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Keyword: blackwater

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  • Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings

    10/22/2014 10:59:45 AM PDT · by Oliviaforever · 11 replies
    Fox ^ | 10/22/14
    Four former Blackwater security guards were found guilty Wednesday in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad, and a federal judge ordered them immediately to jail.
  • Blackwater Guards Found Guilty in Iraq Shootings

    10/22/2014 9:33:16 AM PDT · by GIdget2004 · 13 replies
    ABC News ^ | 10/22/2014 | Pete Yost
    A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts for all four former Blackwater security guards charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad. The jury in Washington found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder. The three other three guards — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. The four men were charged with a combined 33 counts in the shootings. The jury had reached verdicts on only part of the charges, but Judge Royce Lamberth allowed them to announce the verdicts on Wednesday that they had reached. The jury is...
  • Blackwater jurors granted request to watch video (8th week of jury deliberations)

    10/20/2014 1:07:00 PM PDT · by Dave346 · 5 replies
    Seattle PI ^ | Monday, October 20, 2014
    <p>WASHINGTON (AP) — Jurors deliberating the fate of four former Blackwater security guards in the shootings of more than 30 Iraqi citizens were granted a request to watch a videotape showing the aftermath of the violence.</p> <p>Monday was the 25th day of deliberations by the jury of eight women and four men. They asked to see the tape, which had been shown during the trial.</p>
  • Let contractors fight the Islamic State, Blackwater founder Erik Prince says

    10/09/2014 9:30:56 AM PDT · by 11th_VA · 40 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 9 Oct 2014 | Dan Lamothe
    As the fight against the Islamic State unfolds, the take of Erik Prince, the founder of the former private security firm Blackwater, is straightforward: If the United States is unwilling to send in ground troops, “let the private sector finish the job.” Prince addressed the subject this week in a little-noticed blog post on the site of his newest security and logistics firm, Frontier Services Group. Prince left Blackwater, with its checkered history in Iraq, including the killing by contractors of 17 civilians in a 2007 shooting, in 2010. The trial of four Blackwater guards involved in the shooting in...
  • Blackwater Jury's Lengthy Talks Bode Well For Defense

    09/28/2014 5:07:38 PM PDT · by Dave346 · 8 replies
    Law 360 ^ | September 25, 2014, 7:11 PM ET | Erica Teichert
    Washington -- Jurors in the murder and manslaughter trial of four Blackwater Worldwide security guards concluded their 15th day of deliberations on Thursday with no verdict in sight, showing that the group of 12 is painstakingly considering the issues of the complex case, which may work in the defense's favor, experts say. For 10 weeks, the Blackwater jury heard testimony alleging that Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and some other members of Blackwater's Raven 23 convoy fired shots in Baghdad's Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, killing 14 Iraqis and injuring 18 others. But the 12-person jury...
  • Blackwater Founder Wants to Fight Ebola, ISIS, and for the GOP to ‘Get Off Their Ass’

    09/20/2014 6:33:11 AM PDT · by McGruff · 26 replies
    THE DAILY BEAST ^ | 9/19/2014 | Asawin Suebsaeng
    Erik Prince says his old private army could have dealt with the Islamic State militants on their own—and that Republicans need to start fighting ‘like we pay them to.’ Erik Prince has a message for ISIS: You’re lucky Blackwater is gone. On Friday night, the controversial founder of the private military company had plenty to say about what the organization he once ran could be doing in the fight against the so-called Islamic State—and also why Republicans need to stop being such losers. “It’s a shame the [Obama] administration crushed my old business, because as a private organization, we could’ve...
  • Blackwater legacy: a faint memory of Nisoor Square [Trial concluded today]

    09/02/2014 5:20:15 PM PDT · by Timber Rattler · 10 replies
    AP, via Stars & Stripes ^ | September 2, 2014 | PETE YOST
    The summer-long trial of four Blackwater security guards in the shootings of more than 30 Iraqis has been a grim retelling of lives snuffed out and the daily life-and-death decisions amid the chaos of war. Wrapping up almost 6,200 miles from Baghdad, the trial is the best hope the survivors and the families of the victims have for accountability for the violence at Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007, in which 14 people were killed. After 10 weeks of arguments and testimony, the case goes to the jury Tuesday.
  • Former Blackwater guard testifies against friends

    07/03/2014 9:53:15 AM PDT · by Dave346 · 14 replies
    TWC Central ^ | July 3, 2014 12:35PM EDT | PETE YOST
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Blackwater security guard Matthew Murphy and now-indicted ex-colleague Paul Slough were friends, having survived the war in Iraq together, creating a bond that under different circumstances might have lasted a lifetime. But from the witness stand in the Blackwater criminal trial this week, Murphy testified that he saw Slough fire at least two grenades into a car where a woman and her son died, two of 14 Iraqis killed on Sept. 16, 2007, in a downtown Baghdad square. In three days of testimony, Murphy became the first Blackwater security guard to testify against his former associates...
  • Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater (Political and Distraction Piece)

    06/30/2014 11:18:46 AM PDT · by BCW · 3 replies
    NYT ^ | 29 JUNE 2014 | JAMES RISEN
    WASHINGTON — Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.
  • Blackwater guards face trial in Iraq shootings

    06/11/2014 7:43:49 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 11, 2014 10:31 AM EDT | Pete Yost
    After years of delays, former Blackwater Worldwide security guards are going on trial in the killings of 14 Iraqis and the wounding of at least 18 others. Over the next few days, a jury of 12 residents from the District of Columbia will be chosen from a pool of 150 people to decide the guards’ fate. …
  • Russia Has Strong Suspicions of US Mercenary Activity in Ukraine – Lavrov

    05/14/2014 12:33:31 PM PDT · by tcrlaf · 57 replies
    Ria ^ | 5-14-2014 | RIA
    Moscow believes information that Western, first and foremost American, mercenaries are operating in Ukraine to be true, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday. “We are waiting for answers, because we … have very strong suspicions that this might be true,” Lavrov said during an English-language interview with Bloomberg. SNIP----- According to the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, around 400 elite commandos of notorious US private security firm Academi are allegedly helping Ukrainian authorities in a punitive operation against federalists in the country’s eastern regions. The newspaper said the Academi mercenaries have taken part in attacks against federalists near Slaviansk,...
  • US private soldiers fighting in Ukraine (Blackwater/Academi)

    05/11/2014 12:05:05 PM PDT · by tcrlaf · 25 replies
    The Hindu Business Line ^ | May 11, 2014 | DPA
    Soldiers from a private US security company with a record of alleged atrocities in Iraq are supporting Ukraine’s security forces in the volatile east of the country, the German newspaper Bild reported Sunday. The report, citing Germany’s federal intelligence agency BND, said 400 of the heavily-armed men employed by the group formerly known as Blackwater were deployed in the vicinity of Lugansk where pro-Russian separatists are seeking self-rule. The BND declined to comment on the report, while the security company -- now known as Academi -- dismissed similar reports in March. Bild reported that according to a BND assessment, US...
  • US Contractor Greystone Denies Its ‘Mercenaries’ in Ukraine

    04/08/2014 4:29:43 PM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 27 replies
    ABC News ^ | 4/8/2014 | Kirit Radia, James Gordon Meek, Lee Ferran and Ali Weinberg
    The Russian government today claimed there are more than 100 American 'mercenaries' from a defense contracting company disguised as Ukrainian troops in the embattled former Soviet nation, a claim the American firm and top U.S. officials deny. ... The latest news relesae from Greystone, as posted on a company blog, is from September 2012, titled "New business in Russia" and simply says the company "provided executive protection services in Russia." In April 2012, the company announced it had been awarded a similar contract in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. ...
  • Has Blackwater been deployed to Ukraine?

    03/13/2014 10:41:38 AM PDT · by Renfield · 9 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 3-8-2014 | Damien Gayle
    peculation was growing last night that American mercenaries had been deployed to Donetsk after videos emerged of unidentified armed men in the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city. At least two videos published on YouTube earlier this week show burly, heavily armed soldiers with no insignia in the city, which has been gripped by pro-Moscow protests. In one of the videos onlookers can be heard shouting 'Blackwater! Blackwater!' as the armed men, who wear no insignia, jog through the streets....
  • Erik Prince: Out of Blackwater and Into China

    01/24/2014 10:34:46 PM PST · by LeoWindhorse · 48 replies
    WSJ ^ | Jan. 24, 2014 | David Feith
    Erik Prince —ex-Navy SEAL, ex-CIA spy, ex-CEO of private-security firm Blackwater —calls himself an "accidental tourist" whose modest business boomed after 9/11, expanded into Iraq and Afghanistan, and then was "blowtorched by politics." To critics and conspiracy theorists, he is a mercenary war-profiteer. To admirers, he's a patriot who has repeatedly answered America's call with bravery and creativity. Now, sitting in a boardroom above Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, he explains his newest title, acquired this month: chairman of Frontier Services Group, an Africa-focused security and logistics company with intimate ties to China's largest state-owned conglomerate, Citic Group. Beijing has titanic...
  • George Soros: Media Mogul (Lefty Businessman Spends Millions Funding Journalism)

    08/19/2011 8:23:22 AM PDT · by markomalley · 19 replies
    Media Research Center ^ | August 15, 2011 | Dan Gainor and Iris Somberg
    On April 8, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi headlined a Boston conference on ''media reform.'' She was joined by four other congressmen, a senator, two FCC commissioners, a Nobel laureate and numerous liberal journalists. The 2,500-person event was sponsored by a group called Free Press, one of more than 180 different media-related organizations that receives money from liberal billionaire George Soros. Soros, who first made a name for himself in investing and currency trading, now makes his name in politics and policy. Since the 2004 election, the controversial financier has used his influence and billions to push a laundry list...
  • Gun confiscation: How will it start?

    01/02/2013 4:03:29 PM PST · by rustyboots · 131 replies
    With all the recent talk about gun control, the high level of ammo/firearm purchasing and the just demonstrated lack of GOP gonads on fiscal matters, I started to wonder just how fast they would roll over for DiFi? But I guess the real question would be; If Difi got her wish on her new bill, how would they start if millions resisted? Would the government realize that there wasn't going to be a cheerful obedience to the new law and just let millions get away with this resistance? If there decided to go after gun owners who refused to register,...
  • Chaos At The State Dept?

    09/15/2012 9:35:44 AM PDT · by opentalk · 71 replies
    Powerline ^ | Septembe 15, 2012 | Steven Hayward
    I spoke with a well-placed journalist last night whose sources describe the situation at the State Department in one word: “Chaos.” The working assumption is that several American embassies may have been penetrated, or are vulnerable to attack, because so many of them rely on local residents for staff needs at the embassy, and as such may be in a position to breach security if they have been recruited by Al Qaida. ...The consulate in Benghazi was an interim facility, with only a standard door lock for security, and worse, Ambassador Stevens was traveling with only a light security detail,...
  • State Department Denies Holding Up Blackwater Libya Contract

    09/14/2012 1:51:33 PM PDT · by Daffynition · 35 replies
    BuzzFeed.com ^ | September 14, 2012 | Michael Hastings
    The State Department is denying charges it held up a security contract to protect the U.S. Ambassador in volatile post-conflict Libya. On an appearance last night on Piers Morgan Tonight , former Romney and United Nations spokesperson Ric Grenell said he’d been told by State Department officials that Academi “was set to go in and provide security for the Ambassador in Libya.” “They have been waiting,” Grenell said. “They've done some preliminary evaluations, but for two months, they have been waiting while the State Department decides to get the paperwork right." A second source with ties to Foggy Bottom confirmed...
  • US Mercenary “Took Part” in Gaddafi Killing; Sent to Assist Syrian opposition

    03/24/2012 5:15:32 AM PDT · by Makana · 5 replies
    Alakhbar English ^ | March 19, 2012 | Yazan al-Saadi
    US government officials requested that an American private security firm contact Syrian opposition figures in Turkey to see “how they can help in regime change,” the CEO of one of these firms told Stratfor in a company email obtained by WikiLeaks and Al-Akhbar. James F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the Chief Executive of SCG International, a private security firm with experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. In what appears to be his first email to Stratfor, Smith stated that his “background is CIA” and his company is comprised of “former DOD [Department of Defense], CIA and former...
  • Blackwater suit ends 7 years after Fallujah deaths

    01/06/2012 1:12:09 PM PST · by SmithL · 2 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 1/6/12 | EMERY P. DALESIO
    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Days after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, a federal appeals court ended a lawsuit over an episode that produced one of the more disturbing images of the war: the grisly killings of four Blackwater security contractors and the hanging of a pair of their bodies from a bridge in Fallujah. Families of the victims reached a confidential settlement with the company's corporate successor, Arlington, Va.-based Academi, and the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit last week. The settlement was first reported Friday by The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va. The deal ends the...
  • Blackwater founder Erik Prince enters video game business

    09/13/2011 8:15:08 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 4 replies
    CNN ^ | September 12, 2011 | John Gaudiosi
    <p>"Blackwater" was developed by Zombie Studios and overseen by former Navy SEAL and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.</p> <p>More and more, today's video game business is driven by huge military shooters like Activision's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" and Electronic Arts' "Battlefield 3."</p>
  • Jury rules in favor of Blackwater in lawsuit

    08/05/2011 4:34:04 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 8/5/11 | MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press
    A jury has ruled in favor of the security firm once known as Blackwater and rejected two former employees' claims that the company overbilled the State Department for its work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Red Lines

    06/12/2011 5:21:20 PM PDT · by Cindy · 17 replies
    INTERNET-HAGANAH.com ^ | June 12, 2011 | INTERNET-HAGANAH.com
    SNIPPET: "There are some good reasons for allowing at least a few jihadi forums to operate." SNIPPET: "However, there are limits to our ability to exploit all the intelligence opportunities a forum may present. To put it another way, jihadi forums contribute to future terrorism in ways that are unpredictable and/or beyond our ability to control. This would be the view held by those other government agencies who prefer to seek out and destroy forums and to take down forum activists. For my part, I can live with keeping online those forums we have sufficient access to monitor and resources...
  • Government has close the operational center of Black water & CIA in Peshawar

    05/31/2011 8:36:34 PM PDT · by musarratullah · 10 replies
    www.allvoices.com ^ | 1 june 2011 | musarrat ullah jan
    Peshawar, June 1, 2011, Operational base of CIA and Black Water at warsak road Peshawar has been close and Pakistani official gives dead line of one week to the foreigner, whose run the Base for activities. According to sources the base was start three years back with the support of Pakistan government, where they train frontier constabulary and other officer. Source confirms that operational base was start for the search for terrorist groups; monitor the activities of Taliban in region. CIA and Black water run the base and local supporting staffs also work here. According to sources base closing is...
  • Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder

    05/14/2011 9:59:04 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 49 replies
    The New York Times ^ | Saturday, May 14, 2011 | MARK MAZZETTI and EMILY B. HAGER
    Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, has a new project. ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand. The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million...
  • Sons of Blackwater Open Corporate-Spying Shop

    05/12/2011 4:48:12 PM PDT · by bananaman22 · 9 replies
    Washingtonian ^ | 12/05/2010 | Shane Harris
    From the team that brought you Blackwater and the pre-9/11 counterterrorism program Able Danger comes “Jellyfish Intelligence.” That’s the name a group of former US intelligence officials and executives from the controversial security firm have chosen for a new private outfit that offers “predictive intelligence” for Fortune 500 corporations and senior-level executives and that aims to “protect human lives and their business interests throughout the world. The company blends traditional models of a strategic consulting firm with what it claims is an extensive network of human sources—people who, in an official context, would be called spies. Jellyfish employs a network...
  • U.S. court reinstates Blackwater Iraq shooting case

    04/22/2011 3:11:57 PM PDT · by OldDeckHand · 7 replies
    Reuters ^ | 04/22/2011 | James Vicini
    (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge erred in dismissing all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007, an appeals court ruled on Friday. The unanimous three-judge panel reinstated the charges and sent the case back to the judge for more proceedings, handing a victory to the U.S. Justice Department in a high-profile prosecution dating to 2008. The five guards were charged with 14 counts of manslaughter, 20 counts of attempt to commit manslaughter and one weapons violation count over a Baghdad shooting that outraged Iraqis and strained ties between the two countries.
  • Former Blackwater Security Firm Gets New Leaders in Image Makeover

    03/09/2011 11:22:43 PM PST · by deks · 9 replies
    Fox News ^ | March 9, 2011 | Justin Fishel
    A retired admiral and short-lived nominee to head the Defense Department has been named the director of the nation's largest and most controversial private security force. Retired Adm. Bobby Ray Inman, 79, who's legendary intelligence career includes serving as the vice director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, director of the National Security Agency, and most recently as deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will lead the board of directors for Xe Services, formerly Blackwater USA. The North Carolina-based firm best known for providing security in Iraq and Afghanistan is trying to reshape its image since being acquired by USTC...
  • Blackwater Founder Is Said to Back African Mercenaries

    01/20/2011 4:31:05 PM PST · by Pan_Yan · 9 replies
    New York Times ^ | January 20, 2011 | MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT
    WASHINGTON — Erik Prince, the founder of the international security giant Blackwater Worldwide, is secretly backing an effort by a controversial South African mercenary firm to insert itself into Somalia’s bloody civil war by protecting government leaders, training Somali militias, and battling pirates and Islamic militants there, according to Western and African officials. ... His efforts to wade into the chaos of Somalia appears to be Mr. Prince’s latest endeavor to remain at the center of a campaign against Islamic radicalism in some of the world’s most war-ravaged corners. ... Saracen International has yet to formally announce its plans in...
  • America's New Mercenaries

    12/16/2010 9:31:26 AM PST · by WOBBLY BOB · 22 replies · 1+ views
    Daily Beast ^ | 12-15-10 | Tim Shorrock
    As American commanders meet this week for the Afghanistan review, Obama is hiring military contractors at a rate that would make Bush blush.
  • Need some input please - re: Blackwater and Greystone (Vanity)

    10/17/2010 10:32:43 AM PDT · by 30Moves · 1 replies
    10/17/10 | 30Moves
    Need some employment advice (vanity)
  • 8 private security firms banned in Afghanistan

    10/04/2010 7:16:42 AM PDT · by Virginia Ridgerunner · 12 replies
    CNN International ^ | October 3, 2010 | CNN Wire Staff
    Afghanistan has banned eight private security firms, including the company formerly known as Blackwater, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai told reporters Sunday. Among the companies whose operations are being dissolved are Xe (formerly known as Blackwater), NCL, FHI, White Eagles and other small companies, spokesman Waheed Omer said. Both international and domestic companies were affected. Weapons and ammunition belonging to these companies has been seized, he said.
  • Germany’s Imam Mamoun Darkazanli: Al-Qaeda's Alleged Financier and Logistician

    08/28/2010 12:52:03 AM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 7 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 8/27/2010 | Derek Henry Flood
    Police in Hamburg shut down the notorious al-Quds mosque, renamed the Taiba mosque in 2008, led by German-Syrian national and voluntary imam Mamoun Darkazanli. Darkazanli (a.k.a. Abu Ilyas al-Suri) has been a suspected al-Qaeda operative, primarily as a financier and logistician, in the European Union for close to two decades. Long active in al-Qaeda circles, Darkazanli first surfaced on the radar of Western intelligence agencies when he purportedly helped procure a cargo ship named “Jennifer” for Osama bin Laden as early as 1993 (Hamburger Abendblatt, October 16, 2004). Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt (BKA- Federal Criminal Police Office) admitted that it had been...
  • Code Felon? Code Pink's Medea Benjamin Threatens Wife of Xe/Blackwater Founder Erik Prince

    08/25/2010 7:17:53 AM PDT · by kristinn · 45 replies
    Big Peace ^ | Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | Kristinn Taylor and Andrea Shea King
    Susan “Medea” Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-American, pro-terrorist Obama and Jerry Brown-funding group Code Pink, has publicly threatened the wife of Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) founder Erik Prince for having her arrested for trespassing at the Prince family home in McLean, Virginia on Friday.In an article first published Monday at the leftist site Alternet, Benjamin wrote about the incident at the Prince home where she and other Code Pink activists went to protest Erik Prince for recently relocating to Abu Dhabi. Benjamin ends the article with a threat urging Mrs. Prince to drop the charges or face further harassment.Will her...
  • Code Pink's Medea Benjamin Arrested After Entering Home Xe/Blackwater Founder (Pics and Video)

    08/21/2010 7:38:47 PM PDT · by kristinn · 27 replies
    Big Government ^ | Saturday, August 21, 2010 | Kristinn Taylor and Andrea Shea King
    Medea Benjamin “call(s) for help” before she is arrested for trespassing at the McLean, Va., home of Erik Prince, August 20, 2010. Photo by Code Pink. Terrorist supporter and Code Pink co-founder Susan “Medea” Benjamin was arrested Friday evening at the McLean, Virginia home of Xe Services founder (formerly Blackwater) Erik Prince, according to a press release posted by Code Pink. Prince was not home, having left the United States for Abu Dhabi in the face of mounting legal problems. Inexplicably, Benjamin was let into the house, according to the press release. However, when Benjamin revealed the true nature of...
  • Code Pink's Medea Benjamin Arrested at Home of Blackwater/Xe Founder Erik Prince

    08/20/2010 8:44:31 PM PDT · by kristinn · 49 replies · 1+ views
    Friday, August 20, 2010 | Kristinn
    Terrorist support and Code Pink co-founder Susan "Medea" Benjamin was arrested tonight at the home of Xe founder (formerly Blackwater) Erik Prince, according to a press release posted by Code Pink.Erik Prince was not home, having left the United States for Abu Dhabi. Inexplicably, Benjamin was let in the house according to the press release. When Benjamin revealed the true nature of her visit Mrs. Prince threw her out of the house.CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin and other DC area activists were detained at the home of Blackwater Founder Erik Prince. The group dropped by to deliver a letter urging Prince...
  • U.S. to Double Civilian Force in Iraq After Withdrawal [ Obama to double Private Security Forces ]

    08/18/2010 10:24:16 PM PDT · by NoLibZone · 10 replies · 1+ views
    Fox News ^ | Aug 18 2010 | News Core and Fox News
    As the last brigade of U.S. combat troops began to leave Iraq Thursday the Obama administration planned to double the number of private security guards it has in the country to fill the void. President Barack Obama had imposed an end-of-the-month deadline for the pullout -- and "The Last Patrol," which included members of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, crossed the border into Kuwait in the early hours of Thursday local time. Obama called it a milestone in the war, but the widely-publicized exit of the Stryker soldiers Thursday does not entirely end the fighting mission as there are...
  • Officials: Karzai Blindsided U.S. Embassy With Contractor-Ban Announcement

    08/17/2010 6:23:01 PM PDT · by Pan_Yan · 6 replies
    Newsweek ^ | August 17, 2010 | Mark Hosenball
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai failed to give the American Embassy in Kabul advance notice that he was about to issue an edict ordering private security companies operating in Afghanistan to fold up shop within four months. Two senior U.S. officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, tell Declassified that embassy officials had been talking for months with Karzai about what his government could do to clean up corruption problems involving such contractors, particularly contractors operating in the south of the country, whose important duties include providing security for official and private supply convoys. But the officials say that...
  • US backs Afghan plan to ditch security contractors

    08/16/2010 2:32:37 AM PDT · by LeoWindhorse · 2 replies
    AP ^ | Aug. 15 , 2010 | HEIDI VOGT
    KABUL, Afghanistan – The U.S. military supports the Afghan government's plan to dissolve private security companies and is tightening oversight of its own armed contractors in the interim, an official said Monday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called repeatedly for banning private security companies, saying they undermine government security forces. Contractors perform duties ranging from guarding supply convoys to personal security details for diplomats and businessmen. A presidential spokesman said last week a deadline to abolish private security contractors was imminent. In his inauguration speech in November, Karzai said he wanted to close down both foreign and domestic security contractors...
  • Remember Blackwater? (VANITY; 1st post on my new blog...Obama Blackwater hypocrisy)

    06/19/2010 4:01:56 PM PDT · by fulleronair · 50 replies · 616+ views
    This Political Mind ^ | June 19, 2010 | Scott Fuller
    They’re still around. Being funded in Afghanistan by the State Department (that would be President Obama’s State Department), as a matter of fact. After private Blackwater contractors opened fire in Iraq and killed 14 civilians in September 2007, Obama jumped on it. He went so far as to say his fixes for Blackwater specifically were the the toughest reforms of any Presidential candidate.
  • Urgent News ... Abduction [of the] Family [of] Brother Faisal Shehzad by Black Water

    05/05/2010 12:40:01 PM PDT · by harwood · 84 replies · 3,618+ views
    ..."abduction [of the] family [of] hero captive Faisal Shehzad accused of trying to blow up New York.."
  • Secret Blackwater Tape

    05/04/2010 3:03:33 PM PDT · by Bad~Rodeo · 26 replies · 2,183+ views
    newsoxy ^ | May 4, 2010 | Rob Adams
    Secret Blackwater tape might not be all it's hyped up to be about Erik Prince. A few media outlets claim they have a secret audio recording that contains 3,500 words made by Prince. It is a rare item because the Blackwater owner has always tried to ban journalists from his public speeches.Blackwater has dealt with a lot of controversy during the past five years. Erik Prince is the reclusive owner of the special operations company. He rarely gives public speeches and when he does he attempts to ban audio recording and videotaping. One media outlet claims they have obtained an...
  • Navy SEALs 2, PCBS 0!

    04/25/2010 12:50:26 PM PDT · by nhungerford · 14 replies · 726+ views
    David Horowitz's NewsReal Blog ^ | 4/25/10 | David Forsmark
    In a story you won’t see on MSNBC, for the second time in 2 days, a Navy SEAL was acquitted of charges in the infamous terrorist-with-a-fat-lip case. After a day-long trial, a Navy judge took 2 hours to come back with a verdict of not guilty of dereliction of duty for Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe of Yorktown, Va. No word on what the judge did for the other hour and 58 minutes he spent in chambers after giving the evidence the consideration it deserved. The judge, a model of decorum, managed not to use the words “insane,” “bulls**t,”...
  • Free All The SEALs From Travesty

    04/23/2010 7:34:19 PM PDT · by raptor22 · 163+ views
    BlackwaterWatch ^ | April 23, 201010
    Abed was the mastermind behind the killing, burning and mutilation of four American contractors working for Blackwater USA in Fallujah, Iraq, in March 2004. …
  • US clears 2nd Navy SEAL in Iraqi abuse case

    04/23/2010 4:23:11 PM PDT · by Red in Blue PA · 47 replies · 1,611+ views
    Foxnews ^ | 4/23/2010 | Staff
    BAGHDAD (AP) — A U.S. military judge on Friday cleared a Navy SEAL of any wrongdoing in the alleged beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American contractors. The Blackwater contractors' burned bodies were dragged through the streets and two were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates river in the former insurgent hotbed of Fallujah in an attack that shocked Americans and galvanized U.S. support for the war. After a daylong trial and fewer than two hours considering the evidence, Navy Judge Cmdr. Tierny Carlos found Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe...
  • Free All The SEALs From Travesty

    04/22/2010 4:39:06 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 12 replies · 452+ views
    Investors.com ^ | April 22, 2010 | INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY Staff
    <p>Military Justice: The first of three Navy SEALs charged with abusing a captured jihadist has been cleared. Why has this administration taken the word of terrorists and let American heroes twist in the wind?</p> <p>The acquittal of Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas, 29, of Blue Island, Ill., by a six-member U.S. military jury in Baghdad on Thursday is good news and the correct verdict.</p>
  • Feds indict former Blackwater president, 4 others

    04/16/2010 10:44:28 PM PDT · by South40 · 10 replies · 478+ views
    San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | 4/16/2010 | Mike Baker (AP)
    RALEIGH, N.C.— The former president of Blackwater Worldwide was charged Friday with using straw purchases to stockpile automatic weapons at the security firm and filing false documents to cover up gifts given to the king of Jordan. Gary Jackson, 52, who left the company last year in a management shake-up, was charged along with four of his former colleagues, according to the federal indictment.
  • APNewsBreak: Feds indict ex-Blackwater president

    04/16/2010 8:25:39 PM PDT · by USALiberty · 24 replies · 1,001+ views
    State-controlled Associated Press ^ | Fri Apr 16 | By MIKE BAKER
    The former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former officials at the embattled security firm were indicted Friday on federal weapons charges, partially the result of a raid two years ago by agents that rounded up 22 weapons, including AK-47s. The indictment issued Friday charges Gary Jackson, who left the company last year in a management shakeup, along with four other former workers. The charges against Jackson include a conspiracy to violate firearms laws, false statements and possession of an unregistered firearm.
  • Ex-Blackwater president indicted on firearms charges

    04/16/2010 3:12:46 PM PDT · by decimon · 9 replies · 396+ views
    BBC ^ | Apr 16, 2010 | Unknown
    The former president of the US private security firm, Blackwater Worldwide, and four other former workers have been indicted on federal weapons charges.Gary Jackson, who resigned last year, denies conspiracy to violate firearms laws, making false statements and possession of an unregistered firearm. Also indicted were the former general counsel and executive vice-president. The charges are partially the result of a raid in 2008 by federal agents who seized 22 weapons, including 17 AK-47s. Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services in 2009, two years after its guards were involved in a shooting incident in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi...