No Surprise, Just Shock: Blackwater CEO Implicated In Murder
Yes. War was a game to these men, many of whom also didn't pass necessary mental health screenings, according to JD#2, who also says Prince fired mental health professionals for giving bad reports. John Doe #2 was, according to Scahill, a former Blackwater manager. In his statement, he says that Mr. Prince and his associates have threatened to kill him since he left the company, and he offered his testimony even under that threat. It's probably no wonder that Prince and his top managers would want this man to keep quiet: among his charges are that Prince knew of and encouraged the use of illegal weapons and ammunition and "did nothing to stop the use of prostitutes, including child prostitues, among his men" on their specially-construced Man Camp base in Iraq.
The other affadavit was from John Doe #1, who may actually still be working for the company. It provided some supporting information for JD2's charge of murderous intent, namely that he offers his testimony as a John Doe because he's heard of others being killed in suspicious circumstances after cooperating against Mr. Prince.
John Doe #1 talks mostly about the kind of stuff that's pretty well known about Blackwater, outlining a specific instance when civilians were shot at for no reason and the man responsible wasn't punished, but rewarded, for that behavior.
The worst part is it should be the pattern of unjustified, terroristic violence that brings Blackwater down. Instead, I fear that if Erik Prince ever sees jail time, it will be for that ultimate of attention grabbing crimes: killing an American. If that is the charge that's proven, and that's the charge that sends him away, it will be a crime in and of itself, a discounting of the value of the hundreds of Iraqi lives lost through the culture of hatred he encouraged at his mercenary company. And he shouldn't be held solely accountable for that -- those in the government who hired him, interacted with him, and took donations, advice, training, even transportation from him -- they are all culpable, and should face investigation.
Does that seem extreme? Could the Bush administration have known how wrong things would go with Blackwater? I think they could -- worse, I think they wanted Blackwater for exactly this kind of ruthlessness. They wanted a crusade, and they hired a crusader.
The lesson of the past eight years was that the worst case scenario is possible. When George W. Bush was sworn in, I was upset but not terrified. That was partly ignorance, sure, but it was also fact-based optimism. His father wasn't the world's greatest president, but he'd never seemed to be a threat to the very fabric that holds America together. What I didn't understand was that presidents often lack only opportunity for remaking the country in their ideal image. George W. Bush got that opportunity on September 11, 2001, and this world, secured by Erik Prince's army, is the what's come from it.