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View Full Version : How are private armies in the US legal? Ie security contractors


Steyr_223
04-19-2007, 12:07 PM
Some groups like Blackwater and Steele Foundation are like private armies with great training and access to weapons..What you think?

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Category:Private_military_corporat ions

tiki
04-19-2007, 12:46 PM
Some groups like Blackwater and Steele Foundation are like private armies with great training and access to weapons..What you think?


What do I think? I think your avatar rocks!
Thats what I think. :)

1911su16b870
04-19-2007, 12:50 PM
I think the syntax is misunderstood...they are not "armies" but "contractors" in that they have clients pay for their expertise and services under a written "contract"...

mike100
04-19-2007, 12:51 PM
these private armies aren't actually in the US when they are working. To me contractors (or as they used to be called, mercenaries) are kind of like the french foreign legion to the french.

Super_tactical
04-19-2007, 1:04 PM
these private armies aren't actually in the US when they are working. To me contractors (or as they used to be called, mercenaries) are kind of like the french foreign legion to the french.

N.O.
Katrina

Jicko
04-19-2007, 1:08 PM
N.O.
Katrina

A side note: Super tactical, you may want to consider changing your avatar... after you have seen VT-shooter-Cho's self posing pics.... :D

Josh
04-19-2007, 1:19 PM
these private armies aren't actually in the US when they are working. To me contractors (or as they used to be called, mercenaries) are kind of like the french foreign legion to the french.

these guys are just security, like the people you see doing bank runs in armored cars or that do executive protection, armed body guards, bank security, etc.

They just happen to have more resources at their disposal than most companes and when starting out they had the contacts and training to handle more advanced situations.

If a company like Brinks or ADT wanted to do the same thing as Blackwater or Triple Canopy they would just need the contract and some extra hardware.

Surveyor
04-19-2007, 2:19 PM
A side note: Super tactical, you may want to consider changing your avatar... after you have seen VT-shooter-Cho's self posing pics.... :D

+1 on that :eek: .

If Geraldo or the DOJ moles that monitor this website wanted to make an example of someone,that would make you an easy target.

No disrespect, just lookin' out :cool: .

FreedomIsNotFree
04-19-2007, 2:23 PM
The larger issue here is these "companies" are pulling some of the best from our armed services because they pay much more. Lets also remember that these companies are working in the same theater as our military.

I dont like it.

DedEye
04-19-2007, 3:04 PM
"The Nation" has an article about Blackwater and other security contractors that I have to read for class night week. I'll post about it eventually.

Steyr_223
04-19-2007, 4:58 PM
Not sure if anyone is watching the CBS show "Jericho". In the story line, there is a group of contractors (Ravenswood) hired by the government to run security over American refugee camps..They become rogue agents as what's left of the federal government fall into chaos...Ravenswood group are the main bad guys, they enter the remaining towns and cities to take food, fuel and other supplies..

odysseus
04-19-2007, 5:13 PM
What do I think? I think your avatar rocks!
Thats what I think. :)

HERE! HERE! Agreed.

Number 6
04-19-2007, 5:41 PM
As others have pointed out private contractors are able to operate as a business and operate both in the U.S. and internationally. There is nothing in the law stating that private groups cannot provide some security functions, but what they can do is limited however. Studies have been done on them for some time and really started getting coverage with Executive Outcome's operations in Angola and Sierra Leone. Some studies argue that private contractors are effective and provide a valuable service, while adhering to basic military standards of justice. Other studies point to a lack of oversight, the potential for abuse, and other actual abuses that have occurred. I tend to think that they are not as much of a threat that some make them out to be and that there are other means than governmental control that regulates their behavior. If you want I can point you to some journal articles that cover the subject in greater depth.

Super_tactical
04-19-2007, 5:56 PM
A side note: Super tactical, you may want to consider changing your avatar... after you have seen VT-shooter-Cho's self posing pics.... :D

Better?

:eek:

xLusi0n
04-19-2007, 7:00 PM
As others have pointed out private contractors are able to operate as a business and operate both in the U.S. and internationally. There is nothing in the law stating that private groups cannot provide some security functions, but what they can do is limited however. Studies have been done on them for some time and really started getting coverage with Executive Outcome's operations in Angola and Sierra Leone. Some studies argue that private contractors are effective and provide a valuable service, while adhering to basic military standards of justice. Other studies point to a lack of oversight, the potential for abuse, and other actual abuses that have occurred. I tend to think that they are not as much of a threat that some make them out to be and that there are other means than governmental control that regulates their behavior. If you want I can point you to some journal articles that cover the subject in greater depth.

This is the most intelligent post I've seen about security contractors. You won't believe the restrictions and oversight we adhere to. I think more so than military.

xdimitrix
04-19-2007, 7:18 PM
I don't really care about them operating in other countries, but in no way should blackwater have be operating after Katrina.

dwtt
04-19-2007, 7:59 PM
I think you have fallen for the hype. Blackwater and other companies are not private armies. Private armies are like the "militias" in Somalia and many African nations run by an individual or group outside any official government control. The contractor companies like Blackwater aren't like that. Have you ever worked for a govt contractor? Our company is a civilian contractor and we have tons of rules and regulations we have to follow to do our job. Along with the fee that comes with the contract, there's tons of rules and regulations we have to comply with. Blackwater and other security firms also have a lot of rules and regulations they have to comply with. See the difference between a private army and a govt security contractor?

biff
04-19-2007, 8:45 PM
As an aside, Blackwater is planning on opening some sort of training camp here in San Diego County near Potrero. Some people, no surprise, are protesting this.

I honestly don't know if this is good or bad but if they have some ranges I hope they open them to the public!

DedEye
04-19-2007, 9:11 PM
See the difference between a private army and a govt security contractor?

Not really :confused:?

Steyr_223
04-19-2007, 9:27 PM
Here is a link to a PBS story on the four men working for Blackwater USA as security guards killed on March 31, 2004 in Fallujah. It lead to the Marines taking the city from the insurgents...Horrible how they were sent out with litte armorment.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/contractors/highrisk.html

LAK Supply
04-19-2007, 9:45 PM
Better?

:eek:

That avitar's awesome!

I think I love you! :p

Super_tactical
04-19-2007, 10:04 PM
In memory of the little pr*ck.

DedEye
04-19-2007, 10:44 PM
If any of you live in or near Santa Barbara, here's some info on a lecture about Blackwater:

***This will be an exciting and eye opening lecture --don't miss out on the chance to see a best selling author discuss issues very relevant to the Iraq war, and to the post-9/11 U.S. in general -- only $5 if you're a student, $8 if you aren't, at the A.S. ticket office starting Monday April 9th, details below!***

KCSB 91.9FM presents investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill - of The Nation magazine and a correspondent/former-producer for Democracy Now! - for a lecture and Q&A session on Thursday, April 26th, 7pm, at UCSB's Isla Vista Theater. Scahill will be discussing his New York Times' bestseller, Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. This UCSB event marks Scahill's first West Coast appearance during a nation-wide tour.

Scahill's debut book is an exposť of Blackwater USA, a little-known but powerful private army operating in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even inside U.S. cities like post-Katrina New Orleans. Founded and run by a multimillionaire Christian conservative, Blackwater USA has the ability to overthrow governments, with the world's largest private military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and 20,000 contractors at the ready.

Scahill's work raises important questions not only about the Iraq war, but also about corporate profiteering in the post-9/11 era, and worry over a constitutional crisis within the US. Controversy over Blackwater USA has been growing, with a major wrongful death suit brought forward by surviving family members of four Blackwater contractors and a congressional investigation that opened just this year. More info about the book can be found at http://www.blackwaterbook.com

TIckets are $5 for students, $8 for the general public, available at the Associated Students Ticket Office, by phone at (805) 893-2064, and at the door. Call (805) 893-3757 with any questions, or see KCSB's website ​h​t​t​p​:​/​/​w​w​w​.​k​c​s​b​.​o​r​g for more information. All proceeds benefit KCSB-FM.

xLusi0n
04-19-2007, 11:01 PM
I've heard this man talk before...about specific events that I have first hand knowledge of and he makes things up. He digs up information (often times second,third hand) and then fills it in with his own assumptions / speculation.

m1371
04-20-2007, 6:51 AM
I don't really care about them operating in other countries, but in no way should blackwater have be operating after Katrina.

So why do you feel that BlackwaterUSA should not have been operating in Louisiana & Mississippi when other security companies like Securitas were also?

Care to elaborate on why company ABC should not be allowed to provide security services in the US while company XYZ should not be allowed to?


On a side note..... I think most all of you are falling for the media hype surrounding the use of "contractors" overseas. Don't believe everything CNN, FOX et al feeds you.

50 Freak
04-20-2007, 8:23 AM
The larger issue here is these "companies" are pulling some of the best from our armed services because they pay much more. Lets also remember that these companies are working in the same theater as our military.

I dont like it.

I don't like private contracting companies, but I have to say good for our boys in green. If they can get more money than the US government is giving them, then go for it.

It kinda of sucks that even a SEAL is only making something like 30K with the government. But Blackwater will pay them 150K. These guys have put in their time and their families have paid the price. Good for them if they can finally make what their really worth.

one417
04-20-2007, 8:52 AM
BlackaterOps should be the resident SME on this since they were his previous employer.......BlackwaterOps, give us some insight. What do you think?

xdimitrix
04-20-2007, 9:51 AM
So why do you feel that BlackwaterUSA should not have been operating in Louisiana & Mississippi when other security companies like Securitas were also?

Care to elaborate on why company ABC should not be allowed to provide security services in the US while company XYZ should not be allowed to?


On a side note..... I think most all of you are falling for the media hype surrounding the use of "contractors" overseas. Don't believe everything CNN, FOX et al feeds you.

I don't think any of them should be there. Not just blackwater.

m1371
04-20-2007, 10:12 AM
I don't think any of them should be there. Not just blackwater.

Why?

That's a pretty vague answer.

It almost sounds like you're buying into the whole "evil Blackwater contractor" schtick that the media has been feeding everyone.

brando
04-20-2007, 10:16 AM
Security Contractors = Private Defensive Security Operations

Armies = Offensive Operations

PMCs in Iraq pissed me off to no end, but they aren't private armies until they start conducting offensive operations. Many PMCs are filled with people who have zero business being there. On top of that, Blackwater can kiss my *** with their Evangelical founder and his apocalyptic mindset.

m1371
04-20-2007, 10:35 AM
PMCs in Iraq pissed me off to no end


Yeah, well you know we try our best. :cool:


Many PMCs are filled with people who have zero business being there.


I cannot and will not disagree with you on that point. But at the same time, there are plenty of good folks working in the industry who are all being painted with a very broad brush by the media and other uninformed people.


On top of that, Blackwater can kiss my *** with their Evangelical founder and his apocalyptic mindset.


At least he hasn't tried to turn BW-USA into a religious order ala the Knights Templar (yet).

brando
04-20-2007, 11:38 AM
True, I worked with some real professionals over there as well, but I hate to say, by 2005 the ratio of ****sticks to pros was about 5:1. Too many cops and wannabes came for the money and the "I'm a merc, damnit!" attitude.

Good point on Prince. It's not YET the Knight's Templar, but that dude has scary connections in DC and the ultra-conservative Christian movement. His ilk are the kind that I would have no doubt would rain nuclear fire on the Middle East in a heartbeat if he felt it would initiate the Second Coming. Adults with imaginary friends, deep political connections and companies like Blackwater scare the **** out of me.

xdimitrix
04-20-2007, 12:12 PM
Why?

That's a pretty vague answer.

It almost sounds like you're buying into the whole "evil Blackwater contractor" schtick that the media has been feeding everyone.

Because it's not a good idea to unleash some unaccountable "special forces" guys into a chaotic situation with American citizens? The police were bad enough.

Steyr_223
04-20-2007, 3:53 PM
Brando, what are the contractors doing that upset the regular US armed forces? Can you give specifics? I plan to read some books on the subject of contractors..

dwtt
04-20-2007, 4:53 PM
Because it's not a good idea to unleash some unaccountable "special forces" guys into a chaotic situation with American citizens? The police were bad enough.

Maybe you should try working as a govt contractor and see how "unaccountable" you get before you are thrown in jail. You don't even have to be a security contractor, you can work for Lockheed or Raytheon and handle missiles, just to get some experience. Why do people have so many misconceptions about this stuff?

Mute
04-20-2007, 5:14 PM
As far as I know, if they do anything here in the U.S. they still have to obey the law, so I don't see what is the problem with Blackwater or any other similar company doing anything domestically. They are a private business that's allowed to do anything a business should be allowed to do within the parameters of the law. Posse comitatus prevents our military from being involved in a good number of domestic situations and LE is too understaffed often times, so if a private firm is willing to help, I say more power to them.

xdimitrix
04-20-2007, 5:19 PM
There's a huge difference between handling missles in a controlled environment with paperwork, and letting some guys roam around the streets of N.O. with no one to keep tabs on them. Why were they even there in the first place?

DedEye
04-20-2007, 5:32 PM
Anyone play the video game Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory? There's one level where a power outage in New York City has the National Guard mobilized to the city, and your character is sneaking around inside the office of Displace International, a PMC. The mayor is talking to a Displace executive about hiring them to take over security for the city and replace the National Guard, and if you grab the mayor to interrogate him, your character makes the comparison to the sack of Rome, pointing out that it was unpaid soldiers who destroyed the city, not mere barbarians. I wish I had the exact text of what he says.


Does anyone have any links to articles about contractors being arrested/charged with abuses of power and/or torture? I remember hearing about a couple cases but the details elude me.

Mute
04-20-2007, 7:44 PM
There's a huge difference between handling missles in a controlled environment with paperwork, and letting some guys roam around the streets of N.O. with no one to keep tabs on them. Why were they even there in the first place?

So you know for a fact that that is exactly what happened?

m1371
04-20-2007, 8:18 PM
Because it's not a good idea to unleash some unaccountable "special forces" guys into a chaotic situation with American citizens? The police were bad enough.

There's a huge difference between handling missles in a controlled environment with paperwork, and letting some guys roam around the streets of N.O. with no one to keep tabs on them. Why were they even there in the first place?

All I can do at this point is just shake my head. You really appear to have bought into it hook, line & sinker there dude.

Looking in hindsight at Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas after Katrina hit what would YOUR solution have been to get the area secured and under control?

Would you have hired Securitas?

Number 6
04-21-2007, 3:12 AM
There's a huge difference between handling missles in a controlled environment with paperwork, and letting some guys roam around the streets of N.O. with no one to keep tabs on them. Why were they even there in the first place?

This is one of the complaints made about PMCs and generally this is an exaggeration or misrepresentation of what actually happens. Looking at Blackwater's operation after Katrina, they were not roaming the streets of New Orleans, but were assigned to guard specific high value structures. The reason why they were there was because the military and the government had a different of priorities that prevented them from adequately securing certain facilities. This is not to say that the military was remiss in their duties, but that the military's first priority was to establish security for the population. Essentially Blackwater were overly trained security guards that filled a need.

In terms of oversight, if operating in the borders of the United States then they are under US law, and any action that they commit that is illegal they can be held accountable for. So legally Blackwater can be held accountable for actions that are illegal. Could they have gotten away with things in the chaos after Katrina? Certainly yes, but so could everyone else, so I do not see how they are any different. In addition, the market also regulates the behavior of PMCs. If Blackwater goes around and starts violating everyone's rights and acts like a bunch of thugs then they are not going to get contracts. If I wanted to secure an oil facility after a hurricane, would I use the contractors that have a bad reputation and incur governmental and public criticism, or am I going to choose a contractor that has a good reputation? It does not make business sense to employ people who are going to give your corporation a bad reputation, especially in the contractor field where they are trying to gain legitimacy.

randy
04-21-2007, 7:17 AM
BW is hired by the state dept. They guard such notibles as "Big" Dick Cheny, Condi, some Generals and US diplomats. They provide security for the DEA, and FBI while they are in the Middle East.

They don't get much help from the "Big Army" and are pretty much self reliant. They do sometimes use military transportation to move the principals around the country.

Other companies are hired by other agency's of the Govt. like the Dept of Defense, etc.

dwtt
04-21-2007, 8:24 AM
There's a huge difference between handling missles in a controlled environment with paperwork, and letting some guys roam around the streets of N.O. with no one to keep tabs on them. Why were they even there in the first place?

So, you would know this because ...............

Please get some experience and then fill in the blanks. Like I said, you don't have to be a security contractor, you can do other things besides carry a gun.

DedEye
04-21-2007, 10:07 AM
I just read this article last night: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070402/scahill_vid

I haven't read this article yet: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/scahill

mark3lb
04-21-2007, 10:12 AM
There should be a Calguns Private Security group. A large group of Californians practice together in groups and have a big, once a year BBQ and shooting event. Kind of like a shooting club, but when the SHTF, we group together to be bigger than Blackwater. Would that be legal? We don't have choppers, but maybe we can all crame into a Cessna.

Who's up for starting our Blackwater type group? We'll all be under the banner Blackwater hides under, Security guards.

NorCal MedTac
04-21-2007, 10:36 AM
I just read this article last night: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070402/scahill_vid

I haven't read this article yet: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/scahill

Funny thing about that Jeremy Scahill kook the other night watching him on the daily show. He really seemed to me that he couldn't really get out why he thought Blackwater is so evil but just kept sayign over and over George Bush, George Bush. His view seems to be that PMCs have never existed before Geaorge Bush.

DedEye
04-21-2007, 11:41 AM
Funny thing about that Jeremy Scahill kook the other night watching him on the daily show. He really seemed to me that he couldn't really get out why he thought Blackwater is so evil but just kept sayign over and over George Bush, George Bush. His view seems to be that PMCs have never existed before Geaorge Bush.

I saw that he was on the Daily Show Thursday night. Unfortunately, for some reason my recording dropped the audio for the entire ****ing interview so I set it to record again on Monday. I want to hear what he said on the Daily Show.