The Darkest Of Liquids

Blackwater… Now anyone who’s heard of this company before has probably backed off a couple of feet from their screen already. They’re the kind of people that, once encountered, you remember with some trepidation. They’re what the US Government refers to as a “contractor”, but are basically guns for hire, and have no small amount of controversy attached to them.

Artists Impression
Artists Impression

I myself had heard of these guys a while back. As I read much in the way of geopolitical news, there was this little spat going on in Mesopotamia a few years ago and Blackwater took on several contracts in the wake of said conflict. The reason they were brought to my attention again was that, usually some might say, a group of their more enthusiastic workers are being brought to book for going above and beyond their customers expectations when dealing with a crowd of people who happened to be in a square they were going through.

After reading the news article I realised I had the interwebs close at hand and, therefore, looking at their company website might prove interesting, informative or even reassuring… perhaps they aren’t as dark as the liquid they’re currently employed to protect… sorry, I mean as evil as the previous regime of the country who’s rebirth into freedom and liberty they are currently being employed to support…

Ok, so the vague mandate these types of contractors seem to operate under makes me feel quite uneasy and the things they do with the power they have does nothing to dissuade me from this opinion. So please understand me rightly when I say this was nothing compared to how overwhelmingly disturbed I found myself after reading through their website.

After reading the first page I began to wonder if I had the correct website at all, the description of what they do and how they do it could adorn the title page of any service industry website I care to mention. As I progressed deeper into the bowels of their web presence I became more scared of the complete ambiguity that pervades the text than anything actually stated. It feels a bit like seeing something menacing in the darkness, then shining your touch there and it’s gone… You know you saw something but where’s it gone now??

Personal lowlights for me were all from the Pro Shop area:

  • The inspirational posters (“Blackwater Determination” being illustrated with an oil rig, wonder what they’re getting at there, and “EOE Baghdad 911” with what looks like their equivalent of the Bat-call spotlight).
  • An instructional DVD called “Basic Pistol Training” (can’t help thinking that, if it had Arabic writing on, it would surely get you arrested and imprisoned without charge).
  • The very worst must be in the Clearance section, where you can buy Blackwater branded “Christmas Onesies” for your baby (age ranges from 3 to 24 months).

As there are far too many “highlights” for me to comfortably cover in this post, I invite you to visit their site and sample this rather unsettling experience for yourselves…