Friday, November 30, 2007

109. License to Kill

By Robert Young Pelton
Rated 5 Chilling Stars

I got interested in this last book (here is where the boring part of this post starts) because as I may have complained about before, I have had a sleep disorder for a long time and have recently developed a sensitivity to my meds for it so I have been spending a lot of sleepless hours in the middle of the night. I have found this marvelous late night radio program called Coast to Coast AM that discusses all sorts of crazy stuff that is fun to listen to. Ghosts, Encounters with and abductions by extraterrestrial creatures, werewolves and anything paranormal in general. Lately they have started to discuss other topics as I think that even the seriously looney tunes folks have finally figured out that things in this country are maybe not going as well as they were led to believe.

The other night they had a serious duscussion with author and adventurer Robert Young Pelton discussed his latest book, Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror. Usually I kind of doze through the programs as they are 3 hours long but that night it was so interesting that I was wide awake the whole time. So I immediately requested the book from the library.

Between the program and the book I now have a much better understanding
on the private security companies like Blackwater. On the program they opened the phone lines and many of these contractors called in and gave their sides of
the story and what had motivated them to go to work for these contractors in the first place and how the contractors fit into the big picture. It was an amazing look into something I knew nothing about before and hearing it from real people has a lot more impact that just reading it. I didn't know that there were many other contracting firms besides Blackwater and not all of them were American firms. Britain, Germany and France also have contractors there and on the
other hand, all of these contractors operate all over the world not just in the middle east. I guess the fact that the US has been handing out money (between May of 2003 and June of 2004 393 tons of $100 bills were shipped to Iraq and have to this day not been accounted for) like it was candy is a major factor for the proliferation these companies.

There is a very disturbing thought that follows the logic of "Licensed To Kill". Back in the early 90's the U.S. government used sections of U.S. Code to prohibit militias from forming 'private armies'. Now Private companies can field a well equipped battalion at very short moment's notice. Since the U.S. Government is prohibited by law to use it's own militaries domestically could it then legally 'hire' a private force to quell a domestic disturbance? The question of what all can private armies be used for can be greatly expanded beyond foreign wars and conflicts. Can our own military be replaced by private contracts? How about our police forces across the country? I am not trying to sound conspiratorial here but I think that what the contractors have seen and what the author has written about is the very beginning of a long trend that will likely grow beyond what anyone thinks now. I am afraid that this particular "genie" that has been let out of the bottle might turn around and eat us.

So if you find you are getting too much sleep at night - Read This Book.
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