Unless "webwaxer" & the searcher from Columbia, MD are one & the same, we're not sure if we're surprised that more than one person thinks it's spelled "heteralsexual." Or is this the same searcher who was looking for "good old fashioned" whatnot. We guess that'd be the same thing.
Ever seen a two headed racoon? A bus full of kids did in 1998. Nope, not natural but nature is imperfect and anyone not heteralsexual should not be discriminated as any less the a natural produce of an imperfect world. Posted by: webwaxer Jun-6
No man on two-headed raccoon sex either, Godammit!!!
Ever seen a two headed racoon? A bus load of kids did in 1998. Nature isn't perfect, never was and never will be. We must respect diversity. Posted by: webwaxer Jun-6
I guess that's better.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Enough cheap shots in Sen. Larry's direction, there are other targets out there, as Pensito Review reveals. Here are four of them.
We don't give a shit what these clowns do in private, it's really none of our effin' beeswax, but living a lie is just not good for the non-existent soul, & in the case of an elected closet case, it may not be too good for the people they're supposed to be representing. Or in some cases, it may be fatal. We'll merely give you the headline for the first part of PR's report:
Rep. Patrick McHenry’s Connection to Gay Murderer ConfirmedIt involves an "escort service," & seems to go farther than anything Barney Frank's "roomie" did on the 'phones in the basement. Mainstream media coverage? Not much, after the first reports attributed it to a "lover's quarrel."
Seems like Rep. Drier is already peeping coyly around the door, so we won't bother w/ him. Besides we can't wait to get to Sen. Graham. Look at his picture up there again.
South Carolina Republicans Would Be Unhappy to Learn that Sen. Lindsey Graham Is Gay
If it were to come out that McCain’s Mini-Me, Sen. Graham, is gay, his chances of being reelected in South Carolina next year would drop to zero:
Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an unmarried/never married 52 year old with a funny, forced way of walking, has been far more fastidious with his homosexuality [than former Rep. Mark Foley was]. Again, “everyone” knows– except the voters in conservative South Carolina. Not that it doesn’t come up from time to time; people talk. In fact, the head of the Democratic Party in South Carolina said something when the effeminate Lindsey decided to run for Thurmond’s senate seat. “He’s a little too light in the loafers” to succeed Strom Thurmond. Graham got into a really queenie tizzy fit and loudly threatened to sue– although he didn’t. (They never do.)
Other famous never-married GOP figures in their 50s include White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice.Disclaimer: Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ is in its 50s, has never married or had children (to the best of its knowledge) & lives in West Hollywood. However, it is not a closeted Republican (or closeted anything else, not that there's anything wrong w/ that) and none of these folks may be either. Though we heard some stuff about Sec'y. Rice a couple of weeks ago.
Sen. Mitch has something to hide too, but it may be cowardice. (Is he chinless or is it just that huge jowl or wattle or whatever you call it?) When his Army career was cut short, it was the height of the Vietnam War, & he certainly wouldn't have been the first or last to stay out of that mess by grabbing something.
“Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s quick expulsion from the Army — for fondling a private’s privates — is finally being discussed in Kentucky.” He notes that McConnell, discharged after just 10 days in the Army in 1967, “has consistently prevented anyone from seeing his military discharge papers” but a Freedom of Information suit may bring them to light. (After the revelation of Craig’s arrest and confession, McConnell cosigned a statement with other top Republican legislators stating, “This is a serious matter” and indicating he is examining “other aspects of the case to determine if additional action is required.”)We'll let Jon Ponder of Pensito Review wrap this up on a cheerful note:
As we noted last week, Republicans painted themselves into this gay corner when they formed their star-crossed coalition with Christian nationalists in 1979. It was never a good fit. Country club Republicans don’t generally care about discussing family values, and going to church is not the central focus of their lives — not hardly.
The GOP could find itself right back where it was after Watergate. Bush and his toadying to the Christian right has driven away the right-leaning independents. Without the support of the poor, dumbass so-called Christians, there aren’t enough country clubbers and anti-taxers out there to win a national election. Status quo circa 1977.
If the secret lives of any of these men are revealed as the election cycle ratchets up, the Christianists could well seek solace in a third party next year, leaving the GOP’s Washington elite literally without a base to stand on.
UPDATE (30 September 2007 @ 1400): The Washington Post details how Republicans are trying to embarrass Sen. Craig into getting out of town, by holding an open ethics hearing:
The committee also could look for "a pattern of conduct" -- which means combing court records in other locales to discover whether Craig had prior arrests that haven't come to light.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Big John McCain, the "war hero" who was shot down & captured (how does that make him a hero again?) thinks the Constitution of these United States is based on Judeo-Christian principles. That's why references to "God" & "the Creator" are sprinkled throughout the document, of course. And why eating shellfish is a Federal crime. And the First Amendment? Well, it's just that no one proofread it, otherwise it would say: "This is a Judeo-Christian nation, all others can fuck off, but that doesn't mean you can't establish quotas for Joooos."
For years, you've been identified as an Episcopalian. You recently began referring to yourself as a Baptist. Why?
[It was] one comment on the bus after hours. I meant to say that I practice in a—I am a Christian and I attend a Baptist church. I am very aware that immersion is part—as my wife Cindy has done—is necessary to be considered a Baptist. So I was raised Episcopalian, I have attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church for many years and I am a Christian.
What prevents you from taking that final step of undergoing the baptism?
I've had discussions with the pastor about it and we're still in conversation about it. In the meantime, I am a practicing Christian.
*McCain contacted Beliefnet after the interview to clarify his remarks: “I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values.”
Friday, September 28, 2007
The CIA is controlled by the Knights of Malta. Castro and his dictator protegé Chavez are both controlled by the Jesuit Knights of Malta. Are you getting the picture?Not sure if there's a difference between the "Knights of Malta" & the "Jesuit Knights of Malta," but we may just be picking nits there.
Hence, like Hitler, Stalin and Osama bin Ladin, Castro is just another controlled-opposition asset of the Vatican whose mission, should they decide to accept it (and they have) is to destroy the United States of America by orchestrating massive global opposition to the US from both within and from the world at large.
But really, we just wanted to share this photo of Pope Hitlerjugend I & the Grandmaster and Prince of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, in full drag. There's another one of the harmless sounding Prince Bertie, who is, according to Aftermath News, Queen Elizabeth II's cousin (any LaRouche fans out there?) shaking hands w/ Castro @ the linked site.Grand Master Ninian Bertie (R) sitting in full Fascist military regalia with Pope Benedict. (Caption & photo from Aftermath News.)
From the first link (Hampton Roads PilotOnline):
Schmitz was the senior Pentagon official responsible for investigating waste, fraud and abuse. Now he faces a congressional inquiry into accusations that he quashed two criminal investigations of senior Bush administration officials. The inquiry is continuing, according to a spokeswoman for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.Now let's start comparing the Bush dynasty to the Clinton "dynasty." Jeezis.
He was awarded the Defense Department Medal for Distinguished Public Service on his retirement from the Pentagon. [Editor's Note: Irony meter red-lines on this one.] Schmitz’s father, John G. Schmitz, was a two-term Republican congressman from California and a prominent member of the John Birch Society, an ultra-conservative group that flowered during the Cold War. He ran for president in 1972 as the candidate of the American Independent Party after its founder, George Wallace, was paralyzed by a would-be assassin.
John Schmitz’s political career ended with the revelation that he had a mistress who bore two of his children. He then moved to Washington, where he bought a house once owned by Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
P. S.: Please see the item immediately above, there are many more links to Blackwater items in the first paragraph.
UPDATED 19 August 2016: See our amplification & correction. Spoiler: Entirely different Schmitzes.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
So-called news first:
Blackwater is now the focus of investigations in both Baghdad and Washington over a Sept. 16 shooting in which at least 11 Iraqis were killed.(Off topic: Have you noticed how the press has started attempting to explain exactly why they are using anonymous sources? No longer the "senior official speaking on 'background' only," now it's "in order to discuss a delicate, continuing investigation," or "not authorized to speak on the matter.")
Beyond that episode, the company has been involved in cases in which its personnel fired weapons while guarding State Department officials in Iraq at least twice as often per convoy mission as security guards working for other American security firms, the officials said.
“The incident rate for Blackwater is higher, there is a distinction,” said a senior American government official who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss a delicate, continuing investigation. “The real question that is open for discussion is why.”
A Blackwater spokeswoman declined to comment.
Rosa Brooks opines in the L. A. Times:
The White House's motives are obvious. Why fight another war, with all the bother of convincing Congress, if you can quietly hire a private military company to fight it for you? Why interrogate suspected insurgents if you can outsource the whole messy business? Why go through the tedious process of training Afghan judges if DynCorp will handle it instead -- as long as you're not too picky about the results?Now we start picking on Erik Prince. An excerpt from an extract of Jeremy Scahill's book on Blackwater, published in the Times Online (The extract is a long one for you Internet attention span types, but here are our favorite parts):
As for the corporations so eagerly lapping up the contracting dollars, there's no conspiracy -- it's just the good old profit motive. If the White House wants to sell off U.S. foreign policy, someone's going to buy it. Prince, the former Navy SEAL who founded Blackwater, is straightforward about his company's goal: "We're trying to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did for the Postal Service."
Since FedEx rendered the post office irrelevant for all but the most trivial forms of mail, this means you can kiss our national security apparatus goodbye.
Blackwater is a private army, and it is controlled by one person: Erik Prince, a radical right-wing Christian mega-millionaire who has served as a major bankroller not only of President Bush’s campaigns but of the broader Christian-right agenda. In fact, as of this writing Prince has never given a penny to a Democratic candidate—certainly his right, but an unusual pattern for the head of such a powerful war-servicing corporation, and one that speaks volumes about the sincerity of his ideological commitment. Blackwater has been one of the most effective battalions in Rumsfeld’s war on the Pentagon, and Prince speaks boldly about the role his company is playing in the radical transformation of the U.S. military. “When you ship overnight, do you use the postal service or do you use FedEx?” Prince recently asked during a panel discussion with military officials. “Our corporate goal is to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did to the postal service.”Whew! Some of Erik's friends & associates, from a review of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army in Media Mouse:
Blackwater claims that its forces operate under the legally impotent and unenforceable code of conduct written by its own trade association, ironically named the International Peace Operations Association. Erik Prince says his forces are “accountable to our country,” as though declarations of loyalty to the flag are evidence of just motives or activities or somehow a substitute for an independent legal framework.
Prince likes to position Blackwater as a patriotic extension of the U.S. military, and in September 2005 he issued a company-wide memorandum requiring all company employees and contractors to swear the same oath of loyalty to the U.S. Constitution as Blackwater’s “National Security-related clients (i.e. Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies)” to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. . . . So help me God.”
But despite the portrayal of Blackwater as an all-American operation seeking to defend the defenseless, some of its most ambitious and secretive projects reveal a very different and frightening reality. In May 2004, Blackwater quietly registered a new division, Greystone Limited, in the U.S. government’s Central Contracting office. But instead of incorporating the company in North Carolina or Virginia or Delaware, like Blackwater’s other divisions, Greystone was registered offshore in the Caribbean island-nation of Barbados. It was duly classified by the U.S. government as a “tax-exempt” “corporate entity.” Greystone’s promotional literature offered prospective clients “Proactive Engagement Teams” that could be hired “to meet emergent or existing security requirements for client needs overseas. Our teams are ready to conduct stabilization efforts, asset protection and recovery, and emergency personnel withdrawal.” It also offered a wide range of training services, including in “defensive and offensive small group operations.”
Greystone boasted that it “maintains and trains a workforce drawn from a diverse base of former special operations, defense, intelligence, and law enforcement professionals ready on a moment’s notice for global deployment.” The countries from which Greystone claimed to draw recruits were: the Philippines, Chile, Nepal, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and Peru, many of whose forces have human rights records that are questionable at best. It asked applicants to check off their qualifications in weapons: AK-47 rifle, Glock 19, M-16 series rifle, M-4 carbine rifle, machine gun, mortar, and shoulder-fired weapons (RPG, LAAW). Among the qualifications the application sought: sniper, marksman, door gunner, explosive ordnance, counter-assault team. In Iraq, Blackwater has deployed scores of Chilean mercenaries, some of whom trained and served under the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet. “We scour the ends of the earth to find professionals,” said Blackwater president Gary Jackson. “The Chilean commandos are very, very professional and they fit within the Blackwater system.”
With domestic armed forces stretched to the limit—and a draft off the table for political reasons— the U.S. government is left to struggle to find nation-state allies willing to staff the occupations of its “global war on terror.” If the national armies of other states will not join a “coalition of the willing,” Blackwater and its allies offer a different sort of solution: an alternative internationalization of the force achieved by recruiting private soldiers from across the globe. If foreign governments are not on board, foreign soldiers—many of whose home countries oppose the U.S. wars— can still be enlisted, at a price.
This process, critics allege, is nothing short of a subversion of the very existence of the nation-state and of principles of sovereignty and self-determination. “The increasing use of contractors, private forces or as some would say ‘mercenaries’ makes wars easier to begin and to fight—it just takes money and not the citizenry,” says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, whose organization has sued private contractors for alleged human rights violations in Iraq. “To the extent a population is called upon to go to war, there is resistance, a necessary resistance to prevent wars of self-aggrandizement, foolish wars and in the case of the United States, hegemonic imperialist wars. Private forces are almost a necessity for a United States bent on retaining its declining empire. Think about Rome and its increasing need for mercenaries. Likewise, here at home in the United States. Controlling an angry, abused population with a police force bound to obey the Constitution can be difficult—private forces can solve this ‘problem.’”
As with Halliburton, the Pentagon’s largest contractor, Blackwater is set apart from simple war profiteers by the defining characteristic of its executives’ very long view. They have not just seized a profitable moment along with many of their competitors but have set out to carve a permanent niche for themselves for decades to come. Blackwater’s aspirations are not limited to international wars, however. Its forces beat most federal agencies to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, as hundreds of heavily armed Blackwater mercenaries—some fresh from deployment in Iraq—fanned out into the disaster zone. Within a week, they were officially hired by the Department of Homeland Security to operate in the U.S. Gulf, billing the federal government $950 a day per Blackwater soldier. In less than a year, the company had raked in more than $70 million in federal hurricane-related contracts—about $243,000 a day. The company saw Katrina as another moment of great opportunity and soon began applying for permits to contract its forces out to local governments in all fifty states. Blackwater executives have met with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about deploying there in the aftermath of an earthquake or another disaster. “Look, none of us loves the idea that devastation became a business opportunity,” said the Blackwater official heading up its new domestic operations division formed after Katrina. “It’s a distasteful fact, but it is what it is. Doctors, lawyers, funeral directors, even newspapers—they all make a living off of bad things happening. So do we, because somebody’s got to handle it.”
But critics see the deployment of Blackwater’s forces domestically as a dangerous precedent that could undermine U.S. democracy. “Their actions may not be subject to constitutional limitations that apply to both federal and state officials and employees—including First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights to be free from illegal searches and seizures. Unlike police officers, they are not trained in protecting constitutional rights,” says CCR’s Michael Ratner. “These kind of paramilitary groups bring to mind Nazi Party brownshirts, functioning as an extrajudicial enforcement mechanism that can and does operate outside the law. The use of these paramilitary groups is an extremely dangerous threat to our rights.”
What is particularly scary about Blackwater’s role in a war that President Bush labeled a “crusade” is that the company’s leading executives are dedicated to a Christian-supremacist agenda. Erik Prince and his family have provided generous funding to the religious right’s war against secularism and for expanding the presence of Christianity in the public sphere.
Prince is a close friend and benefactor to some of the country’s most hard right Christian evangelists, such as former Watergate conspirator Chuck Colson, who went on to become an adviser to President Bush and a pioneer of “faith-based prisons,” and Christian conservative leader Gary Bauer, an original signer of the Project for a New American Century’s “Statement of Principles,” whom Prince has worked alongside since his youth and who was a close friend of Prince’s father. Some Blackwater executives even boast of their membership in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a Christian militia formed in the eleventh century, before the first Crusades, with the mission of defending “territories that the Crusaders had conquered from the Moslems.”
The Order today boasts of being “a sovereign subject of international law, with its own constitution, passports, stamps, and public institutions” and “diplomatic relations with 94 countries.” The outsourcing of U.S. military operations in Muslim countries and in secular societies to such neo-crusaders reinforces the greatest fears of many in the Arab world and other opponents of the administration’s wars.
Most of the world first heard of “private military companies” after the infamous March 31, 2004, ambush of four Blackwater soldiers in Fallujah, Iraq—a gruesome mob murder that marked the moment the war turned and the Iraqi resistance exploded. Many of the media reports at the time (and today) refer to these shadowy forces as “civilian contractors” or “foreign reconstruction workers” as though they were engineers, construction workers, humanitarians, or water specialists. The term “mercenary” was almost never used to describe them. That is no accident. Indeed, it is part of a very sophisticated rebranding campaign organized by the mercenary industry itself and increasingly embraced by policy-makers, bureaucrats, and other powerful decision makers in Washington and other Western capitals. Those men who died at Fallujah were members of Washington’s largest partner in the coalition of the willing in Iraq—bigger than Britain’s total deployment—and yet most of the world had not a clue they were there. The ambush resulted in Blackwater being positioned in a key role to affect the regulations that would oversee (or not) the rapidly expanding industry, of which Blackwater was the new leader. Three months later, the company was handed one of the U.S. government’s most valuable international security contracts: to protect diplomats and U.S. facilities. The highly publicized deaths of four of its private soldiers would prove to be the spark that set Blackwater on a path to success for years to come.
The story of Blackwater’s rise is an epic one in the history of the military-industrial complex. The company is the living embodiment of the changes wrought by the revolution in military affairs and the privatization agenda radically expanded by the Bush administration under the guise of the war on terror. But more fundamentally, it is a story about the future of war, democracy, and governance. This story goes from the company’s beginnings in 1996, with visionary Blackwater executives opening a private military training camp in order “to fulfill the anticipated demand for government outsourcing of firearms and related security training,” to its contract boom following 9/11, to the blood-soaked streets of Fallujah, where the corpses of its mercenaries were left to dangle from a bridge. It includes a rooftop firefight in Muqtada al-Sadr’s stronghold of Najaf; an expedition to the oil-rich Caspian Sea, where the administration sent Blackwater to set up a military base just miles from the Iranian border; a foray into New Orleans’s hurricane- ravaged streets; and many hours in the chambers of power in Washington, D.C., where Blackwater executives are welcomed as new heroes in the war on terror. But the rise of the world’s most powerful mercenary army began far away from the current battlefields, in the sleepy town of Holland, Michigan, where Erik Prince was born into a right-wing Christian dynasty. It was the Prince family that laid the groundwork, spending millions of dollars over many decades to bring to power the very forces that would enable Blackwater’s meteoric ascent.
The founder and CEO of Blackwater is Erik Prince, son of Edgar Prince, the now deceased businessman from Holland, Michigan. Prince's background as a Western Michigander is not just limited to geography, the brother of Betsy DeVos has also embraced the conservative religious beliefs that his family promoted zealously, particularly with their money. Erik began his political career working as an intern for Gary Bauer at the Family Research Council and also worked in the Bush I White House, although he thought that this administration was too liberal. Prince disapproved of the Bush I administration to the extent that in 1992 he supported Patrick Buchanan for President, something that got him into trouble with his sister Betsy.A pause to look at the "Order of Malta," & its Wikipedia entry. And something from Conspiracy Nation. And a bit more paranoia from the web, linking the "Military Order" w/ the John Birch Society.
Unlike his family, which is part of the Christian Reformed Church, Erik Prince is a Catholic. He most likely became Catholic when he married his first wife, who died of cancer shortly after they were married. Interestingly enough, most of the leadership at Blackwater is also Catholic, albeit a conservative wing of the church that is quite reactionary. Erik Prince is personally connected to conservative Catholic groups like Catholic Answer, Crisis magazine, and a Grand Rapids-based group, the Acton Institute. But Prince has not abandoned his Protestant/Evangelical roots and is a close friend of Watergate criminal turned believer Chuck Colson.
They have shared the podium on several occasions, even once at Calvin College. According to Scahill, Prince is aligning himself with a new Catholic/Evangelical alliance called "Evangelicals and Catholics Together." The ECT manifesto states:"The century now drawing to a close has been the greatest century of missionary expansion in Christian history. We pray and we believe that this expansion has prepared the way for yet greater missionary endeavor in the first century of the Third Millennium. The two communities in world Christianity that are most evangelistically assertive and most rapidly growing are Evangelicals and Catholics."
Prince's relationship to what Scahill calls the "Theocon" movement is not marginal. Prince himself writes about this relationship and it's importance, particularly with the mission of Blackwater. Prince says "Everybody carries guns, just like the Prophet Jeremiah rebuilding the temple in Israel - a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other."
Then Fallujah happened. Several Blackwater contractors were killed in what Scahill documents as a botched mission. This didn't stop the administration and Blackwater in using the Blackwater deaths as justification for a massive military assault on that city just after the 2004 Presidential election.
Blackwater used the incident to hire its first lobbyist, Paul Behrends, from the Republican lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group. Here Prince's religious right connection paid off. Behrends was on the board of Christian Freedom International (CFI) with Prince for years. The CFI was founded by veterans from the Reagan administration, many of who were "major players in the Iran-Contra scandal."
This lobbying certainly paid off. Blackwater was able to expand in step with US foreign policy interests. After the US invasion of Afghanistan, the US set up military bases in the Caspian region. In Azerbaijan, Blackwater "would be tasked with establishing and training an elite Azeri force modeled after the US Navy SEALs that would ultimately protect the interests of the US and its allies in a hostile region." This all occurred during a time when the US State Department said there were "restriction[s] on the right of citizens to peacefully change their government; torture and beating of persons in custody; arbitrary arrests and detention, particularly of political opponents; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; excessive use of force to disperse demonstrations; and police impunity."This constant growth for Blackwater posed a problem, in that they were not able to keep up with the growing demand for training and providing mercenary forces for "security duty." Again Prince turned to his past connections. He was stationed for a period of time in Chile while in the US military. It was here that he tapped into another military source. Jose Miguel Pizarro was an ex-military man in Chile that Prince knew. Pizarro, an ardent defender of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet eventually became Blackwater's main recruiter for mercenaries from Latin America. Soon, other Chilean mercenaries, Colombians and Hondurans would become contract workers for Blackwater in Iraq. This raises interesting questions about the type of people that Blackwater employs, considering many of them have worked as part of military or para-military organizations with brutal track records.
Blackwater was also able to tap into veterans of the US intelligence community. Cofer Black a 37-year veteran of the CIA, was hired by Blackwater in February of 2005 as the company's vice chairman. Black had been appointed by Bush as his "coordinator of counterterrorism, with the rank of at large ambassador at the State Department." Soon after that the company scored another big insider in the person of Joseph Schmitz. Schmitz, before joining Blackwater was tasked with the job of overseeing all war contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Schmitz, whose connection to war profiteers was well known, determined after his investigation that "there was no wrong doing" with any of the private contractors in Iraq or Afghanistan. For those who have seen the documentary Iraq for Sale, you know this to be a bold lie. Shortly after Schmitz exonerated his friends in the war profiting industry he announced that he was going to work for Blackwater.
Schmitz is also part of the inner circle of Theocons with Prince.
In a 2004 speech Schmitz said "No American today should ever doubt that we hold ourselves accountable to the rule of law under God. Here lies the fundamental difference between us and the terrorists." Schmitz is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, "a Christian militia formed in the eleventh century, before the first Crusades, with the mission of defending territories that the Crusaders had conquered from the Moslems." In addition, Schmitz is a devotee to someone who fought alongside of George Washington, the Prussian militarist Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Von Steuben. "Von Steuben is one of four men often cited by Blackwater officials as founding mercenaries of the United States." Erik Prince and the other Blackwater leadership, like Joseph Schmitz, think they are following in that tradition.
From the Iraq for Sale website:
It should also be noted that Erik served as a defense analyst for tainted Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California). Rohrabacher was a special assistant to Reagan before being elected to Congress in 1988, and has a chronicled involvement in the scandal of disgraced Republican lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. Erik was a volunteer firefighter and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1992, joining the elite SEALs and operating with the SEAL Team 8 in Norfolk, Virginia. Due to personal reasons, his military career was cut short, bowing out in 1996. At the age of twenty-seven, he founded Blackwater USA.Another side note: The only reference we've seen to Mr. Prince attending the USNA was in the Wikipedia entry on him. That may just be (gasp!) incorrect.
He is a board member of Christian Freedom International, "a nonprofit group dedicated to helping persecuted Christians around the world," reported the Virginian-Pilot on July 24, 2006. As of April 2005, among the list of "directors" for CFI is Robert Reilly, the former director of the Voice of America (VOA), who was criticized for being "too ideological." (The New York Times reported on the ideological bent in October 2001. Subscription required.) After Reilly resigned "abruptly" from the VOA, the April 21, 2003 edition of the Christian Science Monitor, it was reported that he now heads the Pentagon's broadcasting efforts in Iraq.
Another review of Blackwater, from the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel:
[P]olitically powerful Christian fundamentalists and Neocons are pressing forward with their battle for what they call 'freedom' and 'democracy'—whether the U.S. public, or indeed the rest of the world, wants to fight or not.How interesting. Which family could that be? (Didn't make the local connection there, to Southern California's own John G. Schmitz.)
They envision, as a Baltimore Sun letter to the editor expressed on March 25, "a global war, with the United States serving as the primary defender of Western civilization against our rarely named enemy, Islamist totalitarianism..."
Sounds over the top, doesn't it? Yet those who believe "Western civilization" (read "Christendom" or perhaps "Judeo-Christendom") is imperiled by 'infidels' are pushing hard to confront and defeat 'the enemy.'
War that serves the purposes of this 'belief' faction also fuels profits for war-related businesses.
In addition to its size, Blackwater merits being singled out for attention because of its leaders' well-placed political, social, and religious connections, and its founder Erik Prince's immense wealth and Catholic extremist connections.
Questions arise for which there are no known answers at this time, such as: How much seed money did Prince put up to start Blackwater? How much profit did he make on his initial investment? Who else besides Erik Prince has a financial stake in Blackwater?
Joseph E. Schmitz, the scandal-ridden former Pentagon Inspector General during the first years of the Iraq war, is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Says Scahill, Schmitz "comes from one of the most bizarre, scandal-plagued, right-wing political families in U.S. history," and the facts back him up. Schmitz left the Pentagon in 2005 to take job as Blackwater's Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.
Joseph Edward Schmitz is the son of the [late] John G. Schmitz, former California State Senator, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Presidential candidate (1972). Schmitz attended Catholic schools as a child and Georgetown Preparatory School while his father served in Congress. He holds a B.S. (1978) from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and a J.D. (1986) from Stanford University. He was on the wrestling team at the Naval Academy. His siblings include Mary Kay Letourneau and John Patrick Schmitz. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Schmitz served in the U.S. Navy for approximately four years, including a stint as an exchange officer with the German Navy. Schmitz left active duty and was in the Naval Reserve until 2001. After leaving active duty, Schmitz attended law school. He clerked with James L. Buckley, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a special assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese III during the Reagan Administration.Hmmm, The DaVinci Code or not, Opus Dei, huh?
He is a member of Opus Dei.
Some ex-members and their families, secularists, supporters of liberation theology, some Catholics, especially liberals, have argued that Opus Dei is cult-like, secretive, and highly controlling. For Massimo Introvigne, a Catholic sociologist, Opus Dei is intentionally stigmatized by its opponents, because they "cannot tolerate the 'return to religion' of the secularized society."Guess what, Massimo? We cannot tolerate a return to the Stone Age, either.
Robert Greenwald has a brief Huffington post on Prince. Here's video.A look at the big Blackwater cheeses, & the components of the empire. Chris Hedges, former NYT Mideast Bureau chief, in Truthdig on "America's Holy Warriors:"
The drive by the Christian right to take control of military chaplaincies, which now sees radical Christians holding roughly 50 percent of chaplaincy appointments in the armed services and service academies, is part of a much larger effort to politicize the military and law enforcement. [...] I repeatedly listened to radical preachers attack as corrupt and godless most American institutions, from federal agencies that provide housing and social welfare to public schools and the media. But there were two institutions that never came under attack—the military and law enforcement. [...] They painted the war in Iraq not as an occupation but as an apocalyptic battle by Christians against Islam, a religion they regularly branded as “satanic.” All this befits a movement whose final aesthetic is violence. It also befits a movement that, in the end, would need the military and police forces to seize power in American society. [...] “The Bush administration has already come close to painting our current wars as wars against Islam—many in the Christian right apparently have this belief,” Ratner said. “If these wars, bad enough as imperial wars, are fought as religious wars, we are facing a very dark age that could go on for a hundred years and that will be very bloody.”That's the same Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights quoted above in the extract from Jeremy Scahill's book. We've had just about enough of this, which must be the longest piece of typing & copying & pasting since the inception of this web log. For further info (if you think you need any) please consult this page o' links we stole most of this from. "And in conclusion..." we'll go w/ this brief reply we left to a comment:
We're no more paranoid than the next wacky leftist blogger/smart-ass, & don't much go for the conspiracy theory approach either, but when dealing w/ true believers who are convinced they are fulfilling "God's plan," as opposed to, say, a bunch of semi-competent bureaucrats &/or corporate drones w/o a holy mission, our paranoia level goes up a few notches.
Gavin points out that not all of the right blog-o-sphere is able to contain itself like the pros, & thereby gives us a better idea of the real policies obscured by David Brooks & other such high-volume mouthpieces.
Right-wing messaging in America works very differently today than it did in the Reagan era, when the modern conservative movement was fairly new and unseasoned. The obvious change is that it's become more opaque and top-down, more rigorously focused and spin-controlled. But there's also been a more substantive shift in that conservatism since Reagan has learned not to admit to the public what its real policies are.
According to The News & Observer, Prince was among the first interns at the Family Research Council and interned for President George H.W. Bush for six months. (It is reasonable to suggest that, through his father's Reagan-era connections, he was able to get the position.) He campaigned for Patrick Buchanan's Republican primary challenge to Bush in 1992, possibly because he "saw a lot of things I didn't agree with -- homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act, those kind of bills. I think the administration has been indifferent to a lot of conservative concerns," he told the Grand Rapids Press in early 1992.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The files are part of a once-secret archive, assembled by a Pentagon task force in the early 1970s, that shows that confirmed atrocities by U.S. forces in Vietnam were more extensive than was previously known.This isn't some commie crap from the "liberal" media. It's from U. S. Army documents. Let's hear some more about how noble our warriors are. And how only traitors would ever say anything bad about them. War is not noble or glorious. It's a foolish waste. And those who support & encourage it are, by definition, fools.
Retired Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, a Vietnam veteran who served on the task force, says he once supported keeping the records secret but now believes they deserve wide attention in light of alleged attacks on civilians and abuse of prisoners in Iraq.
"We can't change current practices unless we acknowledge the past," says Johns, 78.
The documents detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by Army investigators — not including the most notorious U.S. atrocity, the 1968 My Lai massacre.
Though not a complete accounting of Vietnam war crimes, the archive is the largest such collection to surface to date. About 9,000 pages, it includes investigative files, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military brass.
The records describe recurrent attacks on ordinary Vietnamese — families in their homes, farmers in rice paddies, teenagers out fishing.
Hundreds of soldiers, in interviews with investigators and letters to commanders, described a violent minority who murdered, raped and tortured with impunity.
Abuses were not confined to a few rogue units, a Times review of the files found. They were uncovered in every Army division that operated in Vietnam.
Among the substantiated cases in the archive:
• Seven massacres from 1967 through 1971 in which at least 137 civilians died.
• Seventy-eight other attacks on noncombatants in which at least 57 were killed, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted.
Staff Sgt. Wilson Bullock told an investigator at Ft. Carson, Colo., that his platoon had captured 19 "women, children, babies and two or three very old men" during the Tet offensive.
"All of these people were lined up and killed," he said in a sworn statement. "When it, the shooting, stopped, I began to return to the site when I observed a naked Vietnamese female run from the house to the huddle of people, saw that her baby had been shot. She picked the baby up and was then shot and the baby shot again."
Gregory Newman, another veteran of B Company, told an investigator at Ft. Myer, Va., that Capt. Reh had issued an order "to search and destroy and kill anything in the village that moved."
Again we are grateful to World O' Crap, this time for the web log of Biola University graduate Ryan Dobson. R-Dob has a bachelors degree in communications, & just a little bit of a literacy problem. Guess English isn't any more important than evolution in the Biola curriculum. Being the son of that shitheel James Dobson, of the Focus on the Family scam, probably makes him the Biola equivalent of George W. Bush at Yale, a legacy who'll get a "gentleman's C." And it's possible someone else wrote most of the stuff on the site, but that's no excuse. Nor does it matter. The losers he'll suck into his "youth ministry" are illiterates themselves.
She also does consulting work with companies developing leaders and communication skills.
She has her licensing in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). She is on the Board for KOR ministries. She is speaker and
Look!! It's a rad SK8 dude's crotch!!
While Max Boot and Peter Brimelow are both immigrants, there is a big difference. Brimelow hails from Britain, from whence most of our political and cultural institutions were inherited. This allowed him to assimilate easily—as evidenced by his support of an immigration and foreign policy that puts America before his own ethnic and ideological preoccupations. Boot, in contrast came from an ideological state—one that had a real claim to be called “the first universal nation”—and he apparently wishes to turn America into a [sic] ideological state, one that wages war around the world without hesitation.
Essentially, these people can & then can't tell the difference between culture & "race," depending on what angle they're working. "Oh no, we're not racists," but, you know, culture is so strong that no one can ever change their outlook or attitude.
The assertion that Brimelow supports immigration & foreign policies that put America before his "ethnic & ideological preoccupations" is idiotic on it's face, both because few of us can get past our ideological "preoccupations" (we'll just let that slide) & these weenies couldn't get past their ethnic preoccupations if they were given a planet of their own w/ an anti-"ethnic" force field surrounding it to keep the boogiemen out. So of course their ethno-ideologies are what determines their idea of "America." We here in the Southland have certainly missed Max Boot since the L. A. Times stopped running his weekly column, or whatever happened to it. VDARE is kind enough to give us an idea of what Max is up to these days:
Max Boot's Illegal Army By Marcus Epstein Council on Foreign Relations “Senior Fellow” Max Boot [email him], who epitomizes the "Invade The World/Invite The World" mentality of the neoconservatives, has objected to my objections to the DREAM Act in the Commentary Magazine blog Contentions.( Dream A Little DREAM Max Boot, September 20, 2007) The DREAM act will give amnesty to illegal aliens who (among other things) sign up for the military. I accurately described such an institution as an "illegal alien legion". Boot has argued for this policy for years. Now he has gone a step further in proposing a "freedom legion" that will allow not just illegal aliens but all foreigners to achieve American citizenship in exchange for military service. Significantly, although Boot objects to my objections, he carefully avoids mentioning me by name. I am merely a “blogger” for “the anti-immigrant web site Vdare”. This is certainly because my obviously Jewish name would impede his attempt to stampede Commentary’s heavily Jewish readership. But Boot shows some [sic] his own xenophobia by implying that immigrants like VDARE.COM’s editor Peter Brimelow have no right to criticize U.S. immigration policy. Hypocritically, Boot does not mention that he himself is an immigrant, from the Soviet Union.Hmm. You'd think "Army of Illegals" would be a better (i. e., more frightening) title than "Illegal Army," which just makes us think of Blackwater USA. And do you think Boot is not a senior fellow @ the CFR because Epstein put quotation marks around the phrase? Very nice of Epstein to provide Boot's e-mail for the VDARE readers, so they can share their opinions w/ Boot. Just Another Blog™ is no fan of Max's, but we'd hate to see his inbox, let alone the contents. There probably aren't too many VDARE readers, but you can bet they're passionate about their rabid views. Aww, Max didn't mention Marcus's name. Because all those Jewish people who read "Contentions" would automatically side w/ Marcus. You know how ethnicity is. (Is this an example of one of those self-hating Jews we're always hearing about?) And Boot, who isn't begging that the U. S. be surrounded w/ a wall as soon as the last Tory Englishman is in, may not be such a hypocrite.
Although I am (partly) descended from 1840s German immigrants who fought for the Union, I am somewhat sympathetic to the Confederate cause in the War Between the States. Boot is correct that German immigrants did in fact fight in the American Civil War. Yet the story is larger than that. Immigrants who fled after the failed Revolution for consolidated power in Germany were immediately attracted to the radical abolitionist and centralist cause of the Union. This did not make them appreciate the American ideas of constitutional liberty. In Missouri, for example, the secessionists argued that the Constitution was on their side and wished to secede through the legislative process. The failed German revolutionaries saw no need to invoke the Constitution and simply stormed the Statehouse. This is no doubt to Max Boot’s liking. But for someone who supports the rule of law and the Constitution, it is a bad precedent for the “freedom legion”.Well, Just Another Blog™ happens to be (partly) descended from 1840s German immigrants who settled in Texas and fought for the losing side in the "War of Northern Aggression," and we have no sympathy for the Confederate cause. (Shut up you fucking losers, you were wrong, your ass was handed to you 142 yrs. ago, & it's over!!) But you can't let dirty revolutionary foreigners in the country, they might want to give people rights & stuff. As far as those failed revolutionaries storming the Missouri statehouse, let's take a break from Epstein for just a second & look at a letter from VDARE's "Saturday Forum:"
A Chicago Minute Man Wonders Why America Keeps Electing the Same Traitors From: Mike Mozart [...] One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but hoping for different results. American voters must truly be insane. [...] How can we ever get a handle on this insidious invasion if we the people continue to re-elect those who allow it to happen? Almost 80 percent of Americans want the invasion stopped and our borders secured. But we continue to elect Ted Kennedy, Richard Durbin, Diane Feinstein all the rest of the traitors. It's utter madness. We will never get our borders under control and the invaders expelled or a return to sovereignty and the rule of law until we the people vote out 90 percent of our Congress and elect Americans that will put our nation’s interests first. If there was a wholesale purge of open borders and pandering politicians, we'd see those remaining trying to outdo each other when it comes to cracking down. But instead of throwing the bad guys out, we vote them right back in. Why should our politicians do the right thing if there are no consequences for doing the wrong thing? They have the best of both worlds. I have seen the enemy and he is us. Mozart lives in what he describes as "the Democratic-controlled sanctuary city of Chicago." He is a Minuteman and, with others, protested in front of Elvira Arellano's hideout. Read his previous letter about Arellano hereSay, if they're "traitors" who deserve a "wholesale purge," maybe we should be storming the Capitol. One more lump of Epstein on Boot & it's over:
One can be sure that the main motives for members of a freedom legion will be money, the promise of the material benefits of living in America, and, if a war should arise, the possibility of being able to fight their national and ethnic enemies. Unlike Lafayette, you can be sure that these mercenaries will not be fighting for the ideals of the American Revolution. [...] If this is what he wants, then maybe the “freedom legion” is a good idea. But please don’t call it American."One can be sure" that Marcus Epstein has developed the ability to read the minds of people who haven't enlisted yet, but of course because they're illegal aliens & just plain foreigners he fully understands their foreign motivations. And he's probably right. How often have you stopped into the corner bar & had a stirring discussion of the "ideals of the American Revolution," rather than how you'd like to be making more money. Remember the time you announced to all at the barbecue that you'd take a vow of poverty before you gave up your precious right to free speech & republican government? Not to forget how many Americans have already volunteered for the military to fight their "national & ethnic enemies." Huh? Oh, that's why Max Boot thinks we need a "freedom legion," 'cause we "have a "lack of uniformed manpower," in Iraq and need to enlist illegal aliens and foreigners into our imperial army." Here's an idea Max, try a draft first, & see how your neo-con "national greatness" project goes over w/ the people you expect to die & bleed for it. As for Marcus Epstein, the xenophobic isolationist, take your racialist ideas & amazing ability to read the minds of non-Anglo-Saxons & go hide in your bunker. We'll let you know when the alien hordes have all been deported & it's safe to come out. Really.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is currently writing a series of children's books for homeschoolers.
We here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ are more worried that he's bending over to "retrieve" things. Bend at the knees, thirty-something dude. The old biddy next door is getting a free show, & you're going to hurt your back.
[M]y neighbor's thirty something gardener who wears his jeans as low as they go and a t-shirt that doesn't come close to covering his fuzzy beer belly. As luck would have it I glanced out the window just as he bent over to retrieve an armful of yard debris — and proudly displayed what we all know as "plumber's crack."
Now, call me old fashioned, but I believe it's disrespectful for a male to display his Fruit of the Looms, much less things that should be hidden from public view. (Note: Underwear is meant to wear underneath clothing, or it would be called outerwear. Duh.)
As for the "ladies," winter, spring, summer or fall, they show up wearing tank tops with portions of their bras — and bellies — proudly displayed.Get out those Mormon Temple Garmies. Or we can keep a few burqas in the coatroom. Maybe Marsha can volunteer to decide who needs to cover up.
Do females not know that males are visually stimulated? And if they know it, do they purposely choose clothes that will stimulate the opposite sex?
I mean, let's be honest here. Many young women who go to church have no sense of decorum! No shame! Church leaders are fully aware that this is a huge problem. So why, pray tell, do they turn a blind eye to it?
Yes, Ashley, God has a dress code. Christians are to be holy, not hot!
"Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity...because these are improper for God's holy people" (Ephesians 5:3).
Why are so many Christian parents complicit in the sleazy fads kids are into? Moms and dads allow their tweens and teenaged girls to dress like tramps and their sons to dress like sleazy rap artists. Some justify giving in because "all the kids are doing it." If you're one of those parents who give in, consider this. Liberals crow that "most kids are having sex" — including a lot of tweens. Well then, since "all the kids are doing it" parents should refrain from putting their foot down when their 12-year-olds decides [sic] to have "friends with benefits."
Clothing manufactures are partly to blame. The morally challenged folks in the fashion industry push the envelope — and push adolescents into wearing push up bras. (More on this later.) Sex sells.
For Cline [sic] to justify using adolescents to sell sex, claiming it's all about "glamour" is preposterous, and nauseating.
Calvin Klein has nothing on Abercrombie & Filth...oops, Fitch. Remember in 2002, when A&F sold a line of thong underwear for girls ages 7 to 14 with sexual phrases such as "eye candy" and "wink wink" printed on them?
Many moms and dads were so outraged by what A&F was marketing to our youth that they put up a big stink about it. The campaign to get the thongs out of stores worked. Soon thereafter A&F withdrew kiddie thongs from the market, wink wink.
Not to be outdone, Limited Two is selling padded underwire push-up bras to pre-pubescent kiddies. (Pictured here http://www.slate.com/id/2172772/) But the push-up bra isn't all Limited Two pushes, they also offer a line of underpanties with bling! Pretty pink panties are adorned with rhinestone hearts and catchy sayings like "Buy it now! Tell Dad later!" (Pictured here http://www.slate.com/id/2172780/)
So why is Limited Two trying to sexualize children? Oh, I know. There's big bucks in selling sex.
Postmodernism sells too. Take for example Target's popular clothing line Xhiliration. The company uses the following slogan to sell their brand to tweens and teens:
"There are no rules. Whether you choose to dress crazy or dress to thrill-make a statement, make a scene, wear what you want and it won't be wrong."
It matters not that the look children imitate is bound to attract men! And by the way, a number of the rich and famous our kids try to emulate are notorious substance abusers. We've all heard stories of celebrities getting caught driving while under the influence, soon thereafter checking into drug/alcohol rehab — even numerous times! And let's face it. A lot of them have substandard morals, foul mouths, even occult involvement. (Speaking of the occult. Little girls can also go to Bratz.com and check out their "Hot horoscope." Christian parents should not allow their kids to be enticed into mysticism!)
Herein lies what's behind it all. In our post-modern relativistic culture there's no right and wrong. Liberal elites, especially in Hollywood, are hell-bent on breaking all the rules and giving license to lasciviousness. Liberals dominate the print media, network news, academia, the judiciary, the fashion industry and Hollywood, which encompasses music, movies and TV. Most liberals are incapable of having an open honest debate on the moral issues. Instead what they marginalize conservatives who believe biblical morality is important for a healthy society. The far left simply cannot grasp why religious folk make such a big fuss about sexualizing kids.
Liberals chide conservatives to, "Stay out of my bedroom!" Fine! Conservatives will stay out of people's bedrooms — as long as they aren't viewing child pornography...or having sex with a minor...or, worse yet, their own kids!
Jesus loved the little children, and so should we. Exposing them to provocative material can be harmful to them. Youngsters are not equipped to process information about sex, especially homosexual sex!
Everyone, including liberals, who's concerned about the future of America's youth should go out and buy Laura's new book "Power to the People." You can say what you want about Laura Ingraham, but at least she's taking an active role in putting a stop to the ongoing madness. You can too!
Laura urges her readers to "Join this 'call to arms' so we can restore power to the people who have seen their influence over politics and the culture diluted and dismissed for too long."
Way to go, Laura!
Our ancestors didn't kill every raping, murdering, robbing Indian in this country to have their descendents [sic] face a bunch of raping, murdering and robbing niggers -- and its time the niggers learned that.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The "somewhat popular" Tbogg leads us to a Politico report on Mittens Romney's connection to Blackwater USA. Here are the hot parts:
The top counterterrorism and national security adviser to Romney’s presidential campaign is Cofer Black, vice chairman of Blackwater USA.
It’s become de rigueur for campaigns to assemble teams of experts to advise candidates and bolster their bona fides, particularly on their weaker issues. In tapping Black as a senior adviser to the campaign, Romney said in an April statement: “Black’s experience at the forefront of our nation's counterterrorism efforts will be a tremendous asset.”
And three days before the Blackwater shootings, Romney announced Black would lead the campaign’s 10-member counterterrorism policy group. Black served nearly 30 years in the CIA, eventually heading its counterterrorism efforts and later those of the State Department, before joining Blackwater in 2005 as vice chairman. After the shooting, though, a Romney spokesman would not say whether Black has advised Romney on the use of security contractors in Iraq. Nor would he elaborate on Black’s role in the campaign or answer specific questions about whether the U.S.’s level of oversight over security contractors is adequate.
The spokesman directed questions to Blackwater, whose spokeswoman did not return telephone and e-mail messages.
An aide to Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.), the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said he supports “greater oversight of private security contractors including imposing more robust reporting requirements as part of their contracts.” Hunter, who is running a long-shot campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, appears to be the only presidential candidate to have accepted contributions from Blackwater executives, which is somewhat surprising given that company chairman Erik Prince has given more than $230,000 to Republican candidates and committees.
The $2,000 Hunter received from company president Gary Jackson and Prince was for his congressional campaign.
Hunter’s aide said his boss thinks it's premature to consider sanctioning Blackwater or ending its contract “until all of the facts of the incident are known.”
The next step by Bush & Cheney will be for these Blackwater Nazi-type mercenaries to turn on the American people. Mark my words.
Experts say that success -- combined with the murky legal world in which Blackwater operates and its strong ties to Republicans -- that has allowed the company to operate with impunity.
Blackwater's ties to the GOP run deep. Company founder and former Navy Seal Erik Prince has given more than $200,000 to Republican causes, a pattern of donation followed by other top Blackwater executives. The company's vice chairman is Cofer Black, a former CIA counterterrorism official who is serving as a senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Members of Blackwater's legal team have included former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr and current White House Counsel Fred Fielding. The company tapped a GOP-connected public relations firm after the grisly 2004 deaths of four Blackwater employees who were ambushed by insurgents in Fallujah. Their remains were strung from a bridge.
"I'm disappointed it became a matter of politics," said Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow in foreign policy at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. "At the end of the day, it's really about fundamental choices that the nation needs to make: What aspects of your national security do you keep within the control of your government?"
Blackwater was founded by Erik Prince, the son of conservative multi-millionaire, the late Edgar Prince, and the brother of Betsy DeVos, the wife of Dick DeVos, the son of Amway founder Richard DeVos. Over the past two decades, both the Prince and DeVos families have given millions of dollars to Republican Party candidates, and conservative Christian organizations and causes.
In 1997, Erik Prince founded Blackwater USA, a company that has grown into what journalist Jeremy Scahill terms "the world's most powerful mercenary army," in his recently released book titled "Blackwater."
Both Prince and his company prefer to avoid the spotlight.
In his bestselling book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army" (Nation Books, 2007), Scahill describes the company as "a sort of Praetorian Guard for the Bush Administration's 'global war on terror.'"
He maintains that Prince "has been in the thick of this right-wing effort to unite conservative Catholics, evangelicals, and neoconservatives in a common theoconservative holy war."
[...]In addition to Prince, "A number of Blackwater executives are deeply conservative Christians, including corruption-smeared former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz, who is also a member of the Sovereign Order of Malta, which Scahill describes as 'a Christian militia formed in the eleventh century [to defend] 'territories that the Crusaders had conquered from the Moslems,'" Chris Barsanti wote in a review of the book for In These Times.
Blackwater USA is the brainchild of Erik Prince -- a former Navy SEAL and son of Edgar Prince, a wealthy Michigan auto-parts supplier -- described by Scahill as a "radical right wing Christian mega-millionaire" who is a strong financial backer of President George W. Bush, as well as a donor to a host of conservative Christian political causes.
In the 1980s "the Prince family merged with one of the most venerable conservative families in the United States," when Erik's sister Betsy - nine years his senior -- married Dick DeVos, whose father Richard, founded the multilevel marketing firm Amway. The two families exercised enormous political influence both inside and outside Michigan. "They were one of the greatest bankrollers of far-right causes in U.S. history, and with their money they propelled extremist Christian politicians and activists to positions of prominence," Scahill writes.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Jeremy Scahill recently wrote a book on Blackwater. An article from The Nation, excerpted from his book. Apparently Scahill doesn't favor the same things as the founder of Blackwater, so The White Rabbit (blackwaterblogger.com) rakes him over the coals:
Jeremy Scahill was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by his “social activist” parents, learning early on about radical figures like Malcolm X and other pacifist/socialist/anarchist advocates. He graduated Wauwatosa East High School in 1992, then drifted through a couple University of Wisconsin regional campuses and an area technical college before determining that his “time would be better spent by entering the struggle for justice in this country."Erik Prince, on the other hand, from Wikipedia:
[A]fter high school he briefly attended the United States Naval Academy before attending and graduating from Hillsdale College. [...] When his father Edgar Prince unexpectedly died in 1995, he ended his Navy service prematurely. After Erik's mother, Elsa Prince, sold the family's automobile parts company, Prince Corporation, for $1.3 billion to Johnson Controls, Inc., Erik moved to Virginia Beach and personally financed the formation of Blackwater USA at the age of 27.And from Blackwater's "mission statement:"
Blackwater was founded in 1997 from a clear vision developed from an understanding of the need for innovative, flexible training and operational solutions to support security and peace, and freedom and democracy everywhere.Note the highlighted phrases. These "professional military" people seem to have missed the little part in the constitution about civilian control of the military. Well, that's just the U. S. military. It's completely different if the U. S. is financing a private "professional military" company, whose millionaire founder just happens to return some of that money to Republican candidates & causes.
Our founder is a former U. S. Navy SEAL. He created Blackwater on the belief that both the military and law enforcement establishments would require additional capacity to train fully our brave men and women in and out of uniform
to the standards required to keep our country secure.
We are not simply a "private security company." We are a professional military, law enforcement, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations firm who provides turnkey solutions. We assist with the development of national and global security policies and military transformation plans.
Blackwater lives its core values of excellence, efficiency, execution, and teamwork. In doing this, we have become the most responsive, cost-effective means of affecting the strategic balance in support of security and peace, and freedom and democracy everywhere.
Key words in the "mission statement"? "Security and peace." In that order. Followed by the comma-separated afterthought, "freedom and democracy." In that order.
We've heard the carping from the right that this is a "Christian" nation, and how, First Amendment or not, we have to "take it back" from the godless atheists, and stop letting Christians be pushed around, denied their "rights" as a majority, yada yada.
How long until these Christo-fascists decide that the so-called "War on Christmas" is a real, shooting, war & decide to take out a few Target stores w/ their "counter-insurgency aircraft" because Target employees are forced to say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas?"
Though before that we'll probably see Blackwater overthrowing (for the sake of "security and peace," of course) governments where Christians are being "persecuted," as Christian Freedom International would have you believe. Eritrea seems like a good bet, as India, Egypt, & Pakistan might be too big for Blackwater to take on. Funny how the "majority rights" of the people in those countries aren't that important.