overwhelming public approval advantage over the GOP and Bush, opposed the continuation of wiretapping of American citizens and the freedom-destroying Patriot Act . . .

I must've missed that heroic battle.

Posted by: anonymous on September 26, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Blackwater is the enemy. It may be foolish for liberals to fight them, want them prosecuted and abolished, but someone has to do it. Considering Blackwater's services necessary and controllable with oversight, which today it was shown even Congress cannot do, supports the neo-con theme of aggressive militarism and ignores the triumphs of America's past military achievements, which were accomplished by citizen soldiers. Blackwater-types will ultimately seek to seize political power through violence and corruption. They must not be allowed to flourish in this pit of violence created by W. Bush and his war cronies.

Posted by: Brojo on September 26, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

I wrote in my last comment about paying "salary" to mercenaries, but of course I meant a contract fee or whatever.

So they should get agents, free agency rights, and the ability to have their salaries decided by arbitration? Who's going to represent the league in these negotiations.

What a flaming *dumb ass*.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 26, 2007 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK
….These people voted today for FREEDOM, something you liberals know nothing about….Norman Rogers at 3:02 PM
No Republican believes in freedom. Republican ideology is fear, not freedom. You are so ignorant, everything you think is 180 degrees from the truth, which is typical for a flaming nutjob Posted by: Mike on September 26, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Norm, if you call yourself a Christian, you must have an interesting way of rationalizing such behavior on this site.

Posted by: Captain on September 26, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Also, a point of my last comment I may have not made explicit enough is that the current use of mercenaries and future use as it's envisioned is not per-se reprehensible. If mercenaries are only allowed by law to fight for "good," legislatively or presidentially authorized causes, they are a much different class of people who go and fight for anybody-- fight for one side one day, another the next, depending on who gives the highest pay. Mercs as they're presently envisioned are more like soldiers with the benefits of increased pay.

Posted by: Swan on September 26, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Blackwater employees will be happy to kill people for the heroin cartel's good money. Nothing will stop them from selling their services to the highest bidder. They are a different class of people. They kill for money.

Posted by: Brojo on September 26, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

bellumreggio
Worrying about muscular nationalism is likely missing the point. Combines control is a vanished concept and trans-national corporations bu and sell without much concern for invisible boundaries. Lobbying is only one control mechanism.

If people could figure out which of the many lies told about why the US went to Iraq segueing to those told when it became apparent it was staying they wanted refuted, it would be nice. Since it's all bullshit I'm not sure there's much point.

The NIE from 16 American Intelligence Agencies stated categorically that American presence in Iraq was causing an increase in terrorism. Bush went for that. Just because he makes a few motions scratching under his arms and going 'ee-eeek' doesn't convince me that was not a deliberate act.

Posted by: opit on September 27, 2007 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

What brojo said above in two different postings.

America doesn't need no stinkin' mercenaries.

Posted by: slanted tom on September 27, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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