Blackwater's PAC and Chris Shays
Open Left.com (2008-03-22) Matt Stoller
This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M479
by: Matt Stoller
Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 14:50
Reposted from Open Left
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
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.