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Jeremy Scahill has been sounding the alarm on this horrific organization for some time:
WASHINGTON – The security company Blackwater Worldwide formed a network of 30 shell companies and subsidiaries to try to get millions of dollars in government business after the company faced strong criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, The New York Times reported Friday.
The newspaper said that it was unclear how many of the created companies got American contracts but that at least three of them obtained work with the U.S. military and the CIA.
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has asked the Justice Department to see whether Blackwater misled the government when using the subsidiaries to gain government contracts, according to the Times.
It said Levin’s committee found that North Carolina-based Blackwater, which now is known as Xe Services, went to great lengths to find ways to get lucrative government work despite criminal charges and criticism stemming from a 2007 incident in which Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians. A committee chart outlines the web of Blackwater subsidiaries.
Messages left late Friday with spokespeople for the Michigan Democrat and Xe were not immediately answered.
Talking Points Memo
Now that we know the Republicans have settled on a campaign strategy pledging to “defund” health care reform if they win back Congressional power, it’s time to take a look at what that actually means. Could it be a precursor to a Republican showdown with President Obama repeating the 1995 and 1996 government shutdowns?
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he thinks the Republicans are hinting at shutdown with their promises to defund everything.
“They want to shrink it to where it doesn’t work, and then when it doesn’t work, they go, ‘Look! It doesn’t work, get rid of it.’ And that’s been their strategy all along,” Trumka told TPM Thursday after speaking to reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “They don’t talk about how to make things effective; they talk about how to get rid of them.”
The push to shut down the government that Dick Morris floated to conservatives last week is picking up some steam. Democrats who experienced the shutdown in 1995 and 1996 told TPM it was disastrous and it would be “un-American” to force people to endure another one.
Is that where the Republican pledges are headed? Could be. GOP leadership is on board with defunding health care and it’s the most popular idea on the America Speaking Out voter forum run by the House Republicans and is included on the tea party’s version of a Contract with America.
“Since we would need 60 senators to stop a filibuster, defunding is really our only option,” said Alex Cortes of DeFundIt.org.