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Blackwater with tacit agreement of the Cheney/CIA

 
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject: Blackwater with tacit agreement of the Cheney/CIA Reply with quote

Jeremy Scahill - Excerpt
October 2, 2007 - Washington D.C.
Erik Prince, the boy-faced thirty-eight-year-old owner of Blackwater, marched confidently into the regally decorated chamber of the Congressional hearing room and was immediately swarmed by a mob of paparazzi. Cameras flashed and heads turned inside the packed room. The man at the helm of a small army of mercenaries was escorted not by his elite squad of ex–Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators but by an army of lawyers and advisers. Within minutes, his image would be beamed across the globe, including onto television screens throughout Iraq, where rage against his men was building by the moment. His company was now infamous, and for the first time since the occupation began, it had a face.
It was a moment Prince had long resisted. Before that warm October day in Washington in 2007, he had shunned the spotlight, and his people were known to stifle journalists’ attempts at taking his picture. When Prince did appear in public, it was almost exclusively at military conferences, where his role was to extol the virtues of his company and its work for the U.S. government, which consisted, in part, of keeping alive the most hated officials in Iraq. Since September 11, Blackwater had risen to a position of extraordinary prominence in the “war on terror” apparatus, and its contracts with the federal government had grown to more than $1 billion. On this day, the man in control of a force at the vanguard of the Bush administration’s offensive war in Iraq would be on the defensive.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on October 2, Prince was sworn in as the star witness in a hearing of Representative Henry Waxman’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The muscular, clean-shaven ex–Navy SEAL wore a smartly tailored blue suit—more CEO than cowboy contractor. On the desk in front of Prince’s chair was a simple paper sign that read, “Mr. Prince.” The Republicans attempted to adjourn the meeting in protest before it started, but the measure was defeated. In classic Waxman fashion, the advertised title of the event was generic and understated: “Hearing on Private Security Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.” But the reason for Prince’s appearance on Capitol Hill that day was very specific and politically charged. Two weeks earlier, his Blackwater forces had been at the center of the deadliest mercenary action in Iraq since the start of the occupation, an incident one senior U.S. military official said could have an impact “worse than Abu Ghraib.” It was a massacre some had dubbed “Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday.”
Nation Books, a member of The Perseus Books Group

http://blackwaterbook.com/excerpt.php
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