Thugs “formerly known as Blackwater” paying $42 million fine

Bush’s bubba Bremer with his Blackwater bodyguards
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

The private security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide, long plagued by accusations of impropriety, has reached an agreement with the State Department for the company to pay $42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of United States export control regulations.

The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in south Sudan and providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers, according to company and government officials familiar with the deal.

The settlement, which has not yet been publicly announced, follows lengthy talks between Blackwater, now called Xe Services, and the State Department that dealt with the violations as an administrative matter, allowing the firm to avoid criminal charges.

Don’t slap their wrist too hard. The Obama administration continues to employ these gangsters.

The settlement with the State Department does not resolve other legal troubles still facing Blackwater and its former executives and other personnel. Those include the indictments of five former executives, including Blackwater’s former president, on weapons and obstruction charges; a federal investigation into evidence that Blackwater officials sought to bribe Iraqi government officials; and the arrest of two former Blackwater guards on federal murder charges stemming from the killing of two Afghans last year.

But by paying fines rather than facing criminal charges on the export violations, Blackwater will be able to continue to obtain government contracts. While the company lost its largest federal contract last year to provide diplomatic security for United States Embassy personnel in Baghdad, where the Iraqi government was incensed by killings of Iraqis in one highly publicized case, it still has contracts to provide security for the State Department and the C.I.A. in Afghanistan.

The settlement with the State Department, involving practices from the days before Blackwater was rebranded…comes as Mr. Prince is trying to shed his ties to Blackwater and its past activities.

He overhauled the company’s management in 2009, changed its name, and has now put the privately held company up for sale. He has just moved with his family to Abu Dhabi from the United States, a move that colleagues say was a result of…the intense scrutiny he and his firm have received in recent years…

Despite the fines and investigations that have plagued Blackwater, the firm has continued to win contracts from the State Department and the C.I.A.

Cleaning up your act means hiring sufficient government consultants, lobbyists, the inbred colony of mutants that infests the money side of the Beltway around Washington, DC.

RTFA for the detail. Expressed way too politely; but, that’s how the Times hangs on the portion of their audience which is traditional American conservatives. You know, those who still read and write. Which doesn’t include anyone in charge of anything more than gift pens in the Republican Party.

The longer Obama leaves the DNC in charge of foreign policy, the more things will remain the same.

3 thoughts on “Thugs “formerly known as Blackwater” paying $42 million fine

  1. cantueso says:

    One of the big companies that hire “security personnel” called AEGIS has moved to Basel, Switzerland (which is my country). They have job ads online, a big web page.

    I thought that these companies had to operate in the dark. Now I wonder why this company went to Basel, unless it is that Switzerland has a reputation for being a clean country.

    And Switzerland is neutral. That neutrality is profitable, but also politically delicate to maintain. So for instance Switzerland does not allow arms to be sold to people who are at war.

  2. god says:

    There is no doubt Obama is a qualitative advance from the backwardness and bigotry of Bush/Cheney and the neocon reactionaries. Effects of the stimulus at halting an economic slam which I thought couldn’t be halted was impressive. Day-to-day advances on bread and butter issues like women in the workplace, reforming the FDA and, finally, the Department of Interior are praiseworthy.

    Saying all that, he’s still a captive of the Democrat establishment and the same imperial foreign policy characteristic of the United States since the end of WW2.

    Continuation of Blackwater contracts is just a symptom. From Israel to Afghanistan, troops in over a hundred stations oversea from Okinawa to Germany – nothing has changed since JFK.

    Either he agrees or he’s willing to collaborate. It’s his responsibility.

  3. Robert M Kraus says:

    Erik Prince is a mercenary. A mercenary is a person who is primarily concerned with material rewards at the expense of ethics.


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