Erik Prince, ChiCom Stooge

What was that Lenin quote about “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them”? From (of course!) the Wall Street Journal:

Erik Prince—ex-Navy SEAL, ex-CIA spy, ex-CEO of private-security firm Blackwater—calls himself an “accidental tourist” whose modest business boomed after 9/11, expanded into Iraq and Afghanistan, and then was “blowtorched by politics.” To critics and conspiracy theorists, he is a mercenary war-profiteer. To admirers, he’s a patriot who has repeatedly answered America’s call with bravery and creativity.

Now, sitting in a boardroom above Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, he explains his newest title, acquired this month: chairman of Frontier Services Group, an Africa-focused security and logistics company with intimate ties to China’s largest state-owned conglomerate, Citic Group. Beijing has titanic ambitions to tap Africa’s resources—including $1 trillion in planned spending on roads, railways and airports by 2025—and Mr. Prince wants in.

With a public listing in Hong Kong, and with Citic as its second-largest shareholder (a 15% stake) and Citic executives sitting on its board, Frontier Services Group is a long way from Blackwater’s CIA ties and $2 billion in U.S. government contracts. For that, Mr. Prince is relieved.

“I would rather deal with the vagaries of investing in Africa than in figuring out what the hell else Washington is going to do to the entrepreneur next,” says the crew-cut 44-year-old.

Having launched Blackwater in 1997 as a rural North Carolina training facility for U.S. soldiers and police, Mr. Prince says he “kept saying ‘yes’ as the demand curve called—Columbine, the USS Cole and then 9/11.” In 100,000 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, he says, Blackwater contractors never lost a U.S. official under their protection. But the company gained a trigger-happy reputation, especially after a September 2007 shootout that left 17 civilians dead in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.

At that point, charges Mr. Prince, Blackwater was “completely thrown under the bus by a fickle customer”—the U.S. government, and especially the State Department. He says Washington opted to “churn up the entire federal bureaucracy” and sic it on Blackwater “like a bunch of rabid dogs.” According to Mr. Prince, IRS auditors told his colleagues that they had “never been under so much pressure to get someone as to get Erik Prince,” and congressional staffers promised, “We’re going to ride you till you’re out of business.”…

Which brings him to Hong Kong and his new firm. “This is not a patriotic endeavor of ours—we’re here to build a great business and make some money doing it,” he says. Asia, and especially China, “has the appetite to take frontier risk, that expeditionary risk of going to those less-certain, less-normal markets and figuring out how to make it happen.” Mr. Prince says “critics can throw stones all they want” but he is quick to point out that he has “a lot of experience in dealing in uncertainties in difficult places,” and says “this is a very rational decision—made, I guess, emotionless.”…

“The U.S. has been fixated on terrorism the last 10 or 15 years,” says Mr. Prince, “and American companies by and large haven’t had the appetite for Africa.” In 2010 the African Development Bank found that Chinese firms signed 20 contracts in Africa for every one signed by an American firm. But does post-9/11 distraction really explain this discrepancy?

A better explanation would begin with China’s state-directed investment strategy, which funds opaque state-owned firms to operate across Africa with little regard for trifles such as financial transparency, environmental degradation or human rights. When a tyrant like Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir can’t get Western financing for a mega-dam across the Nile River, China arrives with an easy loan, some state-owned firms to build the dam and some others to claim oil or mineral concessions elsewhere in the country. Beijing’s approach has helped boost African economic growth—projected at 6% this year by the International Monetary Fund—but it has also helped entrench some of the world’s most oppressive governments…

Somehow one doubts Congressman Mike Rogers is going to go on the Sunday talk shows and speak ominously of ex-CIA-employee Prince’s “suspiciously timed defection” to China, but then, IOIYAR forever!

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90 replies
  1. 1
    aimai says:

    less-certain, less-normal markets

    Uh…piracy, theft, imperalism, rape, pillage,?

    Is that what “less certain” and “less normal” mean?

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    China needs a front man, Prince needs a job, the US is rid of him– sounds like a perfect arrangement. And if any Africans suspect there’s something fishy going on, well…

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    Mr. Prince says “critics can throw stones all they want” but he is quick to point out that he has “a lot of experience in dealing in uncertainties in difficult places” …

    It’s true. Erik Prince’s previous business employees have an extensive record of traveling to new countries, meeting new people, and shooting them.

  4. 4
    peggy says:

    Why did I have to read about some wannabe war lord when I’m just looking for puppies and jokes?
    Deserves a NSFW label for intestinal distress.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    I realize my own naiveté here, but how is it even legal for someone who had access to that much US national security information to waltz off and use it to benefit another government? Is there at least some kind of a statute that says he can’t do this for X number of years after being a US contractor?

  6. 6
    max says:

    Mr. Prince says “critics can throw stones all they want” but he is quick to point out that he has “a lot of experience in dealing in uncertainties in difficult places,” and says “this is a very rational decision—made, I guess, emotionless.”…

    Rich sociopathic quasi-fascist sells out to the ChiComs because $MONEY$. Luckily for Africans he seems to be far better at the selling out part than the fighting part. Unluckily for Africans he is pretty good at the killing innocent civvies.

    Basically, same job, different superpower.

    max
    [‘Nice to hear about it though – when the some Village idiot starts rattling about how he’s a super-patriot this is an additional reason I can tell him to kiss my ass.’]

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    I remember when they told us it was unfair to call them mercenaries because they only worked for friendly governments.

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    I guess the Super-Christian Prince generously set aside his religious beliefs to whore for the Godless Commies.

    I love a man with principles.

  9. 9
    MattF says:

    @Mnemosyne: I suspect that if he ever sets foot on US soil there will be a lot of people who will want to ask him a few questions.

  10. 10
    kc says:

    What a WATB.

  11. 11
    Skippy-san says:

    Wonder if he will take weekends in Wanchai?

  12. 12
    scav says:

    Ah, those Christian Patriotic Princes of Industry. “Those fucking uppity customers are just soooooinevitably not right and in the way with their expectations and in a truly free market system, they’d shut up and get out of our way and hand over our profit. Which is why I sold myself to the commies because they know how it’s done.”

  13. 13
    jl says:

    Mercenaries are mercenaries, loyalty is business, and if it is true for the life of the bargain, what more can you ask for? Prince is a true patriot of the multinational corporate age.

    Is this a surprise? Hasn’t he been doing deals with sketchy clients ever since his US based Afghan and Iraq racket blew up in his face, when it was sabotaged by the ‘democracy’ and ‘accountability’ outrages that impinged upon his Freedom to make huge bank?

    This is just the biggest deal he has made since then, right?

  14. 14
    Citizen_X says:

    Nice to see him upholding the mercenary’s true first loyalty: to the dollar (or renminbi,or ruble, or whatever).

    I’m warmed by he thought that scum like this tend to end up on the wrong side of a firing squad.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    @aimai:

    Seriously. I’m kinda gob-smacked by that level of code talking.

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    The US is way behind in involvement in African countries and China has zero scruples in operating there. They’re very happy to build a new road or stadium or hospital in exchange for mineral rights or whatever else they need or want. The US for whatever reason is just not there at the same level.

  17. 17
    catclub says:

    @Skippy-san: “Wanchai”?

    You got me on that. I have no idea.

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: aid! Why do we give aid when there’s xYZ problem here!?!?

  19. 19
    Chris says:

    If Papa Koch could work for Stalin, no reason Erik Prince can’t work for these fine capitalists.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    @Violet: One possible reason:

    http://www.transparency.org/cpi2013/results

    There are laws in the US against corrupt business practices, including international deals. Large US companies with the capital and personnel needed for large projects just aren’t going to be interested in big African projects.

  21. 21
    Sad_Dem says:

    There may be a bright side if Prince’s goons kill a connected Chinese person in Africa and he gets put on China’s death row.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    @MattF: Yep. The people I know who are working in Africa say that’s the biggest issue. It’s kind of frustrating when they have to abide by those rules and the Chinese come in and do whatever they want, undercutting deals and creating very beneficial relationships.

  23. 23
    Cacti says:

    Maybe he can stay at the same hotel that hosted Snowden.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    MUCH shorter Erik Prince: “I have no principles, and it’s refreshing to work for someone who has no principles either.”

    I wonder how happy he’ll be when his equally-unprincipled employers cut him out of the take and kick his ass to the curb, and tell him to keep his fucking mouth shut about it and that he’s lucky to not get dragged out of his home in the middle of the night and get his ass shot up in some back alley. FREEDOM!

  25. 25
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: Obviously, Mr. Prince’s failure is in not being the right type of whistleblower. Or that’s what I’m taking AL’s comments to mean.

  26. 26
    Seanly says:

    Sounds like Prince is setting himself up to the be ruthless chief henchman in the next Bond or Bourne film.

    I can see the interview now: “Dr. No is just an entrepreneur, pursuing the cutting edge of science freed from the harsh constraints of so-called laws. The moocher and taker villagers thought they had the right to stay on the island their government sold us fair and square. Then this anarchist comes through and destroys everything and killing half the staff.”

  27. 27
    srv says:

    I’m sure Africa would be so much better off as a US client continent than a Chinese one.

    Or we can just have a proxy war with them over Africa and get a few million here and there slaughtered.

    In the end, China will win, just like they did in Iraq.

  28. 28
    Cacti says:

    @ruemara:

    Obviously, Mr. Prince’s failure is in not being the right type of whistleblower. Or that’s what I’m taking AL’s comments to mean.

    It’s wrong to go to Hong Kong with knowledge gained at the expense of the US taxpayer…

    Except for when it isn’t.

    Self-awareness is not a strong suit of Libertarian-Juice.

  29. 29
    Keith G says:

    @Cacti: Sure, those two cases are soooo parallel.

    When did your frontal lobe sustain the injury?

  30. 30
    Keith G says:

    @Cacti: Sure, those two cases are soooo parallel.

    When did your frontal lobe sustain the injury?

  31. 31
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Keith G: Should I take that to mean, you would know, Keith?

  32. 32
    jonas says:

    Shorter Prince: “If we have to shoot 20 African civilians protesting labor conditions at a Congolese mine, I trust the Chinese won’t get all worked up about it the way those pussies in Washington would.”

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @Cacti: If intellectual consistency requires you to have the same view of Snowden and Prince you don’t have to believe that Prince is a good guy.

  34. 34
    BigHank53 says:

    I’m wondering how Mr. Prince is going to like how the Chinese government deals with screw-ups whose companies kill lots of people, which tends less towards investigations and more towards shooting the screw-up in the back of the head.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @Keith G:

    Sure, those two cases are soooo parallel. When did your frontal lobe sustain the injury?

    I agree that it is different.

    So far as I know, Black Water guy isn’t fleeing to escape prosecution.

    It’s okay if you’re Edward Snowden (IOKIYES).

  36. 36
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Well, Snowman has a job in China if he wants one.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @BigHank53:

    ” I’m wondering how Mr. Prince is going to like how the Chinese government deals with screw-ups whose companies kill lots of people, which tends less towards investigations and more towards shooting the screw-up in the back of the head. ”

    Interesting thought. Prince is a tough guy who grew up in a decadent crony capitalist culture that coddles tough guys, as long as they have enough cash, and Prince got enough cash enough quick to qualify.

  38. 38
    Anoniminous says:

    @peggy:

    Need a NSFPWTMOARW* tag.

    It is so unfair for the US government to revoke his contact and want to question an entrepreneur for his company’s wee oopsie of murdering people in cold blood.

    (*Not Safe For People With the Morals of a Rabid Weasel)

  39. 39
    Bokonon says:

    Eric Prince … all-American veteran and patriot. Crew cut and square jaw. Just a hard-working entrepreneur, betrayed by his fickle government. Stabbed in the back by shifty bureaucrats. Targeted by the IRS, and mistreated by grandstanding politicians! Driven from business when his rebranding effort failed. Forced offshore, and made to travel to distant lands to make an honest buck! Poor guy.

    Nice spin job. Neat story line, all wrapped in the flag and the right-wing’s favorite narratives and excuses. It sounds like Prince is not only coming up with an excuse for offering his services to the Chinese, but he is laying the groundwork for a future comeback in the US (if a sufficiently right-wing GOP administration gets into power). You know, once the risk of criminal indictments is safely off the table.

    And if Prince gets back into business and he starts making his millions again from outsourcing and privatizing the US military and intelligence service’s wet operations, the apologists and flacks can all shrug and grin, call Prince “controversial” but remind us that he is a best selling author of a book about his experiences, tell us how “genuine” he is, and remind us that politics is a tough business.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    Another example of a job creator going Galt to escape the tyranny of Obamacare.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Bokonon: If your scenario happens, I’m sure we’ll be reminded that Prince’s operation was an epic, murderous, screw-up that did not do what it promised to do.

  42. 42
    KG says:

    Every time I read stuff like this, I just hear “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” And in this particular case… never trust a sellsword or free company.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BGinCHI:

    The man, like the entire shitstain DeVos family, worships Mammon. Jesus is just a front deity for them.

  44. 44
    LanceThruster says:

    But Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man.

  45. 45
    Waspuppet says:

    Another conservative who loooooves America so much he has to slap it around once in a while when it pisses him off.

    But it’s only because he loves her so much.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OT hilarity from Noisemax:

    D’Souza Film Producer: ‘I Never Feared My Gov’t Until Now’

    Yeah, sure. The black-uniformed thugs are coming for you, maggot, to haul you off to the KZ for processing.

  47. 47
    Botsplainer says:

    “I would rather deal with the vagaries of investing in Africa than in figuring out what the hell else Washington is going to do to the entrepreneur next,” says the crew-cut 44-year-old.

    Fuck this douchebag. Hopefully, he gets treatment like one former client of mine did when going in over his head in South Sudan – made to dig his own grave at the muzzle of an AK, getting tossed a sat phone while standing in the hole in order to call for money. Then, unlike my client, can’t find anybody available to send any.

    Neat and complete, and the world would be a better place.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OK, more hilarity from Noisemax:

    Report: Kim Jong Un Kills All Uncle’s Relatives

    So, Kim Jong Un killed his uncle’s nephew, too? Isn’t that kinda counterproductive?

  49. 49
    I, Floridian says:

    @Baud: Isn’t he the only one who’s gone Galt as yet?

  50. 50
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m sure one nephew was excepted. The uncle was uncle by marriage to his father’s sister. So I’m sure it’s just the uncle’s side of the family.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Yes, the story reports that all the uncle’s “blood relatives” were wiped out. Since he was Kim’s uncle by marriage, no blood relation. So all the kids and grandkids dealt with. Supposedly his wife (Kim’s aunt) was granted a divorce the day before his execution, then she committed suicide or had a heart attack. The divorce severed the legal relationship between Kim and Uncle Jang Song Thaek. Supposedly all those related to Jang by marriage, rather than blood, were sent to their home villages and spared the firing squads that took out the blood relatives, if the ROK’s Yonghap news agency is to be believed.

    No word on further tossing of Jang’s kids to the dogs or anything.

  52. 52
    vh says:

    Remember Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22? An entrepreneurial US quartermaster who bombed his own squadron’s airfield under contract with the Germans.

  53. 53
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Sad_Dem: From your lips to FSM’s ear!

  54. 54
    scav says:

    I’m sure he has visions of VFW meetings across the land coming to their collective senses, mailing back all medals and burning their draft cards while publicly apologizing to the Chinese and Ruskies for all the sins committed against them in the past, all the while excoriating Hanoi Jane for not going Far Enough! Freedum! His New Seal badge will have that eagle clutching a paycheck in one talon and a hammer and sickle in the other.

  55. 55
    Glocksman says:

    @Bokonon:

    Sounds like the opening narrative for the The A-Team

    That said, the crucial difference between Snowden and Prince is that Snowden left the country to avoid prosecution for leaking information about illegal NSA activities.

    Prince apparently skipped out to avoid the IRS and questions about his illegal activities.
    FWIW, Prince’s family founded some car parts maker and is loaded, so it’s not even as if he really needs the money from the Chinese.

  56. 56
    bemused says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    D’Souza is not very bright, is he? Even the most stupid Republicans know better than to get caught money shifting in such an obvious way.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    So far as I know, Black Water guy isn’t fleeing to escape prosecution.

    Only if the US has stopped prosecuting people for tax evasion. Otherwise, that’s exactly what he did. Not to mention the allegations of bumping off witnesses against him.

  58. 58
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Botsplainer: Seriously, what do you do for a living, because that is some adventure movie stuff right there. Did your client decide that South Sudan was no longer a viable business opportunity?

  59. 59
    srv says:

    Wall Street has a sad that Apple only sold 51 million iPhones last quarter.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    Anybody needing an OTBreak can scatter and discuss the ins and outs of Capaldi’s Doctor suit. Many have noted the Pertwee echoes, but Simm’s Master had that flash of red too, didn’t he? Also comes with fertile ground for Doc’s Docs jokes.

  61. 61
    Ash Can says:

    @scav: He looks great! I’m really looking forward to seeing his unique take on the Doctor.

  62. 62
    Botsplainer says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    He gave it up straightaway, said he had resigned himself to die, but they honored their word. Said he’ll never get close to there again.

    And this is a guy who routinely stays in Abbas’ palace when he goes to see his family in the West Bank.

  63. 63

    This is one strong little boy.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/f.....his-story/

    I have always thought that the Pledge of Allegiance is just creepy, almost Hitler’s Brown Shirts creepy. The fact that this little boy stood up to it is nice.

    There is nothing wrong with being patriotic, if you choose to be patriotic by choice, but being forced to be patriotic on a regular basis in school is just wrong. It is truly icky. The scenes of five year olds holding their hands to their hearts and reciting the pledge is really, really creepy. Because in the end, the five year olds have no idea what they are doing. They are just being indoctrinated into a mind set. *shudder*

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    max:

    Luckily for Africans he seems to be far better at the selling out part than the fighting part. Unluckily for Africans he is pretty good at the killing innocent civvies.

    Well, he doesn’t want to go against people who fight back. That isn’t any fun.

  65. 65
    JoyfulA says:

    What about Prince’s job in the Emirates, where he was importing battle-hardened Colombians?

  66. 66
    brantl says:

    This chucklehead is the brother of a weasel who ran for governor in Michigan a little while back, he was trounced by Granholm. He’s one of the guys born on third, who thinks he has hit a home run.

  67. 67
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Glocksman: Just out of curiosity, who is being prosecuted for these illegal NSA activities? Anyone? As far as I know, no one.

  68. 68
    Amir Khalid says:

    It appears that Ted Cruz has been telling a tall story about who was behind the recent US government shutdown. This* may be worth front-paging.

    *Caution: link goes to Slate.

  69. 69
    JGabriel says:

    @scav:

    Anybody needing an OTBreak can scatter and discuss the ins and outs of Capaldi’s Doctor suit.

    Gosh, I remember Oldsen, the sweet shy linguist courting a marine biologist with webbed feet in Bill Forsythe’s Local Hero that Capaldi played thirty years ago. Hard to believe it’s the same guy.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I am shocked, shocked, that Ted Cruz would do such a thing.

    I feel the vapors coming on now.

  71. 71
    brantl says:

    brother-in-law, actually.

  72. 72
    raven says:

    Not much of a thread.

  73. 73
    Botsplainer says:

    @brantl:

    This chucklehead is the brother of a weasel who ran for governor in Michigan a little while back, he was trounced by Granholm. He’s one of the guys born on third, who thinks he has hit a home run.

    The shitweasel brother in law is Richard DeVos, the meritorious inheritor of the funds generated from the fraudulent dreams sold to Amway victims.

  74. 74
    efgoldman says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt:

    I have always thought that the Pledge of Allegiance is just creepy

    I never minded the pledge as much as I did the [Christian] Lord’s Prayer and the [usually Christian] bible reading, before the Supreme Court forbade them.

  75. 75
    Ash Can says:

    @Amir Khalid: Saletan’s full of shit regarding his both-sides-do-it-ism, but it’s nice to see him calling Cruz on his dishonesty. Also, Bob Schieffer flat-out laughed at Cruz when Cruz tried to snow him on air. I have to think that fucking with the press so blatantly is not going to pay Cruz too many dividends further down the road, especially if he tries to run for prez.

  76. 76
    Bokonon says:

    @jl: I wish I could be confident in our intrepid, fearless media. But I am already seeing them papering over the stuff that went down in Iraq – dropping it down the memory hole, or treating blatant falsehood as legitimate opinions.

    Look how they trot out people like Rumsfeld and Cheney as legitimate sources (which is sort of like going to Richard Nixon for legal commentary about the legality of the Watergate break in). Who is to say that the media won’t play along with a re-launch of Eric Prince, if the right money and institutional forces are behind it?

  77. 77
    Citizen_X says:

    Reading this about Prince, I thought immediately–because I had just watched this particular episode–about this, regarding a similar mercenary slimeball: “I’d like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike.”

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    It also turns out that, like David Tennant, Capaldi was a raging “Dr. Who” fan when he was a kid.

    G mostly knows Capaldi from “In the Loop,” so he’s expecting a lot of f-bombs and c-words.

  79. 79
    JoyfulA says:

    Maybe he’s taking over the Nigerian Prince business.

  80. 80
    g says:

    Just as a first thought, if I heard any contractor talk that way about his former customers, I’d be less inclined to hire them.

    You want to be trusted with sensitive issues? Don’t badmouth your past customers.

  81. 81
    joel hanes says:

    Another Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

    It is a God-damned lie to say that these
    Saved, or knew, anything worth any man’s pride.
    They were professional murderers and they took
    Their blood money and their impious risks and died.
    In spite of all their kind some elements of worth
    With difficulty persist here and there on earth.

    — Hugh MacDiamid

  82. 82
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Beijing has titanic ambitions to tap Africa’s resources—including $1 trillion in planned spending on roads, railways and airports by 2025

    Maybe THIS will be reason first world economies will finally get off their asses and get involved in Africa.

    @BGinCHI:

    I guess the Super-Christian Prince generously set aside his religious beliefs to whore for the Godless Commies.

    I’m sure he’ll also be available to all the governments there who want to annihilate gay people, in the name of Jesus.

  83. 83
    Golgaronok says:

    Too bad Vargo Hoat was cut from the popular adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire. A graphic depiction of his fate might have been a salutary warning to Mr. Prince.

  84. 84
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Whereas my history with him is anchored more in Local Hero. This combination could go anywhere. Hard not to wonder about the Pertwee influence all the same, that would seem to be his doctor temporally.

  85. 85
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @efgoldman: Nah, you want creepy, look at the other pledges in vogue among the Christianists.

  86. 86
    Edward Snowbro says:

    The shitweasel brother in law is Richard DeVos, the meritorious inheritor of the funds generated from the fraudulent dreams sold to Amway victims.

    Also, at one point, the single largest individual donor to the Republican Party.

  87. 87
    Skippy-san says:

    @catclub: Wanchai-nightlife district in Hong Kong Island. You can meet lots of “sales professionals” there.

  88. 88
    fourmorewars says:

    “But the company gained a trigger-happy reputation, especially after a September 2007 shootout that left 17 civilians dead in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.”

    Doesn’t the term ‘shootout’ imply that someone was shooting back?

  89. 89
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Oh, I see, he’s a champion of free markets and an “entrepeneur” – except his business model is built solely around pilfering money from federal governments. When said governments decide they no longer want to give HIM money, they’re just not being capitalism friendly. It has nothing to do with his failures as a entrepeneur or a flawed business model – one that depends on one sole customer.

    Why is Warren Zevon’s “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” my new earworm after reading this article?

  90. 90
    Sandman says:

    @fourmorewars: If a round just fired through a civilian strikes something hard on the far side, there can be ricochets.

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