Friday, July 25, 2008

Dark Days for Blackwater

Everybody's favorite rent-a-goon service is going out of business in Iraq even before our troops leave.

After bad publicity and audits by the FBI and Homeland Security, Blackwater International's security business is down to about 30 percent of its revenue from a high of more than 50 percent and headed lower.

"If I could get it down to 2 percent or 1 percent, I would go there," the company president said this week, blaming the media for the decline and scolding them, "If you could get it right, we might stay in the business."

Score one for the journalism that exposed, among other abuses, the deadly hail of Blackwater gunfire that left 17 Iraqis dead and prompted the Baghdad government to revoke its license.

But shedding tears for the Bush Administration's favorite privatized murderers may be premature, according to Jeremy Scahill, Blackwater's Boswell, who points out that it is slithering into new areas of work, including spying, undercover operations against terrorists and drug dealers as well as "wrapping up work on its own armored vehicle, the Grizzly, as well as its Polar Airship 400, a surveillance blimp Blackwater wants to market to the Department of Homeland security for use in monitoring the US-Mexico border."

Lou Dobbs will be thrilled.


Mike said...

To make Blackwater even scarier, remember that it's headed by a religious wingnut.

GiromiDe said...

Which kind of religious wingnut ... the kind that may actively be trying to make his interpretation of Revelations happen?

Mike said...

There's a Newsweek article from last October that touches on Erik Prince's super-Christy religious leanings: "A recent book ... strongly suggests that Prince is a 'neo-crusader,' a 'Theocon' with a Christian-supremacist agenda." But Prince shied away from talking much about his religious beliefs.
A "Christian supremacist" (if that's what he really is) is probably a bad fit with a Muslim country like Iraq.