Monday, May 19, 2008

Erik Prince: Blackwater is a "robust temp agency"

I think I'm going to throw up now. Care to join me?

Speaking today before the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Prince, 38, maintained that private contractors have been a part of U.S. military history since the founding of the republic.

"They have been there all through history," Prince said. He bankrolled Blackwater with advice from a fellow Navy SEAL, using part of a $1.35 billion inheritance that followed the 1995 death of his father, Holland industrialist Edgar Prince.

"I had the unusual ability to write a check to do this," said the often-reclusive Prince. Security was unusually tight at the event, and the company requested that the speech not be taped or photographed.

Besides the bazillions of taxpayer dollars Prince has made, there were a few things Erik didn't mention in the speech-

It came under intense scrutiny in September after Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad shooting incident that remains under investigation.

Blackwater is not expected to face criminal charges in the incident. A seven-month old Justice Department investigation is focused on Blackwater guards involved in the shootings.

And there is this-

Prince also did not mention the 2004 crash in Afghanistan of a Blackwater plane that killed three U.S. soldiers. A subsequent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board cited Presidential Airways, a subsidiary of Blackwater, and its pilots for a series of mistakes and management oversights.

Blackwater also came under fire for an incident in December 2006, in which a Blackwater guard shot and killed a security guard to the Iraqi vice president.

According to an account from the U.S. House Oversight Committee, witnesses reported the Blackwater guard was drunk and fired several shots, striking the Iraqi guard three times before fleeing the scene.

Heck, they are temps. Can't be held responsible.

"We are essentially a robust temp agency," Prince said, adding that the firm will be fired if it doesn't do its job.

It's the DeVos model. Ask the people at Alticor Amway.