Abby Martin discusses a New York Times revelation concerning officials at Blackwater threatening to murder State Department officials, and how this is just the latest example of Blackwater’s criminal, murderous and unaccountable legacy.
Tag Archives | Xe
It’s no secret that the mercenaries at Blackwater (since rebranded first as Xe, now Academi) were out of control and effectively above the law in Iraq, but today’s revelation in the New York Times that they went so far as to threaten to kill the US Government’s appointed overseer of their activities still comes as something of a shock:
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Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.
American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show.
There’s an unlikely story circulating on various underground news sites claiming that the controversial biotech company Monsanto has acquired infamous mercenary outfit Blackwater (now trading as Xe Services). The report apparently first appeared in La Jornada, one of Mexico City’s leading daily newspapers, described by Noam Chomsky as “the one independent newspaper in the whole hemisphere.” Pravda has translated the original Spanish text written by Silvia Ribeiro into English. From my reading of the Jeremy Scahill article that seems to form the basis of the report, the most you can deduce is that Monsanto hired the creeps at Blackwater to do dirty work for them, but the rumor keeps circulating, so could there be a grain of truth somewhere in this story?:
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A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation (Blackwater’s Black Ops, 9/15/2010) revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (now called Xe Services) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto.
In one of the better pieces of investigative reporting seen in the New York Times of late, James Risen and Mark Mazzetti reveal the continuing close relationship between the U.S. Government and the disgraced mercenary group Blackwater (now re-named Xe, but they’re not fooling anyone):
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Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, according to Congressional investigators and former Blackwater officials.
While it is not clear how many of those businesses won contracts, at least three had deals with the United States military or the Central Intelligence Agency, according to former government and company officials. Since 2001, the intelligence agency has awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates, according to a United States government official.
The Senate Armed Services Committee this week released a chart that identified 31 affiliates of Blackwater, now known as Xe Services.
Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security company of defrauding the government for years by filing bogus receipts, double billing for the same services and charging government agencies for strippers and prostitutes, according to court documents unsealed this week. In a December 2008 lawsuit, the former employees said top Blackwater officials had engaged in a pattern of deception as they carried out government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater has earned billions of dollars from government agencies in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks, when the company won contracts to protect American diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan. The former employees who filed the lawsuit, a married couple named Brad and Melan Davis, said there was little financial oversight of the money. Ms. Davis also asserts that a Filipino prostitute in Afghanistan was put on the Blackwater payroll under the “Morale Welfare Recreation” category, and that the company had billed the prostitute’s plane tickets and monthly salary to the government.
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At least 18 people have been killed in clashes between rival factions in southern and central Somalia, and there are reports that Blackwater/Xe mercenaries have entered the country.
A battle broke out between the pro-government Ahlu Sunnah militia and Hizbul Islam fighters in the town of Baladwayne on Sunday and went well into Monday, during which at least 13 people lost their lives, witnesses said.
In addition, five people were killed when Hizbul Islam fighters engaged Al-Shabab fighters in the town of Dhobley near the Kenyan border, Reuters reported.
There are also allegations of US-sponsored bomb plots in the capital.
The bombings will be carried out in order to create a pretext to launch a campaign against Al-Shabab, a spokesman of the group, Sheikh Ali Mohammed Rage, told Reuters.
“We have discovered that US agencies are going to launch suicide bombings in public places in Mogadishu,” he told reporters.