Blackwater – Our Very Own Corrupt Christian Crusaders
Well, the shit might be finally hitting the fan for Blackwater – the NY Times released an article today outlining a plot to cover up the Nisour Square massacre by bribing Iraqi officials:
WASHINGTON — Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials. (from the New York Times)
And the fun doesn’t stop there – in sworn testimony, two former Blackwater employees are claiming the company’s CEO Erik Prince was killing off informants:
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.” (from the Nation)
This is the company responsible for approximately 20,000 to 30,000 mercenaries at any given time in Iraq during the Bush administration (official pentagon numbers – who knows how many more covert contractors there were)
This is the company that was bribing people, killing dissenters, and may have been engaging in a modern holy war.
This is kind of a problem.
More After the Jump
All those people who were saying that the Iraq war looked a suspiciously like a Christian Crusade are a little bit vindicated now. I personally think Bush liked the idea of good Christians spreadin’ democracy, but he didn’t have the energy to push it as an all out religious war. And Cheney was probably rocking a neo-con, secure the oil at all costs mentality – he doesn’t really strike me as a religious type – he’s too practical. But this guy Prince is apparently a full fledged hardliner fundamentalist, and his troops were in Iraq, operating with minimal U.S. Military oversight, fighting in some of the most important battles of the war, and trained as Christian Soldiers.
It sounds like a Tom Clancy novel (or even Dan Brown), but the information appears to be pretty reliable. This scares the hell out of me. Our country has essentially been employing a Bond villain to fight our wars. And you wonder why we were dealing with a protracted insurgency?
Liberals have a habit of beating up on the military sometimes, but in celebration of Veterans Day, let’s acknowledge the extraordinarily difficult job they face as they fight in hostile territory while representing America and trying to live up to the moral standard we set for them. And then let’s remind ourselves of what can happen when our government gives up control and accountability and lets people like Erik Prince kill for us.
And keep an eye out for more on Blackwater, or the Xe Company as they are now called (guess they’re looking for a new image, heh).
There’s a lot of smoke out there already, but my guess is that the fire is even bigger than it looks…