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Blackwater's Erik Prince Unapologetic whilst ABC Helps Flog his Book
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Video Blackwater's Erik Prince Unapologetic whilst ABC Helps Flog his Book
ABC News helps leader of murdering Blackwater mercenaries, Erik Prince, sell his self-excusatory book:

ABC Promotional Video: 'This Week' Sunday Spotlight: Erik Prince on Blackwater





Blackwater founder Erik Prince discusses his new book "Civilian Warriors."

ABC News, by MaryAlice Parks, James Hill and Ely Brown, November 17, 2013 2:40pm

The nation’s most infamous private security firm, Blackwater, Inc., has a new weapon these days: the written word. Three years after selling the controversial company, Blackwater founder Erik Prince is opening up in a new book, “Civilian Warriors.”

In an interview on “This Week,” Prince discussed the civilian armed forces company’s rapid rise and the controversial end to its operations in Iraq.

A former Navy SEAL, Prince is unabashedly unapologetic for Blackwater’s contentious record. He blames the company’s demise on “cold and timid souls” looking for scapegoats, specifically pointing to those already set against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The anti-war left went after the troops during an unpopular Vietnam War. This time they went after the contractors. Blackwater was a very easy whipping boy for them,” Prince told ABC’s Martha Raddatz.

The contracting group’s aggressive tactics gave its critics ammunition. In September 2007, one Blackwater team coming to the aid of another after a car bombing fired on approximately three dozen Iraqi civilians, killing at least 11 people, including a 9-year-old boy. A handful of Blackwater members now face manslaughter charges related to the confrontation. While they deny any wrong-doing, the incident led to Blackwater’s eventual expulsion from Iraq.

But for Prince, the charges are all politics.

“If the amount of scrutiny paid to that event was paid to every other shooting of any U.S. forces or other contractor forces, it would tie up the Justice Department for the next decade,” Prince said.

“War is dangerous. It is difficult, and unfortunately, civilians get killed,” he added.

Prince told Raddatz his biggest regret was working with the State Department in Iraq. When asked about criticisms that Blackwater’s tactics inflamed anti-American sentiment, Prince pointed to State Department rules that he said in his view were misguided.

“You shall use American vehicles. A washed and waxed Chevy suburban between point A and point B with lights and sirens on,” he said. “It’s pretty easy for the enemy to play Whack-a-Mole.”

“If I sound unapologetic, I guess I am. Because the company did exactly what it was asked to do,” Prince added. “It did it well. Every diplomat, bureaucrat and member of Congress that visited Iraq came home alive under our guys’ care.”

Link to ABC News article

Here is the link to the excerpt of Prince's book which the ABC have helpfully reprinted for him.

Part of that excerpt states:

"December 6, 2003
At eleven p. m., eighteen cars, watched overhead by U.S. Army Apache and Kiowa Warrior helicopters, as well as by a pair of Blackwater helicopters, known as Little Birds, stormed out of the Green Zone. They turned onto a pockmarked roadway, drove past scorched traffic barriers and burned-out remains of vehicles once used for suicide bombings, and sped toward Baghdad International Airport. A motorcade escorting a head of state and the U. S. secretary of defense doesn’t travel light. Especially not on the “Highway of Death.”

Here is a link to a couple of videos depicting the behaviour of Blackwater mercenaries on the "highway of death":

Link to videos of Blackwater mercenaries mowing down civilians and shooting indiscriminately in civilian areas

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Press TV were less easily impressed with Prince:

Blackwater founder ‘unapologetic’ for atrocities, blames US govt.

Press TV November 19, 2013.

[Image: 335272_blackwater%20guards.jpg]
Blackwater guards are accused of opening fire on civilians in a 2007 incident

The founder of America’s most notorious mercenary firm, Blackwater, Inc., says he is “unapologetic” for the company’s contentious record during the US war in Iraq and blames the government for the atrocities.

Erik Prince, whose company collected $2 billion in government contracts, is releasing a memoir, "Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror", in an attempt to defend his work against a government he says made him a scapegoat in its wars.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Prince, a former Navy SEAL, discussed the company’s rapid rise and the controversial end to its operations in Iraq.

“The anti-war left went after the troops during an unpopular Vietnam War. This time they went after the contractors. Blackwater was a very easy whipping boy for them,” he said.

“If I sound unapologetic, I guess I am. Because the company did exactly what it was asked to do,” Prince said. “It did it well. Every diplomat, bureaucrat and member of Congress that visited Iraq came home alive under our guys’ care.”

Blackwater guards were infamous for applying aggressive tactics when defending American diplomats and visiting officials in Iraq.

They were involved in a series of deadly shooting incidents that infuriated Iraqi citizens and the government.

In September 2007, Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad's Nisour Square, prompting the Iraqi government to expel the infamous security firm.

A number of Blackwater members now face manslaughter charges related to the shootings.

“If the amount of scrutiny paid to that event was paid to every other shooting of any U.S. forces or other contractor forces, it would tie up the Justice Department for the next decade,” Prince said.

The security company was involved in America's assassination drone program. Former company officials said that a few dozen employees maintained drones armed with Hellfire missiles in Pakistan preparing them to launch attacks.

Blackwater mercenaries also trained “hit teams” for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for operations across the world.

After a series of federal investigations and critical congressional hearings, Prince sold Blackwater in 2010.

HJ/HJ
Link to Press TV article
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Here is the Washington Post article, from 18 October, 2013, in relation to recent charges laid against Blackwater mercenaries:

New charges brought against former Blackwater guards in Baghdad shooting

By Sari Horwitz.

The Justice Department brought new charges Thursday against four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of taking part in a shooting in Baghdad six years ago that killed 14 unarmed civilians, wounded 18 and enraged public opinion in Iraq.

A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia returned a fresh indictment charging the four guards with voluntary manslaughter and other crimes in the shooting in Nisour Square.

The guards were providing security under a State Department contract for diplomats in Iraq at the time of the shooting. On Sept. 16, 2007, they were part of a four-vehicle convoy that was securing an evacuation route for U.S. officials fleeing a bombing. The guards told U.S. investigators that they opened fire on the crowd in self-defense.

In a long investigation after the attack, the FBI and federal prosecutors concluded that the shooting was an “unprovoked illegal attack” on civilians.

“Today’s indictment charges four Blackwater guards with killing or wounding 32 defenseless Iraqi citizens, including women and children, in a Baghdad traffic circle in September 2007,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a statement. “These defendants abused their power through a relentless attack on unarmed civilians that recklessly exceeded any possible justification.”

Charges were first brought against six Blackwater guards in 2008.

In 2009, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina said that federal investigators and prosecutors had obtained the indictment by using tainted evidence. He concluded that government lawyers improperly used statements that the guards gave the State Department in the hours and days after the shooting with the belief that they wouldn’t be used in court.

Urbina threw out all the initial charges and issued a scathing opinion, saying that the federal prosecutors’ conduct was so egregious that it “requires dismissal of the indictment against all the defendants.”

Two years ago, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit revived the prosecution by ruling unanimously that Urbina had misinterpreted the law. Appellate Judges Douglas H. Ginsburg, Merrick B. Garland and Stephen F. Williams found that Urbina had “made a number of systemic errors based on an erroneous legal analysis.”

One of the contractors, Jeremy Ridgeway, pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in 2008 and cooperated with the government. Last month, prosecutors dropped charges against another guard, Donald Ball.

The new charges were brought Thursday against the four other guards, all military veterans: Paul A. Slough, 34; Nicholas A. Slatten, 29; Evan S. Liberty, 31; and Dustin L. Heard, 32. They pleaded not guilty when previously charged.

“We are disappointed that the Department of Justice has chosen to proceed with this prosecution, which we strongly believe has no merit whatsoever,” said attorney David Schertler, who represents Heard. “We will continue to fight and defend Dustin Heard’s innocence and honor until he is fully exonerated.”

The Nisour Square shooting damaged the reputation of Blackwater, which changed its name to Xe Services and then Academi. Erik Prince, who founded Blackwater, is no longer involved with the company.

Machen said Thursday that the vast majority of the U.S. contractors who served in Iraq did so with “honor and integrity.”

“A limited number of members of the Blackwater team unleashed powerful sniper fire, machine guns, and grenade launchers on ordinary people going about their daily lives,” he said in his statement. “This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to upholding the rule of law even in times of war.”

Link to the Washington Post Article

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Joel Mathis of Phillymag.com, expressed dismay about Erik Prince's plans to promote his new book, on November 22, 2013:

Library to Feature Mercenary Leader in New Speaker Series

Erik Prince, found of Blackwater, will sing the praises of private warriors

Mathis linked to the Washington Post article then stated the following:

In all, 32 Iraqi civilians were killed by Blackwater guards in the incident. Why is this interesting? Because the Free Library of Philadelphia is bringing Blackwater’s founder, Erik Prince, to town to talk about how Blackwater guards are awesome.

We just received the letter from the library, promoting Prince as one of three speakers in the library’s new (expensive!) speaker series: “Leading Voices: Conversations from the C-Suite,” which is “a new morning lecture program featuring the brightest minds in business.” Tickets to the events are $40 apiece.

Prince will speak on Nov. 22. He’ll be promoting his new book, Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror. We’ll assume the “unsung heroes” aren’t the ones who kill lots of civilians, but who do make $1.5 billion over eight years providing security to government agencies apparently unable to fend for themselves. We’re sure Philadelphia’s business leaders will be able to learn a lot from him.

Link to original Phillymag article with links

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11-19-2013 03:16 PM
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