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Blackwater: Private Army In The News Again

Journalist Jeremy Scahill testifies on the topic of private military contracting in Iraq before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee on September 21, 2007.
Journalist Jeremy Scahill testifies on the topic of private military contracting in Iraq before the Senate Democratic Policy Committee on September 21, 2007.

There's an abundance of journalist coverage of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, but Jeremy Scahill has found a niche investigating Blackwater, a military contractor with a long involvement in the war. He's broken many stories in The Nation, and his latest, published Nov. 23, uncovers the contractor's involvement in a covert program run by the U.S. Joint Special Command (JSOC).

Scahill says that even though tax payers are funding this shadow army, their operations are shrouded in secrecy.

In his article, Scahill reports that Blackwater (which has officially changed its name to Xe Services LLC) is operating in Pakistan under a program that includes planning targeted assassinations and kidnappings of Taliban and Al Qaeda suspects. Blackwater operatives also run a secret U.S. military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the CIA's predator strikes.

Scahill is a Polk-award winning journalist and the author of the 2007 book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


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