20 February 2009

THEY CAN RUN, BUT THEY CAN'T HIDE! WE KNOW! The Mercenaries Previously Known as Blackwater [news story & book referral]

Article: "The Mercenaries Previously Known as Blackwater"
Source: PRwatch.org (orig. source The Washington Post)
Excerpt(s): First it was Blackwater USA. Then it was Blackwater Worldwide. Now, it's "Xe" (pronounced "Zee"). The private military company has repeatedly tried to re-brand, after numerous controversies from the killing of civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad; to its no-bid contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, post-Katrina; to its hiring troops with ties to repressive regimes, like that of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The company says its latest name change is meant to reflect a new focus. Blackwater / Xe spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, "We've taken the company to a place where it is no longer accurately described as Blackwater." Its subsidiaries also have new names: Blackwater Airships is now Guardian Flight Systems, Blackwater Target Systems is GSD Manufacturing, and Blackwater Lodge and Training Center is the U.S. Training Center. The company has also shed its famous (or infamous) bear-paw and crosshairs logo. The new head of Blackwater / Xe, Gary Jackson, told employees, "Xe will be a one-stop shopping source for world class services in the fields of security, stability, aviation, training and logistics," reports the Wall Street Journal.
Links to Full Story: http://www.prwatch.org/node/8214 and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/13/AR2009021303149.html
Click on image of bookcover above right to read more [link to Amazon.com preview] about the origins and recent practices of Blackwater in Jeremy's Scahill's well-researched book (highly recommended--though he still takes it a bit easy on them...).

Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater & imperialistic aristocrat
(Image by The Washington Post / click on image for original source)

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