This Week in #Accountability, September 10, 2011
Xe Services, aka Blackwater, continues to operate in Iraq and Afghanistan even with strong opposition from the governments. Even after Karzai issued a presidential order, Blackwater is prospering in Afghanistan, recruiting future mercenaries for Libyan rebel support. In 2009, the Iraqi government said it would not extend Blackwater’s license after the tragic killing of innocent civilians and news headlines shown the company was kicked out, but recent leaked US cables indicate that Xe continues to function in the country.
CODEPINK & other activists have been bird-dogging former Bush administration officials across the country. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was interviewed by his daughter, Liz, at the Nixon Library in southern California. During the event, CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans was able to present an arrest complaint and speak out against his crimes. Next, Cheney spoke at an American Institute Enterprise forum in Washington DC, and CODEPINK activists were outside holding a vibrant street presence with props and costumes.
CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin talks about trying to move Cheney’s book to the crime section at the DC Union Station Barnes & Noble.
While speaking at the Metropolitan State College in Denver, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was interrupted by protesters who shouted “war criminal”. According to the Denver Post, five students in the auditorium stood up and placed black hoods over their heads. Also, CODEPINK and NYC activists protested inside and outside an event where former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke.
Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern and CODEPINK activist Nancy Mancias disrupted Donald Rumsfeld inside the Kaufmann Concert Hall. The discussion was hosted by the 92nd Street Y. When the conversation turned towards Bush’s decision to invade Iraq after 9/11, Ray McGovern rose from his seat and stood in silent protest at the front of the auditorium wearing a Veterans For Peace t-shirt. He remained standing for about ten minutes until he was escorted out by six NYPD officers. Later in the evening, Mancias tossed 100 pink arrest complaints from the auditorium balcony, showering down on to the audience, and shouting “It’s known that you are a war criminal. It’s known there were no weapon’s of mass destruction. It’s known that Iraq was not a threat.”
Former British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward will once again manage an oil company. His investment firm Vallares will purchase Genel Energy Oil Company which operates in Iraq. Tony Hayward is remembered for his criminal behavior in the handling of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. CODEPINK cofounder Diane Wilson had the opportunity to address Mr. Hayward’s behavior when he testified at a Congressional hearing.
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