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    Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Congress reining in private contractors - Yahoo! News

    Congress looking at making it easier to prosecute military contractors for misdeeds.

    First, I'm not an uninterested party. I'm currently a military contractor. (not combat role, and not in Iraq) Second, I think that contractors who break the law in a foreign country SHOULD be vulnerable to prosecution. But, Third, I am 100% against exposing our military contractors to potentially politically-motivated "kangaroo courts" in foreign countries.

    While Blackwater has been excoriated in the press, as well as in the "hallowed" halls of congress, the "massacre" in Iraq involving the State Department convoy is looking more and more like a "put up deal" arranged by Iraqi Officials to make Blackwater look bad. (Someone's palms didn't get sufficiently greased, evidently.)

    My suggestion: Prior to operations in a foreign country, all contractors must submit to a third party-run agency, which oversees operations. This agency could be a public agency formed by a coalition, for instance. This would ensure that contractors would face more than just being fired, for killing someone and also prevent certain Iraqis, who want a piece of the Personal Protection business from smearing competitors and potentially executing innocent contractors because they aren't getting their palms greased.



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    I guess it sounds logical, I am really removed from this story. I read the first headline, didn't believe 1/2 of it and dismissed it as Iraqi propoganda or a 'figurehead' not getting what he wants (you but it best on having his hands greased).

    Mistakes happen in war, but let's remember who does most of the killing in that country.... great.. here i go.

    the dems are looking for every possible scapegoat for their own failures and lies in last years campaign. Bill O'Reilly last week, Rush this week and the Blackwater thing they can put in the grand stage (because they receive gov't $$). This will go on until every person, company, entity associated or for the Iraq war is dragged through the mud. That is all the dems have.

    whew, done ranting.... carry on.

    - keep.


    The first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is of all things most shameful and vile. - Plato

    May you only need 39 acres to turn your rig around. - keep

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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by herbiedoobie View Post
    Congress reining in private contractors - Yahoo! News

    Congress looking at making it easier to prosecute military contractors for misdeeds.

    First, I'm not an uninterested party. I'm currently a military contractor. (not combat role, and not in Iraq) Second, I think that contractors who break the law in a foreign country SHOULD be vulnerable to prosecution. But, Third, I am 100% against exposing our military contractors to potentially politically-motivated "kangaroo courts" in foreign countries.

    While Blackwater has been excoriated in the press, as well as in the "hallowed" halls of congress, the "massacre" in Iraq involving the State Department convoy is looking more and more like a "put up deal" arranged by Iraqi Officials to make Blackwater look bad. (Someone's palms didn't get sufficiently greased, evidently.)

    My suggestion: Prior to operations in a foreign country, all contractors must submit to a third party-run agency, which oversees operations. This agency could be a public agency formed by a coalition, for instance. This would ensure that contractors would face more than just being fired, for killing someone and also prevent certain Iraqis, who want a piece of the Personal Protection business from smearing competitors and potentially executing innocent contractors because they aren't getting their palms greased.
    First, isn't the proposed law supposed to bring them under the jurisdiction of US courts? Thats how I read it:

    FOXNews.com - Congress Expected to Pass Immunity Bill For Security Contractors - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

    The way I understand it they are currently immune from prosecution by either Iraq or US, which makes no sense to me. Bringing them under the jurisdiction of US courts seems like the right thing to do.

    Second, what I have read about the numerous Blackwater incidents makes them look pretty bad (although it is just a few incidents and they have had a big operation there for a long time now). What have you heard to the contrary?



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Making military contractors immune from US law is industrial strength stupid. I agree. Currently the military CAN submit mil contractors to UCMJ, but the Blackwater convoy involved was under Department of State jurisdiction and control. So when the congress critters blathered to SecDef Gates last week, they were talking out of their, ummm, "posterior" if you will.

    The problem with the convoy, is that 45 minutes went by between the time the State Dept. convoy went through that area, drew fire, returned fire and moved out, with the end result at least one dead Blackwater guy, and one wounded Iraqi official they were guarding. The actual gunfight is alleged to have happened up to 45 minutes later.

    There has been a history of the bad guys using Avalanches and US-styled civilian clothes to get in close to do attacks. The folks I talk to say this is possible, and maybe even likely. Wouldn't be hard to do, in fact would be much easier than the Dept. of Education raid from earlier in the year.

    And the Maliki and Co. appeared to come to a conclusion with "proof" pret' darned fast. Not bad for a country in as big of disarray as they claim to be, hmmm?



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    As good as things are going over there, I thought the fighting was over. Wasn't "Mission Accomplished" back in April '03?? And was that guy '"strutting" on that aircraft carrier in the Flight Jacket, a "Phoney Soldier"???



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormin View Post
    As good as things are going over there, I thought the fighting was over. Wasn't "Mission Accomplished" back in April '03?? And was that guy '"strutting" on that aircraft carrier in the Flight Jacket, a "Phoney Soldier"???

    duck, my friend. The righties on this board are going to be after you for that one!!


    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

    Thomas Jefferson, 1802

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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by frontrangeclone View Post
    duck, my friend. The righties on this board are going to be after you for that one!!
    Nope......those posts don't merit comment........it would be like trying to converse with this guy:



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    House moves to rein in security contractors - Politics - MSNBC.com

    I'm wondering if this might have unintended effects? I'm not sure if some of the black ops stuff employs the use of "technically" civilians, and if this would affect them.

    In a statement issued Wednesday, the White House said the bill would have “unintended and intolerable consequences for crucial and necessary national security activities and operations.” The statement did not explain further or give examples on how the bill would affect national security.



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by keepngoal View Post
    I guess it sounds logical, I am really removed from this story. I read the first headline, didn't believe 1/2 of it and dismissed it as Iraqi propoganda or a 'figurehead' not getting what he wants (you but it best on having his hands greased).

    Mistakes happen in war, but let's remember who does most of the killing in that country.... great.. here i go.

    the dems are looking for every possible scapegoat for their own failures and lies in last years campaign. Bill O'Reilly last week, Rush this week and the Blackwater thing they can put in the grand stage (because they receive gov't $$). This will go on until every person, company, entity associated or for the Iraq war is dragged through the mud. That is all the dems have.

    whew, done ranting.... carry on.

    - keep.
    Here's the problem with Rush and Bill. Both of them said something that could be misinterpreted as to its meaning. It appears their actual intent wasn't to offend anyone, but it could be and has been misinterpreted by different people. The problem I have is that they have only explained the context of their quotes. They didn't apologize for offending people, even if they mistakenly did so.

    There is definately a double standard. If either were liberals, the conservatives would be demanding public apologies. Want proof? Take Kerry's education joke. The way he said it made it sound like stupid people got stuck in the military. Him clarifying that he meant Bush wasn't educated and he got stuck in Iraq wasn't good enough for conservatives (including Rush and O'Reilly). Rush and O'Reilly were demanding an apology. Apparently, they have the final say as to what anyone means. If they say something that people misunderstand, they are right and just need to explain what they meant. No apology necessary. When John Kerry does it, Rush and O'Reilly really know what he meant and Kerry's explaination is just a ploy to get out of trouble.

    Where was all the talk about a smear campaign against Kerry when he made his joke? It was nowhere. All the conservatives knew that he meant to be offensive to the troops on the ground. When people misunderstand the conservatives and people call them on it, its just a smear campaign against the conservatives.

    By the way, conservatives don't have a monopoly on the hypocrisy. Democrats have their fair share as well.



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by frontrangeclone View Post
    duck, my friend. The righties on this board are going to be after you for that one!!
    No, not the righties, just the people who can't stand morons who interrupt otherwise productive threads.



  11. #11
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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    House moves to rein in security contractors - Politics - MSNBC.com

    I'm wondering if this might have unintended effects? I'm not sure if some of the black ops stuff employs the use of "technically" civilians, and if this would affect them.

    In a statement issued Wednesday, the White House said the bill would have “unintended and intolerable consequences for crucial and necessary national security activities and operations.” The statement did not explain further or give examples on how the bill would affect national security.
    The problem is, if we withdrew contractors, or contractors were subject to criminal law, none of our diplomats, and few of our allies could have personal protection details that were worth a crap.

    Frankly, the money isn't good enough for truly competent people to go work in a place where doing your job meant being executed at random, for completely subjective and political reasons. There are times when a Personal Security Detail needs to do things that a private citizen cannot do. "Being a good witness", watching the assassin kill their principle, then helping furnish a description to police isn't necessarily part of the job description.

    I really admire the guys who can do the job. It takes judgement, discretion and competence.



  12. #12
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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by herbiedoobie View Post
    The problem is, if we withdrew contractors, or contractors were subject to criminal law, none of our diplomats, and few of our allies could have personal protection details that were worth a crap.

    Frankly, the money isn't good enough for truly competent people to go work in a place where doing your job meant being executed at random, for completely subjective and political reasons. There are times when a Personal Security Detail needs to do things that a private citizen cannot do. "Being a good witness", watching the assassin kill their principle, then helping furnish a description to police isn't necessarily part of the job description.

    I really admire the guys who can do the job. It takes judgement, discretion and competence.
    I've been thinking about this issue, and I wonder if the problem isn't that these guys are working for the wrong government agency.

    If the state department needs security in a non-combat area, say Germany, then by all means the state department should hire their own contractors. These contractrors should act like we expect a security guard to act over here, and be subject to the laws of the country they operate.

    On the other hand, if the state department needs security in a combat zone, security details need to be able to act like soldiers. Shouldn't they then be actual military contractors? As you pointed out above, if they are military contractors they can be brought under the UCMJ already, which seems more appropriate than civilian law anyway, given their duties.

    Thus, there is no need for new law. Just give the DOD responsibility for providing security in combat zones.

    Finally, I think the unintended consequences relate to contractors hired by other intelligence agencies.



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Bingo! You hit it on the head. The problem lies somewhere between current military pay scales, and other agencies wanting to own "private armies."

    I got to look at the State Department's 2008 requirements for weapons purchases last week, (through a friend of a friend) and it made my eyes pop. Those goobers are building empires (big surprise) and are arming their own "army".

    One more reason to dislike the State Department.

    On the subject of how military pay scales work into it: One of the reasons that we are using so many military contractors, is that the military has a fixed pay scale. An M240 machinegunner can be, at most an E-1 private through E-4 Specialist. And a soldier can only be an E-4 for so long, and they kick them out of the army. And E-4 pay is fairly pathetic. (Think Wal-mart greeter, with people shooting at you.) Unfortunately, some guys are darned good at being an M240 machinegunner, and sometimes a good M240 machinegunner is worth more than 10 Generals stood on end. What currently happens, is that E-4 Schmuckatelli gets out of the Army, which doesn't appreciate his skill, and has to go to XYZ contracting, which really appreciates good machinegunners.

    The Army needs to have a separate set of payscales for the truly talented, IMO. And it needs to quit promoting people past their competence/comfort level.


    Last edited by herbiedoobie; 10-06-2007 at 08:47 AM.

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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    The Army needs to have a separate set of payscales for the truly talented, IMO. And it needs to quit promoting people past their competence/comfort level.
    Sounds like a typical government bureaucracy. Should we privatize the whole military?



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    Re: Lions and Tigers and Military Contractors, Oh My!

    Quote Originally Posted by pcyclonatrist View Post
    Sounds like a typical government bureaucracy. Should we privatize the whole military?
    No need to "privatize" anything. But you bring up a good point. Why NOT "privatize" the military. I have built a straw man military that I believe could do a better job than the current, .gov iteration. Everyone enters as a "Private", and from day one you are always competing to A - get promoted and B - keep your job.

    Everyone in "the system" is thoroughly vetted for security reasons, but once you're in, you compete, using wargames, for the job(s) you want. Each job is regularly re-bid and you get paid based upon a peer-evaluated "value-added".

    That way, our theoretical M240 machinegunner gets paid what he is worth, and if someone makes a really good General, they don't have to kiss butt for several decades to get there. And not everyone has to move "up or out".



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