December 03, 2009

Blackwater Founder: Yeah, we were asked to kill al Qaeda leaders and this is bad because, um, why?

So, we are told that killing or capturing al Qaeda's leadership is our nations number one priority. Yet, when revelations were made that the CIA contracted with Blackwater security to help carry out that mission we are supposed to be shocked *shocked* because, um, why exactly?

Is it because Blackwater is a private company?

Or is it just because Blackwater is, well, Blackwater?

Seriously, I do not get the argument why this *serious* investigative journalism into the modes and methods of the CIA happened in the first place. The media constantly tell us that they hold back stories from the public which they believe would put lives or the national security at stake. Their check? Themselves.

So, when a certain New York Times reporter was taken hostage I was begged -- no, berated -- by my betters in the MSM to stop running stories about it. Lives are on the line I was told. Complete and utter bullshit by the way. But who made that decision? The Times. You know, the people who decide what you need to know and what you don't need to know.

You don't need to know one of their reporters was taken hostage.

But revealing just how the CIA is pursuing al Qaeda's top leadership? The nation must know!! Because? Because they said so, that's why!

The Vanity Fair interview of Blackwater's founder Erik Prince is a must read. Despite the author's (or editor's) best at painting Blackwater as an evil corporation (corporation!) Prince comes off the hero, and the naysayers the chumps.

Some important tidbits. For instance, Prince's reaction to the murder of four of his employees contracted to provide security to a civilian resupply caravan through Fallujah:

“It was absolutely gut-wrenching,” Prince recalls. “I had been in the military, and no one under my command had ever died. At Blackwater, we had never even had a firearms training accident. Now all of a sudden four of my guys aren’t just killed, but desecrated.”
Contrast Prince's attitude with, say, leading Leftwing blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga who said when discussing the murders, "Screw them."


On August 20, the gloves came off. The New York Times published a story headlined cia sought blackwater’s help to kill jihadists. The Washington Post concurred: cia hired firm for assassin program. Prince confesses to feeling betrayed. “I don’t understand how a program this sensitive leaks,” he says. “And to ‘out’ me on top of it?” The next day, the Times went further, revealing Blackwater’s role in the use of aerial drones to kill al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders: “At hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan … the company’s contractors assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft, work previously performed by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.”
So, they outed Blackwater's role in this because ....... um, why? Killing members of al Qaeda is ..... wrong? WTF?

Even better:

“The left complained about how [C.I.A. operative] Valerie Plame’s identity was compromised for political reasons. A special prosecutor [was even] appointed. Well, what happened to me was worse. People acting for political reasons disclosed not only the existence of a very sensitive program but my name along with it.”

By focusing so intently on Blackwater, Congress and the press overlooked the elephant in the room. Prince wasn’t merely a contractor; he was, insiders say, a full-blown asset. Three sources with direct knowledge of the relationship say that the C.I.A.’s National Resources Division recruited Prince in 2004 to join a secret network of American citizens with special skills or unusual access to targets of interest.

Exactly. Prince and Blackwater were asked by the CIA to help in the most important mission that agency has to accomplice. Valerie Plame was doing, um, what when she was "outed"?

Double worse -- before being outed Prince was doing work in countiries where the CIA was finding it difficult to do their job:

According to two sources familiar with his work, Prince was developing unconventional means of penetrating “hard target” countries—where the C.I.A. has great difficulty working either because there are no stations from which to operate or because local intelligence services have the wherewithal to frustrate the agency’s designs. “I made no money whatsoever off this work,” Prince contends. He is unwilling to specify the exact nature of his forays. “I’m painted as this war profiteer by Congress. Meanwhile I’m paying for all sorts of intelligence activities to support American national security, out of my own pocket.”
You'll also remember that this big scandal about killing members of al Qaeda because the word *assassinate* ultimately kind of fizzled because no one was ever killed under the program. Was that because the program was a failure? Not so, says, Prince. In fact, many top al Qaeda leaders and money men were tracked down. Then why weren't they killed?
They say the program didn’t move forward because [they] didn’t have the right skill set or because of inadequate cover. That’s untrue. [The operation continued] for a very long time in some places without ever being discovered. This program died because of a lack of political will.”
If the Bush Administration lacked the courage to issue the trigger pull orders, what do you think Obama -- with all his grand talk of hunting down al Qaeda -- is going to do?

So why use Blackwater in the first place?

“We were building a unilateral, unattributable capability. If it went bad, we weren’t expecting the chief of station, the ambassador, or anyone to bail us out.” He insists that, had the team deployed, the agency would have had full operational control. Instead, due to what he calls “institutional osteoporosis,” the second iteration of the assassination program lost steam.
Again, what is President "we-will-hunt-down-and-capture-or-kill-Osama-bin-Laden-by-all-means-necessary" Obama doing to that end?
And up until two months ago—when Prince says the Obama administration pulled the plug—he was still deeply engaged in the dark arts. According to insiders, he was running intelligence-gathering operations from a secret location in the United States, remotely coordinating the movements of spies working undercover in one of the so-called Axis of Evil countries. Their mission: non-disclosable.

So, we're supposed to be fighting al Qaeda. But by "fighting" we don't mean "assassinating" them if by "assassinating" you mean "killing them with something other than a missile.

Also, we aren't going to fight al Qaeda if the private sector is involved (corporations!). Because we wouldn't want a corporation to profit from something that is in the interests of the United States, now, would we?

This, of course, doesn't apply to any one else. For you we'll give you $25 million for information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden. But not for a corporation. Especially Blackwater!

And finally, the Atlas Shrugged moment:

He insists, simply, “I’m through.” ....

“I’m going to teach high school,” he says, straight-faced. “History and economics. I may even coach wrestling. Hey, Indiana Jones taught school, too.”

Good job, f*cktards. A vital private sector asset in the GWOT is getting out of business thanks to political grandstanding in Washington in an effort to divert attention from their own failures.

Anyway, the whole thing is worth the read. If you can stomach it.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:06 PM | Comments |