**[Click on Blackwater Smackwater title above for scenes of Potrero Stop Blackwater West protest Oct 6&7, 2007, set to a nice Acapella version of familiar protest music ... something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear, there's a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware, we got to STOP ...] **
OK, since the whole world & even parts of America are familiar with Blackwater USA, I'm not going to go on a tirade about what they are and what they portend or how having a large private mercenary army to do the president's bidding is exactly the kind of repressive tool that causes citizen revolutions in other countries.
I had thought that as the California wildfires began to come under control this weekend, information about the proposed Blackwater West in tiny Potrero California might make some news. Potrero is a small hamlet near the Mexico border that has been heavily courted by Blackwater in their attempt to establish a private training camp on the west coast of America. Well, looking for real news these days is destined for frustation, so I'll save you the trouble of trying to find out the status of Blackwater West by pasting in a PBS news snip. I will leave it up to you to decide whether community service is the primary goal here.
Blackwater Aids Potrero with Relief Supplies During Fires
Oct 29, 2007
by KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma
The tiny town of Potrero, east of San Diego, first made national headlines this year when many of its residents opposed Blackwater USA's plan to build a military training camp on an old cattle ranch. A week ago, Potrero transformed into ground zero for one of the larger wildfires that scorched tens of thousands of acres in the region. And Blackwater, as it turns out, was one of the first groups to transport relief supplies to the blaze-stricken community.
Potrero is small. It has just under 900 residents. It's also poor. Almost half of the people there live in trailers. But neither size, nor economic status, has dampened the town's pride or its independence.
Lytle: We're mountain people. We tend to be pretty well stocked up here.
That's Don Lytle whose home in Potrero survived the flames this week. While his Potrero home survived, the so-called Harris Fire destroyed at least a dozen homes in the town including his best friend's trailer.
Lytle: We really don't rely on too much outside help. But there are everyday necessities we have to have, and they wouldn't let us get them up here.
And residents say those necessities, like water and fuel, were hard to come by during the early days of the fire that destroyed at least a dozen homes in the town. Potrero General Store owner Willina Arnold says authorities closed the two major highways leading up to the town, 45 miles southeast of San Diego.
But Blackwater USA was able to get through the road closures after seeking help from Cal Fire and Assemblyman Joel Anderson. Brian Bonfiglio is vice-president of Blackwater WEST. Bonfiglio has attended numerous public meetings where residents debated the merits of Blackwater's proposal to build a training camp for military and security personnel in Potrero. It's at those meetings, that Bonfiglio says he promised Potrero residents that if the company got approval to build the camp, Blackwater would be a good neighbor.
Bonfiglio: And this was just one of those times where we put our money where our mouth was and did what we said we would always do, and this something we do all over the place where we have our facilities. It's not new. It's continuing, if you will.
Blackwater's plans to build what some call a mercenary training center has split the community. Opponents say the facility would disrupt the quiet of the town and would be bad for the environment. And some see Blackwater's fire assistance as an effort to win over skeptics. Resident Thall Fowler, however, says he's heartened by Blackwater's generosity. But he adds, it doesn't really matter who gives, especially during a crisis.
Bonfiglio says after this is over, he's not looking for a thank you note. And he says he doesn't expect the company's help in the aftermath of the fire to change the minds of people who don't like Blackwater and don't want the company to build the training camp in their backyard. The county board of supervisors isn't expected to vote on the Blackwater project until late next year.
Congressman Bob Filner, who represents the Potrero district, speaks:
But hey, if Blackwater Psychokillers still look good to you, ...[note: there are no active US Military Soldiers or Marines in the embedded Psychokillers video; these are all private citizens; a private army under gov't contract = holy hell for all]... here's a Blackwater BEARS employment application.
The successful applicant will work for this guy.