Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blackwater Founder Explains Company's "Silence"

In a recent interview with the Military Times editors and reporters, Blackwater founder Erik Prince explained why the private security contractor is so often mum about its operations:

We go to work for the State Department, who by contract says you will have no contact with the media. So 99 out of 100 times, we have to say, “No comment to the media,” and we still try to abide [by] that however we can....

But that is a difficult quandary that we’re put into where we’re a punching bag of sorts for folks that want to attack whatever is going on in Iraq and we’re not able to put the facts out.

We’ve done well over 20,000 missions now for the State Department. Probably point-4 of 1 percent of all those missions have resulted in the discharge of a firearm — not 4 percent, point-4 percent of 1 percent. So the idea that the guys are trigger happy and shooting up the place is just grossly inaccurate, and still, no one under our care has been killed or injured.

(Just in case you were wondering, no, this interview did not violate said contract with the State Department. Prince explains: "This is kind of an anomaly, me going to an editorial board, but, you know, I’m here not really to talk about our State Department stuff but about the other stuff we do for DoD and aviation and et cetera.")

In spite of this difficult contract, Price is magnanimous about his employers: "I’m not here to criticize the State Department at all.... They have a difficult job there, we have a difficult job there.... I’m honored that they renewed our work, that they see the value that we provide them."

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