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Signs of the Times for Wed, 15 Mar 2006

Signs Editorial:

Tuesday March 14th 2006
Kurt Nimmo
It’s a good thing I don’t live in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. If I did, I’d refuse to accept the authority of DynCorp, the renta-cop and mercenary corporation that may soon replace the police in the storm-ravaged parish. Chances are I’d end up injured or dead at a checkpoint because DynCorp, a for-profit private military contractor, has a reputation “for brutality and recklessness,” according to Jeremy Scahill, writing for the Nation magazine. “DynCorp has even been rebuked by the U.S. State Department for its ‘aggressive behavior’ in interactions with European diplomats, NATO forces and journalists. A BBC News correspondent even witnessed one of the guards slapping an Afghan government minister.” If DynCorp thugs slap around Afghan ministers, imagine what they would do to a non-cooperative American commoner.

Not long ago, citizens elected police chiefs, or they were appointed by elected city and county officials, and police chiefs went about hiring qualified police officers, usually from the community. Not anymore. Now law enforcement is increasingly militarized and military duties are jobbed out to the likes of DynCorp and Blackwater. “These guys run loose in this country [Iraq] and do stupid stuff. There’s no authority over them, so you can’t come down on them hard when they escalate force,” Brigadier General Karl Horst, deputy commander of the Third Infantry Division in charge of security in Baghdad, complained in September, 2005. “They shoot people, and someone else has to deal with the aftermath. It happens all over the place.” If you don’t think likewise may happen in St. Bernard Parish, think again. If DynCorp does not answer to the Pentagon, why should they answer to a sheriff in Louisiana?

DynCorp’s track record is abysmal. Its bodyguards working for interim president Boniface Alexandre in Haiti “beat at least two journalists trying to cover a presidential event” and other DynCorp employees were friendly with several feared Tonton Macoutes leaders (Tonton Macoute, Haitian Creole for bogeymen, is a secret police modeled after the Italian fascist Blackshirts, known for killing and torturing the dictator “Papa Doc” François Duvalier’s opponents, on occasion publicly hanging corpses as gruesome warnings). “DynCorp has always functioned as a cut-out for Pentagon and CIA covert operations,” especially in Haiti, explain Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn. It is a nightmare to consider these Pentagon and CIA “cut-outs” may be directing traffic and arresting pot dealers in America soon.

DynCorp’s record is worse than abysmal—it comes in near the bottom of the criminal food chain. According to the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) lawsuit filed in Texas on behalf of a former DynCorp aircraft mechanic, writes Kelly Patricia O Meara for Insight magazine, “in the latter part of 1999 [Ben Johnston, DynCorp whistleblower] learned that employees and supervisors from DynCorp were engaging in perverse, illegal and inhumane behavior [and] were purchasing illegal weapons, women, forged passports and [participating in] other immoral acts [in Bosnia]. Johnston witnessed coworkers and supervisors literally buying and selling women for their own personal enjoyment, and employees would brag about the various ages and talents of the individual slaves they had purchased.”

It appears a number of DynCorp employees were in cahoots with United Nations officers who set up a flourishing sex trade in the Balkans. According to Amnesty International, the United Nations and NATO “peacekeepers” (or pimps) “trafficked women and girls for sex” in Kosovo, the BBC reported on May 6, 2004. The Amnesty International “report includes harrowing testimonies of abduction, deprivation of liberty and denial of freedom of movement, torture and ill-treatment, including psychological threats, beatings and rape” of women from Moldova, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine.

“DynCorp employees in Bosnia, where the company plays a major policing role, have engaged in organized sex-slave trading with girls as young as 12, and DynCorp’s Bosnia site supervisor was filmed raping a woman,” Scahill responded after Stephen J. Cannon, president and CEO of DynCorp International, wrote a letter to the Nation complaining about a Scahill article describing the behavior of “DynCorp, Intercon, American Security Group, Blackhawk, Wackenhut and an Israeli company called Instinctive Shooting International” in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. “The company’s initial response was to fire the whistleblowers,” Scahill adds. “The employees involved in the sex ring were transferred out of the country. Some were eventually fired, although none were ever criminally prosecuted. One of the whistleblowers told Congress, ‘DynCorp is the worst diplomat our country could ever want overseas.’” No doubt it will the worst possible cop in St. Bernard Parish, as well.

DynCorp is also in trouble for spraying “toxic herbicides over 14 percent of the entire land mass of the nation of Colombia, purportedly to eliminate coca crops,” writes Al Giordano for Narco News. “Although DynCorp’s taxpayer-sponsored biological warfare [dubbed Plan Colombia] has not made a dent in the cocaine trade, it has caused more than 1,100 documented cases of illness among citizens, destroyed untold acres of food crops, displaced tens of thousands of peasant farmers, and harmed the fragile Amazon ecosystem.” In addition to poisoning South Americans, DynCorp, according to Giordano, “has also been exposed for contracting mercenary soldiers-of-fortune for the covert activities of the US-imposed ‘Plan Colombia,’” a direct and illegal intervention in the low intensity conflict in Colombia, a civil war going back to 1948. In other words, as in Haiti, DynCorp rubs elbows with vicious paramilitary thugs in Colombia, described by Adam Weiss as “among the most brutal human rights violators in the world today.”

In the first paragraph of the Washington Post article announcing the possibility of DynCorp renta-cops (or in the case of Bosnia, renta-whore-mongers) patrolling St. Bernard Parish, we are told this is necessary because “hundreds of stark white trailers soon to be inhabited by Hurricane Katrina evacuees” will “hide criminals and become an incubator for crime” and pose “another test” for the “cash-strapped sheriff’s department” of the parish. “The FBI has warned that gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, could come attached to construction crews and establish operations, prompting the department to establish a strike team that has already arrested eight alleged members,” police officials told the Post, never mind that the Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas, is having difficulty preventing Mara Salvatrucha from crossing the wide-open border. “Stretched thin, the department is ready to turn to private contractors to head off what it fears will be an increase in crime as construction in the parish booms and residents adjust to life in cramped trailers,” or what will essentially become a concentration camp patrolled by for-profit mercenaries.

It would seem the idea to unleash a tarnished DynCorp on the residents of St. Bernard Parish was suggested by FEMA. “The department did not hold a competition before recommending DynCorp for the work but would consider other contactors if FEMA recommended it,” Maj. Pete Tufaro, head of the sheriff’s department, told the Post. “The department thinks DynCorp is the cheapest alternative, noting that it would charge less than $700 per day, compared with the $950 a day charged by Blackwater, he said.” In short, no matter how you look at it, the people of St. Bernard Parish will be under privatized martial law. “Under the plan, DynCorp employees working for the sheriff’s department would take over security at several FEMA trailer sites and establish three highway checkpoints.” Exactly why the residents of Louisiana need security and checkpoints is not explained. Maybe it has something to do with Mara Salvatrucha, but then again it more likely has something to do with incubating a police state.

No doubt, as the economy implodes and a “prospective increase in the budget deficit” places at risk the “living standards of our country,” as new central banker head honcho Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke responded to questions posed by a concerned Congress critter recently, the services of DynCorp and Blackwater will be required to contain food riots and mass panic. Our nation, thanks to Bush and the long-running fiat money polices of Bernanke’s ilk, faces an economic Katrina, a typhoon poised to swamp and wash away the lives of millions of people. Sooner before later, “stark white trailers” will be needed to house the dispossessed, and the checkpoints and concentration camp perimeters will be patrolled by the likes of DynCorp.

Come the economic disaster or the next terrorist “event,” it may be a good idea to lock up your 12-year old daughter.

Kurt Nimmo

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