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Posted at 4:23 PM ET, 06/24/2010

Blackwater’s Prince: Congress gave me ‘proctology’

By Jeff Stein

The irrepressible chairman of Xe Services, once known as Blackwater Worldwide, said Thursday that he’s tired of “proctology” exams from Congress and is abandoning government business forever.

“I will be exiting the U.S. government market completely,” the former Navy SEAL said in a CNBC interview.

“After three-and-a-half years of an assault by some of the bureaucracy, a sort of proctology exam brought on by some in Congress, it’s time to hang it up, because some in Washington view politics more important than performance in the field.”

Prince, formerly chief executive of Blackwater, said he hadn’t been involved in day-to-day activities at Xe “for about a year now,” although he remains chairman. The firm recently announced that it was seeking a buyer. In the meantime, it has been “awarded new security work in the last few weeks,” Prince confirmed.

SpyTalk reported Wednesday that the CIA had awarded Xe a new $100 million contract for protective services in Afghanistan and elsewhere, on top of a $120 million State Department deal to guard new consulates under construction in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, the government recently gave the firm a week to leave the country and banned it from further activity there. The decision followed a U.S. court ruling that threw out charges against several Blackwater guards in a 2007 shooting in Iraq that killed 17 people.

“We’re still heavily engaged in Afghanistan and around the world,” Prince said.

The beleaguered executive also expressed sympathy for commanders in Afghanistan, who under their erstwhile leader, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, he maintained, operated under Soviet-style political commissars.

They have "constant restraints on what they could do,” he said.

“I mean, you can’t drop a bomb from an airplane in Afghanistan without having a lawyer sign off on it. We almost allowed lawyers to become what political officers were in the Soviet Union, the guys that can truly approve, and nix, anything a battlefield commander can do.”

“It makes it so tough …." he added, "to be constantly second-guessed by lawyers, inspector generals and sniping critics back in Washington."

By Jeff Stein  | June 24, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Financial/business, Intelligence, Military, Politics  
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Comments

"Prince, formerly chief executive of Blackwater, said he hadn’t been involved in day-to-day activities at Xe “for about a year now,” although he remains chairman." You mean a previously hands on owner wasn't involved in activities that brought the company two government contracts worth nearly a quarter billion dollars? He left that activity to underlings?

He's "abandoning government business forever"? You mean now that he has the two government contractss completed?

"...it’s time to hang it up, because some in Washington view politics more important than performance in the field.” You don't think there should be politics when it involved his company reportedly involved in activities that a host country thought was wrong, when we're trying to win a war against terrorists and some of his employees reportedly acted at worse like terrorists themselves, and at best as if they were superior to their counterparts and host country officials.

I'm not saying everything Blackwater did was right or wrong, but his company had a responsibility to observe certain standards and, under our system, Congress has oversight. If you don't want to work under Congressional oversight, knowing that politicians will play politics when they're in the limelight, his company shouldn't have gotten involved with government contracts in the first place. But does anyone think that he would have said what he did about not wanting government oversight if the two new government contracts werern't already approved?

xminusone@gmail.com

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Posted by: Dungarees | June 24, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Blackwater playing the victim. Ironic. But I guess private armies don't like having to answer to anybody. Which is exactly why we don't need them.

Posted by: sarahabc | June 24, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Good ridance, you dirtbag mercenary.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | June 24, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

'Proctology' is far too kind for a colon adenocarcinoma like Prince. He ought to be clipped and singed like the cancer that he is.

Posted by: bloommarko4 | June 24, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance, scumbag. Erik Prince of Blackwater. Sounds like the kind of pirate that would kill and plunder, anywhere he sees fit. I hoep to see others follow in his footsteps. Goodbye, Mr. Polyp.

Posted by: fbutler1 | June 24, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

there was a story the other day that the Prince of Darkness is moving to some Gulf country with which the US doesn't have extradition treaty, with the implication that he is fearing he might be indicted.

It is the strange mechanics of the CIA operations that they (or Justice) might be investigating a firm for criminal misconduct while doling out multi-million dollar contracts.

Pox on both of them.

Posted by: ashrink | June 25, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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