Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Code Pink For Peace, Arresting Protesters, Marcy Kaptur, AEGIS, and Defense Department Oversight

Ok, so these next snippets and articles are somewhat related, inter-related, and too vast for me to explain all of it. As some of you may know there were hearings all day by the oversight committe on Private Contractors. Of the parties who gave testimony were Blackwater CEO Erik Prince and members of the State Department. During this session, I was astounded at some of the numbers I heard and the testimony of our state department, let alone the lack of oversight on Blackwater and other private security forces currently in Iraq. Here are just a few of the snippets, please contact C-Span for full transcripts.

* Blackwater has conducted 3,073 Missions on Behalf of the State Department (The American People do not hear about these because they are private contractors, we even outsource our military operations)

* A State Department Official testified that American Troops and Diplomats are attacked on average 6,000 times per month.

* The State Department testified today that the issue of jurisdiction "is now" being examined. {our military and private security forces are immune from Iraqi law- CPA Order 17, they are now examining how to provide oversight}

* Blackwater was given the no-bid contract on the basis of urgency and compelling circumstances. Four other companies were considered, no one asked who they were.

* In 2001 Blackwater had less than 1 million in private security contracts with the State Dept. Now they have over 1 Billion.

* There are 160,000 private independent contractors in Iraq.

* Security Officers from private companies are hired @ 2-3 times that of primary American commanders in Iraq

Quotes from Henry Waxman (Oversight Committee Chair)

To State Department:

"We've had better response from Blackwater than we have from the State Department"
"You provide oversight to Blackwater and we provide oversight to you"
"You owe us more answers and we are going to continue to try and get them."

Then later I was watching this video about peaceful protester being arrested outside of a "pro-war rally". The organization involved in the protest was code pink and two mentionables at the pro war rally were Joe Lieberman and John McCain.

So I looked up code pink to see what they were all about and I came across this video of Code Pink members talking with Toledo's own Marcy Kaptur. She has a frank discussion about the occupation of Iraq, the story that is being kept from the American people, and the name drop of a private contractor from England AEGIS. If she tells Code Pink to investigate AEGIS, then dammit I am going to look into it as well. I did not have to look real hard to find out that this private contractor was given a 2 year contract worth 475 million.

The occupation of Iraq is costing billions of dollars and most everyone in the know knows that we are not paying for it now. People in my generation and younger will be bearing the burden of this occupation long after these people are out of office or in retirement. We do not see any of these statistics on attacks, crimes, and spending because it is outsourced to private companies. The American people are paying for these contracts and people are letting it continue.

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