Jeremy Scahill, contributor and writer to The Nation and correspondent for the national radio and TV program, Democracy Now!, discusses his bestselling book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, the history of Blackwater, its impact on the war in Iraq, Eric Prince, the president of Blackwater, the political impact of having private contractors serve in Iraq, the death count of private contractors in Iraq, the lawless nature of Blackwater and other private contractors, the deaths of the four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, Iraq in February 2004, the Iraqis complaining about private contractors’ behavior and tactics, the U.S. military’s outrage at Blackwater, how the U.S. military is compensated compared to private contractors serving in Iraq, their presence in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Blackwater’s tactics in New Orleans, global reach, possible future operations in Latin America and competition with other private contracting companies.
MP3 here. (20:50)
Jeremy Scahill is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill has won numerous awards for his reporting, including the prestigious George Polk Award, which he won twice. While a correspondent for Democracy Now!, Scahill reported extensively from Iraq through both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Traveling around the hurricane zone in the wake of Katrina, Scahill exposed the presence of Blackwater forces in New Orleans and his reporting sparked a Congressional inquiry and an internal Department of Homeland Security investigation. He has appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS’s The NewsHour, Bill Moyers Journal and is a frequent guest on other radio and TV programs nationwide. Scahill also serves as an election correspondent for HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.