Friday, August 21, 2009

The Murderer Known as Prince from the Company Formerly Known as Blackwater


UPDATED BELOW:

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....

UPDATE:
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."

4 comments:

Porter Melmoth said...

Prince in polka dots? Tres chic! Luntz would KILL to have hair like that! Erik (spelling it with a 'K' is ever so manly!) already did his killing,and now he's got the connections to acquit himself in the media. Leave it to Blobert the Siegel to 'take on' Blackwater in a tepid watered down dosage, so as to preserve and protect.

Scahill is ALL WE NEED to understand Brackishwater/Xe.

My Afghan friend tells me that Xe is in charge of Karzai's security.

Something to think about as we use our Prince-invented lighted vanity mirrors in our vehicles, whether as we drive to NPR's dulcet tones, or as we obey HQ in Driveway Moment obedience, isn't it?

F#@% 'em all. First Siegel, then Erik the Polkadotted, and on down the line.

Anonymous said...

cover" the Blackwater assassination squad and drone squad story without ever mentioning Eric Prince's uber-creepy dominionist Christian vision"

That's no surprise given that NPR is permeated throughout by Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians who basically have the same vision.

It's called "rapture" but might be more aptly termed "rupture" because it signals a rupture in the higher thought processes.

gopey said...

The Prince of Darkness in polka dotted nightie. Precious. For NPR to recognize the existence of Scahill would be to acknowledge the existence of Democracy Now. Searching NPR for "Democracy Now" brings up (first) the following:

Los Angeles Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez re-read Alexis De Tocqueville's "Democracy in America." It changed the way he views the angry [astro turf agent provocateurs] at the health care town hall meetings. He now calls their fury "as American as apple pie."

Nothing to do with DN. For that you almost have to go back to 2004 where Dvorkin opines,

If Air America is still too conservative, there is always Pacifica Radio and its flagship program -- Democracy Now! -- hosted by Amy Goodman.

"DN" has more journalistic rigor than Air America but unless you are heavily into left-wing politics, it can sound very intense -- even moralistic. Democracy Now! recently shifted its broadcast to start an hour earlier at 8 a.m. Eastern Time possibly to compete directly with NPR's Morning Edition. So far, no audience figures are available to indicate if a shift from NPR to Democracy Now! is taking place.


I wonder if any audience figures are available yet? There's an interesting expat account of what it's like trying to get USA news abroad: http://avuncularamerican.typepad.com/blog/2008/01/npr-voa-democra.html

How about testimony from station managers? http://www.democracynow.org/resources/25/25/What_radio_managers_saying.pdf

That indicates that listeners prefer DN - but then the only listeners that matter to NPR are the corporate underwriters. It's like what Waa Waa Williams said about health care today - that if the Dems go it alone it will be like "shoving it down the throats of the American people" - never mind that 77% favor the public option.

Anonymous said...

Dr Dvorkian in a nutshell: "NPR" has more journalistic rigor than Fox but [not much and] unless you are heavily into right-wing politics, it can sound very intense -- even mortalistic. NPR recently shifted its broadcast to start an hour earlier at 8 a.m. Eastern Time possibly to compete directly with Fox. So far, no audience figures are available to indicate if a shift from NPR to Fox is taking place."