Jeremy Scahill has a new piece on Blackwater that is fairly incendiary.
Among other things (I’ll have more to say later), he reveals that Blackwater provided Monsanto with security services in 2008-2009.
According to internal Total Intelligence communications, biotech giant Monsanto—the world’s largest supplier of genetically modified seeds—hired the firm in 2008–09. The relationship between the two companies appears to have been solidified in January 2008 when Total Intelligence chair Cofer Black traveled to Zurich to meet with Kevin Wilson, Monsanto’s security manager for global issues.
After the meeting in Zurich, Black sent an e-mail to other Blackwater executives, including to Prince and Prado at their Blackwater e-mail addresses. Black wrote that Wilson “understands that we can span collection from internet, to reach out, to boots on the ground on legit basis protecting the Monsanto [brand] name…. Ahead of the curve info and insight/heads up is what he is looking for.” Black added that Total Intelligence “would develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto.” Black also noted that Monsanto was concerned about animal rights activists and that they discussed how Blackwater “could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally.” Black wrote that initial payments to Total Intelligence would be paid out of Monsanto’s “generous protection budget” but would eventually become a line item in the company’s annual budget. He estimated the potential payments to Total Intelligence at between $100,000 and $500,000. According to documents, Monsanto paid Total Intelligence $127,000 in 2008 and $105,000 in 2009. [my emphasis]
Click through for the denial Monsanto’s Wilson gave to Scahill: basically, he denied that Monsanto used Blackwater to target animal rights activists, but did use them for “scanning the content of activist blogs and websites.” Not to mention work in Asia and Latin America.
It’s bad enough to have PA’s contractor developing intelligence reports on anti-drilling activists to send to lobbyists. It’s yet another thing when Blackwater’s thugs are tracking those activists.