by Jason Miller
from Rense Website
Thomas Paine saw the United States as an "asylum for mankind." Sadly, under the political and social dominance of the Social Darwinists, America has become more of an "asylum for the insane".
Torture, state-sponsored terrorism, illegal
wars, flagrant disregard for international law, tax decreases for the
wealthy, funding cuts for social safety net programs, government endorsed
racism, and diasporas in the aftermath of natural disasters are but a few
examples of the handiwork of the wealthy elite as they create a gross
perversion of Paine's vision of the US. Not to worry though. America's
patrician class now has its own private armies to protect its gold from the
proletariat they so graciously tolerate.
The article was by another writer and I had published it under Fair Use since my blog generates no revenue. Blackwater's legal representatives threatened me with a libel suit and demanded that I depublish the article because it contained factual inaccuracies. After some research I agreed with them and removed the article from Thomas Paine's Corner.
However, in the course of my research, I made
some startling discoveries about the corporate mercenaries of Blackwater
and their disturbing relationship with the US government, which clearly
illustrates the threat America's parasitic aristocracy poses to the poor,
working and middle class of the world.
Signs of ill portent for the Act are its statutory rather than Constitutional nature (leaving it much more vulnerable to legislative changes), the federal government's use of the military to fight the "War on Drugs" along America's borders, the precedent set by the deployment of Blackwater's military proxies in New Orleans, and the Bush Regime's repeated statement of its intention to rely heavily upon the military in times of domestic crisis (i.e. during future hurricanes, a potential outbreak of Avian Flu).
Unfortunately, Posse Comitatus affords
the American public about as much protection from martial law (at the whim
of our deranged president) as the levees provided New Orleans from the
ravages of Katrina.
Labor unions, whose membership peaked at 35% of the hourly wage force in the 1950's, now comprise less than 10% of the US work force.
The wealth gap continues to widen to devastating proportions as the middle class slowly disappears. Statistically, unemployment is relatively low, but many of those who are working are under-employed or working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. As the wealthy elite continue to tighten the screws by raising regressive taxes and lowering progressive taxes, lowering wages and benefits for the working class, off-shoring jobs, and cutting social programs, the threat of riots and social unrest becomes real.
Hence the Bush Regime's moves to lay the
foundation for declaring martial law and the rising fortunes of companies
providing private military forces, like Blackwater.
Rumsfeld, Chertoff, and company
demonstrated that they can deploy a domestic military presence "under the
radar", enabling them to side-step potential public backlash and legal
Blackwater's global presence includes Iraq, where the murder of four of their employees triggered the US military's vengeful attack on Fallujah in which it committed heinous war crimes and atrocities against hundreds of Iraqi civilians. Why the four Blackwater contractors were near Fallujah the day of their deaths remains unclear.
The mainstream media, Blackwater and the US government claim that they were on security detail protecting a food delivery.
However, some suggest that the claims of
protecting a food caravan were a ruse to cover the fact that Blackwater
employees were completing a military operation. While the facts remain
unclear, it is certain that the mainstream media's portrayal of the
Blackwater victims as "civilian contractors" was significantly inaccurate.
Revolutionary Worker also indicated:
In August 2003, Blackwater was awarded a $21
million contract to supply security guards and two helicopters for Paul
Bremer III, head of the U.S. occupation in Iraq. Other Blackwater
operations in Iraq are merely described as full protective teams "for any
One would be foolish to believe that they would not become embroiled in combat, and once they do, the question becomes, "under the Geneva Convention, are they considered to be civilians or soldiers?" One particular danger to Iraqi civilians is that Blackwater "security" personnel are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, so if they do commit a crime, there is very little accountability.
In the past, US mercenaries committing serious crimes while on assignment in foreign nations simply lost their jobs as punishment. US military and civilian courts lacked the jurisdiction, will, or capacity to prosecute them. In 2000, the US Congress passed the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act to provide a means for punishing civilian (and perhaps mercenary) personnel assigned to the military for committing crimes in foreign nations.
Unfortunately, this law has yet to make much
Forces provided by Blackwater are less subject
to Congressional oversight and public scrutiny than the conventional
military. The availability of "guns for hire" negates the need for a highly
unpopular draft and helps fill in gaps left by military recruitment
shortages. As far back as May of 2004, the number of employees deployed to
Iraq by private security firms, including Blackwater, was 20,000.
A typical Blackwater contract soldier reportedly makes six figures per year. Risking their lives side by side with people making five times their salary is tough on the morale of US troops. The lure of higher salaries naturally leads to a drain of talent from the US military, particularly in special ops. While the US needs to end its imperial conquest in Iraq and scale its military down significantly, we still need a standing army (which is accountable to the representatives of the people) of qualified, well-equipped individuals to provide for the national defense.
Bypassing oversight by Congress by employing
private warriors, the Bush Regime is increasing its opportunities to
violate the Geneva Conventions and the US Constitution it so loathes. At the
same time, it exposes the American people to the dangers of the fickle
loyalties of avaricious corporations and their employees.
As you contemplate Blackwater and its
relationship with the US government, consider the inherent danger and
ethical conflicts involved in using public funds to engage a private
corporation (which exists to generate profit) to supplement (or perhaps to
supplant) the military in its role to "provide for the common defense".
Alarming issues leap to mind like a panther springing upon its prey.
150 highly trained Blackwater quasi-military professionals openly armed with assault weapons descended on a tragedy-stricken city.
As hurricane victims taking necessities were
called "looters" and shoot to kill orders were in effect, those who value
property over people saw to it that their interests were well-protected.
Thankfully, Blackwater was there to protect the patrician class from the
"savages" from the Lower Ninth Ward who had the audacity to attempt
Thomas Paine would feel deeply ashamed of
what has become of the nation he helped forge with his powerful writing.