Recently revealed documents show that Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, has been busy expanding its corporate reach by providing intelligence services for agencies such as the Canadian Military, Netherlands Police, Disney and now Monsanto. Xe, through their intelligence branch, Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS) provided Monsanto with information by infiltrating animal rights groups.
Blackwater’s work for corporations and government agencies was contracted using two companies owned by Blackwater’s owner and founder, Erik Prince: Total Intelligence Solutions and the Terrorism Research Center (TRC). Prince is listed as the chairman of both companies in internal company documents, which show how the web of companies functions as a highly coordinated operation. Blackwater, through Total Intelligence, sought to become the “intel arm” of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.
The coordinator of Blackwater’s covert CIA business, former CIA paramilitary officer Enrique “Ric” Prado, set up a global network of foreign operatives, offering their “deniability” as a “big plus” for potential Blackwater customers, according to company documents. The CIA has long used proxy forces to carry out extralegal actions or to shield US government involvement in unsavory operations from scrutiny. In some cases, these “deniable” foreign forces don’t even know who they are working for. Prado and Prince built up a network of such foreigners while Blackwater was at the center of the CIA’s assassination program, beginning in 2004. They trained special missions units at one of Prince’s properties in Virginia with the intent of hunting terrorism suspects globally, often working with foreign operatives. A former senior CIA official said the benefit of using Blackwater’s foreign operatives in CIA operations was that “you wouldn’t want to have American fingerprints on it.”
Title: Blackwater’s Black Ops
Publication: The Nation, September 15, 2010
Author: Jeremy Scahill
Student Researcher: Bradley Shadoan, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Sheila katz, Sonoma State University
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