It was an unusual congressional hearing where the majority party had hoped to score a home run and mop the floor with the owner of the nation's most prolific provider of diplomatic security services.
Instead, after nearly four hours of talking and questioning at the October 2 event, even the critics appeared to grovel at the feet of the former Navy SEAL who is credited with saving the lives of all American diplomats in Iraq.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) acknowledged to Prince amid his criticism, "I’ve heard a lot of complimentary things about what you all do. And I’m sure you do a great job." He added, "You're a very impressive witness."
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) told Prince, "the American people are indebted to you."
Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA) said, "I want to commend Mr Prince for his duties, for his skill, and for his heading up Blackwater." She told Prince, "You are providing a service. And I commend you." Rep. Watson even suggested that Blackwater train the US military to perform security functions.
Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), who has been to Iraq more than 18 times and knows Blackwater's professionalism well, commented to Prince, "Every year you have had men who have risked their lives and been killed fulfilling their mission." Shays added company has fulfilled its mission "100 percent." "That's a perfect record," Shays added. "And you don't get any credit for it for some reason."
Even the committee chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), melted before Prince: "We appreciate what you've done."