portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

anti-racism | imperialism & war | police / legal

Shed No Tears for Dead Mercenaries

The four civilians who were killed and dragged through the streets of an Iraqi town Wednesday worked for a North Carolina subcontractor that is providing security in a hostile area of Iraq. Blackwater Security Consulting provides security training and guard services to customers around the world. It is one of five subsidiaries of Blackwater USA, based in northeastern North Carolina about a half-hour's drive from the world's largest naval base in Norfolk, Virginia.
Blackwater aids military with armed support

MOYOCK, North Carolina (AP) -- The four civilians who were killed and dragged through the streets of an Iraqi town Wednesday worked for a North Carolina subcontractor that is providing security in a hostile area of Iraq.

Blackwater Security Consulting provides security training and guard services to customers around the world. It is one of five subsidiaries of Blackwater USA, based in northeastern North Carolina about a half-hour's drive from the world's largest naval base in Norfolk, Virginia.

The company referred calls to a spokesman in suburban Washington who declined comment beyond a prepared statement that said Blackwater was a government subcontractor providing security for the delivery of food in the Fallujah area.

The United States has denounced the slayings as "horrific." Jubilant Iraqi residents dragged two of the charred corpses through the streets and hanged them from a bridge.

The names of the victims were not immediately released because family members had yet to be notified.

Privately owned Blackwater USA's range of services include providing firearms and small-groups training for Navy SEALs, police department SWAT teams and former special operations personnel.

Blackwater President Gary Jackson and two other company leaders are former Navy SEAL commandos.

"We're very proud of the work that we do. We feel that we support a just cause," assistant training director Chris Epperson said during a visit last month.

On a typical day, a Navy SEALs team practiced shooting in odd positions through doors and windows and cadets from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy learned how to storm through doorways during a room-by-room search. Plainclothes operatives practiced how to escape from a disabled sport-utility vehicle while under fire from attackers.

The company's security-consulting business connects former special forces troops with jobs that may involve protecting people or places, or training foreign militaries.

Epperson said the company's contractors provide protection to Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq.

Other Blackwater USA subsidiaries train dogs and handlers for security work, and train pilots to land airplanes and helicopters on dirt landing strips.

Faye and Howard Forbes of Moyock said the deaths brought the war home to the community best known for being on the route to North Carolina's Outer Banks beaches.

"With what's been going on in Iraq I'm not surprised at anything," 72-year-old Howard Forbes said while eating at a diner in Moyock. "But I was surprised at what they did to the bodies."

Five soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, were killed Wednesday in a separate attack. The soldiers, whose names were not immediately released, died when a bomb exploded under their M-113 armored personnel carrier in Malahma.

"It's an incredible tragedy when life is lost and we in Kansas take it even more personally when we're talking about soldiers based in Kansas," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said.

homepage: homepage: http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/03/31/civilian.deaths.ap/index.html

weren't they just 01.Apr.2004 11:26

invading American Mercenaries

killed by Iraqi Freedom Fighers. What do ya expect? This people already know what "freedom" is and do
not seem to require American's to come there and teach them. How absurd is Bush's policies? How tragic
are the consequences? There will be much more of this before we wise up and bring our people home from
a failed foreign adventure. Then we ought to turn on these corrupt officials that put us in this sorry
situation. Bring them to JUSTICE and put some of them in Jail! Can you imagine Bush and Cheney wearing
prison orange jumpsuits with pink underwear and plastic flip-flops for shoes? It'd be the photo of the
century, wouldn't it?

The US-administration brought war to Iraq. 01.Apr.2004 12:45

Not important

You twit 01.Apr.2004 13:02


"Shed No Tears for Dead Mercenaries"

If you can watch as any human being is shot, burned, dragged face-first along asphault by automobile, dismembered by shovel, and hung from atop a bridge, yet feel not the slightest empathy, then there's something wrong with you. You should cringe, and you should feel sorrow. That's the way you should feel when any human is slaughtered -- regardless of the flag they have fought or worked under.

I love the fact that you armchair revolutionaries proclaim indifference, while most Iraqis (and everyone else) are duly shocked and horrified. Being horrified at such acts is the natural human response.

Your callousness cheapens your arguments.


James, since when did 01.Apr.2004 13:36


get elevated to such SAINTHOOD status? I never heard about it?
Oh! I get it. If's it's "Americans" then it's somehow not the
same. It's different and therefore "acceptable"? Not hardly?

What about these same American soldier's of fortune riding all
about Iraq with skulls of dead Iraqi's as grill ornaments and
signs saying "6-6-6 is here!" and such degrading symbols>>>is
it possible that the Iraqi's have been insulted enough by such
gross depredations that they've decided to up the depredations
in retaliation?

We have no business there, and we certainly have absolutely
no business being SHOCKED when they fight back>>>this sort of
thing is rather common in unpopular wars of occupation, don't
you know? Do your mind a favor and read some unbiased history
rather than taking hyped-Republican propaganda as FACT!

isn't it ironic, James 01.Apr.2004 13:42

anne frank

that people can get so angry at other people from 8,000 miles away who invade their country that they would kill them and desecrate their bodies?

Perhaps they were agitated about the scores of peaceful protesters who were murdered in April by occupation forces, or maybe their wives and children have been killed or wounded by cluster bombs or landmines, or perhaps raped by soldiers or thugs. Maybe the son of a physician or pharmacist who has been murdered was feeling vengeful. or maybe a farmer whose chickens were all killed and land destroyed was upset about being forced to buy Tyson frozen chicken thighs and backs(dark meat is shipped to the brown countries, because Americans don't like it).

The situation in Iraq could even be framed as rather humorous,if one's philosophy is to view the world in a more positive light, rather than a more serious one, don't you think? Guess it just depends on how one looks at it(and who's getting killed).

Predictable 01.Apr.2004 14:00


"If's it's 'Americans' then it's somehow not the same."

No, it is the same. If you read critically, you would have seen I said as much.

"is it possible that the Iraqi's have been insulted enough by such
gross depredations that they've decided to up the depredations
in retaliation?"

I don't know that the examples you've cited are even real -- though I have no reason to doubt them. American soldiers are defiling Iraqis too. (If not with shovels, then with missiles).

My point is that you needn't pick sides when feeling empathy. You can feel it despite one's culpability, or nationality. You can "shed tears" for Iraqis and Americans simultaneously.

"Do your mind a favor and read some unbiased history rather than taking hyped-Republican propaganda as FACT!"

Nice. I imagine that's the canned-response you keep around for any opinion which might differ from your own. The irony is overwhelming. The message, though, underwhelming.

"Perhaps they were agitated about the..."

Well, presumably they were. Understanding and empathy are two entirely different things, but they are hardly mututally exclusive.

"The situation in Iraq could even be framed as rather humorous,if one's philosophy is to view the world in a more positive light, rather than a more serious one, don't you think? Guess it just depends on how one looks at it"

I'm glad you brought it up. Yes -- it certainly can be. The following is from Zeyad, of  http://healingiraq.blogspot.com.

"One day an American soldier is captured by a group of insurgents in Fallujah (which is a Sunni stronghold). The American tried pleading with his captors to let him go, and he recalled that some Iraqis (Shia Iraqis) always say 'Please, alaik alhussein (for the sake of Imam Al-Hussein), leave me', so he tried using that. His captors were extremely shocked by this, and they exclaimed in surprise: 'An American! And a Shi'ite one for that?!! Come here!' POW"

This business about "mercenaries" 01.Apr.2004 14:05


Mercenaries, regardless of where they come from have always been the lowlife of any society, for they're
motivated by MONEY. They do their killing for MONEY!

It's one thing for an American to become a soldier in the Army, for at least he is feeling that his work
is motivated by a sense of higher-calling...defense of way of life, defending against inhumanity, etc.
etc...with even these notions suspect under Republican spinmeistering. But, at least, they are serving
a form of "national service" that is base on ideology, personal convictions and philosphical justifica-
tions that maybe is real for that person. By "convention" we do tend to hold some "respect" for those who are so ideological driven, and even at that, it's held back for primarily those who are "defending"
themselves ((though we damned well know this isn't the case in Iraq))

Mercenaries are another thing altogether! They're scum. Lowlifes driven solely by GREED, and with these
kinds of people, right now the US Company that's employing them is paying them top dollar, but what if
Al Queda offered them even more, and money is their motivator, then now do you see "why" they're so very
much despised by we people that use "critical thinking" to arrive at our belief's rather than jerkkneed
believing ANY fucking piece of propaganda tossed out there to be lapped up by the Republicans? Yes, we
are "different", but we are NOT armchair rebels or whatever your little retort called the originator of
this post...we're simple people that have a functioning BRAIN and use it, rather than believing WHAT WE

this reposting might help to put all this into 01.Apr.2004 14:21


Dedicated to Freedom of the Press, Investigative Reporting and Revisionist History

Subscribe:  HoffmanWire-subscribe@topica.com

Michael A. Hoffman II, Editor

April 1, 2004

Forbidden Footage Online at Washington Post Web Page

The White House has requested that American TV networks exercize
self-censorship ("good judgment") in suppressing footage showing the
full horror of the Iraqi occupation and the depth of American
unpopularity, as evinced in yesterday's savage desecration of the
corpses of the dead in Falluja, "America's cemetery" in the words of the
local people.

One of the Iraqi vehicles in Falluja that dragged a charred cadaver
behind it, displayed in its window a poster of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the
wheelchair-bound Palestinian cleric assassinated March 22 in an act of
Israeli savagery.

The US TV networks have, as of this writing, complied with the White
House "suggestion" and declared the unedited footage of yesterday's
incident "too shocking" to be broadcast; just as the lapdog media have
obeyed the order from Bush not to photograph the return to Dover,
Delaware of the remains of US troops killed in Iraq. As with all
dictatorships, a sanitized propaganda version of of the situation must
be presented to the bamboozled populace.

However, while it lasts, the Washington Post is offering an online video
of the forbidden footage at the following URL:


Three Comments 01.Apr.2004 14:35

see also

on Portland IMC

[april fool] JAMES Vows To Catch Falluja Killers 01.Apr.2004 14:39


US vows to catch Falluja killers

Iraq saw new attacks and attempted attacks on Thursday

America's overseer in Iraq, Paul Bremer, has pledged to bring to justice the killers of four US contractors whose bodies were mutilated by a mob.

A senior US official said coalition forces would return to the flashpoint town of Falluja and hunt down those responsible for the killings.

An ambush on a US convoy near the town on Thursday injured several US troops, but Falluja itself appeared to be calm.

In nearby Ramadi, six Iraqis were killed in a car bombing at a market.

Meanwhile, a major US-sponsored trade fair for companies rebuilding Iraq which was due to open in Baghdad on Monday has been postponed indefinitely a day after the Falluja attack.

Eerie calm

In Falluja, no US troops were in sight in the town, where an eerie silence reigned, correspondents say.


28 April 2003: US paratroopers shoot dead 13 demonstrators
May 2003: Grenade and gun attacks on US troops become a routine occurrence
November 2003-January 2004: Three helicopters are shot down in the area with the total loss of 25 lives
31 March 2004: Four US contractors killed and mutilated

Images from Iraq haunt US
Falluja anger on the rise
Residents went about their normal daily business, while burn marks on the main street were the only trace of the attack.

Some residents said they would not let American forces into the city.

One, Ahmed al-Dulaimi, said there would be "hell" if they tried to enter.

"Yesterday's attack is proof of how much we hate the Americans," said another, Sameer Sami.

The remains of the four dead American contractors have been retrieved by Iraqi police and handed over to US forces.

The private US firm which employed the contractors, Blackwater Security Consulting, said it would not release the victims' identities out of respect for their families.


Speaking in Baghdad, Mr Bremer said the deaths of the Americans and their "despicable" mutilation - recorded by cameramen - would not "derail the march toward stability and democracy" in Iraq.

It will be methodical, it will be precise and it will be overwhelming

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt
US Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy head of coalition operations, said coalition forces "will respond" to the attack.

"They are going to hunt down the people responsible for his bestial act.

"It will be at a time and a place of our choosing. It will be methodical, it will be precise and it will be overwhelming," he said.

The contractors were ambushed and killed as they drove through Falluja, triggering scenes which have shocked America and fuelled debate over the cost of the conflict in Iraq.

The bodies were dragged from the wreckage, hacked to pieces and two of them were hanged from a bridge.

TV horror

US television networks have been leading their news bulletins with the Falluja story but show only edited pictures of the grisly scenes, with the bodies blurred.

BBC Middle East analyst Roger Hardy says the killings cast a shadow over the US-led coalition's timetable for handing over power in Iraq within three months as well, perhaps, as President Bush's re-election campaign.

He notes that the violence in Falluja seems home-grown, undermining US claims that violent attacks are largely the work of foreign Islamic militants.

Elsewhere in Iraq on Thursday, an Iraqi was killed in clashes between police and unpaid workers in Basra in the south.

Gunmen near Kirkuk in the north wounded one policeman at a checkpoint while abducting a second.

James, Bremmer and the rest of the Americans in Iraq should be next!! 01.Apr.2004 18:30


This is just the beginning because wherever these callous devils go there will be Falujans or americans or Afghanis ready to do the same to them; BURN THEIR FUCKING BIDES AND HANG THEM FROM THE NEAREST BRIDGE!! This is the only way to deal with these fascist fucks!!!

mercinaries and contractors 01.Apr.2004 19:27

donald duck

The exsoldiers hired by blackguard are most likely hardcore military experts. Spending their lives fighting and teaching for the "goodguys" doesn't give terrorists much purchasing power/\money or otherwise.

George says 01.Apr.2004 20:26


George says the evil terrorists
deserve anything that happens to them.
You say the evil mercenaries deserve
anything that happens to them.

The only thing that's different is
who is labelled "evil".
The only thing George needs to do is
influence whom you label "evil".

If you continue to think this way,
everyone you love is in grave danger
that George may decide he needs
to influence whom you label "evil".

here's the REAL DEAL on these 01.Apr.2004 21:38

fucking Mercenaries that got bar-b-q'ed

Unmasking the Identity of those "US Civilians" Killed in Fallujah

In Bush's predatory capitalist dystopia, "out-sourcing" and
"privatization" have become the watchwords. Basically, this entails
hiring corporate contractors to perform functions usually assigned to US
government employees. From prison guards to "special ops" private
companies are being called upon because they are subject to less
scrutiny and accountability than government functionaries.

Now Ron Jacobs ( http://www.counterpunch.com/jacobs04012004.html) has
unmasked the identity of the US "civilians" killed yesterday in
Fallujah, Iraq:

"...These guys weren't innocent bystanders...They worked for Blackwater
Security Consulting...This firm is one of the many nominally private
companies doing the US government's dirty work in Iraq and elsewhere
around the world where Washington thinks its direct involvement might
cause even more problems than that caused by so-called civilians.

"Like most other firms of this nature, Blackwater (and I quote from
their website) 'has it roots in the Special Operations community and
continues to sustain the skills that have been acquired over the years
as effective tools that will support both national and commercial

"In addition, it maintains offices in McLean, Virginia very near the CIA
headquarters. In other words, the men that they hire are trained

"According to various news and government releases, there are fifteen to
twenty thousand private security 'consultants' in Iraq right now. Add to
this anywhere from 500 to 3000 CIA agents and more than 100,000
servicemen and women and one has to seriously question the myth
perpetrated by Washington that things are stable in that country. Tell
that to the GIs who don't want to be there.

"An AP report flashed out of Iraq and available for a while on the New
York Times (and Washington Post) website as a video report, stated that
one of the corpses had a US passport and another had a Department of
Defense ID card. In addition, the reporter was told that the men were
armed and driving through Fallujah.

"One can only conjecture exactly what or who these men were looking for.
If prior counterintelligence activities are any indication, it is quite
reasonable to assume that they were involved in some kind of operation
designed to hunt out the resistance and kill them. According to a former
Special Forces member now in Baghdad and quoted in the Washington Times
on October 6, 2003, military contractors guarding ministries on behalf
of coalition authorities have killed Iraqis who were trying to loot or
attack the buildings.

"It's Iraq,' he said. 'You're accountable to nobody. But I guess
ultimately you're accountable to the U.S. military for what happens.'

"If that's the case, then there can only be more bad news for the
Iraqis, especially those who resent the US occupation of their country.
Already, US troops have killed several thousand (Iraqi civilians)....
There's bound to be more as the US pays tribute to its dead by remaining
where they are not wanted and should never have been."

More on the Mercenaries 01.Apr.2004 21:57

see also

U.S. Turns to Mercenaries

Tombstone Blues: Dying in Vain in Iraq

Marketing the New "Dogs of War"

from the film shown via BBC, it do seem like 01.Apr.2004 22:35

the people of Falluja

had themselves a Block Party that got a bit rowdy!

There are two kinds of violence 01.Apr.2004 23:21


Violence of self-defense, and violence of opportunistic gain. The US, its affiliates and allies and soldier/mercenaries, are all inflicting violence of aggression (i.e. attack not defense) on a non-threatening holder-of-the-oil-purse. Iraqis are defending their land and people against those who have invaded.

Would you remain saintly-peaceful as your brother is killed or mother raped? Seriously? Would you remain respectfully non-harmful if someone levelled their gun at your head or raised their knife against your son?

Karma is sometimes immediate. Karma sure can be an asshole.
cartoon by LaTuff
cartoon by LaTuff

Double standard strikes again 02.Apr.2004 00:43


It seems that every story the US media sends out of Iraq contains a few imbedded hypocrisies.

A few weeks ago four American missionaries were murdered by insurgents near Mosul.As I recall, it was a fairly prominent story on TV news for a day, but not earth-shaking, no predictions of overwhelming retribution were made by Generals or pundits. Now in Falluja, even though the four killed could be considered legitimate targets, US reporters, anchors and pundits were vitriolic from the first moment the story broke to date.The pro-war crowd has been howling for revenge for days, and the Generals are sounding more murderous than they have since "Shock and Awe". I guess the message to the resistance is, if you kill Americans, kill the harmless ones. Leave our thugs alone!

say all you want, but the 02.Apr.2004 10:05

truth is

these American mercenaries won't be killing anymore Iraqi's if they're "crispy critters", for how does
an pile of ash pull a trigger? Tell me?

Oh my gosh there TRUTH IS 02.Apr.2004 18:47

that's gross

I mean grossly funny! Yes, you're right! Never heard of a pile of ass pulling a
trigger. Too much! ha! ha!