How Erik Prince founded BLACKWATER

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  1. submitted by seemslikeadream on rigorous intuition forum

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=printer_friendly&forum=389&topic_id=1971198&mesg_id=1972594

    Another clue — look into a guy named Paul Behrends
    Posted by starroute on Thu Oct-04-07 12:33 AM

    Behrends is a longtime friend of Eric Prince and has been the chief lobbyist for Blackwater for many years.

    He was a national security aide from 1990-97 to Dana Rohrabacher — a Congressman who also had close ties to Jack Abramoff, extending back into the 80’s.

    He was a senior VP with Rhoads Weber Shandwick from 1997-2004 and was lobbying for Blackwater at that time.

    From 2004-06, he was a partner in Alexander Strategy Group — the firm founded by Tom DeLay’s former chief of staff, the now disgraced Ed Buckham, that figures heavily in the Jack Abramoff scandal. ASG represented Blackwater when it was trying to repair its reputation after that Fallujah business. ASG and Behrends were also involved in Blackwater’s New Orleans operations.

    When Blackwater launched the International Peace Operations Association in late 2005, ASG was its lobbyist — with the account being handled by Ed Buckham, Karl Gallant, and Tony Rudy, all of them with deep ties to DeLay’s and Abramoff’s money-laundering operations. (Brent Wilkes was another ASG client.)

    (Most of this information, by the way, comes from http://thehill.com/news/041404/blackwater.aspx and http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060220/scahill )

    When ASG collapsed under the weight of the Abramoff scandal, Behrends moved over to Crowell & Moring/C&M Capitolink, and Blackwater immediately engaged their services instead.

    Behrends has some other interesting connections besides those with Blackwater. He also has taken an interest in Afghanistan — perhaps stemming from his days with Rohrabacher, who was a major supporter of the mujeheddin when they were fighting to oust the Soviets. In 1998, Behrends was lobbying for the Saudi-owned Delta Oil in their attempts as part of the consortium with Unocal to arrange a pipeline deal with the Taliban. (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~mvcarmac/women2.html ) And in 2004, while he was working for ASG, he was part of a team sent to observe the Afghan elections — not the sort of job you’d normally expect a lobbyist to handle. (http://fpc.state.gov/fpc/37133.htm )

    So altogether, Behrends has a rather strange and spook-y resume that adds an additional dimension to the Blackwater picture.

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