Blackwater Created 'Shell Firms' to Land Gov’t Contracts

A new chapter in the ever-unfolding Blackwater saga: After it was slammed for its poor conduct in Iraq, the private military contractor company (now known as Xe Services) created a web of 30 “shell companies” to obtain millions from U.S. government contracts, former Blackwater officials and Congressional investigators revealed to The New York Times. The officials and investigators added that, while the number of contracts those Blackwater-linked businesses won remains vague, three had deals with the U.S. military or the Central Intelligence Agency and were awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts. Congress began its investigation last year, after two Afghans were killed by Blackwater personnel, and concerns have continually been raised over the Blackwater-CIA relationship. “I am continually and increasingly mystified by this relationship,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “To engage with a company that is such a chronic, repeat offender, it’s reckless.”