Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Phony Soldiers With Real Bullets

As Washington debates the humongous issue of Rush Limbaugh’s outburst about unpatriotic “phony soldiers,” there is news today about murderous drive-by shootings in Iraq by quasi-soldiers.

The New York Times cites a report by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: “Employees of Blackwater USA have engaged in nearly 200 shootings in Iraq since 2005, in a vast majority of cases firing their weapons from moving vehicles without stopping to count the dead or assist the wounded.”

In what is now becoming familiar asymmetry, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday was asking Limbaugh’s bosses for an apology as the House Committee was preparing to grill State Department and Blackwater officials about the behavior of bodyguards whose mission is supposed to be defensive--195 shootings from 2005 until early September, a rate of 1.4 a week, incidents in which 163 times they fired first.

Blackwater is emerging as one more piece of the disheartening picture of Wild West chaos in Iraq, with millions of American dollars disappearing and civilian profiteers free to treat locals as targets in a turkey shoot.

Among those testifying today will be Blackwater’s owner and founder Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL and intern in Bush I's White House, who has contributed $200,000 to the Republican National Committee since 1998.

According to the House report, his company has dismissed 122 employees in the past three years for misuse of weapons, drug or alcohol abuse, lewd conduct or violent behavior, insubordination and failure to report incidents or lying about them.

Congressman will be asking about what they have been doing in our name while the Senate keeps America safe by trying to get Rush Limbaugh fired.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Blackwater is far from the only mercenary firm operating in Iraq. These firms have hired some pretty sleazy thugs, including disgraced soldiers and cops from apartheid-era South Africa.
I don't think I can ever forgive those Americans who voted to re-elect Shrub.