Friday, September 03, 2010

But OF COURSE a story like this must run on a Saturday

Still, we are the Internets, and we obey no Beltway calendar or clock. So read this story and pass it on to your friends, please.

Blackwater Won Contracts Through a Web of Companies

WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, according to Congressional investigators and former Blackwater officials.

While it is not clear how many of those businesses won contracts, at least three had deals with the United States military or the Central Intelligence Agency, according to former government and company officials. Since 2001, the intelligence agency has awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates, according to a United States government official.

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week released a chart that identified 31 affiliates of Blackwater, now known as Xe Services. The network was disclosed as part of a committee’s investigation into government contracting. The investigation revealed the lengths to which Blackwater went to continue winning contracts after Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September 2007. That episode and other reports of abuses led to criminal and Congressional investigations, and cost the company its lucrative security contract with the State Department in Iraq.

The network of companies — which includes several businesses located in offshore tax havens — allowed Blackwater to obscure its involvement in government work from contracting officials or the public, and to assure a low profile for any of its classified activities, said former Blackwater officials, who, like the government officials, spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that it was worth “looking into why Blackwater would need to create the dozens of other names” and said he had requested that the Justice Department investigate whether Blackwater officers misled the government when using subsidiaries to solicit contracts.

Read the rest.

Also, for the truly hardcore, like emptywheel and Maha, the article's sidebar contains a link to this giant PDF: "Contracting In A Counterinsurgency: An Examination Of The Blackwater-Paravant Contract And The Need For Oversight: Hearing Before The Committee On Armed Services United States Senate."

Reminder, if you need one: image-Google results for Blackwater. Here's an icky one from an earlier post to get you started.

Erik Prince, CEO of Blackwater

[Added] Thanks for noticing, Blackwater Watch.

1 comment:

Preppy McPrepperson said...
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