Tuesday, July 29, 2008
During the Democratic primary battle, blasting the private security firm Blackwater USA as a bunch of unaccountable trigger-happy mercenaries was an easy crowd pleaser – particularly after the September 2006 Nisoor Square incident and a subsequent congressional report that stated the company’s use of force was “frequent and extensive”.
Hillary Clinton announced she was sponsoring legislation banning the use of private security contractors. Barack Obama didn’t sign up to this and would not rule out using Blackwater and its ilk. But he made clear his disdain for the outfit, trumpeting in Iowa City last October his proposal for “tougher government reforms than any other candidate in this race – reforms that would eliminate the kind of no-bid contracts that this administration has given to Blackwater”.
He added: “Most contractors act as if the law doesn’t apply to them. Under my plan, if contractors break the law, they will be prosecuted.”
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In Pennsylvania in March he stated that “we have to crack down on private contractors like Blackwater, because I don’t believe they should be able to run amok and put our own troops in danger and get paid three or four times or ten times what our soldiers are getting paid”.
So who do you think protected Obama and his fellow senators Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel during their recent and much ballyhooed congressional delegation trip to Afghanistan? Yep, that’s right – Blackwater.
This article was posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 4:07 am