Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DND contracted with Blackwater

Blackwater trained our troops
Defence spent more than $6M at controversial US security firm

National Post: The National Defence Department has spent more than $6-million having its troops trained by the controversial Blackwater security company [recently renamed Xe Services], whose own employees have been accused of needlessly killing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, documents show.

The department sent a succession of personnel to Blackwater's Moyock, NC, training compound from 2005 to as recently as April 2009... The work continued even after the US State Department cancelled its pricey security contract with the company in Iraq amid mounting criticism of Blackwater's actions...

One critic... called the contracts 'appalling' and said the government should be prohibited from doing business with the company, or any others accused of serious human-rights abuses... 'This group is akin to a bunch of gangsters or mercenaries,' charged Steven Staples [of the] Rideau Institute. 'I would have to really question what the military thinks it can learn from an organization like Blackwater: How to kill civilians? How to operate outside the law? How to bilk taxpayers?

Blackwater is the most contentious example of a recent trend in many countries to contract out services traditionally performed by military and other government security forces...Some detractors portray its overseas staff as a de facto private army.
Image source here.