Olbermann: As horrific as all of this sounds, it's just part of what you describe in the piece today. Flesh it out for us.
Scahill: Well, I mean obviously to hear the term murder and Blackwater in the same sentence is no great surprise, particularly to people who've been following the history of this company. It's been at the center of some of the worst violence in Iraq. Killing civilians repeatedly. Five of its men are going to be tried on manslaughter charges for the Nisoor Square massacre in Baghdad in September of '07. Another one plead guilty. The Congress is investigating. The IRS is investigating. This is a scandal plagued company.
What is explosive about what's happened here, and you just went through some of the most explosive of these details is that you have two former Blackwater officials, I have learned from sources that John Doe #2 was actually in Blackwater management and was privy to some of the inner workings of the company.
Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater remains the sole owner of the company no matter that he stepped down as CEO and the founder of the company. He micro-manages every aspect of Blackwater's operations and that's well known. On the Christian supremacists angle, let's remember that Erik Prince used Blackwater as a neo-crusader force and has from the beginning. This is a guy who comes from one of the power-house families of the radical religious right.
His father was a major bank roller, and gave the seed money to Gary Bauer to start The Family Research Council, James Dobson, Focus on the Family. And then we have his forced deployed in Iraq as part of a war against a Muslim nation that George Bush characterized as a crusade.
What we have here Keith is a confirmation from insiders at Blackwater that in face Erik Prince did have a neo-crusader agenda, and most explosively, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals that were intending to or did cooperate in the investigation of Blackwater. This is deadly serious.
Scahill also appeared on Democracy Now to discuss Blackwater.
Full transcript available here: Blackwater: From the Nisoor Square Massacre to the Future of the Mercenary Industry.