"Me not being part of the equation reduces the 'X' on the thing."
March 2, 2009 5:22 PM   Subscribe

Two weeks after re-christening his mercenary outfit with the inscrutable moniker Xe, Erik Prince steps down as CEO. This news amid layoffs, multiple lawsuits, criminal charges, a helicopter crash, contract losses and outright banishment. Meanwhile, Xe reaches out to new target markets. Nostalgic for the old days? The Blackwater Pro Shop still has gear!
posted by grounded (56 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
LOLXeIANS
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:26 PM on March 2, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm sure he didn't step down in order to create a new company that will receive an operating license from the Iraqi government. That would never happen.
posted by dersins at 5:27 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, though, Prince is "worn out"? By "the politics"?
Fatigue is a common side effect of killing people for a living, I guess.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:28 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Christ what an asshole.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:33 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Worked for Philip Morris Altria.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:36 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Would a Blackwater by any other name smell as foul?

A: yes
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:37 PM on March 2, 2009


The Blackwater Pro Shop still has gear!

Service Unavailable.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 5:42 PM on March 2, 2009


BlackWater has an airbase on Malta The Pope's air force
posted by hortense at 5:47 PM on March 2, 2009


They're all out of "I Support Blackwater" tee shirts.

Dang.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:48 PM on March 2, 2009


Their license to kill has been revoked.

Rebranding notwithstanding.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:50 PM on March 2, 2009


I hear Erik Prince and Eeben Barlow (formerly of Executive Outcomes) are getting out of the PMC business to open a gallery in Provincetown (but don't quote me on that).
posted by MikeMc at 5:50 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is a company whose main purpose is to funnel government money into campaigns for Republican candidates. Given the current political climate, I'd be worried too, if I were them.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:53 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why are you guys being so cynical? There's a lot of killing that needs to be done, and it's not like the military can handle all of it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:55 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Corrected Blackwater Pro Shop link.
posted by grounded at 5:56 PM on March 2, 2009


Corrected Blackwater Pro Shop link.

I am totally tempted by the $11 sweatpants.
posted by MikeMc at 5:58 PM on March 2, 2009


Xe = Xenon, which is either the name of a general sent to fight Molon, the rebel satrap of Medea; an alien race from the X computer game series; a dark matter experiment; a robot from the Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad television show; or, in this case, all of the above.
posted by notyou at 5:59 PM on March 2, 2009


the rebel satrap of Medea

Don't drag Tyler Perry into this.
posted by MikeMc at 6:01 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


seems an inane name change, Xe is already well affiliated with a service, so much so that every time I see Xe in regards to Backwater I momentarily go "currency exchange?" And you know "Blackwater" is such an appropriate name anyways, even before they where controversial you knew they had to be evil bastards just cause of the name.
posted by edgeways at 6:03 PM on March 2, 2009


Will they still be inviting that bald bloke from the Discovery channel round to film ludicrous semi-promotional pieces on "future weapons"?
posted by Artw at 6:04 PM on March 2, 2009


"[Blackwater]...will not receive an operating license from the Iraqi government, a decision that will likely force American diplomats here to make new arrangements for their personal protection..."

Make new arrangements for their personal protection? Don't we have over a hundred thousand troops in Iraq? Could we perhaps redeploy several dozen Marines to protect our diplomats?
posted by MikeMc at 6:06 PM on March 2, 2009


By removing Prince and, by his own admission, the X from the thing, what's that leave the new company? A lower case e, I suppose. Even more meaningless, harder to search, but easier to pronounce.

And let me suggest a new slogan:

You can't spell evil without us.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:13 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


You see, I missed the rather crucial word "Erik" in the FPP and read the first half-dozen comments thinking, "Man, even after the legal battle with Warner Brothers, the unpronounceable symbol name and the conversion to being a Jehovah's Witness, I thought nothing could surprise me from this guy. But running a mercenary band -- that is out there."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:17 PM on March 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know who else was tired of the politics to the point of employing a final solution and eventually stepping down?
posted by DU at 6:29 PM on March 2, 2009


Fuck mercenaries.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:39 PM on March 2, 2009


you can get blackwater sweats in size XXXL. Huh.
posted by boo_radley at 6:40 PM on March 2, 2009


No you can't. Every fuckin' size is sold out. So is everything else I'd kill for.
posted by gman at 6:43 PM on March 2, 2009


The ironic value of wearing Blackwater gear - pretty nifty indeed. the prospect of directly financially supporting them (in addition to the indirect taxes I've paid to them) - not worth it.

I have a feeling this isn't the last we've heard from the Prince of Xe.
posted by el io at 6:46 PM on March 2, 2009


Ass, what a Christhole.
posted by loquacious at 6:54 PM on March 2, 2009


The company cites [Plaxico Burress], along with the shooting death by an intruder of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, as examples of why pro athletes need to have a handle on firearms safety.

Sean Taylor sounds like a tragic accident (I'm not familiar with the incident), but Plaxico Burress? Really? He's an example of pro athletes needing a handle on a lot more than just firearms...
posted by niles at 7:01 PM on March 2, 2009


Xe = Legio X equestrius.

Caesar's legion.

You know, the ones he led across the Rubicon.
posted by mwhybark at 7:11 PM on March 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


... at least I *think* it was the legion that crossed the Rubicon.
posted by mwhybark at 7:14 PM on March 2, 2009


Nope, XIII
posted by Science! at 7:23 PM on March 2, 2009


All mercenaries should be tried for crimes against humanity, and executed if appropriate. This includes every person who has ever worked for Blackwater in an executive or administrative role. They have no place on a civilized planet, and I have no sympathy for them.

Q: What do you call mercenaries who are ambushed, killed, and mutilated by the people they were terrorizing?

A: A good start.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:28 PM on March 2, 2009


All mercenaries should be tried for crimes against humanity, and executed if appropriate. This includes every person who has ever worked for Blackwater in an executive or administrative role.

Who you gonna hire to carry out those hits?
posted by MikeMc at 7:46 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


grounded: "Two weeks after re-christening his mercenary outfit with the inscrutable moniker Xe..."

Great rebranding! In one move they've gone from "cartoonishly evil megacorporation" to "cryptic utterance from ancient sorcery".

After their next public relations train wreck they can take the Prince route and just go by a symbol -- a symbol that, if ever spoken aloud, would make the moon as blood and bring a thousand years of misery unto the peoples of the Earth.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:50 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


MikeMc: favorited because of how chilling it is to see evil advertise so openly (complete with crappy web design).

Also, good to know that evil likes ISO certifications and is often GSA approved.
posted by el io at 8:22 PM on March 2, 2009


Here I thought Xe Frank was working on some sort of TV show.
posted by dhartung at 8:29 PM on March 2, 2009


how chilling it is to see evil advertise so openly

And they use Windows Server 2003!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:04 PM on March 2, 2009


"Pipe hitters" tee shirts? Really?

All I can think of is Marsellus Wallace's promise of pipe hitters with hand tools.
posted by oats at 9:06 PM on March 2, 2009


How fitting that the shirts are available in black.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:12 PM on March 2, 2009


Sequin t-shirts will cost you an arm and a leg. Literally. That Erik fella don't like them queers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:15 PM on March 2, 2009


Ask any regular Soldier who has served in Iraq what they think of Blackwater guys.

"Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers!" will be the first thing.

"Incompetent, overpaid, wannabe, chicken-shit dick-sucking, poser bitches" or thereabouts is a close second.

If you ask a Marine prepare for some actual harsh language.
posted by tkchrist at 9:26 PM on March 2, 2009


Q: What do you call mercenaries who are ambushed, killed, and mutilated by the people they were terrorizing?

A: A good start.


I certainly wouldn't go that far; I'd prefer there be no ambushing, killing, or mutilation of anybody. That said, I now have much more sympathy for Markos (of DailyKos) and the shitstorm he conjured up when he said "fuck them" about the mercenaries killed on that bridge in Fallujah or wherever 5 years ago.

The media kept calling them "independent contractors". I was picturing geeky looking guys in glasses maybe driving supply trucks. The media has a lot to answer for.
posted by Justinian at 9:31 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Q: What do you call mercenaries who are ambushed, killed, and mutilated by the people they were terrorizing?

I hate people who cannot love. People who can't live and let live should be killed. All of them. With a bat.

Then we can finally be left to hug and love and have big piles of free puppies to roll around in.
posted by tkchrist at 9:35 PM on March 2, 2009


If you ask a Marine prepare for some actual harsh language.

From videos I've seen, it seems that one of the "combat" roles Blackwater mercs did was kick back on rooftops of buildings that Marines had already cleared and pick off Iraqis with sniper rifles while cracking jokes. What an odd way to prosecute a war.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:53 PM on March 2, 2009


That fucker is 39 years old.

I'll be 39 in like a month.

He's tired? So am I. I bet his giant piles of cash will help.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:47 PM on March 2, 2009


Hmmm...they still have kneepads left in their "PRO" shop. Fucking hookers.

No wait...I'm sorry. Hookers are sex workers, and regardless of the stigma placed on them by society (and comments like mine), they are an asset to society and provide a valuable service.

Blackwater...Fuck them and their overweight, trigger happy, douchebag employees.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:04 PM on March 2, 2009


Xe -- "pronounced like the letter 'z,'" the Associated Press reports. (Wired link.)
So "Xe" is pronounced "Zed"?
Those of you wanting B-Water garments try "Tactical". That stuff is marked down.
posted by CCBC at 12:53 AM on March 3, 2009


Xe -- "pronounced like the letter 'z,'" the Associated Press reports

Zis is ze new vorld order in vich men like Erik vill fight ze vars and get ze big buckeroolas, ja?
posted by MuffinMan at 2:11 AM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Xenon is an inert gas. Does that make Erik Prince an inert gas-bag?
posted by DreamerFi at 4:00 AM on March 3, 2009


don't forget the whole Amway connection.
posted by caddis at 4:12 AM on March 3, 2009


Science!, thanks. Legio Xe appears to have actually taken Antony's part later on, so make of that what you will.
posted by mwhybark at 10:58 AM on March 3, 2009


New Xe = Xenu.
posted by SPrintF at 12:29 PM on March 3, 2009


If folks are serious about wanting T-shirts, Mefi-mail me and I'll create the art.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:48 PM on March 3, 2009


A staggering amount of misinformation is being passed around here. I am not going to defend some Blackwater employees because over the years they have done some incredibly dumb and dangerous things that have made the overall task in Iraq 10 times harder. I also won't defend "wannabe" mercs who roll with the shades and tactical gear, some of whom were firing automatic weapons at "looters" (aka black folks) during the Katrina debacle.

I will defend those professional military men who realised that if they were to risk their lives in the service of their country then maybe they were entitled to a slightly better wage. Not every Blackwater employee is a murdering bastard and I (somewhat stupidly) assumed that MeFi's denizens were smart enough to work this out.

I am stunned that Optimus Chyme thinks it's funny or a good thing that Blackwater employees were captured, torn apart, set on fire and hung from a bridge.

Those men were someone's children. You fucking disgust me Optimus. Enjoy your no doubt hilarious riposte to this. Make sure you make it a good one. Alternatively you can think long and hard before you press the "Post Comment" about the deaths of those men and see the tragedy that their families had to deal with.

Well done the rest of you for making the same point previously.
posted by longbaugh at 1:01 PM on March 3, 2009


posted by longbaugh I will defend those professional military men who realised that if they were to risk their lives in the service of their country then maybe they were entitled to a slightly better wage. Not every Blackwater employee is a murdering bastard and I (somewhat stupidly) assumed that MeFi's denizens were smart enough to work this out.

All of that neatly ignores the fact a mercenary's job is to wage war for money. That's Blackwater's business model, and for it they richly deserve every bit of contempt, antipathy, and disgust heaped upon them. Fuck Blackwater and their apologists.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:12 PM on March 3, 2009


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