Scahill on the Blackwater Rent-an-Assassin Service

As expected, Jeremy Scahill has a piece up on the revelation that CIA was using Blackwater as a Rent-an-Assassin service. He corrects the silence about the role of Buzzy Krongard in both the NYT and WaPo pieces on this.

In a 2006 interview for my book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Krongard said that the company was hired to provide security for the CIA in Afghanistan. "Blackwater got a contract because they were the first people that could get people on the ground," Krongard said. "The only concern we had was getting the best security for our people. If we thought Martians could provide it, I guess we would have gone after them."

The relationship between Krongard and Prince apparently got chummier after the contract was signed. One former Blackwater executive said in 2006, "Krongard came down and visited Blackwater [at company headquarters in North Carolina], and I had to take his kids around and let them shoot on the firing range a number of times." That visit took place after the CIA contract was signed, according to the former executive, and Krongard "may have come down just to see the company that he had just hired."

And he lists a number of other CIA guys who went on to work for Blackwater. (Sort of makes you wonder how many of those people were used as sources for Finder’s propaganda piece yesterday, since a number of them would qualify as "very senior, recently retired CIA officials, clandestine-service officers.")

Scahill’s most important point (one he made with the help of an interview with Jan Schakowsky, who is in charge of this investigation) was that this program–and Cheney’s secrecy about it–meant Blackwater was a more integral part in crafting the Bush era counter-terrorism strategy than Congress.

"What we know now, if this is true, is that Blackwater was part of the highest level, the innermost circle strategizing and exercising strategy within the Bush administration," Schakowsky told The Nation. "Erik Prince operated at the highest and most secret level of the government. Clearly Prince was more trusted than the US Congress because Vice President Cheney made the decision not to brief Congress. This shows that there was absolutely no space whatsoever between the Bush administration and Blackwater." 

Yeah, I can see why that would piss off Congress.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

84 replies
    • MartyDidier says:

      The Money to run this operation came from huge drug sales as per the family I was in for more than 26 years.

      Meet the family:Mexico drug plane used for US ‘rendition’ flights: report — Sep 4, 2008…..-xUcQEZbVg

      What will surprise you is WHAT the SETUP was for Assassinating Targets! In the Chicago area, they were using THREE Hospitals. The Assassination teams used teams of other people to mirco-snoop and guide the target to be admitted to one of the Hospitals. Many people are involved working in many teams. A huge Christian Church in South Barrington called Willow Creek is a connection point for the CIA Oparatives, Corruption groups and assassination teams. My ex-wife’s family arranged their FIRST murder using one of the high admin people at Willow Creek Church.

      This is so successful that the criminal system calls the Hospitals used for extermination of targets “Killing Machines”. I’ve written in posts about this before. I learned about this in the 90’s so this has been running for many years before Cheney became VP as the family said he was involved at the top of the operation. Be reminded that the Killing Machines are only one function of the Assassination Operation. This is where other groups are part of the over all function.

      Towards the end of 2001 I started getting calls from Central DuPage Hospital known to me as one of the three Killing Machines. The maintenance forman wanted me personally to attend a business sales meeting with him. Since knowing about this, I tried to get out of it but he kept calling and insisted that I personally attend. I did and he didn’t have any work arranged for me to look at and after digging around, he still didn’t have anything for me. Frankly as I told him, I don’t work for hospitals, I work for Manufacturing plus I’m not certified to work at Hospitals either. I asked him WHO wanted me personally to be there and he said the Hospital President insisted that I attend. I asked for a meeting with the Hospital President but was turned down. I made a few more business trips seeing they were pestering me to be there and in each trip I narrowly missed having multiple car accidents coming and going while in the vacinity of the hospital.

      In 2003 I met a pretty lady who we became close and she told me her male friend of 10 years was murdered at this same hospital. Other members of her family and one who is a medical student will testify in court as his death as actually murder. Our lives together have been difficult since we have been snooped upon, stalked, attempts to seriously harm, damages at home. harassed and threatened over the years by the teams working with the criminal system. Her deceased friend was a twin of someone who is Texas’s largest political contributor for Bush’s election. He also did sit on a Education board. The family when questioned about why these people murder others told me “because they can do it and get away with it”!

      Please note that Clyde O’Connor is my ex-sister-in-law’s brother. Her husband is my ex-wifes brother and silent partner in huge amounts of drugs. Their company was started in the 90’s and openly discussed in front of me at a family meeting at my house where I personally met Clyde O’Connor and the whole O’Connor family. Note the CIA link as the family often bragged about being CIA Assets keeping them from prosecution no matter if it involves murder. Plus don’t forget about all the cocaine in those bags and remember they have been air distributing drugs since the mid 90’s. They started in the later 70’s after committing murder with the help of the assassination teams. Within the family, it’s considered there were many others who were murdered. My ex-brother-in-law at the time I was divorcing drove a bullet proof car and he is a property developer. Go figure!

      The family is linked not only to the Assassination Operations but also deeply integrated within a whole network of other groups who launder the drug money into other areas. They started in the later 70s laundering for CIA operaations and other crimes. You’re not going to beleive what this is all about either. No one wanted to believe my story about the Killing Machines but it’s in the news and I am offering some detail.

      There is a lot more to discuss but for another time…
      Marty Didier
      Northbrook, IL

  1. bmaz says:

    Clearly Prince was more trusted than the US Congress because Vice President Cheney made the decision not to brief Congress. This shows that there was absolutely no space whatsoever between the Bush administration and Blackwater.”

    Ouch. You know, that ought to leave quite a mark; but with the self serving lemmings in Congress these days, you have to wonder. They have been less than weak in protecting their home turf for some time now.

  2. MaryCh says:

    The apotheosis of federal Republican action: privatization, ‘robust’ defense policy, complete under the radar unaccountability, killing scary brown people, zero policy discussion – not even a hint and(here’s for you Jkat), a possible reprise of entrepreneurial covert fundraising (cocaine? opiates? guns?)

    And it’s made even prettier by the splash of orange and yellow (with red overtones) provided by Tom Ridge.

    • JimWhite says:

      a possible reprise of entrepreneurial covert fundraising

      Even though it is pretty well established that there were huge blocks of government secret funds funneled to covert operations, I’ve long felt that Cheney’s dragnet surveillance opened the door to some very successful insider trading activity on Wall Street through using the information obtained. Blackwater would have been an obvious beneficiary of such a scheme if it was carried out.

      • Rayne says:

        They only needed to front-run the entire market like Goldman Sachs to make what they needed.

        There was a lot of insider trading going on in Congress as well, assuring that people were bought and stayed bought. (We still need legislation to ban this, btw.)

        And then there were all the other ways money could be shuttled to key parties — like nine billion in cash which went walkabout in Iraq, or the smuggled arms packed in dog food shipped by BW. Lots and lots of opportunities to fund ops, most of which never saw congressional approval in any way.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        I started connecting those dots some months back; I don’t know everything about eComm, but I sure as hell know enough to know that someone could have — SHOULD have! — been able to keep an eye on the transactions and amounts.

        And look at the budgets Liz Cheney oversaw via Dept of State; where did that money go, and how did it get there? And some of it went to Chalabi, who’d set up in **London** after leaving Jordan ahead of bank fraud or embezzelment charges. And the oil spec markets in London a year ago were foaming and frothing; companies were putting ships in Norwegian fiords to keep oil off the markets.

        And Chalabi had been ‘Minister of Oil’ (or its equivalent) in Iraq after the US invasion. Insider information? Almost certainly.

        BTW, JimWhite — did you see the news of the Swiss agreements yesterday with the IRS? Sen Levin didn’t seem all that impressed, but it’s a start.

  3. rosalind says:

    “I had to take his kids around and let them shoot on the firing range a number of times.”

    love the “had to”. the underling stuck with entertaining the boss’ kids.

    p.s. ew, your tweets are as hilarious as they are on point. (though during your absinthe-soaked pub crawl i thought we might have to break out the balloon juice rating system – ew+4)

    • JimWhite says:

      It would really suck for all involved if Prince is a double agent, or not as ‘loyal’ as he claims.

      I hadn’t seen this bit before from the Scahill link:

      Prince subsequently tried to join the CIA but was reportedly denied when his polygraph test came back inconclusive.

      I’m struggling with how Prince could have such operational autonomy and clearance within CIA but yet, if this is true, would not have been hired. I find this very disturbing when put together with your suggestion.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Neofeudalists are more allied to organizations other than the US and its Constitution, or so it seems.

    • robspierre says:

      Excellent point. If I didn’t know better I’d find it curious that the the security and counterintelligence people weren’t concerned about this. Since Reagan, money has been the main motivator for betrayal (think Hansen and the father/son Nimitz spy ring). “Mercenary” has been a synonym for unreliable since the Renaissance.

      But then, the security pros were no doubt chased out of CIA back when Goss promoted Foggo (of fraud, hookers, and gambling fame).

    • bobschacht says:

      It would really suck for all involved if Prince is a double agent, or not as ‘loyal’ as he claims.

      And is the Blackwater/XE private navy ship still sailing, or did recent activites involving crew racism and threats of violence dock it?

      Well, you know, a captain has absolute authority on his ship. So, y’know, at sea Xe is a country all unto itself. I wonder which country his ship is registered in?

      Bob in HI

  4. valletta says:

    interesting, pertinent tidbit from the official “9/11 Commission Report”:
    the following conversation supposedly takes place PRIOR to 9/11:

    “Second,Tenet in particular questioned whether he,as Director of Central
    Intelligence,should operate an armed Predator.“This was new ground,”he told
    us.Tenet ticked off key questions:What is the chain of command? Who takes
    the shot? Are America’s leaders comfortable with the CIA doing this,going
    outside of normal military command and control? Charlie Allen told us that
    when these questions were discussed at the CIA,he and the Agency’s execu-
    tive director,A.B.“Buzzy”Krongard,had said that either one of them would
    be happy to pull the trigger,but Tenet was appalled,telling them that they had
    no authority to do it,nor did he.241
    *241 George Tenet Interview January 28, 2004

  5. BoxTurtle says:

    Probably better that we contracted this out to Blackwater. They’d settle for cash and more contracts, while the Israeli’s would probably insist on favors to be named later.

    I thought about snarking the above, then I realized it made sense.

    Boxturtle (Where were these Blackwater fellows when I was having so much trouble with my 8th grade history teacher??)

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah, that’s right out of the Iran/Contra key learnings, a.k.a. the Cheney playbook:

      – can’t trust our friends
      – CIA has got to be totally out of it
      – can’t trust the uniformed military
      – got to be run out of the OVP

      Israel is a friend; CIA contracted this out while giving up control; not uniformed military since contract to CIA, and well, Cheney told CIA not to update Congress because it was all his baby.

  6. Styve says:

    Schakowsky’s son-in-law “drowned” while snorkeling off the coast of Mexico on August 9, 2009.

    Congresswoman’s son-in-law dies snorkeling

    CHICAGO – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s son-in-law has died while snorkeling during a family outing in Mexico.

    The Illinois Democrat, husband Robert Creamer, their nine children and grandchildren were all in Mexico when Michael McLaughlin died.

    Schakowsky says McLaughlin’s death “leaves a big hole” in family members’ lives.

    McLaughlin was snorkeling alone Sunday when a bystander on the beach saw that something was wrong. Family members tried unsuccessfully to rescue him.

    McLaughlin was a 38-year-old New York filmmaker and editor. His wife, Lauren McLaughlin, is the daughter of Creamer and his former wife, Day Piercy.

    That was 1 day after Sibel Edmonds gave a deposition in DC, where she described in great detail the crippling hold that the American Turkish Council, and sister organization AIPAC, have on the US Congress and Senate through bribery and blackmail. Wayne Madsen reported on 8/9/09, citing “federal law enforcement and congressional sources”, the following:

    According to today’s Chicago Tribune, a local coroner said that McLaughlin died of asphixiation while snorkeling.

    The news involving Schakowsky’s son-in-law happened after the congresswoman was identified in a WMR exclusive as being subjected to a Turkish intelligence lesbian sexual blackmail operation involving Schakowsky and a female employee of a Turkish government-run organization in Washington, DC. The information was provided to WMR by federal law enforcement and congressional sources.

    ATC/AIPAC or Blackwater??

    • SparklestheIguana says:

      I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all, but that does send a chill down my spine, frankly. How common is it for experienced snorkelers to aspirate in their masks and die of asphyxiation?

      • Styve says:

        I am very intrigued to see if there were more details released. I just brought up the Sibel Edmonds thing because Schakowsky’s role in cracking down on Blackwater raises another possible reason that the guy’s death was not accidental.

        I brought it up on Sibel’s site, 123 Real Change, and she commented that the one to look into is Schakowsky’s husband…interesting that both posts I had on that “boiling frogs” thread have been removed!!

        The tapes and transcripts from her depo were supposed to be released pronto, but it has now been 1.5 weeks.

        T’aint a conspiracy theory you’re looking at, but more a conspiracy analysis.

      • shekissesfrogs says:

        If he was snorkeling on the Pacific side of Mexico, it wouldn’t be likely you would drown yourself. The surf comes in on the beaches 15 feel high minimum, and unless you are in a bay it’s not advisable.

  7. Mary says:

    Unfortunately I don’t have much play time today, but one thing that had struck me when the Daily Beast piece first came out was that whoever was planting it was reduced to using nottoowellknown novelist to run the story up The Daily Beast flagpole. Not exactly a Times or Newsweek or NYT or WaPo plant. And now with the quick pushback in … NYT and WaPo, it is kind of intersting that the “nothing to see here” meme is being foisted off on Finder in TDB, while the “hey, lookee overehre, Blackwater, vortex to suck all light from bright sparklies”

    And it does make you wonder if the belated Panetta briefing was tied to the DOJ investigations and/or civil suits re: Blackwater that looked like they might kick up the relationships in a court proceeding (one where they might be wanting Panetta to sign off on a states secrets invocation on something no one had bothered to tell him about, so someone bit the bullet and broke the news).

    It’s not much of a wonder, though, that these guys thought they could kill with impunity, given that the CIA and President had contracted with them to kill with impunity.

  8. MsAnnaNOLA says:

    So if there is no distance Bush and Cheney may be culpable for Blackwater crimes?

    It just never ends with these people.

  9. klynn says:

    Hey, this is an OT question but reading here about Cheney and Blackwater got me thinking about it. Did we ever get to see the final investigation on the Minot Barksdale nuke flight? And did they ever decide for sure if it was five or six nukes? I know they secured five but wasn’t there a question about a sixth? Did we ever get a clear answer as to how it all happened?

    Just wondering, you know, with Mr. Cheney having back channel ops and all.

      • Styve says:

        I don’t recall that ever having been resolved. Gates did a big shuffle among the Air Force higher-ups to shut down Cheney’s alternative chain-of-command, but the missing weapon is still missing, I believe.

        Should have found this earlier…from Madsen in May of 2008…

        May 15, 2008 — Blackwater at Minot

        WMR has learned from a knowledgeable source that in May 2007, a Blackwater team was assigned to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to train nuclear weapons security personnel. Previously, WMR reported that there were some peculiar security incidents involving Minot in the months before the August 2007 unauthorized movement of six nuclear armed cruise missiles on a B-52 to its home base of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

        On March 26, 2008, WMR reported: “contractors working in nuclear security on the base reported a number of ’strange’ incidents involving the security of nuclear weapons at the base, the July 2007 incident involving the ‘plan’ of security personnel involving pilfered military equipment being just one of a series of ‘incidents’ involving the security of nuclear weapons.”

        The Air Force later issued a “gag order” on any discussions involving the stolen military equipment. WMR can now report that one of the contractors involved in the “strange” incidents involving nuclear security at Minot was Blackwater.

        Defense Secretary Robert Gates subsequently ordered multiple investigations of the Minot nuclear incident and an unprecedented inventory of all nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons-related material.

  10. Ugh6 says:

    Scahill can’t even quote is own book right, and the youngest of Buzzy’s “kids” would have been in his mid to late 30s just after that first contract was signed.

    • GregB says:

      If we convert rightwing years the same way we do dog years,call them winger-years, that would make Krongard’s kids the intellectual equivalent of 13 year olds in winger-years.


  11. manys says:

    So, um, Blackwater was effectively an extralegal CIA program? Agents could just quit The Agency and take up arms there with looser restrictions?

  12. damagedone says:

    This all reminds me of the early 1960s. No telling what these people may ultimately end up being involved in. I hope someone in the administration shuts this down now completely.

  13. Mason says:

    I suspect the missing nuke is being stored somewhere in the U.S. with the intent of using it in a black flag op, possibly implicating Iran, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it’s detonated inside the U.S. to reignite the shock and fear factor.

    I think I’m not alone in suspecting that Cheney remains the real boss man of the U.S. behind the curtain with Blackwater at his disposal.

    After all, has anything really changed?

    Could Obama’s decisions as President be motivated by fear that he will be removed in a coup?

    I don’t know the answer, but I wonder.

    Reality check time for me?

    • worldwidehappiness says:

      I suspect the missing nuke is being stored somewhere in the U.S. with the intent of using it in a black flag op, possibly implicating Iran, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it’s detonated inside the U.S. to reignite the shock and fear factor.

      I bet someone has told Obama there’s a missing nuke. I believe this because it explains Obama’s continuation of Bush policies. Obama can say to himself, “Progressives may complain but they don’t know what I know.” In other words it gives him a clear conscience, which is what he seems to be exhibiting regarding his continuation of Bush policies.

  14. MartyDidier says:

    Sorry but I need to add that the family discussed “Blackwater” as the coming ARMY that will support the criminal system’s goals. Remember this was in the mid 90’s and I believe Blackwater didn’t incorporate until much later.

    With me this involves a huge part of my 30+ years starting with the 26 years in this family. I would expect there is always going to be something else to add since this is coming out now.

    Marty Didier
    Northbrook, IL

    • Styve says:

      Fascinating connections, but what are you saying? Do you have corroborative links, etc.?

      Very curious read…

      • SparklestheIguana says:

        Yes that raised my eyebrows too. Assassination squads being run out of Willow Creek Church? Wtf?

      • MartyDidier says:

        “Fascinating connections, but what are you saying? Do you have corroborative links, etc.?”

        Links? How about first hand experience? How about being in a family for more than 26 years who are directly involved — did you read the link I listed? I attended Willow Creek from 1999 to end of 2005 and while in a “Men’s Meeting” witnessed a new person being hired to drive the weekly “Pepper Truck” loaded with $100 million in cocaine from Texas. He sat at my table and asked everyone where he could find work. He was an out of work Minister and was sent to talk to the Ministry’s Director who happened to be leading our class. This person after talking to him sent him to talk to one of the Drug criminals who hired him. He was gone for a month or so and when he came back he wasn’t happy.

        The family often talked about the Pepper Truck as it was this shipment they were directly involved with laundering money into property for those involved. The Pepper Truck if you can find the articles on the Tribune and Sun-Times site happened around March 2004 If I’m not mistaken.

        While at Willow Creek, after services many usually stayed and ate in the Atrium. It was there many times that someone walked around with a pad of paper looking for people to schedule to go places. In this case they wanted someone to go to a store at a certain time and all you needed to do wsa look around but don’t buy anything. My exwife told me that they send out gangs hired by the big stores to monopolize the smaller newer store so they couldn’t service customers and had to spend a lot of time cleaning up afterwards. Eventually all the stores they did this to ended up going out of business.

        But there are other setups leading to harming and possibly murder of targets too. When you’re a target, you have to question everyone around you because you could very well be swamped by a gang of people trying to encourage you to do things that you shouldn’t do.

        Style, unfortunately I’m not allowed to discuss certain details. What I am telling you should be out in the news later so then you will have “links” to read. The drug system is a fast moving landscape of routines quick planning. Once the Pepper Truck was nailed, they switched over to something else as the customers always need their fix. I was told about the Pepper Truck back in the early 90’s and it was in 2004 when it was taken out. It may have been in operation for almost 10 years.

        Marty Didier

  15. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Actually, I know a couple people who are big into Kindle, so to speak.

    Finder’s book “Paranoia” is one of the titles being given away free on Kindle right now to promote Kindle sales. Which is why I kind of did a double-take when I saw him pop up on the blogs. Same “Finder”.

    So there’s a funky detail for the day.

  16. SparklestheIguana says:

    Joseph Finder is posing questions to Michael Hayden on some panel on Cspan right now, fwiw…..

    • Styve says:

      Holy It-shay…they are touching the third rail…Kroll! Kroll was deeply involved in the events of 9-11, as I would bet Blackwater was, as well.

  17. Styve says:

    CYA…they are going to trip up. Hayden is not that bright, and it seems that they are making statements that could be refuted with some research.

  18. Styve says:

    Just found another blog “article” on the drowning…no mention of the Blackwater angle…

    Schakowsky son-in-law dies snorkeling
    Posted on August 12, 2009 by coto2admin

    BREAKING: Lawmaker linked to Sibel Edmonds’ testimony about Turkey’s blackmailing efforts loses son-in-law in suspicious drowning.

    WASHINGTON — The son-in-law of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Michael McLaughlin, died Sunday while snorkeling near Tulum, Mexico.

    Schakowsky and her husband, Robert Creamer, had gathered their nine children and grandchildren for what was to have been a weeklong vacation to mark Schakowsky turning 65 last May.

    McLaughlin, 38, a New York filmmaker and editor, was married to Lauren, 35. She is the daughter of Creamer and his former wife, Day Piercy, a former Chicagoan now living near New York who was well-known in Chicago for her work on women’s rights.

    On Sunday afternoon, McLaughlin was snorkeling by himself when a bystander on a beach saw that something looked wrong. Creamer, Schakowsky and Lauren McLaughlin sped out to the scene in kayaks while a neighbor called an ambulance. Michael McLaughlin was taken ashore, but it was too late.

    Read Lynn Sweet’s full story at the Chicago Sun Times.

    For more details on Sibel Edmonds’ testimony, see Volaar’s Edmonds Testimony Under Oath: Progressives Take Hit for FBI (

    Subheader has been corrected: Sibel Edmonds did not directly name Schakowsky in her testimony on Saturday, as Richard Volaar first reported. Instead, DC insiders speculate this is one Member of Congress stung by Turkey, according to Volaar.

  19. prostratedragon says:

    Ooo-wee. Has anyone noted this little nuance from Scahill’s article? It seems to support Mary’s last paragraf @13, I think. [NB: the lawyers for the Iraqi plaintiffs seem to be seeking to put the case on a RICO basis, per the article]:

    Since the first case was filed by Iraqi civilians against Prince and Blackwater over the killing of seventeen Iraqis at Baghdad’s Nisour Square on September 16, 2007, the company’s high-powered lawyers have fought feverishly to have that and four other cases dismissed. Now, facing a crucial August 28 hearing in federal court in Virginia, they are putting forward a new argument: instead of Prince and Blackwater standing trial, the US government should be the defendant.

    In a motion filed August 12, Blackwater’s lawyers asked federal Judge T.S. Ellis III to order “that the United States ‘be substituted as the party defendant,’ in place of all of the current Defendants.” In his motion, Blackwater lawyer Peter White of the powerhouse firm Mayer Brown argued that the company was working for the State Department in Iraq and therefore was on official business when the alleged killings and injuries of Iraqis took place. White cites the 1988 Westfall Act, which prohibits suits against government employees for their actions on behalf of the government and states that the government will assume liability for any lawsuits against employees.

    State secrets, anyone?

  20. SanderO says:

    It seems like we are getting to see inside the shadow government which is running the show with insiders within our government who have “legally” privatized security operations and used the state secrets privilege to close out invesitgators.

    The CIA is full of murderers and Blackwater was staff came through the revolving door of the CIA and the other special Ops forces from within our government.

    What we couldn’t do legally in “war” the privitized Blackwater was able to do it without scrutiny, or legal accountability. We being Cheney’s gang.

    This is a huge criminal conspiracy. Calling Eric Holder. Eric Holder to the phone.

  21. egregious says:

    Sooo much of what went wrong first stemmed from easy money. Then it was about power to protect contractors and donors. Then it was abuse of power to cover it all up.

  22. tjbs says:

    Just what would Pat Tillman think about these Supra-patriots?

    Does Pat Tillman have an up close super duper personal story to tell about black sewage?

    How ’bout we open up the super secret ,STATES SECRET, Pat Tillman files to see what we shall see, shall we ?

      • SanderO says:

        If Pat Tillmam, the all American was about to spill on the corruption or the perversity of the Afghan operation he may have been taken out by the CIA. It certainly makes sense in the scheme of things where they were doing a huge PR propaganda about the GWOT.

        Obama apparently has been read into the program and is going along with the BS, or maybe he was told how others were silenced because they were about to spill. Not a threat but just so you Mr Pres that we need to protect the mission. It’s patriotic.

        • tjbs says:

          Tillman had turned against indiscriminate murder in a Muslim cleansing, for no F***ing reason.

          World wide wire taps could have discerned that Pat was coming back to campaign against bush 2004.

          How he ever wound up with 3 entry wounds in a 2″ circle is a puzzlement to my little brain.

          And that kids is why we get a story, with the truth buried in mr bush’s cowardly states secret files.

          Pat knows what george bush knows, you know?

  23. stryder says:

    Scahill on democ now

    JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, Blackwater has, you know, twenty different iterations, and they have all sorts of companies. In Afghanistan right now, they’re working for the State Department under the banner of U.S. Training Center. They’re working for the Department of Defense under Paravant. They’re working for—with their aviation wing through Presidential Airways. The official name of the company, how they do business overtly with the US government, is through U.S. Training Center. I understand that they also have some companies that are used for covert operations. TigerSwan is a company that I understand has been used for some of their covert work.

    AMY GOODMAN: And the New York Times refers to them as Xe Services, X-E.

    JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, that’s so last week. Amy. I mean, you know, they change—it changes pretty much every week.

    The other thing is they have a—they have an offshore operation, which is a classic, old-fashioned mercenary operation called Greystone, which I understand still does business in Iraq.

    And let’s remember, Blackwater is not just working for the US government; they work for the International Republican Institute, a John McCain-affiliated organization that’s been involved with interference in democratic processes in countries around the world and destabilizing countries. There are reports that they’ve been in Pakistan recently. And there’s—I understand there’s going to be some probing of that. In fact, Representative Jan Schakowsky, on August 6th, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for information about Blackwater’s alleged role in Pakistan right now. This is a company that continues to work at every level, secret and overt, of the US government.

      • Styve says:

        Wouldn’t it be a riot if McCain was implicated for complicity with the CIA taking down of the Lockerbie flight?!

        • Hmmm says:

          Dunno ’bout that, but news is breaking (BBC Radio World Service) that the Libyan guy might not be the actual perp after all. Maybe that’s to do with what McCain was doing there…?

          • robspierre says:

            That story has been around since the Libyans were first trotted out, back when Sadaam was our friend and Libya was being groomed as Reagan’s Iraq. I seem to remember reading that West German intelligence intercepted some communications that implicated Syria and that luggage suspected of holding the bomb was traced via Malta to Syria. But by then we wanted Syria to be our friends.

  24. Styve says:

    This Blackwater thing could shine light on the Tillman murder, among many. Ted Westhusing died working under David Petraeus under suspicious circumstances possibly because he was ready to deliver a damning report on contractor corruption. There are hundreds of “friendly fire” and “suicides” in the Iraq/Afghanistan occupations histories that Blackwater, CACI, Titan and other mercenary firms may have been behind.

    Let the truth come out!! As Scott Beamer was alleged to have said (complete Bushian bullshit!) as Flight 93 prepared to take a nose dive, “Let’s Roll!!”

  25. Gitcheegumee says:

    Private Intelligence Companies and the Provision of Violence

    Blackwater has attracted the critical attention of the American Mainstream Media. But it was a mere knight on the grand chessboard, albeit one with the ability to influence the moves of the game.

    Far less noticed has been given to Diligence LLC. Diligence, a more powerful company, that unlike Blackwater interfaced heavily with Wall Street, “set up shop in Baghdad [in July 2003] to provide security for companies involved in Iraqi reconstruction.

    In December, it established a new subsidiary called Diligence Middle East, and expanded its services to include screening, vetting and training of local hires, and the provision of daily intelligence briefs for its corporate clients.”[30]

    Certainly the political clout of Diligence outshone and outlasted Blackwater’s. Two of its founding directors (Lanny Griffiths and Ed Rogers) were also founders of the influential Republican lobbying team Barbour Griffiths and Rogers (later renamed BGR). Haley Barbour, the senior founder of BGR, also served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993 to 1997.

    Diligence LLC was licensed to do business in Iraq as a private military contractor (PMC). But it could be called a Private Intelligence Contractor (PIC), since it is virtually a CIA spin-off:

    Diligence was founded by William Webster, the only man to head both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mike Baker, its chief executive officer, spent 14 years at the CIA as a covert field operations officer specializing in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.

    Another Private Intelligence Contractor or PIC is Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), an $8 billion corporation involved in defense, intelligence community, and homeland security contracting. In the words of veteran journalists Donald Barlett and James Steele,

    SAIC has displayed an uncanny ability to thrive in every conceivable political climate. It is the invisible hand behind a huge portion of the national-security state—the one sector of the government whose funds are limitless and whose continued growth is assured every time a politician utters the word “terrorism.” SAIC represents, in other words, a private business that has become a form of permanent government….[SAIC] epitomizes something beyond Eisenhower’s worst nightmare—the “military-industrial-counterterrorism complex.”[35]

    Before becoming Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates was a member of SAIC’s board of directors. SAIC personnel have also been recruited from CIA, NSA, and DARPA.____________________The Grand Chessboard,Scott Global

    Linky to follow

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The highest and most secretive parts of the US Government? Now that might be Rahm. Then, it would have meant Erik the Red was on Dick Cheney’s short list for bird shootin’ partners.

    I wonder why Big Dick also felt the need to form his own special ops unit that reported directly to him (and outside the normal chain of command: not only did he bypass the president, he bypassed the Joint Chiefs). Did he have more tasks to do than he had fingers on triggers and garottes ? Or was one unit acting as cover for the ops of another? Inquiring minds and all that.

    Oh, and as the anonymous sources “confirm”, these were all planning sessions; no one was really taken out by these units. Hmmm.

  27. Gitcheegumee says:

    The Real Grand Chessboard and the Profiteers of War
    – by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2009-08-11
    The provision of private entrepreneurial violence and intelligence

  28. Jo Fish says:

    I guess this puts Preznit Bunnypant’s outburst over the four dead mercs in Fallujah in perspective… A battlion of Marines for four dead mercenaries, a fair exchange in the eyes of Prince.

  29. Gitcheegumee says:

    Representative Jan Schakowsky, on August 6th, writes a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for information about Blackwater’s alleged role in Pakistan right now.

    August 8 ,Sibel Edmonds gives a deposition in DC, where she described in great detail the crippling hold that the American Turkish Council, and sister organization AIPAC, have on the US Congress and Senate through bribery and blackmail.

    Schakowsky’s son-in-law drowns while snorkeling off the coast of Mexico on August 9, 2009._____________________________________

    Quelle coinkydinks!

    • Hmmm says:

      Yikes. I snorkel, you don’t just die doing it. Coincidental heart attack or stroke maybe. Was there a reputable medical examination/autopsy done? Toxics workup?

  30. Gitcheegumee says:

    There is a VERY informative site called

    Continuously updated info on contracts being awarded,and to whom,in the Middle East hot zone.

    Definitely worth regular review,imho.

  31. klynn says:

    Here is Guardian’s take on Blackwater in today’s edition.

    The CIA today refused to discuss the involvement of Blackwater, but did not deny it either. George Little, a CIA spokesman, acknowledged that there had been a counter-terrorism effort and it amounted to “more than a PowerPoint presentation”.

    General Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA from 2006 to this year, today defended the use of outside contractors, saying the agency used “whoever was best suited for the job”. Speaking at a press conference in Washington, he denied that contractors had been used so the CIA could avoid blame. “We do not go outside the agency in order to deflect responsibility,” he said. “Period.”

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Michael Chertoff was the 2nd United States Secretary of Homeland Security, under George W. Bush, and co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act.

      He succeeded Tom Ridge as United States Secretary of Homeland Security on February 15, 2005.

      Since leaving government service, Chertoff has worked as Senior Of Counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling.[1] He also co-founded the Chertoff Group, a risk management and security consulting company, which employs several senior officials from his time as Security of Homeland Security as well as Michael Hayden, a former Director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.[2](Wiki)

  32. Gitcheegumee says:

    I stumbled upon this article,and thought it may be germane to the discussion:


    Bizarre Choice for Homeland Czar Deep in Scandal

    By James P. Tucker

    Controversy continues to swirl around Michael Chertoff, President George W. Bush�s pick to replace Tom Ridge as chief of the Homeland Security Department. As the Senate began considering Chertoff�s nomination on Feb. 2, news broke that Chertoff had been implicated in advising the CIA on the legality of various means of torturing detainees held in U.S. prison camps in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

    But as per its usual stand in the face of criticism, the White House officially denied that Chertoff did anything wrong or that he even had any part in issuing legal advice on torture techniques.

    However, according to The New York Times, one current federal official and two former senior officials say Chertoff told the CIA that certain forms of torture were entirely permissible under the currently existing U.S. anti-torture statute.

    Chertoff allegedly issued his advice in his capacity as head of the Justice Department�s criminal division following inquiries from CIA employees who wanted legal counsel as to how far they could go in physically manhandling terror suspects who were being interrogated.
    Evidently the conflict in the stories between Chertoff and his accusers arises because the Justice Department does not want to be seen as having issued any standards that could be construed as unconditional approval for the use of torture.

    It is alleged that Chertoff left open the possibility of other forms of mistreatment, depending on the condition of the suspect.


    Chertoff told the CIA that it could use forms of mistreatment if they were in accordance with an August 2002 memorandum from Jay S. Bybee of the Office of Legal Counsel to Presidential Counsel Alberto Gonzales.

    Bybee�s memo said that harsh interrogation techniques qualified as torture only if they were enough to cause organ failure or imminent death. This is the same memo that has plagued Gonzales, Bush�s pick to replace Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    It has been argued that this memo set the legal justification for the CIA and the Department of Defense to use brutal, inhuman methods on terror suspects as documented in reports by the FBI, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department.

    Legal experts say that the memo, along with Chertoff�s recommendations, violates specific international conventions and the anti-torture statute passed by Congress in 1994, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 113(c), Sec. 2340(a) and 2340(b) which provides for 20 years in prison or even death for torture.

    Chertoff has denied that he made any specific recommendations on torture to the CIA or the Pentagon.______________________________________2/05/2005

    Not Copyrighted. Readers can reprint and are free to redistribute – as long as full credit is given to American Free Press – 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 100 Washington, D.C. 20003

  33. Gitcheegumee says:

    CYA for CIA (and assorted contractors)?

    Officers’ Photos
    Source: Washington Post

    Detainees Shown CIA Officers’ Photos
    Justice Dept. Looking Into Whether Attorneys Broke Law at Guantanamo

    By Peter Finn
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, August 21, 2009


    Investigators are looking into allegations that laws protecting classified information were breached when three lawyers showed their clients the photographs, the sources said. The lawyers were apparently attempting to identify CIA officers and contractors involved in the agency’s interrogation of suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in facilities outside the United States, where the agency employed harsh techniques.

    If detainees at the U.S. military prison in Cuba are tried, either in federal court or a military commission, defense lawyers are expected to attempt to call CIA personnel to testify.
    The photos were taken by researchers hired by the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, to support military counsel at Guantanamo Bay, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry. It was unclear whether the Justice Department is also examining those organizations.


    If proved, the allegations would highlight how aggressively both military lawyers and their allies in the human rights community are moving to shed light on the CIA’s interrogation practices and defend their clients.
    Defense attorneys, however, described the investigation as an attempt by the government to intimidate them into not exposing what happened to their clients

    Read more:…../20…

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