Friday, April 20, 2007

I've got the homeland insecurity blues

Todd Beeton at Courage Campaign asks, "What Is An Ex-Blackwater Lobbyist Doing In CA’s Department of Homeland Security?"

Yeah? I'd like to know the answer to that too.

The way I see it, what's playing out here is what Jeremy Scahill wrote about in September 2005. Blackwater wants to establish a presence in every state, and they contract through Homeland Security, so in California they lobby for the privatization of the training of Border Patrol agents. But now the lobbyist/former employee of Blackwater, Chris Bertelli is the Deputy Director of the California Department of Homeland Security, that makes things so much simpler! How convenient.

Blackwater has also proposed a defend in place strategy in case of brush fire. The question isn't IF there will be a fire in Potrero, but when. That the nature of things out there. So they're trying to wiggle into their "security in cases of natural disaster" niche. They seem to want to reframe their image from mercenaries to public defenders. You KNOW they'll be on the streets of San Diego, a la New Orleans, should we have a significant earthquake or other disaster. The Potrero location also positions them between San Diego and Calexico and El Centro, where they have some serious shakes every so often.

(::adjusts tinfoil hat::)

Do we really want a private paramilitary corporation that was founded by Erik Prince, who has an interesting background of political, social, and religious connections, to be called up in case of disaster. Isn't that what the National Guard is supposed to do?


I guess they're busy.

Sigh. I'm going to go make myself a drink, and ponder the evolution of the Daddy State.

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