Blackwater

SUPREME COURT DENIES APPEAL BY BLACKWATER GUARDS CONVICTED OF MASSACRE IN IRAQ

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

Photo: Carl Meyer, who led successful recall effort against Potrero planners who voted for Blackwater

May 15, 2018 (San Diego) –  Back in 2007, Potrero residents in San Diego’s East County raised protests against the private military contractor Blackwater Worldwide opening up a training camp in their community. The protests in Potrero, which drew global media attention, came at a time when four Blackwater security guards were accused of a massacre that killed 14 civilians and wounded 17 people in Iraq.

BLACKWATER FOUNDER ACCUSED OF MURDER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Erik Prince, Blackwater founder

September 1, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Blackwater founder Erik Prince has been “implicated in murder,” the Nation reports. The article, written by journalist and author Jeremy Scahill, indicates that sworn statements filed in Federal Court on August 3rd allege that the private military company’s founder, Erik Prince launched a “crusade” to eliminate Muslims and Islam.Many East County residents will recall meeting Scahill, who visited Potrero and San Diego back in 2007.  Scahill came to warn local residents about serious ethical issues involving Blackwater, which was aiming to build a paramilitary training camp in a valley in Potrero. 

The Nation article reports that a former Blackwater employee and an ex-Marine who worked as a security operative for Blackwater both made explosive allegations in sworn statements claiming that Prince may have murdered or facilitated the murder of people who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. Their identities are being kept secret for their own protection.

U.S. INVESTIGATOR SAYS BLACKWATER THREATENED HIM WITH DEATH TO HALT STATE DEPT PROBE IN IRAQ

 

 

East County News Service

Photo, left: Carl Meyer, leader of successful "stop Blackwater" effort in Potrero at a 2008 victory celebration

July 6, 2014 (San Diego's East County)--Blackwater, the private military contractor that has sparked considerably controversy through the years, is back in the headlines.Many East County residents recall the successful battle waged by residents in rural Potrero to prevent Blackwater from building a paramilitary training camp in San Diego's backcountry. 

Potrero residents held a recall election and removed all five planning group members who voted for the Blackwater facility and staged a march through adjacent federal forest lands that would be threatened by the project, drawing international attention before Blackwater ultimately withdrew its plans.

Now, the New York Times reports that around that same time back in 2007, Blackwater blocked a State Department inquiry into allegations of violence against civilians in Iraq by the company’s personnel.  The investigation was halted after Blackwater’s top manager in Iraq threatened that he “could kill” the government’s chief investigator—and that “no one could or would do anything about it” according to State Department reports, the New York Times article states.

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

 


January 12, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
  
 
 
 
 
 
U.S. 
  • U.S. economy creates 200,000 jobs in December: 6th month of gains in a row as unemployed drops to 8.5% (BBC)
  • South Carolina in spotlight after Romney win in New Hampshire (CNN)
  • Richard Cordray appointment turns “lights on” at consumer bureau (Los Angeles Times)
  • Obama recess appointments anger GOP (CNN)
  • President Obama has made far fewer recess appointments than any recent president (ThinkProgress)
  • Tweak in rules to ease a path to green card (New York Times)
  • Families of dead Blackwater contractors settle suits (San Diego Union-Tribune)
     
WORLD 
  • Assad promises victory, Syria accused of war crimes (Reuters)
  • Iran Court sentences American to death (Washington Post)
  • Japan to issue new limits on atomic reactor use (NPR)
  • Wholesale approval of genetically engineered foods: Obama administration disappoints, angers public (Cornucopia)
  • Egypt Islamists win nearly two-thirds of seats (Jerusalem Post)
     
SCIENCE AND HEALTH 
  • Experimental magnetic pulses may help heal a brain after stroke (NPR)
  • New ‘seek and destroy’ method to fight cancer (Jerusalem post)
  • Study: parasitic fly could explain bee die-off (NPR)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

 

TORCHED: ARSON CAUSED EAGLE FIRE, CAL FIRE REVEALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 27, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal Fire investigators have determined that arson is the cause of the Eagle Fire, which has thus far burned 14,100 acres and injured 14 firefighters.

 

Who set the blaze, and what was the motive? Cal-Fire has not disclosed details on how the fire was started, or if there are any suspects. If caught, the perpetrator could face not only jail time, but a hefty bill--since firefighting costs now exceed $11.6 million.

STOP BLACKWATER VICTORY PARTY NOV. 20

 

November 18, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Citizens Oversight, an East County-based watchdog group, led a successful effort to convince Southwestern College to terminate its agreement with Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) for training of local law enforcement students. Now Citizens Oversight invites the public to join a “Stop Blackwater!” victory celebration on November 20th .

XE (BLACKWATER) CONTRACT CANCELED BY SOUTHWESTERN COLLLEGE

College Board responds to Public Outcry

 

October 18, 2009 (Chula Vista) – On October 14, Southwestern College District Governing Board approved cancellation of its agreement with Xe . The agreement allowed the college's law enforcement students to use a training facility in Otay Mesa operated by Xe Systems LLC, the company formerly known as Blackwater. Blackwater, which gained notoriety for its activities in Iraq, was also the center of controversy in East County, where the company sought to open a private military training base at Potrero but withdrew following massive public opposition.

“To save a few bucks, you basically sold out your souls and made a pact with the devil,” Congressman Bob Filner told college board members at an April 15th board meeting. “These are bad guys. They have killed innocent civilians in Iraq, and they lost their contract with the State Department for so doing."