Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blackwater praised for Africa rescue

Congressional weenies might want to beat up on Blackwater, but the company is winning praise from Real America for its daring operation to rescue three young Michigan women from near-certain horrors in strife-torn Kenya.

"Unable to locate a helicopter or airplane to pick them up," the father of two of the girls, Dean VanderMey, "called his mother, who reached Blackwater founder Erik Prince [pictured] through a mutual friend, U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids," Bill Sizemore reports in the Virginian-Pilot.

"Soon, VanderMey said, he got a phone call from Prince, who told him, 'We're going to do everything we can do to get your girls out.'

"A Blackwater employee flew from Afghanistan to Kenya to run the operation, VanderMey said. The company located a 10-passenger single-engine plane, which picked up the women at an airstrip near the orphanage in the village of Kimilili and flew them 185 miles to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, where they got a commercial flight home.

"paid the charter fee for the plane, but Blackwater charged him nothing for its services.
'Erik wouldn't hear of it,' VanderMey said. 'He said, "This has nothing to do with money. This is about getting Americans out of harm's way."'

"'They got it done. I was pretty impressed.'"

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