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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

● Blackwater: Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill

Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill talks about his book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” Scahill writes, “Blackwater is the elite Praetorian Guard for the ‘global war on terror,’ with its own military base, a fleet of
Blackwater
twenty aircraft, and 20,000 private contractors at the ready. Run by a multimillionaire Christian conservative who bankrolls President Bush and his allies, its forces are capable of overthrowing governments.” From Iraq to New Orleans, Blackwater has continued to pull in multi-million-dollar government contracts, mostly without accountability and in near-secrecy.

March 31st, 2004 four employees of the private U.S. security firm Blackwater USA are ambushed as they drive through the center of Fallujah. In images broadcast around the world, their burnt corpses are dragged through the streets. Two of them are strung up from a bridge. Below is an excerpt of the PBS documentary, “Private Warriors”, going back to that day.
* “Private Warriors”–excerpt of PBS documentary.
The U.S. military followed with the first of two major attacks that ended up virtually destroying Fallujah—and setting off a new wave of Iraqi resistance that continues to this day. Meanwhile, instead of curbing the reliance on contractors in Iraq, the Bush administration has expanded the privatization of war. Blackwater has been one of the biggest recipients.

* Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. He is the author of the new book, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.”
http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/jeremy_scahill
Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
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Part II–Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
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Kosovo, the Iraq Sanctions and Humanitarian Intervention:
Samantha Power, Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, based at Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She wrote extensively about Bosnia and Kosovo in her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize. Her new book is Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World.

Jeremy Scahill, independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent. He covered the NATO bombings of Kosovo and Yugoslavia for Democracy Now! in 1999.
Samantha Power v. Jeremy Scahill:
A Debate on U.S. Actions in the Balkans, the Independence of Kosovo, the Iraq Sanctions and Humanitarian Intervention
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Jeremy Scahill: Despite Antiwar Rhetoric, Clinton-Obama Plans Would Keep US Mercenaries, Troops in Iraq for Years to Come
Jeremy Scahill reports Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will not “rule out” using private military companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. Obama also has no plans to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009. Despite their antiwar rhetoric, both Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton have adopted the congressional Democratic position that would leave open the option of keeping tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq for many years.
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State Dept. Renews Blackwater Contract in Iraq Despite Pentagon Labeling Sept. Baghdad Killing of 17 Civilians “A Criminal Event”
The State Department has announced it is extending the private military firm Blackwater’s contract in Baghdad for another year. The news comes despite an ongoing FBI investigation into the September 16th shooting in Baghdad where Blackwater guards were accused of killing seventeen Iraqi civilians. An earlier investigation by the Pentagon found that all seventeen Iraqis were killed as a result of unprovoked and unjustified fire by Blackwater operatives. We speak with journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of the bestselling book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s most Powerful Mercenary Army. Scahill recently confronted the vice president of Blackwater about the September 16th shootings.
...watch the April 07, 2008 Democracy Now excerpt.
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"Business has never been better for Blackwater."
-Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Democracy Now! correspondent, a writer for The Nation, a Puffin Fellow.

"Contract Justice” on The Nation’s website
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080421/scahill
for more info: http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/jeremy_scahill
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