speaking at School of Oriental and African Studies on Thursday 27 January
2005, 18:00. Often described as Britain's most notorious mercenary, Spicer
will be talking about his experiences in Africa. Nearest Tube - Russell
by the American government to 'look after Security' in Iraq.
Though Spicer has come to speak specifically about being a mercenary in
Africa, the fact is that the elections in Iraq are on Sunday and Iraq is
where he has is biggest contract.
He should be asked questions about his role in Iraq as well his role in
failed coups in Africa, arming 'rebels' in Sierra Leone, why he was
arrested in Papua New Guinea and exactly why he, Mark Thatcher and Simon
Mann should not have been jailed for international terrorism.
Spicer was head of an army unit in Northern Ireland that shot and killed a
19-year-old west Belfast teenager.
Two soldiers were later convicted of murder, despite protests by Spicer.
The two were the only British soldiers ever to be convicted of murder for
an on-duty killing in Northern Ireland.
His firm was recently voted number one in the top ten War Profiteers of 2004
1) AEGIS In June, the Pentagon's Program Management Office in Iraq awarded
a $293 million contract to coordinate security operations among thousands
of private contractors to Aegis, a UK firm whose founder was once
investigated for illegal arms smuggling.
An inquiry by the British parliament into Sandline, Aegis head Tim
Spicer's former firm, determined that the company had shipped guns to
Sierra Leone in 1998 in violation of a UN arms embargo. Sandline's
position was that it had approval from the British government, although
British ministers were cleared by the inquiry. Spicer resigned from
Sandline in 2000 and incorporated Aegis in 2002.
The Aegis contract has stirred up considerable controversy, even in the
shadowy world of private military contractors. A protest by rival bidder
Dyncorp - whose bid was deemed unacceptable by the Army - was dismissed by
the General Accountability Offfice, which concluded that Dyncorp "lacked
standing to challenge the integrity of the awardee (Aegis)." Spicer's
defendants point out that there is no provision in contract law to deny a
contract based on a bidder's "colorful" past.
Critics say that's just the problem. U.S. and international law have
failed to address the role of PMCs in Iraq, resulting in a near-total lack
of accountability that epitomizes what's wrong with the corporate takeover
"Who gives the orders? Where do contractors fit in the chain of command?
Who is responsible if things go wrong?" Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) asks.
Not only do PMCs fall outside the Military Code of Justice but, thanks to
another order passed by Paul Bremer (CPA order #17), it's not clear that
they could be prosecuted under Iraq's own laws. That's because the order
grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, full
immunity from Iraq's laws, even if they injure or kill an innocent party.
Custard Pies, questions, eggs and tomatoes at the ready...