Category Archives: Erik Prince
A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina [official website] ruled Wednesday that a lawsuit against Blackwater [JURIST news archive], now known as Xe Services [corporate website], can proceed in state court. The suit revolves around a 2007 shooting incident [JURIST news report] in the Nisour Square area of Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. A subsequent FBI [official website] investigation revealed that 14 of the deaths were unjustified acts of excessive force [NYT report]. The lawsuit, the last remaining in relation to the shooting incident, was filed by the families of six victims. In his ruling, Judge Terrence Boyle said that nonresidents lack the right to sue in federal court for injuries sustained outside of the country, but that federal courts are obligated to remand such cases to the state level, where North Carolina law permits such suits.
Foreign governments as well as US courts and agencies continue to scrutinize the role of private security contractors in conflicts abroad as incidents of violence and abuse have raised concerns that the firms operate largely outside of the law. In October, the Afghan government announced that it had disbanded eight private security companies [JURIST report] operating locally and confiscated their weapons pursuant to a decree from President Hamid Karzai [official profile]. In September, a judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] declared a mistrial [JURIST report] in a murder case against two Blackwater defense contractors after the jury failed to reach a verdict following nine hours of deliberation. The defendants were charged with killing two unnamed men in Kabul and argued self-defense. In February, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced that it had launched an investigation [JURIST report] into Blackwater following allegations that the company bribed Iraqi officials with $1 million to allow them to continue operating in the country after the Nisour Square incident. Bribery of foreign officials is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) [text, 15 USC § 78dd-1 text].
This is a civil suit, the last avenue left it seems. Some more background on this crime which I call murder: As the Jurist article states, the FBI investigated these murders and they called them..cough..unjustified shootings.. no shit, which I blogged about here. The DOJ did attempt to try the Blackwater murderers for these dead Iraqis but lo and behold a Federal Judge tossed out the case, which I blogged about here.
Lets not forget however, that the Obama Administration awarded Blackwater, now known as Xe Services new contracts in Afghanistan. These contracts were handed out as hearings were being held on smarmy contractors who were getting rich as shit at the taxpayer trough in our forever wars whilst wasting our cash, providing shitty services and goods and basically giving us squat for big bucks.
Ain’t that fucking great? Don’t you love the stench of friggin irony in the morning?
The latest on those Blackwater USA boyz is that founder and head honcho Erik Prince was in on silencing those that tried to expose the dirty deeds of Blackwater. KO does a good piece on this story last night. The Nation has the goodies on Prince:
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive 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 also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
Sworn statements can not be taken lightly..jail time will ensue if you lie to the court. Lots more at The Nation..check out the link above. I have written about Prince and his biblical bullshit in the past. He sponsors many of the extreme rightwing bible thumpers and their attorneys, just for starters.
For someone that purports to believe in Jesus, he sure does practice the Devils’s work quite well.
Here is KO’s piece on Erik Prince and Blackwater USA:
Per a CNN writeup and Henry Waxman..they surely are:
The latest allegations stem from a March letter from the Internal Revenue Service to Blackwater that Waxman’s committee obtained. The letter informs Blackwater that the IRS reviewed the case of a Blackwater worker in Afghanistan and determined that the individual should rightfully and legally be classed as an employee — not an independent contractor — for tax purposes. Such a finding would require the company to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes and unemployment insurance premiums for its employees. The letter finds the ruling “may be applicable to any other individuals engaged by the firm under similar circumstances.”
There are plenty of reasons for paying employees as independant contractors..one is that they aren’t really considered employees when listed as I.D.’s. That way, the company can avoid any nasty lawsuits over the actions of their employees..er..their contractors. Another is that the employees won’t be able to collect unemployment or disability if injured on the job.
By classifying workers in Iraq as “independent contractors” rather than employees, Blackwater appears to have engaged in an “illegal tax scheme” that avoided an estimated $31 million in employment-related taxes in the last year of its contract alone, said Rep. Henry Waxman on Monday. Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, also accused the North Carolina-based company of preventing a guard who discovered the practice “from contacting members of Congress or law enforcement officials.”
I hope they get screwed over this and everything else they have done. Fuck Erik Prince and his theocratic, bullshit-spewing ass. It makes NO sense that the government would allow one of the biggest contractors to list their employees in this manner. Prince says the government is ‘aware’ of how they list their workers.
Get him Henry..you go dude.