There are multiple media confirmations of this, and though Blackwater/Xe denies it all, the reports of the last few days have made it clear that Blackwater has been acting as the CIA’s own private mercenary army. Though the primary actors in this arrangement will move on and regroup under new designations, and the CIA will simply hire on new assets as required, it provides us with valuable insights on how regime change operations are conducted on the world’s covert battlefields – via front companies, arm’s length relationships, and plausibly deniable operations. It certainly makes the Taliban’s claim that some of the worst civilian bombings in Pakistan are attributable to Blackwater look more credible. The beef of the various insurgent tribal groups we inelegantly lump together under the heading of ‘Taliban’ has been, they claim, with the military, and their attacks in the past have reflected this interest. Hillary Clinton touches down in Pakistan to pontificate on the threat of terror and a merchant’s market full of women and children goes up in flames. It seems odd, and it certainly wouldn’t be the first false flag attack the US has engaged in if these claims are accurate. At some point, notions of right and wrong are exposed as so much pretext and all our conflicts are unmasked as disgusting, primitive tribal warfare.
Flashback: U.S. Military Joins CIA’s Drone War in Pakistan | Blackwater’s Erik Prince: Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy | Taliban: Blackwater to blame for Pakistan attacks | Report: Blackwater approved plan to pay off Iraqi officials | Taliban Chief Blames Blackwater, ISI for Peshawar Blast | Ex-employees claim Blackwater pimped out young Iraqi girls | Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Implicated in Murder | Obama’s Blackwater? Chicago Mercenary Firm Gets Millions for Private “Security” in Israel and Iraq | Blackwater, mired in Iraq controversy, changes its name to ‘Xe’ | Official: Blackwater contract for Iraq not renewed | Blackwater Guards facing Charges in Case of 17 Dead Iraqi Citizens | Blackwater-linked firm to train Canadian troops | Madsen: CIA collusion with “Al Qaeda” financiers and attack planners | Canadian troops continue gearing up, to receive US counter-insurgency training | Blackwater Worldwide, Wal-Mart of modern war
December 12, 2009
|US Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta|
Despite repeated denials, the CIA has now confirmed that US security contractor Xe Services, formerly known as Blackwater, has been operating in Pakistan.
CIA spokesman George Little said that agency Director Leon Panetta has terminated a contract with Xe services that allowed the company’s employees to load bombs on CIA drones at secret airfields in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Although the spokesman denied that Blackwater was currently involved in CIA operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, his comments, contradicted past US assertions that the company does not operate in Pakistan.
Other than the US administration, the Pakistani government and Xe itself had denied that the company was operating in Pakistan.
Little did say, however, that the contractor still provides so-called security or support assistance to the US intelligence agency in the two countries. He did not elaborate further on exactly what that role involves.
While the New York Times published CIA’s claim that Blackwater employees no longer have an operational role in the agency’s covert programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Guardian posted a quite different article.
Citing comments from an unnamed former US official, the British daily reported that Blackwater was still operating in Pakistan at a secret CIA airfield used for launching drone attacks.
According to the official, who has direct knowledge of the operation, Xe employees patrol areas surrounding the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
Blackwater gained its notoriety mainly from its activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iraqis have launched several cases against the company in US courts over violent attacks carried out by the company against unarmed people, including an unprovoked 2007 shooting spree in Baghdad that killed 17 civilians.
After the Baghdad incident Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services.
The company CEO Erik Prince also is facing allegations by a former US marine and a past employee that he organized the murder of witnesses that could have testified against his company during the hearings.
He has also been accused by the two witnesses, whose identities have not been disclosed by the courts for safety purposes, of having anti-Muslim sentiments, “encouraging and rewarding the destruction of Iraqi life”, and arms smuggling.
CIA confirmation of Xe involvement in Pakistan comes a day after the New York Times reported that links between Blackwater and the CIA in Iraq and Afghanistan have been closer than has yet been disclosed.
A US Congressional committee is apparently investigating links between Blackwater and American intelligence services.
The paper said that Blackwater staff had participated in clandestine CIA raids.
Blackwater is a sensitive subject in Pakistan where its name is associated with drone strikes, bombings and violent activities that have left hundreds of civilians dead.
Before the US avowal, some Pakistani TV stations had already aired images of what seemed to be “Blackwater houses” in Islamabad. Several papers had also published reports accusing certain US officials and journalists of being Xe operatives.
Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, has even offered to resign if it is proven that Blackwater is present in Pakistan.
However, it remains to be seen whether he will keep that promise now that the CIA has confirmed that Blackwater is and was working in Pakistan.
Source | Alternate Coverage 1 2 | See also under Pakistan: U.S. Military Joins CIA’s Drone War in Pakistan | Bin Laden not in Pakistan, says prime minister | Pakistan charges 7 in Mumbai attacks | UK: Rights watchdog reveals Pakistani spies pressed by British to torture detainees | Taliban: Blackwater to blame for Pakistan attacks | Taliban Chief Blames Blackwater, ISI for Peshawar Blast | UN: Drone attacks may violate international law | Bomb kills dozens in Pakistan as Hillary Clinton arrives | Pakistani Army working with ‘Good Taliban’ | Refugee flood reveals human cost of South Waziristan’s invisible war | ‘Taliban’ resist Pakistan onslaught | Pakistani troops assault ‘Taliban’ stronghold | Militants attack Pakistani cities | Pakistan launches air strikes before offensive | Pakistan hit by another deadly bomb blast | Bloody siege in Pakistan ends with 20 dead | Pakistan to indict suspects in Mumbai attacks | Links to ‘Al-Qaeda’, Pakistani training camps linger after ‘Toronto 18ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â² member imprisoned | Pakistani militant leader dead: Taliban | Mumbai attack suspect shocks court and own defence lawyer by pleading guilty | Taliban flee new U.S. drive in Afghanistan | Pakistan remains silent as U.S. air attack kills 80 | Whistleblower Who Linked “Taliban” Leader To US Intelligence Is Assassinated | CIA: Bin Laden still in Pakistan | Pakistan army backs citizens fighting Taliban | The Main Result of the “War on Terror”: The Destabilization of Pakistan | Homing chips are CIA’s latest weapon against ‘al-Qaida’ targets hiding in Pakistan’s tribal belt | Pakistani troops battle Taliban in key Swat Valley city | Canada eyes arms sales to Pakistan | MacKay to discuss security concerns with Pakistan | Caught in the crossfire — the Swat valley’s fleeing families | CIA: Our Drones are Killing Terrorists. Promise. | 500,000 fleeing Pakistani airstrikes, fighting, UN reports | Pakistan is ‘abdicating to the Taliban,’ says Clinton | Mumbai attacks suspect alleges torture, retracts confession | US military may escalate ‘war on terror’ by striking deeper into Pakistan | Pakistan restores outspoken judge | Pakistani police attack opposition march for independent judiciary | Not very cricket: Witnesses report Pakistani security abandoned convoy prior to attack | Pakistani officers helped plan Mumbai attacks, says India | Report: CIA runs secret bases in Pakistan | Indian Mumbai dossier details gunmen’s calls with handlers | India to create national spy agency in wake of Mumbai attacks | Former ISI Chief: Mumbai And 9/11 Both “Inside Jobs” | Indian Intelligence Provided SIM Cards to Mumbai Gunmen | Mumbai Attacks Politicize Long-Isolated Elite | Mumbai terror attacks: Rice calls for ‘total transparency’ from Pakistan | CIA Foreknowledge of the Mumbai Attacks | “Fair-skinned, blonde” assailants began attack in Mumbai | Mumbai Attacks Blamed On Al-Qaeda As Pretext For U.S. Military Response | Terror strikes Mumbai | Don’t-ask-don’t-tell Policy: Pakistan and U.S. Have Tacit Deal On Airstrikes | Death toll climbs after U.S. air strike in Pakistan | US Incursion Turned Back by Pakistan Army | Bush secret order to send special forces into Pakistan | Pakistan fury over ‘US assault’ | Musharraf resigns as Pakistan president | Key Benazir Bhutto assassination witness shot dead | CIA, Pakistani ISI have long, complicated relationship | U.S. Intel Officer: Al Qaeda Leadership Allowed To Operate Freely in Pakistan | Afghanistan suggests Pakistan responsible for embassy bombing | Bhutto report: Musharraf planned to fix elections | Video: ‘The most conclusive evidence’ Bhutto was shot | Police abandoned security posts before Bhutto assassination | Bhutto assassinated | Benazir Bhutto: Bin Laden Murdered | Terror accused refuses to discuss links to Pakistan secret service, family threatened | London terror plotter was ‘hardened’ in ISI camp | US Allowed Taliban, Al-Qaeda Airlift Evacuation