During the Bushit Administration, private armies were encouraged, financed, and developed ostensibly to free up US troops to focus on combat operations. The largest of these companies was Blackwater, which is now operating under the name Xe. Blackwater was just one of several dozen companies which “magically” appeared and were granted no-bid contracts in the billions of dollars making instant millionaires out of people with the right connections to the Bushit Junta.
The first public hint that these private armies weren’t quite on the up and up came early as part of the Abu Garib torture scandal, where it was revealed that a number of the contractors hired by several of these companies included former member of the South Africa Apartheid regime’s special police who had tortured and murdered members of the ANC and South African freedom protesters. At least some of these private contractors were being used in “Rendition” projects, AND – not being subject to the Military’s legal restrictions, the torture of prisoners. These contractors operated as Dick Cheney’s private Army – a quasi legal military organization not bound by the Geneva Conventions.
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One of the most visible of these companies was Blackwater, founded by Erik Prince. Erik Prince is the son of Edgar and Elsa Prince and is the brother of Betsy DeVos. Betsy has claimed –
“[M]y family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party… I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now, I simply concede the point. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment; we expect a good and honest government. Furthermore, we expect the Republican party to use the money to promote these policies, and yes, to win elections (source).”
Erik’s father was one of the major financial contributors and founders behind Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, AKA Gary Bauer, one of the founding scions of the religious extreme right.
Erik Prince founded the private military contractor Blackwater USA and funds rightwing organizations through his Freiheit Foundation.
So how did a guy, who flunked out of the Naval Academy after 3 semesters, and had no Government Contracting experience suddenly get awarded billions ?
“Single largest contributor of soft money to the Republican Party”…
Friehart Foundation a major contributor to Republican causes, laundering our tax money paid by the Federal Government to Blackwater into GOP coffers…
Sister, a Bush Pioneer, donating $100,000 to Bush’s campaign.
However, it’s beginning to look like this scow of a ship may have a couple of holes in it…
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.