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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Posted on August 05, 2009 by Flashpoints

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Blackwater allegations

Blackwater allegations

Resistance in Honduras grows as the coup leaders continue to crack down on protesters, educators, and radio stations who oppose the coup; also, an in-depth interview with Jeremy Scahill on sworn allegations that the founder of Blackwater murdered or conspired to murder investigators and was on a self-described crusade to wipe out Islam; plus, Community Business with Catherine Austin Fitts; and the Knight Report.


Tim Russo, Free Speech Radio News

Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, author, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,

READ: Jeremy’s article in the Nation

Catherine Austin Fitts,

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6 to “Wednesday, August 5th, 2009”

  1. Pink Muslimah says:

    finally have some goodies, will finish HTMLing stuff and then post – add “Blackwater” to categories to increase potential Googling

  2. Pink Muslimah says:

    Erik Prince Accused of Murder, Crusading
    Wednesday 05 August 20098

    Relevant Links
    Rebel Reports
    Jeremy Scahill’s website

    Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
    Jeremy Scahill’s book on Amazon

    Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder
    Jeremy Scahill
    04 Aug 2009

    US Still Paying Blackwater Millions
    Jeremy Scahill
    07 Aug 2009

    In Explosive Allegations, Ex-Employees Link Blackwater Founder to Murder, Threats
    Amy Goodman interviewed Jeremy Scahill
    Democracy Now
    05 Aug 2009

    Blackwater, Black Deeds
    Kieth Olbermann, Countdown
    04 Aug 2009

    Jeremy Scahill on Flashpoints Regarding Blackwater Scandal
    summary, partial transcription
    Jeremy: “I have talked to various people from Blackwater off the record over the years – people that were currently working for Blackwater, people that used to work for Blackwater. [I have heard from other Blackwater personnel] several of the things contained in these affidavits.”

    Other Blackwater employees have relayed information to Jeremy about the smuggling of weapons in dog food bags and Erik Prince’s Christian Crusader mentality and efforts to hire those who shared his worldview of eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith.

    It is a very serious crime to give sworn testimony under threat of perjury in as sensitive a case as this. They have very little to gain by giving these sworn testaments.

    “When I first obtained these affidavits…I began to call various people, some within government, some of them outside of government, that would have some form of knowledge over this. My understanding is that these individuals provided this information to federal prosecutors…and that John Doe #2 has testified in front of a grand jury. … What we have here is the very beginning of a long process of investigating Erik Prince’s role in these unidentified murders. At this point, there is no individual identified as having been a victim of any Prince-ordered or Prince carried out murder when it comes to those specific allegations.”

    There is another issue: whether or not Prince could be culpable for the killings of his men in Iraq and charged with murder under either federal law in the United States, Virginia law, or North Carolina law because of his alleged knowledge that he was deploying men who wanted to kill Muslims and join his Christian Crusade against Islam.

    Prince’s family was not Catholic. Jeremy has heard from people that Prince joined the Catholic Church because he wanted to be closer to the tradition of the true Crusades. What they are doing is taking terminology from the Knights of the Templar and using them as their call signs, or nicknames, in the field.

    John Doe #2 was a four-year employee of Blackwater who worked in the company’s management.

    Prince has an aviation division of his company called Presidential Airlines. John Doe #1 has accused Blackwater of smuggling weapons into Iraq. When he first got to Iraq, he personally witnessed weapons being pulled out from dog food bags. They were using blended metal bullets from a company in Arkansas called ___. These bullets explode when the enter the human body. John Doe #2 also alleged that Prince was making money from smuggling unauthorised weapons into Iraq: “he generated substantial revenues from participating in the illegal arms trade.”

    The Obama administration is working with Blackwater/Xe. An exemplar financial relationship between the US and Blackwater/Xe is a 31 July 2009 security contract for $20,985,683 (a week before Scahill’s appearance on Flashpoints). The completion date of the contract is 03 September 2009. The contract is to be carried out in Iraq. The Obama administration claims to have not renewed Blackwater’s contract, and it claims that Blackwater is no longer working in Iraq. In Afghanistan, Blackwater continues to work for the government in the drug enforcement administration, as well as the aviation division of the United States State Department. Blackwater has been bidding on contracts to fight the “war on drugs.” The Obama administration has increased the use of armed contractors in Afghanistan by 29% in just the second quarter of 2009. In Iraq, we have seen a 23% increased in the number of armed contractors, mostly due to the presence of the 80-football field sized embassy.

    Obama understands this issue. Jeremy came to know this through his interactions with Obama’s campaign staff during his Senatorial and Presidential campaigns. He chose to introduce legislation that brought that industry closer to power in Washington, DC. He wants to regulate these companies, not ban them.

    The Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging investigation. They could look into the roles of management officials in Blackwater. Jeremy stated, “I wouldn’t be shocked if nothing happens to these guys.”

    “I firmly believe that…[these] are war crimes. I believe that the US military has committed wide-spread war crimes. Let’s not act for a minute that Blackwater’s crime has somehow dwarfed those of any other major player in Iraq that the US has sent over.” Several murders have been committed by US soldiers, under an official chain of command, theoretically with a system of accountability. 90% of Blackwater’s revenue comes from the federal government – taxpayers’ money. They are essentially a private wing of the government. George W Bush, dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice should be held accountable for this. They are the chain of command under which Blackwater operated most of the time in Iraq and the ones who are ultimately culpable for sending Erik Prince there. “The Democrats are not going to spine up and do something about this. They did the same things when they were in power.” Both the Oversight and Intelligence Committees will look into this.

    This story was widely ignored by the corporate media, except by Keith Olbermann, who had Jeremy on the night previous to his appearance on Flashpoints. Only that afternoon did CNN have something on their wire and gave others the right to report on it. Now, it is in the Wall Street Journal and some other papers. Most of the corporate media outlets completely ignored this story for years, or it was only covered sporadically. When Jeremy’s book came out at the beginning of 2006, it was completely ignored. No newspaper reviewed it. No corporate media outlets interviewed him, except John Stewart, who tried to make fun of him.

    Only when Blackwater employees killed 17 Iraqis did the corporate media wake up and say, “Wow there is a private army in Iraq!” There are unembedded journalists such as Dahr Jamail who actually go to these places, spend time there, and bring the real story. However, only when something really bad happens do the corporate media pay attention. Jeremy offered this recent story to a very prominent media outlet. They didn’t take it. He offered to let them write it and claim it as their own. They would not touch it. So he wrote it himself and published it through Nation.

    Jeremy wants to know who the victims were – were they US citizens, Blackwater employees, Iraqi civilians, Iraqis who had testified in front of grand juries? He is also interested in any Congressional action that might take place, such as an investigation, attempt to subpoena documents or question Erik Prince. We should also look for any criminal charges that might be brought against Erik Prince or Gary Jackson, his number two man at Blackwater for many years. It would also be interesting to see if Erik Prince tries to claim that the charges are false.

  3. Pink Muslimah says:

    Excerpts from Jeremy Scahill’s report in the Nation, “Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder,” 04 Aug 2009.

    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.”

    In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

    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.

    Among those [allegations] leveled by Doe #2 is that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe”:

    To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.

    Mr. Prince operated his companies in a manner that encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life. For example, Mr. Prince’s executives would openly speak about going over to Iraq to “lay Hajiis out on cardboard.” Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport or game. Mr. Prince’s employees openly and consistently used racist and derogatory terms for Iraqis and other Arabs, such as “ragheads” or “hajiis.”

    Among the additional allegations made by Doe #1 is that “Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq.” He states that he personally witnessed weapons being “pulled out” from dog food bags. Doe #2 alleges that “Prince and his employees arranged for the weapons to be polywrapped and smuggled into Iraq on Mr. Prince’s private planes, which operated under the name Presidential Airlines,” adding that Prince “generated substantial revenues from participating in the illegal arms trade.”

    Doe #2 further states that some Blackwater officials overseas refused to deploy “unfit men” and sent them back to the US. Among the reasons cited by Doe #2 were “the men making statements about wanting to deploy to Iraq to ‘kill ragheads’ or achieve ‘kills’ or ‘body counts,’” as well as “excessive drinking” and “steroid use.” However, when the men returned to the US, according to Doe #2, “Prince and his executives would send them back to be deployed in Iraq with an express instruction to the concerned employees located overseas that they needed to ‘stop costing the company money.’”

    Prince also has created more than a dozen affiliate companies, some of which are registered offshore and whose operations are shrouded in secrecy.

    John Doe #1 Affadavit (PDF)
    John Doe #2 Affadavit (PDF)

  4. Pink Muslimah says:

    My goodness, but that looks so strange – the blockquotes were intended for use in a much longer posting and are unnecessary in this case. *blush* Oops!

  5. Pink Muslimah says:

    Democracy Now: “In Explosive Allegations, Ex-Employees Link Blackwater Founder to Murder, Threats,” 05 Aug 2009
    Amy Goodman interviewed Jeremy Scahill
    …there are two major investigations happening of Blackwater right now. One of them is being conducted by the Department of Justice for crimes committed by Blackwater over a wide range of years in Iraq. And five Blackwater operatives have been indicted on criminal manslaughter charges; they face thirty-five charges in all for their role in the Nisoor Square shooting… The second investigation is being done by civilian attorneys… A private lawyer named Susan Burke has been a pitbull in going after Blackwater for a number of shootings of civilians and others in Iraq. She’s working with the Center for Constitutional Rights, is suing Blackwater in five separate lawsuits in the Washington, DC area.

    Their two statements were submitted late Monday [03 Aug 2009] ]night in a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia as part of a motion that Susan Burke and the Center for Constitutional Rights submitted, trying to stop Blackwater from having these cases dismissed. There’s going to be a hearing on Friday [07 Aug 2009] in this federal court, in Judge Ellis’s courtroom.

    Close family friend of the Princes is Chuck Colson, who was Nixon’s hatchet man during Watergate and now has emerged to be one of the most powerful evangelical leaders in the United States, an adviser to President Bush.

    Young Erik Prince interns at the George H.W. Bush White House but says it’s not conservative enough for him, so he backs Pat Buchanan’s insurgency campaign. Erik Prince converted to Catholicism, my sources tell me, because he wanted to be closer to the true tradition of the Church and to the Crusades.

    Joseph Schmitz, a senior executive at Blackwater, is a radical, militant, right-wing Catholic, a member of the Knights of Malta, and an avowed Christian supremacist.

    The reality is that we understand from the very pro-Blackwater book that was written by CNN executive producer, with Erik Prince’s cooperation, that Gary Jackson, the president of the company, has received some form of a target letter from the Department of Justice. And there’s a buzz going on right now in the circles of folks who follow this closely that there are more indictments of Blackwater figures that are going to be forthcoming.

    During his interview on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill referenced Democray Now’s interview with Henry Waxman, which is located at this link.

  6. Pink Muslimah says:

    Prior to appearing on Democracy Now and Flashpoints, Jeremy was on Keith Olberman’s MSNBC show “Countdown.” The You Tube link to this episode is here.
    from the affidavit of John Doe #2: “…It appears that Mr Prince and his employees murdered, or had murdered, one or more persons who had provided information, or were planning to provide information, to the federal authorities about the ongoing criminal conduct. … Going to Iraq was viewed as a sport or game.”

    Illegal weapons that Prince smuggled into Iraq included sawed-off machine guns with silencers and illegal hand grenades.

    John Doe #1 also alleged that Blackwater employees would watch videos depicting incidents of unjustified deadly force were viewed in a session called a “hotwash.”

    Jeremy stated that five Blackwater employees will be tried on manslaughter charges for the Nisoor Square massacre in Baghdad in September 2007. Another has already pled guilty. Congress and the IRS are investigating Blackwater. While Erik Prince has stepped down as CEO of Blackwater, he is still the owner of Blackwater. He micromanages every aspect of Blackwater’s operations. Prince has viewed Blackwater as a neo-Crusader force and continues to view it as such today. Prince comes from a family that is a powerhouse for the radical right. His father, Edgar, was a major bankroller who gave the seed money to Jerry Bauer to start the Family Research Council, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. Now his forces are deployed in Iraq as part of a war on a Muslim nation that George Bush characterised as a crusade. Jeremy indicated his opinion that rather than having missed the fact that Erik Prince was on a Crusader mission, the Bush administration considered it an advantage.

    The Center for Constitutional Rights is suing Blackwater in a civil litigation on behalf of Iraqis killed by Blackwater operatives in Iraq. These same individuals who provided sworn testimony to the lawyers on that case, John Doe !3 and John Doe #2, had previously submitted their information to the federal government – one of them in a grand jury testimony, as part of the ongoing criminal investigation.

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