Christianity Thomas on 04 Jan 2010 12:14 am
An interview about the defense contracting firm called Blackwater (now called Xe Services ):
TERRY GROSS: What do you think people mean when they describe Erik Prince, the head of Blackwater, as a Christian crusader? What has he done that might fit that description?
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, the first time that that term officially came to the public light was in the form of these affidavits in terms of coming from people from within the company. And the description that they offer is that Erik Prince actually encouraged a climate where people were using – regularly using racist terms like Haji to describe Iraqis or other Muslims, and that there were operations where Blackwater men were encouraged to go night hunting in helicopters with night vision goggles and they were essentially shooting Iraqis for sport.
The Department of Justice has a filing in the criminal case against Blackwater where they say that some Blackwater operatives viewed the killing of Iraqis as – innocent Iraqis – as payback for 9/11. And you also have a culture at Blackwater where Erik Prince himself, my understanding is, has given speeches to people about the epic crusade that they’re on and has in fact used that term himself – the term crusade.
So it would be the combination of encouraging an environment where racist terms are being used to describe innocent Iraqis, where they’re night hunting, where they’re celebrating their kills, as they’re called, and just the general tone for the operations that’s set in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More on the Blackwater Christian Crusade: