April 8, 2007

Mercenary "military for hire" corporation building training camp in Jo Daviess County

One of the most under-reported stories of the Iraq disaster is the fact that the Bush administration and the neo-con ideologues who designed it determined before the war that it should be the first "privatized" war. Plans were made to contract out a huge portion of what the military had always done itself to outside, and of course, closely connected corporations, many of which sprang into sudden existence simply to reap the billions of dollars available in no-bid, no-accountibility contracts.

Among the largest members of the "coalition of the billing" in addition to Halliburton/Kellog Brown & Root, is Blackwater USA, literally an army for hire being paid untold millions of your tax dollars with no accountibility whatsoever.
Blackwater USA is a private military contractor offering "tactical training," firing range and target systems, and security consulting under the company's subdivisions: Blackwater Training Center, Blackwater Target Systems, Blackwater Security Consulting and Blackwater Canine. According to its website, Blackwater provides "a spectrum of support to military, government agencies, law enforcement and civilian entities in training, targets and range operations as a solution provider." Their slogan is: "Providing a new generation of capability, skills, and people to solve the spectrum of needs in the world of security."

Blackwater USA was co-founded by former Navy Seal Erik Prince, a "billionaire right-wing fundamentalist Christian from a powerful Michigan Republican family. A major Republican campaign contributor, he interned in the White House of President George H.W. Bush and campaigned for Pat Buchanan in 1992. He founded the mercenary firm Blackwater USA in 1997 with Gary Jackson, another former Navy SEAL."

Prince's father, Edgar Prince, and Gary Bauer started the Family Research Council, where Prince interned. Prince's sister, Betsy DeVos, is a former chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

Blackwater USA received no-bid contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and "post-Katrina New Orleans" from the current Bush administration.

5 blackwater mercenaries were killed when their helicopter crashed in central Bagdhad, 7 more were killed two years ago in another helicopter crash, bringing the number of Blackwater guns for hire killed to 21 at that time.

It was Blackwater employees that ended up being torched and hung from a bridge in southern Iraq a few years ago,
Blackwater—and private military contractors in general—came under increased public scrutiny following the public killing and mutilation of four employees in Fallujah, Iraq on March 31, 2004. This increased scrutiny lead the firm to hire the Alexander Strategy Group for crisis management, public and media relations.

According to Russel Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, a few days after the Fallujah killings, "Blackwater Security Consulting engaged in full-scale battle in Najaf, with the company flying its own helicopters amidst an intense firefight to resupply its own commandos."

Blackwater has virtually no accountibility to the congress or anyone else, yet are reaping enormous profits and providing essentially a rogue, completely independent military force in Iraq and elsewhere.

Business has been so good, they're now building a multi-million dollar para-military training facility right in our back yard.

The "City Barbs" blogger "Treefieldsky" recently posted an excellent and rather shocking account of the goings on 50 miles to the north of the Quad Cities.

Of course, the local press completely missed this, but will hopefully give it it's deserved attention sometime soon.
The stillness of tree lined Skunk Hollow Road in Jo Daviess County Illinois, twenty miles from the beautiful Palisades along the Mississippi River, will soon be shattered by gunfire. Not the gun fire of wild turkey hunters but the gunfire from a new training facility for the most powerful mercenary army in the world, Blackwater USA.

I had a view of Blackwater’s new Illinois facility that is usually reserved for the hawks circling overhead. I stood on-top their climbing/rappelling/shooting tower looking down at the bulldozers busy moving tons of earth to create more shooting ranges.

On eighty acres in this isolated corner of Illinois, one hundred miles from Chicago, Blackwater is creating another large training site. This site will eventually, according to Blackwater North’s vice deputy Eric Davis, compare to their headquarters in North Carolina. They have a full schedule of classes ready to roll beginning April 9th with a pistol shooting course that is already three over capacity. The first three weeks of courses are filled and the others are filling fast.

Many thanks to "yinn" for bringing this matter to my attention.


At 4/08/2007 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great company. I know the owners.

Good use of real estate plus brings in badly needed tax revenue and creates jobs.

At 4/09/2007 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's in Mount Carroll, dipshit.

At 4/09/2007 12:51 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 3:38

So do whore houses and nuclear waste dumps.

Yeah, they seem like a sweet bunch of guys. Congratulations.

At 4/09/2007 1:00 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


I'd been told it was located near Mt. Carroll as well, but the post describing the facility reads:

"The stillness of tree lined Skunk Hollow Road in Jo Daviess County Illinois, twenty miles from the beautiful Palisades along the Mississippi River, will soon be shattered by gunfire"

"According to the Jo Daviess County zoning officer..."

"Linda Delvaux, JoDaviess county zoning officer told a source that there are limits on what Blackwater can and cannot do."

I'm sure you don't read, but really, you should try before you spout off.

Since you seem sure of yourself, rather than acting like an asshat, why don't you inform us of it's exact location?

You seem really concerned whether it's in Mt. Carroll or JoDaviess county, a whole 7 miles away.

Or don't you know?

Sounds like it's in JoDaviess county to me.

At 4/09/2007 2:49 PM, Anonymous yinn said...

Anonymous 9:10, the facility is not IN Mt. Carroll, it's miles north of it. It has a Mt. Carroll address it's because that's the nearest post office location.

Thanks, TID, for getting the word out.


At 4/09/2007 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the website, the facility is eight miles north of Mt. Carroll. That has to put it close the the Carroll/Jo Daviess County line. I've spent a lot of time phtographing old farmyards and farm buildings in that section of Carroll/JoDaviess. It's picturesque, but very isolated. I always thought it would be easy to grow a "questionable" crop of something in them there hills.

At 4/17/2007 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so un-American that it stinks. If it weren't for these brave Americans we would be in big problems in Iraq. These gangs do not have to follow the same rules as our military. They can do things the right way. This is a blow to the moral of our boys in Iraq. I hope that they do not have to read this kind of garbage.

At 4/17/2007 8:57 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above.

No two ways about it. You're about as ignorant as they come.

And boy, it's sure great we don't have "big problems in Iraq".

What freaking planet are you on?

If you want to play G.I. Joe, do it on your own dime. The U.S. has a military. We don't need to set up a Wal-Mart for killing and then pay them with tax dollars.

These cowboys also get paid WAY more than our troops. Is that a great idea?

If you can back up even one of your assertions, I'd be amazed.

At 4/17/2007 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are and do need and we do need and pay for them also. You are so un-American. In the new world we can pay our citizens what we used to pay government workers to do. Private companyies do it better and cheeper.

Lay off of our boys.

At 4/18/2007 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who do you think would be fighting in Iraq if not for these highly paid dedicated soldiers? We would have to institute the draft. Are you ready for that? Kids are not joining the military now. I guess free tuitition isn't enough to go to combat. Yes the price is higher for these hired guns but they can do what the military cannot. They are not under the same rules as our military. They get the job done. If not for them our military would be dying in combat. What is wrong with you Dope.

I will take a highly trained private American military any day ofver the rule oriented Government run military that you seem to embrace. Your love for organized government is laughable.

I am sure that you embrace the draft also? If you are not of draft age and don't have kids that age what is the big deal?

At 4/18/2007 6:02 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

They get paid about three times what we pay OUR boys. They're not OUR boys either. They're hired guns.

We don't need them, and they're NOT U.S. soldiers and have little to no government control or accountibility. It flies in the face of what our country always has stood for.

The idea of a for-hire independent private corporate military should scare the pants off of every American.

Are the right wing raising their own private army?

At 4/18/2007 6:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm all for a draft. Institute a draft which makes all families, rich and poor, sacrifice their best and brightest and the war would be OVER in a year. Not a doubt in my mind.

At 4/18/2007 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They do get paid at least five times what your boys get. They are better at what they do and our Government knows better than you and they feel the same way as I do.

The people do know that we pay MY boys more than YOUR boys and MY boys don't have to be held to the same rules. What is the matter with you that you do not believe our war generals that this is the best course of actions. They are the ones that are making these decisions.

For the record. MY boys used to be YOUR boys and now they still have the same employers but work under less confined rules than YOUR boys have to work.

Things have changed. Private business is taking over our country. We have gotten rid of fat cat union workers for private citizens that can do it cheeper and better.

Get on board or get off of the train.

At 4/19/2007 10:14 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The military had NOTHING to do with deciding to privatize our military. It was ideological morons within conservative think tanks, not battle tanks.

This is a potentially disasterous course, and most people are utterly unaware that it's happening or to what extent.

This war profiteering corporation is sucking millions from our treasury and spending millions more on top PR firms. Are they hired to publicize them? Hell no. They're obviously working hard to keep the entire sordid business under the radar and out of the public conciousness.

That's telling.

At 6/05/2007 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They don't cost more than regular army. They are former regular army, but once their day of work is done, they're laid off. We don't owe them and education, wedon't owe them and their families lifetime medical care, free college, and who knows how many other hundreds of millions of dollars for the "perks" that go on for the full lifetime. How many Blackwater Walter Reed hospitals do you see. Those you pay for FOREVER. Whine about building 18, go ahead.
We have so many idiots who don't have the basics down in this nation, and yet qare willing to open their stupid pieholes it is absolutely amazing.
When an NG/army US soldier retires at 18yrs old plus 20yrs us continent domestic service, they get alifetime pension starting at 38 years old. You ALL PAY that till the day they die at 87 years old, plus their medical for all that time, and they're "cheaper" than Blackwater ?
Being an idiot sure is popular nowadays.

At 6/05/2007 3:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And being an asshole never goes out of style, as you prove in spades.

So we're supposed to love this mercenary for hire crap because these poor idiots go over and get shot up and we don't have to pay for any of their care when they get home?

What an incredibly noble sentiment. Screw 'em. Is that our new national motto?

SOMEbody pays for these people's care. Tell me who it is?

You sound like a gigantic blow-hole, I'm sure you think you have the answer to everything. Who pays for these people?

The answer of course, is that we do.

Whether it's paying them 4 or 5 times what we pay enlisted men to begin with, the obscene profits that go to the politically connected people who establish and bankroll these Armys-R-Us, or the liklihood that these poor saps that get used like cannon fodder and then dumped back into civilian life will rely on federal programs to help pay for their care, the fact is that it's the taxpayer who pays and pays and pays.

And another fact is that you're both an idiot for not realizing it, AND an asshole for thinking it's a great idea to have a military who's motivation and sole reason for being is straight out greed and profit, not honor and duty and commitment to country.

Guess you just raised the right wing cynicism to it's ultimate level. Why even pretend that we go to war for anything other than profit, right?

Why keep up the charade?

You begrudge having to actually care for those who have served the country and then expect something in return.

That's the right wing "support the troops" crap for you.

Good job. At least you're honest.

Your in it for money and money only, and don't give a rat's ass what happens to those who do the fighting after they come home, IF they come home.

At 10/24/2007 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 12/04/2007 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your retarded most of the hired guns are not us citizens but other nationals. they arnt "our boys" so who cares if we pay them to go die and do our dirty work no one cares if some foreigner dies sounds like the french foreign legion and i thinks its a good idea id rather pay 3 times the price of a us soldier to have some poor bastarded from abother county die than pay a 18 year old kid to die in his sted

At 12/06/2007 7:21 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 7:10.

Good thing you're utterly ignorant about this (and I suspect most other things) or you'd be scary.

There's no foreign fighters employed by Blackwater or the other huge mercenary groups, or at least it's never been mentioned. Most are ex-American military.

Where are you getting your misinformation anyway? That would be interesting to know.

At 4/25/2008 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all you anonymous posters are ignorant fools. you are stupid hicks that do not no anything about the government. why do you say an educated man trying to inform people about the nonconventional use of mercs by the U.S. government is un-american? you may think yourself a patriot, but your not. patriots question their governments, nationalists are blindly loyal to their country. You are nationalists, you do not question the motives or morals of your government. You bastards think that America is the best country in the world and that your always right over a foriegn power. i have news for you, China: the true world power. If the U.S. can't even control Iraq, considered by many a 2nd world country, then how do you argue that the United States of America is the best? You're a lot of rambling fools who dont know shit about whats really happening in the world.
Have you even noticed how weak the Dollar is? The econmy of the U.S. is failing. The Military counts under 700,000 combat units. your precious America would be crushed if even Turkey, having close to 5 million men in their army, invaded, with Chinese support they could wipe out the U.S. Military and the government would be finished. You fools dont see the reality of this situation. The army is too small so they need to hire guns. they need to keep some forces in the U.S. for protection. You all think that your forces are superior just because their american soldiers. thats called nationalism, and Nationalism was the soul of the Nazi Party. You can all be considered nazi's for your blind loyalty to a corrupt and weak government. The United States of America is a failing power, proof is in their failure to succeed in a 7 year long war in which they have the clear upper hand but blundered in so many ways it is shameful for many to say they are american. You fools can ramble all you want about how great the government is for hiring guns, but you dont embrace the truth about what is going on. If competent leaders were elected to office then there would be these ridiculous mishaps. I am ashamed of you fools, ignorant rednecks, and Gunslinging civilians. Don't be surprised when you eventually reallize the truth. its right in front of you.

At 9/01/2008 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what your saying is that the U.S. has the weakest army and could easily be invaded...HA! then why hasnt it happened?, im pretty sure most americans would fight if their country was threatened and we would WHOOP ASS

ALL im saying is that "gunslingin REDNECKS" ready to fight to keep their country safe make up more than half of our American forces, and why not let them be trained outside the rules of the government. the worst that could happen is we have an abundance of PATRIOTIC GUNSLINGIN REDNECKS...

and theres nothin wrong with that

At 9/01/2008 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, maybe they'd get tanked up on PBR and accidently kill each other. Nothing wrong with that.

At 9/20/2008 9:57 PM, Anonymous englishrick said...

inside dope said:
There's no foreign fighters employed by Blackwater or the other huge mercenary groups, or at least it's never been mentioned. Most are ex-American military.

True about blackwater< but what about Sandline (based in UK, run by ex British officer). Aegis security (the ones with the lovely web cam showing mercs shooting randomly at citizens in Baghdad) have a lot of South Africans on board. British troops in Helmand province are hiring anti taliban mercenaries. not to mention the large number of South Africans, Fijians, Ghurkas and Brits employed by the PMC's in addition to you yanks.

One of the things i do worry aboput Americans (both of left and right) is the assumption that the rest of the world doesn't exist - don't worry, us Brits used to do that too when we ruled the world!

At 9/28/2008 11:14 AM, Anonymous MSgt Wolfe said...

Many of us, including me, have served the United States military for years. After all that time, a bunch of dead friends and not a penny to show for it, all you know how to do is be a soldier. We get fair pay for our services. Rarely ever amazes me how many civs from america cry about war. you'd be the ones to scream the loudest if we didn't do our job.
Now you're going to argue and cry over an exact location, like it really matters. What are you gonna do, take your hippy friends up their on a picket march. i hope you step on a mine.

At 9/29/2008 7:28 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hey Wolfey.

Bite my ass, you pathetic puke.

I was prepared to feel sorry for you, having served your country and now finding yourself with no skills to contribute to society at all.

It's truly a shame, and the government ought to make sure that you and others like you are given the help they need to become a sane, functioning member of society if that's possible.

Obviously, you're still suffering from mental problems and probably could never function as a civilian. Your mind has been altered permanently.

Normally I'd feel badly for you being used up and spit out by our government.

But your idiotic crack about my being a "hippy" and falling back on your macho bullshit in the place of any actual thought really got rid of any sympathy I may have had.

Have a great life. Killing people for fun and profit.

At 11/19/2008 6:18 AM, Anonymous balams abhorrence said...

I've looked into Blackwater Worldwide and at the moment I'm.
seriously considering going into mercenary work. To be honest I don't function well in society, because I’m a violent desensitized human being. I’ve looked into Blackwater because do to my mental state so far it would seem that killing would be all I’d actually be good at. If I’m going to be criticized for something I would love so be it because in the end I’m being paid, and plus what is the point in bitching about it tell me do you get paid well to bitch. Also if I’m greedy because I want to take lives for money well then wouldn’t doctors be greedy for saving them for an immense amount of money.

At 11/21/2008 8:53 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Balams, You're one sick and twisted puppy.

Seek help, please.

All is not lost. Hold on to your sanity.

At 11/27/2008 2:08 AM, Blogger Voided37 said...

We have enough fools in this world that don't realize that hurting others adds to the sum total of hurt in our world, and there is ENOUGH hurt in our world without adding more.
All these emotionally underdeveloped yet 'of age' kids that wanna prove themselves as somebody by getting hurt or hurting others will pay with pain the exact portion they dish out.
Any government that nurtures, supports or even condones these mercenary activities will subject its citizens to the same elements, as proved by Blackwater in New Orleans after Katrina.
Any human being of ANY landmass MUST defend themselves with equal or greater force against these governments and mercenary types [foolish kids with guns] in order to fulfill the requirements of our responsibility to life, to defend our lives by any means necessary because noone is more important than the next one and we all have those inalienable rights to LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS.

At 1/13/2009 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the employees of Blackwater are former military, so technically they are OUR boys. I see no problem with private military corporations, in fact i intend to become an employee of Blackwater after I leave the corps.

At 1/15/2009 7:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Wow. You don't have much respect for the truth, do you?

They're not "our" boys any more than UPS is the post office.

Grow up. And good luck in your "gun for hire" career.

At 2/21/2009 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was quite impressed with the information on Blackwater and their new facility. They by the way have changed their name to Xe which is not really understood but some kind of media suggestion obviously. I am a gun for hire or what the public calls a mercenary. I have friends who also do the job which we don't always enjoy it brings great satisfaction in helping our allies defeat enemies around the world. I have morals which means I don't offer my services to drug cartels or criminal factions whether they are private or government funded. The fact is people with our skills are not only needed in wars and conflicts but in other missions other than war where we can tip the balances to favor the rightous. Our forefathers in this great country we call America were mercenaries which history calls them patriots. Also remember the mass majority if not all the members I have worked with are prior military with extensive years of service like myself. We are deserving of our pay because unlike a enlisted soldier we do not have death benefits less we pay for them with the money we earn. Alot of the missions we conduct are to help nations that other wise would not get help. If you really think our military is equipped to handle genocide in Dafur and DRC in the congo you need a history lesson and furthermore trip there for some reality. Don't speak on matters of foreign relations based on what FOX, CNBC, or CNN report for that matter. If you ask any of these journalists who they would rather go to combat with they will tell you its the boys who don't play by the rules they hire. You know why because its time you wake up and see the US military is the only ones playing by the rules. We are needed because we can bend those rules to achieve a result which most cases saves lives. Remember alot of us work side by side with our brothers in arms the US military and share intel with them. So don't go thinking one is against the other it quite the opposite to some peoples beliefs. If you wish to know more its better you go ask and learn about what we do before you decide we are something evil. Matter of fact our consitution encourages our existence for the protection of our people from government and oppressing nations. Thanks again for your time and if you want to learn more about the companies that do this work check out Shadow Force on the History Channel. They do a excellent job in showing the type of work we do way before Iraq came along. We didn't come into being for the Iraq war we where around way before that my friend.

At 5/08/2009 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

look you both have good point but i think you both miss the point, there could never be just U.S. or just merc forces. This is because the military has all those rules holding them back but more so because they cant be everywhere at once. Thats where mercs come in because when forces are spread thin you have mercinaries back our guys up, thats what they were made for ever since rome and defending europe against vikings. And obviously price is important, the reason there is a "price" difference at all is because when hired the employer does not supply training, weapons, ammo, or armor for mercinaries which is why they can pay them more.
So its all even when you look at all though the army has a bigger role the mercinaries are vital too. The only reason we dont use them more is that they dont follow rules.

a mediator

At 7/21/2009 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

XE provides a service that is needed and wanted. When I left the military, I had a choice of going overseas and making “big bucks” or going to graduate school. I choose graduate school as I had been in Afghanistan for way too long. I have been offered a position with XE after graduation and I am going to take it. I feel like I have been wasting my skills listening to old men talk about a world that they could not possibly understand. Wish me luck as I graduate this December.

At 8/22/2009 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone has to do the dirty work! why not get paid for what you know how to do AND well...


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