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Blackwater Training US Police

by Wayne Madsen Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007 at 8:50 AM

The mercenary firm Blackwater USA is well known for the controversy involving its "shoot first, ask no questions" policy in Iraq.

It is also known that Louisiana's Department of Homeland Security contracted with Blackwater to provide public law enforcement services in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. Blackwater is also planning to establish regional training centers in Potrero, California and Mount Carroll, Illinois, billed as Blackwater West and Blackwater North, respectively.



These training centers, in addition to Blackwater's Lodge and Training Center in Moyock, North Carolina -- Blackwater East -- and a possible fourth rumored to be slated for the Pacific Northwest -- Blackwater Northwest -- may result in the establishment of a network of Blackwater-trained police, sheriffs, and other police units around the country. Given Blackwater's dismal record on human rights and brutality, this spells trouble for civilian control of police and paramilitary forces in the United States, from major metropolitan areas to small rural towns.



On October 14, the Washington Post ran a story, which included photographs from Blackwater's Moyock training center. However, what was most intriguing was a photograph of a police and military patch board at Blackwater's headquarters that indicated the police agencies that have sent their officers to Moyock for training.



Blackwater is secretive about its non-federal, as well as its foreign clients, which the Post pointed out includes Jordan, Azerbaijan, and Burkina Faso, but a WMR inspection of the photograph of the police agencies has yielded the following list of agencies that have used Blackwater for training:



1. Iowa Department of Natural Resources



2. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department



3. Matthews, North Carolina Police



4. Atlanta Police



5. Chillicothe, Ohio Police



6. Charleston, South Carolina Police



7. Port Chester, NY Police



8. Highland, Indiana Police



9. Unalaska, Alaska Police



10. Metropolitan Washington, DC Police



11. Charlottesville, Virginia Police



12. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Dulles and Reagan National Airports)



13. St. Louis County Police (Missouri)



14. Queen Anne's County, Maryland Police



15. Prince George's County, Maryland Police



16. FBI SWAT Team



17. Gloucester Township, New Jersey Police



18. Tempe, Arizona Police



19. New York Police Department



20. Yonkers, New York Police



21. Fairfax County, Virginia Police



22. Maplewood, New Jersey Police



23. Gastonia, North Carolina Police



24. Tampa Police



25. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)



26. DeKalb County, Georgia Police



27. Arlington County, Virginia Police



28. Baltimore Police



29. U.S. Coast Guard



30. Suffolk, Virginia Police



31. Franklin City, Virginia Police



32. Milford, Delaware Police



33. University of Texas Police



34. Norfolk, Virginia Police



35. Ottawa-Carleton, Canada Police



36. San Bernardino County, California Sheriff



37. Plattsburgh, New York Police



38. Chicago Police Department



39. Oregon State Police



40. Los Angeles Police Department



41. Tonawanda, New York Police



42. Special Forces of Colombia



43. Jacksonville, North Carolina Police



44. Harvey Cedars, New Jersey Police



45. Elmira, New York Police



46. Department of Corrections, New Jersey



47. Lexington, Kentucky Police



48. Willimantic, Connecticut Police



49. Georgia Department of Law Enforcement



50. City of Fairfax, Virginia Police



51. Alexandria, Virginia Police Special Operations



52. Illinois State Police



53. Dallas, Texas Police



54. Hamilton, Ohio Police



55. Morganton, North Carolina Police





A number of the police departments that have been trained by Blackwater have abysmal civil rights and police brutality records, most notably the Chicago Police and Illinois State Police, both cited by former Illinois Governor George Ryan as being guilty of police misconduct in his decision to commute the death sentences of Illinois' death row inmates. It was a decision that likely had much to do with his indictment by the Bush administration on corruption charges -- political misuse of the Department of Justice that has been seen in the indictments and investigations of Alabama former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth former CEO Richard Scrushy, Qwest's former CEO Joseph Nacchio, Democratic campaign contributor Martha Stewart, Coastal Corporation's former Chairman and Democratic contributor Oscar Wyatt, and Democratic-leaning trial attorneys around the United States, as well as the firings of several U.S. Attorneys who refused to engage in political prosecutions, and a Justice Department workup on North Carolina presidential candidate John Edwards in 2004.



The training and potential political indoctrination of police officers by the extreme right-wing and proto-fascist Blackwater, coupled with the politicization of the Justice Department and U.S. courts, has the potential for the streets of Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, and Washington, DC, as well as Chillicothe, Harvey Cedars, and Elmira to turn as bloody as the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah.



Citizens have a distinct opportunity of confronting their local elected city, county, and town officials over Blackwater training of their police officers. Local officials should be pressured to reveal the numbers and identities of officers trained by Blackwater, the subjects covered by the training, the revenues spent, and a public demand should be made to cease and desist in such training.

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Now you know the source Ben Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007 at 9:00 AM
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