EXCLUSIVE…Secret Recording of Erik Prince Reveals Previously Undisclosed Blackwater Ops
Investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill obtains a rare audio recording of a recent, private speech delivered by Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, to a friendly audience in January. The speech, which Prince attempted to keep from public consumption, provides a stunning glimpse into his views and future plans and reveals details of previously undisclosed activities of Blackwater. In a Democracy Now! exclusive broadcast we play excerpts of the recording and speak with Scahill about the revelations. [Includes rush transcript]
Jeremy Scahill, award-winning independent journalist, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and the author of the international bestseller, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” His article, Secret Erik Prince Tape Exposed is published on his new blog for TheNation.com.
Blackwater is a corporation that provides mercenary soldiers and supporting security personnel to the US government.
Erik Prince, the founder and owner of the now infamous US corporation, Blackwater, hails from Holland, Michigan where his family was both powerful and prominent in two institutions – (1) the Republican Party and (2) the evangelical Christian Church. After scandals hit his large and lucrative firm, Prince ordered a curious rebranding that changed its name to Xe.
Blackwater Said to Approve $1 Million in Iraqi Bribes After Shootings
By MARK MAZZETTI and JAMES RISEN
November 10, 2009
WASHINGTON — Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.
By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The founder of Blackwater USA deliberately caused the deaths of innocent civilians in a series of shootings in Iraq, attorneys for Iraqis suing the security contractor told a federal judge Friday.
The attorneys singled out Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL who is the company’s owner, for blame in the deaths of more than 20 Iraqis between 2005 and 2007. Six former Blackwater guards were criminally charged in 14 of the shootings, and family members and victims’ estates sued Prince, Blackwater now called Xe Services LLC and a group of related companies.
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the Worlds Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses the dwindling ranks of antiwar Democrats in Congress, the cruise missile liberals that support war in Darfur without questioning the aims of U.S. imperialism, the mercenary surge accompanying the troop surge in Afghanistan, the history of bipartisan executive assassination programs and the birther conspiracy theories that completely miss the point.
How did it come to be that the ostensibly best-educated and most refined representatives of the United States in Iraq are guarded by gun-toting mercenaries who kill innocent civilians? More urgently, why did State Department employees and their bosses in Washington tolerate—and pay to conceal—the wanton murder conducted on their watch?
Keith gives his report on the recent … Keith gives his report on the recent flap over Rush Limbaugh and his comments that anyone who served in Iraq and speaks out against it is a phony soldier and how he tried to back peddle and edit his own comments to his listeners. Rachel Maddow weighs in.
Rules of Engagement
The Blackwater hearings began today with founder Erik Prince saying his firm acted appropriately at all times. Jeremy Scahill weighs in on what Blackwater has really been doing in Iraq.
Lawmakers are introducing legislation that would require the administration to pay for the war through a sur tax instead of passing the debt along to future generations. Howard Fineman weighs in.
And the winner is…Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition. Runner up Bill O’Reilly.