Jeremy Scahill broke this story yesterday and spoke with Keith Olbermann on msnbc last night and Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! (DN!). In a sworn affidavit, an ex-Blackwater operative and an ex-U.S. Marine — know only as John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 — implicated the founder of Blackwater founder Erik Prince in murder(s). Blackwater was the Bush Administration’s hand-picked private mercenary squad in Iraq and Afghanistan that continues to operate under the Obama Administration.
John Doe #2 swore: “To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.”
From yesterday’s Daily Briefing:
An ex-Blackwater employee and an ex-U.S. Marine are implicating Blackwater founder Erik Prince “may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince ‘views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,’ and that Prince’s companies ‘encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life,” Jeremy Scahill reports.
The two men also allege Mr. Prince smuggled arms that were unauthorized for use by the State Department on private planes, destroyed damning electronic and documentary evidence, and terminated mental health professionals who wouldn’t clear mercenaries for work.
DN! has uploaded these statements of John Doe #1 [.pdf] and John Doe #2 [.pdf]. Mr. Scahill is the journalist who’s probably investigated President Bush’s mercenary squad the closest and says much of these statements are consistent with his anonymous sources over the years. The allegation of murder and/or facilitation, arms smuggling into war zones, and obstruction of justice on the dime of the U.S. State Department in a sworn affidavit is the bombshell. Mr. Scahill and others confirm that Blackwater still operates under the Obama Administration under its new name, “Xe”.
“Mr. Prince operated his companies in a manner that encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life,” Mr. Scahill reports. “For example, Mr. Prince’s executives would openly speak about going over to Iraq to ‘lay Hajiis out on cardboard’. Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport or game. Mr. Prince’s employees openly and consistently used racist and derogatory terms for Iraqis and other Arabs, such as ‘ragheads’ or ‘Hajiis.'”
“Blackwater asserts that Prince and the company… were professionally performing their duties on behalf of their employer, the U.S. State Department.”
I can confirm from credible journalists’ research, my personal research at The Council, and first-hand conversations with scores of U.S. soldiers that the term “Haji” is regularly used by soldiers on the ground in the U.S. Armed Forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as “Charlie” was used in Vietnam — except “Charlie” was reserved for ‘enemy combatants’ many times, while “Haji” is used to describe every Arab from militants to children.
Jeremy Scahill interviewed on msnbc’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” – 4 Aug 09 (7:12):
5 Aug 09 | DN!
Murder, destruction of evidence, weapons smuggling, corruption–those are just some of the explosive allegations made by two former employees of the private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater. The claims were made in sworn statements filed on August 3rd in federal court in Virginia.
The two men claim Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. One also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
The identities of the two men–a former Blackwater employee and an ex-U.S. Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company–were sealed out of concerns for their safety.
In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies.
The allegations, and a series of other charges, are contained in sworn affidavits, given under penalty of perjury, as part of a seventy-page motion by lawyers for Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater for alleged war crimes and other misconduct. Blackwater now operates under the name Xe — [pronounced: “zee”].
We contacted the company about the allegations but they did not return our calls. Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill broke the story in The Nation Magazine yesterday. Jeremy is the author of the bestseller, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. His writing and reporting is also available at RebelReports.com. (15:57):
Part One (5:10):
Part Two (10:47):
EXCERPT from “Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder”
The former employee, identified in the court documents as “John Doe #2,” is a former member of Blackwater’s management team, according to a source close to the case. Doe #2 alleges in a sworn declaration that, based on information provided to him by former colleagues, “it appears that Mr. Prince and his employees murdered, or had murdered, one or more persons who have provided information, or who were planning to provide information, to the federal authorities about the ongoing criminal conduct.” John Doe #2 says he worked at Blackwater for four years; his identity is concealed in the sworn declaration because he “fear[s] violence against me in retaliation for submitting this Declaration.” He also alleges, “On several occasions after my departure from Mr. Prince’s employ, Mr. Prince’s management has personally threatened me with death and violence.”
In a separate sworn statement, the former U.S. Marine who worked for Blackwater in Iraq alleges that he has “learned from my Blackwater colleagues and former colleagues that one or more persons who have provided information, or who were planning to provide information about Erik Prince and Blackwater have been killed in suspicious circumstances.” Identified as “John Doe #1,” he says he “joined Blackwater and deployed to Iraq to guard State Department and other American government personnel.” It is not clear if Doe #1 is still working with the company as he states he is “scheduled to deploy in the immediate future to Iraq.” Like Doe #2, he states that he fears “violence” against him for “submitting this Declaration.” No further details on the alleged murder(s) are provided.
“Mr. Prince feared, and continues to fear, that the federal authorities will detect and prosecute his various criminal deeds,” states Doe #2. “On more than one occasion, Mr. Prince and his top managers gave orders to destroy emails and other documents. Many incriminating videotapes, documents and emails have been shredded and destroyed.”…
“It’s a pending investigation, so we cannot comment on any matters in front of a Grand Jury or if a Grand Jury even exists on these matters,” John Roth, the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia, told The Nation. “It would be a crime if we did that.” Asked specifically about whether there is a criminal investigation into Prince regarding the murder allegations and other charges, Roth said: “We would not be able to comment on what we are or are not doing in regards to any possible investigation involving an uncharged individual.”…
Doe #2 states in the declaration that he has also provided the information contained in his statement “in grand jury proceedings convened by the United States Department of Justice.” Federal prosecutors convened a grand jury in the aftermath of the September 16, 2007, Nisour Square shootings in Baghdad, which left seventeen Iraqis dead. Five Blackwater employees are awaiting trial on several manslaughter charges and a sixth, Jeremy Ridgeway, has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter and attempting to commit manslaughter and is cooperating with prosecutors. It is not clear whether Doe #2 testified in front of the Nisour Square grand jury or in front of a separate grand jury.