The Mercenaries Previously Known as Blackwater

First it was Blackwater USA. Then it was Blackwater Worldwide. Now, it's "Xe" (pronounced "Zee"). The private military company has repeatedly tried to re-brand, after numerous controversies from the killing of civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad; to its no-bid contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, post-Katrina; to its hiring troops with ties to repressive regimes, like that of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The company says its latest name change is meant to reflect a new focus. Blackwater / Xe spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, "We've taken the company to a place where it is no longer accurately described as Blackwater." Its subsidiaries also have new names: Blackwater Airships is now Guardian Flight Systems, Blackwater Target Systems is GSD Manufacturing, and Blackwater Lodge and Training Center is the U.S. Training Center. The company has also shed its famous (or infamous) bear-paw and crosshairs logo. The new head of Blackwater / Xe, Gary Jackson, told employees, "Xe will be a one-stop shopping source for world class services in the fields of security, stability, aviation, training and logistics," reports the Wall Street Journal.


Most of the people leaving comments don't have a clue they believe what they hear and never question it's truth. I heard it on the news so it must be true!!! Wake up people because you really don't have a clue. What you would do in these situations you really don't know and thank god everyday for that!!! Blackwater has done a lot of great things but you don't hear that in the news so your simple mind will tell you it's not true!!! Right? Well your not right about much of anything!!! When are people going to get it???

Blackwater is a for profit only company. It is no different than hiring a merc or a hitman to complete a task. There is a reason why Blackwater came under scrutiny. They are not heroes. Heroes do things to benefit the people, not expecting money in return. Plus, many "contractors" are battle hardened disillusioned individuals who get off on killing.

Let me tell you I work with are military everyday and contractors like BLackwater do a lot of dang-eris missions that are troops dont have to do and they are grateful for that. and by the way every one in are military gets payed not as much i grant you but they do get payed to.Also contracting these company's are a lot cheaper than enlisting training housing and supplying every thing are troops need.

While the actions of Balckwater may be questionable, I can see the arguement regarding, "Walk a mile in their shoes first before passing judgement". Blackwater maybe the name everyone knows but dig a little deeper, and the Bush Admin cronies are to be found. When is America going to wake up and have Bush & HIS thugs impeached for crimes against humanity. The obscene profits that the companies controlled by these parasites collected by invading Iraq should be put on the table for all to see.

Since Obama has been President aerial drones have accidently killed civilians in Pakistan........WAR CRIMINAL

We are still in Iraq illegally.....WAR CRIMINAL...can issue an executive order and begin leaving tomorrow

Men are still be held without trial in Gitmo....WAR CRIMINAL can issue an executive order and begin releasing them tomorrow.

Of course we know why Bush did all of the above.....he is evil, stupid and wants to dole out money to the likes of Blackwater and Halliburton......Obama is the smartest guy around and he is doing the same thing. According to the nutty left Bush is stupid/evil......What's Obama's excuse since he seems to be mirroring Bush's policies. Why shouldn't Obama be a war criminal to?.....

Okay. If you haven't seen these clowns roughing up locals and taking pot shots at anything that moves (or doesn't), shouting "Sand Nigger" from the windows of their 'bomb proof' BMW's, bragging about their "i'm going home rich" money, and generally leaving a trail of hate and crap that our boys have to deal with when they've left, then don't venture to offer your authoritative conclusion that these guys are "heroes". I have a kid who has been there to clean up after their mess - he's been through the whole deal - regular service, not National Guard - so I think I have a better picture than maybe you do - but don't take my word for it.

Talk to a soldier who has served over there - not an officer, but a noncom or below. They will probably not talk about it, but if they do, they will tell the truth - and you'll not hear the word 'hero' referring to a merc. Not from the real heroes.

The fact is that the Geneva Convention outlaws mercenaries in any fighting or fighting function. But Erik Prince had great connections at the Bush White House, and apparently still has them with Obama. So despite the fact that we are breaking the Convention, the US finds it convenient to use "contractors" like these idiots to handle stuff that the military would have to answer for. These guys have contractual immunity, and that is why they have managed to avoid prosecution in at least 6 incidents that would have had our boys up for murder charges (some multiple). But they do provide plausible deniability to the higher ups.

You guys at home get the US press version of everything . If you want to know what happens when mercs run loose, check out the Israeli or Arab press. Despite their opposite ideological poles, they are BOTH outraged at what Blackwater and their ilk get away with here. Of course, by now, most of the countries over here are in negotiation with Blackwater over one contract or another. If you can't defend yourself against them, just hire them for more cash. They are mercenaries, after all, and if they are heroes, they are heroes to the highest bidder, not any national interest.

I beg to differ with the potty-minded first poster; Blackwater employees do not sign up with that MERCENARY OUTFIT because they believe in a) noble causes, or b) to perform humanitarian gestures, or c) their love of country; rather, they happily sign their "John Hancock" on a contract form to murder people.for profit. Regardless of the name change,
Blackwater cannot hide what it represents: a nefarious Guns-For-Hire outfit!

If we're going to protest armies for profit, then we have to also protest any company which makes weapons of mass destruction. They also use war to make money. Everybody wants to trash Blackwater, but nobody wants to touch the companies in the United States who manufacture chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. One mercenary is not nearly as dangerous as one scientist selling out his skills to make weapons which can kill many, horribly.

Wow you guys are really at it, surely deeds of a few (tragic as they are) have been used to paint the whole of the organization and all of the people in it. Certainly most of the folks going into battle in Iraq had the right motives and calling all of these guys 'mercenaries' is shameful. Are you guys lined up at the airport waiting to spit on the troops coming off of the planes bringing them home as well?

Every conflict provides opportunity for blame to be dispersed, let's try to keep it all in perspective. If the pen is truly 'mightier than the sword' shouldn't you wield them as carefully as you would hope a 'mercenary' working to support the democratic ideal that provides the media it's right (and therefore responsibility) to exist?

"Are you guys lined up at the airport waiting to spit on the troops coming off of the planes?"

No, I'm just waiting to board. And, to remind you, we're talking about mercenaries, not our servicepeople.

"Surely deeds of a few (tragic as they are) have been used to paint the whole of the organization and all of the people in it."

The appropriate word here isn't "tragic" but "atrocious." We're talking, among other things, about an unprovoked massacre of civilians, and that's an atrocity.

And yes, Xe/Blackwater people are mercenaries from top to bottom. Those at the top are opportunists, in it to get rich, and would probably do just the same no matter how atrocious the regime they lived within. And some at the bottom are really "soldiers of fortune" while others are just trying to support their families in a lousy economy when they have no better-paying skills. One way or another, top or bottom, whether they're bastards or nice guys when you know them personally, they're all using training paid for by the taxpayers of whatever country they're from and doing it for money, not to "serve." That makes them mercenaries.

"Every conflict provides opportunity for blame to be dispersed..."

Not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars to be disbursed to people like the owners of Xe/Blackwater. As long as war is so profitable for so many powerful people, we're always going to have wars whether we really need them or not.