Propagandists at it again on CNN...
Time to Vote for Michael Totten Again

Progressive twit beclowns himself

I know, I know I'm being redundant, but humor me and I will humor you. A resident fellow traveler at The American Prospect manages to attempt an Uncle J style snarky beat down about security contractors. Unsurprisingly he manages to include zero facts, his assumptions are all literally wrong and even his snarky comments are false and not even funny. Let me introduce our young brainiac.

Timfernholz Tim Fernholz is a writing fellow at the Prospect. His work has been published by The New Republic, The Nation, American Lawyer, and the Washington City Paper. He is also a contributing writer at Campus Progress, and served as the editor-in-chief of Georgetown University's weekly newsmagazine, the Georgetown Voice.


I will let his voluminous knowedge of military and security affairs speak (silently) for itself, and simply squash his weaselly commentary. This may pass for clever among the pantywaists he represents, but c'mon this is the reality-based community little fella. We deal with real bad guys and real bullets here, although I'm sure you kick ass at Halo while being blissfully ignorant of what HALO even means. On to a reality-based beat down. I will shorten the bits from the well-written piece he fails to dent, which while having it's own faults, deserves more than this twit could manage.

Over at Foreign Policy's great new collection of expert blogs, one Mark Cancian, a retired Marine colonel, makes the argument in favor of "security contractors," or, if we're not using euphemisms, mercenaries.

The idea that you would consider security contractor a euphemism for mercenary shows immediately your lack of serious knowledge or interest in the topic at hand. I will spare our knowledgeable audience here the distinction.

While pointing out that many contractors do not actively act in a force protection role outside of military bases, he also excuses those who do while violating, well, all kinds of laws:

Actively act? Is that what your parents wasted all that college money on, the ability to string together redundant redundancies?

Blackwater (and its cousins Triple Canopy, DynCorp, and Aegis) together employ about 2,000 armed personnel. These constitute the groups that go outside the wire and have caused the widely publicized incidents. Their numbers are small enough that they could be replaced, in the near term, by military and, in the longer term, by State Department security specialists.

There are good policy reasons for doing this. But it would be no panacea.

Blackwater and other outfits like it are highly professional. Blackwater, for example, prides itself on never having lost a principal.

Judging from all kinds of reportage, I would have to disagree with the description of Blackwater as "highly professional"

Since the most dangerous situation you have likely found your punk ass in is a slap fight at a frat house, I will deny your attempt to judge the professionalism of your betters. You so blithely discount the fact that no one Blackwater was protecting in the most dangerous area on Earth has been killed, and you do so having not even the personal bravery to introduce your pudgy chin to a Gillette Mach III.

-- it seems they flout their rules of engagement at will:

Participants in a contentious Baghdad security operation this month have told American investigators that during the operation at least one guard continued firing on civilians while colleagues urgently called for a cease-fire. At least one guard apparently also drew a weapon on a fellow guard who did not stop shooting, an American official said.

A number of Iraqi civilians, including a mother and infant, died in this incident. As Cancian points out, it's not hard to imagine any group of bodyguards, military or para-military, finding themselves in a situation where something as horrific as this happens while trying to protect their principal.

Just out of curiousity, WTF do you base that baseless statement on? (now you have me redundancying again, Dag). Are you referring to the 2001st Military Dignitary Protection Unit based at Fort Nowhere in the F**king Galaxy? You see the type of specialized security Blackwater does is something only a tiny handful of military folks do. Mostly because it is not their job to be bullet sponges for diplomatic weenies. Their job is to make dead tangos. Google it since I'm sure it's a new term for you.

But that's why we have the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which delivers consequences for soldiers who disobey orders and violate rules of engagement. Blackwater guards just walk away (some of have been indicted in the U.S. but don't look likely to be punished anytime soon.)

I'm fairly certain they won't be punished, mostly because to any trained observer they did the right thing. It is called self defense, and the concept transfers to those being protected if they believe imminent danger threatens them. Did they have any books other than Marx and Lenin at Georgetown?

The kind of military discipline that these contractors follow is quite a bit different from what the actual military employs; I doubt Cancian would have allowed anyone in a unit under his command to bootleg supplies for their own enrichment, fire indiscriminately at civilians or loot occupied areas. Not to mention that if the U.S. barred private contractors from working in these areas, Blackwater wouldn't be breaking officials who embezzled reconstruction money out of Iraqi jails.

Maybe if you linked to something that actually said they did this you would score, but again you have shite.

Cancian's point is that, for a bodyguard, protection is the first priority, and may result in other costs no matter who is doing the job. I'd argue that military units would be more effective at the task than mercenaries.

Your complete lack of experience informing your lack of judgment I'm sure.

But here's the bigger problem: Acting to protect someone without thinking of the consequences, and thereby undermining the overall mission of counter-insurgency, has the effect of making it more difficult to protect the principal. Having a hard time protecting officials from insurgents? It's probably not a great idea to encourage the insurgency with your actions.

This one tiny glimmer of potential fact can't even come close to recovering you from the hole you dug and the dirt you piled on your own pointy, little head.

-- Tim Fernholz

You really ought to stick to organizing the oppressed workers of America and building a socialist paradise, because you are out of your league by leagues, Timm-eh.