Maureen Dowd in the NYT has been mulling over the Blackwater affair…
Americans have been antimercenary since the British sent 30,000 German Hessians after George Washington in the Revolutionary War.
But W. outsourced his presidency to Cheney and Rummy, and Cheney and Rummy went to war on the cheap and outsourced large chunks of the Iraq occupation to Halliburton and Blackwater. The American taxpayer got gouged, and so did the American reputation.
The mercenaries inflame Iraqis even as Gen. David Petraeus tries to win their trust.
Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, summoned the 38-year-old crew-cut chairman of Blackwater, Erik Prince, to defend his private security company yesterday.
Once there was the military-industrial complex. Now we have the mercenary-evangelical complex.
Mr. Prince, a former intern to the first President Bush and a former Navy Seal, is from a well-to-do and well-connected Republican family from Michigan.
He and his father both have close ties to conservative Christian groups. His sister was a Pioneer for W., raising $100,000 in 2004, and Erik Prince has given more than $225,000 to Republicans…
Dowd says that Blackwater has been “the beneficiary of $1 billion in federal contracts, including a no-bid contract with the State Department worth hundreds of millions.”