President Dwight Eisenhower once said "When Rome went out and hired mercenary soldiers, Rome fell." (Source: [Time magazine, April 2, 1951 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,814485,00.html])
The company called Blackwater USA is a private military company, a.k.a. mercenaries. The firm is active around the planet, including in Iraq, where four of its employees were burned to death and hung from a bridge in Fallujah. Blackwater has hired former special prosecutor Ken Starr to defend it from claims by the four men's families.
Blackwater founder, Erik Prince, claims to be a Christian but shows none of the traits promoted by the faith.
Some of Blackwater's other senior executives include:
- Cofer Black, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA
- Robert Richer, former deputy director of operations at the CIA
- Joseph Schmitz, former Pentagon inspector general
- Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Blackwater employees illegally smuggled weapons into Iraq, which they then sold to insurgents. (Source: Feds probe Blackwater links to arms smuggling, MSNBC.com, Sept. 21, 2007)
- As of 2008 Blackwater has started to claim they are scaling back their relationship with the US military.
- Blackwater is a technical name for shit (I shit you not).
- Blackwater USA - official website
- Bush's Private "SS": How is he getting away with it? - DailyKos diary
- Blackwater USA Does Exactly As It Pleases - DailyKos diary
- Synopsis & Book Review: Jeremy Scahill's "Blackwater"
- Book Review: Jeremy Scahill's "Blackwater" - DailyKos diary
- America's shadow army in Iraq, By Jeremy Scahill, Salon.com, May 1, 2007.
- A little bit about Blackwater USA - good info on Erik Prince
- Iraq revokes security contractor license after shootout - the Iraqi Interior Ministry pulled Blackwater's licence after its employees opened fire into a crowd of civilians.
- Maliki blasts Blackwater firm for other incidents, by Leila Fadel, McClatchy, Sept. 19, 2007.
- Does Blackwater Play By Its Own Rules in Iraq?, by Larry Kaplow and Michael Hastings, Newsweek, October 15, 2007.
- The Man Behind Blackwater - A profile of Erik Prince, By Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, Newsweek, October 22, 2007.
- Blackwater, The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army By Jeremy Scahill
- "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror", by Robert Young Pelton