Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blackwater is here to stay

Despite reports that the company is leaving the mercenary business, Blackwater's future is secure

Jeremy Scahill, Wednesday July 23, 2008

"It seems that executives from Blackwater Worldwide, the Bush administration's favourite hired guns in Iraq and Afghanistan, are threatening to pack up their M4 assault rifles, CS gas and Little Bird helicopters and go back to the great dismal swamp of North Carolina whence they came. Or at least that's how it is being portrayed in the media.

This story broke on Monday, when the Associated Press ran an article based on lengthy interviews with Blackwater's top guns. Since then, the story has picked up considerable steam and generated a tremendous amount of buzz online and in the press. After all, Blackwater has long been a key part of the US occupation and has been at the centre of several high-profile scandals and deadly incidents. Add to that its owner's ties to the White House and the radical religious right in the US and it is clear why this is news. On top of that, Barack Obama - a critic of Blackwater - just completed a tour of Iraq, where he was touting his withdrawal plan.

Among the headlines of the past 24 hours: "Blackwater plans exit from guard work", "Blackwater getting out of security business", "Blackwater sounds retreat from private security business", and "Blackwater to leave security business". One blogger slapped this headline on his post: "Blackwater, worst organisation since SS, to end mercenary work."

Frankly, this is a whole lot of hype......"

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