Blackwater Cam – In Action on TV?
I just crawled out of bed, turned on my PC, read my first news story and I’m already pissed off. From the Chicago Trib.
With Congress poised to expand laws overseeing private security contractors in Iraq, the State Department announced a new set of procedures Friday that will allow for closer monitoring of Blackwater USA security guards assigned to escort U.S. diplomats in Baghdad.
Its not the fact that the State Department, following typical congressional behavior, is being reactive instead of proactive. They never take any action until the crisis has passed. Its this. Before Blackwater was hired to go to Iraq, there had to be some planning, some conversations about behavior and oversight, didn’t there?
There were probably a couple of options. (1) We will closely monitor and supervise them as we would the military or any other lethally armed group that we place in a war zone, in a very hazardous environment, in an extremely volatile situation, among a frightened and unpredictable population. We will expect them to behave with a high degree of discipline because they are representatives of the United States and like the military personnel, should reflect the high moral standards and values that America stands for.
Or (2) we will make them immune from all laws, Iraqi, US, military or otherwise and when they start killing innocent people we will simply deny it or try to cover it up or pay off the families and tell them to shut the fuck up about it.
The Bush administration, faced with this very difficult choice, went with number 2. Well of course they did! So now, now that the civilians are already dead, now that it is too late, congress, and now State are acting all excited and incensed and have come up with an emergency oversight program.
Under the new procedures, the State Department said it would place its own agents in Blackwater convoys, mount video cameras in security vehicles and record and archive radio transmissions from the company’s hired guns while they are in the field.
Well Gee! I sure hope they don’t pick their nose or scratch their balls while the camera is watching! This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Are these Blackwater guys so stupid that they are going to brutalize some innocent girl or murder someone in cold blood in front of a camera mounted in their truck? I don’t think so.
This stupid idea will be about as effective as building a thousand mile fence along the Mexican border to keep those pesky aliens out. Instead of putting them on camera which, at best will show us what they do AFTER THEY HAVE ALREADY DONE IT why not demand that they abide by current military laws like all the other troops over there? If they don’t, they will be subject to punishment under the UCMJ. It’s not much, but its a lot better than the bullying, vigilante behavior they’re practicing now.
Better yet, why not elect leaders who abide by our constitution, have high moral character, and go to war only when absolutely necessary and when all other avenues of settlement have been exhausted. More young men might be eager to join a military that had such a commander in chief and we wouldn’t need to hire mercenaries in the first place.