Erik Prince runs an outfit (Blackwater, aka Xe) that I wish didn’t exist. His style of politically connected war profiteering is a danger to democratic values and to military success.
The evidence seems to show that the operating procedures of Blackwater encouraged homicide by its employees, and the cover-up of such killings. If it were to turn out that Prince had committed a murder, it wouldn’t much change my view of the man’s character, and I’d be delighted to see him go up the long ladder and down the short rope. Not only that, it would embarrass lots of right-wing politicians who deserve to be embarrassed.
Period. New paragraph.
Based on a story in the Nation, it’s being widely reported that Prince is “implicated” in the murders of witnesses to his company’s misdeeds. Only, I’d say, in the sense that Michelle Obama was “implicated” in having used the word “whitey,” or Bill Clinton in the death of Vince Foster. Two people have made allegations, that other people have made allegations, and highly unspecific allegations at that.
According to the story two Blackwater ex-employees have submitted sworn statements. They’re identified as “John Doe #1” and “John Doe #2.”
John Doe #1, says the story,
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.”
As John Doe #2, a former Blackwater manager,
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.”
That John Does #1 and #2 are anonymous doesn’t discredit the story; if what they say is true, they have every reason not to want their names known. But they aren’t accusing Erik Prince of murder. They aren’t even identifying anyone who was supposedly murdered, or when, or where. They don’t even purport to know any of those facts. What they say is that other, unnamed, people within Blackwater told them that other people, also unnamed, had died under suspicious circumstances, and that “it appears” that Prince was responsible.
Yes, we have sworn testimony. But it’s sworn testimony to a vague rumor. Eric Prince could be completely innocent, and the depositions completely accurate. So right now there is nothing like an actual accusation of murder.
There’s lots of other stuff in the depositions, some of it first-hand accounts of, e.g., weapons smuggling. What there isn’t is enough evidence to report that Erik Prince is “implicated” in killing witnesses.