Blackwater founder and Christian mercenary/missionary Erik Prince is in the news again for allegations he sent people to kill Muslim Iraqis under the sponsorship of the US State Department. Inflammatory but you can read the story here.
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
Now even if you believe in the phony war on terror, you have been told several times it had nothing to do with Iraqis; rather we were going there for the purposes of removing a ruler we didn’t like but who we knew all along had nothing to do with 911. Blackwater became Dick Cheney’s praetorian guard, initially to guard his interests, Halliburton, there in Iraq and ostensibly to do Cheney’s demented bidding which included political assassinations the world over. As if the torture issue isn’t reason enough for federal authorities to look into prosecuting Cheney, this latest revelation about Blackwater and the nefarious dealings of its president, Prince, should be the nail in the coffin for Cheney and many other former Bush officials’ incarceration. However, because of Blackwaters’ close ties with federal government officials, many of them career employees who remain when administrations leave and who have a direct impact on policy no matter who’s in charge, don’t look for the investigation into Blackwater malfeasance to go too far, unless the public demands it. Meanwhile, Blackwater and the US government will continue to get away with murder, and earn the scorn of the rest of the world.
The more I think about Bernard Madoff and his crime of stealing 50 billion dollars of other people’s money the more I’m amazed at what he got away with. Fifty billion dollars gets you about 10 Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carriers and I don’t see anything like that parked in front of his NYC apartment or in the garage of any of his houses or those of his relatives. So in addition to wondering how much is 50 billion US dollars is the question, where did it go? That’s a whole lot of money. Even if it’s squirreled away somewhere, there’s no chance Madoff himself will be able to use it since he’ll be in prison for the rest of his life, and at 70 years of age, that might not be long.
Finally there’s the question, how did this guy manage to steal such a large amount of money from so many people over so long a period of time without getting caught? The answer is Madoff has connections who ignored pleas to officials over a number of years of Madoff’s crimes that he was crooked. Let’s not forget we’re not talking about a couple of million dollars. At the time officials were warned Madoff had already squandered several billion dollars and as early as 2001 people were saying there’s something rotten in Denmark with this guy. Now, I would just love to blame the Republicans for this 50 billion heist because they were the ones who were negligent, and ignored Madoff until the end of Bush’s term. But accounts claim that Democrats were the recipients of Madoff’s stolen money with contributions he gave to Democratic office holders/seekers, so the responsibility for regulatory blinders is no doubt shared. The question then becomes, is there anyone in government who thinks it’s wrong to steal 50 billion dollars? Apparently not. Are all politicians and their political appointees that crooked? Apparently so. Fifty billion dollars can buy a lot of influence as well. Spread out over several decades among money hungry, greedy politicians, no doubt that amount of money can vanish, but with huge rewards for the one distributing it. It wouldn’t take much for a politician to turn a blind eye to repeated requests to investigate someone who is lining their pockets with untoward amounts of money.
I’ve often read about sleeper cells of Islamic terrorists in the US, which haven’t been discovered yet by the way despite the repeated claims of their existence, but Madoff’s financial manipulation and graft are on a scale that Muslims and any other terrorists would “die” for. Quite simply, Madoff’s stolen money was used to influence legislation for Madoff’s interests and those of his clients. He did that while wearing expensive suits, a firmly entrenched member of the financial side of society who was loved and respected by all, yet he bought politicians and advanced causes, especially his own, that were in direct contravention to the interests of America. He should be water boarded until he tells us where the money went, to whom and for what purpose. Nothing less than that should be acceptable.