The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary — H.L. Mencken
And they actually go by the name Blackwater USA.
Since the days of the 1971 conspiracy classic by Gary Allen, None Dare Call it Conspiracy, there has been speculation about just who would be the enforcers of the world socialist superstate created by international bankers. Those with limited imaginations summoned up Asians wearing blue helmets going door to door in the name of the United Nations. Today, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that it will not be so obvious. We have heard quite a lot about mercenaries in Iraq offering plausible deniability for American troops. Administrations use these private contractors to say, “Well, American troops don’t kill civilians and torture people — snicker and a wink — they do it” (And for a hell of a lot more money). “They” have many names, but there is one name that has risen to the top of the killing-for-hire game: Blackwater.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Blackwater by its very name conjures up visions of cess and disease, and rightly so. It also conjures up “Black Ops,” the terms used for secret operations off of the official books. Blackwater has been the tip of the spear in the Middle East supplying mercenaries to lead a force that now surpasses standard American troop numbers. This company represents a shadow military that is not constrained even by the mostly neglected rules of war that the United States is supposed to follow. Conveniently, their deaths and injuries are as equally discounted as their crimes, providing the perfect no-man’s land for heinous activity and death tolls. Jeremy Scahill from The Nation wrote an excellent book called Blackwater; this clip, titled “Blackwater: Shadow Army” is a quick summary of the themes. In general, private military contractors have been increasing in popularity starting in the early 1990s, and yet not much was known until the media-worthy killings of Blackwater mercenaries in Falujah, 2004. That incident precipitated a further ramping up of activities in retaliation that ultimately resulted in the Nisour Square killing of 17 civilians on September 16, 2007. And Blackwater is still there. Despite the many problems in Iraq, they have now been deployed to Afghanistan as well. For those of you that think this was a George Bush thing, the fact is that the Obama administration has extended their contracts.
COMING TO AMERICA
Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Faced with the threat of total anarchy, the mercenaries from Blackwater were brought to America, thus setting a precedent. It was that easy: not being a government on-the-books, public concern, there was no need to publicly debate their presence. Problems predictably ensued. Trained killers fresh from Middle East chaos aren’t going to be soft and fuzzy with “civilians” as they like to call us; whereas, standard police procedure refers to Americans as “Americans,” or “people.” (I would settle for “taxpayer” just to keep the dialogue honest.) But if you are going to get control of an out-of-control situation, you had better create a Baghdad on the Bayou. And of course that is what they did: martial law, gun confiscation, curfews, forced evacuations, and worse.
The Blackwater name has finally been tarnished; so badly that they had to re-name it to Xe (pronounced Zee). However, Blackwater has merely retreated further into the shadows as “parent company” by putting many names to its face. They have, in fact, only diversified from military contracting, and now have chosen to explore training, consulting, and detention centers . . . in the U.S. The list of police departments this group has consulted to in the recent past is a long one, and it is no mystery that these police forces have shown a marked increase in police brutality claims. Now, the small town of Hardin, Montana has new visitors calling themselves American Police Force. Sounds . . . American. Alex Jones recently visited the re-opened detention center, as well as speaking with some of the 3,400 residents of this low-income area of Montana. Unanimously, store owners, B&B owners, and casual observers have noticed a markedly “non-American” contingency that has been training in and around town like a mock occupation. A center spokesperson stated that indeed the facility was for training local and foreign law enforcement.
This bizarre scenario has been compounded by the fact that the captain of APF, Michael Hilton, is a career criminal with 17 known aliases. The larger issue of course is the U.S. Constitution and the Montana Constitution which both are violated by the training of foreign assets to patrol Americans. But the fact remains: a massive detention center has been re-opened, and activity has commenced — this one bears watching. It also bears watching that if the APF scandal turns out to be the single-handed creation of a career criminal, that the story is not used to dismiss the activities and pronouncements of Blackwater’s founder, Erik Prince.