August 29, 2006

The Blackwater Files
Most readers are familiar with the Blackwater Security company, mainly because it's the biggest mercenary security force in Iraq. Blackwater got an unwanted boost in name recognition in 2004, after it sent four of its men into the horrific Fallujah ambush driving an unarmored car. The image of the men's charred corpses hanging from a local bridge is now an icon of the early days of the U.S. occupation.

The company's reputation has been further tarnished by its taking $100 million more from the State Department than Foggy Bottom can justify. Oh -- and for clearing over $30 million more in taxpayer monies to "protect" FEMA rebuilding operations in New Orleans.

So how did the controversial company get its start? The old-fashioned way, a new book reports: by finagling a secret "no-bid" contract from a close friend in the CIA.

According to Robert Young Pelton, author of the forthcoming book, "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror," Blackwater's first contract was a secret, no-bid $5 million deal with the CIA, with apparent assistance from the agency's #3 man, who was a family friend of Blackwater's founder...
More at TPMmuckraker.


Blog Archive