Secret tape of Blackwater founder Erik Prince exposed

Erik Prince
Erik Prince

Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, the American private security organisation, has claimed that his employees have called in airstrikes in Afghanistan.

He also mocked Afghan military recruits for needing lessons in how to use a toilet, and questioned the value and quality of other countries’ troops in the country.

In a speech in January at the University of Michigan which was secretly recorded, he questioned the will to fight of many Nato troops in Afghanistan, saying that “a lot of them should just pack it in and go home”.

Blackwater, now renamed Xe Services, has been a lightning rod for controversy surrounding America’s use of private contractors in war zones since its personnel killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad square in 2007.

Read moreSecret tape of Blackwater founder Erik Prince exposed

2010 FIFA World Cup: Slum clearance, South Africa-style

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Red Ants beat residents of Alexandra Township with crowbars

WAVING iron bars and pickaxes, the Red Ants, a rented mob of thugs in bright red overalls and crimson helmets, used the half-light of dawn for cover as they marched into the slum. Stamping out the first cooking fires of the day with heavy boots, they spread out in a long line. Then they attacked.

Bleary immigrant women dropped plastic water containers and ran in panic towards their corrugated iron homes. “Grab the children,” they screamed.

By sunrise their shacks on the outskirts of Johannesburg had been razed. They were forced to watch as their few possessions were burnt.

The Red Ants, described as state-sponsored mercenaries by their critics, have become a growing force in the past few months as South African cities have begun a campaign of “beautification” before the World Cup begins in June. This means clearing away unsightly immigrant squatter camps.

This month, more than 100 Zimbabweans were beaten and evicted by Red Ants from a derelict building on the main road to Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, one of the football tournament’s main venues.

It followed a series of Red Ant evictions ordered by the provincial department of public transport along main roads within a mile of the stadium, which will host five matches. Hundreds more Zimbabweans were forcibly evicted from properties in central Johannesburg.

Read more2010 FIFA World Cup: Slum clearance, South Africa-style

Feds Indict Former Blackwater President

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The former president of Blackwater Worldwide was charged Friday with using straw purchases to stockpile automatic weapons at the security firm and filing false documents to cover up gifts given to the King of Jordan.

The federal indictment charges Gary Jackson, 52, who left the company last year in a management shakeup, along with four other former workers. The charges against Jackson include a conspiracy to violate firearms laws, false statements and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Also indicted were former general counsel Andrew Howell, 44; former executive vice president Bill Mathews, 44; former procurement vice president Ana Bundy, 45; and, 65-year-old Ronald Slezak, a former weapons manager.

The charges open a new front of the government’s oversight of the sullied security company. Several of the company’s contractors have previously been charged with federal crimes for their actions in war zones, but the company’s executives have so far weathered a range of investigations.

The company has been trying to rehabilitate its image since a 2007 shooting in Baghdad left 17 people dead, outraged the Iraqi government and led to a federal charges against several Blackwater guards — accusations later thrown out of court after a judge found prosecutors mishandled evidence. Around the time that Jackson left the company, Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services.

The latest case stems from a raid conducted by federal agents at the company’s headquarters in Moyock in 2008 that seized 22 weapons, including 17 AK-47s.

Read moreFeds Indict Former Blackwater President

Blackwater Guards Stole Hundreds Of Weapons In Kabul And Went On Deadly Rampage

More than 500 AK47 rifles had been removed from the bunker by Blackwater staff without permission.

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Private American security guards working for the US military in Afghanistan removed hundreds of handguns and automatic weapons from stores intended for the exclusive use of the Afghan police and used them on drunken shooting rampages that killed two Afghan civilians and injured at least two more.

The guards included a former US Marine with a criminal record of assault and battery and a former soldier discharged from the US Army after testing positive for cocaine, Congress heard yesterday.

Justin Cannon, Christopher Drotleff and a guard using the name “Eric Cartman” from the cartoon South Park were employees of a subsidiary of the Blackwater Worldwide group, implicated in a litany of extrajudicial shootings since 2003 in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cannon and Drotleff have been charged with killing two Afghans and injuring a third in an incident last May when they opened fire on a car carrying four civilians in Kabul, while under the influence of alcohol. The men, who were hired to train Afghan soldiers, had no permission from US authorities to carry guns.

Read moreBlackwater Guards Stole Hundreds Of Weapons In Kabul And Went On Deadly Rampage

Iraqi government orders Blackwater security guards to leave the country

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Iraqi officials have ordered 250 Blackwater security guards to leave the country within a week.

The Interior Ministry says both current and former employees of the firm, were told of their expulsion a few days ago. It comes after a U.S. judge dismissed the manslaughter charges against 5 members of the company, in connection with the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Blackwater, which is now called ‘Xe Services’, was one of three private U.S. security contractors hired to protect diplomats in Iraq.

Exposed: American Police Force (AFP) Is A Blackwater Front Group

US: American Police Force (AFP) is taking over towns


APF web page admits it runs Blackwater-controlled U.S. Training Center, proving that the two organizations are one and the same

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UPDATE: Blackwater Claims APF Illegally Using Logos, Material

UPDATE: The American Police Force website page which clearly states that they run the Blackwater-controlled U.S. Training Center is back online here.

American Police Force, the paramilitary unit patrolling a small town in Montana, has been exposed as being a front group for the disgraced private military contractor Blackwater, now called “Xe”.

The American Police Force website, on a page that has swiftly been deleted but remains cached here, states that APF runs the “U.S. Training Center,” which proves “a wide range of instruction and training for all types of law enforcement organizations, from basic firearms training to complex SWAT tactics,” according to the website.

The Blackwater website carries on its contact page the following address, underneath the logo for U.S. Training Center.

Xe Services, LLC
PO Box 1029
Moyock, NC 27958

Xe Services LLC is the new name of Blackwater USA. In addition, the U.S. Training Center contact page carries the exact same address.

PO Box 1029
Moyock, NC 27958

The U.S. Training Center is run by Blackwater. Indeed, The U.S. Training Center website, can be accessed via Blackwater’s forwarding URL at http://www.blackwaterusa.com/.

According to a February 2009 NY Times article, the U.S. Training Center is a Blackwater “subsidiary that conducts much of the company’s overseas operations and domestic training.” Blackwater changed the name of the facility from its old title, Blackwater Lodge and Training Center, earlier this this when they also changed their own name to “Xe”.

Since Blackwater runs the U.S. Training Center, and the American Police Force stated on its own website, before it was deleted this morning, that it also runs the U.S. Training Center. This means that either APF is lying about running the U.S. Training Center and is therefore effectively posing as Blackwater, or APF and Blackwater are one and the same.

Exposed: American Police Force Is A Blackwater Front Group 011009shot2a
CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT: The American Police Force website, on a page that has now been deleted, states that the organization runs the U.S. Training Center.

Exposed: American Police Force Is A Blackwater Front Group 011009shot1a
CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT: From Blackwater’s USA’s website with the U.S. Training Center logo at the top.

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CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT: From the U.S. Training Center website, the contact address is the same as on the Blckwater site becaue Blackwater owns the U.S. Training Center.

A domain registry check confirms that the U.S. Training Center website is registered to XE Services.

The fact that American Police Force attempted to hide the link by deleting the page on their website is further evidence that they are trying to conceal the fact that they are nothing more than a front group for Blackwater.

The U.S. Training Center is the training facility for Blackwater’s front group, American Police Force. This means that the new training facility that “American Police Force” are trying to build in Hardin is another Blackwater training facility.

This also means that Blackwater troops, under the guise of “American Police Force” have been patrolling Hardin, posing as law enforcement, and are also attempting to boss the $27 million dollar detention center recently built in the Montana town.

Many people have expressed suspicions that the convicted criminal running “American Police Force,” Michael Hilton, is not really the leader of the company and is merely a go between for his bosses. This is now confirmed by the revelation that APF is a front group for Blackwater.

APF’s reticence to divulge who their parent company was to reporters is also explained by the fact that they are a Blackwater front.

As the videos below discuss, Blackwater has been widely attacked for its involvement in atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read moreExposed: American Police Force (AFP) Is A Blackwater Front Group

US: American Police Force (AFP) is taking over towns

The American Police Force (AFP) website: Here (Take a look and enjoy the show.)

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AFP employees are not municipal police, they are MERCENARIES and they have been patrolling the streets with ‘POLICE decals’!

Wake up America! NOW!


American Police Force is taking over towns


29. September 2009


American Police Force Takes Over a Montana Town

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The logo for the American Police Force looks very much like the Serbian coat of arms.

Five years ago, the city government of Hardin, Montana decided to build a large jail — 144,000 square feet, 464 beds — in an attempt to capitalize on the detention boom. A development agency called the Two Rivers Authority (TRA) was created; it issued $27 million in bonds to pay for the project.

The jail was built. It remains empty. The bonds have gone into default.

Several months ago, the TRA negotiated a deal — the details of which remain secret — with a private security firm called American Police Force (APF), which was incorporated in Santa Ana, California last March.

The deal reportedly includes $2.6 million for APF to run the jail, plus $23 million to run a 30,000-square foot training facility for military and police personnel on property managed by the TRA.

In addition, APF promises to shower the city will all kinds of amenities — computers for the local schools, donations to the local food bank, tricked-out cars for the local police force…. Whoops, did I mention that last item out loud?

Hardin has no police force; it receives police coverage through the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office. So it caused a stir last Thursday when APF officials arrived in Hardin in grand style — a convoy of black Mercedes SUVs bearing the logo of a non-existent “City of Hardin Police Force.”

The APF hired Becky Shay, a reporter from the Billings Gazette who had covered the story of the Hardin jail, as its new spokesperson (for the enviable salary of $60,000 a year). It also began negotiating an employment deal with mayoral candidate Kerri Smith. Her husband, Greg Smith, is the Executive Director of the TRA and the fellow responsible for working out the deal with APF.  Greg Smith was immediately put on “administrative leave” and has effectively disappeared. (He didn’t answer messages I left at his business telephone number.)

Local residents are understandably curious about this mysterious private “security firm” that appears to be taking over their town.

There was initial speculation that American Police Force (the organization’s website conveniently went dark as this story broke) is a tentacle of the mercenary firm once known as Blackwater and now called Xe (pronounced “Zee”). A press spokesperson at Xe informed me that she had never heard of APF before news broke of recent developments in Hardin.

Read moreUS: American Police Force (AFP) is taking over towns

Why Is President Obama Still Using Blackwater?

About Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, is the author of the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is an award-winning investigative journalist and correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!.

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Two years ago on September 16, 2007, on a steamy hot Baghdad day with temperatures reaching 100 degrees, a heavily armed Blackwater convoy entered a congested intersection at Nisour Square in the Mansour district of the Iraqi capital. The once-upscale section of Baghdad was still lined with boutiques, cafes and art galleries dating back to better days. The ominous caravan consisted of four large armored vehicles with machine guns mounted on top.

As the Blackwater convoy was entering the square that day, a young Iraqi medical student named Ahmed Hathem Al-Rubaie was driving his mother, Mahasin, in the family’s white sedan. As fate would have it, they found themselves stuck near Nisour Square. The family were devout Muslims and were fasting in observance of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ali Khalaf Salman, an Iraqi traffic cop on duty in Nisour Square that day, remembers vividly when the Blackwater convoy entered the intersection, spurring him and his colleagues to scramble to stop traffic. But as the Mambas entered the square, the convoy suddenly made a surprise U-turn and proceeded to drive the wrong way on a one-way street. As Khalaf watched, the convoy came to an abrupt halt. He says a large white man with a mustache, positioned atop the third vehicle in the Blackwater convoy, began to fire his weapon “randomly.”

Khalaf looked in the direction of the shots, on Yarmouk Road, and heard a woman screaming, “My son! My son!” The police officer sprinted toward the voice and found a middle-aged woman inside of a vehicle holding a 20-year-old man covered in blood, who had been shot in the forehead. “I tried to help the young man, but his mother was holding him so tight,” Khalaf recalled. Another Iraqi policeman, Sarhan Thiab, also ran to the car. “We tried to help him,” Thiab said. “I saw the left side of his head was destroyed and his mother was crying out: ‘My son, my son. Help me, help me.”’

Officer Khalaf recalled looking toward the Blackwater shooters. “I raised my left arm high in the air to try to signal to the convoy to stop the shooting.” He says he thought the men would cease fire, given that he was a clearly identified police officer. The young man’s body was still in the driver’s seat of the automatic vehicle and, as Khalaf and Thiab stood there, it began to roll forward, perhaps as a result of the dead man’s foot remaining on the accelerator. Blackwater guards later said they initially opened fire on the vehicle because it was speeding and would not stop, a claim hotly disputed by scores of witnesses. Aerial photos of the scene later showed that the car had not even entered the traffic circle when it was fired upon by Blackwater, while the New York Times reported, “The car in which the first people were killed did not begin to closely approach the Blackwater convoy until the Iraqi driver had been shot in the head and lost control of his vehicle,” meaning Blackwater had already shot the man. “I tried to use hand signals to make the Blackwater people understand that the car was moving on its own and we were trying to stop it. We were trying to get the woman out but had to run for cover,” Thiab said.

“Don’t shoot, please,” Khalaf recalled yelling. But as he stood with his hand raised, Khalaf says a gunman from the fourth Blackwater vehicle opened fire on the mother gripping her son and shot her dead before Khalaf’s and Thiabs’ eyes. “I saw parts of the woman’s head flying in front of me, blow up,” Thiab said. “They immediately opened heavy fire at us.” Within moments, so many shots had been fired at the car from “big machine guns” that Khalaf says it exploded, engulfing the bodies inside in flames, melting their flesh into one. “Each of their four vehicles opened heavy fire in all directions, they shot and killed everyone in cars facing them and people standing on the street,” Thiab recalled. “When it was over we were looking around and about fifteen cars had been destroyed, the bodies of the killed were strewn on the pavements and road.” When later asked by US investigators why he never fired at the Blackwater men, Khalaf told them, “I am not authorized to shoot, and my job is to look after the traffic.”

Read moreWhy Is President Obama Still Using Blackwater?

On the Edge with Max Keiser (08/21/09): Revolution is in the air in America

More on Blackwater (now XE):
CIA hired Blackwater mercenaries to try to hit al-Qaeda
“Incestuous” relationships between Blackwater and the US government
Blackwater got a new $22.2 million deal from the State Department
Paul Craig Roberts: Americans: Serfs Ruled by Oligarchs


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Read moreOn the Edge with Max Keiser (08/21/09): Revolution is in the air in America