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View Diary: The Patriot Act Is Being Used Against Us (231 comments)

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  •  Perhaps (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Tigana, greenearth, DvCM, Pet Wrecker

    But a little perspective might help.

    I give you as historical precedent:

    Greasy Grass

    Blackwater may be Shrubya's mercenaries, but they too have relatives, friends and countrymen that they would need to come into conflict with. I think even a blackhearted merc would think twice before conducting operations on their own people. I could be wrong of course.

    Peace,

    • SS

    On forced conformity - "Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." - Justice Robert Jackson (1943)

    by Skeptical Spectacle on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 09:37:54 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  They're not all Americans. (13+ / 0-)

      Remember various occasions in the past when you heaved a sigh of relief that one army or another of conscienceless thugs had been disbanded? From places like South Africa? Well, those hardened 'soldier of fortune' thugs didn't just vanish into the woodwork. They went on to further careers. Many of them now work for Blackwater and other similar mercenary companies.

      Guys like that, they'd have no problem at all firing into an American crowd, or going house to house in an American suburb, or performing death squad functions against American 'dissidents'.

      Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

      by Canadian Reader on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 10:18:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough and good points (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tigana, greenearth, DvCM

        Soldiers of fortune follow their noses to the next conflict, or next paycheck moreover. It would not surprise me to find foreign nationals on Blackwater's payroll. However, if you have evidence of a lot of non-US ex-military types signing on with Blackwater, I would be glad to read it.

        That said, how much could Blackwater do on their own?

        It seems to me that Blackwater benefits from the much bigger weapons platforms that the standard US military brings to bear.

        Yes, they have their mercenary army, however, do their have their own mercenary air force, or navy? Are we talking about forces numbering in the tens of thousands?

        Not saying that it can't happen here, but I just can't sign on to thinking that Shrubya is going to take the leash off of Blackwater and set them on the American populous. Beyond madness, it would be suicide for he and them.

        • SS

        On forced conformity - "Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." - Justice Robert Jackson (1943)

        by Skeptical Spectacle on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 12:59:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Blackwater is much more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Canadian Reader, lil love

             than what most of us think of when we think "security firm"

          Well, here we are a decade later, and it’s the most powerful mercenary firm in the world. It has 20,000 soldiers on the ready, the world’s largest private military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, including helicopter gunships. It’s become nothing short of the Praetorian Guard for the Bush administration's so-called global war on terror. And it’s headed by a very rightwing Christian activist, ex-Navy Seal named Erik Prince, whose family was one of the major bankrollers of the Republican Revolution of the 1990s. He, himself, is a significant funder of President Bush and his allies.

          And what they’ve done is they have built a very frightening empire near the Great Dismal Swamp in North Carolina. They’ve got about 2,300 men actively deployed around the world. They provide the security for the US diplomats in Iraq. They’ve guarded everyone, from Paul Bremer and John Negroponte to the current US ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad. They’re training troops in Afghanistan. They have been active in the Caspian Sea, where they set up a Special Forces base miles from the Iranian border. They really are the frontline in what the Bush administration viewed as a necessary revolution in military affairs. In fact, they represent the life's work of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

          The article is here.

          What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq? Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam.

          by happy camper on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 05:53:56 PM PDT

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    •  Perhaps another historical precedent is more (9+ / 0-)

      applicable.

      Consider a more contemporary organization - The SS (Schutzstaffel to be exact)

      They operated in a country much smaller than ours with a smaller population so they were much more likely to run into friends, family, and acquaintances than the Blackwater goons. Didn't seem to stop them.

      Blackater was on the streets in NOLA.

      Somehow, I'm not comforted.

      We must finance stem cell research. How else will Congress grow a spine?

      by bablhous on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 10:29:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also good points (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tigana, greenearth, DvCM

        Are you seriously thinking that full-blown facism will rise here? Not the pseudo facism we have now, but the full-on take-people-away-in-the-middle-of-the-night-type facism?

        I kind of doubt it.

        True, there is historical precedent. I think that one has to have some common rallying point of a convenient scape goat, and though we have the GWOT, I don't think that Shrubya is in such a standing as was Hitler and crew at the time.

        But I can't sign on to such thinking just yet. If I thought that were the case, I would have many more firearms and much greater supplies of ammunition than I do currently.

        My thought is that it will take something far more serious than we have seen so far to have roving militias inside our borders, SS-like commando units to kidnap, incarcerate or incinerate running around, and finally i don't think that Blackwater will stand up to much scrutiny or sunlight. Their day is coming.

        • SS

        p.s. Though what you say does give one pause for reflection and consideration.

        On forced conformity - "Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." - Justice Robert Jackson (1943)

        by Skeptical Spectacle on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 01:07:04 PM PDT

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        •  I keep wondering about all those camps that KBR (15+ / 0-)

          built.

          Who are they for?

          I believe Fascism can happen here. I believe it is happening here. It won't look exactly like other similar regimes - it will have a unique American flavor to it but it is Fascism.

          We are the frogs in the slowly heating kettle.

          And I've just seen some carrots floating by.

          I'm hoping to stay afloat until someone figures out how to climb out of the pot and turn off the flame.

          Meantime, I'm paddling like hell.

          (And buying more ammo - no kidding.)

          We must finance stem cell research. How else will Congress grow a spine?

          by bablhous on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 02:12:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ominous true (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tigana, greenearth

            I just don't believe that the average American is going to be too on-board with that type of shit. And yes, I REALLY don't like the prospect of the new stalags in Kansas or wherever the hell KBR is putting them.

            Yes, I am getting nervous, but I really believe that eventually, enough folks will say:

            that's it. I'z had all I can stand and I can'tz standz nomore!

            But, buying more ammo might be a really, really good idea.

            • SS

            On forced conformity - "Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." - Justice Robert Jackson (1943)

            by Skeptical Spectacle on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 02:44:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the average american doesn't have to be on board (0+ / 0-)

              they just have to fear the consequences of standing out, or act individually instead of collectively, at once.

              most fascist and authoritarian regimes don't have the active support of the majority, just the support of those with guns and authority.

              the question we must ask ourselves is which side the police would be on, were they forced to choose?

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 05:20:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  yes, i think we could totally see the real thing (0+ / 0-)

          the minuteman types are but an inkling. the eliminationist rhetoric coming from the right is not, i think, idle talk.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 05:18:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A fine dK Blackwater diary today - (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, blueoasis

        Deserves a visit.
        http://www.dailykos.com/...

    •  Don't count on that, these mercenaries (10+ / 0-)

      are professional soldiers who shoot at and kill who they are ordered to shoot and kill.  Remember that they will be used against the "enemies of the state", the liberals, anti-war traitors and other misfits.  No one stopped the black and brownshirts from killing the Jews, Commies, Gypsies and other" unfit peoples".
        The saddest fact is that these fascists have so fractured the US populace with its fearmongering, that many will stand by while many are imprisoned, are killed, and many more are faced with loss of job, family, community.  The "free speech zones", the denial of rights at political events, and the T-shirt incidents have been planned as examples, and to inure us to the loss of our rights, and the consequent loss of any real debate about the direction of this country.  The no-fly list is designed to instill fear of economic loss, not to protect the American citizenry.  I could go on, but you get the point.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 10:35:23 AM PDT

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      •  Not so much ordered, as paid (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tigana, rhetoricus, greenearth, DvCM

        I believe that US military forces do what they are ordered to do.

        Mercenaries do what they are paid to do.

        It is an important distinction.

        If America gets to the point where our Government is paying Blackwater mercs to shoot and kill US citizens, then we are going to be having many, serious, simultaneous problems.

        There are a lot of enemies of the state currently. In fact, by polling, it is not a stretch for Cheney and Co. to think that 62% of their fellow citizens are enemies of the state.

        I agree wholeheartedly that what we seem to have going on now is facism lite. Free Speech Zones and other crap included. You may be right that these baby-steps are designed to desensitize us to the process of losing our rights. And I also agree about the debate not being had in this nation and the desperate need to get civilized, reasoned discourse going in this country again.

        How exactly is the no-fly list a threat of economic loss? I think I understand the premise, but I do not see how this is set up as a means of instilling fear of economic loss. FFS, Senator Kennedy was on the damn thing.

        • SS

        On forced conformity - "Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." - Justice Robert Jackson (1943)

        by Skeptical Spectacle on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 01:13:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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