Tuesday, October 2, 2007

False presumptions of Rep. Jim Cooper

Congressman Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) is upset that Blackwater provides training to other countries, but is ignorant of the fact that the US government paid for that training.

Cooper (pictured) also showed in his questioning of Blackwater CEO Erik Prince that he knew nothing of the Defense Trade Controls Act, presuming that Blackwater somehow can provide services to any country it chooses. He dared Prince to adopt a policy that Blackwater would only serve the United States.

Prince responded that such a statement makes no sense, because he can do nothing abroad without explicit permission of the United States government. Cooper seemed skeptical. Prince patiently explained to him the terms of the Defense Trade Controls Act - by the expression on his face, Cooper indicates he knows nothing about the act - and says that any training, any export of weapons, any equipment to work abroad in his area requires a license.

When Cooper appeared to accept Prince's explanation that we have NATO allies who need support, the lawmaker brought up Blackwater's contract to train Azerbaijan, which is not a NATO member.

Prince surprised Cooper by telling him that the United States government paid Blackwater to train the Azerbaijanis.

"We can't work for someone who's not US-approved," Prince said.

1 comment:

Toni said...

FYI - linked to your posting.