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Tag: Blackwater


AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Blackwater Guards Convicted of 2007 Iraq Massacre

Four former employees of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater were convicted Wednesday of a mass shooting during the Iraq War.

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 READ MORE



An Exceptional Decline for the Exceptional Country?

For America’s national security state, this is the age of impunity. Nothing it does—torture, kidnapping, assassination, illegal surveillance, you name it—will ever be brought to court. For none of its beyond-the-boundaries acts will anyone be held accountable.

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 READ MORE



Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Truthdigger of the Week: Jeremy Scahill

With his new book “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield,” Jeremy Scahill brings the last decade of the American government’s clandestine war making into the clearest possible focus.

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 READ MORE



ElDave (CC-BY)

The Arrival of the Warrior Corporation

If Apple made weapons, they would undoubtedly be drones, those remotely piloted planes getting such great press in the U.S.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Blackwater Founder Builds Secret Army for UAE

Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater (now Xe Services), the world’s most notorious private military contractor, is discreetly training an 800-man army capable of defending infrastructure, suppressing rebellions and battling regional state enemies for the UAE. (more)

Posted on May 15, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Gage Skidmore Some rights reserved

Ashcroft Assumes Ethical Advisory Role With Xe Services

Hold your breath. John Ashcroft—George W. Bush’s first attorney general and champion of the Patriot Act—has just taken an ethical advisory position with Xe Services, the military contractor formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide. (more)

Posted on May 4, 2011 READ MORE



AP / K.M. Chaudary

American Nabbed in Pakistan Has CIA Ties

Last month’s arrest in Pakistan of one Raymond Davis, an American working security for other U.S. operatives in Lahore—and an American with clear employment ties to the CIA and previously to Blackwater Worldwide—has made for additional diplomatic strain between the two nations.

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Gerry Broome

Passing the Bloodstained Buck

The mercenary firm formerly known as Blackwater has argued in court that the company’s private contractors who killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007 should not be held accountable. Why? It’s Washington’s fault, they claim, as Blackwater fighters were acting as employees of the U.S. government at the time.

Posted on Dec 17, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Karzai Shows Security Contractors the Door

In your face, foreign community! Afghan President Hamid Karzai has begun dissolving foreign private security companies, including the firm formerly known as Blackwater, as he moves to make good on a promise to ban the private contractors by year’s end.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Gerry Broome

Blackwater Agrees to Pay $42 million in Fines

The company formerly known as Blackwater (now renamed Xe Services) has agreed to pay $42 million in fines, thereby avoiding criminal charges for the hundreds of alleged export violations it committed as a leading private contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Aug 21, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force

Cloak and Dagger Inc.

The U.S. military, despite reports to the contrary, has continued to rely on a secret private spy network, akin to a Blackwater with brains, that has provided a stream of intelligence to military forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than a year.

Posted on May 16, 2010 READ MORE



pithhelmet.wordpress.com

More Hot Water for Blackwater

Once-esteemed (by the government, at least) mercenary corporation Blackwater is in some hot legal water after the company’s former president and four other former employees were slapped with federal charges over the alleged stockpiling of automatic weapons.

Posted on Apr 17, 2010 READ MORE


Jeremy Scahill Says ‘We’re at a Ground Zero Moment to Save Real Journalism’

The winner of the second annual Izzy Award, named after muckraking journalist I.F. Stone, discusses independent media and this critical moment in journalism.

Posted on Mar 29, 2010 READ MORE



pithhelmet.wordpress.com

What Does Blackwater Have to Do?

The company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide has been mired in scandal ever since its guards massacred some Iraqi civilians, but the government work keeps coming. Sen. Carl Levin has asked the Pentagon to think carefully about awarding a $1 billion contract to the company now known as Xe.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / jamesdale10 (CC-BY)

Blackwater Back in the Spotlight

The Senate Armed Services Committee is investigating a Blackwater subsidiary’s role in the shooting of two Afghans last year. The panel also criticized the Army for not properly supervising the company. Despite a dreadful track record, Blackwater, now called Xe, continues to have contracts with the U.S. government.

Posted on Feb 23, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / aresauburn™

Justice Department Investigating Alleged Blackwater Bribes

The Justice Department is reportedly looking into whether private security firm/mercenary agency Blackwater Worldwide attempted to buy off Iraqi officials following a shooting rampage in Baghdad. Blackwater employees have so far escaped criminal charges for the Nisour Square massacre that killed 17 Iraqis. (continued)

Posted on Jan 31, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Hadi Mizban

Biden Promises to Appeal Blackwater Dismissals

Vice President Joe Biden expressed his personal regrets to Iraqi leaders and promised that the U.S. will appeal the dismissal of manslaughter charges against five Blackwater security contractors over a bloody Baghdad shooting in 2007 that killed 17 people.

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 READ MORE


Blackwater helicopter
Wikimedia Commons / jamesdale10

Federal Judge Dismisses Charges in Blackwater Shooting Case

A federal judge let five Blackwater Worldwide security contractors off the hook Thursday, dropping all charges against them in a 2007 case in which 14 Iraqi civilians were killed and 20 wounded during a Baghdad shooting. The Justice Department wasn’t thrilled with this outcome, and a DoJ spokesman told The Washington Post that his colleagues are “still in the process of reviewing the opinion and considering our options.”

Posted on Dec 31, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Obama’s Nobel Speech; Blackwater + CIA; Bank Bonuses

Was Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech just idle wordplay or something more “muscular”? “Left, Right & Center” regular Tony Blankley thinks it was tantamount to a “triumph of belief in words over actions” and even invokes deconstructionism (eek!) in his analysis. Is the CIA in bed with Blackwater? And are big banks really cracking down on egregious executive bonuses?

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 READ MORE


Blackwater’s CIA Connection

Reports are coming out that mercenaries from Blackwater Worldwide played central roles in some of the CIA’s most sensitive missions, including clandestine raids and the transport of detainees. Many guards claimed that Blackwater’s participation was so routine that the lines between military and contractor were blurred.

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton in Lahore
Still: AP via youtube.com

Clinton: We’re ‘Not Getting Through’ to Pakistanis

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced the unenviable task of trying to change U.S.-Pakistani relations for the better during her three-day diplomacy spree in the South Asian nation. However, it was unclear as her visit drew to a close whether she’d made any headway, as she herself acknowledged on Friday.

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Afghan Election, Blackwater’s Role

Was Thursday’s election in Afghanistan a step forward for representative democracy in the South Asian nation? What exactly does President Obama aim to accomplish in Afghanistan anyhow? This week’s lineup of commentators explores the possible connections between the CIA and Blackwater and considers the current status of the health care debate.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Blackwater Founder ‘Implicated in Murder’

Jeremy Scahill reports in The Nation that a “former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine ... claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Erik Prince
eyeball-series.org

Blackwater CEO Steps Down

Saying that he’s “taking on new challenges,” Blackwater Worldwide founder and CEO Erik Prince announced Monday that he’s resigning from his long-held position at the top of the security company, which has now changed its name to the spooky and sci-fi-tinged Xe.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Clinton
Flickr / Photo Mojo

Pondering the Inner Meanings of Bill’s Big List

It’s far-fetched to think Hillary Clinton’s performance as secretary of state would be influenced by foreign donations to her husband’s charitable foundation. But it is naive to think that the newly revealed list of donors won’t provoke suspicion and give rise to conspiracy theories.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug

The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it’s probably the exact opposite.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Blackwater Guards Indicted for Shootings

Five Blackwater guards were indicted on charges of manslaughter on Monday in a case that will test the legal accountability of private contractors in Iraq. A sixth guard pleaded guilty. The Blackwater employees killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians without justification at a Baghdad traffic circle, the Justice Department alleges.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Morry Gash

America’s Wars of Self-Destruction

War is a poison. It is a poison that nations and groups must at times ingest to ensure their survival. But, like any poison, it can kill you just as surely as the disease it is meant to eradicate.

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater in Alaska
Composite: acc-tv.com/50states.com

What’s Blackwater Doing in Alaska?

Juneau is hardly the top American target for terrorists, so what’s Blackwater doing in Alaska’s capital? Author Stuart Archer Cohen has spotted uniformed guards from the private security contractor, and he has some clues as to why they’re there.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons

Blackwater Plans to Back Away From Security Biz

Stung by lawsuits, protests, government audits, criminal charges and negative media attention, executives from the mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide say providing security in Iraq and elsewhere has become a drain on the company’s future and will be gradually all but phased out. However, there are no immediate plans to end the contract with the State Department which became so controversial after the company’s agents went on a deadly shooting spree in Baghdad last year.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater guard
Salon.com

Private Contractors in Iraq to Lose Immunity

The folks at Blackwater and other private security outfits in Iraq encountered a dramatic setback Wednesday after an Iraqi minister announced that private guards will no longer be given immunity from U.S military and Iraqi law, ending more than five years of unregulated mercenary violence in the country.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater Business School

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Posted on May 25, 2008 READ MORE


foreclosure
AP photo / Reed Saxon

The Decriminalization of Corporate Crime

With our economic and financial crises deepening, government insiders reportedly are debating whether we need to restore some regulation—or not. Given the state of things, we can expect further woes and no regulation.

Posted on Mar 29, 2008 READ MORE


Protesters Punished, Blackwater Shooters Remain Free

Last week at the gates of the mercenary company Blackwater, nonviolent protesters who re-enacted an infamous Blackwater shooting were arrested. As “Blackwater” author Jeremy Scahill notes: “The arrest of the activists and the subsequent five days they spent locked up in jail is more punishment than any Blackwater mercenaries have received for their deadly actions against Iraqi civilians.”

Posted on Jan 29, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater Gassed Baghdad Checkpoint in 2005

The questionable actions of Blackwater Worldwide are coming back to haunt the private security contractor once again, this time regarding an incident in May 2005.  In that incident Blackwater teams on the ground and in the air near a busy Green Zone checkpoint released CS gas, which is used by the U.S. military only sparingly and only in strictly controlled circumstances.  The gas temporarily compromised American troops’ ability to maintain security in the area.

Posted on Jan 10, 2008 READ MORE


Nisour square
nytimes.com

FBI Blames Blackwater in 14 Civilian Deaths

The FBI, which is still investigating Blackwater’s Sept. 16 killing rampage in Baghdad, has determined that at least 14 of the 17 shootings were unjustified and in violation of deadly-force rules. The Justice Department is looking into whether to press charges, if it even has the authority, which means that Blackwater could very well get away with murder.

Posted on Nov 14, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater’s Pattern of Violence

More than seven months before Blackwater’s September killing spree, one of the company’s snipers shot and killed three Iraqi guards, who, witnesses said, never opened fire. A brief “investigation” by the State Department, which included no Iraqi witnesses or visits to the scene of the crime, found that the incident “fell within approved rules governing the use of force.”

Posted on Nov 8, 2007 READ MORE


mercenaries
chinadaily.com.cn

State Dept. Gave Blackwater Shooters Immunity

Three senior law enforcement officials have revealed to the Associated Press that the State Department gave all of the Blackwater guards involved in the Sept. 16 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians immunity from prosecution.

Posted on Oct 29, 2007 READ MORE


Li’l Happy Logos

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Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


A State Dept. Band-Aid for Blackwater Problem

The State Department will implement new measures to guard against a repeat of last month’s Blackwater slaughter of 17 Iraqi civilians, but some of the new rules, including more cultural awareness training, feel like a Band-Aid on a serious head wound. In addressing this issue, the Iraqi government has chosen to make a point of its sovereignty, and so far the U.S. has done little to allay the Iraqi concerns.

Posted on Oct 24, 2007 READ MORE


bloody car
AP Photo

Security Guards Kill 2 Women in Baghdad

Two women were shot and killed on Tuesday when private security contractors guarding a convoy of four cars in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood opened fire on the women’s Oldsmobile as it moved toward the convoy.  Unfortunately, it was not the day’s only violent episode in Iraq. According to The Washington Post, a series of bombings claimed at least 34 lives in and around Baghdad.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE


mercenaries
news.bbc.co.uk

Iraq Demands Blackwater Exit Strategy

Iraqi authorities have given the U.S. six months to cut ties with Blackwater, and are demanding custody of the private security guards who, according to a government investigation, recklessly opened fire on Iraqi civilians while escorting a State Department convoy.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE


Bush’s Advisers

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Posted on Oct 8, 2007 READ MORE


Congress Tries to Close Blackwater Loophole

The House voted 389 to 30 to pass a bill that would make private contractors working for the U.S. government in Iraq subject to United States law. It’s the second time Congress has attempted to apply some sense to the legal vacuum created by the Bush administration and its Coalition Provisional Authority, which pushed through what amounts to blanket immunity for mercenaries.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater’s New Gig

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Posted on Oct 3, 2007 READ MORE    


Blackwater Founder Takes a Beating in Congress

Blackwater USA founder and chairman Erik Prince stubbornly defended his company Tuesday while members of the House Oversight Committee grilled him with questions such as “Why are we privatizing our military to an organization that has been aggressive and in some cases reckless in the handling of their duties?”

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE


wounded man
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

The State Dept.‘s Murderous Guardians

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?

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE


Good News and Bad News from Adm. Mullen

The freshly sworn-in chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, started his first day on the job with this revelation: “The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will one day end.” That’s a relief, coming from the newest member of Team Bush, but don’t get too excited, there’s more: “We must be ready for who and what comes after.” Oh dear.

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE


Report Points to Blackwater’s Excessive Violence

According to a devastating new report from the House Oversight Committee, Blackwater USA employees engaged in at least 195 “escalation of force” incidents since 2005, with the private security firm firing 80 percent of the first shots (despite its purely defensive mandate). What’s worse, the State Department has provided little if any oversight, instead assisting the company as it carried out damage control.

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE


Waxman
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Waxman: State Dept. Blocked Blackwater Investigation

Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, claims his panel’s attempts to look into Blackwater USA’s recent controversial actions in Iraq were derailed by the State Department.  The State Department, on the other hand, denies blocking the investigation and says Waxman’s charge is the result of a “misunderstanding.”

Posted on Sep 26, 2007 READ MORE


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