Page 12 of 16 FirstFirst ... 21011121314 ... LastLast
Results 221 to 240 of 319

Thread: Matters Blackwater (Merged thread)

  1. #221
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
    Posts
    1,065

    Default Amen!

    And, while we're at it give the RSO job to the USMC NCOIC.

    Expand the Marines; get rid of Dip Security; expand the Foreign Service. Works for me.

    Oh, and don't hire Blackwater....

  2. #222
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Belly of the beast
    Posts
    2,112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    And, while we're at it give the RSO job to the USMC NCOIC.

    Expand the Marines; get rid of Dip Security; expand the Foreign Service. Works for me.

    Oh, and don't hire Blackwater....
    Isn't that like the original plan for embassy/diplomatic security?
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  3. #223
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    I've got no issue with hiring and using Blackwater contractors (or other companies) in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. My issue is with how they are used, how they are supervised, and how they are selected. If the company is hiring dirtbags then the supervision necessary to utilize them effectively will be more cumbersome than having an empty slot. And if quality personnel are selected, but are given the mission of getting their client from point A to point B safely, no matter what it takes, then there will still be problems.

    My Soldiers showed tremendous restraint and thought about the big picture repurcussions of their actions, often without needing to be prompted by me. It had nothing to do with their oath, with the UCMJ, or with their uniform. It had everything to do with their training, selection, and (to a lesser extent, imo) their supervision. Some of them are now contractors and I expect nothing less than admirable conduct from them. But if their orders are of the "whatever it takes" variety, then I can see how they might assume that "someone smarter than me made this decision. We'll make it happen." Frankly, it is much easier to rationalize such a thought in light of our response to 4 contractors being killed, burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah. How many civilians were killed in our response to that? Certainly fewer than would have been killed had the convoy wasted 20 or 30 of them in a 360 spray-and-pray response to the ambush.

  4. #224
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Olympia WA
    Posts
    531

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    And, while we're at it give the RSO job to the USMC NCOIC.

    Expand the Marines; get rid of Dip Security; expand the Foreign Service. Works for me.

    Oh, and don't hire Blackwater....
    Heck no! I just discovered DSS, and I want that job. Purely selfish reasons to disagree but hey...
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  5. #225
    Council Member Polarbear1605's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    176

    Default

    Here is a link to another case apparently just starting:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28244088/
    Their lawyer Colby Vokey is a former Marine and was appointed as SSgt Wuterich's (squad leader) defense council for the Haditha case. The squad leader is still awaiting trial. Colby Vokey plans to challenge MEJA's constitutionality.
    Agree with Schmedlap's latest comments but we have to remember that "contractors" fill a number of roles to include training and logistics. The DOS seems to have issues with their armed contractors on security duty. Another ariticle;
    http://www.fpri.org/enotes/200604.mi...companies.html
    But I am back to the same question; can a contractor agree to sign away his constitutional rights for the UCMJ and the 5th amendment exception?

  6. #226
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    One of the reasons I hated contracted duties that involved significant risk. This catch-all phrase is indicative of how most Embassy personnel view the contractor. State calls them "expats" or even worse when working inside the embassy proper, "pits". My contracts from the early 2000's included a para regarding the "laws of the Republic of Estonia". If I foxtrotted up, I paid locally with no guarantee of extradition.

    Finally, it is politically less costly to field PSCs. Private contractors are seen to be working for profit, of their own choice, and sending them abroad is not held to the same standard that sending national troops, working for their country.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  7. #227
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default PBear, the answers will drive you nuts ....

    PBear
    But I am back to the same question; can a contractor agree to sign away his constitutional rights for the UCMJ and the 5th amendment exception?
    Here are the answers (leaving out the long Sierra & Delta - since Stan is involved here, we should use his phonetic system).

    1. I can waive any constitutional right I have, provided I give informed consent, etc. (all of the relevant "Miranda" warnings).

    2. I cannot by agreement vest jurisdiction in a court that does not otherwise have it. For example, if UCMJ has exclusive jurisdiction over a charge, I cannot agree that the charge will be brought in Federal District Court.

    Stan's example ("My contracts from the early 2000's included a para regarding the "laws of the Republic of Estonia") illustrates item #1, waiver of the US jurisdiction to which he would otherwise be entitled; and also the inverse of item #2. Estonia has courts which have jurisdiction; so that part of Stan's contract is also valid.

    Narrow answers to the exact question asked - so, don't read anything more into it than is exactly stated.

  8. #228
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default My generalized two bits.

    In the following months, I expect to see many civil actions filed based on alleged acts or omissions in Iraq, brought against the high and the low. Some have already been filed. In addition, some criminal prosecutions would not be surprising.

    What will happen to the pending and the expected cases will depend on the policies put in place by the Obama administration. So, in general, except for WAGs, we might as well go into hibernation for the winter.

  9. #229
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default US 'to drop Blackwater in Iraq'

    Blackwater should be dropped as the main private security contractor for US diplomats in Iraq, a US State Department panel has recommended.


    To echo JMM's last
    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    So, in general, except for WAGs, we might as well go into hibernation for the winter.
    Comes this !
    A decision on the recommendation will be left to the incoming Obama administration, which will be in office when Blackwater's contract comes up for renewal.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  10. #230
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    1,284

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Blackwater should be dropped as the main private security contractor for US diplomats in Iraq, a US State Department panel has recommended.
    To be replaced by a different named entity which will employ exactly the same people. Someone I know who works PSD in Iraq claims to already know the name of the new organization.

  11. #231
    Council Member wm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    On the Lunatic Fringe
    Posts
    1,237

    Default Casablanca, anyone??

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    To be replaced by a different named entity which will employ exactly the same people. Someone I know who works PSD in Iraq claims to already know the name of the new organization.
    The above reminds me of my favorite quotation from that movie:

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Rains as Captain Renault
    Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects
    .
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

  12. #232
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    The above reminds me of my favorite quotation from that movie:
    I gotta get my on-line CV out of the Beltway Club soonest
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  13. #233
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Blackwater should be dropped for the same reason that we should close Gitmo. While neither is inherently inefficient or ineffective in their intended function, each one is a significant liability. If you do the math and subtract the public diplomacy liability from the operational asset provided, each one can clearly be replaced with something that provides nearly the same operational function, but with less of a public diplomacy liability. Example - as 120mm noted, one could simply create a new company with the same personnel and emphasize the severed relationship with Blackwater. You get the same intended utility with less public diplomacy fallout.

  14. #234
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Logs suggest guards fired in Defense

    Ran into this article this morning. Thought it maybe of interest.

    Logs Suggest Guards Fired In Defense
    Washington Times
    By Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes, Associated Press
    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008...ed-in-defense/

    Reported incoming fire from police, insurgents

    Radio logs from a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad cast doubt on U.S. government assertions that Blackwater Worldwide security guards were unprovoked when they killed 14 Iraqi civilians.

    The transcripts of Blackwater radio reports, obtained by the Associated Press, describe a hectic eight minutes in which the guards repeatedly reported incoming gunfire from insurgents and Iraqi police.

    Five guards face manslaughter and weapons charges for their roles in the shootings. A sixth has pleaded guilty. Prosecutors said the men unleashed an attack on unarmed Iraqis, including women, children and people trying to escape.

    But the radio logs from the Sept. 16, 2007, shooting suggest otherwise. Copies of the logs were turned over to prosecutors by Blackwater.....
    v/r

    Mike
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 02-06-2009 at 04:12 PM.

  15. #235
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Inconclusive. Unless the investigators can pin down

    the exact time the first cap popped in the square, regardless of where it came from -- and I suspect that is unlikely -- then the radio traffic could've been initiated by the convoy as a preemptive cover story. This comment by a Defense Attorney:
    "Unless these guys are lying to their command watch in real time, making up stuff, that's real-time reporting that they were taking small arms fire,"
    shows either considerable trust in his client or a great deal of naivete. We'll see...

  16. #236
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default DoD vs DoJ

    From the AP, we have this:

    Pentagon letter undercuts DOJ in Blackwater case
    Pentagon letter undercuts key argument for prosecutors in Blackwater manslaughter case
    MATT APUZZO
    AP News
    Feb 02, 2009 18:41 EST

    The Pentagon wrote in 2007 that Blackwater Worldwide contractors in Iraq are not subject to U.S. civilian criminal laws. That position undercuts the Justice Department's effort to prosecute five Blackwater security guards for manslaughter.
    ....
    When Blackwater guards protected State Department diplomats, prosecutors told a federal judge last week, they were supporting the Defense Department's mission. By protecting diplomats, prosecutors said, Blackwater freed up Pentagon resources.

    But in December 2007, the Defense Department disagreed. In a letter to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England explained how the military handles allegations against contractors.

    "I am informed that the Blackwater USA private security contractors working under a Department of State contract were not engaged in employment in support of the DOD mission," England wrote in the letter, a copy of which was provided by Price's office.

    Thus, England wrote, federal prosecutors don't have jurisdiction to charge the Blackwater guards. He was writing in response to a letter from Price, who has long maintained that the loophole in the law should be closed.

    Defense Department spokesman Chris Isleib said Monday that the views in the letter remain the view of the Defense Department. ...
    The letter does not necessarily kill DoJ's case, since it will argue (as it does in the article) that the position of the Executive branch is to the contrary. That having been said, the letter is an admission against interest. One unresolved question is whether its weight and effect should be decided by Judge Urbina or by the jury. Have to wait for that answer.

  17. #237
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
    Posts
    1,065

    Default Rather arrogant of a DOJ prosecutor

    to assert that his department speaks for the entire USG! But, isn't that often the way lawyers think? I seem to remember John Marshall and Warren Burger both asserting that the law/Constitution is what they (a majority of SCOTUS) say it is. I don't recall seeing that statement anywhere in the Constitution.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  18. #238
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Cool your pipes, John ...

    it's not really that bad. The DoJ guy, in this particular case, not only represents the US government (administration), but also the United States of America, which includes both you and me.

    The judge will (should) ask him: "Now I have this letter from the DoD staring me in the face. What evidence do you have that other departments have taken the contrary view ?"

    As to the second point, this works for me:

    Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. ....
    ....
    Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
    but, if I recall correctly, we have discoursed this before - as to which you have a dissenting opinion on the subject of Judicial Review.

    Since Judicial Review has been with us for 205 years, the revisionist argument definitely has a tough swim against the current. Sometimes I love the result; sometimes I hate the result - that being said, I accept the process and you do not.

  19. #239
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
    Posts
    1,065

    Default Not quite, JMM

    I do agree that Judicial Review has been well established and not only is it not going away but it should not.

    That said, I would like to see the other branches do a bit better in defense of their own powers against the encroachment of the courts (through their use of Judicial Review). As Pres Andy Jackson said (in a rotten policy decision that has been a boon to my adopted state of OK), "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it."

    Final point: it is just too much fun to tease you lawyers.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  20. #240
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Talking Yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Final point: it is just too much fun to tease you lawyers.
    I can agree with that...

Similar Threads

  1. Colombia, FARC & insurgency (merged thread)
    By Wildcat in forum Americas
    Replies: 174
    Last Post: 02-09-2017, 03:49 PM
  2. Terrorism in the USA:threat & response
    By SWJED in forum Law Enforcement
    Replies: 486
    Last Post: 11-27-2016, 02:35 PM
  3. Human Terrain & Anthropology (merged thread)
    By SWJED in forum Social Sciences, Moral, and Religious
    Replies: 944
    Last Post: 02-06-2016, 06:55 PM
  4. Replies: 69
    Last Post: 05-23-2012, 11:51 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •