Thursday, August 6, 2009

Stop Opponents of Health Care Reform from Distorting the Truth

Stop Opponents of Health Care Reform from Distorting the Truth

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In Suit, Ex-Workers Accuse Blackwater Founder Of Murder

By BillSizemore

The Virginian-Pilot
© August 5, 2009

Two men who worked for Blackwater allege in a federal lawsuit that Blackwater founder Erik Prince or his agents murdered one or more people who were planning to provide information to federal authorities about criminal conduct by the company and its operatives in Iraq.

The two are identified in court papers only as “John Doe #1” and “John Doe #2” because, they say, they fear violent retaliation themselves for making the allegations.

“John Doe #1” identifies himself as an honorably discharged U.S. Marine who joined Blackwater, the Moyock, N.C.-based private military company now known as Xe, and deployed to Iraq to guard State Department and other American government personnel.

In his sworn statement, he says he observed “multiple incidents of Blackwater personnel intentionally using unnecessary, excessive and unjustified deadly force.”

“John Doe #2” identifies himself as an American citizen who worked for Blackwater and affiliated companies for four years.

“On several occasions after my departure from Mr. Prince’s employ,” he says, “Mr. Prince’s management has personally threatened me with death and violence.

“In addition, based on information provided to me by former colleagues, it appears that Mr. Prince and his employees murdered, or had murdered, one or more persons who have provided information, or who were planning to provide information, to the federal authorities about the ongoing criminal conduct.”

In his statement, he says Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.

“To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.”

Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport or game, “John Doe #2” says, adding that Prince’s employees openly used racist terms for Iraqis and other Arabs such as “ragheads” and “hajiis.”

For example, he says, Blackwater executives would speak of going to Iraq to “lay hajiis out on cardboard.”

He also alleges that Prince and his top managers gave orders to destroy incriminating videotapes, e-mails and other documents.

Both informants say they previously made the same allegations in grand jury proceedings convened by the Justice Department.

The Justice Department is prosecuting six former Blackwater contractors on manslaughter charges in connection with a Sept. 16, 2007, shooting incident in a Baghdad traffic square that left 17 Iraqis dead.

Blackwater lost its lucrative diplomatic security contract with the State Department in the wake of that incident.

The new allegations by the two anonymous informants were filed late Monday in connection with five consolidated lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. The suits were filed by a Washington law firm on behalf of some 60 Iraqis or their estates, including some of those shot in the 2007 incident.

A Xe spokeswoman did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the latest allegations. In the past, the company has denied other allegations made in the same series of lawsuits.

Bill Sizemore, (757) 446-2276,

Lying About Iraq Made Me Quit, Press Officer Claims 05 Aug 2009 Having to peddle "government lies" about the safety of soldiers in Iraq led to a Ministry of Defence press officer suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, an employment tribunal will hear. John Salisbury-Baker will claim that he suffered "intolerable stress" through having to "defend the morally indefensible" when responding to media inquiries about the ability of army vehicles such as the "Snatch" Land Rover to protect soldiers. Mr Salisbury-Baker says he found it impossible to support the official line on deaths and injuries after seeing the suffering of soldiers' families.

Feds to oversee immigration detention facilities 05 Aug 2009 The Obama administration plans to place federal employees in the largest immigration detention facilities in the country to monitor detainee treatment. This oversight role is currently handled by private contractors. But under the new plan, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials would be placed at the largest jails to directly supervise how the detention centers are managed, according to people briefed on the government's plan. The government has been criticized for its treatment of immigration detainees, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has made detention policies a top priority for her department. [

See: KBR awarded Homeland Security contract worth up to $385M --Contract may also provide detention support to 'other government organizations' as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a 'natural' disaster. [Flu?] 24 Jan 2006 KBR said Tuesday it has been awarded a contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security to supports its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the event of an emergency. The maximum total value of the contract is $385 million and consists of a 1-year base period with four 1-year options.]

Obama team quietly mulls new quarantine regulations --OMB set Sept. for target date to complete first major overhaul of quarantine regulations --W. House officials not saying what their rules might ultimately require 05 Aug 2009

The Obama administration is quietly dusting off an effort to impose new federal quarantine regulations, which were vigorously resisted by civil liberties organizations and the airline industry when the rules were first proposed by the Bush regime nearly four years ago. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget has set a September target date to complete the first major overhaul of the quarantine regulations in about three decades. That would have at least some of the rules in place if swine flu returns with a vengeance later this year, though officials are reluctant to make that link publicly.

[See: Military Poised to Help FEMA Battle Swine Flu Outbreak --U.S. commander for Northern Command asked Defense Secretary to sign executive order for military to set up five regional teams to deal with outbreak --Orders to deploy actual forces would be reviewed later 29 Jul 2009 The Pentagon is preparing to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency tackle a potential outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, FOX News has confirmed. See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack and DoD to carry out 'military missions' during pandemic, WMD attack.]

Report: White House Weighing Federal Quarantine Rules 05 Aug 2009 The Obama White House may be preparing to enact new federal quarantine regulations that were first put forth by the Bush administration almost four years ago, according to a report from While the Obama administration has been tight lipped about the possible new regulations, the Bush-era proposal sought to give the federal government, "the authority to order a provisional quarantine of three business days or up to six calendar days, for those suspected of having swine flu or other illnesses listed in a presidential executive order," the Politico report said.

Baxter completes first swine flu vaccine batches 05 Aug 2009 Baxter International Inc said on Wednesday it completed its first commercial batches of H1N1 vaccine in late July and is discussing distribution plans with national health authorities. The swine flu vaccine, to be sold under the brand name Celvapan, is made using Baxter's cell culture process, which is designed to be faster than traditional vaccine production methods. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor 26 Apr 2009.]

Take Back The Town Halls

The wild mobs disrupting congressional town hall events, intimidating lawmakers and shouting down reform are not just expressing their views. They are doing the dirty work for corporate interests who want to cut the heart out of the Obama health plan.Don't let them hijack the debate. Make our voices heard for real health care reform.

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