Ever dreamt of getting away with murder, or of living in a world with no laws? Do you think that $15,000 is fair price to pay for a life lost, and do you think, in the words of one of our employees, that war is so fun that we probably shouldn't even be paying you? (Don't worry, we'll be paying you; you should see how much the State Department is paying us). Have you ever wanted to see Iraq up close and personal, but felt the U.S. military's emphasis on the rule of law was too button-down and inhibiting? Than Blackwater USA might be for you.
Here at Blackwater we believe in, and are truly committed to, the burgeoning industry of privately conducted warfare. We train our private military contractors in the arts of "peacekeeping" (wink, wink) and security provision. (Note: We say "private military contractors" around here so as to avoid using the term "mercenaries" as there is a surprisingly negative connotation to soldiers involved in a conflict for financial gain. Thankfully, by refusing to sign the part of the Geneva Convention that makes mercenaries illegal, the U.S. has shown it's not afraid to stand by us).
These are great days for the private military industry. With a president committed to an unpopular war, and with sagging enlistment numbers in the U.S. armed forces and a slow process of turnover to Iraqi-led security, the demand for our services has never been higher. Luckily for us, by hiring ex-Pentagon and CIA officials with the right contacts, we've been able to secure no-bid contracts to the tune of $1 billion over five years. We're not going to let any upstart mercenary companies, I mean, private military contractors, corner in on our fun.
Being as needed as we are by are a State Department and an administration unwilling to admit how thinly-stretched the regular forces (you know, the ones that have to live under congressional oversight) are has enabled us to provide our employees with benefits that I feel safe in saying are better than in any other industry.
For instance, did you know that as an employee of Blackwater USA you will be allowed to kill people? We don't just mean your normal, everyday, warfare killing, although if that's your boat, we've got plenty of that for you, too. But no, if you want to get drunk on Christmas Eve and randomly decide to shoot the bodyguard of Iraq's vice-president, go right ahead, although you'll lose points for lack of originality, as one of our employers has beat you to that one. Yeah, you may be asked to leave the country, (bummer, I know), but you'll not be charged with any crime under U.S. or Iraqi law, thanks to the pressure we put on Paul Bremer to sign Order 17, giving our employees complete immunity for their actions in Iraq. And hey, that $15,000 payment to the family of the victim, which will totally make up for the premature and unnecessary death of their husband and father, don't worry about it, it's on us.
(I'd like to take some time here to thank all the boys down in accounting who got the State Department to lower its recommended wrongful death payment from $250,000 to $15,000. Great work, guys. I've got to admit, I'd have never thought of arguing that the higher payment might induce Iraqis to purposefully get themselves killed by our staff. Genius).
If holiday-coordinated violence isn't your thing, why don't you try one of our other patented civilian-killing techniques. Don't you hate it when someone else's car is too close to yours? With Blackwater, you don't have to stand for such insolence; go ahead and shoot the car. Heck, why stop at one? Just last month on a single security detail our employees shot and killed eleven Iraqi citizens. Sure those phony bleeding heart liberals in Congress may be trying to make a big deal out of this with their "hearings" and "pointed questions" for our beloved CEO Erik Prince, but somehow I think, with the State Department on the hook to us for about $700 million more, we'll pull through. Besides, it's not like the American public is up in arms over us. They're so disenchanted with the war that all the bad news from the front just sort of blends together, and they'd certainly rather have us over there than their sons and daughters, so in a way, we're doing them a favor. In exchange, they seemed to have agreed to pay more attention to Britney Spears' child custody hearing than to the fact that the government which they support with their taxes is currently employing soldiers who are under no legal restriction not to needlessly or suspiciously murder civilians.
If you find yourself thinking about an exciting career in our field, send us a rÃ©sumÃ©. And hey, don't forget to ask about our prospective expansion into Iran!
John Everett is a senior English major. He is thought to be somewhere between 21 and 45 years of age. He is armed only with a sharp wit and is considered cantankerous. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.