BLACKWATER would a make bad neighbor

The blood-sucking Mercenary group, Blackwater, set to invade SD
By Jim Brown, Encinitas
North County Times

There are reasons why private militias and large security companies should not be allowed in America. A good case in point involves the large private security firm of Blackwater and their proposal to place an 824 acre combat skills training base in the small rural town of Potrero.

The site Blackwater has chosen sits in a valley surrounded by hills covered with brush that will absorb the sound of weapons and combat training involving vehicles, a combat town, a helicopter pad and continual classes of 300 private and public soldiers involved in this training. There will be many vehicles, gasoline storage facilities, a large armory filled with weapons and ammunition and many other items consistent with a combat training facility.

All of this is easily observable from the hills above the valley. The hills are easily accessible by public roads, utility access roads and many trails as two thirds of the surrounding lands and hills are on public national forest. These hills are available to hikers and bikers and birdwatchers and anyone else who can simply walk over and see the entire facility. The trouble is, anyone with a grudge against Blackwater can see all these potential targets too. There isn’t anything on the site that isn’t observable and couldn’t easily be destroyed by someone with minimal rifle training and a rifle with a scope and metal piercing rounds. A few well placed flammable tracer rounds would not only destroy the facility but would also ignite a holocaust in the surrounding hillsides.

This facility is suitable for placement only in a protected military installation…far far away from the public. It needs protection that can only be provided by our armed forces. In fact, comparable or better training is already provided by the military to its soldiers on land and in facilities that are already in place. I received BETTER training as a USMC officer prior to being deployed to Vietnam in ‘69 and ‘70. In fact ALL Marines receive better training than Blackwater offers today.

I respectfully ask that our county board of supervisors reject any and all private security shooting range and combat facilities as inappropriate and highly dangerous to our civilian population.

I respectfully ask our federal government to quit the practice of outsourcing our security to private corporations. Government money spent on private security corporations is causing shortfalls in the support of our troops for their safety, in their compensation, in their training, in their equipment and in their rehabilitation when they are wounded.

Finally, the private security companies in Iraq and Afghanistan consistently get in trouble and need to be bailed out by our military. In fact, the carnage in Fallujah last year was brought on by inadequately armed and trained civilian security contractors who were dangerously deployed in an unsafe manner. The security corporations operate in a grey area that is not fully accountable to civilian law or to the military code of justice. There are NO advantages to be gained by financing private militias and their training.

Jim Brown.

Encinitas, Ca

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