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.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @LOLGOP It's best to learn that way bc bombing damage will show up on Google Maps, right?
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JimWhiteGNV Kurds, Quds, tomayto, tomahto. Let's call the whole thing off.
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emptywheel And Wolfowitz was Dean at SAIS before that... https://t.co/dO5JCYpzoq
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emptywheel Why should we be surprised Trump doesn't know Quds Force fr Kurds? Remember Wolfowitz didn't know Shia fr Sunni when he started Iraq War.
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emptywheel @chrislhayes Nope. They also don't know the difference between Quds Force and Kurds.
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bmaz @WALLACHLEGAL @MaxLaw360 @amilst44 May be a pillar of legal community, but has often given extremely flawed performances, (See Libby trial)
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bmaz @WALLACHLEGAL @MaxLaw360 @amilst44 As to Wells, it strikes me he fairly earned every ounce of the criticism he has received.
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emptywheel Apparently we've globalized Donald Rumsfeld to China. https://t.co/yYZShGVGPA
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emptywheel @adamjohnsonNYC SEKRIT! We have a drone now! NOW we're intervening!
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emptywheel @adamjohnsonNYC so does WaPo
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 AN ENTIRE CITY SAVED BY BEER
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bmaz Frank Caliendo is least funny man in public media. Yet @ESPN keeps shilling him, same as they do their stenographer for liars, @MortReport
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