Instinctive Shooting International
(an Israeli mercenary outfit like Blackwater)
Do you mind if we respectfully insist¹ that you watch these videos of the recent Bill Moyers interview with Jeremy Scahill, “a one-man truth squad who has been reporting on Blackwater and [Blackwater founder and CEO] Erik Prince’s influence. Jeremy Scahill is an independent investigative journalist who wrote the recent bestselling book: BLACKWATER: the rise of the world’s most powerful mercenary army.” Scahill has also testified about Blackwater in front of a Congressional Committee.
¹All right, would you believe, “grovel”?
Here is a taste of what you will see in the full interview:
Here are some excerpts from the transcript:
BILL MOYERS: Look, these– the journalists we saw, all good journalists, some of them my friends. I admire them. But I was struck that no one confronted [Erik] Prince about the specifics of his private army. How do you explain that?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I’m not sure why they didn’t do it. I feel like some of these interviews that have been done with him would make the barons of the Soviet media empire blush with embarrassment for how this was handled.
I mean, this is a man who is building up nothing short of a parallel national security apparatus. He not only has his Blackwater Security which is what’s deployed in Iraq. He has a maritime division, an aviation division. He recently started his own privatized intelligence company called Total Intelligence Solutions â€” that’s headed by a thirty year veteran of the CIA, the man who led the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, Cofer Black, who oversaw the extraordinary rendition program. This is the man who promised President Bush that he was gonna have his operative in Afghanistan chop off Osama Bin Laden’s head, place it in a box with dry ice and then have it hand delivered to President Bush. He’s now the number two man at Blackwater USA. He’s the vice chairman of the company.
[ ... ]
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I mean, I believe that Erik Prince is an ideological foot soldier. And I do believe that he’s a Christian supremacist. And I think it’s very easy to explain that. I mean, look, this is the guy who gave a half a million dollars to Chuck Colson, the first person to go to jail for Watergate who’s now becoming a very prominent evangelical minister and an advisor to President Bush, one of the people behind the safe face initiatives.
And Chuck Colson has said things like when Mohammed wrote the Koran, he had had too many tamales the night before. Also one of the leading executives of Blackwater, Joseph Schmidt is an active member of the Military Order of Malta, a Christian militia dating back to the Crusades. And I believe that these men do have an agenda that very closely reflects adherence to a sort of Crusader doctrine.
[ ... ]
JEREMY SCAHILL: … In January of 2005, the families of those four men– Wesley Batalona, Michael Teague, Jerry Zovko, and Scott Helvenston, filed a groundbreaking wrongful death lawsuit against Blackwater, charging that the company had sent those men into what was arguably the most dangerous city in the world at the time in unarmored vehicles, short two men, without heavy weaponry and without the opportunity to do a 24-hour risk assessment, all of which they said were in the contract governing their mission that day. And so, Blackwater fought back ferociously. Fred Fielding was one of the original lawyers on the case, more rec–
BILL MOYERS: He had served Richard Nixon’s White House. And he’s now the counsel to President Bush, right?
JEREMY SCAHILL: That’s correct.
[ ... ]
BILL MOYERS: You’re a reporter, not a prophet. But what does this foreshadow for our world?
JEREMY SCAHILL: I think it’s really scary. I mean, I think that the U.S. government right now is in the midst of its most radical privatization agenda. Seventy percent of the national intelligence budget is farmed out to the private sector. We have more contractors than soldiers occupying Iraq. I think that what this does is it takes– it sanitizes it also for the American people. There’s not a draft.
There’s been, you know, almost 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq; we don’t know how many private contractors. But that’s a relatively small number compared to Vietnam, for instance, where we talked about 65,000 body bags coming home. And already, people are outraged at it. And I see this as a real subversion of democratic processes in this country and a subversion of sovereignty of nations around the world.
BILL MOYERS: But isn’t it a way to keep protest at home against the war in Iraq and other wars from rising to the level of–
JEREMY SCAHILL: Absolutely. Oh, absolutely. I mean, it masks the human cost or the human toll of the war in terms of American lives. Because the contractor deaths are not counted in the official tolls nor are the injuries of them.
And it also masks the true extent of the occupation when over half of your occupation force comes from the private sector. Bush almost never talks about it. He doesn’t have to own it in front of the American people. He’s having enough trouble owning the 170,000 troops that are over there right now. And the story is starting to slip out. But you’re absolutely right. It keeps the death toll down– in terms of what’s being reported. And it keeps protests down as well.
JEREMY SCAHILL: What I see in the bigger picture here is what the real revolution is in terms of U.S. politics is that they’re taking billions of dollars in public money. And they’re privatizing it.
You know, the Pentagon can’t give campaign contributions. The State Department can’t give campaign contributions. Blackwater’s executives can give contributions. DynCorp’s, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman. And so what they’re doing is, they’re taking billions of dollars. And it’s making its way back into the campaign coffers of the very politicians that make the meteoric ascent of these companies possible. I really view this through the lens of it tearing away at the fabric of American democracy as well.
And the people who are complicit in—actually not merely complicit but really cheerleaders for—this destruction of the very basis of American democracy, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld in his day, Rice, Rove, Wolfowitz, Perle, Kristol, Feith and the rest of the neo-cons, are the people who are so admired as role models by, and grovelled at by, Howard and his coalition. The western world we know as free, democratic societies is being systematically destroyed by political thugs and religious fools and Howard is cheering them on.
[tags]Blackwater, Blackwater Security, Total Intelligence Solutions, Moyers, Bill Moyers, Scahill, Jeremy Scahill, Prince, Erik Prince, DynCorp, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Triple Camopy, Israel, Instinctive Shooting International, Katrina, Hurricane Katrina, FEMA, California, Bush, Iraq, Afghanistan, Richard Nixon, White House, Congress, Baghdad, Nisour Square, investigative journalist, Congressional Committee, mercenary, mercenary army, private army, militia, body bags, outrage, subversion, democratic processes, democratic values, American democracy, Pentagon, U.S. politics, American politics, video, Soviet, national security, CIA, Colson, Chuck Colson, Colombia, Croatia, Uzbekhistan, Darfur, Watergate, Wesley Batalona, Michael Teague, Jerry Zovko, Scott Helvenston, Fielding, Fred Fielding, Osama Bin Laden, Cofer Black, extraordinary rendition, Joseph Schmidt, Military Order of Malta, Christian militia, Malta, crusade, Islam, muslim, private sector, contractors, private contractors, privatization, national intelligence, Howard, Downer, John Howard, Alexander Downer, Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs, election, Australian election, federal election, Australian values, values, Australia, America, USA, United States, American values, politics, government, politics and government[/tags]