Saturday, March 1, 2008

Clinton Would Abolish Iraq Security Detail

Hours after Senator Barack Obama gave his show of support to Blackwater and private security contractors generally, Hillary Clinton announced that she was cosponsoring legislation "to ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq," according to her website.

I'd rail against the junior senator of New York for her naiveté, pointing out that her proposal that "all personnel at any US diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq be provided security services only by Federal Government Personnel" is impossible. I would point out that her proposal is a backdoor way of saying we should pull out of Iraq - without the gumption to actually say it - since the US government is incapable of operating there without the private sector. I'd say these things and more, but others have beat me to the punch.

The Moderate Voice has come out and said that,

These contractors are fully integrated into every aspect of the operations in Iraq, and at this juncture, we cannot simply “ban” them. The most important immediate step we can take is to get them accountable (and evidently Obama already has legislation in motion for this). Clinton’s move here looks to be both politically expedient and astoundingly naive.
Not only that, but Clinton has benefited personally from Blackwater, and she knows it. When she visited Iraq, she was protected not by U.S. troops or Secret Service agents, but by Blackwater Worldwide's personal security detail. All American lawmakers who visit Iraq go under Blackwater protection.

Clinton knows Blackwater's importance, which is why her Senate office (as opposed to her campaign staff) has been so muted in its criticism of the company. She didn't have much to say against the firm while her opponent, Senator Obama, was trashing the security provider. Now that Obama has seen the light and has given Blackwater the thumbs-up, Senator Clinton has performed one of her famous flip-flops so she can take the other side of the issue.

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