Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Iraq strikes back at US Merceneries- Blackwater

Iraq wants Blackwater out; may put men on trial


Iraq : US must stop ussing Blackwater

BAGHDAD — Iraqi authorities want the U.S. government to sever all contracts in Iraq with Blackwater USA within six months and pay $8 million in compensation to each of the families of 17 people killed when the firm's guards sprayed a traffic circle with heavy machine gun fire last month.

Iraqi Report

"The investigation committee appointed by [Mr Maliki] has finished its inquiry and has found that there was no evidence that the convoy of Blackwater came under fire directly or indirectly," a Government statement said, quoting the inquiry's findings. "Employees of the company violated the rules governing use of force by security companies. They have committed a deliberate crime and should be punished under the law."

The Iraqi Government would now take "judicial measures to punish the company", the statement said.

The demands — part of an Iraqi government report examined by The Associated Press — also called on U.S. authorities to hand over the Blackwater security agents involved in the Sept. 16 shootings to face possible trial in Iraqi courts.

The tone of the Iraqi report appears to signal further strains between the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the White House over the deaths in Nisoor Square — which have prompted a series of U.S. and Iraqi probes and raised questions over the use of private security contractors to guard U.S. diplomats and other officials.

Al-Maliki ordered the investigation by his defense minister and other top security and police officials on Sept. 22. The findings — which were translated from Arabic by AP — mark the most definitive Iraqi positions and contentions about the shootings last month.

The report also highlights the differences in death tolls and accounts that have complicated efforts to piece together the chain of events as one Blackwater-protected convoy raced back toward Baghdad's Green Zone after a nearby bombing, while a second back-up team in four gun trucks sped into the square as a back-up team.

The Iraqi investigation — first outlined Thursday by The Associated Press — charges the four Blackwater vehicles called to the square began shooting without provocation. Blackwater contends its employees came under fire first.

The government, at the conclusion of its investigation, said 17 Iraqis died. Initial reports put the toll at 11.

The report found that Blackwater guards also had killed 21 Iraqi civilians and wounded 27 in previous shootings since it took over security for US diplomats in Baghdad after the US invasion.

It said the compensation — totaling $136 million — was so high "because Blackwater uses employees who disrespect the rights of Iraqi citizens even though they are guests in this country."

The U.S. military pays compensation money to the families of civilians killed in battles or to cover property damage, but at far lower amounts.

The United States has not made conclusive findings about the shooting, though there are multiple investigations under way and Congress has opened inquiries into the role of private security contractors. Last week, the FBI took over a State Department investigation, raising the prospect that it could be referred to the Justice Department for prosecution.

The Iraqi government report said its courts were to proper venue in which to bring charges.

It said Blackwater's license to operate in Iraq expired on June 2, 2006, meaning it had no immunity from prosecution under Iraqi laws set down after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The government report also challenged the claim that a decree in June 2004 by then-Iraqi administrator L. Paul Bremer granted Blackwater immunity from legal action in incidents such as the one in Nisoor Square. The report said the Blackwater guards could be charged under a criminal code from 1969.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo said the diplomatic mission would have no comment on the report. Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesman, Abdul-Karim Khalaf, said the document was in American hands.

The report found that Blackwater guards also had killed 21 Iraqi civilians and wounded 27 in previous shootings since it took over security for U.S. diplomats in Baghdad after the U.S. invasion. The Iraqi government did not say whether it would try to prosecute in those cases.

The State Department has counted 56 shooting incidents involving Blackwater guards in Iraq this year. All were being reviewed as part of the comprehensive inquiry ordered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The US has not made conclusive findings about the shooting, though there are multiple investigations under way and Congress has opened inquiries into the role of private security contractors.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Dear Mr. President (2 videos)

Protest song: Dear Mr. President

I came across this on one of my favorite blogs- Crooks And Liers

Here are two versions of Pink's Dear Mr. President:

Live in NYC. (Acoustic)

Pink at Wembley Empire Pool, London, UK -w/ video in background

Alecia Moore (IPA pronunciation: [ə'li:ʃə 'mɔ:(ɹ)][1]) (born on September 8, 1979), known professionally as Pink (often stylized as P!nk), is an American singer-songwriter who gained prominence in 2000.

Pink released her first record, the R&B-based Can't Take Me Home, in 2000 via LaFace Records. Her pop rock-based second studio album, M!ssundaztood, was released in 2001 and is her biggest seller to date. 2003's Try This, her third album, failed to match the success of M!ssundaztood. After taking a break, Pink released her fourth studio album, I'm Not Dead (2006), which has been successful worldwide. Pink has sold over twenty-five million albums.

Pink, who follows a strict vegetarian lifestyle, is a prominent campaigner for PETA, contributing her voice towards causes such as KFC's alleged poor treatment of chickens. She sent a letter to Prince William criticizing him for fox hunting and one to Queen Elizabeth II protesting about the use of real fur in the bearskins of the Foot Guards and the Honourable Artillery Company. In November 2006 Pink mentioned in the News of the World that she was disgusted with fellow singer Beyoncé for wearing fur. Pink, in conjunction with PETA, recently criticized the Australian wool industry over its use of mulesing. In January 2007 Pink stated that she had been misled by PETA about mulesing and that she had not done enough research before lending her name to the campaign.

Her campaigning led to a headlining concert in Cardiff, Wales on August 21, 2007 which is PAW (Party for Animals Worldwide). This highlighted her involvement with animal cruelty problem

President Bush on Blackwater (video)

A flashback of Bush dodging a college freshman's question about what laws govern our mercenaries (Blackwater).

The President admits to not knowing, but assures that someone else must know.

This administration has continually sought ways to go outside of the law in programs such as Secret Prisons, Torture, Prisoner Rights and even Domestic Spying,


Blackwater manager blamed for 2004 massacre in Fallujah
July 9th 2007

US Private mercenaries Mutilated in Fallujia

Video :BLACKWATER the US Secretive Mercenary Firm

Video- Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (part 4 of 8)

Please post commnents

Thursday, October 04, 2007

China selling weapons to Iraq - US too slow

China makes out again -loans the US money to fight the war, now sells weapons to the Iraqi's.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for the delivery of weapons to Iraq more quickly, because the Iraqis have ordered US$100 million (70 million EUR) in military equipment from China.

He agreed that there are concerns that it is harder for the U.S. military in Iraq to track weapons purchased from countries other than America. In many cases, the Iraqis cannot account for weapons, which often end up in the hands of insurgents.

Speaking to reporters, Gates said the issue also came up at his meeting with Chilean Defense Minister Jose Mario Goni just prior to a news conference.

"This is an issue that we have to look into and see what we can do in the United States to be more responsive and be able to react more quickly to the requests of our friends," Gates said. "Unfortunately the (foreign military sales) program was set up in a way that was not intended to provide sort of emergency or short term supplies, as in the case of Iraq and we're trying to figure out how to do that better."

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in an interview that Iraq ordered the Chinese military equipment for its police force in part because the U.S. is not delivering the arms fast enough.

Gates said he is not particularly worried that the Iraqis turned to China to get the equipment, but is more generally concerned about the slow pace of the U.S. process.

He noted that the United States has already delivered about US$600 million (425 million EUR) worth of equipment to the Iraqis, and has another US$2 billion to US$3 billion (1.4 billion EUR to 2.1 billion EUR) on order.

The Defense Department and the agency that handles foreign military sales - the Defense Security Cooperation Agency - have been working for more than a year to try to speed up the process, said Maj. Gen. Richard J. Sherlock Jr., director of operational planning for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It used to take a year, but now averages about five months from the time they get a precise list of what the Iraqis want to the time it is fielded, he told a Pentagon press conference.

"It depends on what equipment is being requested, it depends on whether it's in production, whether it needs to be placed in production, whether there's another claimant for those pieces of equipment that are in production, or whether that equipment's on the shelf," Sherlock said.

Gates said the U.S. has opened offices in Baghdad for the military sales, so that officials can have day-to-day dialogues with the Iraqis and "get their requirements more quickly and get them processed more quickly."

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