Erik Prince owner of Blackwater (now Xe) has reportedly left the United States to relocate to The Abu Dahubi. Prince, left the country after a string of civil lawsuits, criminal charges and Congressional investigations singled out Blackwater or its former executives and other personnel. While fighting these, his enterprises have amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts, mostly relating to the war on terror. Current and former colleagues said Mr. Prince hoped to focus on security work from governments in Africa and the Middle East. They also said he was bitter about the legal scrutiny and negative publicity his company had received.
For the full story, click HERE.
See Related: CIA Awards Blackwater 100 Million to Protect
See Related: Blackwater Receives Afghan Contract
See Related: Former Blackwater President Indicted
So what’s your take on this. Is Mr. Prince on the run or just implementing a new strategy?
The Nation.com is reporting in an article written by Jermey 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.”
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. Susan Burke, a private attorney working in conjunction with the Center for Constitutional Rights, is suing Blackwater in five separate civil cases filed in the Washington, DC, area. They were recently consolidated before Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia for pretrial motions. Burke filed the August 3 motion in response to Blackwater’s motion to dismiss the case. Blackwater asserts that Prince and the company are innocent of any wrongdoing and that they were professionally performing their duties on behalf of their employer, the US State Department.”
For the full story click HERE.
Powerful and potentially damaging allegations. It will be intersting to see how this plays out. (Thank you Kerry for bring the story to my attention.)
RALEIGH, N.C. – Blackwater Worldwide is still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, but executives at the beleaguered security firm are taking their biggest step yet to put that work and the ugly reputation it earned the company behind them.
Blackwater said Friday it will no longer operate under the name that came to be known worldwide as a caustic moniker for private security, dropping the tarnished brand for a disarming and simple identity: Xe, which is pronounced like the letter “z.”
For the full story click Here.
Well we all know Blackwater has had some problems. The question remains will a fresh coat of paint make everything brand new or is this just a way to get some of their detractors off of their back?
Related: My interview with Portfolio Magazine regarding Blackwater and the rise of Private Security.