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C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones (Blackwater helps run the CIA Predators)
New York Times ^ | August 20, 2009 | JAMES RISEN and MARK MAZZETTI

Posted on 08/23/2009 5:43:27 AM PDT by tlb

WASHINGTON — From a secret division at its North Carolina headquarters, the company formerly known as Blackwater has assumed a role in Washington’s most important counterterrorism program: the use of remotely piloted drones to kill Al Qaeda’s leaders, according to government officials and current and former employees.

The division’s operations are carried out at hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the company’s contractors assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft, work previously performed by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency. They also provide security at the covert bases, the officials said.

The role of the company in the Predator program highlights the degree to which the C.I.A. now depends on outside contractors to perform some of the agency’s most important assignments. And it illustrates the resilience of Blackwater, now known as Xe (pronounced Zee) Services, though most people in and outside the company still refer to it as Blackwater.

Blackwater employees assigned to the Predator bases receive training at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to learn how to load Hellfire missiles and laser-guided smart bombs on the drones, according to current and former employees, who asked not to be identified for fear of upsetting the company.

The C.I.A. has for several years operated Predator drones out of a remote base in Shamsi, Pakistan, but has secretly added a second site at an air base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, several current and former government and company officials said. The existence of the Predator base in Jalalabad has not previously been reported.

Blackwater is not involved in selecting targets or actual strikes. The targets are selected by the C.I.A., and employees at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., pull the trigger remotely.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; blackwater; gwot; pakistan; predators; uav
More and more Blackwater sounds like a fun place to work. I wonder if they are hiring.
1 posted on 08/23/2009 5:43:28 AM PDT by tlb
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To: tlb

Keewwwwll!!


2 posted on 08/23/2009 5:45:50 AM PDT by Carl LaFong (Experts say experts should be ignored.)
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To: tlb

Whatever it is, if the NYT is against it, I’m for it.


3 posted on 08/23/2009 5:54:21 AM PDT by billhilly
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To: tlb

If Xe (Blackwater) has the contract you can be assured it is being done well.


4 posted on 08/23/2009 6:00:46 AM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: tlb

At least Blackwater is doing it for money. Organizations like the New York Times and the entire liberal media establishments are doing Obama’s work against his enemies for free.


5 posted on 08/23/2009 6:01:15 AM PDT by no_go_lie
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To: no_go_lie

“but has secretly added a second site at an air base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, several current and former government and company officials said. The existence of the Predator base in Jalalabad has not previously been reported.”

NYT,,,, bas-turds!


6 posted on 08/23/2009 6:16:16 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: tlb
yes, this is good news.....dam the torpedoes full speed ahead.....
7 posted on 08/23/2009 6:17:20 AM PDT by thinking
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To: tlb
I don't really care who does it, just that it's getting done. And this fact really amazes me, that under this administration we're apparently doing more of this, and more effectively, that under the last one.

Don't bore me with details of how, especially not in advance, just do it and then tell me what you can without giving away any info that will lessen the effectiveness of the next mission!

I like the fact it gives the organization doing it such great plausible deniablity! Nope wasn't us. Oh no, must have been someone else, we were all at a party.

8 posted on 08/23/2009 6:18:59 AM PDT by jwparkerjr (God Bless America, and wake us up while you're about it!)
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To: tlb
I wonder if they are hiring.

My wife's cousin works for Blackwater. He was in Kosovo first for a couple of years. Then, they sent him to Iraq. We saw him on the news several times standing behind Rumsfeld and other VIP's. Haven't talked to him in a while, but I asked him once and he said they are always hiring qualified people. They make very good money, too, as evidenced by the house in Raleigh he bought with cash, the tricked out Harley he bought with cash and the Porche Boxter he bought with cash.....

9 posted on 08/23/2009 6:23:35 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: tlb

The new york slimes, again revealing classified information designed to hurt the war effort.


10 posted on 08/23/2009 6:27:36 AM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck. (Let them eat arugula!))
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To: tlb

The NYT has been going after Blackwater hard lately. They seem upset that BW is effective at killing terrorists.


11 posted on 08/23/2009 6:34:52 AM PDT by AAABEST (And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it)
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To: tlb

There hasn’t been a Security company named “Blackwater” for some time now.


12 posted on 08/23/2009 6:40:03 AM PDT by Old Retired Army Guy (tHE)
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To: Old Retired Army Guy
There hasn’t been a Security company named “Blackwater” for some time now.

The name still raises the hairs on libs necks, though. I have several Blackwater t-shirts and I like to wear them whenever we go into town to see a movie or attend a concert. Doing so always elicits snide comments from Libtards.....just doing my part to raise their blood pressure, dontchaknow.......

13 posted on 08/23/2009 6:45:24 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: tlb
load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft

The payload for a Predator IS 450 POUNDS?

http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/predator/

14 posted on 08/23/2009 6:50:44 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: Thermalseeker

That’s exactly why this columnist continues to use the old name. If he used their current name, nobody would pay attention. I wonder if he has forgotten that it was four Blackwater employees who were slaughtered and thier bodies hung on a bridge in Fallujah a few years ago.


15 posted on 08/23/2009 6:53:26 AM PDT by Old Retired Army Guy (tHE)
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To: Old Retired Army Guy
That’s exactly why this columnist continues to use the old name. If he used their current name, nobody would pay attention.

Yeah, the media has put so much time and effort into demonizing Blackwater they have to continue to use the name. Nobody would know who they were talking about if the article said "XE Services, LLC" blah, blah, blah. The good news is you can still get Blackwater caps, shirts and sweatshirts from their pro shop if you want to do your part to piss of the braindead Leftists. It is highly entertaining.

I wonder if he has forgotten that it was four Blackwater employees who were slaughtered and thier bodies hung on a bridge in Fallujah a few years ago.

Slimeball probably has a picture of it hanging on his refrigerator....

16 posted on 08/23/2009 7:01:46 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Stop the insanity - Flush Congress!)
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To: Eagles6

17 posted on 08/23/2009 7:05:14 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

Guess when TSHTF it should be assumed B W is on ‘our’ side.
Don’t suppose they would go with highest bidder do you?
Just likes Pols, use our taxes to hire mercenaries to keep us ‘in line’...<: <: <:
Would imagine reason they are doing CIA ‘work’ is that regs prohibit the Govt from doing it? Also, aren’t the majority of BW former SpecOps Personel?
Remember in VN LtCol John Paul Vann got so ticked at the ‘handcuffs’ US Army forced him to work under that he went with USIA and got some ‘real work’ done?


18 posted on 08/23/2009 7:13:23 AM PDT by xrmusn ((6/98 )VOTE THE INCUMBENTS OUT)
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To: DUMBGRUNT
load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft

The payload for a Predator IS 450 POUNDS?

http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/predator/


From deeper inside the link you provided....

The MQ-9 Reaper has an operational ceiling of 50,000ft, a maximum internal payload of 800lb and external payload over 3,000lb. It can carry up to four Hellfire II anti-armour missiles and two laser-guided bombs (GBU-12 or EGBU-12) and 500lb GBU-38 JDAM (joint direct attack munition). In May 2008, a USAF Reaper successfully test dropped four Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II 500lb bombs, which have laser and GPS guidance.

GBU-12’s are 500 lb Paveway II laser guided bombs.

19 posted on 08/23/2009 7:14:37 AM PDT by az_gila (AZ - need less democrats - one Governor down... more to go.)
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To: tlb

Sounds like the NY Times are those folks Obama referred to as being “all wee wee’d up”.


20 posted on 08/23/2009 7:17:03 AM PDT by McGruff (I have great health insurance and so does every member of Congress - Obama)
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To: DUMBGRUNT
That's what the manufacturer says.

General Atomics Predator

21 posted on 08/23/2009 7:17:55 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Good I am glad that they did that.

Blackwater is a company that all Americans should be proud of.

22 posted on 08/23/2009 7:27:03 AM PDT by troy McClure
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To: tlb

NY is on a witch hunt for Xe (Blackwater).


23 posted on 08/23/2009 7:46:31 AM PDT by dervish (I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself)
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To: DUMBGRUNT

“load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft
The payload for a Predator IS 450 POUNDS?”

I think they may be thinking “Predator family,” of which the MQ-9 REAPER is one member. Reaper’s payload being far, far greater.


24 posted on 08/23/2009 7:55:21 AM PDT by RavenATB
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To: tlb
I'm amused at the Times’ take on who these Blackwater employees are. These guys didn't exactly step away from a “greeter” job at Wal-Mart and suddenly appear on the battlefield.
25 posted on 08/23/2009 7:58:01 AM PDT by RavenATB
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To: RavenATB

I’ve been a BW contractor 3+ years. I like the company, job , and the people. Best company I’ve ever worked for.


26 posted on 08/23/2009 9:14:29 AM PDT by RGRX
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To: tlb
I believe Blackwater is almost entirely comprised of former military personnel who are contracted by the company and paid very well for their efforts.
27 posted on 08/23/2009 9:15:33 AM PDT by R_Kangel (`.`)
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To: DUMBGRUNT
That's why they carry Hellfires, although I do think that 450 lbs is the internal/optics payload. However: (from your link)

The MQ-9 Reaper has an operational ceiling of 50,000ft, a maximum internal payload of 800lb and external payload over 3,000lb. It can carry up to four Hellfire II anti-armour missiles and two laser-guided bombs (GBU-12 or EGBU-12) and 500lb GBU-38 JDAM (joint direct attack munition). In May 2008, a USAF Reaper successfully test dropped four Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II 500lb bombs, which have laser and GPS guidance.

The article, being from the Slimes, probably didn't distiguish between the Predator (MQ-1) and the Reaper(MQ-9).

MQ-9 Reaper

MQ-1 Predator

28 posted on 08/23/2009 11:57:43 AM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: tlb

This is to remind the CIA and NYT to SHUT UP!!!! SHUT UP!!!! SHUT UP!!!!


29 posted on 08/23/2009 12:00:06 PM PDT by NordP (If big government were a martini - BHO is just... the vermouth. (Grover Norquist, A4P 8/15))
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