NYT Attack Dog Shot, Dowd Safe

As an avid student of the Classics (I studied Latin in High School and was the Colorado President of the Junior Classical League: the largest student organization in the world), I am enamored with all things Roman.

Roman advances in culture and technology were brought to the known world at the end of Roman spears, carried by one of the finest militaries in history. And the most elite group of those fighting men was the Praetorian Guard.

They were a combination of special forces and elite body guards and were reserved for the most powerful generals in the army. Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Octavian all enjoyed their protection, but it was Octavian (who named himself Augustus when he ascended to Emperor and God) who cleverly employed them off of the battlefield and in the political arena (most notably after Caesar was assassinated in the forum).

In our own era, where power is transfered peacefully and the last military coup on our shores lead to the founding of our Nation, you might equate the Secret Service to the Praetorian Guard. But the Secret Service clearly doesn’t play the same military role.

In a newly published book, journalist Jeremy Scahill proposes that Blackwater Worldwide, the private military contractor and security consulting firm is essentially a modern Praetorian Guard. The firm handles protection for diplomats and top officials overseas, most notably in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Like the Praetorian Guard of old, private military contractors have enjoyed liberties and immunities not given to traditional armies, which has become the focus of intense criticism recently as what some call a paramilitary mercenary group has come under fire for questionable judgment and possibly unjustified civilian casualties.

Chris Hedges picks up on the Praetorian Guard them in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Even more disturbing is the steady rise of this modern Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guard in ancient Rome was a paramilitary force that defied legal constraints, made violence part of the political discourse, and eventually plunged the Roman Republic into tyranny and despotism. Despotic movements need paramilitary forces that operate outside the law, forces that sow fear among potential opponents, and are capable of physically silencing those branded by their leaders as traitors. And in the wrong hands, a Blackwater could well become that force.

Now, this is typical liberal paranoia (Hedges is a Pulitzer prize winning author who thinks that the religious right are “American Fascists”) and socialist idiocy that we’re safer if we’re unarmed and that the conservative-voting baddies with guns–especially the military–are going to overthrow democracy and create the evil American fascist empire. These people watch too many Jennifer Garner TV shows, and are the same crackpots that wrote the Mujahideen out of “Sum of All Fears” and replaced them with neo-nazis. Um yeah. Yawn.

So why am I writing about Blackwater anyway, especially when the liberal media is trying to roast them in an effort to further slander the Bush administration?

Well, because they SHOT A DOG! Bastards!

I’m fine with steroided out rambo wannabes shooting terrorists and the occasional civilian, plotting to take over the US in a paramilitary coup, and even secretive no-bid government contracts for covert operations in friendly and hostile nations. But shooting dogs is where I draw the line in the sand!

Turns out that the New York Times in Iraq is claiming that Blackwater shot their dog after their dog and a Blackwater security dog got in a fight.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. embassy in Iraq is investigating another deadly shooting incident involving its Blackwater bodyguards — this time of the New York Times’s dog.

Staff at the newspaper’s Baghdad bureau said Blackwater bodyguards shot Hentish dead last week before a visit by a U.S. diplomat to the Times compound.

Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said the dog had attacked one of Blackwater’s bomb-sniffer dogs while a security team was sweeping the compound for explosives.

Now perhaps it’s just another NYT smear job, and maybe it was warranted, but I call shenanigans!

There is most certainly some kind of cover up here, given that if there was ever an order handed down by Blackwater high command to shoot a rabid NYT attack dog, it most certainly would have resulted in someone putting a cap in Maureen Dowd’s ass.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.