As if Barbados doesn't have enough to occupy its 'plate', Bajans are now confronted with the possibility of links of a local company (Greystone Limited) to hiring mercenaries for a U.S. outfit (Academi) formerly known as Blackwater when it was raising hell during the Iraq war. Needless to say, most Bajans are not amused by this news - which first blared across 2-inch headlines on the front page of the island's premier newspaper not even five days ago.
The Bajan Prime Minister (Freundel Stuart), quoted in the piece, confirmed earlier in the week that "some concerns had been expressed" that the island was being linked to the recruitment of mercenaries to fight on behalf of the U.S. puppet government in Kiev, against the Russian separatists.
According to the Nation report:
"At the center of the controversy is an international business company registered here called Greystone Limited, described as a subsidiary of the infamous American outfit once known as Blackwater, which was investigated in the United States Senate for questionable military activities in Iraq."
Those activities including pouncing on friendlies, kicking the doors to assorted domiciles down, and putting boots on Iraqi innocents heads while they tore the homes apart looking for guns, weapons etc. These characters also stopped Iraqi vehicles at check points and were markedly indiscriminate in who they searched and how. Basically, they were renegades, as one expects mercenaries to be.
The Nation asked Attorney General Adriel Braithwaite about the connections and he replied it had not "been brought to the attention of the Cabinet" so he wasn't aware of details. He added, however, that some information had been brought to the attention of Donville Inniss, the Minister of International Business earlier in the week. (He was unable to say how Inniss responded).
A well-placed source, according to the Nation, observed that if the activities of Greystone were found to infringe the provisions of its international business corporation license, the Minister had the power to revoke its license without reference to Cabinet. In other words, its plug could be pulled without having to bring it to a vote.
Meanwhile, the Nation also reported:
"The government in Moscow has accused the Barbados -registered company of recruiting the mercenaries. Sources have also suggested that Greystone is nothing more than a CIA front for U.S. Central Intelligence Agency activities."
Lest anyone laugh, let us recall - those of us alive in the 1960s- that Operation Mongoose was also run by the CIA and this was behind a private front company (based in Miami) called 'Zenith Technical Enterprises, Inc.'.
On top of the Nation article, the Austrian media source ORT had already reported that "400 elite mercenaries from the notorious U.S. private security firm, Academi. were taking part in Ukrainian military operations against anti-government protestors". Disturbingly, an earlier report - quoting the Russian Foreign Ministry- identified Greystone Limited "which is currently registered in Barbados and is a part of Academi Corporation."
The specific Foreign Ministry release, quoted in the Nation (p. 4) stated:
"Among the candidates for the role of gendarme is the Barbados-registered company Greystone Limited, which is integrated with the Academi corporation. It is an analogue and probably an affiliated body of the Blackwater private army, whose employees have repeatedly been accused of committing grievous and systematic human rights abuses in different troubled regions."
Evidently, the White House - or some person in it- declared the assorted reports (including from ORT, the German sources Bild Am Sontag, and Der Spiegel, "rubbish" - but I am not so sure. You know, where there's smoke, there's fire. And in Barbados last week there was plenty of smoke and Greystone is under the microscope. It also isn't a leap to believe a frustrated U.S. administration - under fire by the Rightie nuts for being "weak" on Putin, might resort to a private band of mercenaries to release some steam. And we know, it's recorded, CIA honcho Brennan was in Ukraine when those 50 odd Russian protestors were fire bombed into a crisp in Odessa several weeks ago.
The Nation provides a historical reference:
"Greystone's parent company Academi Corporation was formed out of what used to be known as Blackwater, that attracted worldwide notoriety for the role it played in the Iraq war as a contractor for the U.S. government. Immediately after a series of international fiascoes Blackwater was renamed Xe Services, but in 2011 again changed its name (to Academi)."
Hmmmm.....looks like after this expose they might have to do another name change. But you know - whether you call en entity 'shit', 'crap', or feces, it's still basically the same. The substance doesn't change. A 'rose' (or 'shit") by any other name and all that..
Of course, Academi came out with a barrage of obfuscatory PR nonsense in response to all the mercenary claims, including - get this - it "was not connected to Blackwater" and that its principals had simply bought the company's training facilities and "given it a new name". Whatever!
The bottom line here is that Barbados needs this like a hole in the head. Hence, the faster the DLP government gets to the bottom of the Greystone role in Ukraine and any links to Blackwater and-or Academi or other mercenary sources (including Satelles Solutions Inc.) the better. The primary goal for the island now is to get on top of its unraveling economic situation - not get indirectly involved in foreign adventures or conflicts.