First on CNN: Blackwater gets an even bigger makeover
December 11th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

First on CNN: Blackwater gets an even bigger makeover

By Suzanne Kelly, CNN

Editor's note: Watch Erin Burnett's exclusive interview with Academi CEO Ted Wright on OutFront. Monday night 7pET.

Suzanne Kelly Simons is a CNN Senior National Security Correspondent and author of Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the Business of War

The company once known as the world's most notorious private security contractor, Blackwater, is changing its name and its look once again in a bid to prove that it has outgrown its toxic reputation.

Renaming the company "ACADEMI" tops a number of changes that have been made by a private equity consortium that purchased the company from former owner Erik Prince last year.

"The message here is not that we're changing the name," said Ted Wright, who came on as the new company CEO in June. "The message is that we're changing the company, and the name just reflects those changes. We have new owners, a new board of directors, a new management team, new location, new attitude on governance, new openness, new strategy - it's a whole new company."

Blackwater was dogged by controversy as it rose from a training facility in Moyock, North Carolina, in the late '90s, to a private security powerhouse at the height of the war in Iraq. But as business boomed, so did the demand for growth, and rules regarding issues like compliance and governance were sometimes not followed. There were also accusations that some Blackwater guards operating in Iraq's virtually lawless environment were heavy-handed, and then a deadly shooting in a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007 was the beginning of the end for the company.

Prince tried changing the Blackwater name to Xe, before selling it late last year to the group of investors led by Jason DeYonker, a managing partner at Forte Capital Advisors, and Dean Bosacki, managing partner of Manhattan Partners. The other investing partners remain anonymous.

Prince has an earn-out agreement over a set number of years, meaning he will continue to be paid on Academi's business, but Wright says "the agreement is for a finite period, a significant portion of which has already passed." Wright insists that Prince has nothing to do with the day-to-day running of the company. In fact, he says he's never even met Erik Prince.

The damage to Blackwater's reputation after the Nisoor Square shooting in Baghdad was bad for business. The company lost its most lucrative contract with the State Department and today only brings in about a third of the revenue it once did.

While Prince was the sole owner of Blackwater and answered to no one, the new company has formed a board of directors, headed by businessman Red McCombs. He was joined earlier this year by former Attorney General John Ashcroft and retired Adm. Bobby Inman, former director of the National Security Agency and former deputy director of the CIA. Most of the executive suites from the Blackwater days were cleared out, and the last major change to be announced was Wright's hiring from fellow government contractor KBR in June.

Wright now has the unenviable task of changing the minds of those who became passionate Blackwater-haters, some of them are members of Congress, which has oversight control over the company's government clients.

Changing the company's reputation, or rather creating a new one, will be one challenge. Building new business will be another. There is little likelihood that ACADEMI will ever achieve the profits that Blackwater did at its peak while protecting State Department personnel in Iraq, but Wright says he isn't worried.

"I don't know what the biggest year this company had was, 900 million (dollars) or something like that, and we're doing about 300 million," said Wright from his new high rise headquarter office in Arlington, Virginia. "I don't have to get up to that 900 million to be valuable on the earnings side."

Wright would like to double the training side of the business. His company boasts one of the country's largest, most well-equipped training facilities, located in Moyock, in sparsely populated northeastern North Carolina. He's also exploring new business opportunities when it comes to certifying bodyguards for high net-worth individuals, such as celebrities or executives. He'd also like to expand the company's number of commercial clients such as oil and gas companies, and insurers who do business in dangerous parts of the world.

"Hopefully we can reduce insurance rates for their clients so that they can bring us on as an offering to say, 'Hey listen, go use these people, they're gonna come and do an assessment for you and they're gonna improve your security environment and your insurance rates will go down," said Wright.

Today, most of Academi's clients come from the government sector, so it's important to Wright that those government clients acknowledge the changes the company has made, starting with the name.

"The only thing I had to convince them of is that this wasn't a Blackwater-to-Xe change," said Wright, implying that the first time then-owner Prince changed the company name, it was a change in name only. "This was a Xe to Academi change."

Wright's true measure of success will be whether he can eventually bid for business in Iraq again. When the team of Blackwater guards opened fire in that Baghdad traffic circle in 2007, killing 17 Iraqi civilians, the Iraqi government banned Blackwater from operating in the country.

"The day I'm allowed to do business in Iraq will be success," said Wright. "If the government of Iraq let's us do business there again, you know we've been successful."

Filed under: FIRST ON CNN/EXCLUSIVE • Iraq
soundoff (515 Responses)
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  4. BlueDog

    btw – regarding turning guns on American citizens, it's already happened. PMC's were sent to New Orleans as part of the response to the Katrina disaster. From the mouth of someone who did that work to my ear, they were NOT necessarily law enforcement (there are MAJOR differences in training, rules of engagement, etc between police training and a military training with the exception of specialized folks like USCG LEDETs and Miitary Police in the various branches), had minimal group training prior to deploying, and they shouldn't worry about shooting civilians. He was taken aback by that last part...

    December 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • John

      I work as a PMC and the company I work for highers prior law enforcement and military personnel only. the problem here is that most you are receiving your info from the press which only gives half the story.

      December 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  5. EJSJR

    These private security companies have gotten completely out of control over the years. They now come awfully close to being private mercenary armies, similar to the "Freikorps" which caused much trouble in Germany between the two World Wars. I think they should be broken up and banned in the United States. We shouldn't be "outsourcing" our war making ability anyway.

    December 14, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
  6. Annu Naki

    Terrible soul-less company. I wonder how it feels to be part of the problem and on the wrong side of honor, truth, and morality. How heavy your conscious must be. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Storm troopers? The bad guys? Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. You should feel shame. Deep shame.

    December 13, 2011 at 12:00 am | Reply
    • Eric

      You guys have no idea what your talking about. It was proven that Blackwater did not kill civilians at Nisoor Square they killed armed militants who fired on them first. This was proven in court. The men who join Blackwater are former military members with honorable discharges who would like to do something with the skills they learned in the military other than become a cop. None of these contract companies work for oil companies, we don't even have the oil rights to these countries! These contracting companies protect AMERICAN diplomats and foreign dignitaries in dangerous areas. The reason the military doesn't do this is job is because the military is Department of Defense and the DOS Department of State, the department ambassadors fall under need direct control over their security forces so they hire security companies and DOS places the standards for those these companies hire.

      December 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
      • EJSJR

        This wouldn't be Erik Prince, would it?

        December 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |
      • College Student

        Unfortunately Eric, there were innocent civilians who were killed. Also, it was the FBI who dismissed the chargers against the contractors. A few too many connections can be found between the government and Blackwater to ignore. We should never outsource our war making abilities. Someone profiting off war is disgusting. We have allowed far too many to get rich off this war because supposedly any private company can do better. This must stop. It is time that we realize how privatization is a direct threat to our democracy. When profit is involved, there is no morality and there are no ethical standards. When we conduct business like this, profits always come before people.

        December 17, 2011 at 1:01 am |
      • John

        The funny thing about this is, everyone that has negative things to say have never worked overseas on a DOS or DOD contract and were never in the military. The only thing they know is what they have seen on TV and read in a books. Open your eyes and get all the facts before you pass judgment. Ask yourself this question. What sells death and destruction or rainbows and puppies? Death and destruction does! The new stations report the bad, not the good! They don't report how the security companies have provided exceptional service to the DOD and DOS or how many contractors die in the line of duty. They don't report that most contractors will never fire their weapons while on duty. They report the bad, not because its the moral thing to do, but because it makes headlines! Look at the history and the performs of contractors, not a what one or two idiots have done.

        December 17, 2011 at 5:13 am |
  7. Don't know a thing

    ohcrap, they said "Blackwater" and "Oil Companies" in the same article. Release the hounds....

    December 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  8. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    Change the name to "Whitewater" and transfer it to Arkansas.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  9. Harry Balsak

    Even if you sugar-coat poop it's still poop.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  10. John

    It's obvious that most of the people posting comments on here no nothing about contractors. Saying that all contractors are killers because of that less than one % that commits crimes is like say all cops are bad when a cop commits a crime a crime or when a soldier kills a civilian during a gun battle. The fact is our military kills more civilians during war time than all the military contractor companies put together. Here is another fact, more than 99% of contractor will never fire a single round. One more fact for ya, military contractors are either former soldiers and police officers which are highly trained professionals and we are here to protect our clients not take lives.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • ShootTheHostage

      Much agreed sir! People giving a group a bad name for 1 or a couple peoples actions, sounds immature to me. They are mercenaries for hire, hired to do a job, and they do it proficiently. Whether its security and protection or a separate mission, that yes involves people losing their lives they have a stellar record and stand by it. And for you Brain dead hippies thinking that they are going to turn on our civilians and patrol the streets...really? You thinking that is assinine. You can insult them all you want, they'll still protect you with a great deal of professionalism and finish the job. Semper fi.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Learenzo

        Roger that....Amen!!

        September 24, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  11. infidelio666

    If you want a real solid analysis of Blackwater read:
    Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
    by Jeremy Scahill

    It is a good read and will give you a lot of insight.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • John

      Look just because you read it in a book doesn't mean it's true and if you really want to know the truth! Go down to US Training Center AKA Black Water and take one of their shoot classes (which are open to the public). You will meet instructors that have worked overseas and understand that contractors are not the monsters they are made out to be. You will also notice that all of the armed forces take and local law enforcement attend classes their as well. I don't believe the US government or local law enforcement would continue to have a relationship with BW if we were the killer they say we are.

      December 13, 2011 at 2:32 am | Reply
  12. 'Nother Son O Ursus

    Re: "Blackwater gets an even bigger makeover”

    Quote: “The Company known as the world's most notorious private security contractor, Blackwater, is changing its name and its look once again in a bid to prove that it has outgrown its toxic reputation…”

    If I were STILL ‘Catholic’, my pro-choice/pro-woman’s-equality/ordination/pro-contraception beliefs would be grounds for excommunication…

    Organized serial murder, onthe other hand, (...regardless of business-card-name & theology/political excuses), still smells…
    Just like the corpses of the men, woman, children, other life-forms & foetels, (‘wanted & unwanted’), piled high unto the funeral-pyre, aka, ‘corporate-tax-dodging-structure’!

    BTW: I'm a downsizing-survivor of the late, great 1 World Trade Center, destroyed, to the greater glory of some vague theology-model / ‘Deity, or-another’, (like Backwater’s corporate-profits' model).

    Will Erich Prince be disowned, disavowed, disassociated, &/or, excommunicated, by whatever ‘sspx-like’ bishop he receives the ‘Body-O-Christ’ from?

    …Don’t Think So!!!

    December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Cadiz

      Maybe you need to think about stopping smoking grass.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  13. Steve

    They should change it to Muddy Water.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  14. Really, Again?

    This company is a joke. And everyone working for them should be put on trail for treason. This company does everting to hide its real intent. Steal our tax dollars while pretending to do good.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  15. John Drake

    Veritas seems to have conveniently forgotten the ex-members of Blackwater, a few of whom were KIA'd and whacked for speaking out and bringing the illegal activities of the firm to light. A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee, identified in the court documents as "John Doe #2," is a former member of Blackwater's management team, according to a source close to the case. Doe #2 alleges in a sworn declaration that, based on information provided to him by former colleagues, "it appears that Mr. Prince and his employees murdered, or had murdered, one or more persons who have provided information, or who were planning to provide information, to the federal authorities about the ongoing criminal conduct." John Doe #2 says he worked at Blackwater for four years; his identity is concealed in the sworn declaration because he "fear[s] violence against me in retaliation for submitting this Declaration." He also alleges, "On several occasions after my departure from Mr. Prince's employ, Mr. Prince's management has personally threatened me with death and violence."

    In a separate sworn statement, the former US marine who worked for Blackwater in Iraq alleges that he has "learned from my Blackwater colleagues and former colleagues that one or more persons who have provided information, or who were planning to provide information about Erik Prince and Blackwater have been killed in suspicious circumstances." Identified as "John Doe #1," he says he "joined Blackwater and deployed to Iraq to guard State Department and other American government personnel." It is not clear if Doe #1 is still working with the company as he states he is "scheduled to deploy in the immediate future to Iraq." Like Doe #2, he states that he fears "violence" against him for "submitting this Declaration." No further details on the alleged murder(s) are provided.

    "Mr. Prince feared, and continues to fear, that the federal authorities will detect and prosecute his various criminal deeds," states Doe #2. "On more than one occasion, Mr. Prince and his top managers gave orders to destroy emails and other documents. Many incriminating videotapes, documents and emails have been shredded and destroyed."

    December 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  16. Lar53

    Don't care what they call it, put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig,

    December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  17. John Drake

    Rather than have Academi (Blackwater/Xe) run the mercenaries in Iraq and provide security overseas for our corporate bosses, and now that Obama will sign the Defense Appropriations bill that allows the government to round up American citizens, throw them in a gulag of our choosing, we ought to make them the New US Stasipolice for the New Year Order. They can patrol our streets, arresting anyone who looks or acts suspicious, has missing fingers, looks overfed (they must be stockpiling food in their home bunker), flashes a gold coin, or is packing heat openly, and round them up in violation of the Constitution ('that G-damn piece of paper' – GWBush), without a trial, using secret evidence gained from torture. Since 25% of the population is really unemployed, Academi will have their work cut out for them. Of course, they can augment their storm troopers with returning service men and women, who won't have any jobs waiting for them, nor social services, nor medical and psychological care, and since they have been dehumanized to such a degree that anyone can now be the enemy, why, ex-service folks will fit the bill perfectly. They are trained to shoot first and not even ask any questions, they do what they are told, obey illegal commands dutifully and without question, so as cogs to keep the wheels greased with the blood of the weak, the poor, and the ravaged middle class, they are the perfect foil to Academi's well-paid, well-fed, well-trained assassins. Oh boy, is 2012 going to be an interesting year!

    December 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • TommiGI

      When you say "our corporate bosses" what do you mean? US politicans? The corp I work for doesn't hire machine gun packing mercenaries as body guards.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  18. Veritas

    Say whatever you want about Blackwater; it is a fine organization that did an excellent job of keeping VIPs and government employees out of harm's way for 5 years in a volatile country that the US military couldn't even secure. If anything the situation in Iraq from 03-07 showed us that there is a lot the military CANNOT do. If you've never served don't have the nerve to act like you know what our military is capable of. They are soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines–NOT police officers/bodyguards, so this argument that PMC's are unnecessary is completely false. And for your information, in every war since 2001, Democrats have steadfastly refused to fund the troops unless there were absurd strings attached, so as a last resort the government had to rely on PMC's more and more. Blame your own party!

    As for alleged "civilian" casualties at the hands of Blackwater...Important people–namely, American citizens–were never harmed by this company. They have a clean record as far as I'm concerned.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • TommiGI

      "it is a fine organization ..." "as far as I'm concerned"

      My opinion is very different.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • Get Real!

      Couldn't agree more!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • Total SB

      I have been serving my country for the last 17 years.
      So, I'll be completely candid with you.
      Your post is a load of SH*T.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Cadiz

      It looks to me like Blackwater did a good job in a difficult situation. They never lost a person they protected in one of the most difficult war environments seen in many years. They did jobs that freed the US military up so they could do their jobs. There are only unfounded hollywood thriller accusations that they ever harmed any US citizen and the leftist theory that they were out to overthrow the US democracy was brought to us by the same people who support Chairman Mao and Josef Stalin's massacres of their own people.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  19. Cedar Rapids

    Why dont they just change the name to MercenariesRUs and cut the nonsense.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • Cathy

      These guys do the jobs that those of you who criticize them are too chickens*t to do! I'm glad we have the brave and the strong still out there protecting us. Pansies need not apply!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Reply
      • TommiGI

        You'll be singing a different patriotic song when they start "policing" American cities.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  20. olepi

    Hmm, a private mercenary outfit run by former CIA and NSA personnel, funded by the government, but accountable to no one. And operating in the highest security circles. Sounds like they are privatizing intelligence.

    What could go wrong?

    December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  21. Sean Russell

    Wonder how long it will be before the government turns these mercenaries loose on us, the citizens of this country.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Get Real!

      I hope they come and find your paranoid brain first!

      December 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • Cynthia Farnum

      Mercenaries have already been unleashed to kill law abiding American citizens on American soil. For me, it started in 2004. I captured video of a military plane and drones on more than one occasion. I was terrorized for many years. No, I do not live near a USA border, nor do I live near a military or sensitive area. I live in rural Virginia. Once, when I feared an imminent drone strike on my residence, I telephoned the local FBI. The FBI hung up on me and they have failed (as far as I know) to investigate my complaints of acts of terrorism including attempted assignations!
      I wonder what the appropriate role of the FBI is if not to investigate murder for hire and domestic terrorism. Maybe they will explain their role to CNN.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  22. JerseyGeorge

    New name, but same murderous methods.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • BobbaFett

      You can find the foil hats on aisle 3.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
      • TommiGI

        Your comedy input is weak. Arrest him immediately.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  23. Katy

    My best part is when he tries to argue things will be different by basically arguing that things are the same:

    "The only thing I had to convince them of is that this wasn't a Blackwater-to-Xe change," said Wright, implying that the first time then-owner Prince changed the company name, it was a change in name only. "This was a Xe to Academi change."

    December 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  24. zomgz

    You guys should watch the documentary Shadow Company to understand PMCs. It is approved by both Blackwater (or the company formerly known as Blackwater...) and Amnesty International. It's a very objective take on the matter and really you'll find both the arguments for and against PMCs are both wrong and right.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
    • D. Darko

      Sometimes, one can be objective when the situation doesn't warrant it. These guys are criminals, plain and simple. They should not be doing something that the military can do for much less. GO TO HELL BLACKWATER! Nothing but an excuse for full grown men to play army, make lots of money, and pretend like they're patriots.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Reply
      • Rodeoguy

        As the US pulls its last troops out of Iraq, Why did the US hire 9500 security contractors to stay behind??

        December 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  25. Saboth

    "Deaths of innocent civilians? I'm not familiar with that. Oh, you mean Blackwater! This company is called Bilgewater!"

    December 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  26. Bill in Florida

    With John Ashcroft's involvement, I have no confidence that the new company will be any different from the old.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  27. Get Real!

    For those of you that live in la la land and believe that if everyone was on the up and up then there would be no need for a private force please put down your hash pipe! If you had any brain at all and have traveled various places around the world besides tourist destinations you would quickly realize that there is a definitive place in the world for private security forces. As an example one must realize that many 2nd and 3rd world countries police departments rely on private security firms to provide them with security because they are ill equipped and staffed to do it themselves! The world is not a utopia. Private security forces are needed and required and the individuals that elect to do this as their occupation have my utmost respect as 99% of them are career oriented and want to do the right thing and make the world safer or at a minimum protect the people they are being paid to protect.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • whoa!

      .money first is their motto... they're just an overpaid band of fascist war criminals .. private armies are a very bad idea as we have seen.. Deadly force should only be allowed by US military personnel.. we don't a roving band of murderers accountable to no one but their unaccountable, unelected boss... nice try thought

      December 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
      • Get Real!

        Absolutley, money talks! I would take someone I pay to protect me over a volunteer any day of the year. As for being unaccountable you should do your homework and realize that these firms are held to a much higher accountability that our military and police forces. Not only do they have to be scrutinized internally by their firm they have to adhere to the US and the country they are operating in standards for the job they are performing. Suggestion – go travel and stop being so one sided as a liberal. You may actually become enlightened that most people are good but even the good need protection from the bad.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Kevin Schmidt

      But Blackwater/Xe/Academi/Whatever is not a "private security force". They are a lawless mercenary army who has repeatedly committed murder and acts of terrorism around the world and within the US. Please put down the booze.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • Get Real!

        Please state some examples of where and when this firm has made these atrosities? I am paticularly interested on where in the US this has happened as you state. Before you join the rest of the "can not think for myself" liberal bandwagon please provide specifics so people know you aren't a non-thinker and speak before you know the facts.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • D. Darko

      FU Buddy! I've been around the world and I personally don't need these extra-constitutional warriors protecting me. And if it's a government official, well, the Marines have done just fine for a long time. You sound like a shill for a very dangerous group. That makes you either on their payroll or a flat out stupid sucker. With any luck, Eric Prince will find himself in prison one day and this "company" will be DESTROYED. Again – FU!

      December 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
      • Get Real!

        D Darko ~ you make this statement with conviction so I challenge you, since you are such an apparent bad ass, to travel to Columbia (as in S. America in case you weren't aware) to work in the country outside the protection of the main cities. Or better yet try to sail close to the shore of Somalia on your own boat. Let me know how that goes for you! Let me know who your family or loved ones, if you have any, would actually hire to attempt to rescue you. I can all but guarantee you it will not be the US Marines or any other branch of the US military – THEY ARE OVER EXTENDED IN CASE YOU ARE THAT OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE REAL WORLD! Simply put the government can not protect everyone and if you are able to afford protection by a top notch firm then I think everyone has a right to elect to utilize their services or not. I am not a paid employee or anyone affiliated with their program or any program of the like. What I am is a realist that understands life isn't a box of chocolates.

        FU Buddy! I've been around the world and I personally don't need these extra-constitutional warriors protecting me. And if it's a government official, well, the Marines have done just fine for a long time. You sound like a shill for a very dangerous group. That makes you either on their payroll or a flat out stupid sucker. With any luck, Eric Prince will find himself in prison one day and this "company" will be DESTROYED. Again – FU!

        December 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • You Get REAL!!!

      "The world is not a utopia. Private security forces are needed and required and the individuals that elect to do this as their occupation have my utmost respect as 99% of them are career oriented and want to do the right thing and make the world safer or at a minimum protect the people they are being paid to protect."

      And from the vantage point that I had these "family oriented gentleman" were mostly the worst of the best that our military had to offer and nobody missed them when they left the ranks. The all joined Blackwater\Xe not so much for the money but for the opportunity to shoot anything that moved and not be held accountable, again, when they left nobody gave a rats ass.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
      • Get Real!

        So let me understand your statement correctly. You praise our military personnel when they are in a US military uniform as the best of the best but when they elect to earn more money, like 99.99% of civilazation tries to do on a daily basis, they suddenly become the worst of the best. A better example might be a teacher in a public school gets paid $32K per year but gets offered the same job making $75K a year at a private school. So you are saying she/he now a bad teacher because they went where the money is. Very interesting sentiment you place on people that have devoted part of their life to protecting us! Who says they are not held accountable? In fact you should do your homework and realize that they are in fact held to a higher accountability than our regular military or government police forces.

        And from the vantage point that I had these "family oriented gentleman" were mostly the worst of the best that our military had to offer and nobody missed them when they left the ranks. The all joined Blackwater\Xe not so much for the money but for the opportunity to shoot anything that moved and not be held accountable, again, when they left nobody gave a rats ass.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'and want to do the right thing and make the world safer"

      rubbish, they are paid mercenaries. I doubt they ask questions of who hires them and why.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • BOB (burnt out bad)

      Mercenary, that simple.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • TommiGI

      Pure baloney

      December 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  28. Charles Gannon

    Hey, all the basketball players that don't get picked up by the NBA have got to have some where to go to work.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  29. edmundburkeson

    They must have read the progressivist field manual. The same one that ACORN uses.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • edmundburkeson

      Sorry for being such an idiot. I forgot to take my meds again.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  30. drp146

    What increases the deficit more, expanding the military to provide protection or hiring this company at enormous rates? Privatizing anything is just the standard Republican practice of transferring taxpayer money into corporate coffers.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • brandon

      As it should be. The government is inefficient at everything it does. It cant even make a post office profitable.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
      • Kevin Schmidt

        The Post Office is profitable. But Congress forced them to overpay into their retirement fund. The game plan is to force the Post Office out of business so the more expensive, less efficient UPS and FedEx can take over and jack up the rates.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
      • Hap Hazzard

        Show me anywhere else that I can put a $0.45 piece of lick-able paper on an envelope and give it to a guy who will then take it across the county and give it to the specific person I intended. That's pretty d@mn amazing even if it DOES take a week.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
      • You Get REAL!!!

        Anyway you cut it, what ever you call 'em...a merc is a merc is a merc.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • cworr

      Contractors are more expensive short term, but far far cheaper long term because we don't pay them any benefits and don't take care of them if they get shot or killed. When you do the math, they are cheaper than Soldiers by at least 30%. (they don't get PX's, meals, housing, families get nothing, no clothing or equipment, etc)

      December 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • D. Darko

      AGREED. These people who privatize always tell you that somewhere, somehow – money will be saved. Except that it doesn't always work out that way. These guys are just the latest in a long, long, long line of DOD contractors who bilk taxpayers. No bid, cost plus contracts anyone? Pathetic how tea baggers will bitch about debt, yet give these gun toting monkeys a free ride. Free ride is going to end war criminals!

      December 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  31. Guest

    Private military agencies are never a good idea. No matter the charter, no matter the intent or what the function is; if it's not answerable to the public, then it ain't legit. I haven't read the entire thread but I would be surprised if someone previous to me didn't mention lipstick and pigs.
    Knowing that Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Inman are on the board also does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the benign intentions of Blackwater/Xe/Acedemi going forward

    December 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Sam the Sham

      When did we get so afraid to use the term MERCENARY. I think it is a much more honest description than "private military agency". Blackwater and other companies are MERC'S, plain and simple.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  32. Byrd

    They can change their name until Hell freezes over and it doesn't matter a whit. Who they are and the evil they do is well known. May they rot...

    December 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  33. Jim in PA

    What better way to clear the name of Blackwater than to recruit your new CEO from KBR, once owned by Haliburton? I feel like I need to take a shower just reading this article.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • SuZieCoyote

      I know Ted. I worked for him for several years. You will not find a more ethical and hoenst man in Defense. He served his country as a military man (reserves) while working in Defense. He's smart, yes, and makes careful business decisions. He only worked at KBR a very brief time. I don't know if he can turn ACADEMI around, but the Bad People (person) who was running things has gone. The contracts where the miscreants misbehaved is gone. Theodore Roosevelt Wright is ever mindful of his namesake and is a true American. Before throwing mud on someone, you might want to know a little something about him.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  34. Epidi

    Mercenary Thugs. Need I say more?

    December 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  35. Doubtom

    Many good comments, but the most accurate is JoeT's. Our first question should be why in hell we're in this business of contracting with "for profit" organizations to perform military functions. If we don't have sufficient military personnel to perform the tasks which historically have been assigned to the military, we should either institute a draft or not undertake those tasks. There is no excuse for using overpaid, civilian, gun-happy goons to further deteriorate our national reputation. Blackwater was deployed without any legal basis for having civilians under arms in a foreign country and were operating entirely without accountability until much later when someone called attention to this lack. They were then put under the military UCMJ.
    The State Department and the Defense Department were both working outside of their charters when they contracted for civilians to do security/war work in foreign and sovereign countries. There is no way that either of these departments of our executive branch have the authority to undertake these activities. We live in a hypocritical nation that insists it is a "nation of laws" when it routinely violates any and all laws. We have become a nation of liars and hypocrites.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • Jim in PA

      It's just like many other privatization schemes. It's not being done for the benefit of the government. It's being done to transfer tax revenue to well-connected private companies. Once you understand that, it's not confusing at all.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • drp146

        I couldn't have said it better myself and just posted the same thought before reading yours.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  36. ncchris

    Why do we need companies like this at all on the government pay role? We HAVE a military that is well trained, well equipped and can get anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. Let the military do THEIR job rather than outsourcing it to a company that is going to do the same job at three times the price!

    December 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • Doubtom

      The short answer is that with this all-volunteer military we don't have sufficient troops to perform all the functions normally assigned to the military. We'd have to re-institute the draft and that would be most unpopular and politically disastrous. It would also bring all this happy horse-- of unnecessary and illegal wars to a grinding halt.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
      • Jim in PA

        Of course the alternative to a draft is for us to simply stop fighting voluntary stupid pointless wars. I realize that is probably hoping for too much.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • grey water

      Surprisingly cost the government about 2/3 the cost of a soldier and 1/2 the cost of a Federal Agent...and when their work is done they no longer receive benefits.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
      • Sam the Sham

        That is surprising because the "private contractors" I know (in military and EOD type roles) earn about 10X more pay than a soldier and over 2X a federal agent. You must be including truck drivers and construction workers in your numbers.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • grey water

        Paywise yes...but the cost to the actual government...feeding, housing, buying vehicles, training, etc...cost more money for every soldier than contractor and agent.

        Like most Government controlled items, the civilian sector is better able to offer a better product at a cheap price. War is war, should be fought like one. Forget about Blackwater, smoke and mirrors as Afghanistan and Iraq continue to take your tax dollars and put them in their pockets. Blackwater is smoke and mirrors media used to make you forget the real issues of corruption and bad governance in these two combat zones.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
      • windrider2

        Not true. take Medicare, for example. The government administers Original Medicare with an administrative fee of 4%. Medicare Advantage, run by private insurance companies, charges an administrative fee of 25-35%, plus direct labor costs, plus net profit. My medicare taxes go to the private company and it only buys me half the services? And you think that's more efficient?

        December 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  37. Constitutionalist

    Reminds me of modern-day SS Troops. Too sad.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  38. drp146

    It's funny that the Republicans go on and on about how we are broke and must cut help to those who need it the most, the working class, the elderly and the poor, but have no problem spending hundreds of millions to hire armed thugs when a unit of our armed forces could be tasked with this.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • James

      And the light comes on! The GOP and the DEMS are united in the GOP/DEM Union of Crooks. Wake up people, where it matters the most, these two crooked parties are united against "we the people". They have essentially declared War on our Constitution with their misnamed "Patriot Act". They are afraid ONLY of the ONE, the ONE who stands alone honoring his oath of office, the ONE that can NOT be bought, the ONE who predicted the housing bubble, the ONE who is predicting the US Dollar Bubble, the ONLY ONE working to Restore America from the damage caused by the GOP/DEM Union of Crooks; RON PAUL!

      December 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • grey water

      Might have read of the extreme strain that has been placed on the current fighting force. Contractors are a cheaper, short term alternative to ensure combat troops can focus on fighting their missions. Contractors fill roles that keep the military doing what they should be doing...winning wars. It cost much less per year to send a contractor to a combat zone than a soldier. Most contractors are retired military, specialist within their fields, for law enforcement thugs is probably a strong term to use against your fellow great Americans that also put their ass on the line so that you can sit at your desk and type uniformed gibberish.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  39. Davethecanuck

    Wow, way more irrational comments than usual....
    It seems the sheep have been told to hate private security companies now... no exceptions.

    Seems like an awful waste for a group to purchase this company, go through the effort and expense to make these changes and then continue to encourage their employees to act in ways that would jeopardize their investment.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Doubtom

      Point of clarification Canuck, 'sheep' are the quiet ones, those who dare to put forth an opinion are anything but sheeplike; on the other hand those who simply parrot the propaganda being circulated by a government of liars and hypocrites are much closer to sheep-like. Most Canucks I know are more incisive than you appear to be.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  40. carly

    They can keep changing their name but they can not hide from their past and their connections to the Bush/Cheney war machine.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  41. Jean

    How appropos that an unethical (and name-challenged) organization such as this is now led by companies that helped cause this country's financial collapse.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  42. BridgeforSale

    Saw them in action in Iraq in 2004. Thugs.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • grey water

      Was it while you were feeling sort of scared or maybe suffering from PTSD while hiding in a bunker? Just asking.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
      • BridgeforSale

        There was no room in the bunker with all the guys your mom had packed in there.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  43. Chris

    The government had to privatize the war because the professional military isn't big enough to do what was required, so work for these mercinaries became very lucrative. At the high of the Iraq war, there were several contractors in Iraq doing what the military should have been doing, for every soldier there. Politically, Bush couldn't do a large-scale call up of the Reserve, extend active duty deployments even further, or even more drastcially, reinstitute the draft.

    Another name change for Blackwater? The devil has many names.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  44. FailedCongress

    Well. Now the 1% have their own private army.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • Davethecanuck

      Lol... just stupid.

      If the 1% already "owns" the country... don't they already have the USAF.... *GASP!*

      Sorry for blowing your mind fool... shouldn't you be occupying something?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  45. Jonny

    Children Shouldn't Play With Guns, No Matter What Age.

    and these are ALL children.

    Angry little boys.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  46. swschrad

    you can change the name to "Peace and Love Debating Society" and it's still the same old rudderless street killers with a "get out of jail" card. Blackwater is a pox, and they can't live it down. I'm way confused as to why anybody would take the liability of buying the outfit unless they wanted its services to gracefully disappear with money nobody knew about at the time.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  47. Bubba

    Sorry, not buying it. I see brownshirts building a private army not responsible to the USA.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  48. drp146

    Private armies are a bad idea, no matter what you change their name to.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  49. Red Cosmos

    If the Politicians, Corporate Leaders, and Executives were on the up and up they wouldn't need protection! If they were negotiating and acting fairly there would be no fear or hatred. Oh, and if you didn't catch those two lines above, maybe the next one will resonate:

    If you aren't doing anything WRONG then you have NOTHING to WORRY about! Government execuses for invading your privacy and policing the world are just about past the waste bin of fear mongering.

    December 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  50. Cuervo Jones

    yes these would be those intelligent professionals we saw the tape of 50 dancing naked around a bonfire drinkin from the bottle? then of course the guy who objected was threatened and fired. those intelligent professionals? Ever see the movie Man on Fire. anybody can call themselves a professional

    December 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Triton

      Do a little more research. That was a totally different company. Blackwater/ Xe/ USTC/ and now ACADEMI (whatever you want to call them) are top notch people that take their jobs seriously.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • Julie Hamilton

        Doing job seriously. hmmm. Devil is serious too!!

        December 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • CK

        Because of a bunch of twats like you, US is going onto drains. Where do you guys get your news/knowledge from? Bongs?Narcissists

        December 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
      • grey water

        Correct, it was Dynacorps.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  51. Bombero1956

    Polish a turd and its still a turd.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  52. Ken C

    The good thing is at least that Prince (Prince of Darkness) is out of the picture. The bad thing is, our government uses private companies like this. It's just a recipe for disaster. Blackwater was arrogant and hired a bunch of degenerate creeps. WHY do we need these private companies involved in our (useless) wars??

    December 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • moas786

      because we need somebody to due our dirty work for us..the word terrorism is already reserved for usage for the "other" side?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • cworr

      The security contractors at Blackwater/Academi are all former U.S. military personnel. Most come from the special ops community. They are hired because the government will not allow U.S. military to do all of the tasks that they do, because State and DOD don't get along as well as they should, and we don't specifically train U.S. regular combat troops to do personal security (bodyguard) work. They are actually mercenaries, but that is not a politically correct word so we don't say that. They are still needed and will be for some time to come unless the regular military establishment is directed to take on these missions.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • docSlainte

      "degenerate creeps"?? obviously your quite misinformed, as the personnel were and ARE mostly comprised of former soldiers from the United States Special Forces.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
    • PulTab

      Well said.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  53. Asturiano

    Keeping a step ahead of prosecution for corruption and human rights abuse.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • Leslie

      I hope your wrong, but, with the way Cheney twists the truth, you are probably right.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  54. us1776

    Yes, we figure Halliburton will be changing it's evil name next.


    December 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • moas786

      to chaney-burton? what a corrupt company from top down. just search their stock price before chaney and after chaney?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  55. SPQR

    Why don't they cut the crop and call themselves what they are really becoming "Schutzstaffel "?

    December 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • cworr

      Cute, but you have no idea what you are talking about. I have worked with these guys in Iraq and I am not a big fan (they act a little like cowboys, but that's probably their SOF side). But you shouldn't criticize because you couldn't do what they do.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  56. Jason D they are now just hired by congressmen instead of government..seems like a doaround, lets let people who have a track record of being controllled by a central intelligence and now a member of the board is ex NSA and CIA heading them up...think about how good your security will get if you say anything the government doesnt like....yup..youd have people inside your gates working with and for the government...government security is no security

    December 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  57. TommiGI

    Every interview with these guys should start with them disclosing how much money they get in USA government contracts. Then we can determine for ourselves if this is actually a business or an adjunct government mercenary army on the dole. Any private mercenary army under contract with the US government is a disgrace unless you are an out of work special ops guy looking for a paycheck.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Mahhn

      Blackwater has always been and will be under any name, a death squad. They were in Iraq to flame the fires, and they did a hell of a job. Covert ops for deny-ability, private company no liability. Everyone of them is very expendable and earns more than most people make. Just one more part of a corrupt government.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  58. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    Why don't they call themselves "Swindling Thugs, Inc." That's what we all think of anyway, right?

    December 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  59. MakesYouSayHmmmm

    Team 6 would make Blackwater/Xe/acadummies carry their lunch.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • SPQR

      That day may not be far.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • lollollol

      too bad Team 6 mostly have all been killed....

      December 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • docSlainte

      Team 6 members (some of them)who retired from the "Teams", actually went to work for and still are with the Company. So get your facts straight.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • cworr

      They are composed of the same guys! Blackwater didn't fall out of the sky. They started out hiring SEALs, then added SFOD-D, SF, Marines, Ranger Regt, and finally started hiring conventional Army guys.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  60. Criminal Comeback

    "The day I'm allowed to do business in Iraq will be success"

    Wow. "Sorry we killed a bunch of your civilians in the streets, when we were all jacked up on steroids and meth. But we have changed our company name and gotten some better meth. Please give us another try."

    December 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Church of Suicidal

      Where's the like button?

      December 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  61. Bringiton1

    Blackwater, Xe, ACADEMI or whatever they want to call it = MERCENARY . Does not surprise one bit Ashcroft is part of it and could Mr. Dick Cheney be part of the so called "anonymous donors"? I venture to say no doubt.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • TommiGI

      Cheney will pave the way for juicy Halliburton contracts, Ashcroft will lead the group prayer. Both will get BIG consultant retainers.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  62. Muldoon in Ohio

    Wow – another revolving door employment opportunity for those in washington willing to take a bribe... I expect to see lots more state dept, homeland security, embassy, and private secret service contracts for this outfit now. What a great country we live in.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  63. lollollol

    Blackwaters are going to be ones putting you in FEMA camps

    December 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  64. vvp

    These are the worst of Americans.

    Making a busine$$ of killing innocent people.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Mahhn

      you nailed it, right next to the corrupt officials that pay them.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  65. Amazed

    Someone has to do the dirty work. Any of you liberal apologists want to go into a hot zone and protect US interests? Little boy fantasy??? Please, these men are highly trained professionals from the US military who have served their country with honor. These jobs need to be filled, be grateful that there are people willing to do so while the rest of us chat on message boards from relative safety. Man you left wing hippies make me sick.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Tad Pole

      Your argument that they are "protecting American interents", is really where I have to laugh. Do you think the Blackwater was EVER protecting anything but their own? I don't. They were hired to do a job, and do it professionally. Sadly, instead they did it as if rules didn't apply to them, and this eventually caught up to them. Opening fire on a crowded market is not professional, and as all reports on the incident have shown, not excusable. Thank you, but I'd rather take my chances with the hippies that the trigger happy. Long term, I think they are less dangerous to american interests.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • Derek Jennings

        Thank you for having the answers. I am so glad that you have access to ALL the facts! You have no clue other than what you read on CNN.

        December 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Going In Circles

      *** liberal apologists

      We have nothing to apologise for.
      As soon as you used that phrase, we understood your agenda.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • Bringiton1

      Invading or killing anyone for our so called "overseas interests" does not justify the existence of these guns for hire . We've always placed and supported dictators and when they go rogue we invade and kill those that oppose us. You feel ok knowing that our previous foreign policy was based on that approach, that's your prerogative but it does not make it right. Little boy fantasy?? Sounds like you took bait and sinker when watching John Wayne or Chuck Norris BS type movies.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • TommiGI

      Spoken like a true "Special Ops" video game player and mercenary wantabe. Rock on Soldier of Fortune!

      December 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • agathokles

      I heard that Gingrich wants to use teenagers for such work - to teach them a proper work ethic and provide them with wage-earning role models. There would be one Master thug overseeing a bunch of teenaged thugs.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • Neeneko

      Well, in the past we had this thing called the Military that did these kinds of jobs.

      But quasi-free-market-conservatives gutted that, leaving an armed forces that can not even do its own job without having to outsource things.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Ken C

      LOL "hippies"?!? Uh...welcome to the 21st Century! The term "hippy" went out in 1969! Just the fact that you would use a word like that shows not only that you are ignorant, but a redneck who is so far out of touch with CURRENT EVENTS that you can't even be taken seriously! These "jobs" do NOT need to be filled. You are a moron.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • Jorge

      "American" interests??? You mean like the "American" interests that Lt. Calley and his band of enablers/thugs protected in Vietnam?? Or do you mean the "American" interests of the unknowing families of the 9/11 dead, who could not imagine that the terrorists who killed them were trained by terrorists who were trained by executors of the WMD/Irak, CIA/Afghanistan, Iran/Contra, Allende/Pinochet fiascos and more?? Perhaps they are the "American" interests of companies in which some of our top statesmen have a stake, and who are awarded no-bid contracts to supply our servicemen with faulty protective vests??? Like the song says, "It ain't me, I ain't no fortunate son..."

      December 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • moas786

      the illness lies are with you sir because you represent the cancer within this country. your macho b.s. has no regard for the law or the bill of rights nor the constitution .. eric prince and no better then any power hungry criminal/drug dealer that will do anything for the almighty dollar and then claim he is with JESUS???

      December 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
      • Cuervo Jones

        it's EriK du dolt.. Yah der untermenschen vill be done away vith. Look for these guys at your next natural disaster. they will be the ones murdering your brother trying to get a loaf of bread. piggy can then say HUH? at Katrina they showed up and killed people even w/o a contract in place. they knew King Georgie would pay later.

        December 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • robrepp

      choke on your vomit then amazed because this left wing hippie wants my armed forces who represent me and not some profit center to do any killing in my name. you right wing holes make me laugh.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Cuervo Jones

      chickenhak much ring wing facist punk

      December 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • kezorm

      "Any of you liberal apologists want to go into a hot zone and protect US interests?"

      There is never any shortage of Americans willing to sacrifice for a JUST CAUSE. And God willing, the number of Americans willing to murder, pillage, lie, cheat, steal, and generally disgrace the United States and everything it once stood for... gradually diminish to such small numbers that those still willing will chicken out.

      "Little boy fantasy??? "

      There is no more obscene manifestation of the "terrible two's" infantile psychology than was revealed in the philosophical foundations of Neoconservative thought. Those foundations were laid by Leo Strauss whose students grew up to become mass murderers. So yes, the Wolfowitz notion that "they will greet us as liberators" was indeed an infantile fantasy – IF it was not a sinister, outright lie which he never really believed at all. See this link:

      "Please, these men are highly trained professionals from the US military who have served their country with honor. These jobs need to be filled..."

      There is no necessity to commit war crimes or to punish people who had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. And to the extent that the USA had genuine interests in Iraq, we totally and absolutely "screwed-the-pooch" by letting Neocons influence the manner in which we attempted to preserve those interests. The problem is, if Newt becomes president, every error we have made in the past 50 years will be extended and elaborated to our everlasting shame.

      May Ron Paul win the nomination and may Dennis Kucinich become his VP.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:14 am | Reply
  66. JoeT

    The existence of this company is a sad and sorry indictment of America and who we have become. I remember back in the old days (before 9/11), we had a different term for the people who guarded US overseas missions– "US Marines". Unlike mercenaries, the marines were motivated primarily by their mission, not profit, and were accountable under the UCMJ. These guys from Blackwater, Xe, Academi– they're just brigands, out for profit and plunder on the taxpayer's dime.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  67. slobro

    This is why we occupy!

    The Rev. Al Sharpton’s nonprofit paid him nearly $242,000 — even as it carried $1.6 million in debt, according to documents obtained by The Post.

    In all, the controversial activist and his empire, including the National Action Network and two for-profit companies, were $5.3 million in the red, public records show.

    Most of NAN’s money woes stemmed from more than $880,000 in unpaid federal payroll taxes, interest and penalties. It also paid more than $100,000 to settle two lawsuits, byproducts of the unpaid bills.

    And it still owed $206,252 in loans to Sharpton’s for-profit Bo-Spanky Consulting Inc. and Sharpton Media LLC, the records show.

    Sharpton drew a $241,732 salary and perks that included first-class or charter air travel, tax filings show. He owes the IRS $2.6 million in income tax, and nearly $900,000 in state tax.

    The defunct Rev-Al Communications Inc. owes the state almost $176,000, and Bo-Spanky is $3,500 behind on state-tax liens.

    Sharpton has said he is on a repayment plan with state and federal-tax authorities.

    NAN last year took in more than $3 million in donations, which allowed it to chip away at its tax burden. This year, its board of directors voted to resolve the tax issues and paid all back state taxes, said Executive Director Tamika Mallory.

    The civil-rights group is also addressing the $883,503 it owes in federal payroll taxes, she added.

    And it is close to finished repaying the Peabody Hotel in Memphis $106,981 owed since 2008, when NAN skipped out on its bill after its annual convention, according to its 2010 audited financial statements.

    Plus, it paid $5,500 to a Phoenix developer to settle a legal dispute over the rental of chapter offices.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • tess

      you got to much time on your hands

      December 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • What?

      What if anything does this post have to do with the article or Blackwater/Xe

      December 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Going In Circles

      What the fark ???

      December 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Cuervo Jones

      and the Newt paid 300,000 grand for being an unethical jerk. what else ya wanna talk about or is this about black people

      December 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  68. Nurse143

    this rose by any other name would still SMELL! I bet those undisclosed investors are Cheney & his buddies – lucrative contracts, legal impunity – business as usual

    December 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Going In Circles

      Wait, its coming.
      Haliburton will change its name soon.
      How about "bendover" industries.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  69. rev_cletus

    Some wingnut asked:

    "Tell me, who would you rather have doing the security work?"

    How 'bout we get the heck outta their countries and let THEM do their OWN "security work"?

    Jeepers – that was easy...

    December 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Lisa

      Agree 100%.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  70. 60minuteman

    They should change their name to "We don't really have a name, we'd like to be left alone now, goodbye".

    December 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  71. Sgt. T.

    ACADEMI??? What bull faeces!

    December 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  72. Nancy

    Quite interesting who Blackwater has named to their board of directors. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft? For gawd's sake, what is going on here.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  73. Nat turner

    They are still a bunch of low-life, blood-thirsty thugs, no matter what the name...psychotic, gun-happy freaks living out some little boy fantasy.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • GERRIT

      murder for money

      December 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Realist

      And you know this how??? A large number of these Contractors are former Military and I take personal offense to your unfounded assertion. Having served in the Marine Corps, I can attest to the discipline that's instilled in both The Basic School and Boot Camp. So your opnion is just that, an opinion. As I'm sure you've never served a day [in the Military] of your whinning life, your opinion is moot. Though what was perpatrated by a few bad apples in Blackwater is nothing new to the US as a whole; look at your history and you'll find similar atrocities committed by our own Military – My Lai-RVN, No Gun Ri-Korea. These acts are not systemic but are a symptom of poor leadership. Go back to your kool-aid and pick up a book and try to learn something...

      December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
      • Cuervo Jones

        why don't murderers' apologists/cops ever finish that quote. " One bad apple ....spoils the whole bunch."

        December 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  74. Liberty Queen

    Academi is nothing but a collection of rapists and murderering little boys who can't get it up.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • GERRIT

      you see it right

      December 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • Sad

      You say they are nothing but " a collection of rapists and murderering little boys who can't get it up" Actually majority are former military members who fought and sacraficed for you and YOUR country. Humans aren't perfect but don't condem everyone for a minority's mistakes. Have you ever served ? Just wondering if you actually have met these "rapists and murderers" and had a talk with them about how you have done things differently to protect your family's rights and freedoms. I'm sure we will be all open to hear about how you've done things differently in service to your country.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • Cuervo Jones

        i've served and their are plenty of rapist murderers. all it takes is an officer to look the other way or even give the order. that disgrace to my unit Americal, Calley got a pardon. no wonder these pigs will never work in Iraq (legally) again. why won't mr. prince return to the US? like most bullies he is pissing his pants when it's his turn to answer up. p.s. his dad was a paranoid jackass too, that bugged all the company phones and bought his own payphones for the shop so he could tap those too.

        December 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  75. Tom Albert

    So what if they change their name and shuffle people around to make the board look new and management look new, it is still about MERCENARIES! Cold BLOODED murders, kills of the innocent and guilty alike. Cowboys with the freedom to kill and explain afterward, usually after the suspect is buried! BAN MERCENARIES! No MORE HIRED KILLERS! If they like the military life, then ENLIST and stay! Otherwise, do something worth while and constructive, be a creator not a destroyer!

    December 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Learenzo

      All of us are MORE than happy to help keep people like YOU free, AFTER we have done our time 'enlisted' in the military. God bless you sir and Gos bless the USA.

      September 24, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
      • Learenzo

        GOD bless the USA

        September 24, 2012 at 2:59 am |
  76. Will Ross

    Would you guys just change your name to COBRA and be done with it.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  77. Huh?

    What a load of ignorant left wing rhetoric on this comment board. Typical garbage from the monday morning quaterback and hindsight crowd. How brave of you. Tell me, who would you rather have doing the security work? We currently have contracted African and middle eastern security details, as well...and do not think for a second they haven't killed anyone. The guilt ridden liberal apologists will only focus on the American security contractors, of course. Walk a mile, and come up with a solution before you open your ridiculous mouths.

    December 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Yep!

      Huh?-Are you taking your meds?
      Maybe you should up the dosage.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • JoeT

      "who would you rather have doing the security work?"
      Professional soldiers and officers of the US Armed Forces. And if the work isn't important enough to put them in harm's way, we shouldn't being doing it, least of all turning it into lucrative contracts at the taxpayers' expense.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Cuervo Jones

      many of their group are South American right wing paramilitary killers that work for peanuts.. they are NOT some wonder force of good guys. Erik Prince is a spoiled little brat whose sister is head of the Republican party in West Michigan as she married the son of another right wing-nut billionaire. Every zoning rule in the book was thrown out so dad could remodel downtown to his liking.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • Ground Zero

      How do you know its all left wing ?
      So anybody who doesnt agree with you is a liberal ?
      You need to go back to school little one.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
      • Bubba

        Poor fool can't even define "liberal" or "conservative," and thinks our national security should be in the hands of hired goons. Sure, we're all "liberals," honey, now lie down and take your nap. Kids today, man, I just don't know. I blame the schools.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Enkille

      Well said. It's frustrating to see people warm and cozy with their Double Tall Mocha's making such comments on a subject which they understand so poorly. If you had ever met any of these"employees" you'd find them intelligent and professional. These private contractors *always* receive a much more precise and extensive training than our regular military. Our military rarely has the funds to train for protective services the way these private (and highly paid) companies do. I agree they should have careful processes and oversight, but they are in a position to do a much better job. For those that say "Professional soldiers and officers of the US armed forces" should be doing the job, I'd ask them to look at the track record for civilian killings as well. You will find it much higher than Blackwater's (Xe, whatever they are called now...). Now...with all that said...I am weary of privatizing matters of war. There's a thin line when protecting "dignitaries" in a war zone vs. bodygaurd duties for oil companies. Not sure where that line should lie.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
      • Cuervo Jones

        besides the massacre when i think of theses professional intelligent contractors as you say they are, i think of the group of naked, drunken professional contractors dancing around a bonfire at their embassy compound.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • DeTamble

      Some people cant tell the difference between thier war games, and reality.
      Notice how Blackwater defenders use names like "leftist"
      and "liberals".

      How do you "deprogram" these nut jobs ?

      December 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • Bubba

        You can't reason someone out of a position that they didn't reason themselves into.

        December 12, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Bubba

      I bet "Huh?" is one of those people who think ACORN is a secret underground army.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      I'd like to see American interests safeguarded by American soldiers, not disloyal mercenaries. I had a friend who was into mercenary stuff, and "America First" is NOT their motto.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
      • whoa!

        right first is their motto... they're just an overpaid band of fascist war criminals .. private armies are a very bad idea as we have seen.. thanks, Bubba!

        December 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
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