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Blackwater's PAC and Chris Shays

Open (2008-03-22) Matt Stoller

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by: Matt Stoller
Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 14:50
Reposted from Open

Since we've been discussing whether to ban or simply regulate private military contractors, it's worth pointing out that Blackwater actually has a PAC called the Professional Services Council. This is a political incentive for increased use of mercenaries in hot zones and disaster areas by the US government. Of course, there's no reason these skilled workers couldn't be hired by other governments or even wealthy interests, which is why the use of armed military contractors is generally a very bad idea. The Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq defunds Blackwater in Iraq for precisely this reason.

One of the key allies of Blackwater is so-called moderate Republican Chris Shays, who is facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Jim Himes in Connecticut. Shays has repeatedly praised Blackwater's CEO Eric Prince, saying in one committee hearing that the company was doing a 'perfect job'. Just one week early, on 9/26/07, Shays had received $1000 from the Professional Services Council PAC.

So far, the PAC is not particularly large, but it has the potential to grow into a real political malignancy. The country is slowly acclimatizing to the open use of private military contractors, an extraordinarily dangerous development for our republic, as even Barack Obama does not necessarily want to defund them. On the other side, there was tremendous organizing going on among rural conservatives in Portrero, California against Blackwater's possible new facility near the Mexican border, supplemented by the Courage Campaign's organizing of progressive activists around the country. Blackwater was prevented from opening their new facility, blocked by a major local zoning fight.

This kind of momentum against the privatization of the military is extremely useful, and I'm quote hopefuly that Himes will use Blackwater and its links to Shays as a political issue in his race, so that the public has the opportunity to weigh in on the use of private military contractors.

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Title Blackwater's PAC and Chris Shays
Publisher Open
Author Matt Stoller
Pub Date 2008-03-22
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Keywords Blackwater
Media Type Article
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Topic revision: r1 - 2008-03-26, CathyMiller
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