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Blackwater Founder’s Feelings more Newsworthy than Current Overseas Operations

December 2, 2009

Today, the Grand Rapids Press ran a significantly edited version of an AP story about Blackwater founder Erik Prince.  The Press version of the article said, “Prince will relinquish involvement in the company’s day-to-day operations and give up some of his ownership rights.

The article then goes on to say, “Prince felt he was “constantly being thrown under the bus” after serving the country for years.” The Press version of the story doesn’t mention Blackwater’s involvement in the shooting deaths of several Iraqis in 2007, instead the article reads, “Prince’s company did years of work for the government but has been dogged by a series of federal investigations into its work.

The original Associated Press (AP) article was a bit more substantive in that it mentions the 2007 Blackwater shootings in Baghdad and the dollar amount of the company’s contracts in Iraq. However, the AP article was still quote favorable to Prince and didn’t bother to mention details of the company’s current foreign contracts.

One country that Blackwater is currently operating in is Pakistan, which would seem to be very topical considering the US escalation of its occupation in Afghanistan and the US funding of Pakistan’s army to fight the Taliban. Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of the book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, recently published a story on the role that Blackwater is playing in a covert operation in Pakistan. This important information is apparently not as relevant as Erik Prince’s feelings.

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