Still another Bush era war crime has come to light.
The CIA hired Blackwater to operate Assassination Squads. This is another violation of the Geneva convention and is a war crime.
"The Central Intelligence Agency hired the private security firm Blackwater USA in 2004 to work on a covert program aimed at targeting and potentially killing top al Qaeda leaders, according to a source familiar with the program."
"The program was outsourced to contractors to "put some distance" between the effort and the U.S. government."
I don't see how there could be any argument as to whether this is a crime or not. When mafia bosses pay money to have people killed or assassinated, in order to put distance between themselves and the crime, we still consider them guilty.
Further, hiring mercenaries is a war crime.
Part III : Methods and means of warfare -- Combatant and prisoner-of-war status #Section II -- Combatant and prisoner-of-war status
Article 47 -- Mercenaries
1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.
2. A mercenary is any person who:
(a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;
(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;
(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;
(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;
(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and
(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.
This program doesn't differ substantially, from government programs paying settlers for Indian scalps. A practice that I think that most people would agree, wasn't exactly, moral, legal or Christian.
And how can anyone verify the work Blackwater did in killing people? Do they bring back scalps, heads, hands? Do they simply submit a form saying how many Al Quaeda members that they killed each day? How do we even know if they are killing members of Al Qaeda? It seems that anyone that chooses to take up the career of killing people for profit, might lie about their murder count.
And when did hte contract end? Did it end when Blackwater changed their name? Is this program ongoing with Xe? The corporation formally known as Blackwater?
In other news, CBO's Annual Social Security Update is out. Social Security is entering the red zone now. h/t Market Ticker
And finally the health care debate rages on while the Banksters continue to lose massive quantities of money but make it up in fantastically profitable Welfare Queen Bailouts.
Pete Sessions was in Irving last night (I didn't see him), and made the news. He non-answered questions on a variety of issues at a pep rally in a local High School. I'll post videos from YouTube later when I have a computer available with sound, so I can hear what's being said.
I watched a few videos and the news short this morning and I learned that the US Military plans to start using blimps to carry tanks to Iraq. I hope they buy extra patch kits. I also learned that Pete Sessions is telling folks that Obama plans to eliminate the insurance industry. That was news to me, as we see regular reports on how the insurance industry is writing his health care plan for him.
Pete has long record of avoiding the healthcare issue. He doesn't promote reform, but he makes it clear that he's against it, and he's for it. what a politician.
And as he gave his litany of non-answers, the crowd cheered. My fellow residents in Irving, sure love free flowing bullshit. They couldn't seem to get enough of the dissembling.
As all of this crap continues to unfold, I'm sure there are folks who would read this and tell me that I'm too pessimistic. But if that's the case, then why can I never keep up with the bullshit? Why is it that reality continues to make me look like a cock-eyed-optimist?
But on a lighter note... I'm still alive. I still have a roof over my head. Though I took a 20% pay cut, I still have a job. And now I soon get to see my sister and law and my niece again, after four years. They are unemployed, broke, with no car. So I'll be putting them up until they can get back on their feet. If they can...
Well, this post is toast. Time to get back to work, and avoid the news for a bit. For the weekend, I've got some gardening and band practice to look forward to.
Life goes on...