Commentary — April 3, 2012, 1:11 pm

“The Warrior Class”: The Blackwater Videos

The April 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine includes “The Warrior Class,” a feature by Charles Glass on the rise of private-security contractors since 9/11. The conclusion to the piece describes a series of videos shown to Glass by a source who had worked for the private-security company Blackwater (now Academi, formerly also Xe Services) in Iraq. Clips and photos from the videos are shown below, introduced by Glass’s descriptions:

The first , identified as “Baghdad, Iraq, May–­September 2005,” showed Blackwater convoys racing through town. Suddenly, the door of a Blackwater SUV opened and a rifle fired at passing traffic. “They opened the door,” my companion said. “You should never break the seal.”

 

A still photo showed some graffiti scrawled on a metal beam: THIS IS FOR THE AMERICANS OF BLACKWATER THAT WERE MURDERED HERE IN 2004 SEMPER FIDELIS 3/5 PS FUCK YOU.

graffiti
 

The next tape had been taken by a camera in the turret of an armored vehicle. An [M4A1]

Corrected text. The gun was initially misidentified as an AK47.

fired from the turret at cars that had stopped to let the convoy pass. Whoever was firing the [gun] did so enthusiastically and often, sending rounds into parked cars and an overhead bridge. Another sequence showed a contractor vehicle rear-ending a car, shattering its back windshield.

 

The footage continued. A Humvee smashed into a car to move it out of the way. Guards swore at passersby. More armored vehicles smashed into civilian cars.

 

Blackwater helicopters shot at targets below in a Baghdad street.

 

But what about the tape dated April 1, 2006, which was shot from the front seat of the fourth car in an armored convoy? Driving along a wide boulevard in Baghdad, the lead vehicle swerved close to the curb of a traffic island. A woman in a black full-length burka began to cross the street. The vehicle struck the woman and knocked her unconscious body into the gutter. The cars slowed for a moment, but did not stop, nor did they even determine whether the victim was dead or alive. A voice in the car taking the video said, “Oh, my God!” Yet no one was heard on the radio requesting help for her. Most sickeningly, the sequence had been set to an AC/DC song, whose pounding, metallic chorus declared: “You’ve been . . . thunderstruck!

 

The tape ended with the inscription IN SUPPORT OF SECURITY, PEACE, FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY EVERYWHERE.

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  • pauldavey18

    so all your videos dont show then/

    • dfg56srgtr

      just copy the vimeo code like
      http://player.vimeo.com/video/39647584
      do the same for the others

    • http://harpers.org/ Harper

      Fixed, thanks for the heads-up.

      • pauldavey18

        welcome :)

    • Disgusted & Angry

      What do they need to show exactly Paul? These are obvious violations and crimes from a company who has proven they cannot manage their own!

      So what are they supposed to do – show exactly the reasons why these little shits are have lost control and are now firing on civilians?

      The reasons very from being frustrated undisciplined little wanna be gangster assholes – who are looking for payback for getting ambushed by IED’s is that what you want to hear?

      Well tell you what son that is the job deal with it! This mess that baby bush left us in is a complete cluster F*ck but they all took on a job and should hold themselves to a higher standard than this!

      But what can you expect from a company fraught with backroom deals, lies and murders? And you and I are paying for all of this!!!!!!!

      • pauldavey18

        it was a statement to the page op disgusted and angry – believe me, even though they didnt work for me initially, like a dutiful researcher I went looking on youtube and although I had heard of blackwater before and their apparent reign of terror with a substantial side dish of impunity, It didn’t please me at all to watch the videos.

        They should be warned, the day will come for them to answer for their actions and just like the Nuremberg trials, it won’t be good enough to say “I was just following orders!”

        You don’t need to be told by your superior what morals are, you either possess them or you don’t they clearly don’t.

        • Fanatic

          Its a war motherfucker. War aint nothing nice. Innocent people get killed and/or tortured. Thats the way life goes. There are mercaneries involved in every major war conflict on both sides. You should not like it but its a fact.

          So nextime before you will vote for another warlord to the office think about those innocent people who should get killed because of your vote.

          • fu fanatic

            That wasn’t a war motherfucker that was an invasion for profit and you sick american bastards(sorry to generalize) lined up and signed up for it lock, stock and barrel. You wouldn’t be getting killed and or tortured if you hadn’t left your lazy boy to go murder innocent people. Not only does the rest of the world hate america and all it stands for and when your own government turns on you and it will happen, don’t hold your breath waiting for those poor nations which you freed from oppression, what a fucking joke, to come to your rescue cause it just won’t happen. In fact I bet most will be hoping to watch the misery live on cnn 24/7. Karma is a bitch and your gonna be taking it dry motherfucker. fu fanatic!!

          • Bennie Blanco

            oh fuck u.

          • pauldavey18

            By your Ill-educated retort I would have to assume you are one of the working class, probably in the forces. This as nothing else justifies actions perpetrated by the likes of blackwater or Xe as they were most recently know, see, they themselves detest the videos being shown worldwide so much they frequently change their name. They’re not disgusted at the content of the videos, merely that are being found out.

            For your own research you may well look into who these “Villains” are that you allege are at war with you. It is my assumption backed by mainstream news reels that the likes of America ALWAYS instigate these situations purely for profit, so it ISN’T war motherfucker it business purely and simply and anyone who works for these multi billion dollar companies (forces) are “Soldiers who are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” – Henry Kissinger

            You might want to do some more research.

            Iraq and Libya as Syria is now, were ALL better off under their own dictatorships which others alleged rightly or wrongly of crimes against humanity. The problem is, you get the likes of covert groups like Xe or CIA “Installing” themselves into these countries and acting (pretending) to be inhabitants of the same which go around killing for no reason, this then gets reported in mainstream news that Syrian Rebels are fighting the dictatorship, they are not, they are paid actors or pawns if you like perpetrating a hidden agenda for a specific outcome, the main outcome being to have a “Central Bank” owned and operated by the “Rothschild” family.

            As of writing I believe Iraq ran it’s own central bank and was but is no longer on the list because of that Banking coup, Libya was on the List but that coup was also successful, Syria is STILL on the list of countries WITHOUT a Central Bank operated and owned by the Rothschild family as I believe is North Korea and Venezuela.

            Watch this space…

  • anonymous

    sick bastards. this why everyone hates america.

  • chester

    You call yourself warriors!? Lol you are mercenaries, mercenaries are like prostitutes. What a shame….

  • Sam

    Modern western hilly billies ! Red necks ! They call themselves superior beings, but they are nothing more than a cow sh!t

    • Dean Collins

      I’m ashamed my taxes are paying these guys.

      • Dan Chase

        are you stupid? Private contractors… Private not Public.

        • aleksandr

          These “private” contractors are hired and paid for with public funds… Evidently, and sadly, the obfuscatory, weasly way that they have been leniently portrayed still seems to be working on some deluded Amerikwans.

  • Ronk

    Yeah, Sad Americans cry over videos like these. Don’t forget what they did in NY and DC. Peace is a dead enemy. Kill them all, close the borders and stop our fucking stupid Administration from funding countrys that hate us. Oh yeah it’s on the internet it must be true. You fucking media monkeys are clueless and have no idea what is really going on out there. So shut the fuck up and keep pretending your life is perfect on Facebook!

    • redstukov

      I’m absolutely sure I know by far much much much more than you will ever know, especially given that you have the political views of a white rich 14 YO who got called a bad name by a person who wasn’t white once. Get over it, fuck off, and die.

    • Watch It

      What “they” did? Even if the ridiculous theory the government and media spouts about 911 was true, the innocent people of Iraq had NOTHING to do with it. Even Bush has since admitted this. Go back to your bong, your PS4, and your Adult Swim you mindless sheep.

    • Bennie Blanco

      moron George bush and the government did 9/11 so morons would join the military in huge numbers. don’t believe everything on fox news tells u idiot

  • Truth

    Muslim men walk up to soldiers in the street carrying babies, babies that are the result of women they kidnapped, raped, and killed when they gave birth. The babies are killed, gutted, and filled with explosive. The men dress up in Burkas, walk up to the soldiers begging for help for their sick babies, then detonate them. This happens REGULARLY. You think they should stop to make sure she’s ok? Why aren’t the men and women of this area stopping to help this woman??????

    Where did I learn this ‘fact’ from… former serving British soldier who returned from the middle east.

    • redstukov

      that takes way too long, the British and American method of bombing indiscriminately with white phosphorous and depleted uranium is by far a much more effective mode of murder, terror and birth defects to boot. You’re a dumb fuck pig cop wannabe that is using your fake internet military uniform to espouse your racist views that would make nazis blush. Your empire is over and for the sake of the world, especially India, I really do hope you stay on your island and get on your knees and serve Pinochet with your mouth like a good imperial grunt.

      • aleksandr

        The simple truth: we shouldn’t be there in the first place. Crocodile tears from servicemen, or on the other hand from persons gasping about these petty transgressions after hundreds of thousands dead and trillions of dollar spent, are pathetic.

        On the other hand, redstukov here should serve as a case in point that should beg another question: why are we in the western world, on the other hand, letting spiteful, vicious, welfare sucking third worlders invade our countries to astronomical economic and social costs, letting them displace us in our own countries in a world where we are already a dwindling minority, constituting now only about 8% of the world population? It’s insanity.

        I say end all these sick foreign adventures. For the us: put the withdrawn troops to guard the border after having repatriated the illegals. And for all other white western nations: we must regain a mature, reasoned, confident understanding of our heritage and the uniqueness of western civilization, to a point where accusations of “racism” from the likes of redstukov here becomes only a laughing matter (alternatively a badge of honor).

    • Watch It

      ^ Racist

    • Shemshemet

      if you had muslims invading America what would you do do protect your country,and if you see the video correctly,there is people running towards the woman in the ground.The truth is not only 1 side of the story,but you are blind if you dont see this

    • Bennie Blanco

      they did! when the convoys left men ran across the street to help dumb ass

  • Ty

    What…. I don’t even know what to say to these sickening videos..

  • Watch It

    And this, my friends, is terrorism.

  • Wake up

    I just watched all these videos and they are definatly misinterpreted. Everything they are doing is standard operating procedure with all military’s overseas in war. You’ll notice that they don’t actually shoot anyone in cars, they either shoot out the tires or the hood into the engine block, that’s called warning shots when cars get to close to military convoys due to vehicle born improvised explosive devices. I’ve personally done that myself, if from there they don’t stop the car then the next shot goes into the driver. As for the guy being hit by the car that happens all the time for the exact same reasons, horns are sounded for people to move out of the way and you’ll notice they arnt going out of their way to hit the man he was in the road and didn’t move. Military convoys can’t stop for any reason that’s when ambushes happen, the enemy over there is an illusive one and no chances can be taken. As for the helicopters shooting at guys again the person shooting the video said the birds where getting shot at so they are shooting back, no civilian action, direct actions from Muslim terrorists

    • Crambo

      I couldnt agree more. I was a gunner for 2 deployments in Afghanistan and shooting engine blocks was an every day thing. And I was in the Army, not a merc.

  • http://facebook.com/cusbum Marcus

    wow thats fucking awful! how can people be allowed to get away with this. sickening!

  • Jack Joseph

    This group psychosis is leading us to WW3 – and even writing that, I can hear the angry voices telling me that it has already started, since 9/11 already. Whatever – it doesn’t matter. Keep it up, and we are all going to die.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Ryan_(BioShock) Charlatan Hunter

    I can totally understand why an Iraqi kid would like to kill these guys. Iraq is such a mess thanks to Bush and Blair. They have laughed all the way to the banks.

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