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12/31/06 5:52 PM
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hubris
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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Footage of Iraq hostage said likely real

Sat Dec 30, 10:31 PM ET VIENNA, Austria - Austria's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that experts examined an audio tape of four American security contractors and an Austrian kidnapped in Iraq six weeks ago and concluded it is "probably authentic." Foreign Ministry spokesman Georg Schnetzer told the Austria Press Agency the tape appeared to have been made several weeks ago and contained scant information that might provide clues to the hostages' whereabouts. "The tape is most probably authentic," yet contains no details on 25-year-old Bert Nussbaumer or the four Americans, Schnetzer told the agency. Crescent Security Group, which employs the five men, became aware of a videotape and received the audio version on Wednesday, according to a statement on their Web site Thursday. The statement also said the company would not be releasing the tape, the first proof that all five men are alive. The men went missing Nov. 16 when a large convoy of trucks being escorted by Crescent Security Group was hijacked on a highway near Safwan, a city on the border with Kuwait. Suspected militiamen dressed in Iraqi police uniforms ambushed the convoy, taking 14 hostages, including the five security guards, and nine truck drivers who were later released. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said this week it believes the five are still being held captive. In the tape, Nussbaumer, speaking in English, gives his name, age and nationality and says he and his colleagues want "out of Iraq." Video footage of the captives surfaced Tuesday, showing them to be alive and in good condition, according to McClatchy Newspapers. Islamic Companies, a previously unknown group, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, according to an Iranian-run Arabic-language satellite news station. It said the group released a videotaped message saying it was holding the five men and demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and the release of all prisoners being held there. Schnetzer said Austrian authorities were working "around the clock" to pinpoint Nussbauer's whereabouts and help gain his freedom. Two of the American captives have also been identified: Jonathon Cote, 23, a native of Getzville, N.Y., and Paul Reuben, 39, a former police officer from a suburb of Minneapolis, Minn.
12/31/06 6:07 PM
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ksm
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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You knew it was a matter of time. But Mercinaries have managed to keep their profile and casualties relatively low. Most of them are very good former Delta etc, and they let low paid US military do the grunt and dangerous work. But looks like now they're luck has run out. Lesson - war profiteering, not the best idea.
12/31/06 6:12 PM
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RANDY ERICKSON
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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They are not Mercinaries it's Security Contractors.
12/31/06 6:12 PM
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ChiggidyChops
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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they are not conducting any military operations, they are providing security work. There are many companies here in the US that conduct convoy security work here in the US. ``
12/31/06 6:12 PM
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RANDY ERICKSON
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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They are not Mercinaries it's Security Contractors.
12/31/06 6:52 PM
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ksm
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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"They are not Mercinaries it's Security Contractors." Just like those Blackwater former Navy Seals hung in Fallujah were "just security". And if there is not military component to these jobs why hire former Special Forces? And why do they have to pay so much, if its just picking your ass, get grocercy store type security for minimum wage. The Corporate types are all about cost cutting, so if they are telling the truth should be no problem paying minimum wage for a high school drop out security guard.
12/31/06 7:01 PM
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MrFixit
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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One mans mercinary is another mans Security Contractor.
12/31/06 8:29 PM
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RANDY ERICKSON
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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Sorry for the double post, I've been having conection problems with a new router. I will agree there are people that kill for money but how is someone who is escorting a convoy a "mecenary" ? The term is used to loosely.
12/31/06 9:07 PM
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MrFixit
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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"They're performing military service for a country while not being part of that(or any others) country's military.
12/31/06 10:33 PM
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sreiter
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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they aret doing miliary work - merc's actually fight battles - as if they were part of the war - security is just protecting a private companies assets like a trucking company delivering goods who want guys with guns protecting them from armed robbers
12/31/06 10:40 PM
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ksm
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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"like a trucking company delivering goods" Yes but a huge part of this war has been fought on the roads of Iraq. Again if its not military type duties why even hire Special Forces guys. Just hand some hired thugs a few AKs if the only problem is thugs trying to rob you as opposed to highly skilled insurgents hitting convoys. The reality is they want to guys who can fuck up insurgents while they are trying to hit convoys. That is mercinary work.
1/1/07 8:34 AM
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MrFixit
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Edited: 01-Jan-07
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"merc's actually fight battles - as if they were part of the war " Mercenaries perform duties under contract that may or may not involve use of deadly force. If you are a mercenary and fulfill your contract (coup of a country, taking over an airport, guarding a shipment) without firing a shot, are you suggesting you shouldn't get paid? Just because "merc's" always fight battles in the movies doesn't make it real.
1/1/07 9:45 AM
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oblongo
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Edited: 01-Jan-07
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Don't know if Austria is part of the coalition, but the others are from countries at are, so they aren't mercenaries under international law.
1/1/07 10:41 AM
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sreiter
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Edited: 01-Jan-07
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ksm because when the shit hits the fan, they want guys who can get the job done - same reason why the US gov goes to spec ops to hire for DSS, FBI, CIA work same reasons why they make good exec protection guys
1/1/07 10:43 AM
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sreiter
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Edited: 01-Jan-07
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fix - dont split hairs - merc's are paid to be soliders by forgien gov's - happier now?
1/1/07 10:46 AM
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RANDY ERICKSON
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Security Contractors do Ep ad PSD (don't go looking for trouble) work. Mercs are hired with the intention to go out and kill.
1/1/07 10:47 AM
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MrFixit
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Edited: 01-Jan-07
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Very pleased. 8D

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