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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
by Democracy Now (reposted)
Tuesday Mar 20th, 2007 9:03 AM
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill joins us to talk about his new book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." Scahill writes, "Blackwater is the elite Praetorian Guard for the 'global war on terror,' with its own military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and 20,000 private contractors at the ready. Run by a multimillionaire Christian conservative who bankrolls President Bush and his allies, its forces are capable of overthrowing governments." From Iraq to New Orleans, Blackwater has continued to pull in multi-million-dollar government contracts, mostly without accountability and in near-secrecy.
Four years ago today, the US invasion of Iraq was in its opening hours. Hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries later, another date marked later this month has taken on nearly as much significance. March 31st, 2004. Four employees of the private U.S. security firm Blackwater USA are ambushed as they drive through the center of Fallujah. In images broadcast around the world, their burnt corpses are dragged through the streets. Two of them are strung up from a bridge. This is an excerpt of the PBS documentary, "Private Warriors", going back to that day.

* "Private Warriors" - excerpt of PBS documentary.

The U.S. military followed with the first of two major attacks that ended up virtually destroying Fallujah -- and setting off a new wave of Iraqi resistance that continues to this day. Meanwhile, instead of curbing the reliance on contractors in Iraq, the Bush administration has expanded the privatization of war. Blackwater has been one of the biggest recipients. From Iraq to New Orleans, it has continued to pull in multi-million-dollar government contracts, mostly without accountability and in near-secrecy.

Today, an in-depth look at Blackwater with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. He"s just come out with his first book: "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." Jeremy is a Democracy Now! correspondent and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. He joins us in the firehouse studio.

* Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. He is the author of the new book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army."
More information at http://Blackwaterbook.com

LISTEN ONLINE:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/20/1337226
§Part II - Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
by Democracy Now (reposted) Wednesday Mar 21st, 2007 7:17 AM
We turn to the second part of our discussion with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of the new book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." Scahill discusses Blackwater's role in the Caspian Sea region in Central Asia and the battle in Congress over accountability for private contractors.

We turn to the second part of our discussion with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. He is the author of the new book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." On yesterday's broadcast, we talked about how new lawsuits and congressional efforts are challenging Blackwater's role as the Bush administration's leading private security force, from Iraq to Afghanistan to New Orleans.

* Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. He is the author of the new book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army."
More information at Blackwaterbook.com

LISTEN ONLINE
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/21/1340210