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Outsourcing murder & making war a private affair behind doors & out of sight

category international | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Thursday August 27, 2009 00:05author by gurgle-tweet iosaf mac diarmada Report this post to the editors

The Anglo-American world order's media industrial complex has followed some key leaks to the "New York Times" in this August with shallow expressions of shock. It appears that Cheney authorised the CIA to outsource intelligence profiling with the purpose of arranging murder to a number of the usual suspect "private security consultancies". We've long known the name of one very prominent US company, Blackwater, and recently even in Ireland, we on the left, came to consider the activities of IRMS after on this site ample evidence was presented linking Michael Dwyer to both it and the same far-right Hungarian paramilitary group whose summer induction of new members was broken up last Saturday(*). But honestly, to understand our world today, be it the middle east, mid Asia or more to my point Latin America - it is essential we examine the "privatisation of war".

marlon brando was only a method actor
marlon brando was only a method actor

in case you've missed why Blackwater is in the news again :-

"..........Mark Manzetti, writing in the New York Times on August 19 2009, reported that the CIA had hired Blackwater "as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda."
Newly appointed CIA director Leon Panetta had recently acknowledged a planned secret assassination program, one withheld from Congressional oversight. Manzetti's sources which tied the assassination program to Blackwater declined to have their names made public. The CIA was acting on a 2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts.]Several million dollars were spent on planning and training, but it was never operationalized and no militants were caught or captured. .........."

You can skip the next section and get to the list of groups and their global concentration paying close attention to the three principle theatres of action.

Indeed you don't even have to read anymore at all & just take the analyst Dario Azzellini's word for it. Because he's just finished a book on the privatisation of war and insists that Colombia is base one, Iraq was base two and Afghanistan base three. Golly gosh they work these lads hard, i'm sure they'd like somewhere cooler with less poisonous insects sometime.


Privatised war and mercenary groups are since the beginning of the 21st century concentrated in order of subcontracts :-

South America
the former Soviet Union

That's a turn around for the fledgling industry which during most of the 20th century mostly shot up and raped and pillaged Africa.


now the background stuff I delight in writing :-

First off, & especially for the benefit of an Irish readership some of whom may ignore the distinction between professional soldier and mercenary and only accept a "freedom fighter" as being the only legitimate kind of soldier there is, I would like to establish what I mean by the mercenary groups I shall outline in this piece.

We all know what is meant by the euphemism the oldest profession . I wonder how many would understand why I would call accountants, book-keepers & numerates be they gifted of memory or skilled with fingers or abacus the second oldest profession ? I'm sure most people on the left (as our readership are) of either lefty-ness, anarchist of good conscience or exceptionally well read and seminar taught marxist would understand that as soon as surplus appears in any society you see two emergent groups :
a) those who quantify the surplus.
b) those who guard the surplus.

Now of course I'm leaving out the all important lock smiths in that over-simplification for the important reason that societies do not always enjoy surplus and often suffer shortage. Without too much ethical philosophical speculation or reflection on the inate impetus of greed versus want, we see that those types who guard surplus are in times of shortage quite nifty and taking other peoples' surplus in a way which your average accountant of the contemporary age or our distant neanderthal cousin mathematicians just wouldn't have been up to.

We can simplify this group of people as the "warrior" class, we could even be excellent Irish English Literature Secondary level syllabus trained sophists and term them "hunters".

All through history men (and no doubt some women) who were good at kicking the shit out of other people or using whatever arms had been developed took jobs as warriors or soldiers. It is worth noting in passing that the vast majority of them did so for very little pay or in the cases of the historically longest militarised societies for great lengths of their productive life. A Roman imperial soldier was lucky if after 40 years he got a slave of his own known for those interested in etymology as an addictus hence our modern word addiction which describes a mixture of reward and slavery.

Mercenaries though were & are different.

For one any strapping well built lad or lass who left their village and joined an army to do a spot of fighting for pay which wasn't really guaranteed, would almost always end up in the front line & quite soon dead without a decent burial, offering to the gods or letter home to the mammy.

Mercenaries have been and still are individuals who have been highly trained by a professional army more often than not in one of their best units who then for some reason decide to take their "talents" elsewhere. There are perhaps a variety of reasons for their decision to move on. We could suggest a lack of corp d'esprit which normally would see them completely at home in the substitute family structure which their regiment or unit is supposed to provide. Equally we could simply suggest they're so blood lusty that they don't like being told when to stop killing people. However, the generally accepted reason upheld by the cutting edge of contemporary cinema and television series is that people love easy money, fast food, faster girlies and dressing up in whatever clothes take their fancy. Indeed we can't underestimate the emergent attraction of internet social networks either now that most NATO militaries disallow their soldiers chat online for fear of viruses.



No sooner had the Bush / Cheney / Rumsfeld invasion of Iraq begun, senior (generals) of the British army warned that the insufficient number of troops deployed and lack of post-invasion planning would lead to defection from their elite units to private security companies

At first I understood all of that in two ways : (1) absolutely bloody spot on considering the as of yet inexplicable operations carried out in the crucial three days between invasion and control of Baghdad, one of which was the robbery of the Museum. (2) a bit of flag flying on the part of the British war office looking for more funding and improved pay scales. But then the flag flying got more personally traceable. The period of 2004-2005 saw letter writers from Cornwall and the Orkneys express their concern not only in "The Telegraph" but also "Janes Weekly". As I never tire to joke, "Janes Weekly" is not a porn magazine it's the news-sheet of the defence and espionage sector.

By 2006, the worries about the "killer brain drain" and left veterans to actually produce the first SAS member story (who many Irish would agree are but legal murderers) They were now making regular splashes in the English pro-military newspaper "The Telegraph" with dire warnings that their well trained boys were being tempted with a year of the queen's pay for one day's work. As this back article from 2006 by Terence reminds us this was supposedly the first time a SAS officer had refused orders on moral grounds .

Then Blackwater came out of their training facility in the Carolina swamp where contrary to all law they busy their days with fully automated weapons and surface to air missiles.

TD of "Cosantoiri Siochana" wrote in January of 2007

Blackwater USA : "The Dogs and Whores of War ?"
see? the oldest professions without the accountants.

Within a month February 2007, they killed 27 civilians as Miriam reported here
US mercenaries cause carnage in Baghdad


Now all of you know the household names of our own Irish mercenary company IRMS. You probably remember that apart from Dwyer, none were Irish.


That was something I pointed out in the comments to Miriam's piece on "US mercenaries". Yes - the accountants were US. The contractors we now know this week were US. The money was the green back dollar. But who were the dogs filling the gap?

I wrote back then which is still very relevant to the list this article ends with - but you can skip if you want

"Before Blackwater the US company that "filled a gap" in Iraq & Afghanistan of course there was Sandline who filled a gap in Guinea and much of Africa. Before Sandline there was of course the collapse of apartheid South Africa which left qualified psycopaths looking for a job - before apartheid South Africa there was the French "colonel" Bob Denard who was acquitted finally for the assassination of President Ahmed Abdallah of the Comoros Islands (who had been his former employer). Before long we get back to root of the insult "blaggard" or the black guard slave corps then we're at the buccaneers or "privateers" who tipped the balance in global european expansion. They all "filled a gap". From blackwater to black guards. From Tim Spicer to the blinding butcher of the Khyber.

But what is "the gap" they fill?

In the most immediate cases of Iraq, the gap they fill is that of legitimate international institutions which naturally were not present since the war was illegal, and the moment the invaders simply handed the jobs of policing back to Saddam's "constables" with few higher ranking arrests which coincided with the decision to hobble all left wing trade union activity thus ensuring political organisation would be on religious sectarian & traditional militia lines - there was a gap. In the case of Africa, the gap was again the legitimacy of the governments in question and that most appealing of gaps to evil men - a blank check to end the extension of rights.

What can be done?

Difficult one. The South Africa government a year ago introduced the "Prohibition of Mercenary Activities Bill" which aimed at ending the role that state has played before and after apartheid in recruitment of smaller scale mercenary workers. Those jobs too dirty to get into the classified sections of "Soldier of Fortune" where mostly pop singers & fashion designers find their private security but also too small scale to require the taxed up "on the books" power of Blackwater. But at a stroke 780 South African citizens had 6 months to negotiate their exit from the British armed forces - as usual the problem was shuffled rather than ended. Many of them found their way to former US SEAL officer Prince's Blackwater.

Who is Mr Prince (owner of Blackwater) ?

He's a delightful type, devout Roman Catholic who served as a US navy "SEAL" officer who served in Haiti, Bosnia and "the Middle East".....never further than 7 hours from a aircraft carrier. He's anti-euthanasia, anti-abortion & is known to use opinion on such issues as part of his "moral screening" recruits. When he was starting out he put in the hard work of building a military facility in the Great Dismal Swamp, North Carolina complete with the whole range of weapons which are technically illegal in that state, but save one supposes for a few off the beaten track airsofters looking for big game - nobody noticed. At present there are much more than 2,000 employers known to be operating in 9 states. They are the Adecco of private armies, & most curiously they are the model for the future............ As long as men are trained to kill, there will be those looking for work. As long as companies like Mr Prince's can raise their head above the swamp & such dubious beginnings, then those in the swamp will take the blame... Already the apologists for the last Blackwater incident point to the previous of reknown when they were the "victims" torn apart by a mob in Fallajuah, the mob seemingly couldn't find some real US troops...

Which lastly brings me to the current profile of Blackwater employees in Iraq if not Afghanistan. There might be a misconception based on the general profile of mercenary activity as widely known - Spicer, Sandline, Africa, Mark Thatcher etc.... that most mercenaries are ex-SAS or exSEAL or in any case from either US or UK military backgrounds. Ah! but therein the mystery as the poet said. Since at least 2004 the UK war office (which perhaps uniquely of ministry of defences gets its name right) has been working in its own ways to stop the "brawn-drain". That meant the discussion of various contracts which would bind former employees not to go off and work for another state (as in African) or another company (as in Blackwater). Obviously there was an element in those behind the door developments in the article Terence reported to us, which I again linked to at the top of this comment. But like Manpower, Adecco or anyother employment agency, who checks your typing speed and fingernails, Blackwater wants trigger fingers and brawn who are familiar with the territory.

Thus it ought not surprise you that many recruits are in fact Bulgarian.

The happy Bulgarians were brought in to the coalition of the willing by Bush for a variety of reasons - they offered him units trained in biochem weaponry (which they illegally had held cough cough) which would find WMD for us and if there was an accident, better one Bulgarian body bag than another with a blue white and red flag on it. The Bulgarians were amongst the first victims of "friendly fire" in the Iraqi theatre and having lost their military intelligence presence (which was suitably small & in any case reflected a curious loss by most coalition partners of key members intelligence staff.....another decade's story perhaps) the Bulgarians were the first to scale down their presence, without leaving naturally. In fact they didn't leave at all. They simply moved to Blackwater or any other mercenary company who would pay them more than Bulgaria.

In early 2008 Blackwater renewed their contract for Iraq. & that was after murder investigations, immunity, congressional questions, documentaries & shock.

It seems the ex-Bulgarian soldiers kept their jobs.




These are the Mercenary Companies active in order of numbers, and value of contracts worldwide, please remember the three biggest spenders are Afhganistan (I've no figures yet - Iraq and Colombia) :

COLOMBIA - 150,000,000$ - 300,000,000$ in 2007

(this works out at between 30% and 46% of all US taxpayers money to "end drugs")

IRAQ - 48,700,000,000$ in 2007
the figure includes Haliburton and other scams and as such is highly inflated and detracts from the true size of the Colombian cost.

these are the companies involved & this list is by no means exhaustive :

United States of America :

Northrup Gruman
California Microwave
Imagery Analysis
Lockheed Martin................. I presume they just provide machinery (& mechanic recruits)
Bell / Textron
ACS Defense
Rendon Group
Integrated Aerosystems
Cambridge Comm
Sirkorsky.............................i presume they just provide black helicopters (& mechanic recruits)
Dilligence LLC
Bearing Point
Mc Neill
SAS International..................jayzhus
Triple Canopy
Blackwater Security........then Blackwater "XE". (name changes help)
Custer Battles.........................(active in Latin America something about injuns)

United Kingdom

Global Risk
Control Risk
Armour Group
Global strategies group
Risk advisory group
Rubicon...............................(they cross it I presume)

South Africa

Meteoric tactical solutions................(would you believe they survived the law change I mentioned above?)


AIRTX......................................great place to get arms out of the baltic states (& not get caught hee hee)


Danubia Global




oh yep!!

c/f The Shadow over Erris: Shell, IRMS and Bolivia by Andrew of the WSM

(*) Hungary far-right event broken up

Related Link:
author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Mon Aug 31, 2009 18:00author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors


Happiness is a Warm Gun - Arms trade show, London, 2003. © Paul Mattsson
Happiness is a Warm Gun - Arms trade show, London, 2003. © Paul Mattsson

author by iosafpublication date Fri Sep 04, 2009 09:55Report this post to the editors

When Obama's presidency began Blackwater was a dirty name for dirty work which is one reason why it has since changed its commercial name to "Xe". (Heh! it worked for Thorp Sellafield Windscale). Try saying "Xe" aloud for a moment, it sounds like "Che".

Anyway, the Democrats were unhappy with the renewal of Blackwater's contracts in Iraq perhaps because the Iraqis kept complaining and whinging about the human abuse angles and then the Iraqi state decided "unilaterally" it wouldn't renew the Blackwater contracts. They all began to run out.

Yesterday Dyncorp was supposed to take over Blackwater's contract for protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq especially when they're on board planes and in big black cars.

Dyncorp is a mercenary business with revenue of around $2billion a year, 96% of which comes from US Federal government. I consider it significant for the role it played under Plan Colombia and crop eradication not to mention child sex trafficking through US bases or "forward operating locations". wikipedia : The company has provided teams for the U.S. military in major theaters, such as Bolivia, Bosnia, Somalia, Angola, Haiti, Colombia, Kosovo and Kuwait. DynCorp International also provided much of the security for Afghan interim president Hamid Karzai's presidential guard and trains much of Afghanistan's and Iraq's fledgling police force. DynCorp was also hired to assist recovery in Louisiana and neighboring areas after Hurricane Katrina. Recently, Dyncorp and the Department of State have been criticized for not properly accounting for $1.2 billion in contract task orders authorized by the State Department to be used to train Iraqi police.

One of their former employees went into protective custody after revealing that Dyncorp employees were engaged in child trafficking and child prostitution using Dyncorp facilities whilst contracted to a US base in Bosnia. The children weren't local and had been flown in (rendition style) from Romania & Russia

= very nice people

2005, the United States Defense department drafted a proposal to prohibit defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor.

& a very proper response, draft proposals really get to the gristle.


Anyway :

Blackwater / Xe have seen their contract in Iraq under their subsidiary "presidential airways" extended for probably the next six months. At which stage Dyncorp will be ready to work hard for their candy. That will be the last mercenary contract held by Blackwater /Xe or subsidiaries in Iraq and everyone will no doubt stop complaining. Until of course the Afghani people start complaining because Blackwater has been awarded new contracts over there!

DynCorp is not alone in taking up the complex challenges of working along side the US presence and fledgling Iraqi security forces not to mention little kiddies.

"Triple Canopy" is another company who have taken up the former Blackwater contracts as well. It's on the list in the article above. It is very significant for their work one of its subsidiaries does in recruiting mercenaries in Latin America and would you believe it - training them how to do their dirty work globally on the very same base located in Lepaterique, Honduras which was used back in the bad days by the Contras and Argentinian dirty war types of Operation Condor. way off - back then.

In April 2009, Triple Canopy was described by Alternet writer, Jeremy Scahill as "Obama's Blackwater".

author by iosaf mac diarmadapublication date Sat Dec 12, 2009 18:13Report this post to the editors

I am pinging this back article because I ask ye to look at how non-renewed outsourced mercenary contracts have a peculiar way of lasting & more than many elements of our general disappointment or delusion in the Obama presidency they illustrate unquestionably the evil which is at work in this Oval Office as any other . In this article above & its subsequent comments/updates, I tried to explain how Obama's presidency had been less than wholesome in its prosecution of what was (to my mind at least) a near global disgust at the human rights abuses linked to the Bush presidency's favourite outsourced mercenary outsourcing supplier.

Sure - Obama's White House made damn sure Blackwater left Iraq
& that we all knew that they had done so!

= kudos & ethics!
= yes we can!
= exactly what all the kids wanted!

Pity the Obama White House didn't tell us much about Dyncorp who they chose to replace them with in Iraq....... [as I explained above their replacements' records defy moral double think and ethnical lascitude unless you can live with the kind of society which would continue employing guards ( garda Darach Kennedy as gaeilge )linked to paedophilia at any level be it like Obama's Iraq outsources, the actual trafficking of kids for sex or in the 2004 Dunshaughlin Garda station case merely photos.]

The business of empire is the business of empire.

But not only did Obama's White House give a bumper contract to Dyncorp the company who trafficked kids for sex through a UN peace operation in Bosnia ( read article and comments above) but also on Obama's watch - the company formally listed as Blackwater & despite its namechange still referred to as Blackwater - got more work related to Afghanistan than it had had in Iraq.

= kudos & ethics where you see it!
= money and dirt where you don't!


This last week Obama exercised his privilege to engage in the defiant rhetoric which every Nobel laureate is afforded along with the gold medal. ............For nobody heckles a Nobel prize winner. Elsewhere on this site we have touched his "just war". Just like Bush before, he spoke of the "real presence of evil" which brings men like himself and Blair to declare war & not feel bad about it : we are by now bored of the similarity between sociopaths & the cognitive dissonance they regularly force down on our throats. [......Surely not one of us would think of encouraging our daughters to date a Waziristani with the kind of press those people get? If only they would adopt our values and stop plotting world doom. It's truly astounding how people with such medieval infrastructure and gender politics can threaten the world's most securocratic societies..........Perhaps they're really in league with shapeshifting reptilian aliens & planning a 2012 event to end the world & not just stuck in a terrorist rutt which never seemed to live up to the 911 promise of villainry?......]

But what makes the Obama Presidency different is its insistence that his war machine is somehow nicer, cuddlier, more ethical & truly caring just the way Martin Luther King if he were alive and not singing in U2 or doing daily spots on Oprah would bless.[........for ex-pastor Rev Wright of Obama's church aint doin no blessin on the US empire no more.......]

Obama's war machine prefers robot drone hits in Waziristan, which is how the region of Afghanistan is actually known, to putting young US soldiers at risk. No matter that the 80+ drone hits since Obama entered the White House have chalked up over 480 civilian deaths & casualties.

that's my estimate - correct me if I'm wrong please do........but it's based on publically available data & heck here's the NYT one month ago and their figures for half of the drone hits :- "Obama has authorized as many drone strikes in Pakistan in nine and a half months as George W. Bush did in his last three years in office ó at least 41 C.I.A. missile strikes, or about one a week, that may have killed more than 500 people. For we all surely remember the non-CIA drone hit called in by the Germans on September 4th which killed at least 80 civilians - c/f

But the news floating around a while now (since at least August in the US commercial press of record which is the New York Times) was that Obama's robot war wasn't just run by CIA employees at a safe distance..................oh no............... it seems Blackwater had the contract to load the bombs on the Predator drones & not only that to guard the facility in P-a-k-i-s-t-a-n whence these packages were delivered.

But now nice Mr Obama's CIA have post-Nobel Peace Prize decided not to renew the contract as reported today :- For those who can bear with my style and reports, I promise a comprehensive article shortly on the robot wars in mid Asia, the glaring doublethinks of the Obama presidency & in so doing I jolly hope people can realise it's now not only time - but it's "ok" to say no! to Obama.

Let's say No! to Obama -----------------Yes We Can!

& it's about time we did too.

Obama's just robot war actually included Blackwater bomb loaders (remember them?) the people we didn't want given a job in "just war"?
Obama's just robot war actually included Blackwater bomb loaders (remember them?) the people we didn't want given a job in "just war"?

at 4.5 million $ each, this hardware is a cost effective way of killing an average of 6.25 people (forgetting that 35% of them so far were lost in action & malfunctioned)
at 4.5 million $ each, this hardware is a cost effective way of killing an average of 6.25 people (forgetting that 35% of them so far were lost in action & malfunctioned)

author by Dronepublication date Sat Dec 12, 2009 21:32Report this post to the editors

If the one military surveillance drone "toy" purchased by willie "9mm" o dea for 400,000 euro ever flew back to base after its little "escape" into the wilderness on it's maiden flight (AFAIK)

That single stupid vanity purchase would have paid dole for 40 people for a year! Disband the Irish army. They don't serve the public. They just protect the banks money and waste the taxpayers. Anybody could invade this country if they wanted to but why would they want to. The economy and corruption and public transport is more than sufficient as a deterrent.

Did you work out the possible savings on THOSE public servants mr mccarthy? If not, why not. After all, they are certainly far less useful to us than frontline staff such as nurses.

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