Scahill Talks Blackwater in DeKalb

Jeremy Scahill visited DeKalb and Jo Daviess County last week to talk about his book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Video News Service put together a short video for YouTube, Blackwater Invades Illinois, of Scahill’s hourlong talks at these venues, the Jo Daviess turnout estimated at 120-150 people. Blackwater recently opened controversial paramilitary training camp Blackwater North near Mt. Carroll, probably in violation of zoning laws there.

Highlights from Scahill’s talk in DeKalb, which I attended:

  • Formed in 1996, Blackwater found traction for growth in a series of tragedies starting with the Columbine massacre.
  • The idea for the first Blackwater base, in North Carolina, was sold as a hunting lodge concept.
  • Blackwater is not the largest of the security firms, just the most elite. They got that reputation in part by keeping alive the most hated man in post-war Iraq, Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
  • “Contractor” casualties in Iraq–deeply secret so this is just an estimate–run to at least 770 dead and over 7,000 wounded.
  • More than 300 of the 435 registered voters of tiny Potrero, CA, are fighting a similar installation called Blackwater West near their community, which lies southeast of San Diego.
  • Blackwater Does Exactly as it Pleases

    [Admin/Editor’s note: To find out whether anything good could come out of Blackwater North’s establishment in Jo Daviess county, CityBarbs investigator treesfieldssky talked to residents in North Carolina who live near Blackwater USA’s facility in that state.]

    The neighbors are not allowed onto the Blackwater property. One resident said her mother, over 80, accidentally drove up to the gate. They made her get out of the car and searched the vehicle. Even Mennonites aren’t trusted by this large and powerful military firm. It was also reported that a local Mennonite carpet cleaner got lost, drove up to Blackwater’s gate. He said they drew guns on him and screamed profanity.

    It appears that Blackwater USA is not the “good neighbors” they claim to be nor are they good citizens. According to sources who want to remain anonymous and who live in the vicinity of Blackwater USA’s headquarters in North Carolina, “They [Blackwater] don’t take “no” for an answer.” Continue reading Blackwater Does Exactly as it Pleases

    Blackwater Seeps Into Illinois

    Silently among the rolling hills 10 miles from the beautiful Mississippi Palisades, down a country road like fog from the river moving through trees comes a dark presence to disturb the countryside with gun shots. It is not hunters looking for deer this time. It is not children with air rifles shooting pellets at tin cans on fence posts. This time the shots will be from the latest and most sophisticated weapons in the hands of those who are being trained in the art of killing. They are learning the skills required to survive in the quagmire of violence they will soon enter. Continue reading Blackwater Seeps Into Illinois

    Who Thinks Gas Prices are being Manipulated? Oil Investors Do.

    [UPDATE 11/17: Here’s a link to U.S. retail gasoline prices across the country that compares the price just before the election with gas prices one week after the election. Please note that crude oil prices are down right now. Question: How high will gas be by Christmas? Any guesses?]

    I don’t usually post about national happenings, but this one hits every last one of us in the pocketbook. If you ask your neighbors whether they believe that gas prices are being manipulated for political reasons and will rise again after the election, chances are at least a few of them will say, “Yes.” I’ve personally stayed neutral on the subject up to now because of reading conflicting opinions by people who know something about the energy industry. They can’t agree on whether that is even possible. Then today I read this little blurb from an investor’s newsletter put out by New York Global Securities: Continue reading Who Thinks Gas Prices are being Manipulated? Oil Investors Do.

    hastert Looks the Other Way Again

    Hastert Looks Away For A Price

    Dennis Hastert was caught looking the other way recently with the Foley scandal. However looking the other way from those who are being abused for the sake of the abusers and their power is not uncommon for Mr. Hastert. This last episode is just a time when he was caught doing so, because he has often put protecting political power above his duty to protect children.

    Take for example the May 24, 1999 ABC News program 20/20 and a report by Brian Ross. His report was on human trafficking on the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory and the protection of the abusers by the Republican Leadership in Congress. Brian Ross reported on the findings of a human rights activist group, Global Survival Network, from the American island of Saipan.

    Thousands of women from across Aisa were brought through an immigration loophole to American soil to supposedly work as waitresses in restaurants or nightclubs. “Once they got there, they were told they had to do more than that.” said Steve Galster, Executive Director of Global Survival Network. He went on to say, “We’re talking about forced prostitution.” Continue reading hastert Looks the Other Way Again