Rumble: Blackwater or How War Profiteering Works - Part III


Blackwater Worldwide has played a substantial role during the Iraq War as a contractor for the United States government. In 2003, Blackwater attained its first high-profile contract when it received a $21 million no-bid contract for guarding the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, L. Paul Bremer. Since June 2004, Blackwater has been paid more than $320 million out of a $1 billion, five-year State Department budget for the Worldwide Personal Protective Service, which protects U.S. officials and some foreign officials in conflict zones. In 2006, Blackwater won the renumerative contract to protect the U.S. embassy in Iraq, the largest American embassy in the world.

Blackwater is a privately held company and does not publish much information about internal affairs. Who are the key people?

Blackwater's owner and founder Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL, attended the Naval Academy, graduated from Hillsdale College, and was an intern in George H.W. Bush's White House. Prince is a major financial supporter of Republican Party causes and candidates.
Cofer Black, the company's current vice chairman, was director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center (CTC) at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was the United States Department of State coordinator for counterterrorism with the rank of ambassador at large from December 2002 to November 2004. After leaving public service, Black became chairman of the privately owned intelligence gathering company Total Intelligence Solutions, Inc., as well as vice chairman for Blackwater.
Joseph E. Schmitz holds an executive position in Blackwater's holding company, Prince Group. He was previously inspector general of the Department of Defense, an appointment of George W. Bush.
Robert Richer was vice president of intelligence until January 2007, when he formed Total Intelligence Solutions. He was formerly the head of the CIA's Near East Division.

Are you surprised Blackwater opened the door to lucrative government contracts through a no-bid contract? Are you surprised they received immunity from prosecution after killing 17 Iraqi civilians a year ago?

More interesting reading on Blackwater: The Whores of War

Source: Wikipedia and others
Cartoon courtesy News Sophisticate


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