Blackwater Sets Sites On US/Mexico Border.

By Seth Freed Wessler Oct 23, 2007

Blackwater Securities, the private contractor under scrutiny for the murder of Iraqi civilians, has set its sites on the US/Mexico Border. While no agreement has been reached to contract border patrol to the firm, statements and lobbying efforts indicate that the company is positioning to engage in border security. Blackwater plans to build a military style training facility in Southern California that will include an array of weapons systems, firing ranges, urban simulation training courses and other combat preparatory facilitates. Given Blackwater’s “shoot first” policy, enacted with bloody clarity in Iraq and on the streets of New Orleans after Katrina, the plans to expand to the border region do not bode well. With vigilante groups like the Minutemen already taking their racist, nationalist stance to the front lines, guns in hand, the addition of Blackwater to the scene would only mean more dead immigrants with less accountability. In a political climate where the rhetoric on immigration employs the lexicon of war, the possibility of Blackwater’s entry into the border security scene seems to fit the frame. As if it were not enough that the United States is building a wall along the border and the the total number of deportations has increased by over 400% in the past ten years, the border itself may be handed over to private firms whose interests could not be less in line with the common good. To make matters worse, it seems that it’s not only Republicans who support Blackwater. Hillary Clinton’s chief campaign strategist Mark Penn, who also heads a major global public affairs firm, recently advised Blackwater in preparing for their hearing before Congress.