The takeover of the government of the United States is progressing nicely and is very nearly complete. Disguised as “privatization” and propelled by an unprecedented grab of power by the “unitary” Executive branch, we the people have been “Blackwatered” to use the phrase born among the ruins of Iraq.

This process began long before George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove perfected their synchronized destruction of the Constitution. We can go back for its roots to 1932 when Roosevelt deemed it necessary to claim new powers for the Executive branch in order to pull the nation out of a financial free-fall. Since then every accretion of power by the Executive has been justified by the fear of some boogeyman or another.

But the grab of power away from Congress, the Courts and most specifically the people has been only one part of the coup. Since Ronald Reagan gave voice to the effort to dismantle government the campaign to privatize everything from education to security has given those behind the coup the power they sought.

The recent highlighting of the actions by the Blackwater security forces in Iraq is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg that has sunk our Titanic nation. Private security forces in general and Blackwater in specific can be found around the globe, providing the military force needed by corporate and moneyed interests to rape and pillage the planet.

Blackwater was in New Orleans after Katrina hit before FEMA even knew where new Orleans was on the map. They directed local law enforcement and were the de facto military on the streets for many days, which of course then led to a lucrative contract from Homeland Security. This Administration has funneled billions of dollars to private firms in one of the greatest wealth transfers in history.

But it is not just this pillaging of our national treasury that is troublesome. Of greater import is the fact that reactionary forces have created an entirely viable alternative to the Constitutional government that is almost completely beyond any accountability to the people of this country. With Congress the willing ATM machine for these private contracts there is now a private army completely beholden to corporate America that can act without any limitation by the elected representatives of the people.

There are more private security forces in Iraq than military. They are not accountable to anyone except people like Eric Prince who has as his mission the spread of the far-right conservative doctrine of corporate greed. With Secretary Rice providing cover for these mercenaries, we have the spectacle of a private military running the show for this ill-fated debacle and our military forces cleaning up their mess.

The real flare-up in Iraq did not begin until after 4 Blackwater employees were strung up in Fallouja. We launched a major campaign against that city to wreak revenge upon the unfortunate inhabitants because it was more important to get even than to plan strategic engagements. Our military policy has been hijacked because a private outfit acted foolishly and exposed their own agents to harm.

This Administration has created a situation where it could activate private forces anywhere on the globe without the need for messy Congressional approval. They could even do so right here on American soil. There is now a shadow government that is entirely private and entirely beyond our control.

Those who voice disappointment over the failure of the Democratic Congress to end the war in Iraq are missing the point. It is their failure to reign in this coup d’état against the American people that is the real threat to democracy and freedom.

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