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Web Letter

I have been trying to ask Jeremy Scahill for quite some time if Blackwater provides cover for CIA personnel. It seems a fair question to ask of the person who wrote the book on Blackwater and follows its every move. It also seems a relevant question, perhaps the most relevant question, insofar as Blackwater works for the State Department and the State Department covers for the CIA. This over-arching intelligence angle needs to be addressed honestly and openly by Scahill.

Douglas Valentine

Longmeadow, MA

Aug 5 2009 - 9:47am

Web Letter

Doe #2 states "sawed off semi-automatic machine guns."

Doe #2's creds just took a huge beating. No one saws off the barrels of machine guns, as it can adversely affected the way they function. And there is no such thing as a semi-auto machine gun. Machine guns are full-auto. And if Doe #2 had been in the military, he would probably know that and that it is called a suppressor, not a silencer.

Dave Hernandez

Aurora, CO

Aug 5 2009 - 5:52am

Web Letter

I believe the death of the highest-ranking soldier by suicide Col. Ted Westhusing may well be the link referred to in this investigation. An examination of the role of Blackwater Petreaus and the buildup of indigenous force structure is called for, and this is the gun left smoking: Ted's note, with a little preamble from Robert Bryce in the Texas Observer: A few minutes later, the female contractor said Westhusing "stood up and started to examine his weapon again" for about five minutes. The next morning, on June 5, Westhusing had one meeting at Camp Dublin with the contractors and another with government personnel. At the second meeting he expressed his disgust with "money-grubbing contractors" and said he "had not come over to Iraq for this." Westhusing was slated to leave Camp Dublin after lunch. When he did not show up for a meeting, one of the contractors went looking for him. At about 1:15 in the afternoon, Westhusing was discovered in trailer 602A. Near his body was a note addressed to his commanders, Petraeus and Fil. Written in large, block letters, it read:

Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name]--You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff--no msn [mission] support and you don't care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied--no more. I didn't volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more. Trust is essential--I don't know who trust anymore. [sic] Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it.
COL Ted Westhusing
Life needs trust. Trust is no more for me here in Iraq.
Col. Ted Westhusing training security forces in Iraq on April 11, 2005.

Eric C. Meiers

Frankfort, IN

Aug 5 2009 - 1:47am

Web Letter

I'd like to know why anybody would be sending bags of dog food to Iraq. Oh, that's right! Those "enhanced" interrogations.

D.M. Nolan

Lompoc, CA

Aug 4 2009 - 9:53pm

Web Letter

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by these allegations, but the lack of discretion is astounding! This guy would have to be the Christian version of bin Laden.

But, it just goes to show where private contracting of government services can take you. Besides running the cost of government through the roof, we now add murder to the fraud and corruption of other private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The absence of the profit motive makes government more cost-effective, and there is the possibility that Congress or the executive branch might exercise some control over waste. Faint hope?

The same thing can happen with privatized care, without the government option.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Aug 4 2009 - 7:52pm

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