Friday, January 26, 2007

Our Mercenaries in Iraq: Blackwater Inc and Bush's Undeclared Surge

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"On Tuesday, five employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA were killed in a violent Baghdad neighborhood. Hours later, President Bush used his State of the Union address to call on what some are calling an undeclared surge of private mercenaries in Iraq. We speak with Jeremy Scahill, author of the forthcoming “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.”
The private security firm Blackwater USA is back in the news again. On Tuesday, hours before President Bush’s State of the Union address, one of the company’s helicopters was brought down in a violent Baghdad neighborhood. Five Blackwater troops - all Americans - were killed. Reports say the men’s bodies show signs of execution-style deaths with bullet wounds to the back off the head.
Blackwater provided no identities or details of those killed. They did release a statement saying the deaths “are a reminder of the extraordinary circumstances under which our professionals voluntarily serve to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people.”

President Bush made no mention of the incident during his State of the Union. But he did address the very issue that has brought dozens of private security companies like Blackwater to Iraq in the first place: the need for more troops.

Is the president looking to further outsource war? My next guest writes that Blackwater is a reminder of just how privatized the Iraq war has become. Jeremy Scahill is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and is author of the forthcoming book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” He has an OpEd in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times titled “Our mercenaries in Iraq.” He joins me in the firehouse studio."

Watch, Listen or Read The Transcript of This Revealing Segment

Also See This Article By Jeremy Scahill In The L.A. Times

No comments: