Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

By Jeremy Scahill
Read by Tom Weiner

14.53 Hours 10/01/2007 unabridged
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On September 16, 2007, machine gun fire erupted in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, leaving seventeen Iraqi civilians dead, among them women and children. The shooting spree, labeled “Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday,” was neither the work of Iraqi insurgents nor US soldiers. The shooters were private forces working for a mercenary company: Blackwater USA, the world’s most secretive, powerful, and fastest growing private army. A largely untold facet of the war on terror is the widespread outsourcing of military tasks to these mercenary companies. Accountable neither to the citizenry nor to standard military legal codes, these largely unregulated corporate armies are being entrusted with ever-greater responsibilities on behalf of the nation. Founded by fundamentalist Christian megamillionaire Erik Prince, the scion of a conservative dynasty that bankrolls extreme right-wing causes, this particular company of soldiers is now being sent “to the front lines of a global battle, waged largely on Muslim lands, that an evangelical President whom Prince helped put in the White House has boldly defined as a ‘crusade.’” Ranging their roots in Moyock, North Carolina, to the bloodied streets of Iraq, to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, to the chambers of power in Washington, DC—where they are hailed as heroes—this is the dark story of Blackwater’s rise to power.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller

Winner of the George Polk Book Award

On September 16, 2007, machine gun fire erupted in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, leaving seventeen Iraqi civilians dead, among them women and children. The shooting spree, labeled “Baghdad’s Bloody Sunday,” was neither the work of Iraqi insurgents nor US soldiers. The shooters were private forces working for a mercenary company: Blackwater USA, the world’s most secretive, powerful, and fastest growing private army.

A largely untold facet of the war on terror is the widespread outsourcing of military tasks to these mercenary companies. Accountable neither to the citizenry nor to standard military legal codes, these largely unregulated corporate armies are being entrusted with ever-greater responsibilities on behalf of the nation.

Founded by fundamentalist Christian megamillionaire Erik Prince, the scion of a conservative dynasty that bankrolls extreme right-wing causes, this particular company of soldiers is now being sent “to the front lines of a global battle, waged largely on Muslim lands, that an evangelical President whom Prince helped put in the White House has boldly defined as a ‘crusade.’” Ranging their roots in Moyock, North Carolina, to the bloodied streets of Iraq, to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, to the chambers of power in Washington, DC—where they are hailed as heroes—this is the dark story of Blackwater’s rise to power.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[Scahill’s] book is so scary and so illuminating.” Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time
“Of all the insane Bush privatization efforts, none is more frightening than the corporatizing of military combat forces. Jeremy Scahill admirably exposes a devastating example of this sinister scheme.” Michael Moore
“It should be mandatory reading. It’s very interesting—and scary.” Scarlett Johansson, actor
“A crackling exposé.” New York Times Book Review
“Blackwater being rarely out of the news lately, this is a very useful survey of modern mercenaries—or, as they prefer to be called, ‘private security contractors’ in the ‘peace and stability industry’…Scahill is a sharp investigative writer.” Guardian (London)
“Should our nation enter a period of instability following another terrorist attack on American soil, an economic collapse, or a series of environmental disasters, the tyranny that groups such as Blackwater impose on others could become the tyranny they impose on us. The rise of this unchecked mercenary force, as Jeremy Scahill understands, could presage the final stage in the collapse of American democracy.” Chris Hedges, former New York Times Middle East Bureau Chief
“This engrossing investigative piece exposing, in shocking detail, a US-government-outsourced Frankenstein replete with helicopter gunships may leave you incredulous. But you better believe it, for it poses a grave and gathering danger to the future of our Republic.” Ray McGovern, CIA veteran and former intelligence briefer to George H. W. Bush
“The dark, largely unknown story of Blackwater…is chillingly told in Jeremy Scahill’s exposé…Tom Weiner has precise diction and a rumbling, authoritative delivery.” AudioFile
“Jeremy Scahill’s Blackwater would be a masterpiece of the genre of futuristic sci fi were it not so regrettably real…[A] horrifying but necessary read.” Daily Kos

Reviews

Reviews

by Wes 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

We are on the wrong boat, this is a read for every senior in high school

I am a political junky. I have a degree in political science. Yet every time I read a book about our American government I feel like I have been had by America. Senate and Congressional representatives of our local, state and federal political parties are not suppose to go to Washington and create personal wealth, circumvent the law, or prevent America from voting. Yet when you read this book and hear the names of the political figures manipulating our government you begin to realize we as American people are lost. Afloat on the ship to disaster. When the wealth of America is controlled by the 1 percent and they control the laws, legislation, tax plan and their private loop holes what is left. BLACKWATER, it reads like Game Change and To Big To Fail. A true story that CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, FOX NEWS apparent all missed. We have been had America, yep we are the red and blue states, we have been had.

Author

Author Bio: Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill is a frequent contributor to the Nation and a correspondent for the national radio and television program Democracy Now!, as well as a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute. A two-time winner of the prestigious George Polk Award, he has reported extensively from Iraq, and his exposure of the presence of Blackwater forces in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina sparked a Congressional inquiry and an internal Department of Homeland Security investigation. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 14.53
Audience: Adult
Language: English