Leave it to NPR to find a way to "cover" the Blackwater assassination squad and drone squad story without ever mentioning Erik Prince's uber-creepy dominionist Christian vision and lust for wiping out Muslims. And of course no point in bringing up charges that Prince may have a room on his hit list for employees who might cooperate with federal investigators.
Instead of turning to Jeremy Scahill, the expert who literally wrote the book on Blackwater - NPR turns Robert Siegel loose for a comfy chat with loyal New York Times reporter Mark Mazetti who in the course of the interview, incredibly claims that the New York Times has determined that CIA-employed Blackwater hitmen never killed anyone (I guess someone at the CIA confirmed that for him?) Mazetti also finds time to tell us that drones have been used for attacks on militants (no civilians there).
All we learn from Mazetti is that Blackwater was involved in the "never-used" hit squads and was helping provide security and operations for loading missiles on drones in the AfPak region. Mazetti downplays the significance, attributing it to the US being shorthanded when it comes to running covert operations...sheesh....
Here are the remarks of Mazetti mentioned above:
- [Regarding all the civilians killed by US drones.] "...the pilotless drone airplanes, the Predators or the Reapers...are used regularly to attack militants in Pakistan."
- ["Confirming" that black ops were never committed.] "As we've reported over the last month, there was never an actual operation performed as part of this program."
- [As to why the CIA hired Blackwater - no mention of the obvious benefit of "plausible deniability"] "The security officers are needed in other parts of either Afghanistan and Pakistan or other parts of the world. And the feeling is that having Blackwater employees do the security and some of this more maintenance-type work is a good value for the government."
- and -
- When 9/11 happened and all of a sudden the CIA and the Pentagon and intelligence services became a lot busier, they all of a sudden had more to do than they actually had people for. So they looked to outside contractors to fill in the gaps."