Are DynCorp the "New Blackwater" and How Long Will it be Until They Have to Change Their Name?

Of course we know that you can’t believe everything you read, but this article found linked to the International Analyst Network (an online portal for analysts in the area of Counter-Terrorism),makes for very interesting reading.

A few thoughts jump to mind after reading it. Firstly, could those moving around Pakistan to accomplish whatever was their goal, not have done it in a more discreet manner?

Secondly, are Blackwater, or Xe, or whatever they are called this month, really such a key player that they have to keep popping up all over despite the fact that they carry around some pretty heavy baggage?

I think the fact that they hired Wackenhut to watch their backs over there is nothing short of comical. Are funds really that tight? I mean, I know there is a world wide recession, but really…Wackenhut?

Blackwater shooter to be charged with Murder of Iraqi Vice President’s Bodyguard.

According to the Seattle Times, the former Blackwater employee who allegedly shot and killed the bodyguard of the Vice President of Iraq in 2006 will finally be brought to Justice.

In a story previously discussed in this blog, Andrew Moonen of Seattle was said to be drunk when he shot and killed the Iraqi bodyguard at a checkpoint inside the safety of the Green Zone during the Christmas of ’06.

Moonen claimed that the bodyguard shot first, but witnesses did not hear any shots other than the three which came from Moonen’s weapon and were discharged into the victim’s chest.

Blackwater’s response was to hustle him out of Iraq the following day and pay $20,000 to the victim’s family. Moonen’s lawyer, Stewart Riley has confirmed that his client has received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office outlining their intent to charge the ex-Blackwater employee.

This latest action probably comes too late for the victim’s family to take much comfort from it, but hopefully it will send out a message, albeit belated, that the United States Government does not harbour murderers, even if some employers would rather cover up a crime.

It is ironic that Moonen was an armorer for Blackwater. Presumably his lawyer will not try to blame the shooting on an “accidental discharge” when Moonen could easily be classed as a firearms “expert”.

As one of our instructors is fond of saying; “there is no such thing as an “accidental” discharge. The correct terminology is; a negligent discharge”.

Murky waters for Blackwater

In what seems to have become a never ending litany of abuse and wrong doings, Blackwater, the North Carolina security contracting company, is being investigated for the illegal smuggling of high velocity weapons into Iraq. As a security company charged with the personal protection of U.S. diplomats and as the premiere choice by the State Department, there is no doubt that Blackwater had a viable need for bringing weapons into Iraq. Unfortunately, it is now believed that these weapons have found their way into the hands of the very terrorists who are killing U.S. military personnel and civilians alike.

A NewsObserver article written by staff writer Joseph Neff highlights the fact that two Blackwater employees have already pleaded guilty in connection with a U.S. weapons smuggling investigation into Blackwater. Of course there will always be opportunists willing to break the law for their own personal gain, but one wonders if this is an isolated case or is it far more prevalent? The article also mentions how both Congress and the Iraqi Government believe that Blackwater act with impunity.

This feeling of “above the law and beyond approach” appears to be the common denominator in every one of the breaking stories. The recent killing of 11 civilians by Blackwater guards threatened to have the company kicked out of Iraq. However, the U.S. government has grown so dependent upon Blackwater’s “private army” that a deal was struck by Condoleza Rice allowing them to stay. How many more times must Ms. Rice come to the rescue before the decision is made to “back a different horse”? Maybe it is time to give another company a chance to show that they can protect our people without trampling all over the others who are just trying to get through this mess alive.

The State department should not be worried about hurting Blackwater’s feelings. Afterall, they have really made a killing in Iraq.

Blackwater in Hot Water

Articles abound today about the shootings of civilians in Iraq by Blackwater contractors. An AP article even states that Blackwater “loses license after eight civilians killed in firefight”.

This is not the first time that civilians have been killed by foreign contractors in Iraq but what makes this so newsworthy are the sheer numbers. Reports coming out of Iraq this morning state that eight civilians were killed and as many as thirteen were wounded.

It is hardly likely that Blackwater will be “kicked out” of Iraq. Quite frankly, they are too big. They are a private army and as such, are more than likely, indespensible. I think it more likely that an investigation will be held to determine what actually happened. Then a number of indivduals will be found to have acted improperly and they will be terminated and sent back home. This should appease the Iraqi Government and they can be seen to save face by having “kicked out” those responsible.

But it brings me back to my prediction on the future of Personal Protection and those returning from places like Afghanistan and Iraq, coming back to the States seeking employment. These guys will have to undergo extensive Executive Protection training before they will be able to “fit in” with the Corporate scene here at home. It is unreasonable to expect that a bodyguard operating in Baghdad for the past couple of years is going to be able to blend in at a corporation the way most of us do here everyday. Hopefully with professional training though that transition will be successful and seamless.