more bullets of joy

The world just got a little bit more like a Richard K. Morgan novel.

America's favorite privateer outsourcing firm, Blackwater USA, may have finally gotten busted for its increasingly over the top shenanigans. At least slightly, given the timidity of governmental oversight, but for now they're in the spotlight.

Seems our premier corporate supplier of mercenary cannon fodder may have smuggled weapons into Iraq that wound up in the hands of a known terrorist group. Now how's that for growing new markets....

There may be a few real prosecutors remaining in the Justice Department, and combined with the spate of bad press Blackwater's gotten of late this won't get swept under the rug just yet. My guess is that Blackwater will wind up paying a small fine a year or two down the road, then appeal it in federal court and have it overturned by a friendly Bush-appointed judge, then writing off the fine (plus legal fees and all related expenses) on its taxes as a cost of doing business, despite never having paid a dime of it in the first place.

The only action the feds could take to truly affect Blackwater would involve a raid on all of its corporate offices and operations centers with overwhelming police and paramilitary force - but since the National Guards and Reserves are stretched so thin in the Giant Exploding Sandbox even a rare bout of political would still not make that happen. The only credible threat to Blackwater is the negative publicity hitting its profitability by making recruitment and retention more difficult. Oh, yeah, and any resulting lessening in the loss of life and limb by its contractors might be nice too.


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