Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Xe’ Category

Blackwater Gets Into The Retail And Merchandising Game

TPM MUCKRAKER

Eric Lach | June 8, 2010, 11:56AM

Don’t know what gift to get for the paramilitary-enthusiast in your life? Look no further then the Blackwater proshop. That’s right, Blackwater, also known as Xe, also known as the private military contracting outfit at the center of a number of controversies in Iraq and Afghanistan, is getting into the retail game.

According to Wired, the company is opening up storefronts in Fayetteville, North Carolina and Salem, Connecticut, but if you can’t make it out there, you can always visit their online store.

Blackwater coffee mugs, beer-opener key chains, beach towels and shot glasses — you want ’em, they’ve got ’em.

For the teenage girl in your life, they’ve got some spiffy pink baseball caps with the company logo printed in on it.

You’ve got your pick of Blackwater-themed mouse pads. The “Rite Of Passage” one features a helicopter being shot at while flying through a canyon.

If you act fast, you can score one of these sweet Blackwater logo rings for just $850 — down from $985. They’re practically giving them away!

For more serious business, the store also sells custom-built assault rifles. The basic model starts at just $1,100, and can be customized with a number of top-of-the-line accessories. The Blackwater proshop: serving your apparel and weaponry needs under one roof.

(h/t Wired)

Read Full Post »

Eric S. Margolis, Khaleej Times Online, March 22, 2010

A fascinating scandal has erupted in Washington over the use of mercenaries (‘private contractors’ in US terminology) that is exposing the dark underbelly of America’s foreign wars. It has been that the Pentagon and other US intelligence agencies secretly fielded mercenaries in Afghanistan, Pakistan (aka “Af-Pak”), and Iraq to assassinate tribal militants.

US law forbids murder or using mercenaries. But, as the Roman jurist Cicero said, “laws are silent in times of war.”

Continues >>

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

Read Full Post »

Blackwater, Now Xe, Vying For $1 Billion Contract To Train Afghan National Police

HuffPo-  First Posted: 02- 8-10 12:36 PM   |   Updated: 02- 8-10 03:17 PM

“Blackwater Worldwide’s legal woes haven’t dimmed the company’s prospects in Afghanistan, where it’s a contender to be a key part of President Barack Obama’s strategy for stabilizing the country,” the AP reported recently.

Now called Xe Services, the company is in the running for a Pentagon contract potentially worth $1 billion to train Afghanistan’s troubled national police force. Xe has been shifting to training, aviation and logistics work after its security guards were accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians more than two years ago.Yet even with a new name and focus, the expanded role would seem an unlikely one for Xe because Democrats have held such a negative opinion of the company following the Iraqi deaths, which are still reverberating in Baghdad and Washington.

During the presidential campaign, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, now Obama’s secretary of state, backed legislation to ban Blackwater and other private security contractors from Iraq.

Xe eventually lost its license to operate as guardian of U.S. diplomats in Iraq and the State Department, with Clinton at the helm, elected not to rehire the company when the contract expired in 2009. Delays in getting a new company in place led to a temporary extension of the State contract.

Derrick Crowe of Rethink Afghanistan notes that Xe is in the running for this contract “despite the fact that they’ve ‘trained’ the notoriously corrupt and incompetent Afghan Border Police. Recently, two Blackwater / Xe trainers were indicted for murdering Afghan civilians, and the company has a history of hiring people with a criminal record. Xe Services / Blackwater is a liability to the American cause around the world and doesn’t deserve another dime of taxpayer money.”

Rethink Afghanistan has posted a new video on the topic featuring Afghanistan-based correspondent Anand Gopal.

Read Full Post »

Mercenaries, Robot Planes and the CIA Produce Lethal Mix for Secret Afghan War

By Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse, Tomdispatch.com. Posted January 11, 2010.

In Afghanistan, a militarized mix of CIA operatives and ex-military mercenaries as well as native recruits and robot aircraft is fighting a war in the shadows.

It was a Christmas and New Year’s from hell for American intelligence, that $75 billion labyrinth of at least 16 major agencies and a handful of minor ones.  As the old year was preparing to be rung out, so were our intelligence agencies, which managed not to connect every obvious clue to a (literally) seat-of-the-pants al-Qaeda operation.  It hardly mattered that the underwear bomber’s case — except for the placement of the bomb material — almost exactly, even outrageously, replicated the infamous, and equally inept, “shoe bomber” plot of eight years ago.

That would have been bad enough, but the New Year brought worse.  Army Major General Michael Flynn, U.S. and NATO forces deputy chief of staff for intelligence in Afghanistan, released a report in which he labeled military intelligence in the war zone — but by implication U.S. intelligence operatives generally — “clueless.”  They were, he wrote, “ignorant of local economics and landowners, hazy about who the powerbrokers are and how they might be influenced… and disengaged from people in the best position to find answers… Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy.”

As if to prove the general’s point, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian doctor with a penchant for writing inspirational essays on jihadi websites and an “unproven asset” for the CIA, somehow entered a key Agency forward operating base in Afghanistan unsearched, supposedly with information on al-Qaeda’s leadership so crucial that a high-level CIA team was assembled to hear it and Washington was alerted.  He proved to be either a double or a triple agent and killed seven CIA operatives, one of whom was the base chief, by detonating a suicide vest bomb, while wounding yet more, including the Agency’s number-two operative in the country.  The first suicide bomber to penetrate a U.S. base in Afghanistan, he blew a hole in the CIA’s relatively small cadre of agents knowledgeable on al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

It was an intelligence disaster splayed all over the headlines: “Taliban bomber wrecks CIA’s shadowy war,”  “Killings Rock Afghan Strategy,”  “Suicide bomber who attacked CIA post was trusted informant from Jordan.”  It seemed to sum up the hapless nature of America’s intelligence operations as the CIA, with all the latest technology and every imaginable resource on hand, including the latest in Hellfire missile-armed drone aircraft, was out-thought and out-maneuvered by low-tech enemies.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Blackwater ‘became an extension’ of the CIA: report

By Raw Story
Thursday, December 10th, 2009 — 10:42 pm

The role of Blackwater employees in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was so central to the US’s efforts that the lines between the controversial security contractor, the CIA and the military were effectively “blurred,” says a report in the New York Times.

During the height of the Iraqi insurgency from 2004 to 2006, Blackwater guards participated almost nightly in “snatch and grab” raids on suspected militants, the Times reported in a story published late Thursday.

The company’s cooperation in top-secret CIA operations “illuminate[s] a far deeper relationship between the spy agency and the private security company than government officials have previously acknowledged,” the Times reports.

“Blackwater’s partnership with the CIA has been enormously profitable for the North Carolina-based company, and became even closer after several top agency officials joined Blackwater.”

“It became a very brotherly relationship,” an unnamed “former top CIA officer” told the Times. “There was a feeling that Blackwater eventually became an extension of the agency.”

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Erik Prince quitting Blackwater to teach high school history and economics.

Think Progress- By Alex Seitz-Wald at 5:05 pm

Xe (formerly Blackwater) founder and CEO Erik Prince is cutting ties with the company. A spokeswoman for the company said today that Prince will relinquish involvement in its day-to-day operations and give up some of his ownership rights. The company has been shelling out $2 million a month in legal fees to cope with a slew of federal investigations and civil lawsuits stemming from, among other incidents, the “unprovoked and unjustified” killing of 17 Iraqi civilians. Prince told Vanity Fair that after years of serving his country, “someone threw me under the bus”:

Prince has become a scapegoat for some of the Bush administration’s misadventures in Iraq. … Congressmen and lawyers, human-rights groups and pundits, have described Prince as a war profiteer, one who has assembled a rogue fighting force capable of toppling governments. … “I put myself and my company at the C.I.A.’s disposal for some very risky missions. … But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus. … I’m an easy target.”

Prince said he is instead “going to teach high school.” “History and economics,” he said. “I may even coach wrestling. Hey, Indiana Jones taught school, too.”

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: