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Citizens' Oversight Group wants Blackwater Agreement with Southwestern College Pulled.

Citizens Oversight (2009-03-03) Raymond Lutz

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Citizens' Oversight Projects (COPs) Cte

CONTACT: Raymond Lutz, Coordinator 619-820-5321

Lisa Davis, PR Contact, 619-647-6050


March 3, 2009

Citizens' Oversight Group wants Blackwater Agreement with Southwestern College Pulled.

Blackwater given unlimited access to campus conference rooms

Agreement is inappropriate in both form and process

SAN DIEGO, CA (March 3, 2009) – The Citizens' Oversight Projects Committee (COPs) has submitted a four-page letter to the Board of Trustees of the Southwestern College District regarding the agreement between Southwestern College District and Blackwater Lodge and Training Center (recently renamed “Xe, Inc.”) which provides that the district can use Blackwater's shooting range in Otay Mesa in trade for fees for personnel to operate the range and Blackwater's use of on-campus conference rooms. COPs wants the agreement revisited and revoked.

The letter detailed 13 points regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) No.4039.09 to support the position that the agreement was not processed correctly and includes provisions that should never appear in such agreements. Assertions of the letter include:
  • The global poor reputation of Blackwater cannot be ignored. San Diego has already had bitter experience fighting Blackwater's proposals, and they have been opposed by the community by a 2:1 margin. Such an agreement implies that the District approves of Blackwater's reputation.

  • Blackwater will have use of on-campus conference rooms to give the impression that they are part of Southwestern College, and that their programs are approved, endorsed, sponsored, or even underwritten by the College. How and how often these conference rooms are used is not limited, apparently allowing Blackwater to setup a recruiting station for their private mercenary army on campus.

  • The MOU claims there is no cost to the district, but it also states that Blackwater will be reimbursed for the use of personnel required to operate the range, with no limit stated.

  • The MOU includes a “gag-order” that prevented the District from adequately notifying the public of this proposal, and all statements must be approved by Blackwater.

The agreement with Southwestern College District was formulated to avoid public scrutiny, and even includes a gag-order to keep Trustees quiet,” COPS coordinator Raymond Lutz said. “We already know of the character of this company and other private mercenary firms who are now desperate to establish new funding opportunities.”

Blackwater contractors were found responsible for illegal killings in Iraq in September of 2007 by an FBI investigation,” said David Wiley, president of San Diego Veterans For Peace. “Their armory in Moyock NC was raided by the ATF in June of 2008. The Bureau seized AK-47s and Bushmaster automatic weapons on suspicion of illegal use. This kind of company has no business participating in the training of potential law enforcement officers, especially in our local community.”

Blackwater represents this agreement as a gift to the community, but that is far from reality,” Lutz said. “The MOU provides that they are to be reimbursed and also gain unlimited access to the campus with an unspoken endorsement for on-campus mercenary recruiting. This agreement must be revoked.”

The letter was also endorsed by a number of organizations, including Activist San Diego, American Friends Service Committee of San Diego, Citizens Against Private Armies (CAPA), Peace Resource Center of San Diego, San Diego Veterans For Peace, and the Stop Blackwater Working Group of the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice.

Raymond Lutz was a candidate for the 77th State Assembly District in 2008.

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Title Citizens' Oversight Group wants Blackwater Agreement with Southwestern College Pulled.
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author Raymond Lutz
Pub Date 2009-03-03
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Note Blackwater In Southwestern College
Keywords Blackwater, Blackwater Otay
Media Type Article
Media Group News Release
Curator Rating Plain
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Topic revision: r1 - 10 Mar 2009, RaymondLutz
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