CIA gives Blackwater firm new $100 million contract
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
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
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
|More News » |