Blackwater in California under False Pretenses

Yes, Blackwater lied. I know, crazy isn’t it? One of the largest profiteers of the Iraq War has been deceitful in attempting to get a permit to use a 61,000 square foot existing building as a training facility in South San Diego County, just miles from the California/Mexican border.

Blackwater abandoned plans to build a facility from scratch in Potrero after fierce protest from surrounding area residents and help from The Courage Campaign. It was determined that their presence would include disruptive noise from the facility to the local community. I believe they were run out of town on a rail. Either way, the first battle was won.

After the first defeat, Blackwater filed it’s paperwork using the name of a subcontractor to bypass the County’s strong opposition to the facility.  The permit was approved on March 19th.  When the city council discovered the permit was filed under false pretenses, they decided to find some way to challenge the permit.  San Diego Congressman Bob Filner is also planning to protest the latest attempt by Blackwater to bring a training facility to San Diego County.
What does Blackwater have to say?

Blackwater vice president Brian Bonfiglio says his company will fight if the city tries to backpedal. He says the anti-Blackwater movement stems from anti-war sentiment, not a problem with the facility.

They don’t get it, do they? And a major hat tip to The Courage Campaign for the email I received today regarding this important issue in California and any other state Blackwater may want to stake a claim to in order to build their protection empire.

Just a few months after the courageous people of Potrero kicked Blackwater out of their small town on the California border, Blackwater has announced plans to open a 61,600 square-foot “training facility” in San Diego just THREE blocks from Mexican border.

In other words, Blackwater is using your tax dollars on a mercenary war in Iraq — $320 million paid so far, over 60% in no-bid contracts — to subsidize building a base of operations inside California.

Blackwater’s border bait-and-switch has shocked the citizens of San Diego. Shortly before pulling their plans on Potrero, the private military contractor quietly used a shell company called “Southwest Law Enforcement” to gain city permits for a “vocational trade school” a stone’s throw from the Tijuana Airport. While Blackwater denies that this deception is a trojan horse to land border security contracts from the federal government before George W. Bush leaves office, the ominous writing is on California’s wall.
What will it take to stop Blackwater for good in California and Iraq? Local and national pressure. This time, the Courage Campaign plans to fight a two-front battle against Blackwater — on the border in San Diego and in the halls of Congress.

Please let Nancy Pelosi know that you support Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s “Stop Outsourcing Security Act” (H.R. 4102), through California’s Courage Campaign.

Heather Irene Justus

My blogging here is not an endorsement of any other opinion but my own. I'm no longer new to blogging, I've been writing locally and nationally since 2007 starting here at the Liberal OC. I was born in New York and grew up in Huntington Beach, CA and currently live in Aliso Viejo. I graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in English and Film and eventually may go back to school, but I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. Until then, I work and write and try to do something useful here in the OC by using the word to point out the things that make me frustrated. It's a daily struggle. Issues that peak my interest the most are environmental (yes, I don't just 'believe" in climate change, I listen to all those whacky scientists), gender and body issues (women deserve equal pay, I'm a feminist too, crazy) to the continuing widening economic gap we are not enjoying here in the US (which ties to education, stagnant wages and debt). So many issues, but those are the top three right now. I am an unabashed corgi lover, nerd and all around strange girl. I am lucky enough to be raising a wonderful daughter as well and enjoying being unmarried. 


  2 comments for “Blackwater in California under False Pretenses

  1. April 30, 2008 at 6:37 am

    wow, i had no idea about this thanks for the heads up heather.

  2. April 30, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Jose S. – You’re welcome! Crazy isn’t it?

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