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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)

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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".

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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.

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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?"

Robert Scheer

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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?

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