THE NEW YORK TIMES
by James Risen and Mark Mazzetti
WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, according to Congressional investigators and former Blackwater officials.
While it is not clear how many of those businesses won contracts, at least three had deals with the United States military or the Central Intelligence Agency, according to former government and company officials. Since 2001, the intelligence agency has awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates, according to a United States government official.
The Senate Armed Services Committee this week released a chart that identified 31 affiliates of Blackwater, now known as Xe Services. The network was disclosed as part of a committee’s investigation into government contracting. The investigation revealed the lengths to which Blackwater went to continue winning contracts after Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September 2007. That episode and other reports of abuses led to criminal and Congressional investigations, and cost the company its lucrative security contract with the State Department in Iraq.
The network of companies — which includes several businesses located in offshore tax havens — allowed Blackwater to obscure its involvement in government work from contracting officials or the public, and to assure a low profile for any of its classified activities, said former Blackwater officials, who, like the government officials, spoke only on condition of anonymity. [Read more...]
Service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan:
US Army SPC Ryan J Grady, 25, Bristow, OK
US Air Force Capt David A Wisniewski, 31, Moville, IA
US Army SGT Louis R Fastuca, 24, West Chester, PA
US Army SPC Clayton D McGarrah, 20, Harrison, AR
US Army PFC David Jefferson, 23, Philadelphia, PA
US Army SGT Jordan E Tuttle, 22, West Monroe, LA
US Army PFC Edwin C Wood, 18, Omaha, NE
US Army SSG Christopher F Cabacoy, 30, Virginia Beach, VA
US Army SGT Andrew J Creighton, 23, Laurel, DE
US Army PFC Jacob A Dennis, 22, Powder Springs, GA
US Army SPC Keenan A Cooper, 19, Wahpeton, ND
US Army SPC Jerod H Osborne, 20, Royse City, TX
US Army SSG Marc A Arizmendez, 30, Anaheim, CA
US Army SPC Roger Lee, 26, Monterey, CA
US Army PFC Michael S Pridham, 19, Louisville, KY
From the indispensable Nicole Belle at Crooks And Liars Dot Com
By: Nicole Belle
Chris Dodd thanks the netroots for their support and congratulates his colleagues for their help in the fight against retroactive immunity.
“Today we have scored a victory for American civil liberties and sent a message to President Bush that we will not tolerate his abuse of power and veil of secrecy. The President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecom companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens. I want to thank the thousands of Americans throughout the country that stood with me to get this done for our country.”
The progressive blogs, who played a huge role in lobbying the Senate to support Dodd’s leadership against retroactive immunity, are joining in the celebration now that the FISA bill has been pulled until next year.
In an email, Athenae of First Draft writes, “Seriously, that was some awesome with awesome sauce and a side of pure, crispy win.”
Crooks & Liars has video of Dodd’s closing remarks this evening.
Jason Rosenbaum at The Seminal writes, “This victory means Dodd’s filibuster has weight. It also makes it much more likely that he will win round two as he continues to stand up for the Constitution and against telecom immunity.”
Sam Stein at the Huffington Post sets the early narrative – one which I think accurately describes how events evolved over the course of the last few days – in an article titled “Dodd’s Filibuster Threat Persuades Reid.”[..]
Also, thanks to everyone at FireDogLake for all the help driving activism today.
You can keep giving Chris Dodd the props he’s due at ChrisDodd.com