Blackwater Aimed to Hunt Pirates

October 2, 2007 | WASHINGTON | Erik Prince, chief executive officer of the company formerly known as Blackwater, is seen reflected in the witness table before he testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on security contractors.

By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: November 30, 2010

WASHINGTON — Besieged by criminal inquiries and Congressional investigators, how could the world’s most controversial private security company drum up new business? By battling pirates on the high seas, of course.

In late 2008, Blackwater Worldwide, already under fire because of accusations of abuses by its security guards in Iraq and Afghanistan, reconfigured a 183-foot oceanographic research vessel into a pirate-hunting ship for hire and then began looking for business from shipping companies seeking protection from Somali pirates. The company’s chief executive officer, Erik Prince, was planning a trip to Djibouti for a promotional event in March 2009, and Blackwater was hoping that the American Embassy there would help out, according to a secret State Department cable.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/world/africa/01wikileaks-blackwater.html?_r=2

 

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