John Amato, Crooks and Liars: Remember this video and story I helped break called “The Trophy video,” which was posted back in ‘05? Paul Bremer and the US Gov’t have created a juggernaut of—civilian–mercenary squads with ties to the Christian Right. (Blackwater was founded by an extreme right-wing fundamentalist Christian mega-millionaire ex- Navy Seal named Erik Prince) Remind you of any other groups in Iraq?
Scahill: …instead the administration is building a coalition of corporations. Right now in Iraq, private personnel on the US government payroll outnumber official US troops. There are about 186,000 so-called private contractors operating alongside 165,000 troops. The US military is the junior partner in this coalition.—-This is a shadow war. We’re in the midst right now of a discussion about a surge, and about troop withdrawals, and we hear conflicting messages. But there’s been a surge on for four years of the private sector, in Iraq, this mercenary army that the Bush administration has built up all over that country.
The arrogance of the West, toward Iraq is incredible. This is a civilization that’s been around for thousands and thousands of years. We think that we’re going to somehow bring the solution to Iraq? No, these are people that can very much dictate their own destiny and they should be allowed to do so, and mercenaries need to get out of Iraq immediately.
A “trophy” video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the Internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal. The video, which first appeared on a website that has been linked unofficially to Aegis Defence Services, contained four separate clips, in which security guards open fire with automatic rifles at civilian cars. All of the shooting incidents apparently took place on “route Irish”, a road that links the airport to Baghdad.
And if you don’t think the lawlessness these contractor’s have been granted are unknown to the Iraqi people, guess again. Paul Bremer is responsible for many of the problems in Iraq after Bush gave him the power to run things there and Order 17 stands out today after the Iraqis gave the boot to Blackwater today.
The Bush administration has decided to take the unusual step of bestowing on its own troops and personnel immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts for killing Iraqis or destroying local property after the occupation ends and political power is transferred to an interim Iraqi government, U.S. officials said.
Order 17 gives all foreign personnel in the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority immunity from “local criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction and from any form of arrest or detention other than by persons acting on behalf of their parent states.”
U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer is expected to extend Order 17 as one of his last acts before shutting down the occupation next week, U.S. officials said. The order is expected to last an additional six or seven months, until the first national elections are held.