The "war on terror" homecoming
Writing for The Nation, Jeremy Scahill reported that the Bush administration paid Blackwater mercenaries $950 a day to patrol New Orleans, totalling over $33.3 million, between September and December 2005, and "well surpassing the amount of Blackwater's contract to guard Ambassador Paul Bremer when he was head of the US occupation of Iraq." Meanwhile, New Orleans is being shortshrifted of funds needed for "job creation, hospital and school reconstruction, affordable housing and wetlands restoration."
Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky:
"Ask any American if they want thugs from a private, for-profit company with no official law-enforcement training roaming the streets of their neighborhoods. The answer will be a resounding NO."
Who does Blackwater recruit into its mercenary army?
Among Blackwater's ranks are "Chilean troops trained under the brutal rule of Augusto Pinochet":
"We scour the ends of the earth to find
professionalsmurderers," company president Gary Jackson told the Guardian. "The Chilean commandos are very, very professionalmurderous, and they fit within the Blackwater system."
Blackwater's sweetheart deals, both domestic and international, are representative of how business has been done under Bush. They are a troubling indicator of a trend toward less accountability and transparency and greater privatization of critical government functions.
Mercenary executions in New Orleans
Blood Is Thicker Than Blackwater
(Hat tip: New Orleans Network).
Tags: Hurricane Katrina | Katrina | New Orleans | Louisiana | We Are Not OK | Blackwater