Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blackwater Settles with U.S. Government, Contracts Keep Coming

Blackwater security company (it's now called XE) is back in the news.  This private-mercenary group has supplied military personnel for recent U.S. wars in the Middle East, and has been credibly accused of atrocities and various other improprieties circumventing the laws of various nations.

And now it's being reported that the U.S. State Department has struck a deal with Blackwater, requiring it to pay $42 million in fines for its improprieties, in lieu of facing criminal charges.  And here's the kicker in this deal:

But by paying fines rather than facing criminal charges on the export violations, Blackwater will be able to continue to obtain government contracts. While the company lost its largest federal contract last year to provide diplomatic security for United States Embassy personnel in Baghdad, where the Iraqi government was incensed by killings of Iraqis in one highly publicized case, it still has contracts to provide security for the State Department and the C.I.A. in Afghanistan. 

This band of  thugs continues to win contracts from the State Department and the C.I.A., despite all we now know about its criminal activities.  

What does that say about us as a nation, I wonder?  And why do folks like Blackwater's Erik Prince or Newt Gingrich and Deal Hudson receive such a warm welcome from the pastoral officials of the U.S. Catholic church, who seek to make people like Jeannine Gramick unwelcome?  

Just asking.

The graphic for this posting, from Lavender Newswire, shows the complex web linking Blackwater to influential, well-funded right-wing think tanks and right-wing activist groups