Monday, January 29, 2007

The Military-Industrial Complex

Every so often we hear about "contractors" in Iraq from a company called Blackwater (ie, last week there was a helicopter crash that killed 5 Blackwater employees). These guys are mercernaries -- we don't hear much about them, so it doesn't seem like there are that many of them over there, but in fact there are tens of thousands. They're used like a private army in trouble zones worldwide, even being used to secure New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They are an integral part of the upcoming "surge".

Blackwater has deep connections in the Pentagon, CIA, and the highest levels of the white house. Erik Prince, Blackwater's owner, is also part of the Christian right and has ties to both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.
Jeremy Scahill, who's written a book about Blackwater, says:

"And what’s really frightening is that you have a man in Erik Prince, who is a neo-crusader, a Christian supremacist, who has been given over a half a billion dollars in federal contracts, and that's not to mention his black contracts, his secret contracts, his contracts with foreign friendly governments like Jordan. This is a man who espouses Christian supremacy, and he has been given, essentially, allowed to create a private army to defend Christendom around the world against secularists and Muslims and others, and has really been brought into the fold."

Who are these guys and how did they get so much influence?
Check out this interview with Scahill. {{{shudder}}}