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Blackwater, Monsanto and Black Ops

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Monsanto hiring Blackwater? Why am I not surprised that two companies as consistently evil as Monsanto and Blackwater1 have worked together?

Purple Hayes

Over the past several years, entities closely linked to the private security firm Blackwater have provided intelligence, training and security services to US and foreign governments as well as several multinational corporations, including Monsanto, Chevron, the Walt Disney Company, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and banking giants Deutsche Bank and Barclays, according to documents obtained by The Nation. Blackwater’s work for corporations and government agencies was contracted using two companies owned by Blackwater’s owner and founder, Erik Prince: Total Intelligence Solutions and the Terrorism Research Center (TRC). Prince is listed as the chairman of both companies in internal company documents, which show how the web of companies functions as a highly coordinated operation. Officials from Total Intelligence, TRC and Blackwater (which now calls itself Xe Services) did not respond to numerous requests for comment for this article.

One of the most incendiary details in the documents is that Blackwater, through Total Intelligence, sought to become the “intel arm” of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.

Governmental recipients of intelligence services and counterterrorism training from Prince’s companies include the Kingdom of Jordan, the Canadian military and the Netherlands police, as well as several US military bases, including Fort Bragg, home of the elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), and Fort Huachuca, where military interrogators are trained, according to the documents. In addition, Blackwater worked through the companies for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the US European Command.

(click to continue reading Blackwater’s Black Ops | The Nation, Jeremy Scahill.)

Traffic Lights Turn green tonight

and Monsanto bobs and weaves:

Through Total Intelligence and the Terrorism Research Center, Blackwater also did business with a range of multinational corporations. According to internal Total Intelligence communications, biotech giant Monsanto—the world’s largest supplier of genetically modified seeds—hired the firm in 2008–09. The relationship between the two companies appears to have been solidified in January 2008 when Total Intelligence chair Cofer Black traveled to Zurich to meet with Kevin Wilson, Monsanto’s security manager for global issues.

After the meeting in Zurich, Black sent an e-mail to other Blackwater executives, including to Prince and Prado at their Blackwater e-mail addresses. Black wrote that Wilson “understands that we can span collection from internet, to reach out, to boots on the ground on legit basis protecting the Monsanto [brand] name…. Ahead of the curve info and insight/heads up is what he is looking for.” Black added that Total Intelligence “would develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto.” Black also noted that Monsanto was concerned about animal rights activists and that they discussed how Blackwater “could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally.” Black wrote that initial payments to Total Intelligence would be paid out of Monsanto’s “generous protection budget” but would eventually become a line item in the company’s annual budget. He estimated the potential payments to Total Intelligence at between $100,000 and $500,000. According to documents, Monsanto paid Total Intelligence $127,000 in 2008 and $105,000 in 2009.

Reached by telephone and asked about the meeting with Black in Zurich, Monsanto’s Wilson initially said, “I’m not going to discuss it with you.” In a subsequent e-mail to The Nation, Wilson confirmed he met Black in Zurich and that Monsanto hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and worked with the company until early 2010. He denied that he and Black discussed infiltrating animal rights groups, stating “there was no such discussion.” He claimed that Total Intelligence only provided Monsanto “with reports about the activities of groups or individuals that could pose a risk to company personnel or operations around the world which were developed by monitoring local media reports and other publicly available information. The subject matter ranged from information regarding terrorist incidents in Asia or kidnappings in Central America to scanning the content of activist blogs and websites.” Wilson asserted that Black told him Total Intelligence was “a completely separate entity from Blackwater.”

 

Read the entire article yourself and make up your own mind…

 

Footnotes:
  1. now known as Xe []

Written by Seth Anderson

September 18th, 2010 at 6:48 am

Bush Interference Seen in Blackwater Inquiry

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Criminals and thugs. That is the description future historians will often use to describe members of the Bush Administration.

An official at the United States Embassy in Iraq has told federal prosecutors that he believes that State Department officials sought to block any serious investigation of the 2007 shooting episode in which Blackwater Worldwide security guards were accused of murdering 17 Iraqi civilians, according to court testimony made public on Tuesday.

David Farrington, a State Department security agent in the American Embassy at the time of the shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, told prosecutors that some of his colleagues were handling evidence in a way they hoped would help the Blackwater guards avoid punishment for a crime that drew headlines and raised tensions between American and Iraqi officials.

[Click to continue reading Interference Seen in Blackwater Inquiry – NYTimes.com]

and if you don’t have the mental stamina to click the link1


“Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army [Revised and Updated]” (Jeremy Scahill)

In a closed-door hearing, they also contended that they had evidence that, in the immediate aftermath of the shootings, there had been a concerted effort to make the case go away, both by Blackwater and by at least some embassy officials.

In fact, prosecutors were told that the embassy had never conducted any significant investigation of any of the numerous shooting episodes in Iraq involving Blackwater before the Nisour Square case, according to the documents.

In his October testimony, Mr. Kohl described how the Justice Department had “serious concerns” about obstruction of justice in the case. He also said prosecutors briefed Kenneth Wainstein, then an assistant attorney general, on evidence of obstruction by Blackwater management.

Mr. Kohl disclosed that prosecutors had discovered that five Blackwater guards who were on the convoy involved in the Nisour Square shootings reported to Blackwater management what they had seen. One guard, he said, described it as “murder in cold blood.” Mr. Kohl said that Blackwater management never reported these statements by the guards to the State Department.

He said that prosecutors informed senior Justice Department officials as early as 2007 that they were investigating whether Blackwater managers “manipulated” the official statements made by the guards to the State Department.

But he testified that prosecutors also had evidence of embassy officials thwarting the inquiry. In addition to the testimony of Mr. Farrington, Mr. Kohl said that United States military officials had told prosecutors that they witnessed State Department investigators “badgering” Iraqi witnesses

and I’d add, scum, to the description of Bushies cited above. Rule of Law, hah. Murderers for hire. Hessians were at least conscripted soldiers, not necessarily believers in the Divine Mission of their masters.

Footnotes:
  1. really, you should []

Written by Seth Anderson

March 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder

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“Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army [Revised and Updated]” (Jeremy Scahill)

Whoa, explosive allegations about Bush’s favorite crusader/military and drug-war contractor, Erik Prince.

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

These allegations, and a series of other charges, are contained in sworn affidavits, given under penalty of perjury, filed late at night on August 3 in the Eastern District of Virginia as part of a seventy-page motion by lawyers for Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater for alleged war crimes and other misconduct.

[Click to continue reading Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder]

Walk On By

Dennis Kucinich weighed in:

Briefed on the substance of these allegations by The Nation, Congressman Dennis Kucinich replied, “If these allegations are true, Blackwater has been a criminal enterprise defrauding taxpayers and murdering innocent civilians.” Kucinich is on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and has been investigating Prince and Blackwater since 2004.

“Blackwater is a law unto itself, both internationally and domestically. The question is why they operated with impunity. In addition to Blackwater, we should be questioning their patrons in the previous administration who funded and employed this organization. Blackwater wouldn’t exist without federal patronage; these allegations should be thoroughly investigated,” Kucinich said.

Written by Seth Anderson

August 4th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Small Business Status For Blackwater

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“Huh? How could that have happened? Oh well” seems to be the only response by the Small Business Administration officials. Just taxpayer money, that’s all.

Private military contractor Blackwater and its affiliates may have wrongly received more than $100 million in contracts that were supposed to be set aside for small businesses, according to an inspector general’s report released today.

At issue was a November 2006 determination by the Small Business Administration that a Blackwater affiliate, Presidential Airways, was a small business with less than 1,500 employees.

Blackwater contended, and the agency agreed, that its more than 1,000 workers providing security for the State Department overseas were not employees, but independent contractors. That made the company appear smaller on paper than it actually is.

[From TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | Small Business Admin. Couldn’t Explain Why It Approved Small Business Status For Blackwater]

Corruption, corruption, and more corruption. Kudos to Henry Waxman for discovering (PDF) and publicizing the erroneously awarded contract.


“Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army [Revised and Updated]” (Jeremy Scahill)

Jeremy Scahill is going to have to update his book again.

Written by Seth Anderson

July 30th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Posted in politics

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