CIA gives Blackwater firm new $100 million contract
2010-06-29 0:00

By Jeff Stein | WashingtonPost.com/SpyTalk


The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source.

The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about $100 million, said the industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal, which is classified.

“It’s for protective services … guard services, in multiple regions,” said the source.

Two other security contractors, Triple Canopy and DynCorp International, put in losing bids for the CIA’s business, the source said. (A DynCorp spokeswoman says the company did not bid on the contract.)

The revelation comes only a day after members of a federal commission investigating war-zone contractors blasted the State Department for granting Blackwater with a new $120 million contract to guard U.S. consulates under construction in Afghanistan.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano stopped short of confirming the contract, saying only that Xe personnel would not be involved in operations.

“While this agency does not, as a rule, comment on contractual relationships we may or may not have, we follow all applicable federal laws and regulations,” Gimigliano said.

The spokesman added, “We have a very careful process when it comes to procurement, and we take it seriously. We’ve also made it clear that personnel from Xe do not serve with CIA in any operational roles.”

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Erik Prince, chairman of the board at Xe and owner of Prince Group — which owns Xe — said the firm would have no comment.


“Blackwater has undergone some serious changes," maintained a U.S. official who is familiar with the deal and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss it freely.

"They’ve had to if they want to survive. They’ve had to prove to the government that they’re a responsible outfit. Having satisfied every legal requirement, they have the right to compete for contracts. They have people who do good work, at times in some very dangerous places. Nobody should forget that, either."

The Moyock, N.C.-based firm has been fighting off prosecutions and civil suits since a September 2007 incident in Baghdad, when its guards opened fire in a city square, allegedly killing 17 unarmed civilians and wounding 24.

In December a federal judge threw out charges against five of the alleged Blackwater shooters on procedural grounds, but the Justice Department is appealing the ruling.

Early this year German prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation into allegations that the CIA sent Blackwater operatives on an assassination mission against a suspected terrorist in Hamburg, Germany, in 2001.

In April, meanwhile, a federal grand jury indicted four of Prince’s former top deputies, including his legal counsel, and a fifth employee, on 15 counts of conspiracy, weapons and obstruction-of-justice charges.

Prince personally has not been charged with any crimes.

Members of the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting hammered a State Department official during a hearing Monday, repeatedly asking how much weight was given to Blackwater’s record when the decision was made to give the firm a new contract last week.

“I don’t want to guess,” said Charlene Lamb, the department’s assistant director of International Programs.

Apparently weary of all the controversy, Prince announced two weeks ago he was putting the company on the block.

“A number of firms” are interested in buying the company, a spokeswoman said, declining to elaborate.

Meanwhile, on June 15, The Nation magazine reported that Prince was considering moving to the United Arab Emirates.

“If Prince’s rumored future move is linked to concerns over possible indictment,” wrote Jeremy Scahill, author of a book on Blackwater, “the United Arab Emirates would be an interesting choice for a new home -- particularly because it does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.”

Prince’s spokesman Corallo declined to discuss his client’s plans, saying “his personal life is his own.”

Article from: blog.washingtonpost.com/spytalk




Related Articles
Secret Erik Prince/Blackwater Tape Exposed
Feds indict former Blackwater president, 4 others
Blackwater crime spree in Afghanistan - Jeremy Scahill (VIdeo)
Blackwater "Conspiracy Theory" Thrives in Pakistan
Iraq Orders Former Blackwater Guards Out
CIA cancels Blackwater drone missile-loading contract


Latest News from our Front Page

The Unsafe Child: Less Outdoor Play is Causing More Harm than Good
2015-09-02 0:39
The third grade classroom that was visiting our nature center for the day consisted of mostly boys–rowdy, loud and rambunctious boys. As we started out into the woods, the children spoke loudly to each other in anticipation of what was to come. After playing a quick game and explaining the ground rules, it was time for free play. As soon ...
Rights group demand police need warrant to access data
2015-09-01 23:48
American citizens should be able to rest safe in the knowledge that no one has the right to pry into their digital records, where they have been and how long they stayed there. The Supreme Court has just received a brief from the Electronic Frontier Federation (EFF) stating that this should certainly be the case. However, in the case of Davis v. ...
Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities
2015-09-01 23:33
Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city [Milwaukee]. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year–after 86 homicides in all of 2014. More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ...
Bulgaria - Islamic State Terrorists Caught Crossing Into Europe Posing As Refugees
2015-09-01 23:47
Bulgarian authorities near the Gyueshevo border checkpoint detained the five men, aged between 20 and 24, late on Wednesday, Bulgarian broadcaster NOVA TV reported. The men were stopped by a border guard, who they attempted to bribe with a “wad of dollars.” However, they were searched and Islamic State propaganda, specific Jihadists prayers and decapitation videos were found on their phones. In ...
How This NY Mom Made the Case for Her Son’s Religious Vaccine Exemption
2015-09-01 22:27
An unidentified, Russian immigrant mother who practices the Russian Orthodox faith, has secured a religious vaccine exemption for her autistic son. New York has a bill on the table to eliminate religious exemption and to root out those who weren’t refusing vaccines on strictly devout, religious grounds. Yet, this woman’s plight goes back before talk of eliminating the exemption – two ...
More News »