We're supporters of Blackwater USA, the heroic private security company that has lost more than two dozen of its own men while protecting American diplomats, VIPs and others in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. We set up this blog shortly after the September 16, 2007 incident in which terrorists attacked an American diplomatic convoy near Baghdad, because we were fed up with all the misleading media coverage.
"It is a profile of the Public Relations company working for Blackwater and who the executive managing the account is. The company is Burstein Marstellar. The account executive is formerly of State Department Public Affairs where he was transferred after he finished his stint with guess what? The CPA in Iraq."*
"According to the Blackwater incident reports received by the Committee, Blackwater personnel have participated in 195 incidents in Iraq from January 1,2005, through September 12, 2007 , that involved firearms discharges by Blackwater personnel. This is an average of 1.4 incidents per week. In 32 of those incidents, Blackwater personnel were returning fire after an attack, while on 163 occasions (84% of the shooting incidents), Blackwater personnel were the first to fire."
“….The story of Blackwater's meteoric rise is both Prince's personal story and the story of how wars can make private companies very rich, very quickly. Despite coming from a wealthy Michigan family, Prince wanted a career in the military.
He initially attended the US Naval Academy, where he first encountered Navy SEAL teams, the elite special forces of the US Navy responsible for unconventional warfare, counter-terrorism, hostage rescue and special reconnaissance operations.
In a rare interview with a local newspaper, The Virginian-Pilot, Prince said he did not enjoy the academy and finished college in Michigan. In 1992, though, he re-entered the navy and moved to the Navy SEALs, based in Virginia Beach, where he served for the next five years. During that time he was deployed to Haiti, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
But personal circumstances ended his service. In 1995 his father, Edgar, died suddenly, leaving Erik's mother, Elsa, in charge of a car parts manufacturing business. She sold the business for $1.3 billion, enabling Erik to establish a training business in Virginia Beach.
‘As I trained all over the world, I realised how difficult it was for units to get the cutting-edge training they needed to ensure success. In a letter home while I was deployed I outlined the vision that is today Blackwater,’ he told The Virginian-Pilot.
So, at 27, Prince was running his own business with a stated mission of offering the military and law enforcement agencies ‘expert instruction and world-class training venues’.
That might have been the original vision, but Blackwater was to become much more.
As the oversight committee chairman, the Democrat Henry Waxman, put it: ‘There may be no federal contractor in America that has grown more rapidly than Blackwater over the last seven years.’
In 2000, Blackwater had just $204,000 in government contracts. Since then it has received more than $1 billion in federal contracts, and more than half of these contracts were awarded without full and open competition.
‘Privatising is working exceptionally well for Blackwater,’ Waxman said.
‘The question for this hearing is whether outsourcing to Blackwater is a good deal for the American taxpayer, whether it's a good deal for the military, and whether it's serving our national interests in Iraq.’
Answering questions on Blackwater's finances, Prince was unable to say what proportion of his contracts had come through no-bid processes, even though committee researchers say more than 50 per cent were awarded without open tender.
…What Waxman went out of his way to avoid mentioning was Prince's extraordinarily close connections to the Bush Administration, the Republican Party and several right-wing Christian groups that have underpinned George Bush's support base. But that is precisely where leading Democrats want to go in the next few weeks as they zero in on Blackwater and its ties to the Bush Administration.
Prince's family are blue bloods of the Republican party.
His late father was instrumental in creating the Family Research Council, one of the right-wing Christian groups most influential with the Bush Administration. His mother runs the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, which has given generously to Christian groups, and they were affiliated with the Council for National Policy, a secretive Christian organisation whose meetings have been attended by the Vice-President, Dick Cheney, the former defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, and the former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Paul Bremer.
Erik's sister, Betsy, married into the DeVos family, the founders of Amway and one of the biggest donors to the Republican Party. She served as the state chairwoman of the Republican Party in Michigan from 1996 until 2000 and from 2003 to 2005.
Prince has made personal donations of nearly $300,000 to Republicans. He served as an intern in the White House of George Bush [Senior] for six months and is a director of Christian Freedom International, a group devoted to helping Christians who are persecuted.
…[Blackwater vice-chairman Cofer] Black, [a 28-year CIA veteran], is also closely identified with America's controversial interrogation and rendition program, under which terrorism suspects are flown to CIA-run prisons at unknown destinations in Europe and Afghanistan. He told Congress in 2002: ‘After 9/11 the gloves came off.’ Another company controlled by Prince, Presidential Airways, has a contract to transport terrorist suspects on behalf of the Administration and is believed to do the transfers.
Another former CIA figure is Rob Richer, Blackwater's vice-president for intelligence. He was the head of the CIA's Near East division until September 2005, when he left for Blackwater. In the ensuing months the kingdom of Jordan hired Blackwater to train its intelligence services, instead of relying on a CIA program Richer had helped to establish.” [more]
The second phase of the blueprint of what I have called in The End of America a `fascist shift’ is what we are beginning to see now: increasing physical intimidation of civilians and increasing staging or provocation of situations in the a [sic] federalized national guard or a Blackwater paramilitary force is sent in at the behest of a leader — over the heads of the people’s representatives — to `restore public order.’ I note that Congress is outraged that there were plans to stage a fake scenario of a dirty bomb detonation in three US cities next week — plans that were not fully revealed to Congress.
Remeber when TSA officials were making passengers at the airport drink their baby’s milk — including human breast milk? Both the Blackshirts and the Brownshirts forced citizens to drink liquids such as emetics as anintimidation [sic] tactic.
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