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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blackwater on Steroids

posted by on December 15 at 10:15 AM

Ever since I read Noah Shachtman’s nicely done article about Iraq earlier this week, I’ve been checking out his blog, Danger Room (three cheers for the Uncanny X-Men.)

He’s got some interesting posts up.

1) He checks the numbers on the specifics of the U.S. counterinsurgency effort—the plan to sign up and use Iraqi police … or “Alligators” as they’re called (because of their Izod shirts). I could use a little more context on the numbers, but here’s a summary:

The Concerned Local Citizens, volunteer auxiliary police forces established to secure local communities, have sprung up over much of Iraq since the onset of the surge. Concerned Local Citizens groups are currently active in 12 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. Over 72,000 members are active in the ranks, with over 60,000 on paid contract and 12,000 volunteers.
A link he posts has more in-depth details.

2) And then there’s this: Pro baseball players aren’t the only ones with steroid problems. Controversial military contractor, Blackwater, may operate under the influence too:

It seems that 2007 will go down in history as the year of artificial performance enhancers. In the world of sports, you’ve got guys like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. In the military realm, you’ve got Blackwater. That’s right, just when it seemed the questions that surround private military contracting couldn’t get more simultaneously odd and disturbing, Blackwater (the company involved in the September shootings in Baghdad, which left 17 Iraqi civilians dead) has been sued by the victims’ families for, among other things, sending heavily-armed “shooters” into the streets of Baghdad with the knowledge that some of these “shooters” are chemically influenced by steroids and other “judgment-altering substances.”

The lawsuit, aided by the non-profit Center for Constitutional Rights based in Washington, claims not just that the civilians were killed by Blackwater employees, but that the company was responsible as it “created and fostered a culture of lawlessness amongst its employees, encouraging them to act in the company’s financial interests at the expense of innocent human life.” Most recently, the plaintiffs asserted that “Blackwater knew that 25% or more of its “shooters were injecting steroids or other judgment altering substances, yet failed to take effective steps to stop the drug use.”

RSS icon Comments


None of that is exactly breaking news - where have you been? Aww, that's OK, have another drink.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 15, 2007 11:05 AM

He put any links up to how the civilian groups we're arming are basically degenerating into gangs?

Posted by Gitai | December 15, 2007 11:08 AM

Noah Shachtman told me that recycling is for suckers. True story.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 15, 2007 11:32 AM

Center for Constitutional Rights is amazing. If you are looking for a social change organization to donate money to this holiday, put them at the top of your list.

Posted by Trevor | December 15, 2007 11:48 AM

Drugs and war.. a venerable and ancient history.

Posted by treacle | December 15, 2007 12:53 PM

If you really want to get nervous Google "police officers, steroids". Over aggressive juicers with guns and badges. Great, just great.

Posted by Paul In SF | December 15, 2007 5:10 PM

Wired's 'Danger Room' blog should be daily required reading. Pretty amazing stuff.

Posted by Shawn Fassett | December 15, 2007 8:45 PM

Their enemies have advanced past the bicycle protest, to their credit.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | December 16, 2007 7:48 AM

They should give them pot to smoke like we did in Vietnam- at least they might mellow a bit and not be so quick with their guns.

Posted by tubuc | December 16, 2007 1:52 PM

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