what was done and by whom at the CIA under the Bush administration, people are remaining tight-lipped State, National, International, posted by Blackwater XE, a resident of San Ramon, on Aug 20, 2009 at 9:26 pm
As you quite well know, Eric Prince, founder, President and CEO of Blackwater, is a Religious Christian Master Of War, with Major ties to the US Government. Can you say “Ethnic Cleansing”? CIA-Gov and Price can, will and do…
Well connected private military contractors are the ONLY winner in the "war on terror" people!
Analysis: Blackwater has longstanding ties to CIA
Suzanne Simons is an executive producer at CNN as well as author of the book "Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the Business of War" (Collins, June 2009).
(CNN) -- The private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater has held classified contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency for nearly a decade, but an allegation that the contractor was part of a secret CIA program to kill al Qaeda operatives -- if true -- would take the relationship to a whole new level.
The CIA hired the private security firm Blackwater USA in 2004 to work on a covert program aimed at targeting and potentially killing top al Qaeda leaders, a source familiar with the program told CNN.
Former company executives deny knowing about the program. Current leaders of the company did not return calls to CNN. The CIA won't comment on classified contracts.
The classified program, canceled by CIA director Leon Panetta earlier this year, was part of a broader effort inside the CIA to develop the capacity to conduct training, surveillance and possible covert operations overseas, according to the source. The program was outsourced to contractors to "put some distance" between the effort and the U.S. government.
Other contractors were brought in for other parts of the program, another source said, and Blackwater's involvement ended by mid-2006.
But one thing is clear: The company that renamed itself Xe earlier this year in an effort to escape controversy surrounding a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead has had a long relationship with the world's most famous spy agency.
When Erik Prince first opened his Blackwater training facility in the late '90s, his clients included special forces teams and law enforcement agencies from around the country. Prince had expressed frustration with the training facilities he visited during his time as a Navy SEAL, and a sizable inheritance allowed him the financial freedom to retire from the military and try his hand at creating a better facility.
His first clients were indeed SEAL teams. But they also included teams from other government agencies, including the CIA. Case officers and protection details, the people generally accustomed to working in the shadows, began showing up for training on the shooting range or the driving track in a rural part of North Carolina.
When then-CIA Executive Director Alvin "Buzzy" Krongard, whose own son was a Navy SEAL, visited the facility, former Blackwater President Gary Jackson suggested he meet with Prince, who worked out of an office in the Washington area. The two had lunch and Krongard immediately took a liking to the man who would later lead the world's most notorious private contracting company.
At the time, contacts like these were essential to building the business, so when terror struck the heart of America in September 2001, Prince called up his new friend Krongard and offered to help. Sources inside the agency at the time say that Krongard in fact, was pushing hard for Blackwater to be given the first urgent and compelling, no-bid contract to protect CIA facilities in Afghanistan. The military, it seems, wasn't up to the task of staffing such an effort.
Once awarded the initial contract, Prince maintained a close relationship with Krongard, and made trips to Afghanistan to make sure things were going smoothly.
The idea that the agency came to Blackwater for help on any other contracts, including one with the overall goal of locating and assassinating al Qaeda operatives, wouldn't come as a huge surprise, particularly since so much of the intelligence budget is spent on private contractors.
But with investigations under way into just what was done and by whom at the CIA under the Bush administration, people are remaining tight-lipped. Especially under the threat of possible prosecution, should it go that far.
Posted by What?, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2009 at 9:41 pm
"At the time, contacts like these were essential to building the business, so when terror struck the heart of America in September 2001, Prince called up his new friend Krongard and offered to help. Sources inside the agency at the time say that Krongard in fact, was pushing hard for Blackwater to be given the first urgent and compelling, no-bid contract to protect CIA facilities in Afghanistan."
Some say that the CIA used Blackwater to blow the TWIN TOWERS!
Posted by Pissed off too..., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2009 at 9:45 pm
Blacwater (XE) is NOT out of Iraq as the Government claimed.
Why not pay $1500 a day for contractors per man? We have loads of cash don't we? It does seem that Blackwater (XE), Halliburton and other contractors are the benefactors of these wars.
Check this out:
CIA outsources Predator work
Blackwater assembles and loads missiles for covert al Qaeda strikes.
By James Risen and Mark Mazzetti
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Friday, August 21, 2009
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 leaders, according to government officials and current and former employees.
The division's operations are carried out at hidden bases in Shamsi, Pakistan, and Jalalabad, 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 on condition of anonymity.
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. They asked not to be identified for fear of upsetting the company, which is now known as Xe Services, though most people in the company still refer to it as Blackwater.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm
Web Link Bush & the CIA conspired to fool American parents into surrendering their children so that they could be KILLED in order to control the flow of OIL! Yup...and those that weren't killed in combat, have suicided. oh my...
Posted by Ben, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm
Blackwater and now the newly reformed XE and Eric Prince are the Armagedon! The supreme leader in chief, with the biggest private military on the planet. WAR is an opportunity for this guy! He made over a BILLION dollars on the Iraq war alone.
The NEW XE web site says:
Xe provides innovative private sector solutions to US Government and non US Government clients. Founded in 1997, we were initially envisioned as a basic training facility to support the needs of local and regional law enforcement personnel.
Posted by Former Blackwater, a resident of another community, on Aug 20, 2009 at 11:21 pm
In October 2007, U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Henry Waxman said Blackwater "may have engaged in significant tax evasion." Waxman noted that the IRS had ruled that Blackwater had "violated federal tax laws by treating an armed guard as an 'independent contractor.'" Waxman added, "The implication of this ruling is that Blackwater may have avoided paying millions of dollars in Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and related taxes for which it is legally responsible".
The House Oversight Committee had received information from a Blackwater employee, who was required "to sign a non-disclosure agreement before [Blackwater] agreed to pay the back pay and other compensation that he was owed. The terms of this agreement explicitly prohibited the guard from disclosing any information about Blackwater to 'any politician' or 'public official.'" Waxman warned that it "appears that Blackwater used this illegal scheme to avoid millions of dollars in taxes and then prevented the security guard who discovered the tax evasion from contacting members of Congress or law enforcement officials."