Author Topic: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing  (Read 1222 times)

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Offline Tom!

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Offline marmite

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Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2007, 04:22:28 PM »
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  • Casual Friday ... interested to hear your take on the breaking news that the Iraqi government has ordered Blackwater security to leave Iraq and has revoked their licence.    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/09/17/iraq.main/    ... not that I believe this is going to happen , but since you have been such an ardent supporter of the private "security" contractors....
    « Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 04:24:50 PM by marmite »

    Dave_in_NJ

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 04:38:14 PM »
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  • how dare they say they don't want trained killers from a foreign country  - walking around armed to the teeth and beholden and accountable to no one! They must hate freedom.

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #3 on: September 17, 2007, 09:16:06 PM »
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  • Casual Friday ... interested to hear your take on the breaking news that the Iraqi government has ordered Blackwater security to leave Iraq and has revoked their licence.    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/09/17/iraq.main/    ... not that I believe this is going to happen , but since you have been such an ardent supporter of the private "security" contractors....


    Do they even have/need a license since they are operating under the department of state and not as an independent firm in Iraq?  Im not going to say they were right or wrong since neither of us were there but I have a hard time believing BW guys would open up and kill civilians indiscriminately. Something about this doesn't seem right.  I think we can agree that the the facts are:
    1- Attack happened in an area known for complex attacks
    2- IED initiated Ambush against a Department of State (DOS) movement
    3- Small Arms fire followed for 20 minutes due to a disabled vehicle and waiting to evac.
    4- The movement returned to base with all personnel and no US casualties to my knowledge.

    Like I said, something is fishy but I dont know what side its coming from.   To my knowledge, no statement from Blackwater or Dept of State has been put out.  Maliki is calling these guys criminals and maybe bringing attention to this to hide other issues.  Maliki has taken a beating in recent weeks. It is becoming more and more apparent that he is one of the main obstructionist as well as encouraging the Madhi to act out. It's no coincidence that the day after the Shia leaders have expressed the desire to work with US Military against the extremist like the western tribes have, this comes out. He sees his power base and influence evaporating.

    I cant see this affecting the Worldwide Personal Protective Services (WPPS) contract with Blackwater or them being banned from working there.  To do so would indict DOS along with them and State isnt going to point the finger at themself. Given the complex attacks in those areas I wouldnt rule out that the "civilians" may have been insurgents who's weapons where stripped afterward.  I think we also need to remember that PSDs roll hard and aggressively because thats what the environment dictates.  All bullshit aside, anyone who thinks their weapons are there for show are kidding themselves.  On the other side there is the fog of war here and civlians getting hit.  I would'nt rule out civilians getting hit by suppressive fire, stray bullets, or missed shots directed at the ambushers who were in the vicinity of the civilian casualties.  These things happen which is why we have fratricide and civilian casualties despite advanced weapons and some of the best equipment money can buy.

    And to Dave, all DOD contractors are now under UCMJ.  DOS contractors are still accountable to DOS.  As far as I know the Iraqi government can not prosecute US personnel.  Also, I'd like to see all armed US personnel out of there but unfortunately the CINC keeps changing the mission objectives to keep us there.  Rummy wanted us to scale down and Casey did want similar things but they both got fired for those more on board with Bush.
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Offline marmite

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 10:58:28 PM »
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  • Casual Friday ... interested to hear your take on the breaking news that the Iraqi government has ordered Blackwater security to leave Iraq and has revoked their licence.    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/09/17/iraq.main/    ... not that I believe this is going to happen , but since you have been such an ardent supporter of the private "security" contractors....


    Do they even have/need a license since they are operating under the department of state and not as an independent firm in Iraq?  Im not going to say they were right or wrong since neither of us were there but I have a hard time believing BW guys would open up and kill civilians indiscriminately. Something about this doesn't seem right.  I think we can agree that the the facts are:
    1- Attack happened in an area known for complex attacks
    2- IED initiated Ambush against a Department of State (DOS) movement
    3- Small Arms fire followed for 20 minutes due to a disabled vehicle and waiting to evac.
    4- The movement returned to base with all personnel and no US casualties to my knowledge.

    Like I said, something is fishy but I dont know what side its coming from.   To my knowledge, no statement from Blackwater or Dept of State has been put out.  Maliki is calling these guys criminals and maybe bringing attention to this to hide other issues.  Maliki has taken a beating in recent weeks. It is becoming more and more apparent that he is one of the main obstructionist as well as encouraging the Madhi to act out. It's no coincidence that the day after the Shia leaders have expressed the desire to work with US Military against the extremist like the western tribes have, this comes out. He sees his power base and influence evaporating.

    I cant see this affecting the Worldwide Personal Protective Services (WPPS) contract with Blackwater or them being banned from working there.  To do so would indict DOS along with them and State isnt going to point the finger at themself. Given the complex attacks in those areas I wouldnt rule out that the "civilians" may have been insurgents who's weapons where stripped afterward.  I think we also need to remember that PSDs roll hard and aggressively because thats what the environment dictates.  All bullshit aside, anyone who thinks their weapons are there for show are kidding themselves.  On the other side there is the fog of war here and civlians getting hit.  I would'nt rule out civilians getting hit by suppressive fire, stray bullets, or missed shots directed at the ambushers who were in the vicinity of the civilian casualties.  These things happen which is why we have fratricide and civilian casualties despite advanced weapons and some of the best equipment money can buy.

    And to Dave, all DOD contractors are now under UCMJ.  DOS contractors are still accountable to DOS.  As far as I know the Iraqi government can not prosecute US personnel.  Also, I'd like to see all armed US personnel out of there but unfortunately the CINC keeps changing the mission objectives to keep us there.  Rummy wanted us to scale down and Casey did want similar things but they both got fired for those more on board with Bush.
    Ok , so it seems you are still supportive of the role contractors play in this war . My views haven't changed either ... pretty pointless debating it but thanks for responding ... as a side note , I spent 3 weeks in the Bahamas hoping for a cane swell [skunked] with two friends who are contractors in Iraq. They've been there for over 3 years and should both be certified ... def. ptsd , so I'm not that dismissive of Maliki's claims ... but I realize at this juncture that the administration is desperately trying to find a strongman to take charge and Maliki is not plying ball ... his days are numbered as is our continued presence there in any large force. 

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 11:38:14 PM »
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  • Ok , so it seems you are still supportive of the role contractors play in this war . My views haven't changed either ... pretty pointless debating it but thanks for responding ... as a side note , I spent 3 weeks in the Bahamas hoping for a cane swell [skunked] with two friends who are contractors in Iraq. They've been there for over 3 years and should both be certified ... def. ptsd , so I'm not that dismissive of Maliki's claims ... but I realize at this juncture that the administration is desperately trying to find a strongman to take charge and Maliki is not plying ball ... his days are numbered as is our continued presence there in any large force. 

    Not really supportive but they have their place.  There are thousands of personnel under DOS working with the Iraqis.  The Army Corps of Engineers also stands out as having a large civilian presence there working with infrastructure.  We have a 160k man military foot print there and a military ground force which basically is either deployed,about to be deployed or just got back home from deployment.  All these civilians need protection but the military is too short handed and busy with combat and SASO to deal with taking care of the Corps of Engineers, so its contracted out to PMCs to handle.  The DOS protection is normally handled by Diplomatic Security Service Agents but there are under 2k agents world wide to my knowledge.  They have responsibility here and in about every country in the world so they are stretched thin and unfortunately they cant pump out people as fast as they need them.  To aid with that they have the WPPS program to supplement their agents with security contractors.  If I recall correctly, there were less than 50 DSS agents in Iraq so they would basically run certain security details (ambassador, deputy, other key personnel) while letting the contractors handle the others. 

    I dont know if you have dealt with the US Dept of State but theres a lot of Ivy league types there who are pretty smart.  The problem is their Ivy league education cant do jack unless they leave the wire and they aren't leaving the wire without clearing it with the Regional Security officer's (Head DSS guy) office and having them assign a security detail.  A typical small detail in this high environment is most likely 3-4 vehicles with 3-4 security personnel per vehicle.  Its easy to see how the numbers add up.  Now combine that with the data of their being thousands working for DOS and the man power issue is apparent.

    Does Maliki suck?  I don't know but sectarian ties come into play with him.  He's part of his own Shia sub group, the DAwa party and is looking out for them.  He sees the BADR Brigade, another Shia group who controls where the Brits just pulled out in Basrah, as a problem for him.  This causes problems with this whole reconciliation and all factions coming together to support the central government.  I feel that any leader is going to look out for their guys which is why firing this guy wont fix much.  They fired his predecessor Allawi who I don't think did a worse job but at least he didn't bad mouth us to his people and play nice in public.  The only leader Congress will like will be an Arab version of George Washington and im not holding my breath for him to appear.

    Lets what if for a second here.  What if all security contractors were pulled from the theater of operations?  What do you think would happen to the political progress (and I use the term loosely) if they werent present?  How would DOS personnel communicate with Iraqi governmental, Ministerial, and local leaders?

    Also I am not sure if our days there in large force are numbered.  Did you watch the hearings or the President's address last week?  The way they were talking its as if they had plans for us being there another 20 years.  10 Billion $$ a month!  Bush has no intention of pulling out and is going to drop this on the next administration.  He also puts Petraeus in front to address the world so it appears he is the one in charge, but him and Bush are on the same page so its the same crap, different set of lips.  Im all for a stage down starting next summer at one brigade a month.  Force them to step up to the plate with security and maybe their elected officials will take less vacations and work more on unifying their people.

    The next administration isn't going to yank us out immediately either, regardless of which party wins.  Its too complex of a situation and how do you pull out of a non permissive environment without leaving all your stuff there and destroying it on the way out?  Who is pulling security on the pullout?  Iraqis? 

    Its a mess and with goals constantly changing, vague benchmarks, and no pressure on the Iraqi government for not meeting certain standards of progress, its no wonder we will be there for at least 4 more years.  This "withdrawal" of troops by next spring is basically showing that the steam of the surge is running out and that there is little way to keep it going without extending deployments past 15 months on an already strained force.  We are withdrawing from 160 to 135 or so which is what we had at the beginning of this year, so are we really down sizing?  no!  Imagine what 160k on the ground in Afghanistan could've accomplished?  We would've had Bin Laden and all his leadership years ago.  Ive given the leadership the benefit of the doubt for years but after last week's hearings...
    « Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 11:47:44 PM by Casual Friday »
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Dave_in_NJ

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #6 on: September 18, 2007, 09:40:23 AM »
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  • re: mercs contractors, 80k tax free for 7 mos of dipping copenhagen and blowing brown trout up with your bros?  Get to grow a goatee and wear all those cool vests and ball caps? Not to mention those rules of engagement, e.g. you get to ventilate anyone who looks at you funny? Were I ten years younger I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Seriously though, while I have nothing against mercs per se, our usage of them in Iraq at this unbeliveable level - what does that actually mean for our system? Tom what do you make as an e-5, 15, 16k a year?  Meanwhile none other than Alan Greenspan says the Bush admin profilgate undisciplined spending (such as in Iraq such as that being spent on the mercs sorry  contractors) could Fuck our country for life?

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #7 on: September 18, 2007, 11:05:26 AM »
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  • re: mercs contractors, 80k tax free for 7 mos of dipping copenhagen and blowing brown trout up with your bros?  Get to grow a goatee and wear all those cool vests and ball caps? Not to mention those rules of engagement, e.g. you get to ventilate anyone who looks at you funny?
      Where are you coming up with this?  Do you have a copy of this ROE?  I didnt think so.  Aside from a few dickheads, aka "the ten percent," I dont think too many people are itching to waste someone.
    Quote
    Were I ten years younger I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Seriously though, while I have nothing against mercs per se, our usage of them in Iraq at this unbeliveable level - what does that actually mean for our system?
      It means since Gulf War I that our system has been breaking down and transformed into what we have today.  The system is broke, our logistics background is minimal so its all contracted out.  The only time Ive seen a military cook is with certain SOF units and ill take one of those over contracted food anyday.  Some along the line in the late 80s/early 90s figured that since the cold war was over we wouldnt be fighting the big war and all conflicts would be more along the lines of small police actions where a light, modular force would be preferable to heavy divisions.  Since the scale down they also figured it wasnt worth keeping all of those logistic units around either.  I have never seen a laundry, sewing, or cooking unit in the military, ever and thats a huge chunk of whats contracted out.
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    Tom what do you make as an e-5, 15, 16k a year?
      23 and change a month not including entitlements.  Im not envious of the money.  I know when I rolled out of the gate I could call in ground or aerial QRF and medevacs if needed.  Those guys have to source that internally which heightens their risk.  As you know, or dont know, its not about the money, the bullshit in washington, nor the mission but "the boys." 
    Quote
    A little more than that,   Meanwhile none other than Alan Greenspan says the Bush admin profilgate undisciplined spending (such as in Iraq such as that being spent on the mercs sorry  contractors) could fark our country for life?
      I wouldnt doubt it especially with the fraud from the beginning when there were no internal control measures in place, no bid contracts due to needing stuff done "yesterday" and other monies under the table.  Its nuts and a huge fuckup in the accountability arena.  I think we are spending around 10billion a month in Iraq.  Thats a lot of debt which is going to follow us around for decades/centuries.  The CINC is being stubborn and Congress doesnt have the votes to shut him down  when he inevitably vetoes legislation against his views, so unfortunately this will continue until hes replaced by someone who wants to pull us out or until they have the 2/3 to exercise power of the purse and shut off money.  They money issue though doesn't bring anyone home, just stops new people going so that creates a whole other issue there too.

    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Dave_in_NJ

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #8 on: September 18, 2007, 12:11:19 PM »
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  • yeah thats it -- he's "stubborn"  but yeah back to the original topic - I think its nauseating how the admin. is hiding behind Petraeus.
    « Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 12:20:55 PM by Cattle_Rustler »

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #9 on: September 18, 2007, 12:30:39 PM »
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  • yeah thats it -- he's "stubborn"  but yeah back to the original topic - I think its nauseating how the admin. is hiding behind Petraeus.
    would out of touch with reality be better?  stubborn as in he wont/cant see whats in front of him and hears what he wants to hear and siregards whats contrary to his vision.  This is a region that has been fighting since the beginning of time , I dont think we can work it out by 2009 or 2020 using the current strategy.
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Offline Harry Balzsac

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #10 on: September 18, 2007, 03:09:37 PM »
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  • And to Dave, all DOD contractors are now under UCMJ.  DOS contractors are still accountable to DOS.  As far as I know the Iraqi government can not prosecute US personnel. 
    That doesn't mean brown trout.  Pursuant to CPA Order 17, contractors working in Iraq are not subject to Iraqi law or regulation relating to the terms and conditions of their contracts.  What this means for the average Iraq civilian who witnesses his or her sibling, spouse, parent or friend violently gunned down is that that person can not seek redress in the courts where the event ccurred, but must instead rely upon the CMJ for prosecution of any potential crime related to any such incident.  Good luck with that, Muhammed.  Seeing how things with that whole Abu Gharaib this went down has really got to give you confidence.  Not to mention seeking any kind of civil redress for your losses.
    « Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 03:12:22 PM by Bubba »

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #11 on: September 18, 2007, 03:59:12 PM »
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  • And to Dave, all DOD contractors are now under UCMJ.  DOS contractors are still accountable to DOS.  As far as I know the Iraqi government can not prosecute US personnel. 
    That doesn't mean brown trout.  Pursuant to CPA Order 17, contractors working in Iraq are not subject to Iraqi law or regulation relating to the terms and conditions of their contracts.  What this means for the average Iraq civilian who witnesses his or her sibling, spouse, parent or friend violently gunned down is that that person can not seek redress in the courts where the event ccurred, but must instead rely upon the CMJ for prosecution of any potential crime related to any such incident.  Good luck with that, Muhammed.  Seeing how things with that whole Abu Gharaib this went down has really got to give you confidence.  Not to mention seeking any kind of civil redress for your losses.
    Didnt i say that?  not subject to Iraqi law.  This incident doesnt fall under the UCMJ as this was a DOS and not DOD element.  Abu Ghraib?  Why didnt you use the Haditha incident?
    Theres a process in place for claims to be resolved and crimes to be investigated.  If I mechanically breach some Iraqi's door thereby destroying parts of or the complete door, he has to go to US claims with the vaguest of paperwork and hes compensated.  Same to report a crime, unlawful death, etc. 
    The state department is looking into this incident as was put out in their daily brief yesterday.  actually in the daily brief there were about half a dozen bullet points associated with this incident so I dont see how this will be swept under the carpet.
    Andrew, war is ugly and there are unintended consequences but thats how it was, is and will be.  Honestly, I would love to see how some of you would react if you were just ambushed, a vehicle is disabled, and you are currently being engaged by an opposing force. 

    Im not going to sit here and tell war stories because there no sense in that but put yourself in my shoes for a second here and tell me what you would do in this one incident.  3rd day in country, and we are doing the left seat/right seat with the guys we are replacing.  We are traveling up to Taji.  We stop on the side of the road and key things are being pointed out.  Im up in the turret manning the M240 and trying to pay attention to what the old team leader is saying below while pulling security.  We've been there now about 2 minutes when all of a sudden I hear that distinct supersonic crack over my head.  Some asshole in a building 150 yards away was trying to give my skull air conditioning. 

    Heres where you come in.  What do you do?  Where is CPA 17 on your list of priorities?  What are you thinking?  Whats your first reaction to the situation?
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Dave_in_NJ

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #12 on: September 18, 2007, 04:11:06 PM »
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    would out of touch with reality be better?   

    nah, not at all. Our "stubborn" CINC is fully lucid, here are a couple of the hard facts underpinning his very strong grip on reality, which is that invading Iraq has been an awesome immense finanical windfall for his family a select few American oligarchs, and to some extent the $audi royal family -- while our long term foreign policy interestsm our stature on the world stage, our American troops, their families, and oh yeah, the Iraqis, be dammed.  Thats reality.

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    Heres where you come in.  What do you do?  Where is CPA 17 on your list of priorities?  What are you thinking?  Whats your first reaction to the situation? 

    scream incoherently while firing wildly in every direction, then when the smoke clears, detain every Iraqi still alive within a .5 radius for months-long interrogation? 
    « Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 04:21:31 PM by Cattle_Rustler »

    Offline Tom!

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #13 on: September 18, 2007, 04:39:49 PM »
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    Heres where you come in.  What do you do?  Where is CPA 17 on your list of priorities?  What are you thinking?  Whats your first reaction to the situation? 

    scream incoherently while firing wildly in every direction, then when the smoke clears, detain every Iraqi still alive within a .5 radius for months-long interrogation? 
    thats what they teach at SOI these days?
    Rock on Sisyphus. See you on the hill.

    Dave_in_NJ

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    Re: Crocker/petraeus congrssional hearing
    « Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007, 04:53:57 PM »
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    Not to mention seeking any kind of civil redress for your losses.

    actually I think they get like $2,500 per, so like if your whole family gets wiped out by a squad of twitchy Marines you could maybe buy a used Toyota Tacoma