Erik Prince & Blackwater Guards Worked Closely With CIA
Blackwater Private Security Guards including Blackwater founder Erik Prince "routinely" worked with the CIA in Iraq and Afghanistan in secret, with Blackwater gurards participating in "sensitive" raids against "suspected insurgents and detainee transport according to officials in the CIA and Blackwater.
In addition,Erik Prince, an ex-Navy Seal who founded the Blackwater Security Firm in 1998, told Vanity Fair Magazine that he was a CIA operative.
In private, he was a CIA operative, with his own file as a “vetted asset” at the agency’s headquarters, and a mission to build “a unilateral, unattributable capability” to hunt down and kill al-Qaeda militants for the US Government wherever they could be found.
These claims, made by Mr Prince and supported by others who knew of his activities, form part of a potentially explosive investigation into the life of America’s best-known mercenary.
Erik Prince's role as a "valued CIA assest" ended only a few months ago 5 years after Prince's recruitment by the CIA.
And between 2004 and 2006 Erik Prince's employees were busy, with private Blackwater security guards saying their participation was routine, occurring on an "almost nightly basis."
with Blackwater personnel playing central roles in what company insiders called “snatch and grab” operations, the former employees and current and former intelligence officers said
And the mandate of "snatch and grab" missions included the posibility of capturing and killing suspected militants.
The apparently "intimate" realtionship between Blackwater (a private security firm) and the CIA (a government run spy agency) raises questions about the nature of the Blackwater "contract." Blackwater was hired to participate in "defensive work" and not for "offensive operations like snatching and grabbing militants.
The CIA would not talk about Blackwater but says contracting merely enhances existing skills and says contractors are not accountble, the CIA is. But what prompted Erik Prince to talk publicly about this was leaks about Blackwater, Leaks that came out after a CIA briefing of Congressional leaders
Leaks that included CIA insiders characterizing the relationship with Blackwater like this
“It became a very brotherly relationship,” said one former top C.I.A. officer. “There was a feeling that Blackwater eventually became an extension of the agency.”
Blackwater, a favored government contractor has won contracts worth $1.5 Billion between 2001 and 2009
Erik Prince told Vanity Fair the allegation against Blackwater was a "smear campaign" and that “I’m from a Republican family and I own this company outright. Our competitors have nameless, faceless management teams.”