Old Blackwater, keep on rolling

Holy shit.

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.

Update. Innocent until proven guilty, obviously, but maybe Dana Rohrabacher was prescient:

“Prince,” Rohrabacher said, “is on his way to being an American hero just like Ollie North was.”

120 replies
  1. 1
    Robin G. says:

    Raise your hand if you’re surprised.

  2. 2

    Holy FUCKING shit. But, no, I am not surprised.

  3. 3

    Wow. Prince murders political enemies. It’s like Hamlet, but without the happy ending …

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    It’s getting scary out there. I’ll be shocked if Prince is ever charged with a crime; he is one of those who get away with everything, just like the people who hired him.

  5. 5
    Colonel Danite says:

    Pay no attention to this. Let’s get back to searching or Obama’s birth certificate.

  6. 6
    gex says:

    @Robin G.: I’m guessing no one is surprised. Not people who dislike Blackwater or Prince. And not people who support Blackwater or Prince.

  7. 7

    @Colonel Danite: Sometimes, it’s just best to keep on walkin’.

  8. 8
    cleek says:

    now would be a good time to reflect upon the pearl-clutching outrage that Kos received after expressing disapproval over our use of mercenaries.

  9. 9
    Mike G says:

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, that a hard-right mercenary with crony ties to Cheney/Bush would engage in violent, criminal behavior.

  10. 10
    Crashman06 says:

    Just read the article and wow. that’s all I have to say. if this is true, I sure hope this gets some traction in the MSM.

  11. 11
    Fax Paladin says:

    Just out of curiosity, how many other people are seeing the “Get the information you need tp [sic] advance your law enforcement career” ad?

  12. 12
    Delia says:

    What was that thing about Cheney’s assassination squads that the loony lefters were nattering on about?

  13. 13
    Jack T. says:

    “Mississippi moon won’t you keep on shining on me…”

    With that out of the way. I can only hope that Prince is forced to perp walk at some point in the near future.

  14. 14
    Warren Terra says:

    Blackwater sure was an ugly, nasty company. Fortunately, now that they’ve renamed themselves Xe they’re all sweetness and light.

  15. 15
    jenniebee says:

    One thing that most people aren’t aware of is that part of Rumsfeld’s restructuring of the Army was to move some officer training out of house and hire Blackwater to do it. A cousin of mine by marriage was one of those officers. What he told us a few years ago was that it was clear during the training that Blackwater was screening trainees for certain attitudinal proclivities and then keeping the ones they liked back after the class for a recruiting pitch.

    I don’t know if you remember a few years ago it became clear that the Pentagon had come to the conclusion that there was no way for it to operate without contractor support and augmentation; the reasoning for why not was that they couldn’t do without the contractors because no matter how many officers the Pentagon brought in, the contractors poached a significant number of them after the Pentagon/taxpayers had paid to have them trained.

    And they didn’t even buy us dinner first.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    Somehow you disabled the comments. I fixed it.

    At any rate, this is really kind of odd, because I just watched episode 2 of Season 1 of Leverage, the Homecoming Job. As in, I just finished it five minutes ago.

  17. 17
    Fulcanelli says:

    In New Jersey they call this the ‘witness protection program’. Bada Bing!

  18. 18
    Warren Terra says:

    @ Delia, # 12

    What was that thing about Cheney’s assassination squads that the loony lefters were nattering on about?

    No, that was something completely different, governmental in nature rather then private enterprise – and was possibly substantiated by news reports a few weeks ago, when it was announced that the Bush-Cheney administration had OK’d the assassination of people they didn’t like anywhere in the world, as opposed to individuals on a case-by-case basis iirc.

    Also, RE the tags on this post, is Erik Prince, whose company basically exists because of Bush/Cheney, too far removed to merit that tag about the criminal Bush administration, when the whole thing is about criminal, possibly lethal acts to cover up criminal actions in service of the Cheney agenda (and, of course, Mammon)?

  19. 19
    jenniebee says:

    @John Cole: That’s one of my favorites, because it has the Tesla at the end.

    Unfortunately, it looks like Nate/the show didn’t get to keep the Tesla.

  20. 20
    ericvsthem says:

    Well, at least one aspect of the Neocon War Agains Islam is just like the last season of 24… the part where the CEO of a private military contractor reveals himself to have a messianic complex.

  21. 21
    Richard Bottoms says:

    All that’s missing is for a rouge African mercenary to attack the White House.

  22. 22
    Andy K says:

    @Richard Bottoms:

    [Insert CFL joke here]

  23. 23
    steve s says:

    That link came via my friend Mike Miller, fyi:


  24. 24
    Punchy says:

    Dont the mercenaries in Iraq all have blanket immunity? I’m assuming he did/oversaw the killing of these people while in Iraq. So how/why would he ever be charged?

  25. 25
    Texas Dem says:

    Who will play Prince in the movie version?

  26. 26
    freelancer says:

    Dont the mercenaries in Iraq all have blanket immunity? I’m assuming he did/oversaw the killing of these people while in Iraq. So how/why would he ever be charged?

    Apparently he’s accused of murder or conspiracy to murder whistleblowers in his own company. This may not have occurred in Iraq.

  27. 27
    TeaJay says:

    I realize it’s been a crazy decade when I read a piece like that and think to myself. “Great. Kucinich is ON IT.” As a former Libertarian I feel like I’ve just walked around the globe.

    Go DK!

  28. 28
    Martin says:

    Just to point out – this is what a fundamentalist Christian army looks like. Erik’s mom funneled a lot of money to get Prop 8 passed in CA.

    Money, guns, and an unwavering belief that they’re doing God’s work. What could go wrong?

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @19; they borrowed it from one of the producers for that scene.

    You know, I knew what the twist was because I read the showrunner’s blog, and he mentioned a while back that all the scriptwriters were racing to get their heist scripts in first when the story about the money on pallets broke. So I was totally expecting everything, but when Parker actually hugged the money, I laughed so hard I cried.

  30. 30
    Left Coast Tom says:

    This shouldn’t be surprising from a company that named itself after toilet water. What should be more surprising is that the State Department (thanks, Condi) hired the Toilet Water company to carry out it’s idiocy.

    But I’m still surprised. From their already-demonstrated depraved indifference to human life I only had them pegged for manslaughter.

  31. 31
    Andy K says:


    It wasn’t just old Elsa. Erik’s sis, Betsy Prince DeVos and hubby Dick (heir to the Amway fortune) threw an assload of cash that way, too.

  32. 32
    Left Coast Tom says:

    After I posted I got a rather impressive list of MySQL errors, including complaints that the server “went away”. Yet my post still appeared.

  33. 33
    gwangung says:

    Who will play Prince in the movie version?

    It’ll get to Law and Order first. Who’s part of Dick Wolfe’s stable?

  34. 34
    gwangung says:


    On the other hand, I think L&O already did this plot. At LEAST once…

  35. 35
    DaveInOz says:


    It’s been written as a novel already. I read it a few weeks ago…


  36. 36
    SpotWeld says:

    Good time to stay out of Grand Rapids

  37. 37

    @Left Coast Tom: I got that, too! And, my comment showed up, too. So, the site isn’t totally bug-free yet.

    Oh crikey. I just got the title. Boy, am I thick tonight.

  38. 38
    Andy K says:


    He isn’t around here any more. Betsy and Dick are- well, at this time of the year, if they aren’t traveling, they’re at the summer place in Holland, which is close enough.

  39. 39
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    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.”

    Jesus F. Christ. A Christian Crusading psychopath with a private army armed to the teeth. How in the fuck did we get to this point of the American Experiment.

    Somebody needs to pass a law against these animals before they get us all killed.

  40. 40
    Comrade Kevin says:

    What’s with the Star Wars slash fiction ad?

  41. 41
    Fulcanelli says:

    @Texas Dem: Christopher Walken

  42. 42
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @SpotWeld: It is always a good time for that. You can tell what kind of place you are approaching by the god-fearing stations on the dial and the mega-churches per mile. Both peg the meter in GR.

    I wonder if Monaghan pays DeVos a PR fee for making him seem well-adjusted.

    On the upside, nothing destroys a functioning grass roots effort faster than throwing excessive money at it.

  43. 43
    Fulcanelli says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: General, we need to kill these animals, THEN pass a law.

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:

    I don’t like lawyers, regardless of political persuasion and regardless of how just they think their cause is, who go out of their way to taint the potential jury pool. I especially dislike it in cases like this, where a private plaintiff’s lawyer is mucking with the jury pool in a potential future criminal case. It’s going to be hard enough to get convictions against Blackwater personnel in the Eastern District of Virginia (home to the highest concentration of military, ex-military, and related-to-military of any of the 88 districts) without this dumbass “helping.”

    If you’re a conspiracy theories, doesn’t it make you wonder about her agenda?

  45. 45
    gau says:

    Does this remind anyone else of the most recent season of 24?

  46. 46
    JenJen says:

    O/T, but this story out of Pittsburgh is horrifying; at least 4 dead in gym shooting:


  47. 47
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Hey, I share a birthday with the President! woo-hoo!

  48. 48
    Martin says:

    How in the fuck did we get to this point of the American Experiment.

    Two words: Compassionate Conservatism

  49. 49
    JGabriel says:

    Sadly, no one has yet used the headline:

    Founder Of Company Hired By USA To Kill People, Kills People In USA

    It has a certain Onion quality to it, don’t ya think?

    Of course, no one could have predicted …


  50. 50
    Martin says:

    Hey, I share a birthday with the President!

    Prove it. Birth certificate. Long form. Original. In B.O.B.s hand. Or it didn’t happen.

  51. 51
    Andy K says:

    @Comrade Darkness:

    There aren’t that many mega-churches. Just a lot of medium-size churches. Largest denomination in and around GR is Roman Catholic, although the Dutchies would have you believe that there are more Christian Reformed than anything else.

    And the Princes weren’t even raised CRC, but Dutch Reformed: small churches where a lot of Dutch is still spoken; a very nasty brand of racist Calvinism practiced within. Friend of mine was Dutch Reformed, told her mom she was marrying a plain ol CRC guy, to which mom commented, “I don’t know about you marrying that T—— boy. He’s got that Huguenot blood in him.”

  52. 52
    cliff says:

    Way Way off topic ..

    W00t!! Finally We Have Apple Juice again!! The first apple juice of the season! @ … walmart .. (blahh).. but anyhow, 3 gallons of Apfelwein and Graff soon to be started (when I get the yeast. -> heh by the time the yeast gets here I’ll be starting 6 gallons I bet)

    gonna also do a big batch or 2 fresh from the local orchard but thats still quite a ways in the future.. oh I can’t wait!! ordering supplies tomorrow!


  53. 53
    Anne Laurie says:

    Money, guns, and an unwavering belief that they’re doing God’s work. What could go wrong?

    I have faith that the Fellowship(c) / “Family” of C Street infamy is somehow involved in this. Anyone want to place a bet?

  54. 54
    Craig says:

    Turning little liars into heroes, it’s what they’ve always done.

  55. 55
    Llelldorin says:

    Yes, but just remember, as per Douthat two days ago, that the Democrats have the more serious set of scandals. I’m sure any day now we’ll be hearing about George Soros using human sacrifice to send his birth-certificate-doctoring shamans back to 1961.

  56. 56
    burnspbesq says:


    On a similar note, we have the first canteloupes of the year. Ten of the little buggers, about the size of Chicago softballs (we deliberately planted a variety that grow small, so that you can eat one all at once). Boy, are they tasty.

    And we have had more tomatoes than we can give away, continuously, for the last month. There are at least five pounds in the kitchen right now, and if I went out back with a flashlight I could probably find another two pounds that are ripe enough to be picked.

    Being married to a gardening freak has its moments.

  57. 57
    SGEW says:

    I am getting tired of not being shocked and disgusted by these people.

    Honestly. If tomorrow I found out that Bush ordered coalition forces to literally pull a Deuteronomy 20:16-20 in Iraq it would just be another edition of, well, there they go again . . .

  58. 58
    Morbo says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: We’d like to believe it’s just Blackwater, now wouldn’t we? Yeah, it’s not just Blackwater. (apologies if that’s behind a subscriber wall, nickel summary: there are plenty of factions in the military trying to Christianize the whole institution.)

  59. 59
    SGEW says:

    @Anne Laurie: You’re on. Bet ya a nickel. To be honest, this doesn’t seem to fit in their modus operandi.

    Too small scale, as fucked up as that sounds.

  60. 60
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Martin: Which one?

  61. 61
    Singularity says:

    I’m amazed that no one has mentioned this.

    Everyone should keep it at the front of their mind that those assholes in the Bush administration deployed these psychotics to the streets of New Orleans following Katrina.

    I’m with the General. Congress needs to investigate these assholes, and then pass laws preventing the Pentagon from ever employing them. Also, laws preventing private companies from maintaining stockpiles of weapons and equipment used to wage war. Let these douchebags go out and be mercenaries in foreign wars with handguns or whatever their sponsors want to give them, but don’t allow them to bring that shit back into the States. The goal is to make it logistically impossible for them to do their jobs.

    Then we’ll see how many officers want to bail out to a company with no U.S. contracts, no domestic training facilities, and no government backup.

    Also, it wouldn’t hurt to pay our soldiers a competitive salary.

  62. 62
    cliff says:


    I’m jealous. all my tomatoes are stagnant (to much rain) and birds or something eat all my strawberries the day they ripen (first year, so only a few so far, so I don’t care That much) low bush blueberries were worthless, but highbush is ready now .. at least in wet sunny spots. …not prolific enough this year though for the blueberry wine I wanted to try .. – maybe next year, till then I can munch on about a cup a day =P last year was able to get a pint a day .. wish I’d known ’bout the blueberry wine then..

  63. 63
    Perry Como says:

    Everyone should keep it at the front of their mind that those assholes in the Bush administration deployed these psychotics to the streets of New Orleans following Katrina.

    They are also training domestic LEOs.

  64. 64
    ninerdave says:

    @Robin G.:

    Raise your hand if you’re surprised.

    Not surprised, but wasn’t this the plot of last season’s 24?

    And holy shit, if this is true…wow, just fucking wow.

  65. 65
    Martin says:

    They are also training domestic LEOs.

    Low Earth Orbits?
    Lunar Exploration Orbiters?

  66. 66
    alhutch says:

    @Martin: Law Enforcement Officers

  67. 67
    Martin says:

    Which one?

    Either one would do.

  68. 68
    Martin says:


    Ah, of course…

  69. 69
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Heh, I just watched a repeat of Countdown, and Olbermann repeatedly referred to Orlty Taitz as “Orly Taint”.

  70. 70
    hamletta says:

    I’m raising my hand.

    I knew they were dirty, but damn!

    Fucking Calvinists. What a bunch of pervs. I’d like to dig that sucker up and burn him at the stake, but he’s probably spinning too fast from how American shitbags have turned his already perverse theology into Pure-D Evil.

  71. 71
    Silver says:

    Calvinism is nihilism for religious people. Once you’re elect, there is nothing you can do to change that, after all…

    You can’t blame Prince totally on Calvinism, however. He seems to have converted to Catholicism, and after growing up in a Dutch Calvinist denomination in Canada, I can tell you that a Catholic is viewed with essentially the same suspicion as a Muslim. That’s a pretty drastic change to make, but a man in charge of a mercenary army probably has plastic morals and ethics to begin with, no?

  72. 72
    El Cid says:

    The “surprise” part isn’t that such a figure would do or be involved in such a thing — but that it would emerge in such a way as to perhaps actually matter, that one of these minor shit-demons might actually have seriously gotten caught for their nightmarish behaviors in the 3rd world.

  73. 73
    wilfred says:

    Why did you drop this part of the quote?

    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.”

    No one ever mentions this.

  74. 74
    harlana pepper says:

    Prince is one of those ideological christian whack jobs who also, SURPRISE, happens to be as corrupt as hell. It’s been 5 fucking years. I hope they nail his ass to the wall for something, jeebus.

  75. 75
    harlana pepper says:

    @freelancer: I think they have immunity from Iraqi law (naturally, thanks to Paul Bremer, if I recall) but not US law.

  76. 76
    linda says:

    there will be no accountability for erik prince. he’s one of the moneyed interests looting the treasury.

  77. 77
    DebTX says:

    Thanks a lot. Now I won’t be able to get that song out of my head for the rest of the day. First concert I ever went to.

  78. 78
    kay says:


    “Both individuals state that they have previously cooperated with federal prosecutors conducting a criminal inquiry into Blackwater.”

    The CCR lawsuits are civil. In the course of submitting sworn statements for the CCR civil cases, the two employees wrote that they had already cooperated in a criminal inquiry.

    The DOJ can’t confirm or deny that, but that’s the real question, I think. If there is indeed a criminal inquiry.
    It’s one thing to say he’s protected from civil liability, due to important contacts, or immunity written into contracts by the Bush State Department, it’s entirely another to say he’s protected from criminal liability.

    If he is, we’re screwed, and the whole system is broken.

  79. 79
    Balconesfault says:

    @Singularity: We’re paying our military pretty decently, when you consider the excellent health and retirement and education benefits. The problem is that we’re either overextended as a military, trying to maintain too many bases in too many places … or we’re running too small a military, forcing us by necessity to outsource a long list of functions that were once performed by active duty and reservists. Hell, the gate guards at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio when I take my dad for a medical checkup or my mom to the PX for shopping are now contractors from some cop-for-hire service, rather than MPs. How screwed up is that?

    The Cheney/Rumsfeld downsizing of the active duty force was a bait and switch, it now seems … never really intended to save us money over the long haul, but just intended to create massive contracting/profiteering opportunities for Republican cronies. And Prince stepped into that niche very nicely.

  80. 80
    wilfred says:


    Security services at the US Embassy in Manama, Bahrain are provided by Gurkhas. This despite the presence of an enormous US naval base and American presence. I thought I was in the wrong place.

  81. 81
    harlana pepper says:

    In related news, wonder what’s happening with the KBR rape cases. Those are pretty vomit-worthy also.

  82. 82
    wilfred says:

    Go back and take a look at Kucinich questioning Prince.


    And this:


    Because it’s ok to kill Muslims.

  83. 83
    Morbo says:

    @Comrade Kevin: And another polyp manifests in Bob Somerby’s colon.

  84. 84
    TR says:

    Kent Brockman: Well, what do you say to the accusation that your group has been causing more crimes than it’s been committing?

    Homer: Oh Kent, I’d be lying if I said my men weren’t committing crimes.

    Kent Brockman: (pause) Mmm, well … touche.

  85. 85
    R-Jud says:

    Don’t worry about a little thing like paying mercenaries’ salaries with your tax dollars. Look at this picture! It will make you feel so much better, even though Nixon looks more like Prince Charles than he ought to.

  86. 86
    Michael57 says:

    Jon Voight is already lined up for the role in the Lifetime movie.

  87. 87
    CalD says:

    This is obviously the fault of liberals.

  88. 88
    Balconesfault says:

    @R-Jud: Where’s Herbert Hoover?

    And Teddy Roosevelt would kick the crap out of half the people at that table.

  89. 89
    MR Bill says:

    R-Jud, this will never replace the ‘dogs playing cards’ picture.
    I think it needs so flames to suggest hellfire, too.

  90. 90
    R-Jud says:

    @Balconesfault: I was wondering that myself, Balconesfault. Considering that they included Lincoln, I’m also wondering why I don’t see Grant, Hayes, Harrison, Arthur, Coolidge, etc. I can understand leaving out Taft, because if you included him, you’d have to make it a mural.

    And yes, TR would have most likely ripped GWB’s lungs out through his anus within five minutes of meeting him.

  91. 91
    Joey Maloney a/k/a The Bard Of Balloon Juice says:

    @Texas Dem: The Artist Formerly Known As. Just because.

  92. 92
    Demo Woman says:

    There’s not a dry eye in the Burbank hangar where the two journalists just got off the plane bringing them back to the United States. There’s not a dry eye in my house either. I’m a sap for stories like this.

  93. 93
    flukebucket says:

    Where’s Herbert Hoover?

    He and Taft went to get Pizza and Beer

  94. 94
    Cat Lady says:

    That sound you just heard is wingnut heads assploding all over the country now if they’re watching the Big Dog and the rescued women. I actually watched enough of one of the Fox panels last night to see how they were going to spin this today. Some wingnut panelist actually said that it would be better to forsake the women in order not to appease a dictator. Let’s see if they’ll trot that meme out today.

  95. 95
    NobodySpecial says:

    And yes, TR would have most likely ripped GWB’s lungs out through his anus within five minutes of meeting him.

    No, he was the 19th Century’s version of the Most Interesting Man In The World. He would have taken all their money at the poker table, THEN killed them and given their women to his friend The Sultan.

  96. 96
    Balconesfault says:

    @R-Jud: Yeah – I figure that including Teddy in that crowd was a spoof. Can you imagine someone making the following pitch in front of a crowd of teabaggers?

    The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective—a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.

    OK, too many big words. But you get the point.

    And didn’t Abe Lincoln create the first income tax?

  97. 97
    McCormick says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    What’s with the Star Wars slash fiction ad?

    Yeah, really. Why pay for what you can get for free?

  98. 98
    gex says:

    @Cat Lady: Well, it won’t be the first time in recent weeks that Fox put someone on who hoped that kidnappers would just kill an American hostage.

  99. 99
    Bob says:

    Prince: Brother to Betsy DeVos, who is married to Dick DeVos, Amway Prez and last Republican candidate for Governor of Michigan.

  100. 100
    pharniel says:

    re 80 – c’mon. they’re ghurkas! that’s an honest to god upgrade.

    but it looks like Mi dodged a bullet otherwise we might have had Detroit used as a pre-deployment, training camp for blackwater to practice killing ‘non-people’.

    as noted in “Dogs of War” for the World of Darkness and RPG.Net PMCs look alot like adventuring parties. y’know, of the kill everything and take its stuff variety, and that’s a BAD THING(tm)

  101. 101
    Barry says:


    “Fucking Calvinists. What a bunch of pervs. I’d like to dig that sucker up and burn him at the stake, but he’s probably spinning too fast from how American shitbags have turned his already perverse theology into Pure-D Evil.”

    As Silver said, Calvinism is inherently evil – once you have salvation of the elect, nihilism (to be specific, antinomianism) happens automatically.

  102. 102
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    “Using his various companies, [Prince] procured and distributed various weapons, including unlawful weapons such as sawed off semi-automatic machine guns with silencers, through unlawful channels of distribution.”

    I know I’m probably picking at a nit, here, but “sawed off semi-automatic machine guns with silencers” just don’t make no damn sense.

    At least, not coming from someone with military and/or weapons expertise. There ain’t no sucha thang as a “semi-automatic machine gun,” and a military guy would know that a semi-automatic can’t be either a machine-gun (usually heavier caliber crew-served weapon) or a submachinegun (such as an HK MP5 or a good ol’ American Thompson- a full-auto weapon firing pistol sized cartridges such as 9mm or .45 cal). And then why would you saw it off, fer chrissakes? Then put a silencer on it??

    Such a thing coming from one of us “guns scare me” lefties, I could understand (some of us are frightfully ignorant about such things), but not from a Marine– and I wouldn’t think from a senior executive of a PMC (who I’d think of as a senior officer in a mercenary outfit).


  103. 103
    RememberNovember says:

    Not so much a need to shred documents these days as hit the Delete button.

    Prince looks like one of these Fundementally Handicapped Christians who believe Jesus was a white man.

  104. 104
    RememberNovember says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko:

    you are nit picking. Not everyone can rattle off burst fire rate of an Uzi vs. a Tec-9. Not everyone is clued to the idiomatic lingo either.

    But to me “machine gun”, regardless of calibre means full auto, not semi-auto. That seems to be a error in editorial.

    but fwiw, live by the gun, die by the gun.
    I choose to exit as non violently as possible.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    someguy says:

    I think Prince is actually Catholic, if anybody cares.

    In which case we can drop the Calvinism discussion and take up the Spanish Inquisition.

    Bet you didn’t expect that.

  107. 107
    ChrisB says:

    @R-Jud: And I wa going to say, “where’s harding?” to complete the picture.

    It sucks to come late to a thread.

  108. 108
    RememberNovember says:

    @Andy K:

    Amway, I knew it- Cultists all!

  109. 109
    L Boom says:

    Someguy, I will admit that I, for one, did not expect the Spanish Inquisition.

  110. 110
    slippytoad says:


    Deleting a document does not mean it’s gone.

    You still have to basically shred the hard drive.

  111. 111
    Steeplejack says:


    Man, looking at that picture, I felt sorry for Abe, T.R. and even Ike. Brr!

  112. 112
    Fax Paladin says:

    @pharniel: Oooh, ouch. Real-life Munchkin…


  113. 113
    R-Jud says:

    I should add that a handsome 2×3′ giclee reproduction of the “Grand Old Gang” painting could be yours for a mere $825.00.

  114. 114
    bwono says:

    Isn’t Prince entitled to a “Geo. Bush pass” like all the other thugs from that era?

  115. 115
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @harlana pepper:

    You mean stories like Jamie Leigh Jones, who was gang-raped by KBR/Halliburton co-workers and locked in a guarded shipping container for over 24 hours until she convinced a guard to loan her a cell phone, which she used to call for help? (After which, KBR banned the use of personal cell phones but its employees in Iraq. Gotta plug the security breach, after all.)

    The case where the rape kit was picked up by KBR security officers and vanshed shortly thereafter?

    The case that will likely never see criminal charges because it happened in Iraq, where contractors were given de facto immunity from Iraq’s laws as mentioned above?

  116. 116
    Andy K says:


    Only converted to marry. That wife died some years back.

  117. 117
    David Hunt says:


    From John Rogers’ Blog

    “The one in the ep is the prototype. Dean [Devlyn] actually has #19 off the assembly line.”

    So I think it unlikely that particular car will be showing up. Devlyn’s personal car might make a cameo appearance, but who can say?

  118. 118
    Anne Laurie says:

    [TR] would have taken all their money at the poker table, THEN killed them and given their women to his friend The Sultan.

    Teddy (my childhood favorite) wasn’t much of a card player, especially not at games that require subtlety/subterfuge. Nixon, on the other hand, was reputed to be quite the poker shark — he’s said to have made a ton of money off his shipmates during WWII — although from contemporary reports the guy you really didn’t want to play against was Honest Abe. The only “true” part of the picture, in fact, is Ike not being dumb enough to play against either Abe or his ex-VP (heck, he didn’t even like to be photographed in the same frame with Tricky Dick).

  119. 119
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @David Hunt:

    Rogers’ latest blog post refers to criticisms of the fictional “Castleman” private security corp being a thinly-veiled reference to Blackwater and, therefore, unfairly impinging the good name of private mercenaries everywhere, and compares it to this story.

    As far as I can see, the only part he got wrong was that the head of the company wasn’t a delusional modern-day Crusader.

  120. 120
    KaffeeMeister says:

    Ollie North?

    Oliver North is not a hero, he is another one of those republican “the end justifies the means” asshats. Of course, the end DIDN’T justify the means, he broke the law, was arrogant about it, and he is probably one of the inspirations for Blackwater.

    Blackwater is the absolute scum of the earth, and it’s no wonder that our enemies ARE our enemies.

    If regular American military troops were the only operators in Iraq after the the overthrow of the (semi legitimate) president of Iraq, it’s possible that Iraqis WOULD have been parading through the streets in our favor. The neocon asshats instead wanted punishment and punitive measures.

    The neocons in the Bush administration made sure that THEY dictated policy towards the Iraqi people and due to their total lack of tact and true American Values, the possible gains for American policy in the middle east were squandered and any chance for gains in American values to gain hold in the middle east were not only squandered, but made impossible.

    Now, President Obama must steer through all this crap left behind the bush administration. Relations with the entire middle east will take some work to fix. In the meantime, the scolds from the right are never ending, and totally unhelpful. In fact, if this was a republican administration, they would be calling some of the current rants from congress and the parties to be “possibly treasonous” and certainly discourteous to the Executive.

    Republicans would be far better served to button up, let the new administration deal with the republican failure in the middle east, and spend the next couple of years working on strategy for future elections rather than just saying “NO” to everything that needs to be done for our countries future.

    Just say no didn’t end the drug and sex problems of Nancy Reagan’s time, in fact statistics say it made things worse. Perhaps Republicans might consider the fact that most of their policies are of similar bent…

    Just saying….

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