Friday, September 28, 2007

Bush's Private Army

Let me see if I've got this correct: Bush activates the National Guard, to whom we entrust the job of policing the states when natural and man-made disaster strike. He sends them on excruciatingly long tours fighting in Iraq, so they are depleted, exhausted, and lacking the numbers necessary to protect us on home when we need them.

So, what to do? I know! Pay Blackwater to take care of it!.
    "The only difference between Blackwater in Iraq and Blackwater in New Orleans is that they are mercenaries in Iraq and they are vigilantes in New Orleans," Walker said.

    "The only accountability these guys have right now is they get their contract cancelled, or if individual Blackwater guys go off the reservation, DOD or State Department has the right in the contract to have Blackwater order individuals home."

    It is that lack of oversight and accountability that has Walker and others concerned about Blackwater's intention to take their private security operation domestic. The company has met with leaders in several states to offer their security services in the event of a natural disaster. In California, they have suggested earthquake relief. In New York, they offered help in case of terrorist attack.

    Their thinking is simple. The Iraq war won't last forever, so if the company wants to stick around, it needs an alternate business plan. Work here at home is one solution.

    "From a capitalist point of view it is brilliant," said Walker. "You want to diversify your market to diversify your downside risk. But do you really want someone diversifying this service? This is hired gun service. And you are going to diversity this among the 51 jurisdictions in the U.S.? This makes me really nervous. This is not a good thing."
Pardon my paranoia, but does anyone else think that paying a private army to do the job the National Guard can no longer handle (already happened in New Orleans after Katrina) puts them in the position of being Bush's army-for hire? What might their role be in the face of massive political protests? Does anyone think they'd be stalwarts for civil rights? To whom would they owe their allegiance?

No comments: