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Blackwater Q&A raises more questions

Union Tribune (2008-07-30) Myra Webb, Alan Segal, Gregg Rosner

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More Info: Blackwater, Blackwater Otay

Regarding “Q&A with Blackwater's Erik Prince and Brian Bonfiglio” (Dialog, July 27):

I wonder how much of what these two Blackwater executives say can be believed. Their claims and numbers certainly sound more than a little inflated. How about turning some of your Pulitzer-winning investigative reporters loose to find out the truth behind their claims? The military can't train its own sailors and troops? If true, maybe that is a story in itself.

Given this company's nefarious track record in carrying out its contracts in Iraq, are these the kind of people who should be connected with our military or State Department in any way? And how is this company winning its contracts? Through congressional earmarks or other congressional and/or administration wheelings and dealings? Another story, perhaps?

San Diego

When we won World War II, do you think the government had to hire very expensive private contractors to teach sailors how to handle a weapon to defend themselves and their ships? I wonder why we don't hear any complaints about this waste of my tax dollars from the old Republican sailor/pilot running for president? Who taught him how to shoot? It wasn't Blackwater?

San Diego

Erik Prince makes the company he founded, Blackwater, sound benign and wonderful in this interview, but there are some questions unasked that might add some reality to the picture. He said 95 percent of the opposition to Blackwater here is as a proxy for the Iraq war. It would be nice to know where he got that figure.

The “nonsense” in Potrero had a lot to do with Blackwater's impact on the community: noise, fire risks, traffic, the environment. That's why the residents were concerned, why the Sierra Club was involved, not because of Iraq.

Prince makes a case for the quality of his company's work. Does he see that deadly November 2004 plane crash in Afghanistan as an example of Blackwater professionalism? Or how about the unprovoked massacre in September 2007 that left 17 Iraqis dead in Baghdad? Was that Blackwater professionalism? If it represents the United States, if it is killing people in our name and reaping profit from war, it must be accountable to the American people. But it is not.

People have lots of objections to Blackwater; the surreptitious permit process in Otay Mesa questions its true intentions, but I think the biggest objection is that we aren't comfortable having an unaccountable private military at our doorstep. This is a military town, why do we have to have these mercenaries taking their place? Is Blackwater hoping to cash in on some sort of privatization of the U.S. military? Are we going to outsource that, too?

El Cajon

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Title Blackwater Q&A raises more questions
Publisher Union Tribune
Author Myra Webb, Alan Segal, Gregg Rosner
Pub Date 2008-07-30
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Keywords Blackwater, Blackwater Otay
Media Type Linked Article
Curator Rating Plain
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Topic revision: r1 - 30 Jul 2008, RaymondLutz
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