Black People : Blackwater, possible new COINTELPRO hit squad?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Putney Swope, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This article from Democracy Now, made me wonder wether Blackwater was "doing" folks in New Orleans during the Katrina holocaust.

    Report: CIA Hired Blackwater for Assassination Program
    The New York Times is reporting the CIA hired the private military firm Blackwater as part of a secret program to assassinate top operatives of al-Qaeda. Executives from Blackwater helped the spy agency with planning, training and surveillance. The CIA spent several million dollars on the program, which the Times claims did not successfully capture or kill any terrorist suspects.
     
  2. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I never knew what a cartoon character could smell like but

    somehow I sense the odor of Shrek:gas::playball:
     
  3. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Published on Friday, August 21, 2009 by CommonDreams.org
    Unwritten Death Contract Awarded to Blackwater
    by Ray McGovern

    Hats off to Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times for ferreting out what it was that sent CIA Director Leon Panetta scurrying over to Congress in late June.

    According to Mazzetti, Panetta's top lieutenants, many of them holdovers from the last administration, had just told him that, under President Bush, they had farmed out assassinations to their Blackwater subsidiary. I use "they" advisedly, since the CIA holdovers that had kept Panetta in the dark continue to function as Panetta's top managers.

    Panetta abruptly stopped the project and contritely briefed the intelligence committees. Until now, it was not clear what had prompted Panetta to set up hurried consultations with the intelligence "oversight" committees of the House and Senate.

    An odd odor still hangs over the affair. After being briefed by Panetta, one committee member described him as "stunned" that his lingering lieutenants had kept information on the program from him until nearly five months into his tenure. Yet there is not the faintest hint that anyone on either committee dared to ask why Panetta continues to leave such tainted officials in very senior positions.

    Anyone know why he does not send them packing?

    Mazzetti quotes officials as admitting that "the C.I.A. did not have a formal contract with Blackwater" for a program with "lethal" authority. Putting out contracts on other people, I suppose you might call it, without a contract. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/us/20intel.html?_r=2 [1]

    What Mazzetti does not mention -- and what he, like the vast majority of Americans, may not know -- is that there is a one-sentence umbrella "contract" available for use as authorization for such activities. It creates a structural fault, so to speak, and a legal loophole through which Bush and Cheney drove a Mack truck of lawlessness.

    Useful Ambiguity

    Bush administration lawyers were not the first to read considerable leeway into that loophole created by just one sentence in the language of the National Security Act of 1947. The sentence can be (ab)used as authorization for all manner of crime -- irrespective of existing law or executive order.

    A Cheney-esque "unitary executive" perspective and a dismissive attitude toward lawmakers reinforced the Bush team's predilection to exploit the ambiguous language, taking it further than it had ever been taken in the past.

    The Act (as slightly amended) stipulates that the CIA Director shall:

    "Perform such functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the President or the National Security Council may from time to time direct."

    There's the "umbrella contract." While more than one past President (I served under seven during my tenure at CIA) has taken advantage of that open language, the Bush administration translated the dodging into a new art form. This, in turn, was sustained by Frankenstein cottage industries like Blackwater to launch and operate the administration's own Gestapo. I use the word advisedly; do not blanch before it.

    As for outsourcing, it is nothing new. The earlier Nazi Gestapo enjoyed umbrella authorization from the Fuhrer; they and the SS knew what was wanted, and famously "followed orders." There was absolutely no need to go back to supreme authority for approval to contract out some of their work. And German legislators turned out to be even more intimidated than ours -- if you can imagine it.

    Charlatans Can Apply...and Some Stay On

    As for an American President's freedom of action, all a President need do is surround himself with eager co-conspirators like the sycophant former Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet (not to mention his, and Panetta's, lingering lieutenants), who give allegiance to their secret world of unchecked power, rather than to the Constitution of the United States. True, a Vice President thoroughly versed in using the levers of power also can be a valuable asset.

    But the sine quo non for successful subversion of our Constitutional process is this: cowardly members of Congress so afraid of being painted pastel on terrorism that they abdicate their oversight responsibility. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney may have "misunderestimated" some things, but not Congress. They held it in scorn and contempt, and the Congress' behavior gave them every reason to believe they were right.

    The Bush White House gave very high priority to "terrorification" of Congress and it paid off handsomely. The most senior congressional leaders caved, winking even at torture, kidnapping, warrantless eavesdropping, etc., etc., etc.

    And on the subject of contracting, Congress' oversight role was, in a real sense, "contracted out" -- to eight invertebrate leaders from the House and Senate. Their see-no-evil acquiescence in whatever Bush and Cheney painted as a weapon in the so-called "war on terror" was driven solely by the lawmakers' felt need to appear tough on terrorism.

    "After 9/11 everything changed," is certainly an overused aphorism. But it does apply to what happened to the spirit and soul of our country after President Bush was given the pulpit at the National Cathedral. Vengeance is ours, said the President. And the vast majority of Christian leaders were cowed into razoring out of their Bibles "Blessed are the Peacemakers."

    Clergy and Congress clapped, and so did the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM). Don't you remember?

    The situation bears striking resemblance to that described by German writer Sebastian Haffner, who was in Berlin in 1933 after the Reichstag fire (Germany's 9/11):

    full article;
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/08/21-0
     
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