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Blackwater Xe Frontier Services criminal US/UK chameleon PMC

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:07 am    Post subject: Blackwater Xe Frontier Services criminal US/UK chameleon PMC Reply with quote

US/UK PMC Blackwater faces expulsion from Iraq

PMC Blackwater Wins Award From American Red Cross

Blackwater Practices "Redwashing"
Topics: international | Iraq | public relations
Source: Alternet, February 2, 2008

Jeremy Scahill, author of the bestselling book Blackwater, notes that "Blackwater Worldwide, the Bush administration's favorite mercenary company, is no stranger to blood -- its operatives have caused a lot of it to be spilled in Iraq. ... This week, the company received an award from the American Red Cross ... for Blackwater's recent blood drive, where company employees reportedly gave 264 units of blood. 'That means that well over 600 lives have been saved in this region,' said Georgia Donaldson of the Mid Atlantic region Red Cross. The group presented Blackwater's owner, Erik Prince with a plaque honoring the company. ... This isn't the first time Blackwater and the Red Cross teamed up. After Hurricane Katrina, where Blackwater raked in over $70 million in federal 'security' contracts, the company held a Red Cross fundraiser and pulled in $138,000 -- about $100,000 short of Blackwater's estimated daily take at the height of its Katrina operations. The keynote speaker at that event? L. Paul Bremer, the original head of the US occupation.".........................

http://www.prwatch.org/node/6963

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:04 am    Post subject: Blackwater training US Police Reply with quote

The link does not exactly match the post, but info was emailed to me and the link provides basic back-up.


http://www.americanchronicle.com/viewByAuthor?authorID=1300

By Mark Lowry
October 17, 2007
All citizens of the United States, be afraid, be very afraid. Private armies destroy liberty and democracy.

Lexington Kentucky Police Department paid for private Mercenary Army Blackwater Training while its Mayor Jim Newberry and its chief of police Anthany Beatty refuse free ICE 287 (G) training to protect citizens.Sanctuary City Lexington Kentucky in the United States Heartland is using local tax dollars to hire mercenary Blackwater soldiers to train the police.

Niccolo Machiavelli arms mercenary armies "Mercenary and auxiliary forces are useless and dangerous; and any ruler who keeps his state dependent upon mercenaries will never have real peace or security. ... Experience shows that only princes and republics with troops of their own have accomplished great things, while mercenary forces have brought nothing but harm." (The Prince, Chapter XII) It should be remembered, "anyone searching for the first cause of the ruin of the Roman Empire will find it began with the hiring of mercenaries" (The Prince, Chapter XIII)

Lexington Kentucky is on the following ignoble list of Blackwater clients in the 47th slot. Lexington officials have spent money on Blackwater training to round up American Citizens and lock us in community centers in event of a national crisis as defined by the president. The following article is very informative.

http://www.waynemad senreport. com/articles/ 20071014/ articles/ 20071014

October 14-15, 2007 -- Blackwater training police in American cities and towns

The mercenary firm Blackwater USA is well known for the controversy involving its "shoot first, ask no questions" policy in Iraq. It is also known that Louisiana's Department of Homeland Security contracted with Blackwater to provide public law enforcement services in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. Blackwater is also planning to establish regional training centers in Potrero, California and Mount Carroll, Illinois, billed as Blackwater West and Blackwater North, respectively.

These training centers, in addition to Blackwater's Lodge and Training Center in Moyock, North Carolina -- Blackwater East -- and a possible fourth rumored to be slated for the Pacific Northwest -- Blackwater Northwest -- may result in the establishment of a network of Blackwater-trained police, sheriffs, and other police units around the country. Given Blackwater's dismal record on human rights and brutality, this spells trouble for civilian control of police and paramilitary forces in the United States, from major metropolitan areas to small rural towns.

On October 14, the Washington Post ran a story, which included photographs from Blackwater's Moyock training center. However, what was most intriguing was a photograph of a police and military patch board at Blackwater's headquarters that indicated police agencies that have sent officers to Moyock for training.

Blackwater is secretive about its non-federal, as well as its foreign clients, which the Post pointed out includes Jordan, Azerbaijan, and Burkina Faso, but a WMR inspection of the photograph of the police agencies has yielded the following list of agencies that have used Blackwater for training: 1. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 2. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department, 3. Matthews, North Carolina Police, 4. Atlanta Police, 5. Chillicothe, Ohio Police, 6. Charleston, South Carolina Police, 7. Port Chester, NY Police, 8. Highland, Indiana Police, 9. Unalaska, Alaska Police, 10. Metropolitan Washington, DC Police, 11. Charlottesville, Virginia Police, 12. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Dulles and Reagan National Airports), 13. St. Louis County Police (Missouri), 14. Queen Anne's County, Maryland Police, 15. Prince George's County, Maryland Police, 16. FBI SWAT Team, 17. Gloucester Township, New Jersey Police, 18. Tempe, Arizona Police, 19. New
York Police Department, 20. Yonkers, New York Police, 21. Fairfax County, Virginia Police, 22. Maplewood, New Jersey Police, 23. Gastonia, North Carolina Police, 24. Tampa Police, 25. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 26. DeKalb County, Georgia Police, 27. Arlington County, Virginia Police, 28. Baltimore Police, 29. U.S. Coast Guard, 30. Suffolk, Virginia Police, 31. Franklin City, Virginia Police, 32. Milford, Delaware Police, 33. University of Texas Police, 34. Norfolk, Virginia Police, 35. Ottawa-Carleton, Canada Police, 36. San Bernardino County, California Sheriff, 37. Plattsburgh, New York Police, 38. Chicago Police Department, 39. Oregon State Police, 40. Los Angeles Police Department, 41. Tonawanda, New York Police, 42. Special Forces of Colombia, 43. Jacksonville, North Carolina Police, 44. Harvey Cedars, New Jersey Police, 45. Elmira, New York Police, 46. Department of Corrections, New Jersey, 47. Lexington, Kentucky Police, 48. Willimantic, Connecticut
Police, 49. Georgia Department of Law Enforcement, 50. City of Fairfax, Virginia Police, 51. Alexandria, Virginia Police Special Operations, 52. Illinois State Police, 53. Dallas, Texas Police, 54. Hamilton, Ohio Police, 55. Morganton, North Carolina Police.

A number of police departments trained by Blackwater have abysmal civil rights and police brutality records, most notably the Chicago Police and Illinois State Police, both cited by former Illinois Governor George Ryan as being guilty of police misconduct in his decision to commute the death sentences of Illinois' death row inmates. It was a decision that likely had much to do with his indictment by the Bush administration on corruption charges -- political misuse of the Department of Justice that has been seen in the indictments and investigations of Alabama former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth former CEO Richard Scrushy, Qwest's former CEO Joseph Nacchio, Democratic campaign contributor Martha Stewart, Coastal Corporation' s former Chairman and Democratic contributor Oscar Wyatt, and Democratic-leaning trial attorneys around the United States, as well as the firings of several U.S. Attorneys who refused to engage in political prosecutions, and a Justice
Department workup on North Carolina presidential candidate John Edwards in 2004.

The training and potential political indoctrination of police officers by extreme right-wing and pro-fascist Blackwater, coupled with the politicization of the Justice Department and U.S. courts, has the potential for the streets of Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, and Washington, DC, as well as Chillicothe, Harvey Cedars, and Elmira to turn as bloody as the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah.”

Citizens have a distinct opportunity of confronting their local elected city, county, and town officials over Blackwater training of their police officers. Local officials should be pressured to reveal the numbers and identities of officers trained by Blackwater, the subjects covered by the training, the revenues spent, and a public demand should be made to cease and desist in such training.”

Learn more about this sinister private mercenary army our founding fathers warned against at the following sites:

http://www.mindfull y.org/Reform/ 2004/FEMA- Concentration- Camps3sep04. htm#1 FEMA Concentration Camps: Locations and Executive Orders (Friends of Liberty undated 3sep04) “There over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general's signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached.

http://www.mindfull y.org/Reform/ 2006/Halliburton -Detention- Camps31jan06. htm Update. . . 31jan2006 - Halliburton subsidiary KBR Awarded $385 Million Contract to Build Detention Facilities in USA

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps PETER DALE SCOTT / Commentary / Pacific News Service 31jan2006

http://judicial- inc.biz/kautrina _blackwater_ 2.htm Blackwater to Clear New Orleans.

http://judicial- inc.biz/kautrina _blackwater_ 2.htm Blackwater Mercenaries Deploy in New Orleans By Jeremy Scahill and Daniela Crespo t r u t h o u t | Report Saturday 10 September 2005



The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is ,more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. H L Menken

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Touring Blackwater Compound With Company CEO

Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgBuK8qFqC0
Quote:

finally an actual story... WAKE UP PEOPLE THE MILITARY CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO PRIVATIZE... THESE PEOPLE ARE MERCENARIES WHO WILL KILL YOU FOR PRIVATE INTERESTS.

CORPORATE MILITARY+CORPORATE PRISONS= FASCISM!!

FASCISM IS CORPORATISM!!!

WAKE UP!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgBuK8qFqC0

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:27 pm    Post subject: US security firm Blackwater faces expulsion from Iraq Reply with quote

Grauniad article today:-


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/29/iraq-licence-blackwater

Quote:

US security firm Blackwater faces expulsion from Iraq
Decision not to renew licence prompted by shooting of 17 people by guards in 2007, Iraqi official says

* Mark Tran
* guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 January 2009 10.27 GMT
* Article history

Iraq has taken the first move in effectively throwing Blackwater Worldwide out of the country, by informing the US security company that it will no longer be authorised to work within its borders.

Iraqi officials said that the US embassy, which employs Blackwater guards, was notified by the Baghdad government last Friday.

An interior ministry spokesman, Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf, said that the decision was prompted by what he called the guards' "improper conduct and excessive use of force" in a shooting that killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured dozens of others, in September 2007.

Five guards from Blackwater surrendered to the FBI in Salt Lake City, Utah, last month to face charges in connection with the incident, which inflamed Iraqi public opinion and soured relations between the Iraqi government and the Bush administration. ...


etc,etc... Now they can devote more time to terrorising their own country, I suppose?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: US security firm Blackwater faces expulsion from Iraq Reply with quote

Thermate911 wrote:
etc,etc... Now they can devote more time to terrorising their own country, I suppose?


Perzactly!

Stand by your beds for some more, Sunni / Shiite / Al Q in Iraq stuff . . .

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeremy Scahill on Bill Moyers -- June 5, 2009

Jeremy Scahill: ... I think that what we have seen happen, as a result of this incredible reliance on private military contractors, is that the United States has created a new system for waging war. Where you no longer have to depend exclusively on your own citizens to sign up for the military and say, "I believe in this war, so I'm willing to sign up and risk my life for it." You turn the entire world into your recruiting ground. You intricately link corporate profits to an escalation of warfare and make it profitable for companies to participate in your wars. In the process of doing that you undermine U.S. democratic processes. And you also violate the sovereignty of other nations, 'cause you're making their citizens in combatants in a war to which their country is not a party. I feel that the end game of all of this could well be the disintegration of the nation state apparatus in the world. And it could be replaced by a scenario where you have corporations with their own private armies. To me, that would be a devastating development. But it's on. It's happening on a micro level. And I fear it will start to happen on a much bigger scale.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06052009/watch.html

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06052009/transcript1.html

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder

By Jeremy Scahill
August 4, 2009
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090817/scahill

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men 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. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

These allegations, and a series of other charges, are contained in sworn affidavits, given under penalty of perjury, filed late at night on August 3 in the Eastern District of Virginia as part of a seventy-page motion by lawyers for Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater for alleged war crimes and other misconduct.

A hearing before Judge Ellis in the civil cases against Blackwater is scheduled for August 7.
--

Jeremy Scahill on Countdown with Keith Olbermann


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder

Quote:
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men 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. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

Blackwater Seeks Gag Order http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090803/scahill


Jeremy Scahill:Latest Take on Blackwater Activities

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scum as we know Prince to be, we should also remember that he's merely an expendable functionary doing someone else's dirty work - probably Cheney, but we shall have to see where this case leads and who will and will not be sacrificed.

My guess would be that Prince is already an 'accidentally' dead man and any investigations will stop there. There's no trust in those circles.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackwater used 'child prostitutes in Iraq'
Sat, 08 Aug 2009 17:14:12 GMT
New disturbing charges have emerged against XE, the infamous private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, whose operations came under spotlight after its 2007 carnage in Baghdad.
According to a report by MSNBC and based on alleged sworn declarations by two Blackwater employees in federal court, the firm used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.
The declarations added Iraqi minors got involve in sexual acts with Blackwater members in exchange for one dollar and Erik Prince, the firm's owner, "failed to stop the ongoing use of prostitutes, including child prostitutes, by his men."
Based on other statements, the firm was involved in another sex scandal; "Prince's North Carolina operations had an ongoing wife-swapping and sex ring, which was participated in by many of Mr. Prince's top executives."
The two employees also alleged that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," The Nation reported............
http://www.presstv.ir/classic/detail.aspx?id=102887&sectionid=3510203

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayne Madsen on Russia Today (14 Aug 2009) discusses the filing of the two affidavits (see above).


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http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-08-14/blackwater-wayne.html

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Blackwater involved in assassination of Mrs Bhutto Reply with quote

Pakistan's former chief of army staff claims Blackwater was involved in assassination of Mrs Bhutto
Tehran Times Political Desk
September 14, 2009

TEHRAN - Pakistan’s former chief of army staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg (ret.), has said the U.S. private security company Blackwater was directly involved in the assassinations of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Blackwater later changed its name and is now known as Xe.

General Beg recently told the Saudi Arabian daily Al Watan that former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf had given Blackwater the green light to carry out terrorist operations in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Quetta.

General Beg, who was chief of army staff during Benazir Bhutto’s first administration, said U.S. officials always kept the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan secret because they were afraid of possible attacks on the U.S. Embassy and its consulates in Pakistan.

During an interview with a Pakistani TV network last Sunday, Beg claimed that the United States killed Benazir Bhutto.

Beg stated that the former Pakistani prime minister was killed in an international conspiracy because she had decided to back out of the deal through which she had returned to the country after nine years in exile.

Beg also said he believes that the former director general of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence was not an accomplice in the conspiracy against Benazir Bhutto, although she did not trust him.

The retired Pakistani general also stated that Benazir Bhutto was a sharp politician but was not as prudent as her father.

On September 2, the U.S. ambassador to Islamabad, Anne W. Patterson, intervened with one of the largest newspaper groups in Pakistan, The News International, to force it to block a decade-old weekly column by Dr. Shireen Mazari scheduled for publication on September 3 in which Mazari, the former director of the Islamabad Institute of Strategic Studies, broke the story of Blackwater/Xe’s presence in Pakistan.

The management of The News International dismissed one of the country’s most prominent academics and journalists due to U.S. pressure. She joined the more independent daily The Nation last week as an editor.

On September 9, in her first column in The Nation, Dr. Mazari wrote:

“Now, even if one were to ignore the massive purchases of land by the U.S., the questionable manner in which the expansion of the U.S. Embassy is taking place and the threatening covert activities of the U.S. and its ‘partner in crime’ Blackwater; the unregistered comings and goings of U.S. personnel on chartered flights; we would still find it difficult to see the whole aid disbursement issue as anything other than a sign of U.S. gradual occupation. It is no wonder we have the term Af-Pak: Afghanistan they control through direct occupation loosely premised on a UN resolution; Pakistan they are occupying as a result of willingly ceded sovereignty by the past and present leadership.”

According to Al Watan, Washington even used Blackwater forces to protect its consulate in the city of Peshawar.

In addition, U.S. journalist Seymour Hersh has accused former U.S vice president Dick Cheney of being involved in the Hariri assassination.

He said Cheney was in charge of a secret team that was tasked with assassinating prominent political figures.

After the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005, the U.S. and a number of other countries pointed the finger at Syria, although conclusive evidence has never been presented proving Syrian involvement in the murder.
**********************************************************
http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=203224

Thanks for confirming what some of us long suspected........
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now -- Oct 23, 2009


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Judge won’t dismiss war crimes suit against Blackwater

By Raw Story - Friday, October 23rd, 2009
http://rawstory.com/2009/10/judge-won/

A federal judge's ruling Wednesday won't shutter a war crimes suit against the security contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater, despite the fact that lawyers must refile their claims against the company.

64 Iraqis -- including the estates of 19 who died -- have sued the company, now called Xe, for indiscriminate beatings and killings.

Judge TS Ellis III dismissed several of the suits on Wednesday, citing a new ruling by the Supreme Court which raises the bar for allegations of war crimes.

"Ellis's ruling was not necessarily a response to faulty pleadings by the Iraqis' lawyers, but rather appears to be the result of a Supreme Court decision that came down after the Blackwater cases were originally filed," The Nation's Jeremy Scahill, who has covered the case closely, wrote Thursday. "In a 5-4 ruling in May 2009 in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the court reversed decades of case law and imposed much more stringent standards for plaintiffs' to document facts before going to trial, According to Ellis's ruling, which cites Iqbal, the Iraqis must now file complaints that meet these new standards."

"We were very pleased with the ruling," says Susan Burke, the Iraqis' lead attorney, was quoted as saying. A Blackwater spokesman said, ""We are confident that [the plaintiffs] will not be able to meet the high standard specified in Judge Ellis' opinion."
Ellis rejected several of Blackwater's core arguments.

Among them, Scahill writes, he took umbrage with the company's claim that "'conduct constitutes a war crime only if it is perpetrated in furtherance of a 'military objective' rather than for economic or ideological reasons.' Ellis said that under Blackwater's logic 'it is arguable that nobody who receives a paycheck would ever be liable for war crimes. Moreover, so narrow is the scope of [Blackwater's] standard that it would exclude murders of civilians committed by soldiers where there was no legitimate 'military objective' for committing the murders.'"

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan By Jeremy Scahill
November 23, 2009

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, "snatch and grabs" of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater's involvement. He spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so "compartmentalized" that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.

The White House did not return calls or email messages seeking comment for this story. Capt. John Kirby, the spokesperson for Adm. Michael Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told The Nation, "We do not discuss current operations one way or the other, regardless of their nature." A defense official, on background, specifically denied that Blackwater performs work on drone strikes or intelligence for JSOC in Pakistan. "We don't have any contracts to do that work for us. We don't contract that kind of work out, period," the official said. "There has not been, and is not now, contracts between JSOC and that organization for these types of services."

The previously unreported program, the military intelligence source said, is distinct from the CIA assassination program that the agency's director, Leon Panetta, announced he had canceled in June 2009. "This is a parallel operation to the CIA," said the source. "They are two separate beasts." The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the United States has not declared war--knowledge that could further strain the already tense relations between the United States and Pakistan. In 2006, the United States and Pakistan struck a deal that authorized JSOC to enter Pakistan to hunt Osama bin Laden with the understanding that Pakistan would deny it had given permission. Officially, the United States is not supposed to have any active military operations in the country.

Blackwater, which recently changed its name to Xe Services and US Training Center, denies the company is operating in Pakistan. "Xe Services has only one employee in Pakistan performing construction oversight for the U.S. Government," Blackwater spokesperson Mark Corallo said in a statement to The Nation, adding that the company has "no other operations of any kind in Pakistan."

A former senior executive at Blackwater confirmed the military intelligence source's claim that the company is working in Pakistan for the CIA and JSOC, the premier counterterrorism and covert operations force within the military. He said that Blackwater is also working for the Pakistani government on a subcontract with an Islamabad-based security firm that puts US Blackwater operatives on the ground with Pakistani forces in counter-terrorism operations, including house raids and border interdictions, in the North-West Frontier Province and elsewhere in Pakistan. This arrangement, the former executive said, allows the Pakistani government to utilize former US Special Operations forces who now work for Blackwater while denying an official US military presence in the country. He also confirmed that Blackwater has a facility in Karachi and has personnel deployed elsewhere in Pakistan. The former executive spoke on condition of anonymity.

His account and that of the military intelligence source were borne out by a US military source who has knowledge of Special Forces actions in Pakistan and Afghanistan. When asked about Blackwater's covert work for JSOC in Pakistan, this source, who also asked for anonymity, told The Nation, "From my information that I have, that is absolutely correct," adding, "There's no question that's occurring."

"It wouldn't surprise me because we've outsourced nearly everything," said Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2002 to 2005, when told of Blackwater's role in Pakistan. Wilkerson said that during his time in the Bush administration, he saw the beginnings of Blackwater's involvement with the sensitive operations of the military and CIA. "Part of this, of course, is an attempt to get around the constraints the Congress has placed on DoD. If you don't have sufficient soldiers to do it, you hire civilians to do it. I mean, it's that simple. It would not surprise me."

The Counterterrorism Tag Team in Karachi

The covert JSOC program with Blackwater in Pakistan dates back to at least 2007, according to the military intelligence source. The current head of JSOC is Vice Adm. William McRaven, who took over the post from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC from 2003 to 2008 before being named the top US commander in Afghanistan. Blackwater's presence in Pakistan is "not really visible, and that's why nobody has cracked down on it," said the source. Blackwater's operations in Pakistan, he said, are not done through State Department contracts or publicly identified Defense contracts. "It's Blackwater via JSOC, and it's a classified no-bid [contract] approved on a rolling basis." The main JSOC/Blackwater facility in Karachi, according to the source, is nondescript: three trailers with various generators, satellite phones and computer systems are used as a makeshift operations center. "It's a very rudimentary operation," says the source. "I would compare it to [CIA] outposts in Kurdistan or any of the Special Forces outposts. It's very bare bones, and that's the point."

Blackwater's work for JSOC in Karachi is coordinated out of a Task Force based at Bagram Air Base in neighboring Afghanistan, according to the military intelligence source. While JSOC technically runs the operations in Karachi, he said, it is largely staffed by former US special operations soldiers working for a division of Blackwater, once known as Blackwater SELECT, and intelligence analysts working for a Blackwater affiliate, Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), which is owned by Blackwater's founder, Erik Prince. The military source said that the name Blackwater SELECT may have been changed recently. Total Intelligence, which is run out of an office on the ninth floor of a building in the Ballston area of Arlington, Virginia, is staffed by former analysts and operatives from the CIA, DIA, FBI and other agencies. It is modeled after the CIA's counterterrorism center. In Karachi, TIS runs a "media-scouring/open-source network," according to the source. Until recently, Total Intelligence was run by two former top CIA officials, Cofer Black and Robert Richer, both of whom have left the company. In Pakistan, Blackwater is not using either its original name or its new moniker, Xe Services, according to the former Blackwater executive. "They are running most of their work through TIS because the other two [names] have such a stain on them," he said. Corallo, the Blackwater spokesperson, denied that TIS or any other division or affiliate of Blackwater has any personnel in Pakistan.

The US military intelligence source said that Blackwater's classified contracts keep getting renewed at the request of JSOC. Blackwater, he said, is already so deeply entrenched that it has become a staple of the US military operations in Pakistan. According to the former Blackwater executive, "The politics that go with the brand of BW is somewhat set aside because what you're doing is really one military guy to another." Blackwater's first known contract with the CIA for operations in Afghanistan was awarded in 2002 and was for work along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

One of the concerns raised by the military intelligence source is that some Blackwater personnel are being given rolling security clearances above their approved clearances. Using Alternative Compartmentalized Control Measures (ACCMs), he said, the Blackwater personnel are granted clearance to a Special Access Program, the bureaucratic term used to describe highly classified "black" operations. "With an ACCM, the security manager can grant access to you to be exposed to and operate within compartmentalized programs far above 'secret'--even though you have no business doing so," said the source. It allows Blackwater personnel that "do not have the requisite security clearance or do not hold a security clearance whatsoever to participate in classified operations by virtue of trust," he added. "Think of it as an ultra-exclusive level above top secret. That's exactly what it is: a circle of love." Blackwater, therefore, has access to "all source" reports that are culled in part from JSOC units in the field. "That's how a lot of things over the years have been conducted with contractors," said the source. "We have contractors that regularly see things that top policy-makers don't unless they ask."

According to the source, Blackwater has effectively marketed itself as a company whose operatives have "conducted lethal direct action missions and now, for a price, you can have your own planning cell. JSOC just ate that up," he said, adding, "They have a sizable force in Pakistan--not for any nefarious purpose if you really want to look at it that way--but to support a legitimate contract that's classified for JSOC." Blackwater's Pakistan JSOC contracts are secret and are therefore shielded from public oversight, he said. The source is not sure when the arrangement with JSOC began, but he says that a spin-off of Blackwater SELECT "was issued a no-bid contract for support to shooters for a JSOC Task Force and they kept extending it." Some of the Blackwater personnel, he said, work undercover as aid workers. "Nobody even gives them a second thought."

The military intelligence source said that the Blackwater/JSOC Karachi operation is referred to as "Qatar cubed," in reference to the US forward operating base in Qatar that served as the hub for the planning and implementation of the US invasion of Iraq. "This is supposed to be the brave new world," he says. "This is the Jamestown of the new millennium and it's meant to be a lily pad. You can jump off to Uzbekistan, you can jump back over the border, you can jump sideways, you can jump northwest. It's strategically located so that they can get their people wherever they have to without having to wrangle with the military chain of command in Afghanistan, which is convoluted. They don't have to deal with that because they're operating under a classified mandate."

In addition to planning drone strikes and operations against suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Pakistan for both JSOC and the CIA, the Blackwater team in Karachi also helps plan missions for JSOC inside Uzbekistan against the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, according to the military intelligence source. Blackwater does not actually carry out the operations, he said, which are executed on the ground by JSOC forces. "That piqued my curiosity and really worries me because I don't know if you noticed but I was never told we are at war with Uzbekistan," he said. "So, did I miss something, did Rumsfeld come back into power?"

Pakistan's Military Contracting Maze

Blackwater, according to the military intelligence source, is not doing the actual killing as part of its work in Pakistan. "The SELECT personnel are not going into places with private aircraft and going after targets," he said. "It's not like Blackwater SELECT people are running around assassinating people." Instead, US Special Forces teams carry out the plans developed in part by Blackwater. The military intelligence source drew a distinction between the Blackwater operatives who work for the State Department, which he calls "Blackwater Vanilla," and the seasoned Special Forces veterans who work on the JSOC program. "Good or bad, there's a small number of people who know how to pull off an operation like that. That's probably a good thing," said the source. "It's the Blackwater SELECT people that have and continue to plan these types of operations because they're the only people that know how and they went where the money was. It's not trigger-happy *, like some of the PSD [Personal Security Detail] guys. These are not people that believe that Barack Obama is a socialist, these are not people that kill innocent civilians. They're very good at what they do."

The former Blackwater executive, when asked for confirmation that Blackwater forces were not actively killing people in Pakistan, said, "that's not entirely accurate." While he concurred with the military intelligence source's description of the JSOC and CIA programs, he pointed to another role Blackwater is allegedly playing in Pakistan, not for the US government but for Islamabad. According to the executive, Blackwater works on a subcontract for Kestral Logistics, a powerful Pakistani firm, which specializes in military logistical support, private security and intelligence consulting. It is staffed with former high-ranking Pakistani army and government officials. While Kestral's main offices are in Pakistan, it also has branches in several other countries.

A spokesperson for the US State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which is responsible for issuing licenses to US corporations to provide defense-related services to foreign governments or entities, would neither confirm nor deny for The Nation that Blackwater has a license to work in Pakistan or to work with Kestral. "We cannot help you," said department spokesperson David McKeeby after checking with the relevant DDTC officials. "You'll have to contact the companies directly." Blackwater's Corallo said the company has "no operations of any kind" in Pakistan other than the one employee working for the DoD. Kestral did not respond to inquiries from The Nation.

According to federal lobbying records, Kestral recently hired former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega, who served in that post from 2003 to 2005, to lobby the US government, including the State Department, USAID and Congress, on foreign affairs issues "regarding [Kestral's] capabilities to carry out activities of interest to the United States." Noriega was hired through his firm, Vision Americas, which he runs with Christina Rocca, a former CIA operations official who served as assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs from 2001 to 2006 and was deeply involved in shaping US policy toward Pakistan. In October 2009, Kestral paid Vision Americas $15,000 and paid a Vision Americas-affiliated firm, Firecreek Ltd., an equal amount to lobby on defense and foreign policy issues.

For years, Kestral has done a robust business in defense logistics with the Pakistani government and other nations, as well as top US defense companies. Blackwater owner Erik Prince is close with Kestral CEO Liaquat Ali Baig, according to the former Blackwater executive. "Ali and Erik have a pretty close relationship," he said. "They've met many times and struck a deal, and they [offer] mutual support for one another." Working with Kestral, he said, Blackwater has provided convoy security for Defense Department shipments destined for Afghanistan that would arrive in the port at Karachi. Blackwater, according to the former executive, would guard the supplies as they were transported overland from Karachi to Peshawar and then west through the Torkham border crossing, the most important supply route for the US military in Afghanistan.

According to the former executive, Blackwater operatives also integrate with Kestral's forces in sensitive counterterrorism operations in the North-West Frontier Province, where they work in conjunction with the Pakistani Interior Ministry's paramilitary force, known as the Frontier Corps (alternately referred to as "frontier scouts"). The Blackwater personnel are technically advisers, but the former executive said that the line often gets blurred in the field. Blackwater "is providing the actual guidance on how to do [counterterrorism operations] and Kestral's folks are carrying a lot of them out, but they're having the guidance and the overwatch from some BW guys that will actually go out with the teams when they're executing the job," he said. "You can see how that can lead to other things in the border areas." He said that when Blackwater personnel are out with the Pakistani teams, sometimes its men engage in operations against suspected terrorists. "You've got BW guys that are assisting... and they're all going to want to go on the jobs--so they're going to go with them," he said. "So, the things that you're seeing in the news about how this Pakistani military group came in and raided this house or did this or did that--in some of those cases, you're going to have Western folks that are right there at the house, if not in the house." Blackwater, he said, is paid by the Pakistani government through Kestral for consulting services. "That gives the Pakistani government the cover to say, 'Hey, no, we don't have any Westerners doing this. It's all local and our people are doing it.' But it gets them the expertise that Westerners provide for [counterterrorism]-related work."

The military intelligence source confirmed Blackwater works with the Frontier Corps, saying, "There's no real oversight. It's not really on people's radar screen."

In October, in response to Pakistani news reports that a Kestral warehouse in Islamabad was being used to store heavy weapons for Blackwater, the US Embassy in Pakistan released a statement denying the weapons were being used by "a private American security contractor." The statement said, "Kestral Logistics is a private logistics company that handles the importation of equipment and supplies provided by the United States to the Government of Pakistan. All of the equipment and supplies were imported at the request of the Government of Pakistan, which also certified the shipments."

Who is Behind the Drone Attacks?

Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated, the United States has expanded drone bombing raids in Pakistan. Obama first ordered a drone strike against targets in North and South Waziristan on January 23, and the strikes have been conducted consistently ever since. The Obama administration has now surpassed the number of Bush-era strikes in Pakistan and has faced fierce criticism from Pakistan and some US lawmakers over civilian deaths. A drone attack in June killed as many as sixty people attending a Taliban funeral.

In August, the New York Times reported that Blackwater works for the CIA at "hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the company's contractors assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft." In February, The Times of London obtained a satellite image of a secret CIA airbase in Shamsi, in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, showing three drone aircraft. The New York Times also reported that the agency uses a secret base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to strike in Pakistan.

The military intelligence source says that the drone strike that reportedly killed Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, his wife and his bodyguards in Waziristan in August was a CIA strike, but that many others attributed in media reports to the CIA are actually JSOC strikes. "Some of these strikes are attributed to OGA [Other Government Agency, intelligence parlance for the CIA], but in reality it's JSOC and their parallel program of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] because they also have access to UAVs. So when you see some of these hits, especially the ones with high civilian casualties, those are almost always JSOC strikes." The Pentagon has stated bluntly, "There are no US military strike operations being conducted in Pakistan."

The military intelligence source also confirmed that Blackwater continues to work for the CIA on its drone bombing program in Pakistan, as previously reported in the New York Times, but added that Blackwater is working on JSOC's drone bombings as well. "It's Blackwater running the program for both CIA and JSOC," said the source. When civilians are killed, "people go, 'Oh, it's the CIA doing crazy * again unchecked.' Well, at least 50 percent of the time, that's JSOC [hitting] somebody they've identified through HUMINT [human intelligence] or they've culled the intelligence themselves or it's been shared with them and they take that person out and that's how it works."

The military intelligence source says that the CIA operations are subject to Congressional oversight, unlike the parallel JSOC bombings. "Targeted killings are not the most popular thing in town right now and the CIA knows that," he says. "Contractors and especially JSOC personnel working under a classified mandate are not [overseen by Congress], so they just don't care. If there's one person they're going after and there's thirty-four people in the building, thirty-five people are going to die. That's the mentality." He added, "They're not accountable to anybody and they know that. It's an open secret, but what are you going to do, shut down JSOC?"

In addition to working on covert action planning and drone strikes, Blackwater SELECT also provides private guards to perform the sensitive task of security for secret US drone bases, JSOC camps and Defense Intelligence Agency camps inside Pakistan, according to the military intelligence source.

Mosharraf Zaidi, a well-known Pakistani journalist who has served as a consultant for the UN and European Union in Pakistan and Afghanistan, says that the Blackwater/JSOC program raises serious questions about the norms of international relations. "The immediate question is, How do you define the active pursuit of military objectives in a country with which not only have you not declared war but that is supposedly a front-line non-NATO ally in the US struggle to contain extremist violence coming out of Afghanistan and the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan?" asks Zaidi, who is currently a columnist for The News, the biggest English-language daily in Pakistan. "Let's forget Blackwater for a second. What this is confirming is that there are US military operations in Pakistan that aren't about logistics or getting food to Bagram; that are actually about the exercise of physical violence, physical force inside of Pakistani territory."

JSOC: Rumsfeld and Cheney's Extra Special Force

Colonel Wilkerson said that he is concerned that with General McChrystal's elevation as the military commander of the Afghan war--which is increasingly seeping into Pakistan--there is a concomitant rise in JSOC's power and influence within the military structure. "I don't see how you can escape that; it's just a matter of the way the authority flows and the power flows, and it's inevitable, I think," Wilkerson told The Nation. He added, "I'm alarmed when I see execute orders and combat orders that go out saying that the supporting force is Central Command and the supported force is Special Operations Command," under which JSOC operates. "That's backward. But that's essentially what we have today."

From 2003 to 2008 McChrystal headed JSOC, which is headquartered at Pope Air Force Base and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where Blackwater's 7,000-acre operating base is also situated. JSOC controls the Army's Delta Force, the Navy's SEAL Team 6, as well as the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and the Air Force's 24th Special Tactics Squadron. JSOC performs strike operations, reconnaissance in denied areas and special intelligence missions. Blackwater, which was founded by former Navy SEALs, employs scores of veteran Special Forces operators--which several former military officials pointed to as the basis for Blackwater's alleged contracts with JSOC.

Since 9/11, many top-level Special Forces veterans have taken up employment with private firms, where they can make more money doing the highly specialized work they did in uniform. "The Blackwater individuals have the experience. A lot of these individuals are retired military, and they've been around twenty to thirty years and have experience that the younger Green Beret guys don't," said retired Army Lieut. Col. Jeffrey Addicott, a well-connected military lawyer who served as senior legal counsel for US Army Special Forces. "They're known entities. Everybody knows who they are, what their capabilities are, and they've got the experience. They're very valuable."

"They make much more money being the smarts of these operations, planning hits in various countries and basing it off their experience in Chechnya, Bosnia, Somalia, Ethiopia," said the military intelligence source. "They were there for all of these things, they know what the hell they're talking about. And JSOC has unfortunately lost the institutional capability to plan within, so they hire back people that used to work for them and had already planned and executed these [types of] operations. They hired back people that jumped over to Blackwater SELECT and then pay them exorbitant amounts of money to plan future operations. It's a ridiculous revolving door."

While JSOC has long played a central role in US counterterrorism and covert operations, military and civilian officials who worked at the Defense and State Departments during the Bush administration described in interviews with The Nation an extremely cozy relationship that developed between the executive branch (primarily through Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) and JSOC. During the Bush era, Special Forces turned into a virtual stand-alone operation that acted outside the military chain of command and in direct coordination with the White House. Throughout the Bush years, it was largely General McChrystal who ran JSOC. "What I was seeing was the development of what I would later see in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Special Operations forces would operate in both theaters without the conventional commander even knowing what they were doing," said Colonel Wilkerson. "That's dangerous, that's very dangerous. You have all kinds of mess when you don't tell the theater commander what you're doing."

Wilkerson said that almost immediately after assuming his role at the State Department under Colin Powell, he saw JSOC being politicized and developing a close relationship with the executive branch. He saw this begin, he said, after his first Delta Force briefing at Fort Bragg. "I think Cheney and Rumsfeld went directly into JSOC. I think they went into JSOC at times, perhaps most frequently, without the SOCOM [Special Operations] commander at the time even knowing it. The receptivity in JSOC was quite good," says Wilkerson. "I think Cheney was actually giving McChrystal instructions, and McChrystal was asking him for instructions." He said the relationship between JSOC and Cheney and Rumsfeld "built up initially because Rumsfeld didn't get the responsiveness. He didn't get the can-do kind of attitude out of the SOCOM commander, and so as Rumsfeld was wont to do, he cut him out and went straight to the horse's mouth. At that point you had JSOC operating as an extension of the [administration] doing things the executive branch--read: Cheney and Rumsfeld--wanted it to do. This would be more or less carte blanche. You need to do it, do it. It was very alarming for me as a conventional soldier."

Wilkerson said the JSOC teams caused diplomatic problems for the United States across the globe. "When these teams started hitting capital cities and other places all around the world, [Rumsfeld] didn't tell the State Department either. The only way we found out about it is our ambassadors started to call us and say, 'Who the hell are these six-foot-four white males with eighteen-inch biceps walking around our capital cities?' So we discovered this, we discovered one in South America, for example, because he actually murdered a taxi driver, and we had to get him out of there real quick. We rendered him--we rendered him home."

As part of their strategy, Rumsfeld and Cheney also created the Strategic Support Branch (SSB), which pulled intelligence resources from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA for use in sensitive JSOC operations. The SSB was created using "reprogrammed" funds "without explicit congressional authority or appropriation," according to the Washington Post. The SSB operated outside the military chain of command and circumvented the CIA's authority on clandestine operations. Rumsfeld created it as part of his war to end "near total dependence on CIA." Under US law, the Defense Department is required to report all deployment orders to Congress. But guidelines issued in January 2005 by former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone stated that Special Operations forces may "conduct clandestine HUMINT operations...before publication" of a deployment order. This effectively gave Rumsfeld unilateral control over clandestine operations.

The military intelligence source said that when Rumsfeld was defense secretary, JSOC was deployed to commit some of the "darkest acts" in part to keep them concealed from Congress. "Everything can be justified as a military operation versus a clandestine intelligence performed by the CIA, which has to be informed to Congress," said the source. "They were aware of that and they knew that, and they would exploit it at every turn and they took full advantage of it. They knew they could act extra-legally and nothing would happen because A, it was sanctioned by DoD at the highest levels, and B, who was going to stop them? They were preparing the battlefield, which was on all of the PowerPoints: 'Preparing the Battlefield.'"

The significance of the flexibility of JSOC's operations inside Pakistan versus the CIA's is best summed up by Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "Every single intelligence operation and covert action must be briefed to the Congress," she said. "If they are not, that is a violation of the law."

Blackwater: Company Non Grata in Pakistan

For months, the Pakistani media has been flooded with stories about Blackwater's alleged growing presence in the country. For the most part, these stories have been ignored by the US press and denounced as lies or propaganda by US officials in Pakistan. But the reality is that, although many of the stories appear to be wildly exaggerated, Pakistanis have good reason to be concerned about Blackwater's operations in their country. It is no secret in Washington or Islamabad that Blackwater has been a central part of the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that the company has been involved--almost from the beginning of the "war on terror"--with clandestine US operations. Indeed, Blackwater is accepting applications for contractors fluent in Urdu and Punjabi. The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, has denied Blackwater's presence in the country, stating bluntly in September, "Blackwater is not operating in Pakistan." In her trip to Pakistan in October, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dodged questions from the Pakistani press about Blackwater's rumored Pakistani operations. Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik, said on November 21 he will resign if Blackwater is found operating anywhere in Pakistan.

The Christian Science Monitor recently reported that Blackwater "provides security for a US-backed aid project" in Peshawar, suggesting the company may be based out of the Pearl Continental, a luxury hotel the United States reportedly is considering purchasing to use as a consulate in the city. "We have no contracts in Pakistan," Blackwater spokesperson Stacey DeLuke said recently. "We've been blamed for all that has gone wrong in Peshawar, none of which is true, since we have absolutely no presence there."

Reports of Blackwater's alleged presence in Karachi and elsewhere in the country have been floating around the Pakistani press for months. Hamid Mir, a prominent Pakistani journalist who rose to fame after his 1997 interview with Osama bin Laden, claimed in a recent interview that Blackwater is in Karachi. "The US [intelligence] agencies think that a number of Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders are hiding in Karachi and Peshawar," he said. "That is why [Blackwater] agents are operating in these two cities." Ambassador Patterson has said that the claims of Mir and other Pakistani journalists are "wildly incorrect," saying they had compromised the security of US personnel in Pakistan. On November 20 the Washington Times, citing three current and former US intelligence officials, reported that Mullah Mohammed Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, has "found refuge from potential U.S. attacks" in Karachi "with the assistance of Pakistan's intelligence service."

In September, the Pakistani press covered a report on Blackwater allegedly submitted by Pakistan's intelligence agencies to the federal interior ministry. In the report, the intelligence agencies reportedly allege that Blackwater was provided houses by a federal minister who is also helping them clear shipments of weapons and vehicles through Karachi's Port Qasim on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The military intelligence source did not confirm this but did say, "The port jives because they have a lot of [former] SEALs and they would revert to what they know: the ocean, instead of flying stuff in."

The Nation cannot independently confirm these allegations and has not seen the Pakistani intelligence report. But according to Pakistani press coverage, the intelligence report also said Blackwater has acquired "bungalows" in the Defense Housing Authority in the city. According to the DHA website, it is a large residential estate originally established "for the welfare of the serving and retired officers of the Armed Forces of Pakistan." Its motto is: "Home for Defenders." The report alleges Blackwater is receiving help from local government officials in Karachi and is using vehicles with license plates traditionally assigned to members of the national and provincial assemblies, meaning local law enforcement will not stop them.

The use of private companies like Blackwater for sensitive operations such as drone strikes or other covert work undoubtedly comes with the benefit of plausible deniability that places an additional barrier in an already deeply flawed system of accountability. When things go wrong, it's the contractors' fault, not the government's. But the widespread use of contractors also raises serious legal questions, particularly when they are a part of lethal, covert actions. "We are using contractors for things that in the past might have been considered to be a violation of the Geneva Convention," said Lt. Col. Addicott, who now runs the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. "In my opinion, we have pressed the envelope to the breaking limit, and it's almost a fiction that these guys are not in offensive military operations." Addicott added, "If we were subjected to the International Criminal Court, some of these guys could easily be picked up, charged with war crimes and put on trial. That's one of the reasons we're not members of the International Criminal Court."

If there is one quality that has defined Blackwater over the past decade, it is the ability to survive against the odds while simultaneously reinventing and rebranding itself. That is most evident in Afghanistan, where the company continues to work for the US military, the CIA and the State Department despite intense criticism and almost weekly scandals. Blackwater's alleged Pakistan operations, said the military intelligence source, are indicative of its new frontier. "Having learned its lessons after the private security contracting fiasco in Iraq, Blackwater has shifted its operational focus to two venues: protecting things that are in danger and anticipating other places we're going to go as a nation that are dangerous," he said. "It's as simple as that."


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About Jeremy Scahill
Jeremy Scahill, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, is the author of the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, published by Nation Books. He is an award-winning investigative journalist and correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After the ridiculous dropping of this case by US courts
The Iraqi government picks up the baton



Iraq to sue Blackwater on behalf of victims
Press TV - Tue, 05 Jan 2010 14:44:50 GMT

Iraq said Tuesday it will seek justice against Blackwater on behalf of the families of those who were killed at Baghdad shooting in 2007.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the cabinet has decided to open new case against five Blackwater guards who opened fire at Iraqi civilians, killing 17 at a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007.

"The council [of Ministers] decided during its session on Tuesday to sue the US security company Blackwater instead of the victims' families," Voices of Iraq news agency quoted Dabbagh as saying.

Iraq pledged to seek justice against them in the US and Iraq after a US federal judge dropped all charges against them last week.

The guards were charged with 17 counts of manslaughter, 20 counts of attempting to commit manslaughter and one count of weapons violation.

Dabbagh has promised that the government will facilitate a lawsuit from Iraqi citizens to sue the guards and the company in a US court.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=115403&sectionid=351020201

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James O'Neill
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was not a "ridiculous" dropping of the case by the US courts. The Judge did no more than apply the law. As a reading of his lengthy judgment makes clear, the prosecution acted improperly in using evidence that had been obtained under a promise of immunity. A more disturbing suggestion is that the US government knew this would be the likely outcome but continued anyway; i.e deliberately set out to lose.

Under the terms of the US-Iraq treaty however, while the US has the right to try its own citizens for crimes committed in Iraq, if the prosecution fails for any technical reason (which manifestly applies here) then the Iraq government has the right to institute a prosecution. The latest reports out of Iraq suggest that is what they propose to do. It will be interesting to see if the Americans abide by the terms of the treaty. It would be unwise to hold your breath.

The other remedy available to the families of the victims is a civil claim in the US courts where the standards of evidence are looser. Currently there are 13 such claims before the US courts. This is an issue that will not go away just yet.

As for Mr Prince's fate, he has publically threatened to disclose US government secrets via civil discovery should he be prosecuted. One would expect such "graymail" to rapidly lead to Mr Prince's "suicide" or freak accident. Given the man's track record however one would again expect him to have made contingency plans for the multiple release of such documentation in the event of his untimely demise.
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and pops up down the road in UAE

Blackwater Founder Assembling Secret Mercenary Army for UAE
UAE Confirms Hiring Erik Prince, Declines to Offer Details
by Jason Ditz, May 15, 2011
Email This | Print This | Share This | Antiwar Forum

For the second time this year, Blackwater USA founder Erik Prince has been tapped as the leader of a secret military being formed in the desert. In January he was reportedly at the head of a “anti-piracy milita” in northern Somalia. Now, he is in the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE confirmed Prince’s hiring, saying he was providing “operational, planning and training support” for them, but offering no additional details. Documents leaked regarding the deal with Prince’s new company, Reflex Responses, confirm that he is building up a new mercenary army for the emirates.

The mercenary force is largely composed of Colombians and reportedly also features a number of South African mercs who were involved in the Executive Outcomes corporate army of the 1990′s.

Officially the reason for the new mercenary army is “anti-terrorism” operations, but the force is also confirmed to be created to deal with “internal unrest.” A number of other nations in the region have faced pro-democracy uprisings in recent months, and the United Arab Emirates even provided troops to help Bahrain crush theirs. The UAE itself, however, seems to be taking no chances that its own military won’t be willing to crush similar demonstrations, and is preparing the mercenaries primarily as a force with no local ties which would have no qualms about opening fire on demonstrators to secure the regime’s control.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/05/15/blackwater-founder-assembling-secre t-mercenary-army-for-uae/

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:33 pm    Post subject: Blackwater don Prince to run China's Africa mercenary firm Reply with quote

Blackwater don Prince to run China's Africa mercenary firm

DVN shares surge as former Blackwater owner named chairman
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 1:41am South China Morning Post
http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/1404994/dvn-shares-surg e-former-blackwater-owner-named-chairman
Eric Ng
Shares of DVN Holdings, controlled by Hong Kong businessman Johnson Ko Chun-shun and state-owned Citic Group, surged 7.3 per cent after it appointed Erik Prince - former owner of controversial US security firm Blackwater - as chairman, and granted him more share options.
DVN, an online financial markets information provider, said in an announcement to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing that its board decided to grant Prince three-year options for the right to buy 102.56 million new DVN shares - or 9 per cent of its issued shares - at HK$1.50 each.
This is in addition to five-year options granted to him that allowed him to buy 205.1 million shares at 73 HK cents each in late November, as part-payment for a start-up East African aviation and logistics firm injected by Prince into DVN. The two options mean he could own about 23 per cent of DVN.
"The board invited [Prince] to be an executive director and chairman in view of his extensive business and commercial knowledge and network in the aviation and secured logistics industry," DVN said.
Prince last November sold to DVN a company that plans to build a pan-Africa provider of aviation, logistics, risk management, security services and exploration support services, needed by many Chinese businesses active in Africa. He received US$3 million plus the first batch of options.
DVN shares yesterday closed at HK$1.61, up 115 per cent from November when DVN first announced Prince's business injection, giving Prince a potential profit of HK$180.5 million on his first batch of options.
Prince has logistics, aviation, manufacturing, resources and energy business interests in Africa, the Middle East and North America, and is the founder of Frontier Resource Group, a private equity firm active in African aviation, exploration, mining and logistics, DVN said.
He was also the founder of Blackwater, which he sold in 2010 and was renamed Xe Services and then Academi, after four years of federal investigation into allegations of sanctions violations, illegal exports and bribery against the firm and its staff. Blackwater was a security services firm that protected US officials in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The firm subsequently paid US$42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of US export rules, to avoid criminal charges, The New York Times reported.
Five Blackwater guards were accused of killing 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007 at a crowded Baghdad intersection, but a US federal judge dismissed the prosecutors' case in early 2010, saying it was based on sworn statements given under a promise of immunity.
DVN's board has proposed that the firm be renamed Frontier Services Group.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackwater founder returns to save Europe from refugees
Belen Fernandez Thursday 5 January 2017
http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/blackwater-founder-returns-save-e urope-refugees-243416695

Erik Prince, the former CEO of the firm responsible for opening fire on Iraqi civilians, has the militarised solution to Europe's migrant problem
Starting the new year off with a bang, the Financial Times has just published a dispatch by Erik Prince, notorious founder and former CEO of the private security contracting firm Blackwater, the outfit responsible for projects such as the 2007 Nisour Square massacre of Iraqi children and other civilians.

In peddling his alleged antidotes to the crisis, Prince is symptomatic of a far more profound one
The company has undergone a series of rebranding efforts over the years as an apparent means of distancing itself from overtly toxic connotations.

Prince’s Financial Times bio discreetly identifies him as simply “a former US Navy SEAL [and] executive chairman of Frontier Services Group,” a Hong Kong-headquartered entity.

According to its website, FSG offers “security and logistics services in frontier markets”.


A man prays in the Moria camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos in December, 2016 (AFP)
In an investigation by The Intercept, Prince’s activities at FSG were reported to include endeavouring to sell weaponised crop dusters in Africa as part of “what one colleague called his ‘obsession’ with building his own private air force”. As with many of Prince’s operations, a facade of legality has often proved elusive.

Suffice it to say that the Financial Times isn’t racking up huge points on the ethical front by promoting a man whose modus operandi has essentially been to make a killing off of killing.

READ: 'They started to die together': Can Egypt protect migrants in 2017?

In his memoir, Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror, Prince writes that, by 2009, his company had received more than $1bn for its services in Iraq from the US State Department alone.

This is not counting copious other contracts in Afghanistan and elsewhere, including contributions to the CIA’s drone strike programme.

Saving the EU

In his Financial Times debut, Prince sounds the alarm that Europe has been overwhelmed with refugees and that the “very existence of the EU is in danger”. Luckily for humanity, however, Prince has “a solution that will restore stability to Libya and mitigate the crisis” - a solution he says is “based on many years’ experience in military and civilian business”.

Call me a party pooper, but I wouldn’t file the regular imprisonment, torture and rape of migrants in Libya under the category 'travelling unchecked'
Never mind that Prince himself is implicated in a fair amount of destruction and havoc-wreaking in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locales that now serve as primary sources of - you guessed it - Europe-bound migration.

Prince’s proposed refugee “solution” involves a “public-private partnership” - a euphemism of sorts for what appears to boil down to a privatised war on refugees. He envisions “base camps” for security personnel “alongside a new border fence” in Libya, with border police “consist[ing] of mentors with a European law enforcement background, supported by locals trained in key basic skills".

Prince writes: “All personnel would be armed and have agreed-upon rules of engagement and migrant detention and repatriation policy. Each base would have airborne surveillance and search and rescue as well as armed vehicle quick reaction forces. Air operations would be provided by third-party professional providers, as would medical evacuation services.”


NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescues people from a distressed vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 miles off the coast of Libya in October 2016 (AFP)
The “mentors”, Prince specifies, “would be the skeleton structure of the unit providing key leadership, intelligence co-ordination, communications, medical and logistics expertise”.

As for what global entity might be called upon to supervise the whole shebang, maybe something with the words “frontier services” in its title?

So much for paid advertising.

In Prince’s reality, the present dearth of Libyan border security means that any old migrant can “travel unchecked” to the coast and hop on a boat for the “short, if dangerous” ride to Europe.

Call me a party pooper, but I wouldn’t file the regular imprisonment, torture and rape of migrants in Libya under the category “travelling unchecked".

Free market obsession

Meanwhile, Prince’s fervent commitment to stanching the flow of certain humans naturally does not translate into an across-the-board opposition to human movement.

Perhaps mercenaries also hold the key to other persistent global issues like climate change and snoring and erectile dysfunction
Private security mercenaries, for one, should evidently be permitted to transcend borders at will - as should persons with the last name of Prince who relocate to Abu Dhabi to set up secret armies.

In his memoir, Prince reminisces fondly about Ronald Reagan’s free market obsession and anti-communist “aggressive military policy”, quoting Reagan’s 1985 State of the Union address in which the president once again obliterated any pretences to a separation of church and state in the US: “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God’s children.”

But just as the anti-communist version of “freedom” meant freedom for capital rather than people, Prince’s conception is similarly exclusive.


Iraqi lawyer Hassan Jabbar, who was wounded in a shooting incident involving Blackwater in Baghdad's Nisour Square, lies injured as his wife comforts him in the hospital on 22 September 2007 (AFP)
While Prince and his bank account are apparently eligible for unfettered intercontinental exploitation of conflict and misery, poor folks fleeing war and economic persecution must be stopped at all costs.

Nor is “freedom” a detectable option for Iraqis slaughtered by US security contractors or Pakistanis killed by US drones.

In the end, Prince’s refugee “solution” is hardly surprising coming from someone who has also proposed combating Ebola with private contractors.

And who knows: perhaps mercenaries also hold the key to other persistent global issues like climate change and snoring and erectile dysfunction.

One thing is for certain, though: that Prince’s “solutions” aren’t aimed at any sort of resolution but rather at the perpetuation of strife in the interest of financial gain.

In peddling his alleged antidotes to crisis, Prince is symptomatic of a far more profound one.

- Belen Fernandez is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin magazine.

.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump Admin Raising Phoenix Program From the Ashes

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXs4VOwNVjA

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=21592

As The Corbett Report reported last year, Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, has slithered out from his hiding place and re-emerged as a figure on the political stage. He is now advocating for a rebirth of the US' infamous "Phoenix Program" to target the ISIS terrorists the US created, and he is advising Trump from the shadows. Today Douglas Valentine, author of The Phoenix Program and The CIA As Organized Crime joins us to discuss what The Phoenix Program is and why its resurrection is so ominous.

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