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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Murkier and dirtier - Erik Prince and the CIA assassinations program

In a new Vamity Fair piece Blackwater founder and CEO Erik Prince claims he was a CIA "asset" for the last six years. That would certainly put a different spin on some things, and it would mean that the CIA was doing far dirtier than reported.

On the other hand, Prince may be overstating the relationship as some sort of defense for his actions which now face civil recriminations. Certainly, the CIA had worked with him, but Prince would have us believe he "just followed orders" which seems somewhat alien to the defiant way he ran his business.

Some sort of relationship would, however, explain Blackwater's rapid rise, endless funding and their apparent advantages in gaining contracts. The CIA making Prince rich as he did their bidding.

Oh, and there's also this about the CIA's assassinations program that certainly deserves a mention,
Among the team’s targets, according to a source familiar with the program, was Mamoun Darkazanli, an al-Qaeda financier living in Hamburg who had been on the agency’s radar for years because of his ties to three of the 9/11 hijackers and to operatives convicted of the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in East Africa. The C.I.A. team supposedly went in “dark,” meaning they did not notify their own station—much less the German government—of their presence; they then followed Darkazanli for weeks and worked through the logistics of how and where they would take him down. Another target, the source says, was A. Q. Khan, the rogue Pakistani scientist who shared nuclear know-how with Iran, Libya, and North Korea. The C.I.A. team supposedly tracked him in Dubai. In both cases, the source insists, the authorities in Washington chose not to pull the trigger. Khan’s inclusion on the target list, however, would suggest that the assassination effort was broader than has previously been acknowledged.

The key points would be that the CIA was preparing an assassination inside Germany, and AQ Khan made the target list.

(As always, Vanity Fair pieces are really too long to read on the internet. Here're a few excerpts.)


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