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Old 01-07-2010   #301
Presley Cannady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Pile-jumping a little bit, but Blackwater's anti-pirate navy has, in the words the USNI blog, sunk.
Complaint: there's too little widely disseminated trade news and background about security contracting.

Background: I currently rely on the sporadic attention of the mainstream press, milbloggers, and press releases for information. The politics behind contracting in the past decade or so have severely poisoned an already dry well.

Examples:
1) Springboard is an effectively nothing more than a useless, snarkier version of Matt Drudge when it comes to anything related to security contracting, especially where it concerns Xe. Case in point, the McArthur episode--after a year of "reporting" all I've learned is a) he really hates Xe, b) Xe hasn't won any contracts, and c) he really, really, hates Xe.
2) Galrahn loses interests after lampshading a new development.
3) David Isenberg is perpetually fixated on his "hiring locally" pet theory at the expense of broader developments in the field.
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Old 01-07-2010   #302
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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Wow, that's harsh.
The bark is worse than its bite. Bottom line, Xe sought takers in the West and for whatever reason found none after 1 year. Whether or not this is an indictment of the business model generally or a matter of execution requires more information. At least one guy is already calling for a split decision. Personally, I think all the words Galrahn, Isenberg, Shipboard and the milblogging community in general have offered on this topic don't amount much of anything.

Quote:
About Xe; well, that's a symptom of a badly failed personnel policy and of red tape. It's not the problem itself.
I think we'd need some hostile workplace statistics in civilian maritime to properly place these incidents in context. Xe's under a tremendous spotlight as it is; hardly conditions that favor drawing accurate conclusions from such limited information.
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Old 01-07-2010   #303
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Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
I think we'd need some hostile workplace statistics in civilian maritime to properly place these incidents in context. Xe's under a tremendous spotlight as it is; hardly conditions that favor drawing accurate conclusions from such limited information.
I meant the regular forces with "failed personnel policy" and "red tape"
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Old 01-07-2010   #304
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Default Well, that's the sad truth...

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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
I meant the regular forces with "failed personnel policy" and "red tape"
In both cases...
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Old 01-08-2010   #305
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Two defense contractors indicted in shooting of Afghans

By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 8, 2010; A03

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Two defense contractors working for a subsidiary of the former Blackwater Worldwide were charged with shooting and killing two Afghan citizens in Kabul and wounding a third, prosecutors said Thursday, the first slayings linked to the firm in that country and its latest legal blow.

Justin Cannon, 27, and Christopher Drotleff, 29, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Norfolk on murder and other charges in the May 5 shootings, in which the men opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles on a car that they said they thought was trying to run them down. The indictment was unsealed Thursday.

At the time of the shootings, the men were Pentagon contractors employed by Paravant LLC, a Blackwater subsidiary that specializes in firearms training. They were in Afghanistan to train that country's army in using and maintaining weapons systems and were transporting two Afghan translators at the time of the incident, their attorney said.

The charges are another legal black eye for Blackwater (now called Xe Services LLC), which has been under fire for a string of incidents in which its heavily armed guards have been accused of using excessive force overseas. But the controversy over the North Carolina company's tactics has focused on its actions in Iraq, where it has provided security under a State Department contract.

The indictment marks the first instance in which employees of a Blackwater-affiliated company have been charged for their actions during the war in Afghanistan.
That's only the beginning of the story--I'd post a link for the remainder but the Post website requires users to register.
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Old 01-08-2010   #306
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Default Case records (Cannon and Drotleff)

are at Cryptome, including today's DoJ press release, case jacket and the docket card (which doesn't require PACER). The indictment is here.

Judge Robert G. Doumar is assigned to the case. He is a Senior Judge (b. 1930), appointed by Pres. Reagan, who has a very interesting personal bio, as well as experience in GWOT cases (trial judge for Hamdi). See Wiki and official bio.
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Old 01-26-2010   #307
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Spotty service records for charged Xe guards

By Mike Baker - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jan 25, 2010 19:33:09 EST

RALEIGH, N.C. — A pair of former Blackwater contractors charged with murdering two people in Afghanistan had checkered pasts with the military before getting hired to work overseas, according to service records disclosed in recent U.S. court hearings.

The troubled backgrounds of the two men — including instances of violence, drug use and disregard for authority — are a first sign that Xe, the company formerly known as Blackwater, was staffing its war-zone workforce with contractors who might not be suited for the job.

The military typically keeps its detailed service records confidential. That makes it difficult to verify the conventional perception that Xe has long filled its rosters with decorated special forces personnel. In the cases of Chris Drotleff and Justin Cannon, prosecutors brought up their records while arguing at hearings this month that both men should be jailed pending their trials.

Drotleff’s three-year service in the Marine Corps ended with an other-than-honorable discharge in 2001 and a military record that included offenses for seven unauthorized absences, two failures to obey an order, assault, disrespect toward a noncommissioned officer and falsely altering a military ID card. Before his service with Blackwater in Afghanistan, the 29-year-old also faced a number of state convictions for reckless driving, disturbing the peace, assault and battery, resisting arrest and DWI.

Cannon, 27, was discharged from the Army after going AWOL and testing positive for cocaine. He later petitioned successfully to have his military records officially changed to an honorable discharge.

Both men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia this month on two counts of second-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in a 2009 shooting along a Kabul road. They had been in Afghanistan working for Xe subsidiary Paravant under a Department of Defense contract to provide weapons training to the Afghan National Army.

Their records were detailed in exhibits and arguments at detention hearings in Virginia and Texas this month. Cannon, of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Drotleff, of Virginia Beach, Va., have been ordered held in custody, with the federal judge in Drotleff’s hearing citing his “decade long pattern of refusing to obey laws orders and regulations.”
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Old 01-26-2010   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
Complaint: there's too little widely disseminated trade news and background about security contracting.

Check out http://civiliancontractors.wordpress.com/
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Old 06-28-2010   #309
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Feds won't charge Blackwater in Sudan sanctions case, by Warren P. Strobel, Jonathan S. Landay and Joseph Neff. McClatchy, 27 June 2010.
Quote:
WASHINGTON — The security contractor Blackwater Worldwide tried for two years to secure lucrative defense business in Southern Sudan while the country was under U.S. economic sanctions, according to current and former U.S. officials and hundreds of pages of documents reviewed by McClatchy.

The effort to drum up new business in East Africa by Blackwater owner Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL who had close ties with top officials in the George W. Bush White House and the CIA, became a major element in a continuing four-year federal investigation into allegations of sanctions violations, illegal exports and bribery.

Quote:
After negotiating a $2 million draft contract to train Kiir's personal security detail, Blackwater in early 2007 drafted a detailed second proposal, valued at more than $100 million, to equip and train the south's army. Because the south lacked ready cash, Blackwater sought 50 percent of the south's untapped mineral wealth, a former senior U.S. official said.

In addition to its well-known oil and natural gas reserves, Southern Sudan has vast untapped reserves of gold, iron and diamonds.
I thought Jesus was against predatory lending?

Last edited by bourbon; 06-28-2010 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 05-15-2011   #310
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Default Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder

A NYT expose of a new PMC enterprise in the UAE (Persian Gulf), pre-dating recent events:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/wo...ewanted=1&_r=1

Hat tip to:http://www.enduringamerica.com

Moderator at Work

Today I have merged nine threads on Blackwater into one and so changed the thread title.(Ends)
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Old 12-28-2013   #311
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Default ‘Civilian Warriors: Blackwater and the War on Terror’

‘Civilian Warriors: Blackwater and the War on Terror’

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.
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Old 01-25-2014   #312
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Default Erik Prince: Out of Blackwater and Into China

A lengthy WSJ interview of Erik Prince. I suppose he is moving to where the $ can be made; Blackwater follows the pivot or are they the advance guard?

Link:http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...1,401,641,1009
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Old 10-22-2014   #313
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Default Justice after seven years

Quote:
Security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have been found guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of a group of unarmed civilians at a crowded Baghdad traffic junction during one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war. The massacre in 2007 left a total of 17 people dead and 20 seriously injured after the guards working for the US State Department fired heavy machine guns and grenade launchers from their armoured convoy in the mistaken belief it was under attack by insurgents.
During the trial’s emotional closing arguments, jurors were told of the “shocking amount of death, injury and destruction” that saw “innocent men, women and children mowed down” as they went about their business in downtown Baghdad.
The federal prosecutor Anthony Asuncion said: “These men took something that did not belong to them: the lives of 14 human beings. They were turned into bloody, bullet-riddled corpses at the hands of these men.”
“It must have seemed like the apocalypse was here,” said Asuncion in his closing argument, as he described how many were shot in the back, at long range, or blown up by powerful grenades used by the US contractors.
Link:http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...ty-guards-iraq
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Old 04-13-2015   #314
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Default Go to jail you four

Today a federal court finallys entenced four Blackwater contractors for the shooting / murder in Baghdad in 2007:
Quote:
Three of the guards — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were each handed down 30-year sentences for voluntary and attempted manslaughter. Nicholas Slatten was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.
Link:http://www.wbur.org/npr/399339092/bl...iraqi-killings

As this report explains the door maybe shut, but this has happened before in this case.
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Old 04-11-2016   #315
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Default Back in the limelight

A long report on Erik Prince's company developing a militarised version of a "crop duster" for clients:https://theintercept.com/2016/04/11/...ate-air-force/

Viktor Bout even had a role, leaving aside the Chinese investors.
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Old 04-12-2016   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
A long report on Erik Prince's company developing a militarised version of a "crop duster" for clients:https://theintercept.com/2016/04/11/...ate-air-force/

Viktor Bout even had a role, leaving aside the Chinese investors.
Devil in the details.

Reference weapons pylons,
Quote:
After failed attempts to acquire them through multiple countries, they conceded defeat. The plane would have to deploy without the pylons. But they instructed Airborne to begin building customized pylons capable of carrying both Russian and NATO munitions that could be added later. According to Prince’s original Thrush blueprint, the aim was to patent a new pylon. Creating such a device was a challenge, but Airborne’s engineers would eventually succeed in building it, according to the former Airborne employee. “It was really an impressive engineering accomplishment,” he said, pointing out that Western and Russian bombs required different mounts. “You could arm those aircraft with any weapons — NATO or Warsaw pact — with the pylons we built. It was kind of incredible.”
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Old 01-14-2017   #317
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...and another one by Arnaud: Erik Prince’s Mercenaries Are Bombing#Libya

Quote:
On Jan. 11, 2017, Intelligence Online — a professional journal covering the world’s intelligence services — revealed that the pilots of Air Tractor attack planes flying from Al Khadim air base in Libya are private contractors working for Erik Prince, the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater.

War Is Boring’s own sources in Libya confirmed the assertion. Our sources said that the pilots flying the United Arab Emirates Air Force IOMAX AT-802 Air Tractors — converted crop-dusters — are mercenaries and aren’t Arabs. Most of the for-profit aviators are American, according to IOL.
...
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Old 04-04-2017   #318
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The conversion of crop dusters into light attack aircraft had long been part of Prince’s vision for defeating terrorists and insurgencies in Africa and the Middle East. In Prince’s view, these single-engine fixed-wing planes, retrofitted for war zones, would revolutionize the way small wars were fought. They would also turn a substantial profit. The Thrush in Airborne’s hangar, one of two crop dusters he intended to weaponize, was Prince’s initial step in achieving what one colleague called his “obsession” with building his own private air force.

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/11/...ate-air-force/
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