Thursday, November 15, 2007

Collective Code of Conduct

The burning question I've had for some time is, what oath do these armed commercial peacekeeping agents take before securing contracts with our government? Our professional military is comprised of men and women who have sworn to protect and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. With that oath I feel safe and secure that these highly trained sophisticated armies will not turn their weapons on the citizens of this country lightly. Can the same be said for those contracted from commercial interests who have sworn no such oath as a condition of their service? Hired guns historically work for the entity offering the most money, regardless of the cause.

This question came up on another blog, to which Blackwater's "Core Values" were presented as the foundation of their service.

Blackwater ‘Core Values’:

Core Values

Excellence: We strive to do not only our best, but to do the best that can be done in all situations and under all circumstances to protect the defenseless and provide a safe environment for all.

Efficiency: We will create the most value using the least amount of resources to achieve the greatest success.

Execution: The foundation of our success. We plan to execute, and execute our plan. Using innovation, flexibility, speed and agility, we will perform with moral courage and conviction and we will do so against all odds.

Teamwork: That which holds everything together. We pool our collective talents to find the optimal solution for our customers and for ourselves. One person can make a difference, but a lot of people make a lot of difference. We will harness the collective energy of Blackwater and direct it toward realizing our vision.

Blackwater supports accountability and transparency in the professional military, security, peacekeeping, and stability operations industry. We conduct ourselves and our business with honor and integrity. As members of and partners with the International Peace Operators Association, we accept and daily abide by our collective Code of Conduct.

Ignoring for the moment that these values were scripted with as much original sophistry as a Jerry Seinfeld cliche ("one person can make a difference, but a lot of people can make a lot of difference"), does this mean Blackwater and other defense contractor personnel are sworn to uphold vaguely-defined standards developed by an international association of unelected, profit-motivated, aggressive shoot-first ("We plan to execute") peacekeepers, rather than rules of law and the US Constitution?

What exactly is a "collective Code of Conduct" by which these men agree to abide, and under whose authority and jurisdictions are these Codes not only established, but more importantly, enforced?

With no sworn loyalty to our Constitution, or to any rule of enforceable law, or even to our way of life, do we really want our tax dollars funding these extrajudicial forces?

This to me is another very troubling indication of how far our "representative government" is slipping from our grasp.


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