Spy Versus Spy with Erik Prince

SpyVSpyDangerIntrigueStupidity_AProhias_300pxhIt’s best to start reading the big Vanity Fair Erik Prince piece from this paragraph.

Prince blames Democrats in Congress for the leaks and maintains that there is a double standard at play. “The left complained about how [C.I.A. operative] Valerie Plame’s identity was compromised for political reasons. A special prosecutor [was even] appointed. Well, what happened to me was worse. People acting for political reasons disclosed not only the existence of a very sensitive program but my name along with it.” As in the Plame case, though, the leaks prompted C.I.A. attorneys to send a referral to the Justice Department, requesting that a criminal investigation be undertaken to identify those responsible for providing highly classified information to the media.

I say that not because we’ve got a few Plame experts hereabouts. And not because that revelation–that the CIA referred the stories on Blackwater to the DOJ for criminal investigation–is news to me, at least, though I think it very significant news.

But because of the premise.

Erik Prince complains that Blackwater’s role in the assassination and drone programs was leaked, just as Plame’s identity was leaked. And it’s worse, Prince says. Not because the kinds of operations he was involved in were leaked (on that level, it is worse; it took years before any details of Plame’s identity in preventing Iranian proliferation came out, not least because Cheney didn’t want that out). But because his “name along with it” was revealed.

As if the entire country didn’t already know that Erik Prince–who has testified to Congress as the head of Blackwater–is the head of Blackwater.

(I should say, “was,” since Prince claims he is “through” with Blackwater.)

Yet, in the same article where Prince complains that he, personally, has been outed, here are the things that he, personally, reveals.

  • He was tasked by the CIA to create a “small, focused capability”
  • The CIA’s original assassination squad trained at his personal estate outside of DC
  • Prince integrated third-party nationals into the assassination squad who did not know of the CIA connection
  • He (personally) and a team of foreign nationals targeted someone in 2008
  • He did the targeting on al-Qaeda middleman Abu Ghadiyah in Syria

It even reveals some of Prince’s operational tactics–such as flying coach, or switching vehicles shortly after arriving at a destination.

Prince doesn’t seem all that bugged, when you take a step back, about the details of this program being leaked.

This, then, is not (or not just) a rant designed to attack those he claimed outed him. (He conveniently blames Democrats for this, in spite of the fact that the Blackwater stories have all been sourced to intelligence people, not political ones.) Rather, it’s either an attempt to fully burn one cover, in an attempt to sustain another cover. It’s an attempt to strike back in a game of leaking turf battle. Or it’s an attempt to distract away from the really sensitive parts of his business.

With those suggestions in mind, read what Prince offers as his explanation for leaking wildly in this article.

This past fall, though he infrequently grants interviews, he decided it was time to tell his side of the story—to respond to the array of accusations, to reveal exactly what he has been doing in the shadows of the U.S. government, and to present his rationale. He also hoped to convey why he’s going to walk away from it all.To that end, he invited Vanity Fair to his training camp in North Carolina, to his Virginia offices, and to his Afghan outposts. It seemed like a propitious time to tag along.

That is, in light of the articles already written about his involvement in this program, Prince dialed up Vanity Fair and asked to tell a story of himself walking away from it all. That’s how the story ends, with emphasis on Prince walking away, off to teach high school. But look carefully at the narrative here:

And up until two months ago—when Prince says the Obama administration pulled the plug—he was still deeply engaged in the dark arts. According to insiders, he was running intelligence-gathering operations from a secret location in the United States, remotely coordinating the movements of spies working undercover in one of the so-called Axis of Evil countries. Their mission: non-disclosable.

Exit Strategy

Flying out of Kabul, Prince does a slow burn, returning to the topic of how exposed he has felt since press accounts revealed his role in the assassination program. The firestorm that began in August has continued to smolder and may indeed have his handlers wondering whether Prince himself is more of a liability than an asset. He says he can’t understand why they would shut down certain high-risk, high-payoff collection efforts against some of America’s most implacable enemies for fear that his involvement could, given the political climate, result in their compromise.

He is incredulous that U.S. officials seem willing, in effect, to cut off their nose to spite their face. “I’ve been overtly and covertly serving America since I started in the armed services,” Prince observes. After 12 years building the company, he says he intends to turn it over to its employees and a board, and exit defense contracting altogether.

First, Prince claims the Obama Administration pulled the plug “two months ago.” It’s unclear whether that’s supposed to be two months before the publication date of this story (January 2010), today’s publication of it, or the interview trips vaguely placed sometime in fall. But whichever it is, it’s long after Leon Panetta is said to have pulled the plug on June 23 or 24. In fact, two months before the time this was written would put it well after the time the NYT and WaPo first broke this story in August.

And yet the discussion of shutting the program down is not in the past tense. His handlers may be wondering whether Prince “is” a liability. He wonders why they “would” shut it down, because his involvement “could” result in the program’s compromise. He says he’s done with Blackwater, but he’s not talking about a program that is done. Yet.

And here’s one other fascinating detail. By my count, “CIA” is referred to around 35 times in this article. “Special Ops” or “Special Forces” are referred to just three times–though all in context to Prince’s most recent operations.

Compare that to the news revealed in the most recent story on Blackwater’s role in intelligence programs, by Jeremy Scahill.

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, “snatch and grabs” of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater’s involvement. He spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so “compartmentalized” that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.

In other words, Prince claims he’s revealing “exactly what he has been doing.” But he’s revealing only those details purportedly contracted via CIA (though, again, the Ghadiyah operation involved Special Forces). He’s not revealing what he’s been doing with JSOC. And he’s sure as hell not describing what he’s been doing for the Pakistani government.

After reading Scahill’s story, I asked, “Where does Blackwater play in the CIA-DNI conflict?” After reading this story, I’m wondering even more.

(Image credit:Spy vs. Spy Danger! Intrigue! Stupidity! by Antonio Prohias via Amazon.com)

139 replies
  1. BayStateLibrul says:

    Prince comes off as a pompous ass…
    The article was written by a former CIA lawyer?
    The whole article makes me sick.
    Why hasn’t Obama cleaned the decks?
    The CIA needs to be reorganized or outsourced to the fucking Mafia.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        Here is some info on the journalist…
        I think he sued the CIA…
        I have no idea how much of this is true…

        “Between 1991 and 1996, during college and law school, Ciralsky worked in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, initially as an intern and later as a contractor/consultant. He received security clearances at the “secret” and “top secret/special compartmented information” (“SCI”) levels following security clearance investigations by the Department of Defense.
        18. The CIA employed Ciralsky in its Legal Honors Program beginning in December 1996 as an Attorney Advisor in the Agency’s Office of General Counsel (“OGC”). Ciralsky served the CIA with distinction and received an Exceptional Performance Award and letters of commendation.
        19. Nevertheless, on October 20, 1997, the CIA suspended Ciralsky and withheld his scheduled promotion. On July 2, 1998, the Agency revoked Ciralsky’s security clearance. On February 25, 1999, the Agency stripped Ciralsky of his pay, and on December 13, 1999, the Agency terminated Ciralsky. All these actions were taken by the CIA against Ciralsky because he is identified as an observant Jew whose family has supported Jewish causes.”

        • scribe says:

          Reads like a pleading in a lawsuit.

          FWIW, I don’t think thy got around to revoking Scooter’s clearance until after he was convicted, if ever. So, whatever our journalist may have done, he surely pissed someone off.

        • Jim White says:

          Yes, he did sue. Googling his name gives several links to suits. It looks like he was run off when he was going through security to join Richard Clark’s team at the White House. There are suggestions of actual leaks of info to Israeli agents in some of those stories.

          In all of these multiple levels of spies, blown covers and wondering who is on what side, somehow my mind keeps giving Ciralsky about as much benefit of the doubt as it gives Kiriakou–zero.

          • Jim White says:

            Heh. And here is a story he did for NBC in 2006 where he cites “Israeli intelligence sources”. Looks like he kept those contacts CIA “wrongly” accused him of having…

            • emptywheel says:

              It all sort of makes you wonder what foreign nationals he was working with, doesn’t it. Particularly given Sy Hersh’s reporting from a few years ago that Israel had teams working in Iran?

              • Jim White says:

                It all sort of makes you wonder what foreign nationals he was working with, doesn’t it. Particularly given Sy Hersh’s reporting from a few years ago that Israel had teams working in Iran?

                Now that you mention it, there is one reference in the article to an “Axis of Evil” country. That makes Iran a high probability:

                And up until two months ago—when Prince says the Obama administration pulled the plug—he was still deeply engaged in the dark arts. According to insiders, he was running intelligence-gathering operations from a secret location in the United States, remotely coordinating the movements of spies working undercover in one of the so-called Axis of Evil countries. Their mission: non-disclosable.

  2. Jim White says:

    What Prince doesn’t mention is the legality of running such government operations from a private company. I’m not so sure that one is going to fly. Plame was a government operation all the way, wasn’t she? Leaking to expose a crime is entirely different from leaking to commit or cover up a crime.

    One more observation, especially sparked by your “Spy vs. Spy” title. Note that one previously undisclosed target mentioned in the article is A. Q. Khan. If Prince was targeting Khan, wouldn’t that directly step on Plame’s territory in WMD non-proliferation? Was another reason for outing Plame to keep her from discovering what Prince was doing?

    Edit: The timing for that second one is a little fuzzy since Plame was outed in July 2003 and Prince wasn’t an “asset” until 2004, but still….

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      wow, my blood went cold when I read that comment.

      As for Prince, I can’t begin to find my way through the smoke and mirrors here.
      I assumed he pissed off someone(s) in the military, and they ‘outed’ him because they were having to deal with so much blowback from things like that disaster in the square in Baghdad.

      Plus, if the news stories about his execs swapping wives in the U.S., or the information about the ‘dollar blow jobs’ available to contractors in Iraq are even close to true, I guess it must be more psychologically comforting for Prince to be angry about ‘being outed’ than ask himself whether maybe the ship he was running got a little too lose and reckless.

      What about ‘when you lie down with dogs, you’re bound to get fleas’ does this guy fail to grasp?

    • Jim White says:

      Adding further to the thought of how the WMD “Team” changed, note that David Kelly’s death was only three days after Novak’s column outing Plame was published. That means two WMD experts who could refute the Iraq invasion justification were neutralized in the same week.

      Then Prince comes on board with AQ Khan as a “target”. Was he targeting or protecting Khan?

  3. emptywheel says:

    Btw, I think Price is obliquely accusing Panetta of having outed him:

    During the meeting, according to two attendees, Panetta named both Erik Prince and Blackwater as key participants in the program. (When asked to verify this account, Gimigliano notes that “Director Panetta treats as confidential discussions with Congress that take place behind closed doors.”) Soon thereafter, Prince says, he began fielding inquisitive calls from people he characterizes as far outside the circle of trust.

    It’s the one aspect of the story in which Prince’s name is relevant.

    Which, if CIA had scotched the program but JSOC hadn’t, would sure explain why Prince would be pissy at CIA. And which, if there was a big pissing match over CIA losing control of covert ops to JSOC, might make even more sense.

  4. emptywheel says:

    One more thing. Does this strike anyone as a cover story:

    But there are intimations of a higher power at work as the story continues. Desperate to get home, Prince scrapped one itinerary, which called for a stay-over at the Marriott in Islamabad, and found a direct flight. That night, at the time Prince would have been checking in, terrorists struck the hotel with a truck bomb, killing more than 50.

    Particularly given that we know Prince has worked with the Pakistani government personally, but that he doesn’t admit to that here?

  5. WTFOver says:

    …that the CIA referred the stories on Blackwater to the CIA for criminal investigation …

    s/b DoJ

    …the leaks prompted C.I.A. attorneys to send a referral to the Justice Department, requesting that a criminal investigation be undertaken…

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      …the leaks prompted C.I.A. attorneys to send a referral to the Justice Department, requesting that a criminal investigation be undertaken…

      Well, please forgive my stupidity but was the ‘criminal’ investigation about Blackwater? Or of it?

      And EW’s item about the hotel in Islamabad is… well, ‘creepy’ is too tame a word.

  6. alabama says:

    What is it with these tough guys who want to be held in high regard, treated with respect, loved by their fellow men? They dedicate their lives to scaring us–teaching us to fear them, and, of course, to hate them (which is the flip side of the coin)–and then they want us to have pity on them, to sympathize with them? McNamara, Rumsfeld, Cheney, guys named “bush”–some of them even send out their women to plead their cases. I find this pathetic, unworthy of tough-guy villainy.

    I also find it a little bewildering, rather bizarre….

    Unless I go back to Patrick Fitzgerald, who doesn’t play this game. He’s tougher than they are, and he beats them to a pulp. He sends them to prison. He exposes them. He disgraces them. He makes them look small. He calls their bluff.

    Bullies are driven by fear–fear of the strength they see in someone who knows a coward when he or she sees one.

    I’ll get away from this now, because it’s obvious and boring–unless it’s Mark Twain who discussing it.

  7. MadDog says:

    When is a leak not a leak?

    A disinformation campaign to occlude one’s vision of other stuff seems quite likely here.

    And EW, I do think you’re on to something with your theory of JSOC vs CIA. A game of Three Card Monte is underway. The wimps at the CIA get burned, but the real trigger-pullers stay unobserved in the Axis of Evil weeds.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Someone very close to the world of Special Ops and been around told me one time that we are wrong to make divisions between the CIA and the miltary (and additionally, between Special Ops and the CIA). They are different bureaucracies, different agencies, but in general the CIA gets its orders and or has a program, and whatever they ask for, they get. It’s one government.

      I’d note that in studying this scene for awhile, that the actors shift from one group to another with alacrity: from CIA to Special Ops to JPRA to Air Force to civilian employee of the military or JPRA to contractor, and etc. But they are all from one milieu. They are “warriors”, “warfighters”, and “masters of the mind fuck.” They hang together, know each others wives and children, see each other at conferences or at trainings.

      The whole CIA/Special Ops/JPRA/Pentagon mess does have its own internal politics. But vis a vis the outside world, there’s a hell of a lot of misdirection and disinformation going on. Not having carefully read the Prince article yet, I can’t say if it is part of the latter, or who is spinning what (someone’s always spinning in that world), so won’t opine on that. Just an observation from someone I spoke to who used to be high up.

  8. WTFOver says:

    Erik, Prince Of Spies: CIA Targeted Al Q in Germany Without Telling Germany


    In a new Vanity Fair article, Blackwater CEO Erik Prince fashions himself as a swashbuckling Wild Bill Donovan recruited by the CIA to pull off the toughest, most clandestine operations. He comes off as vain and insecure. But if his account is correct, it rips open a closed package of secrets.

  9. scribe says:

    This is Prince, advertising to like-minded people in CIA and JSOC (i.e., those who like killin’ an’ torturin’ an’ don’t give a hoot about pussy things like laws) that there are two teams – Prince’s team and Panetta’s/Obama’s team. They don’t need to be told more.

    As an aside, I remember writing a diary elsewhere early in ’08, discussing “If I were President” and setting out my to-do list for the first couple weeks of my administration. Task One on the list was “Destroy Blackwater”. That was there for the simple reason that over the long sweep of history, no government has long survived when it tolerated a private army in its midst. Regardless of the leashes andties put on them, eventually, they either slip their leash and turn on their former masters, or they displace the former masters and take over for themselves.

  10. bmaz says:

    All these actions were taken by the CIA against Ciralsky because he is identified as an observant Jew whose family has supported Jewish causes.”

    Uh huh.

  11. SaltinWound says:

    He could have done the interview to set up a new cover story. Why should I believe he is leaving the business to go into teaching? I would think his main goal in any interview would be disinformation.

      • scribe says:

        They call themselves “Charter schools”. You know, where the word problems are “Johnny has 2 grenades and Bobby has four grenades. Together, how many grenades do Johnny and Bobby have?”

      • Arbusto says:

        Well, Erik, good Christian that he says he is, would be welcome at the likes of Regent U. Setup an ROTC or Ranger/SEAL major/minor for all those Christian soldiers waiting to kick them some infidel ass (yours & mine).

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    That it has been disclosed that Prince essentially lives and grows his bidness on the government dole and that he secretly kills whomever his government tells him to for a living is what bothers him, not that he does it. And his PR teams equates that with Ms. Plame’s government disclosing that she is a spy whose work was to detect and help prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction? Mr. Orwell must not have stopped turning in his grave since 9/11.

  13. scribe says:

    OT: BMAz and I are going to submit this hot piece of machinery as GM’s new entry into F1.

    Now, let’s all stop blogging for a half hour or so – Rudolph, Herbie, Yukon Cornelius and Burl Ives the Snowman have just about made it to the Island of Misfit Toys, but Rudolph’s nose just gave them away to the Snow Monster.

    • person1597 says:

      I was going to guess that you had kids. Your space bar indicates they’re 13-14 and they use your computer for “addicting games”.

      I shouldknow…

  14. Jim White says:

    In other words, Prince claims he’s revealing “exactly what he has been doing.” But he’s revealing only those details purportedly contracted via CIA (though, again, the Ghadiyah operation involved Special Forces). He’s not revealing what he’s been doing with JSOC. And he’s sure as hell not describing what he’s been doing for the Pakistani government.

    After reading Scahill’s story, I asked, “Where does Blackwater play in the CIA-DNI conflict?” After reading this story, I’m wondering even more.

    With the upcoming Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on the Afghanistan surge, shouldn’t McChrystal be asked a few of these questions about JSOC/Blackwater/Pakistan? I called Levin’s office last week to suggest they do that, based on the Scahill article. This latest one makes the questions even more important.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Another nice piece of work, Marcy. Your energy and workload leave the Dana Milbanks in the dust. Remember us when the NYT comes calling.

    Prince, in part, seems to be bragging about this particular assignment. I wonder if he’s using the leak to troll for other business. Protection rackets often suggest that a customer’s money would be better spent employing them rather than defending against their efforts when an opponent employs them.

    Targeted assassinations as government policy aside for a moment, how wise is it for a country, whose politics are so intensely divided and hotly partisan, to train, equip and fund a private party to do them? When handles come unwound from the hilt, knives and swords are notoriously difficult to handle without being cut.

  16. tsuki says:

    Rather a different Eric Prince than the arrogant POS that told Congress in his testimony at the Hearing that they had no business Questioning Him. He was the CEO of a private enterprise.

  17. qweryous says:

    From the Vanity Affair article on Prince:

    “After 12 years building the company, he says he intends to turn it over to its employees and a board, and exit defense contracting altogether. An internal power struggle is said to be under way among those seeking to define the direction and underlying mission of a post-Prince Blackwater.”

    Were this a publicly traded stock I’d like to read the SEC filings on this power struggle.
    ‘Our newly adopted mission statement is..’.
    ‘In the event of a material adverse change( such as the arrest of corporate officers) the company could find it hard to remove the gold bars…’
    ‘ It is not yet known whether the explosion that destroyed ( insert asset or name(s) here)… was accidental’

    • qweryous says:

      This story from the New York Times Feb 11 2009 same date as in previous comment provides additional information on NBC’s To Catch a War Criminal’.
      Story link

      “Today’s New York Times reports on a controversial line of reporting by NBC News involving alleged war criminals who are living in the United States. In at least one instance, the news division traveled to a college campus with a prosecutor from Rwanda to confront a professor on charges of genocide.”

      Did the prosecutor from Rwanda approach NBC, or did NBC approach the prosecutor? Would there be protocol to follow re the apparent collection of evidence by a foreign prosecutor in the US?

      NBC also apparently had discussion with ICE/DHS about this show:
      from the same NYT Article LINK:

      “Additionally, ICE was not able to coordinate with NBC in the creation of its proposed program due to the Department of Homeland Security’s policies against disclosure of open criminal and administrative investigations; laws against grand jury disclosure; and requirements of privacy law when a subject is not charged with a crime or other violation.”

      The possibility of hindering the prosecution of was criminals in the process of getting good ratings…

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        I’ve not yet seen Rachel Maddow’s show tonight, and maybe she’s covering some Family connection with Uganda (rather than Rwanda), but I wonder whether ‘The Family’ doesn’t tie in here at some point…?

        (Not b/c I want to send anyone down a wrong path; simply because of the Christianist, soldier-for-God theme of Blackwater-Prince in the past, but also b/c last night Maddow said that she had some big report coming up relating to connections between ‘The Family’ and African countries. Because some of those ‘non US employees’ of Blackwater almost certainly came from Africa.

      • qweryous says:

        From the Ciralsky Vanity affair article on Erik Prince:

        “Among the team’s targets, according to a source familiar with the program, was Mamoun Darkazanli, an al-Qaeda financier living in Hamburg who had been on the agency’s radar for years because of his ties to three of the 9/11 hijackers and to operatives convicted of the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in East Africa. The C.I.A. team supposedly went in “dark,” meaning they did not notify their own station—much less the German government—of their presence; they then followed Darkazanli for weeks and worked through the logistics of how and where they would take him down.”

        So someone(s) were chasing Mamoun Darkanzali planning to “take him down”.

        The local CIA station did not know , nor did the German government.. not even the members of Congress that should have been briefed? IF THIS ARTICLE IS TRUE.

        Then this article turned up with more info on the NBC show.:
        Excerpt here hidden behind paywall, but more links to follow..

        ” The second installment of “The Wanted,” a groundbreaking television event that sets forth on an international hunt for an accused terrorist will air Monday, July 27 at 9 PM ET (see also NBC News).

        “The Wanted” brings together an elite team with backgrounds in intelligence, unconventional warfare and investigative journalism. The show focuses on real operators, in search of real targets — all in an effort to see individuals brought to justice.

        In the July 27 episode, viewers will travel to Germany on the trail of Mamoun Darkazanli. Called “Bin Laden’s financier,” Spanish officials indicted Darkazanli in 2003 for providing logistical and financial support … ”

        Did this show air as described?
        When did Adam Ciralski and Erik Prince first meet?

  18. DeadLast says:

    At least he didn’t tell the terrorists that the new name of his company is Xe, because if that information ever got out, it could be embarrassing for the new owners. (With an name like Xe, I am sure they are trying to blame the Chinese.)

  19. Citizen92 says:

    Two questions.

    One. Vanity Fair article said that the ‘dark’ Prince’s assassination squads were trailing suspects in Hamburg and Dubai, but… “In both cases, the source insists, the authorities in Washington chose not to pull the trigger…”

    Who were “the authorities in Washington?”

    Two. Is Blackwater really sponsoring gate-crashing Tareq Salahi’s polo match next summer in DC, or is this sponsor list another of his works of fiction? And why so many military contractors?

    • emptywheel says:

      I sort of suspect that CIA wouldn’t pull the trigger on that (which is how CIA could say repeatedly that they never used the assassination squads).

      • Citizen92 says:

        Couldn’t it be possible the “authorities in Washington” who would have green lighted the Hamburg or Dubai assassinations might have resided in the Office of the Vice President? Sy Hersh’s reporting did suggest the executive assassination ring reported to Cheney.

        And, to paraphrase William Ockham @54, Prince’s personal status with the CIA was odd and remains ill-defined – he was not a CIA Officer, not a CIA contractor and not a CIA “agent.”

        So, what was he?

        I just can’t help but go back to some of the Barnacle Branch exhibits and muse that he might be a “consultant” to the Vice President.


        The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter.


        The annual legislative branch appropriations act (see, for example, Public Law 108–83) and the annual transportation-treasury appropriations act (see, for example, Public Law 108–199) provide funds for the Vice President to hire employees to assist him in carrying out his legislative and executive functions. Executive branch employees also may be assigned or detailed to the Vice President (see 3 U.S.C. 112) and the Vice President may employ consultants (see 3 U.S.C. 106(a)).


        The Office of
        the Vice President (OVP) consists of the aggregation of Vice Presidential employees whose salary is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate from the Vice President’s legislative appropriation, Vice Presidential employees employed with the Vice President’s executive appropriation, employees assigned or detailed to the Vice President, and consultants engaged by the Vice President.


  20. Jeff Kaye says:

    OT but worth noting, from the UK, Andy Worthington reporting, some good news for a change:

    For the Guardian’s Comment is free, “The end of secret evidence?” is an article I wrote celebrating what appears to be the demise of the British government’s eight-year policy of imprisoning terror suspects — both foreign and British nationals — without charge or trial, or otherwise depriving them of their liberty under a form of house arrest, on the basis of secret evidence.

  21. Leen says:

    I am with Erik Prince appoint a “special prosecutor” to investigate him.

    Seems to be a big gap between being under cover for a legal operation and one that is not. Did congress have any idea what Prince was up to?

  22. orionATL says:

    it needs to be said,

    amidst all the verbiage from prince, et al,

    that leaking plame’s name

    and leaking, if that is what happened,

    info about an assassination squad (by the by, was it not the cia director who brought this to, among others, the congress’s attention?)

    are not analogous in any way.

    well, anyway except this:

    disclosing a cia agent’s identity is illegal,


    assassination of foreign leaders by americans is illegal.

    not that it matters.

    furthermore, in this country,

    vigilante justice is also illegal.

    and administering vigilante Justice is exactly what blackwater was doing,

    and exactly what what cheney/rumsfeld made happen in guantanamo.

    • kindGSL says:

      And, interestingly enough, a shiny black helicopter pointed machine guns at me after I wrote Senator Feinstein a letter about the drug war.

  23. WilliamOckham says:

    I want to raise an issue with Prince’s story that hasn’t gotten sufficient attention. According to VF’s sources (and Prince), the CIA’s National Resources Division was running Prince as an asset. He wasn’t just a contractor and he certainly wasn’t an operative (CIA employee). The National Resources Division is the part of the CIA that runs operations inside the U.S. In the old days, they mostly interviewed businessmen and others returning from overseas to gather intelligence on foreign governments. They also recruited foreigners in the U.S. to spy on their home countries. Very rarely, they would place NOCs (like Valerie Plame Wilson) at U.S. companies.

    The arrangement with Prince was very different and problematic for a whole host of reasons. He was/is the CEO of a major government contractor. His company has covert contracts with the CIA. And he’s an intelligence asset (like Karzai’s brother). If he’s also working for JSOC, it’s even worse. JSOC isn’t supposed to be running assets. I have a hard time seeing how this arrangement doesn’t violate the CIA charter.

    • kindGSL says:

      Big in the ‘Family’ too, a crazy christian cult. Running the world through a network of black sites and torture chambers for the purpose of drug running and selling arms.

      I knew before the war started that they were doing it because we had so many arms stockpiled and such a surplus of military capacity. Too much for actual need. Rummy was talking about it.

      That was an economic ‘problem’ for someone that was ‘fixed’ with 9/11. Who are those someones?

  24. Sara says:

    Prince apparently began life as very conservative Dutch Reform, a fairly strict Calvinist sect within that denomination, but he fairly recently converted to Catholicism, and is associated with Opus Dei. Ironically, part of the same group of converts with “leaky” Robert Novak (rip) and Senator Sam Brownbeck.

    I think the Vanity Fair Article is a mass of deceptive BS. I rather think what really bothers Erik Prince is the possibility that in one or another of the Civil Lawsuits being persued, he will be put under oath in a deposition. Thus he breaks his bonds with “his company”, puts all his company’s assets into an employee owned trust, and tries to surround himself with a hyper covert Hush-Hush, super assassin aura. I don’t believe a word of it.

    • shekissesfrogs says:

      I thought the Roman Catholic stuff was funny, since his family is “The Family”.
      All of it sounds like whitewash cover and lies… with help from the Israeli double agent reporter.

      The Marriot Hotel Bombing has been blamed on BlackWater for a long time, and he gives cover for it here.

      Terrorism is a CIA tactic used to shock the population to accept the governmental “security” expansion. Pakistan’s military and ISI is against US troops in their country making cross border drone attacks, and an attack like this convince them to accept the “help”.

      Letters from Mullah Omar decry civilian attacks and the TeP doesn’t take responsibility for them, unlike the others against police or military targets.

      • kindGSL says:

        I thought the Roman Catholic stuff was funny, since his family is “The Family”.

        What about end times mythology? He very well might be a true believer in that narrative. Perhaps he thinks he is some type of biblical character and pursuing the connection that way.

        We should ask the Church for a statement about this. Do they use his services?

        I would hope they would condemn it.

        • shekissesfrogs says:

          the opus dei would comport with a crusader mentality, maybe better than a end times apocalyptic fantasy. Maybe it’s more his style… and the Family has opened itself up to catholics, it think.

          • kindGSL says:

            I called on the ‘New Age’ – Solstice, 2004.

            When Rummy referred to it on TV, I knew he had heard me. They had a rather religious focus, you know; and an awful lot of Muslim people have suffered and died since then.

            I knew the Catholics had a serious issue with New Age religion and the crazy Armageddon’s seemed all hell bent on terminal war, so I figured the time was right for the New Age to start. I wanted us to have some time to prepare before 2012, whatever that would be, and I hoped 8 years would do it.

            Calling on the New Age was my peace offering in response to the Bush administration’s war doctrine. I had what I thought was a simply brilliant idea to get rid of war entirely. It is a long story and centers on ending the drug war, which apparently is where Eric Prince came in.

  25. orionATL says:

    Sarah @55

    Ah, yes

    Christian businessmen,

    A category of entrepreneurs one has to watch carefully.

    Dutch reform. Eh.

    Might that be Iowa or Nebraska or your own fair state?

    • Sara says:

      “Might that be Iowa or Nebraska or your own fair state?”

      Prince is from around Holland Michigan. There is a good deal about his origins in Scahill’s book, “Blackwater” which I read perhaps two years ago, but had some residual questions about Strict Calvinist Dutch Reform sects which I had never sorted out — had a college roommate who was from that culture, but was rebelling against it — but never had it quite figured out. Googled, and what a mess. So many Schisms!!!

      Prince was a big time supporter of Dobson at one time, and a number of other such evangelists of the Calvinist variety. So it is something of a surprise to see him now in Opus Dei and the RC.

      as to Jeff Kaye at 57 — yea, CIA has always recruited from the Military — after WWII they recruited widely among Army Intelligence in the late 40’s, After the CP revolution in China, they did massive recruitment from US Military who had spent WWII in China. Picked up lots of Missionaries then too (language skills). After Vietnam they recruited from among the Green Berets. But that is the operations side — the analysis side is very different, very thick and heavy with academics and scientists. There is not all that much cross-over between the two sides of the agency.

      Spend some time today watching the Hillary-Gates hearings on C-Span, and for a time I was just fascinated watching Robert Gates who did 25 years on the Analysis Side working on Soviet Stuff. I wasn’t so much paying strict attention to what he said, but rather to his body language. He is the perfect product of the post Vietnam Analysis Side. The guy probably never shot a gun after he finished training at the Farm, but he would have been a killer at the committee conference table. I can see why he rose to the top in the system — he is a perfect product of it. Sometime while watching him, just cut the sound and imagine you are on a committee with him, and you believe Item 5C, subitem f is phrased inaccurately, and you want to change his mind as to words in which he is deeply invested!!!

      • shekissesfrogs says:

        Gates is invested in giving his superiors the information or intelligence they require for a predetermined result. That’s how he got where he is.

        • kindGSL says:

          Totally. That is why they start looking more and more like covered wagons circled around the old camp fire. In fact, the wagon with ERIC PRINCE painted on the side of it looks like it just started to catch on fire.

          The problem they are encountering is that when a group like them is actively cutting out it’s own non-true believer members, then they are also cutting out the confusing cover people for their big criminal conspiracies.

  26. shekissesfrogs says:

    Panetta asked them to leave the border area because they were training terrorists in conjunction with Israel , and sending them into Bolockistan.

    Mr. Prince says he missed the bombing of the Islamabad Marriot on 20th of Sept, 2008.
    There was another Hotel bombing in Peshwar on Jun 10, 2009 that India’s RAW agency is accused of committing.

    I’m wondering if BlackWater really owns the training site referenced in the story or could it have actually been the location where India and Israel were training terrorists, perhaps to destabilize pakistan so that the nukes can be removed?
    Is the article giving eric prince cover for the bombing and does it reveal an Israeli connection?

    The related good news is that William Burns the ambassador has been trying to get India to stop occupying Kashmir, which is mostly pashtun.

  27. Jim White says:

    If any of the “outing” of Prince has done any real harm to actual operations of the JSOC black plans, expect Liz Cheney to hit the press in the next 48 hours to defend Prince [and dear Daddy] against these nefarious actions. If she doesn’t, I would surmise that the VF article is merely smoke.

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, given how much detail he gave, on the record, he’s either going to be indicted for leaking within a day, or we’ll know that something is up. You simply can’t say, even, that you set up a small targeted capability for the CIA. Think about Plame’s fights to even say how long she was associated with the CIA. And he up and confirms it? Nuh uh.

      Then of course, I don’t think anything will happen to him, which ought to tell you something.

  28. alinaustex says:

    citizen92 @ 73
    Have there been any attempts to FOIA the OVP budget during the Bushcheny years ?
    Also Cheney’s daughter had her very own SAP budget for “Middle Eastern Affairs”- Maybe the Blackwater budget was in the Darkside daughter’s budget.
    By chance if skimpypenguin is still lurking in these parts we are still waiting for the shock and awe pushback from his/her military comrades –

  29. Rayne says:

    Citizen92 (44) — now that link with Salahi is disturbing. Everybody in the media is looking at the blonde, but few are looking at her spouse and other relationships. The whole thing struck me as either a proof-of-concept or a message to somebody that POTUS is touchable — or that others are equally touchable.

    qweryous (48) — it read to me like Prince deliberately chose Ciralsky to do the piece. Ciralsky is allied against CIA, so one could be certain there would be an element of awareness about conflict with this agency. And ciralsky has connections — yeah, that’s what we’ll call them. If certain report-worthy events happened, Ciralsky could be counted upon to both dig for info and to report them.

    WO (54) — keep in mind whatever authorized or shaped Prince/Blackwater happened shortly after 9/11, when there was fear-based carte blanche to do virtually anything to go after terrorists. There’s probably a waiver or exception written into a highly-classified presidential directive which changes the scope/charter of the CIA, but compartmentalized to keep the average CIA from knowing about it. What a bloody mess.

    shekissesfrongs (68) — the Family is definitely open to RC members; recall that Rep. Stupak is RC.

    At some point this is merely Christianist, beyond sects within Christianity. It’s almost an new invisible Crusade.

    Jim White (70) — What, you think the U.S. had nothing to do with the Green Movement in Iran?

    Jim White (72) — Actually, I think this VF piece was a STFU and FU to Bush/Cheney for leaving him high and dry. It was a suggestion that if they don’t do something to get his back in a big fat hurry that he’s going to spill a lot of very ugly stuff.

    Baby Dick also knows that her name will come up in the spillage, too. Ahem.

    My guess is that the work they must do now to get his back will not look at all like we’ve seen to date. This is big enough that they are going to have to take a completely different tack. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes about which the public is completely unaware; that’s where this will play out short term.

    • klynn says:

      shekissesfrongs (68) — the Family is definitely open to RC members; recall that Rep. Stupak is RC.

      At some point this is merely Christianist, beyond sects within Christianity. It’s almost an new invisible Crusade.

      An evangelical friend often referred to the pro-life movement as a war as big as WWII because of the “genocide”. Additionally, the same friend, constantly talked about the threat of the “Brotherhood of Islam”. Much of his language was “war talk” and I was constantly thrown by it and would engage conversation for information from my perspective as a cross-cultural mediator. There were times I sincerely suspected he was participating or had knowledge of something larger or looming. He would get violently angry when I would take a stand on “systemic concerns” and ask why the movement put so much money into politics instead of actual efforts to help people.

    • kindGSL says:

      Green religion is part of my message of peace. It resonated in the Islamic world better than big media will allow.

      I actually had a whole big plan and since I do it on-line, it is not limited to the US. China’s shift to green energy and Japan’s vote of no confidence in Market Fundamentalism both seemed to me like they were just taking my good advice.

    • kindGSL says:

      Jim White (72) — Actually, I think this VF piece was a STFU and FU to Bush/Cheney for leaving him high and dry. It was a suggestion that if they don’t do something to get his back in a big fat hurry that he’s going to spill a lot of very ugly stuff.

      With the trial in England dumping data, isn’t it already kind of too late?

      I expect these high strung people to start coming apart in really dramatic ways as they become more and more discovered. The war/drugs/rape for sale money train will dry up and send them to prison once the taxpayers git wind of it. I am not paying taxes so pedophiles can go to war.

      • Rayne says:

        Nothing which has come out overseas has managed to impact either law enforcement or judiciary here.

        One only need look at DOD treatment of detainees to realize that the U.S. picks and chooses its own law to acknowledge and enforce.

        What Prince feared (hello, orialATL at (100)) is that he will end up in prison the rest of his life, his family bankrupted, for following the orders given him as part of a highly compartmentalized program he cannot reveal without being prosecuted. He’s now partitioned off the business, taken steps to protect his family, is willing to burn it all down if the justice system were to prosecute him solely for war crimes while the people who designed and ordered those crimes walk free.

        But that will come to pass only if the DOJ and EO, Congress and Judiciary do as they were supposed to do.

        Prince’s second fear is that they will take him out if he avoids being the patsy — and he’s already indicated he’s prepared to thwart them.

    • lawordisorder says:

      Nope it was a message to the coffeemaker….”message understood, wilco”

      BTW when and only when you understand what this is all about you are gonna have a foookin orgasm on the spot….Remember never underestimate the POwer of dignity…… and the ability to use smoke, flashbangs and manouver….oh YAHHH and this sad old SOB’s softspot for marcy

      JUust my five cents worth (what the hell, hand this sad old warrior a sixpack here at the coffemaker) Can we get some foto and tunes to those AMHERST college boys or what?

  30. bmaz says:

    Then of course, I don’t think anything will happen to him, which ought to tell you something.

    You got that right. In fact, something probably already would have; it is not like the powers we are talking about don’t have ways of knowing what is going on with people like Prince. They had no idea or inkling about this whole VF article until the rest of us saw it? I doubt that.

    • Rayne says:

      I think that was one of the other points he was making very clear in the article — he’s prepared for any attempts to shut him up.

      Why else would a security-freak allow a reporter to disclose his personal security measures? Or that he’s even taught his kids what to expect and do if they are threatened?

      • Adie says:

        you’re assuming he’s suddenly turned to truthiness? now? to what end?

        never trust a cornered dog to act in a way you personally might deem rational.

        • Rayne says:

          Oh, I am absolutely certain that portions of Prince’s article are, well, opaque. Oblique, I think is the way Marcy put it about a portion of the article.

          But I am absolutely certain this article is otherwise correct, enough to terrify certain persons, have already done some poking around about it.

          • Adie says:

            I’m not doubting your take on this at all. A number of puzzle pieces are unfortunately falling into place as partial explanations for some bizarre stuff over the last many years, much as I’d like to believe otherwise.

            Mebbe Kurt Vonnegut was right. Human brains have gone and got too big to be sustainable. Dang, he was too good a writer.

            *unplugs coffee pot & vows to give up caffeine cold turkey*

            • kindGSL says:

              It was because he had experienced fascism.

              He expressed it in fiction to create a learning tool for those of us who follow. I was a big fan of his in high school.

              I have read lots of fictional accounts of fascism from Animal Farm to Snow Crash. It is a huge body of work in Science Fiction and European foreign literature, as opposed to American literature, I read a lot of that too. The book 1984 is an excellent tutorial and so is Vonnegut.

  31. GregB says:

    I betcha Mr. Prince rails on and on about big government and taxes and such when he’s not cashing his checks from the evil satan big government.


  32. Adie says:

    Thanks Marci. Amazing stuff.

    WELL now…

    As rogues go, it seems palin pales in comparison to s’mores. But I digress [I hope].

    Intriquing, discomfiting intrigue.

  33. i4u2bi says:

    A private company getting paid millions of dollars to commit murder and torture and mayhem all in the name of the USA. Where in the Constitution does it say that this is legal? Oh yes…in a banana republic type country’s constitution. A prison they should be a-goin’.

  34. billybugs says:

    Did I read that Prince was leaving Blackwater to teach high school?
    Didn’t know black-ops was a high school subject !

  35. Adie says:

    he’ll probably be the basketball coach.

    … and the octomom is a real person worthy of wall-to-wall coverage …



    and the Rs twittered their solemn, deliberative way through the State of the U speech…

  36. orionATL says:

    isn’t this all classic self-defense by prince?

    you feel threatened, you make it clear you can do a lot of damage if

    – you don’t get help from whence you have reason to expect it

    – somebody doesn’t call of their dogs?

    the more interesting question to me isn’t the black prince’s hocus-pocus, james bond background and “capabilities”,

    but rather


    or maybe he’s just trying to to get buttercup obama to give him one of O’s “invisible pardons”.

  37. Watt4Bob says:

    Do you recall the story about the ArmorGroup contractors in Iraq drinking vodka off each others asses?

    “Susan Pitcher, a spokeswoman for Wackenhut Services, the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., company that owns ArmorGroup, declined to comment on Tuesday’s POGO report.”

    Wackenhut is known in some circles as the Shadow CIA. (see link above)

    Wackenhut’s institutional stockholder is Britain’s Barclays Global Investors International, which you will remember was bought by Blackrock, well connected Investment firm that has been described as a pioneer of mortgage backed securities in the United States.

    From the NYT;

    “For BlackRock, the purchase is the latest in a string of acquisitions that have made the firm a giant investment manager with $1.3 trillion in assets. The firm has advised the federal government on its financial bailout efforts, and is managing billions of dollars worth of troubled assets from Bear Stearns and the American International Group for the Federal Reserve.”


    So let’s look at it this way;

    If you want to know why nobody in Washington DC stands up to the likes of AIG, Blackrock, Barcleys, the FED, and all the rest of the W$ pirates, it’s because they have their own personal armies comprised of the most wantonly depraved individuals on the planet and you wouldn’t want a bunch of psychopaths like that to show up at your house would you?

    If you think the tea-baggers are bad, just wait till The Armor Group, Wackenhut, Blackwater, Xe, or whatever shows up in your town.

    Blackwater was hired to help with security in New Orleans after Katrina.

    There is no War-On-Terror, but there is obviously an effort to instill fear in our hearts, and those of our own countrymen.

    These private armies are meant to scare the American public as much as any other purpose that might be put forward.

    These guys are brown-shirts, they’re storm troopers, and if we were honest with ourselves, we’d admit that we already knew that.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Yes, brown shirts in ovo. I’ve thought that since Ollie North stepped on the stage, but it probably began when the real brown shirts were brought over in Paperclip.

      • kindGSL says:

        The drug war has been funding their growth for 40 years. These guys also like to build prisons and run related industries. We should look into their connections with using prison labor too. there are lots of inter connected businesses.

    • kindGSL says:

      So let’s look at it this way;

      If you want to know why nobody in Washington DC stands up to the likes of AIG, Blackrock, Barcleys, the FED, and all the rest of the W$ pirates, it’s because they have their own personal armies comprised of the most wantonly depraved individuals on the planet and you wouldn’t want a bunch of psychopaths like that to show up at your house would you?

      Well, I guess now we know who pulled 9/11. Somebody had to place all those fancy military grade explosives. Yeah, I can see how that would intimidate New Yorkers.

      • Watt4Bob says:

        It’s not conjecture that Blackrock, the ‘pioneer in mortgage backed securities’ owns it’s own private army,the Armor Group, it’s a fact.

        I don’t remember mentioning 9/11?

        • kindGSL says:

          You didn’t, I just figured it must be them because it had to be somebody and it looked like they fit.

          Like another little piece of the puzzle falling into place, I could be wrong. It was just a guess. But if it wasn’t him, I bet it was one of his friends. most people just are not into that kind of thing or have the access.

  38. Gitcheegumee says:

    Hmm, I wonder what Cofer Black will have to say,if anything about all of this. Just a little info on Cofer Black-I had forgotten he was on the Blackwater/Xe Board-AFTER he left CIA.

    Cofer Black, the company’s vice chairman from 2006 through 2008, was director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC) at the time of the September 11 attacks in 2001. He was the United States Department of State coordinator for counterterrorism with the rank of ambassador at large from December 2002 to November 2004.
    After leaving public service, Black became chairman of the privately owned intelligence gathering company Total Intelligence Solutions, Inc., as well as vice chairman for Xe. Robert Richer was vice president of intelligence until January 2007, when he formed Total Intelligence Solutions. He was formerly the head of the CIA’s Near East Division.[24]
    [25] Black was senior advisor for counterterrorism and national security issues for the 2008 Presidential election bid of Mitt Romney.[26] Wiki

    NOTE: It has struck me as odd just how much NeoConia has the word “black” in it:Blackwater, Cofer Black,Blackstone Group,Blackrock-Hey,even Negroponte means blackbridge, Coincidence?

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      re: Total Intelligence Solutions:

      Total Intelligence, which opened for business in February 2007, is a fusion of three entities bought up by Prince: the Terrorism Research Center, Technical Defense and The Black Group—Blackwater vice chair Cofer Black’s consulting agency.

      The company’s leadership reads like a Who’s Who of the CIA’s “war on terror” operations after 9/11.

      Total Intelligence’s chief operating officer is Enrique “Ric” Prado, a twenty-four-year CIA veteran and former senior executive officer in the Directorate of Operations. He spent more than a decade working in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center and ten years with the CIA’s “paramilitary” Special Operations Group. Prado and Black worked closely at the CIA.
      Prado also served in Latin America with Jose Rodriguez, who gained infamy late last year after it was revealed that as director of the National Clandestine Service at the CIA he was allegedly responsible for destroying videotapes of interrogations of prisoners, during which “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, were reportedly used. Richer told the New York Times he recalled many conversations with Rodriguez, about the tapes. “He would always say, ‘I’m not going to let my people get nailed for something they were ordered to do,’” Richer said of his former boss. Before the scandal, there were reports that Blackwater had been “aggressively recruiting” Rodriguez. He has since retired from the CIA.

      Scahill,”We Need to Appoint a special prosecutor for Blackwater”,Global Research,Septmber’09

      Linky to follow

      • kindGSL says:

        They got really hot and bothered about the border after I started talking about Native American religion and taking back our country.

        I think the idea of lots of Mexicans with any sort of Native American leadership was really scary to them.

        I always thought the border thing was driven by racism, but now I think they were so paranoid, they were treating it like having their turf invaded by a rival gang. That is how they acted. In other words, they completely and violently over-reacted. Over time their paranoia became reality, a torture to watch.

        They really didn’t care about our finely tuned economy, full of jobs, promise and fresh picked strawberries. No, they were focused on rape and war. I don’t appreciate the Bush administration running the whole country like a drug lord would, but that is exactly what they did.

    • kindGSL says:

      Not a coincidence. Kay Griggs talks about how they go for vulnerable people.

      I have noticed a correlation with innuendo like names and association with this group. It is kind of a weird pattern and I recognized it from my studies of bullying. Just a stray fact I read somewhere about kids with weird names.

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Thank you for the reply. I’m in and out of pocket today,so my replies may be delayed.

        Also, @123

        I have long conjectured that a great portion of the anti-union sentiment from Capitol Hill isn’t about economics,but about the strength in numbers-when people are united for a common cause.

        Methinks the powers that be are frightened of what a taste of power might do to the masses…and who knows WHAT other ideas the regular folk might come up with? /Snark

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Here’s ANOTHER one:

        Blackwater Worldwide – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Raven Development Group‎: The Raven Development Group is a construction management and management subsidiary. It was established in 1999 to design and build Blackwater Worldwide’s …

        Corporate history – Corporate structure – Iraq War involvement
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_Worldwide – Cached – Similar

  39. Starbuck says:

    Three kinds of people in the world:

    People who have committed a crime
    People about to commit a crime
    People thinking about committing a crime

  40. madmatt says:

    Valerie didn’t make 1.5 BILLION out of the deal…nor did she directly kill innocent civilians…take your tiny violin and go back to fascist west michigan!

  41. earlofhuntingdon says:

    All in, I’d say the VF piece was adulatory more than critical, the best possible spin on a difficult client.

  42. Watt4Bob says:

    From the VF article By Adam Ciralsky;

    (Full disclosure: In the 1990s, before becoming a journalist for CBS and then NBC News, I was a C.I.A. attorney. My contract was not renewed, under contentious circumstances.)

    Contentious circumstances, right.

    Like they asked him to become an undercover journalist and he told them to fuck off and decided to become a journalist instead?

    Ex-CIA attorney-turned journalist has to be just about the shadiest resume I’ve seen lately.

    We’re lost in a house of mirrors and it makes complete sense that we can’t believe our lying eyes.

  43. Citizen92 says:


    Interesting angle on Ciralsky. I dug and found a 1998 Salon column on him.

    “Adam Ciraksly, a 26 year old lawyer in the CIA’s Office of General Counsel, was placed on paid leave … when the agency’s polygraphers refused to clear him for an assignment at the White House, where he was recruited to work for Richard Clark, the administration’s new “terrorism czar” at the National Security Counsel.

    Richard.friggin.Clark. He was recruited by Clark, but the Agency said no.

    To me, that irony is thick. Clark was the guy whose hair was on fire over al Qaeda. Clark was the Al Qaeda guy. Clark’s warnings were ignored by Bush’s staff. Those ignored warnings brought us 9/11, the wars, and Prince was a byproduct of that.

    So I say no wonder Ciraksky is interested in this story. Prince’s current existence is Ciralsky’s aspirations from his CIA days, denied.

  44. Citizen92 says:


    Forgot to include why Ciralsky was axed from CIA… He claimed in 1998 that he was swept up in a systematic purge of Jews from the Agency.

    • klynn says:

      Remember 1997 was a stressful time in the Clinton White House and intel agencies. They has a “sweep” due to knowledge of an Israeli mole in the highest level of intel in the US. It would be nice if Ciralsky would put things in context (i.e. Pollard) and stop playing the victim.

        • BillWalker says:

          I suppose the mole could have been IDF volunteer, Talmudic yeshiva student, and son of Irgun terrorist Rahm Emanuel.

          Rahm left right after the Lewinsky scandal broke, I believe.

        • klynn says:

          That is correct. Pollard was just a part of the picture. That time is quite interesting. It was odd how the investigation just went away.

  45. x174 says:

    nice terse analysis: “He’s not revealing what he’s been doing with JSOC.”

    mt, i bet if you sunk your teeth into Xe, you could give Mr. Scahill a run for his money.

    the one thing that strikes me as really odd in the Vanity Fair article is the statement that he will become “a high school teacher.”

    not sure what this highly volatile issue is doing in the article: it doesn’t function effectively as a distraction because it only draws further attention to the doings of Prince (Blackwater & Xe). on the other hand, it sounds so intentionally misleading that it makes his entire story seem fabricated.

    the only thing that i can think of is that it is pointing to the possibility that Prince is gloating in what he believes is the effectiveness of his supposed cover story–to the point of intentionally exposing himself: something adolescents (and certain criminals) are known to do: self-destructively expose themselves.

    perhaps Prince has the emotional IQ of a high-school adolescent

  46. rikkidoglake says:

    Maybe Erik is just channeling apprentice agent Jeff Redfern, who has had similar disclosure problems.

  47. Hmmm says:

    The CIA’s original assassination squad trained at his personal estate outside of DC…

    …he invited Vanity Fair to his training camp in North Carolina, to his Virginia offices…

    …he was running intelligence-gathering operations from a secret location in the United States, remotely coordinating the movements of spies working undercover in one of the so-called Axis of Evil countries…

    Uhrm, is it just me, or does all that sound awful darn Papa-Dick-Secure-Undisclosed-Location-y? Same time frame, no?

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