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Sensitive counterterrorism operations

Run with Total Intelligence

I had missed the news that Blackwater ((Mentioned in this previous post: shortly afterwards, Blackwater left the International Peace Operations Association, presumably because it wanted to concentrate on war operations.)) had changed its name to Xe Services, hoping to put all that bad press from Iraq behind them, though everyone still refers to them as Blackwater. Xe, of course, is the chemical symbol for xenon, a “noble” gas that can be used as an anaesthetic. Maybe Blackwater is about to unveil its new slogan: “We can anaesthetize people for you — PERMANENTLY.” ((Then again, maybe not: according to one former employee, even the new name Xe already has “such a stain” on it that the Pakistan gig is run under the moniker of Total Intelligence Systems. That’s totally intelligent.))

Anyway, according to Jeremy Scahill ((Author of the fine Blackwater.)) in the Nation, Blackwater mercenaries are active in Pakistan, where they are involved in

sensitive counterterrorism operations

If sensitivity is crucial to the mission, who better to call?

  1. 1  James  December 8, 2009, 12:13 pm 

    Possibly appealing to those who have problems with insensitive counter-terrorism operations http://www.southasiaanalysis.o.....r2163.html

  2. 2  Bruce  December 8, 2009, 12:50 pm 

    No doubt they really are sensitive to the requirements of innocents (eg genuine civilians) to not be targeted.

  3. 3  Ricardo  December 8, 2009, 1:28 pm 


  4. 4  hardindr  December 8, 2009, 2:47 pm 

    The Scahill piece is weird in that it features extensive quotes from a certain Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who is merely described as “who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2005,” rather than the brain trust behind this war (mentioned in this unspeak post) that led to the current Iraq war. Pretty dumb sourcing, if you ask me, but not atypical of many liberals/lefties (see here for more).

  5. 5  hardindr  December 8, 2009, 2:50 pm 

    As a side note, how many html links does it take in a given post to return a “Spammy” warning that doesn’t allow you to post? It’s very annoying if the links are pertinent to the discussion. Maybe its time for an optional typekey registration button?

  6. 6  Roger Migently  December 9, 2009, 2:32 pm 

    If you go to you’ll find the long-established “World Famous Currency and Foreign Exchange Site”. Seems appropriate, somehow… Blackwater’s extreme makeover is under construction at

  7. 7  Roger Migently  December 11, 2009, 4:14 am 

    “Blackwater” is still being referred to that way in the news:

    Blackwater Guards Tied to Secret Raids by the C.I.A. Private security guards from Blackwater Worldwide participated in some of the C.I.A.’s most sensitive activities — clandestine raids with agency officers against people suspected of being insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and the transporting of detainees, according to former company employees and intelligence officials.”

    But what caught my attention in this story in the NYT was the response from a C.I.A. spokesman on this “brotherly relationship”.

    Contractors give you flexibility in shaping and managing your talent mix

    Unspeak anyone? No, no, not paid killers, just an innocuous-sounding “talent mix”?

  8. 8  Roger Migently  December 11, 2009, 4:29 am 

    Damn. Wish I’d said, “not contract killers, just our talent mix”. Ah, well …….

  9. 9  Steven  December 11, 2009, 1:12 pm 

    Someone should do a reality-TV show in which mercenaries compete to impress the judges with their talent. They could call it The Xe Factor?

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