Ten Fun Facts About Blackwater's Founder on the Eve of His Book Tour
War-on-terror fanboy Eli Lake just scored an interview with book-hawking Blackwater founder Erik Prince, and it's teaching us so, so many new things about the Oprah of mercenary conglomerates.
For maximum illumination, I've interspersed revelations from Prince's interview with some things we already knew about him from 12-plus years of America's contractor-assisted jihadi-fightin':
1) Prince now says he is uncomfortable with the size of the US national security complex: "I say the defense and intelligence world will be better off with a smaller budget. They would be less encumbered by bloat and able to maneuver the way they used to be able and not trip over themselves."
2) Prince's firm reportedly imported a Filipino prostitute to Kabul to serve male Blackwater employees in Afghanistan, billing the United States government for her services (along with alcohol parties and spa trips) as "Morale, Welfare, and Recreation" expenses, while the company racked up $1 billion in government contracts by 2007.
3) Prince now worries about Obama getting overzealous with extrajudicial killings: "The fact that [Anwar] al-Awlaki was killed and his 16-year-old son, born in Colorado, was killed with no due process other than that he got on the 'kill list' is troubling to me."
4) Here's a video of a Blackwater convoy swerving to run over an Iraqi woman while she was entering a crosswalk.
5) "Prince also said the over-reliance on drone warfare in the Middle East and South Asia would likely reap 'a bitter harvest,' because of the scale of collateral damage from drone strikes."
6) This is a video of Blackwater helicopters over Baghdad, shooting indiscriminately into the neighborhoods below.
7) "Today, Prince said, he is focusing his business on expanding markets in Africa."
8) Here is a picture of a woman pouring water on the still-smoldering body of a dead bomb-attack victim in Somalia in October 2011, just a few months after Prince expanded his market to include support of
rebels blood-diamond plundering mercenaries in that country's civil war. He has identified growth opportunities there.
9) "When asked if he would run for president, Prince said there was no chance that he would."
10) Somehow, America, we will have to soldier on.
[Photo credits: AP]
Update: This post has been changed to reflect the fact that Prince's involvement in the Somali civil war was in support of government-aligned contractors, not rebels.