Monday, March 10, 2008

Hillary plan would get our diplomats killed

If Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's plan for Blackwater became law, most of our diplomats in Baghdad and Kabul would be dead.

So would the senator and any other American VIP visiting the Iraqi and Afghan capitals.

As we recently reported, the presidential candidate issued a news release on February 28 saying she had cosponsored legislation to "ban" the use of private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to her news release, "The legislation requires that all personnel at any U.S. diplomatic or consular mission in Iraq be provided security services only by Federal Government Personnel."

But the legislation doesn't have a provision for training and equipping U.S. government personnel for the job - a job the military says it can't do. And the Diplomatic Security Service has only 1,700 agents worldwide, when about two-thirds that number are needed in Iraq alone. Recruiting, screening, training and deploying such a force would take years.

So her bill would "ban" the private security providers while making no provisions for federal personnel to replace them - creating a security gap that would cost many American lives.

Indeed, Senator Clinton had no problem with Blackwater protecting her when she visited the war zones. Now that rival Senator Barack Obama has come around on the Blackwater issue, Senator Clinton has flip-flopped to become a vocal critic.

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