Join 3,363 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"deputized" by the Louisiana governor
September 10, 2005 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Blackwater: Now in New Orleans. "As the threat of forced evictions now looms in New Orleans and the city confiscates even legally registered weapons from civilians, the private mercenaries of Blackwater patrol the streets openly wielding M-16s and other assault weapons. This despite Police Commissioner Eddie Compass' claim that "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.""
posted by dash_slot- (106 comments total)

 
Are we nearly there yet?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:39 PM on September 10, 2005


Privatization is cool.
posted by zpousman at 6:41 PM on September 10, 2005


"...city confiscates even legally registered weapons from civilians..."

Wait, they are taking guns? Bad precedent, bad timing.
posted by 517 at 6:43 PM on September 10, 2005


Oh, see. We waited too long.
The time to commence our revolution was last week.
I guess it's too late now..
posted by Balisong at 6:43 PM on September 10, 2005


"Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons."

Good luck with that. There is the small matter of the Second Amendment to deal with, and since it's one of the GOP's favorites, you're not going to see video on Fox News of the police confiscating guns anytime soon.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:49 PM on September 10, 2005


Remember how the wingnuts kept saying Clinton would take their guns? How exercised are they now that Bush actually is?
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:56 PM on September 10, 2005


The phrase, "Live free or die" comes to mind.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:56 PM on September 10, 2005


I was under the impression that marshal law had been declared. Meaning your rights as a citizen are pretty much fucked anyway.

And wouldn't Blackwater be categorized as law enforcement if that's what they were hired to do?

Put your foil hats away folks.... or put them on, whichever keeps the consipracy theories at bay.
posted by pmbuko at 6:58 PM on September 10, 2005


Privatization is not cool. Civic duty is cool. See Roman Empire and outsourcing to German tribes. Corporations are modern Barbarians at the gate.
posted by stbalbach at 6:59 PM on September 10, 2005


But this would be the Roman empire insourcing to Romans...
posted by pmbuko at 7:02 PM on September 10, 2005


What the fuck happened to the Second Amendment?
posted by Mikey-San at 7:05 PM on September 10, 2005


I was under the impression that marshal [sic] law had been declared. Meaning your rights as a citizen are pretty much fucked anyway.

And you're ok with that then?

Put your foil hats away folks.... or put them on, whichever keeps the consipracy theories at bay.


Gee, I guess you are.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:06 PM on September 10, 2005


I've spent the last couple weeks assuming the worst, and being correct. Things started to get better recently. Don't ruin it for me.
posted by pmbuko at 7:19 PM on September 10, 2005


'Col. Ebbert said the search for the dead will be done systematically, block-by-block, with dignity and with no news media allowed to follow along. "You can imagine sitting in Houston and watching somebody removed from your parents' property. We don't think that's proper," he said'

So it's proper to do it, it's just not proper for anyone to see it.

That's par for the course.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:19 PM on September 10, 2005


The company, according to news reports, has since begun taking private contracts to guard hotels, businesses and other properties. But what has not been publicly acknowledged is the claim, made to us by 2 Blackwater mercenaries, that they are actually engaged in general law enforcement activities including "securing neighborhoods" and "confronting criminals."

Good to see the same companies that have made so much off of Iraq are able to cash in on this disaster as well.

Later we overheard him on his cell phone complaining that Blackwater was only paying $350 a day plus per diem.

Poor guy! That's only $91,000/year. See how much cheaper it is when you outsource government functions to companies with close ties to those currently in power? Fiscal responsibility the Republican way.
posted by jperkins at 7:21 PM on September 10, 2005


Poor guy! That's only $91,000/year. See how much cheaper it is when you outsource government functions to companies with close ties to those currently in power? Fiscal responsibility the Republican way.

It occured to me after I posted that the $91k annually is his take. Wonder how much Blackwater sells his services for on a daily basis.
posted by jperkins at 7:24 PM on September 10, 2005


hmmmm ... seems as though some of those guards weren't hired by the government

on the 2nd page -

"Some homeowners have hired companies such as Blackwater USA, whose contractors protected members of the U.S. occupation in Iraq and charge up to $1,000 a day for their work."
posted by pyramid termite at 7:30 PM on September 10, 2005


you're not going to see video on Fox News of the police confiscating guns anytime soon.

or NBC because it's already been taken care of

While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won't be any pictures of this particular group of Guard soldiers on our newscast tonight. Rules (or I suspect in this case an order on a whim) like those do not HELP the palpable feeling that this area is somehow separate from the United States.

They may be amateurs at disaster preparedness but they are experts at turning disasters into profit. With morgue services being outsourced to an old Bush benefactor Service Corporation International, it's going to make getting an accurate count of the dead - and time of death - that much more difficult.
posted by any major dude at 7:33 PM on September 10, 2005


pmbuko.. Romans outsourced military duties to German tribes, starting in the "crises of the 3rd century" until eventually the Germans took over from within by the 5th century desposing the last Roman emperor (in the Western empire). The analogy is the same with Corporations in the USA slowly taking over the functions of the state from within, we call it "outsourcing" and "special interests" and other things.
posted by stbalbach at 7:33 PM on September 10, 2005


What, exactly, is inherently wrong with mercenaries?
posted by phrontist at 7:35 PM on September 10, 2005


pyramid termite:
surely that's a separate issue?

Those guys do not get deputised if they are under a contract with a householder. They cannot legally disarm another private citizen.

What, exactly, is inherently wrong with mercenaries?
posted by phrontist at 3:35 AM GMT on September 11


Accountability? Responsibility? Fraud?

posted by dash_slot- at 7:44 PM on September 10, 2005


why is this a problem? its not like anyone but theives can get to them. im guessing that they will be held and returned to their owners at a later date when its possible to do that.
posted by msthinker at 7:46 PM on September 10, 2005


"...im guessing that they will be held and returned to their owners at a later date when its possible to do that..."

I'm guessing you're referring to the guns. No they won't be returned.

The government is disarming a populace at a time of turmoil. Preventing them from protecting themselves, going against their Constitutional rights and setting a very bad precedent.

They are also depriving the citizen of their property without due process.

Other than those things, I guess it isn't a problem.
posted by 517 at 7:51 PM on September 10, 2005


Just for the record:

Not in effect.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:52 PM on September 10, 2005


Pentagon investigator resigns and takes a job with parent company of Blackwater USA

"The Defense Department's top investigator has resigned from office amid accusations that he stonewalled inquiries into senior Bush administration officials suspected of wrongdoing. Inspector General Joseph Schmitz told staffers that his resignation takes effect Friday and that he intends to take a job with the parent company of Blackwater USA, a defense contractor. The resignation comes after Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, informed Schmitz this summer that he was the target of a congressional inquiry into whether he had blocked two criminal probes last year. Grassley also accused Schmitz of fabricating a Pentagon news release, planning an expensive junket to Germany and hiding information from Congress."
posted by Healing One at 7:53 PM on September 10, 2005


Oh boy.
posted by homunculus at 7:54 PM on September 10, 2005


phrontist: Their allegiance is to whoever pays them, not who hires them. They are not bound by the rules and regulations of enlisted officers and often take an "ends justify the means" approach to accomplishing their mission. If that means subverting laws or violating the rights - or health - of the innocent so be it. They can walk off the job whenever they feel like it so if they are sent for a mission and it proves to difficult or dangerous they can walk with the only penalty they face is not being paid. The mercernary corporations often outsource the jobs to "independent contractors" from third world nations who they pay 1/10th of the price and pocket the rest of the fee as profit.
posted by any major dude at 7:54 PM on September 10, 2005


With morgue services being outsourced to an old Bush benefactor Service Corporation International, it's going to make getting an accurate count of the dead - and time of death - that much more difficult.

Wait--are you implying that people could mysteriously die *after* the flooding and that SCI would willingly hide the evidence of those deaths, so that David-Ickean lizard people can feed on the flesh of the democratic poor?
posted by craniac at 8:10 PM on September 10, 2005


The Second Amendment actually doesn't apply to states and local governments, so they're free to regulate however they wish. The whole point of the Second Amendment is to guarantee the states a well-regulated militia, not to guarantee the individual rights of gun owners. So Louisiana and/or New Orleans can take away guns however it pleases. I guess you could make an equal protection argument about leaving the "mercenaries" with guns, but it seems like there's sufficient (legal) justification for letting only organized, trained guards carry guns.
posted by footnote at 8:10 PM on September 10, 2005


Footnote:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Maybe you should read it.
posted by 517 at 8:15 PM on September 10, 2005


*sigh*

Sheep to the slaughter, admiring the nice grass.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:17 PM on September 10, 2005


Looks like less than 300, and possibly 200 people died in NOLA due to the flood. Hmmmm.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:21 PM on September 10, 2005


Guess it's time for the Left to switch back to Iraq--right?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:21 PM on September 10, 2005


Hey Paris, how's it going?
posted by 517 at 8:26 PM on September 10, 2005


Non-sequitur. Your facts are uncoordinated.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:30 PM on September 10, 2005


Paris! Haven't read a trolling post of yours in what seems like ages! Welcome back!
posted by jperkins at 8:33 PM on September 10, 2005


Not trolling....just trying be provacative.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:36 PM on September 10, 2005


Well, there are morgues examining 150 bodies a day, and they're not slowing down anytime soon. What seems to be happening is, there just aren't thousands of attics filled with dead people.
posted by effugas at 8:43 PM on September 10, 2005


just trying be provacative.

Right. And I screwed your grandmother's corpse last night. Not trolling, mind you. Just being provocative.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:43 PM on September 10, 2005


Not trolling....just trying be provacative.

Seeing how you're an attorney, what's your take on the seizure of firearms, the deputization of employees of Blackwater and their use by feds instead of the military? Is outsourcing really that great an idea when it's more expensive and results in less accountability that the use of US troops? This way you can actually stay on topic instead of introducing a remotely tangential rabbit for the yahoos to chase around through the thread for your amusement.
posted by jperkins at 8:44 PM on September 10, 2005


517, that is indeed what the Amendment says, but it has never been held to apply to the states.
posted by footnote at 8:45 PM on September 10, 2005


Wait--are you implying that people could mysteriously die *after* the flooding and that SCI would willingly hide the evidence of those deaths, so that David-Ickean lizard people can feed on the flesh of the democratic poor?

All I'm saying is that if things get sticky with some short-tempered mercenary and a NOLA resident that might not want to leave it sure helps to: 1)not to have any televison cameras present and 2) have friends to tag and bag the body. It's been working pretty well in Iraq.

You see, that's why some Americans value and open and well checked government - it keeps the "lizard people" from using their imaginations.
posted by any major dude at 8:50 PM on September 10, 2005


Footnote I'm sorry, I'm not understanding your last comment.
posted by 517 at 8:53 PM on September 10, 2005


ParisParamus wrong , stupid , foolish, ignorant, blind, empty, and above all, constant.
posted by nola at 8:54 PM on September 10, 2005


I'd just like to thank footnote for the great laugh. Talking about one of the most well-read documents in the world without, apparently, even having read the single part you decided to talk about? Wow.. that's just... great.
posted by odinsdream at 8:55 PM on September 10, 2005


jperkinsm, I don't really have an educated view on the subject, so I can't comment.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:56 PM on September 10, 2005


Hm. it seems you're actually confused. Footnote; we're not talking about states. We're talking about people living in that state who had their second amendment rights (and their right to not have their property taken without compensation) violated when the police took their weapons. The state still has weapons, so we're not talking about it.
posted by odinsdream at 8:57 PM on September 10, 2005


Oh! Healing One: Inspector General Joseph Schmitz is ...MaryKayLetourneau's older brother! her other brother John : . . . Deputy Counsel to President George Bush, the White House, Washington D.C., 1989-1993; Deputy Counsel to Vice President, The White House, Washington, D.C., 1985-1989; Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, Washington, D.C. 1984-85; Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, Office of Bundestag Member Matthias Wissmann, Bonn, and Office of General Counsel, Robert Bosch, GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany; Law Clerk to the Honorable Antonin Scalia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. 1983-1984
maybe a bit more than anyone wants to know ,but a weird family.IMHO.
posted by hortense at 8:58 PM on September 10, 2005


Privatization is not cool. Civic duty is cool. See Roman Empire and outsourcing to German tribes. Corporations are modern Barbarians at the gate.

That's an excellent analogy, and one that had never occurred to me.

Wait--are you implying that people could mysteriously die *after* the flooding and that SCI would willingly hide the evidence of those deaths, so that David-Ickean lizard people can feed on the flesh of the democratic poor?

I think the implication is that the total number of dead will be obscured to make the disaster seem less, well, disastrous. I also think it's pretty clear that regardless of the endless spin, the Bush administration is taking a major hit over this. Downplaying the number of deaths is to their advantage. Sure, there will be a lot of people who will never know the fate of their loved ones, but they're all poor and black and what are they going to do? Get together and figure out who's missing and come up with a number? Even if they did, who would listen to them? Anyway, it's going to "work out very well for them" so they shouldn't complain if some black folks go unaccounted for.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 8:58 PM on September 10, 2005


What, exactly, is inherently wrong with mercenaries?

They don't have cool t-shirts.
posted by well_balanced at 8:59 PM on September 10, 2005


jperkinsm, I don't really have an educated view on the subject, so I can't comment.

C'mon, Paris. You dropped that death toll of three hundred (or perhaps two hundred) when the current death toll that I found with about thirty second of Goggling is at 370. You didn't need an educated opinion then, why now?
posted by jperkins at 9:01 PM on September 10, 2005


517: Not every part of the Bill of Rights has been held to apply to state government. Through a process called "incorporation," individual amendments have been selectively applied piecemeal to the states via the 14th amendment. (Don't ask how -- better to just think of it like the transubstantiation of the eucharist.) The Second Amendment has never been "incorporated," so it doesn't restrain the states, only the feds. Since the state governments are free to regulated guns, it's not an individual right, in my opinion.

Other Bill of Rights provisions not incorporated to the states include the right to a grand jury indictment and the right to a civil jury trial (at least that's what I remember from BarBri...)
posted by footnote at 9:03 PM on September 10, 2005


pyramid termite:
surely that's a separate issue?


dash_slot, how can we tell which guards are hired by the government and which are hired by private parties? ... in fact, how can the reporters on the ground tell?

it seems to be a situation where a person can't be in possession of a gun to protect his property ... but he can hire a guy to be in possession of a gun to protect his property

it's relevant ... and rather confusing
posted by pyramid termite at 9:06 PM on September 10, 2005


They don't have cool t-shirts.

Yes they do.

I just bought one.
posted by 517 at 9:09 PM on September 10, 2005


odinsdream, I'm not sure what you're saying. My understanding is that the state and local governments are taking the guns, not the federal government. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with the taking of private property -- that's the "Takings Clause" of the Fifth Amendment, which has been incorporated, but would probably not apply to this situation anyway.
posted by footnote at 9:09 PM on September 10, 2005


None of this is to say I think it's fair that only some people are allowed to defend their property.
posted by footnote at 9:12 PM on September 10, 2005


I understand it's a separate amendment. Why would it not apply in this situation? Are not the guns their property? Are not they being seized? Are they paying people for the guns?
posted by odinsdream at 9:14 PM on September 10, 2005


Does any one know if G.gordon Liddy is still with Blackwater?
posted by hortense at 9:16 PM on September 10, 2005


If everything's a numbers game to you, Paris, I'm waiting for you to throw your full, provacative support behind a patriotic War On Heart Disease. Maybe we should send US troops in to clear out some arteries.
posted by Jimbob at 9:20 PM on September 10, 2005


> They don't have cool t-shirts.


Yes they do. I just bought one.


Try hard. ;)
posted by jperkins at 9:21 PM on September 10, 2005


Footnote This is what I see when I read the 14th amendment.

"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws..."

Obviously it goes on but the only thing I can see that could be related to what you are saying is section 5.

"...The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article..."

Do you have a link that would explaining this?
posted by 517 at 9:24 PM on September 10, 2005


would explain
posted by 517 at 9:24 PM on September 10, 2005


517; here's a better source for what footnote is talking about.
posted by odinsdream at 9:32 PM on September 10, 2005


Odinsdream: It is a little complicated, but not everything in the Constitution applies to the states. This includes, so far, the Second Amendment. To be clear, I'm sure you could search the literature and find articles arguing that the Second Amendment should apply to the states, but at this point, it does not. "Whatever the Amendment may mean, it is a bar only to federal action, not extending to state or private restraints."

As far as compensation for taking the guns goes, I'm fairly sure that's not covered under the Takings Clause. Even if it were covered, that wouldn't stop the state of Louisiana from the confiscating guns -- they'd just have to pay for them later.
posted by footnote at 9:32 PM on September 10, 2005


Like it or not, constitutional doctrine is complicated. Everyone can definitely eventually get the gist of it given enough time, but not by just reading the text of the Constitution. If you're really interested, you should pick up Erwin Chemerinsky's book Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies.
posted by footnote at 9:36 PM on September 10, 2005


517 i think you are wrong. i believe the decision to do it was made because of the armed thugs who were shooting at relief workers. i absolutely believe the guns will be held and returned to whoever they were registered to.
posted by msthinker at 9:37 PM on September 10, 2005


And wouldn't Blackwater be categorized as law enforcement
if that's what they were hired to do?
pmbuko at 6:58 PM PST on September 10 [!]

What, exactly, is inherently wrong with mercenaries?
posted by phrontist at 7:35 PM PST on September 10 [!]

I know a few people who work for Blackwater. I trust them. I'm finding it hard to look at this and not echo Kurtz in saying "Exterminate the brutes!"
They are not law enforcement. A soldier is not trained to enforce the law. He is trained to kill. Law enforcement officers are there - ostensibly - to enforce the law. Their objective is not to kill the enemy (if possible). Indeed they typically call their opponants "suspects."
Certainly the government can deputize. In this day and age it shouldn't have to. Nor should it. It not only violates the social contract, but mercinaries have not sworn to uphold and defend the constitution.

I am as utterly opposed to this as I was against US troops under direct command of UN officers. (The exact same reasoning applies, those officers have not sworn to uphold our constitution).
+ what any major dude said well, twice.
-------------

The whole point of the Second Amendment is to guarantee the states a well-regulated militia, not to guarantee the individual rights of gun owners.

Yeah, that whole argument can be inserted anally. They're welcome to come and try taking my firearms. I have only been shooting at paper lately and I want to see how well these saboted rounds & the soft iron rounds penetrate flesh.
------------

Guess it's time for the Left to switch back to Iraq--right?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:21 PM PST on September 10 [!]


Speaking of shoving things up your ass..... fuck you RINO.

On a similar note, why isn't the NRA (nationally) up in the media's grill on this?

At least the guys in my backyard are taking care of business.

Your welcome.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:38 PM on September 10, 2005


ereshkigal45: I think the implication is that the total number of dead will be obscured to make the disaster seem less, well, disastrous.
...
Sure, there will be a lot of people who will never know the fate of their loved ones, but they're all poor and black and what are they going to do? Get together and figure out who's missing and come up with a number? Even if they did, who would listen to them?


Yes, very interesting... Remember how the estimates of the dead during 9/11 were all massively over inflated until months later...

Anyway, it's going to "work out very well for them" so they shouldn't complain if some black folks go unaccounted for.

Not nearly as well as it worked our for the victims of 9/11 though... I still have the video of the lecture, I can repost it if anyone is interested.
posted by Chuckles at 9:43 PM on September 10, 2005


Important story, thanks Dash slot . . .
too bad discussions degenerate so quickly.
posted by ahimsakid at 9:45 PM on September 10, 2005


msthinker The armed thugs aren't the ones that are surrendering their guns. It's the law abiding citizens.

The act of returning hundreds of guns would be expensive and time consuming, it is much more likely that they will just be auctioned off when the opportunity arises. If a citizen were to go through the trouble of hiring a lawyer and petitioning the state, I would guess he might see his gun back in a year or so. Of course he will have paid out more in lawyer's fee than the value of the gun, so no one will do it.
posted by 517 at 9:48 PM on September 10, 2005


i absolutely believe the guns will be held and returned to whoever they were registered to.
posted by msthinker at 9:37 PM PST on September 10 [!]


'Cause governments do that all the time.

msthinker - consider: if a person has a registered firearm, it lends at least some credance to their willingness to adhere to the law. I don't want to boil it down to cliche and say when gun are outlawed only outlaws will have guns, but indeed that is what taking weapons away from law abiding citizens leads to. Those who do not have registered firearms are probably in violation of the law and probably violate it in other ways. They should be arrested and their weapons should be confiscated anyway.Those who went and registered probably aren't and don't.
In another situation I'd have a problem with searching them, but they're in a state of emergency. I still have a problem with people who aren't trained law enforcement officers or under the direct supervision of one doing the work.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:48 PM on September 10, 2005


517 beat me to it. And said it better than I did. Bummer.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:49 PM on September 10, 2005


You'll know things have gone totally south when and if the government starts trying to take firearms away from people who are not in disaster areas, to help "quell disturbances."

At that point I advise every legal firearm owner to hide them well and report them stolen.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:01 PM on September 10, 2005


On a similar note, why isn't the NRA (nationally) up in the media's grill on this?

I wondered this myself, so I wandered over to their site to see if they were squawking. apparently not.

If you are an NRA member (and I'm pretty sure there are a few of you here), riddle me this: why, when the government and its proxies are actually confiscating firearms from citizens for no legal reason, save some vague pie-in-the-sky "public safety" bullshit, your organization--whose entire reason for being is the protection of individual rights as they pertain to firearms--has exactly zero to say on the matter? Color me unimpressed. It appears the NRA must actually stand for National Republican Association, because it sure as shit doesn't seem to be doing anything about protecting the rights of New Orleans gun owners.
posted by Chrischris at 10:03 PM on September 10, 2005


On a similar note, why isn't the NRA (nationally) up in the media's grill on this?

Because it's OK to take the guns of black people, since they're all "thugs" anyway?

And while we're at it, can we all agree that "thug" is code for scary black man?
posted by ereshkigal45 at 10:07 PM on September 10, 2005


ereshkigal, i think you've nailed it. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 10:12 PM on September 10, 2005


Not being a member of the NRA I don't know but...

The NRA is only about firearms when they have to be. Otherwise, they are a front for the GOP. I'm guessing they will complain quietly when things cool down.
posted by 517 at 10:18 PM on September 10, 2005


The NRA-ILA is on it. (And us ISRA folks).

"While one can certainly understand the dire predicaments of all those affected by Hurricane Katrina, as we have learned throughout history, campaigns to disarm the lawful do nothing to disarm the criminal. And in truth, these restrictions make citizens less safe. Despite the valiant efforts of many law enforcement officers and rescue workers, too many of those left in the wake of Katrina are ultimately responsible for their own security and safety and that of their families and loved ones."


Also, note on the Mercs:

"Walking up and down these streets, you don't want to think about the stuff that you're going to have to do, if somebody pops out around a corner," said National Guardsman Chris Montgomery.


It's a lot harder to get an American to fire on someone he has sworn to defend. Particularly if he's a local guardsman. Mercs, well, they get paid. If they don't want the job, they don't take it.

My God where are the people who were worried about UN troops on our soil? This is far worse.
We had some mercs to fight off Shay's, but this is one of the reasons we fought the revolution, King George was using mercenaries on us; quartering them in our houses, etc.

The more things change, eh?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:22 PM on September 10, 2005


/qualifier.

Otherwise, they are a front for the GOP.
Agreed, though the NRA-ILA posted that, I haven't seen the NRA kicking too much publicly.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:24 PM on September 10, 2005


With morgue services being outsourced to an old Bush benefactor Service Corporation International, it's going to make getting an accurate count of the dead - and time of death - that much more difficult.

It would certainly be useful to obscure the time and nature of death if there is ever any reckoning as to how many deaths occurred from the hurricane vs the number of deaths that occurred from drowning or dehydration several days after the hurricane while people waited for relief.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:30 PM on September 10, 2005


But in an hour-long conversation with several Blackwater mercenaries, we heard a different story. The men we spoke with said they are indeed on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and the Louisiana governor's office

Martial law may not be in place in name, but Louisiana did declare a state of emergency (by the way, it's set to expire 9/25; cash money says she renews it through the end of the year at least). Under Louisiana 29:721 D (7), the governor has the authority under such a proclamation to "Control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein." and under (8) to "Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles."

Uh, Louisiana has a state Department of Homeland Security. In Iraq they may be unaccountable (because we'd never submit even non-military to potentially hostile foreign courts), but here in the USA they are deputized to the governor just like Officer Friendly. They will be accountable by the same set of laws as any other law enforcement officer; at worst, the Governor herself will be accountable.

I've never quite gotten the left's hostility to "mercenaries (spit)" ... per se. I can understand mercenaries who fuck up and bug out. I can understand mercenaries who are used to foment or manage coups d'etat, I can understand mercenaries who act as internal spies or protection against the people or oh-gosh-we-can't-control-them death squads. I can't understand how security guards for truck drivers are "mercenaries" except in a general sense or how they've done anything wrong by taking such jobs which should disqualify them from a position of trust.

The politics on this one are gonna be interesting, though. Blanco's a Democrat so she never had that much Republican support to begin with, but now she's the NRA's poster girl for over-my-dead-bodyisms. Anyway, hiring Blackwater means she has enough bodies under her command she doesn't need to sign over as much authority to the feds.

Funny, states' rights always used to be aligned with the gun-rights crowd. I wonder how that's gonna work in the future.
posted by dhartung at 10:32 PM on September 10, 2005


I think there are many left wing people who are against gun control (the more radical/revolutionary among them).

I've always wondered why the NRA is so right wing. I'd assume radicals would like to distance themselves from so conservative an organization.

Is there any sort of Leftwing Gun rights group? I've never heard of any, but always thought there should be one.

Then again, they'd probably all get cointeled and wouldn't last very long. Who knows.
posted by symbioid at 10:34 PM on September 10, 2005


dhartung, mercenaries are outside chain-of-command. They don't work for us, really. Even if they say they're under civilian control, they're really only under control of the highest bidder.

And as pointed out, they have not sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States and the citizens thereof. They are simply paid soldiers, and as such are inherently dangerous to use.

Trust them at your own peril. Especially if they're trying to take your guns, in violation of the Constitution.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:36 PM on September 10, 2005


I'm sorta lefty, and I'm for gun rights. In fact, I insist.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:38 PM on September 10, 2005


It always greatly amused me to watch the typical NRA types put down some fairly decent libertarian arguments for RTKBA(ie. punish criminal behavior not inanimate objects) and in the same sentences go off on the necessity of the drug war. For some reason they never see the irony in this. The NRA is very much about making sure a certain group of people (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more?) are the ones w/ the guns. The handful of other non-GOP gun rights organizations are, to my understanding, little more than a few dudes and a website.
posted by well_balanced at 11:14 PM on September 10, 2005


symbioid: Is there any sort of Leftwing Gun rights group? I've never heard of any, but always thought there should be one.

Well, there's the Gay Communist Gun Club
posted by papakwanz at 11:56 PM on September 10, 2005


There are still plenty of lefty libertarians that will protect you non gun owning liberals when the time comes.
Just quit trying to take them away from people.
Not all guns are for hijacking and liquor store robberies.
Someday they may be needed to defend those that will not defend themselves.
posted by Balisong at 12:22 AM on September 11, 2005


> There are still plenty of lefty libertarians that will protect
> you non gun owning liberals when the time comes.

America is such a peculiar place.

What is this 'time' that you all fear? Everything I'd read had led me to believe that what you were talking about was the point at which the government attempts to disarm its citizens.

Isn't that what's happening now? I don't see any of this much vaunted 'protection' going on?

> Live free or die

Don't see much dying going on either.

It's time to fess up, guys. It's really all about the John Wayne movies, isn't it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:54 AM on September 11, 2005


Is there any sort of Leftwing Gun rights group?

Yeah, we're called patriots. Or terrorists, depending on who's doing the name-calling.

/lefty gun-nut
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 AM on September 11, 2005


Looking forward to the day the US Presidency itself is privatised and outsourced directly to Hollywood.
posted by funambulist at 4:18 AM on September 11, 2005


Indeed I don't see many people revolting , expecially now that a government went as far as -allowing- mercenaries to supplement the job of national guard and police and military police...which is the same as saying national guard and army suck , they're not enough..let's call REAL professionals.

Later we overheard him on his cell phone complaining that Blackwater was only paying $350 a day plus per diem. That is much less than the men make serving in more dangerous conditions in Iraq

Makes lot of business sense to the company to pay less for a less dangerous situation yet it's not in the mercenary best interest to realize less then his/her full potential. I bet they're being paid less but the merc company is cashing the difference between what they're being really paid for each mercenary by govt/private and what they're giving each merc...with the excuse it's not Iraq.

Those mercs are after all fine well equipped grunts with a good trainining..yet they're still grunts, who are they going to call, syndacates, lawyers ? AHAHAHAH
posted by elpapacito at 4:24 AM on September 11, 2005


More non-GOP gun nuts: Pink Pistols - "Armed Gays Don't Get Bashed."

The NRA has given endorsements to Democrats in the past. They would work more with the Democrats if the Democrats would work with them.

And gun owners tend to be one of the most accepting groups I've ever seen. As a bit of anecdotal evidence: Utah is not known for being particularly gay-friendly, at least outside of Salt Lake, but here in the most conservative part of Utah, the local range had an open day sponsored by the Pink Pistols where they happily would teach any gay man or woman the basics of shooting and firearm care. Lots of Mormon gun owners showed up to help with this event.

Its interesting how responsible gun aficionados can work together in a way which transcends politics, race, class, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Its a truly egalitarian pursuit which ironically matches the goals many liberals (including myself) want for society.
posted by pandaharma at 5:24 AM on September 11, 2005


Rapture Index 161
Net Change +5

posted by xowie at 6:20 AM on September 11, 2005


If there are many numbers I don't understand
therefore it must be important and scientific
therefore maybe true !

Yeah, I think I'll go play lotto after finishing educamacating myself in mathemagic.
posted by elpapacito at 6:56 AM on September 11, 2005


"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;"

aren't guns property?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:40 AM on September 11, 2005


Ask Machiavelli why mercenaries are a bad idea.

On the other hand, you can use them to set up private prisons in Afghanistan (just for "hypothetical" instance), and leave them there to rot when the illegal operation is found out.

I guess it's time I got a gun. I had hoped I would never feel I needed one.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:49 AM on September 11, 2005


How Bush Blew It -- from Newsweek (and scathing--for them)
posted by amberglow at 9:12 AM on September 11, 2005


Once again my small Constitutional knowledge if flayed open and left bleeding on the ground. Thanks, footnote.
posted by 517 at 9:54 AM on September 11, 2005


Later we overheard him on his cell phone complaining that Blackwater was only paying $350 a day plus per diem.

Humph! The e-mail I got offered $250/day plus travel, equipment and per diem. Cheap pricks! Then again, I'm not as highly trained as most of those guys...and I didn't want to to anyway.
posted by RevGreg at 2:41 PM on September 11, 2005


There are still plenty of lefty libertarians that will protect you non gun owning liberals when the time comes.
....
Someday they may be needed to defend those that will not defend themselves.


The thing that gets me about this line of thinking is how useful would a pistol, rifle, etc. be against the U.S. military. Even the Iraqi insurgency is having to run a guerilla campaign and use explosives.
posted by MikeKD at 3:00 PM on September 11, 2005


It's really all about the John Wayne movies, isn't it?
I like 'em. Although after the service I kept thinking why you'd put a very large (and paunchy) guy on point all the time and why he wasn't humping the M-60 around.

It's really all about mobilization. We need a leader, communications, etc. etc. As I understand it black Americans have had a bit of this problem. Of course, many leaders in the black community get assassinated coincidentally.

What you're really talking about is revolution. And you'd have to make things much worse than they are now. Blackouts, financial breakdown, dramatic events to which the government erringly responds with force (they're ripe for that now), radical demands, etc. , etc. , etc. , etc.

I wouldn't want to roll those dice until things had gotten REALLY REALLY Bad. That 'radical' stage scares the hell out of me, particularly in America. We have nukes.
When the Soviets flipped, everyone with any brains felt their respective gonads go cold. And we're far more dangerous.

I think for the most part we're talking about keeping the lid on, sort of reality checking the feds, reminding them how much it would cost to knock us over.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:35 PM on September 11, 2005


FYI, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership are publically pissed off about the Louisiana gun confiscations, too. And keeping with pandaharma's comments about gun owners' liberalism, about 30% of JPFO members aren't even Jewish; they just agree with the group's focus on keeping vulnerable ethnic/religious minority groups from being disarmed. And the focus of the group as a whole is mainly on places like Bosnia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, etc., where other non-Jewish minority groups had or are having their self-protection and gun-ownership rights stripped, with predictable results.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:58 PM on September 11, 2005


I'm just floored at the low-level of outrage about this. I waited a couple of days, just to give the "newsies" a chance to cover the story...but it's getting very little press.
posted by dejah420 at 9:36 AM on September 12, 2005


The NRA came out against this today, but pinned all the blame on local authorities (is that correct? there was no federal involvement?)
posted by mathowie at 1:57 PM on September 12, 2005


jperkinsm, I don't really have an educated view on the subject, so I can't comment.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:56 PM PST on September 10 [!]


lol
posted by wakko at 5:46 PM on September 12, 2005


What is this 'time' that you all fear? Everything I'd read had led me to believe that what you were talking about was the point at which the government attempts to disarm its citizens.

And when the "time" comes, your measly popguns won't mean squat, even if they're powerful automatic weapons. These people have access to *bombs*.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:42 PM on September 21, 2005


« Older "A natural history of birds. Most of which have no...  |  Own a piece of national traged... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments