Archive for blackwater for dummeez

Pardoned Iran-Contra figure aided #Bergdahl hunt


the more you know msnbc Iran-Contra

The Sunday Los Angeles Times has a substantive report about now-freed Bowe Bergdahl's captors. It chronicles the events that led to his release and provides background on the groups involved with his imprisonment. They break down the timeline as best they can in the years-long efforts by the U.S. to find and rescue Bergdahl. It's interesting stuff, worth a read. One nugget in particular caught my eye: How U.S. officials relied on a private company in the search. And one of those hired by that company was a guy who was indicted for perjury in the Iran-Contra scandal.

We paid Sunni militants for peace during Bush's fraudulent war, we paid private contractors to fight that war-- Blackwater. That ended well, didn't it?-- and then we paid a private intel group to aid in Bergdahl's recovery. And in turn, they paid local tattletales. We sure do have a lot of spare cash lying around:

The U.S. search for Bergdahl, and his ultimate release, involved an array of U.S. and foreign military and intelligence agencies.

It also included a private intelligence outfit called the Eclipse Group that was run by a former top CIA operations officer, Duane "Dewey" Clarridge.

In 1991, Clarridge was indicted on seven counts of perjury in the Iran-Contra scandal but was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush before his trial was over. He has said he maintained a network of spies and informants in Afghanistan and Pakistan after he left the CIA.

A former Eclipse member said the group paid local informants to collect intelligence, which was passed on to U.S. military commanders searching for Bergdahl.

According to a senior member of the U.S. military who was part of the search for Bergdahl, the Eclipse reports included not only facts, but also rumors. In spite of the unreliability of some of the information, he said, "We take everything we can get." Even advice from an Iran-Contra perjurer.

The more you know.



US report: Private contractors at record in Afghan war


Because Blackwater (my Blackwater for Dummeez Primer is at that link) has worked out so well:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The number of private security personnel working for the US military in Afghanistan rose to 18,919 at the end of last year, the highest level used in any conflict by the United States, a congressional report said.

The Congressional Research Service report said that the number of private security contractor personnel in Afghanistan has more than tripled since June 2009.

The firms provide security across violence-wracked Afghanistan to groups ranging from foreign militaries and embassies to non-governmental organizations to media companies.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai isn't a fan of private contractors like Blackwater Xe WhateverTheyCallThemselvesNow.  In his opinion, they "loot and steal, have links to criminal groups and might even fund insurgents." This report should greatly reassure him, then.

Our State Department is spending zillions on a bunch of thugs, yet our own military gets paid a fraction of what Blackwater makes, all while Blackwater and their ilk are draining people from our armed forces so that they can increase their salaries.

That doesn't sound like the American Way to me.


Afghan government starts to close private security firms, including Blackwater


The Afghan army and police are going to have to get busy re-e-eal fast if private contractors are on their way out. Trouble is, Afghan officials say they're "hobbled by a lack of education, drug abuse and corruption."

Gee, that's funny, so is Blackwater. Well, maybe not the education part, but who knows:

The Afghan government said Sunday it has started dissolving private security firms in the country by taking steps to end the operations of eight companies, including the firm formerly known as Blackwater and three other international contractors. [...]

Karzai's original decree gave an exemption to companies used to guard the compounds of international embassies or organizations, and Omar said the disbanding process does not apply to these organizations. It was unclear what this means for companies on the list that also have contracts to guard U.S. government installations or other diplomatic missions.

Omar said the government was focused on security companies who are providing protection for highways or convoys, not those training Afghan forces or guarding embassies.

FYI: Here is my Blackwater for Dummeez primer for a refresher course on who those thugs are.


Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Moves to Abu Dhabi, Records Say


Blackwater is up for sale, its top guys are facing criminal charges, and what does its founder do? Skedaddle to Abu Dhabi. Wouldn't anyone?

Mr. Prince, a former member of the Navy Seals and an heir to a Michigan auto parts fortune, left the country after a series of civil lawsuits, criminal charges and Congressional investigations singled out Blackwater or its former executives and other personnel. His company, now called Xe Services, has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from the United States government since 2001.

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.

He needs a break from America,” said one colleague, speaking only on the condition of anonymity about Mr. Prince’s long-rumored move.

Let me get this straight. Prince Erik is bitter about the bad press his wild little cowboy posse Blackwater/Xe has received because they murdered innocent people, got paid up the wazoo for it, and continue to make kajillions from our government?  Why, the very nerve of the U.S. to look askance at his past deeds!

He needs a break from America? More like America needs a break from him.

In documents filed last week in a civil lawsuit brought by former Blackwater employees accusing Mr. Prince of defrauding the government, Mr. Prince sought to avoid giving a deposition by stating that he had moved to Abu Dhabi in time for his children to enter school there Aug. 15. In the documents filed in federal court in Virginia, Mr. Prince’s lawyers describe Abu Dhabi as Mr. Prince’s place of residence. His deposition is now scheduled to take place there next week, lawyers involved in the case said.

Aside from the fact that no child should be raised by this criminal scumbag anywhere, including Abu Dhabi, good riddance. However, I hope he gets every legal thing he deserves, and that his children find some way to avoid following in their father's footsteps.

Here's a peek at his new home:

While Islam is the main religion, Emaritis have been known for their tolerance; Christian churches, Hindu temples, and Sikh gurdwaras can be found alongside mosques. The country is home to several communities that have faced persecution elsewhere.

I wonder if Prince Erik will protest any new Islamic community centers that might pop up there. Nah. He's sure to feel right at home with the persecuted.

FYI: Here is my Blackwater for Dummeez primer for a refresher course on who these thugs are.

H/t: Harborguy