Blackwater’s Secret War in Pakistan

by on November 23, 2009 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, Peace Movement, San Diego, War and Peace

blackwater Pakistan

Editor: San Diegans have a special place in their heart for Blackwater, as the gun-toting private security corporation has attempted to dig into the soil of our county with mixed success. We have a special interest in this group and don’t even accept its new name.

By Jeremy Scahill / The Nation / November 23, 2009

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, “snatch and grabs” of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help run a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

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Anti-Blackwater march and protest, Potrero, California, October 2007.

The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater’s involvement. He spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so “compartmentalized” that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.

The White House did not return calls or email messages seeking comment for this story. Capt. John Kirby, the spokesperson for Adm. Michael Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Nation, “We do not discuss current operations one way or the other, regardless of their nature.” A defense official, on background, specifically denied that Blackwater performs work on drone strikes or intelligence for JSOC in Pakistan. “We don’t have any contracts to do that work for us. We don’t contract that kind of work out, period,” the official said. “There has not been, and is not now, contracts between JSOC and that organization for these types of services.”

The previously unreported program, the military intelligence source said, is distinct from the CIA assassination program that the agency’s director, Leon Panetta, announced he had canceled in June 2009. “This is a parallel operation to the CIA,” said the source. “They are two separate beasts.” The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the United States has not declared war–knowledge that could further strain the already tense relations between the United States and Pakistan.

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avatar Dave Sparling November 24, 2009 at 8:39 pm

I just read this story on Al Jazeera and linked it to several places I regularly post and read. This should be no surprise to anyone following the move from Americas regular army to the new Cheney Rummy private contractor army. This den of criminals have placed America up on top of what early Americans would have called barbarians. For 8 long years this country was no better than the worst of the worst barbaric countries of world history. What irony that Dick Cheney calls innocent men in Gitmo, the worst of the worst. Sadly the new president is refusing to indite the previous criminals, and seems to be continuing the myth of a war on terror. The official name for the war on terror is the Western Oil Company Heroin Users Relief Act Of 2001.

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