An Archive of Jacob Appelbaum’s Post-Katrina weblog


Into the city center

Take a look at my flickr stream for the photos I took today. Leave a comment with a link to the ones you feel deserve the most information.

The date on my camera was screwed up and so today was actually split into two days as far as the camera is concerned. 

http://flickr.com/photos/ioerror/archives/date-taken/2005/09/12
http://flickr.com/photos/ioerror/archives/date-taken/2005/09/11
 

12 Responses to 'Into the city center'

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  1. Eddie said,

    Amazing photos, Jake! Do you think the bodies you came across were left for the flies due to any technical reasons such as inaccessibility? or is it obvious they could have been picked up? PLEASE, PLEASE keep taking pix. Your lens tells more than much of we get through the mediated mainstream press. You rule, and your blog is like crack. Keep gathering stories and stay safe!


  2. Dear Jacob:

    I had a guy who claims to be from Blackwater make a comment on my blog entry on the company entitled, Black Water. Here’s what he has to say:

    I am currenlty deployed in the NO area with Blackwater. I am providing security for a private company. I am licensed to carrý in LA. All we have are pump-action or semi-auto weapons. I can only use the same amount of force as any other security guard or private citizen. I am equally acountable for my actions and would face criminal and civil action if I did anything horribly wrong. I am payed a lower hourly rate than a plumber or electrition. I came to help and the people I protect (common working people who live in the area) thank us every day. I am no more a mercenary than any other security guard. we are not evicting people or taking away firearms. Many of you have lost touch with reality. don’t let your beliefs blind you.

    Posted by: bw1* | Monday, September 12, 2005

    I would appreciate any photos or other documentation of their presence, especially in connection with obvious governmental agencies. Here is what I replied to him:

    Thanks for writing. Tell your bosses they should put a NOLA FAQ on their site listing and detailing their NOLA contracts.

    Further, they should detail the legal status of their employees and post information on how to complain if Blackwater employees seem to be operating outside those bounds.

    A question: you say you are “licensed to carry in LA.” Are you talking about an ordinary firearms permit?

    Or, if that’s not what you meant, do you have some special permit on your person showing that you are authorized to bear arms when others are not? If so, by what governmental entity was it issued? City? State? Federal? Which agency?


  3. And the guy from Blackwater replied, and we contined our conversation:

    we are authorized as private security guards. That is it. BW should not list their contracts. That would be ridiculous because it would provide too much info for our competitors and would not protect the identities of our employers who not want everyone to know they are using BW because so many people have such wild beliefs about how we operate. There are other reasons as well. I can’t provide some of the information you ask for because of security and competitive concerns. If you have a complaint, then call BW or if it is criminal call the police. What would you do if a security guard did something wrong? There is not some crazy conspiracy going on with BW. All of the guys I am here with came to help and we are thanked every day by the common people we deal with.

    Posted by: bw1* | Monday, September 12, 2005

    our employers who not want everyone to know they are using BW because so many people have such wild beliefs about how we operate

    But you realize that this same reputation that might cause PR problems is why Blackwater was chosen, yes?

    And given your description of the capacity in which you are employed by Blackwater, it is a little hard to believe that you would be in the loop on each an every contract they have in the region.

    Posted by: Kathryn Cramer | Monday, September 12, 2005

    I am not sure if my last entry made it through. again, I am typing on my phone.

    the permit is for operating as a security guard. I can’t provide any more info on that because of security and competitive reasons. I probably could tell you but I as an employee am not perfectly comfortable with it. BW will not list its contracts for the same obvious reasons. If you have a complaint act like you would if it was a security guard. There is no big conspiracy. we are here to help and we are all patriots. a few guys might act a little less than professional at times, but we have 150 people on the ground. overall we are highly skilled and professional.

    Posted by: bw1* | Monday, September 12, 2005

    I am not sure if my last entry made it through. again, I am typing on my phone.

    the permit is for operating as a security guard. I can’t provide any more info on that because of security and competitive reasons. I probably could tell you but I as an employee am not perfectly comfortable with it. BW will not list its contracts for the same obvious reasons. If you have a complaint act like you would if it was a security guard. There is no big conspiracy. we are here to help and we are all patriots. a few guys might act a little less than professional at times, but we have 150 people on the ground. overall we are highly skilled and professional.

    Posted by: bw1* | Monday, September 12, 2005

    Typing on your phone, oh goodness. Your poor fingers.

    Thank you. I think the way you put it is a helpful clarification for those encoutering Blackwater employees in NOLA.

    Posted by: Kathryn Cramer | Monday, September 12, 2005


  4. The italics got lost, so this exchange is a little harder to parse than in the original.


  5. On the other hand, here comes Democracy Now:
    Transcript from a Democracy Now segment: Overkill: Feared Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans

    . . . one of them was wearing a golden badge, that identified itself as being Louisiana law enforcement, and in fact, one of the Blackwater mercenaries told us that he had been deputized by the governor of Louisiana, and what’s interesting is that the federal government and the Department of Homeland Security have denied that they have hired any private security firms, saying that they have enough with government forces. Well, these Blackwater men that we spoke to said that they are actually on contract with the Department of Homeland Security and indeed with the governor of Louisiana. And they said that they’re sleeping in camps organized by the Department of Homeland Security.

    One of the Blackwater guys said that when he heard New Orleans, he asked, “What country is that in?? And he was bragging to me about how he drives around Iraq in what he called a State Department issued level five explosion-proof BMW. This, as U.S. soldiers don’t even have proper armor on their Humvees and other vehicles. And so, we also overheard one of the Blackwater guys talking to, we presume, a colleague, complaining that he was only being paid $350 a day plus his per diem, and that other firms were paying much more. And we’re seeing many of these Blackwater mercenaries and other private security agents roaming the streets of New Orleans.

    ;

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  12. No Name said,

    The italics got lost, so this exchange is a little harder to parse than in the original.


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