Monday, October 08, 2007

Blackwater answers to no one

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has written a short but enlightening description of the testimony of Erik Prince, the chief of Blackwater before a House committee on October 2, 2007:

"...How much does Blackwater, recipient of $1 billion in federal contracts, make in profits? "We're a private company, and there's a key word there -- private," Prince answered.

"What about the 2004 crash of a Blackwater plane in Afghanistan, when federal investigators said the pilots acted unprofessionally? "Accidents happen," Prince explained.

"The lack of prosecution for a drunken Blackwater worker who shot and killed a security guard to an Iraqi vice president? "We can't flog him," Prince said...

"Republicans, meanwhile, proved content to shill for a major donor. Prince's father helped to bankroll the religious-conservative movement, and his sister, Betsy DeVos, is a big Republican fundraiser who married into the Amway fortune. Prince himself has given $236,000 to GOP candidates and conservative causes -- typical of a defense contracting industry that, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, gave nearly $1 million to members of the oversight committee since 2003 -- 83 percent of it to Republicans...

"We should take care not to prejudge," said Tom Davis of Virginia ($717,829).

"We should not be holding this hearing," protested John Mica of Florida ($145,454). "Therefore, I move that the committee do now adjourn..."

Original story:

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