Monday, October 08, 2007

We use them too?

Blackwater isn't the only security contractor being used in Iraq and the US isn't the only country using them or others like them. Following escalating Blackwater-related problems in Iraq, security contractors used by our foreign affairs department to protect embassies and diplomats may be coming under closer scrutiny:

The Foreign Affairs Department quietly relies on a host of private security contractors to protect Canadian embassies and diplomats across the globe - a small army that needs more supervision, say opposition critics and defence experts.

The call for more oversight follows an incident last month involving the U.S. security firm Blackwater, in which 11 Iraqis died.

Canada has only employed the controversial security contractor to train members of the Canadian Forces and has not used Blackwater for embassy or dignitary protection.

However 2006 federal public account records show a handful of other U.S. and British security corporations working in Iraq have separate protection contracts with Canada for work in other countries."

More disturbing than the fact that we even use contractors is who some of these guys are. One of them is Wackenhut Corporation, also used by the US in Iraq and at home to guard nuclear facilities. Wackenhut is currently under investigation after some of their security guards were found sleeping on the job:

Exelon Corporation announced September 24, 2007, that they will terminate Wackenhut from their nuclear security detail at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in York County, Pa., after an internal investigation by the company found Wackenhut security officers sleeping on the job.

Other nuclear power plants where Wackenhut security practices have been investigated include: Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania; Exelon Limerick nuclear power plant also in Pennsylvania; Seabrook Station nuclear power plant; Pilgrim nuclear power station; Turkey Point nuclear power plant; St. Lucie nuclear power plant; Indian Point nuclear power plant; and South Texas Project nuclear power plant. Wackenhut has already lost the security contracts at the Pilgrim and Indian Point plants.

Falling asleep on the job while guarding a nuclear facility?? Cowboys, like Blackwater. And with a disturbing history... their first "major coup" was the acquisition of files on 2 million citizens starting in the McCarthy era. In the 70's, they were implicated in supplying Iraq with chemicals for weapons. Check out their tangled web of friends and ask yourself "Why is Canada having anything to do with these guys?" Never mind keeping a close eye on them, we should disassociate ourselves completely from them.