The winner of the second annual Izzy Award, named after muckraking journalist I.F. Stone, discusses independent media and this critical moment in journalism.
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".
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."
Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., objects to the notion that it is improper to pay a private contractor four times as much as a U.S. soldier doing the same job: "It's actually somewhat of an insult, if I go down to Fort Stewart and tell 'em they're underpaid, because they're really not motivated by pay as much as they are by patriotism." If only Halliburton felt the same way.
The author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army" argues that the Democrats' withdrawal plan -- even if it ever gets past a veto -- isn't anything to write home about.