BAGHDAD, Oct. 24 -- The U.S. Embassy on Wednesday began offering tens of thousands of dollars in payments to victims and families of victims of the Sept. 16 shootings in Baghdad involving security guards from the firm Blackwater Worldwide, according to relatives and U.S. officials.
Family members of several victims turned down the compensation, out of concern that accepting the funds would limit their future claims against the North Carolina-based security contractor and its chief executive, Erik Prince. Others said that the money being offered -- in some cases $12,500 for a death -- was paltry and that they wanted to sue Blackwater in an American court.
Shouldn't Blackwater be making the payments? It's not like it is running out of money.
Erik Prince, war profiteer:
Always widening the business ventures:
We couldn't make this stuff up. Brian Bonfiglio, vice president of Blackwater West, "I see a tactical operation center for East County fires," said Bonfiglio, noting that Blackwater's proposal includes water tanks capable of holding 35,000 gallons. "Can you imagine how much of a benefit it would be if we were operational now?"The article continues:
This takes great big balls. This is from the guy who takes orders from billionaire Erik Prince, whom Congressman Waxman is now investigating for tax fraud, among other abuses. It's from the same company that sent an email Tuesday asking its undoubtedly well-paid supporters to lobby congress for Blackwater and help promote a newer, softer logo.Mr. Bonfiglio has learned at the Mark Penn School of PR, where George Orwell lives. As a reminder, Hillary Clintons' top advisor, Mark Penn, runs a huge PR firm called Burson Marstellar which was hired by Mr. Prince before he appeared before Mr. Waxman's committee.
Fires of historic proportion break out all over southern California, including an as yet to be contained fire in Potrero, hundreds of yards from where Blackwater wants to open its 824 acre base including eleven live fire ranges. As Courage Campaign and 10,000 others wrote to Senators Feinstein and Boxer weeks ago, one of the major concerns people have about such a mercenary training facility is the risk of fire. It already happened without Blackwater there; think what would have happened had Blackwater been there with tons of live ammunition? And what about a spark from a live round used in training? Blackwater would be required by law to have 35,000 gallons of water on such a facility as a minimal defense to prevent itself from blowing up the neighborhood. That's equivalent to just under three DC-10 tanker runs. It's taken hundreds of such flights and a shift in winds to begin to contain the fires. It is literally inconceivable that the wilderness and small towns near such a base would be safer by having Blackwater there.
But here's the Mark Penn/ George Orwell/Blackwater summation: Blackwater needs to build a base in an environmentally sensitive fire hazard area because we'll make you safer.