Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Southwestern College Pushed to the Brink by Brutal Power Struggle; Blackwater connection

Southwestern College Pushed to the Brink by Brutal Power Struggle
February 7, 2010
Voice of San Diego

Andrew Rempt was correcting composition papers at his home when the doorbell rang.

Earlier that day, the Southwestern College English professor had stood with students protesting against class cuts. Now, the college's human resource director was standing on his doorstep alongside an armed campus police officer. Their message: Rempt and three other professors were banned from campus that night.

Three of them later learned they were being investigated for inciting students and not cooperating with campus police.

The incident enflamed the already volatile relationship between the South Bay community college's employees and Superintendent Raj K. Chopra. It has been an almost constant battle since Chopra was hired in August 2007, and there is no sign of letting up, even after the state's accreditation agency put the college on probation on Tuesday.

The president has acted unilaterally to enact massive budget cuts in the face of deep financial troubles, breaking course with previous administrations who involved faculty in decision-making. Now, three pro-Chopra board members are facing a recall, faculty is complaining of a culture of fear and California's college accreditation commission is threatening to shut the whole place down if the campus environment does not change...

They were up in arms about Chopra's decision to associate the college with controversial war contractor Blackwater and its "mercenaries." ...

Blackwater used 'child prostitutes in Iraq'
08 Aug 2009

New disturbing charges have emerged against XE, the infamous private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, whose operations came under spotlight after its 2007 carnage in Baghdad.

According to a report by MSNBC and based on alleged sworn declarations by two Blackwater employees in federal court, the firm used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.

The declarations added Iraqi minors got involve in sexual acts with Blackwater members in exchange for one dollar and Erik Prince, the firm's owner, "failed to stop the ongoing use of prostitutes, including child prostitutes, by his men."

Based on other statements, the firm was involved in another sex scandal; "Prince's North Carolina operations had an ongoing wife-swapping and sex ring, which was participated in by many of Mr. Prince's top executives."

The two employees also alleged that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," The Nation reported...

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