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private war: Company history dates Blackwater (translation of the book by Jeremy Scahill)

Until the recent annexation of Crimea on the peninsula walked courteous armed men in camouflage uniforms without insignia. It is late now (or, conversely, too early) speculate on, whether it was the Russian military or armed mercenaries. but, it's all very well coincided with the statements of some deputies of the need to promote the creation of Russia's own private military companies, which could give a particularly delicate tasks (such as Crimea). The statements are very interesting and timely, especially against the background of news on the reduction of conventional armies in developed countries.

Concerning, we decided to make a translation of a number of passages from the book of famous American journalist Jeremy Scahill Blackwater The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, dedicated to the history of one of the most famous mercenary companies in the world.

Spend an hour reading of the text, and we guarantee, that this hour will not only be informative, but endlessly fascinating. Remember the final scene of the movie Zero Dark Thirty, in which the main character after a successful operation to destroy bin Laden sits in a huge, specially chartered plane for her, and, It devastated the coolest adventure of his life, goes home? About as you will feel after reading this remarkable translation. Text Action, text-adventure awaits you!

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List of Abbreviations - BW (Blackwater), PMC (private military company), Theater - theater of war, DB - fighting, AP - Presidential Administration, DoD (Department of Defense) - US Department of Defense, Armed Forces - military

Prince HOLLAND

The dizzying growth of the largest mercenary army did not start in hot spots, like Afghanistan or Iraq, but in a small sleepy American town called Holland (Holland) Michigan, where pravohristianskoy family was born founder of the modern mercenary Erik Prince (Erik Prince). That Prince family laid the foundations, which in the future will help to Blackwater (BW) up to an unattainable height of international mercenary market.

beautiful two-story house on South Shore Drive Street is conveniently located in the picturesque waters of Lake Makatava. The sun shines brightly in his clean water. On both sides of the road peacefully spreading maples rustle old. Over the house silently waving American flag. Tranquil picture sometimes breaks the noise of motor boats or accidentally passing cars. This America, directly from the card.

In the small Dutch Prince family was akin to a European royal family, and Edgar Prince, Eric's father, He was king. On the manufacturer self-taught Edgar worked for a quarter of the city. He changed the face of its institutions, He planned and sponsored the building in the center and was one of the patrons of the two local colleges.

If there was any lesson, Edgar who gave their children, this understanding, how to build an empire and manage, adhering to strict Christian dogmas, the right sights, and the foundations of a market economy.

TO 1973 Prince Corporation was succeeded as never before. It employs hundreds of people in several departments, the company launched its flagship product - car sun visor to protect from the sun, zapatentovannoho by Edgar.

18-hour workdays badly affected the health of his father's family - he had a stroke at the age of 40 years. Once in the hospital, as usual, Edgar decided to devote himself to the service of Jesus Christ.

However, this had no impact on his business acumen - Prince Corporation quickly established production of a variety of other automotive accessories, enjoyed great popularity.

As later he told about his father Eric, it "from scratch founded, which began producing high-pressure casting machines, and then I grew up in a world-class supplier of auto accessories ".

In 1980 Prince's family has moved closer to one of the most influential conservative US families, when my sister Erika, Betsi, married Dick Devos (Dick DeVos). By the way, her father was the founder of Amway Corp., generous sponsor, naturally, Republican candidates.

Eric's father died of a second heart attack, when he was 63 of the year. A few minutes before death, he spoke with the president of Prince Corporation, then I said goodbye and went to the elevator, where he was found 15 minutes later.

As it happens, When the king dies, Netherlands town plunged into deep mourning. Locals even lowered flags.

At this time, Eric served as the "sea lion" and already had time to visit Bosnia, Haiti and the Middle East.

ca.. translation: despite the rather silly name, "seals" (или United States Navy’sSea, Air, Land Teams — SEAL) - an elite force of the US Navy. I will not go into the details, but these guys are exhausting satanic preparation. On the final exam to join the ranks of the SEAL called Hell Week even made a few films. So we can safely say, Eric was a tough and hardy boys. Interested "lion" we recommend the bookthe world famous sniper Chris Kyle, American Sniper.

Eric admired his father and wanted to follow in his footsteps since childhood. Is no exception and deep religioznost- his works in high school were full of quotations from the Bible. After high school he entered the Naval Academy, dreaming of becoming a pilot on an aircraft carrier, but after three semesters left everything for the sake of college Hillsdale, preach the libertarian economics. During his studies, Eric was a volunteer firefighter and diver at the county sheriff. According to the Princeton Review survey 2006 of the year, College was marked as the most conservative in the country.

Growing up, Eric began to take an active interest in politics right, enrolling in the practice of the White House to George Bush Sr.. It was during this practice, he made his first political donation ($15 thousand.) National Republican Congressional Committee.

Erik Prince

Erik Prince

Eric support such politicians, Jesse Helms (Senator racist and admirer of the Confederate States of America), Ollie North (the scandal of illegal arms supplies to Iran), Richard Pombo (due to the "black" lobbyist Jack Abramov), Dick Chrysler (founder of Cars and Concepts), Tom Coburn (Senator deacon Southern Baptist Church with all the attendant), Tom DeLay (vague connection with the same black lobbyist Abramov and a number of Russian oligarchs) and many others. At least for a consistent look, you can praise Eric.

AT 1992 he turned his attention to the campaign of Republican Pat Buchanan renegade, who tried to take away from the Republican Party nominee President Bush, speaking with his ultraconservative program against migrants, abortion and gay marriage. Because of this, Eric strongly quarreled with his sister, who at the time worked for Bush. However, their quarrel was over just as quickly, how and passion of Eric Buchanan campaign - he returned to the ranks of SEAL, He entered in the eighth detachment (SEAL Team 8) after an officer candidate's school. It was in the period from 92 by 96 year as part of SEAL, Eric met many of those, who in the future will be his assistants at the base BW.

The first months after the death of the patriarch of Edgar Prince, no one knew, what will happen to his legacy - by Prince Corporation. More 4000 employees depended on, He is seen as the future of the company itself Edgar. Now, this burden has fallen for all family members - his wife, Elsa, He became chairman of the board of directors; Eric, torn co sluzhboy, engaged in the daily affairs of the company. his wife, Joan Nicole, just a terrible diagnosis - cancer in the terminal stage. Life in the fabulous Holland began to turn into hell.

AT 1996 year, a year after the death of Edgar Allan Poe, the family sold the business for $1,35 billion of Johnson Controls on the promise to preserve the brand Prince Corporation, all hired employees and benefits package. true, how often this happens in the world of big business and big money, Johnson Controls promise not kept, brand buried, and part of the staff laid off, disbanding the company.

At this time, Eric, Following in his father's footsteps in his religiosity, I came to the decision-Catholicism. Taking the example of Edgar, sacrifice human Protestants, he began to donate money right Catholics, вроде Catholic Answers, pro-life, homosexuality, stem cell research and cloning.

At the same time Prince family was part of the National Policy Council (Council for National Policy). The newspaper The New York Times described this advice, as "well-known in the narrow circles of the club a few hundred most powerful conservatives in the country, 3 once a year, occurring behind closed doors and discuss, how to bring the country to the right ".

About, that this advice was not a bunch of half-witted villagers, dreaming of world domination, by the fact, that in the presidential race of 1999, George W. Bush turned to them for support. They also attended the meeting, Dick Cheney (vice-president) and Donald Rumsfeld (Minister of Defense).

BW: BEGINING

While Eric was the "printing press" in financing young companies, almost all the details of his company developed the E Clark (Al Clark), 11 years served as an instructor in firearms SEAL. In an interview of 1993, when the Prince was just starting his military career, Clark claimed, that has already outlined for themselves shape the company's future.

The main problem at the time was the lack of training ranges from the Navy, which include the unit SEAL. They always had to be rented from the army or marines.

In 1996, Clark was transferred to the 8th detachment of SEAL instructor in tactics. Prince, then promoted to lieutenant, I was in the first platoon, who coached Clark.

Only a few months later Clark learned, Eric Prince belongs to the very Prince family. However, the dream of the founding of the company did not come true - as you remember, in 1995, the father of the family died, Eric and his wife was diagnosed with cancer. It was not until the business.

In an interview 2006 , Eric told, that "in the '90s, many specialists had similar thoughts about the need to build a private training grounds".

When his father died in 1995, Prince is still thought to remain in the service of SEAL, but after his wife's deteriorating health, he threw all, retired from service and returned home, to support a family and four children.

In 2006, Prince announced: "A lot of fighters of special units, I knew, shared my thoughts about the need for the emergence of advanced private training centers. Some of them joined me, when I created the BW. After the sale of the family business myself sponsored my company "

Princ claimed, BW that the idea came to him while on duty in the 8th detachment SEAL: "I've trained all over the world and realized, how hard it is to pass a modern special forces military training ".

However, some former high ranking officials claimed BW, that in fact the idea belonged to Al Clark: "E-invented everything from start to finish, Eric has provided financing ".

BW appeared just at the time of the privatization boom of the Ministry of Defense, held in the period from 1989 to 1993rd managed by Dick Cheney and George Bush Sr.. In his first year in office, Cheney cut the defense budget $10 billion. He stopped funding the research development activities (NIOKR) on a range of complex armament, and also reduced the number of military personnel with 2,2 million. to 1,6 million. As he wrote Dan Briodi (and Briody) in his book The Halliburton Agenda: "In the early 1990's little army depended on private companies and Cheney was determined to change the status quo. The idea was, to allow the army to fight, and the entire rear logistics to give contracted to private companies. In addition, it was a very good way to calm a wave of discontent in society after a deployment of troops abroad. More "privateers" - means, fewer regular troops, and dissatisfaction with less ".

By that time, Erik Prince and Al Clark began to create BW in the mid-90s, in the Ministry of Defense there were massive cuts. Under the distribution and training facilities were, One of the most important components of the military machine. The first president of BW then spoke: "In the high-quality training of military and special forces soldiers are now in great demand, because most of the bases were built during the Second World and obsolete. No one could provide them with modern landfills ". It is this niche and filled BW in 1996, the year.

At that time, The Republican Party had not the best of times. Clinton's victory in 92 year marked the end of twelve golden years of conservative rule, which laid the foundations of the Reagan administration. The right of religious organizations, which the Prince is very sympathetic, We thought the Clinton administration "leftist regime, supporting abortion, Gay and opposing family values ​​and religion in the country ".

It is in such a hostile environment, and appeared BW. 26 December 1996-th, across 3 months after the termination of employment in the SEAL, Eric registered Blackwater Lodge & Training Center. The following year, he bought almost 2000 hectares of land in North Carolina. New offspring worthy representative of the Prince surname is now stretched from the village with an interesting name Great Dismal Swamp (The great Swamp).

Can, BW and later became a shark Megalodon on mercenary market, but at the beginning of the company I was desperately trying to convince the committee on Currituck County with a population of urban planning 20 000 in, BW that can be opened here for business. To 11 September, the Committee members are not worried about international terrorism, Islamic radicalism and other horror stories. They are worried about the price of property, permissible noise levels and the ability to protect themselves from the crowds of fans to shoot at live targets. They had something to worry about - a year ago a stray bullet hit the hunter local primary school building during school hours.

As a result, they refused to Currituck County, so the Prince traveled to neighboring Camden County, where he received a speedy approval of its project.

In June 1997 We began the first work, and in May 1998, the company officially opened. While Blackwater name sounds scary, it refers to the dark waters of the Great Swamp, which was built near the base BW. Soon after the discovery in BW as the former began to flock, and current fighters SEAL, followed by the FBI. Everything was simple - the new polygons, greater opportunities for training and a small distance from the place of work (to FBI headquarters in Washington, DC 350 km, to one of the SEAL base - 60km).

By 1998 th business at BW going well - companies train private and public customers owning various types of firearms (from pistols to assault rifles and machine guns). Some polygons surrendered SEAL for training. Police officers from Virginia, North Carolina and even Canada were trained in the territory of BW. Companies showered questions from foreign countries: the Spanish government was interested in the training of specialists on the protection of presidential candidates, Brazilian authorities are interested in trainings on counter-terrorism operation. One customer wrote in a newspaper BW Virginian Plot in 1998: "They are the best of the best ... to come here and learn from the most prominent experts - is an honor".

By the end of 1998, BW base includes several conference rooms, classrooms, lounges with fireplaces and stuffed animals, score, dining room, arsenal, a separate room for the cleaning of weapons and spacious rooms with satellite TV for the guests - a paradise for all lovers of weapons, even by modern standards,. In the same year BW spent on their territory shooting competition among law enforcement agencies and military units, later nicknamed "Postrelushki in BW» (Shoot-out at BW).

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20 in April 1999 the second tragedy occurred, which significantly spurred business BW - Dylan Klebold (Dylan Klebold) and Eric Harris (Eric Harris), dressed all in black and armed to the teeth, They went to their school Columbine in Colorado and made it a massacre, ubiv 12 human. Despite, that the number of shooting incidents in American schools was almost halved in the period from 1992 to 1999-th years, case has received wide publicity and caused panic in all states. Law enforcement authorities should develop measures to counter such incidents. Therefore, in September of 1999 400 SWAT special forces went in BW at the newly built landfill, which was thoroughly recreated a typical American school - classes, cutlery, library and the same metal lockers in the corridors. Special atmosphere gave the hidden dynamics, where during exercise played out cries of schoolchildren and shots, and the walls were riddled with bullet holes and splattered blood.

"This is a real chaos, worth a monstrous mess, "- said a law enforcement officer in resignation, "These youths randomly running around in this huge room. It should be a wild noise. You can not learn, who actually fires. It is in such conditions fighters must clearly do their jobs and to neutralize the threat ".

The construction and successful use of landfill-school convinced the National Association of Martial Police Forces, organization, that trains 4000 Police officers in the year, to hold its annual conference on the territory of BW. Conference was attended by law enforcement officers in Canada, Haiti, Belgium and the UK.

In the year 2000,, received a certain notoriety among security forces, BW took a huge step forward, received its first contract of the Office of General Services (Uson). This means that, BW that the government has approved the list of goods and services, which can be sold to the Federal Agency for predetermined prices. Receipt of this contract paved the way for the long-term and profitable agreements with the US government agencies. for example, formal lease landfill combat training cost was $1250 per day for up to 20 human. The same number of cost-school polygon hire for groups of up to 30 human. The contract was written all - the cost of hours of instructors of various categories, rent shooting ranges, Prices for additional training equipment (eg, rotating target). The contract itself is not brought fabulous profits, but it has helped us to open the doors to the entire federal system of the USA.

"This is how to build a Wal-Mart for the government", - said the former CIA operative Jamie Smith (Jamie Smith), - "With this contract,, the government can simply buy your products or services without any kind of competition ". General practice is: obtaining GSA contract, company usually looks for opportunity to work with a greater number of government agencies and convinces them to use its services more often. It was here that well help political ties.

First money on the contract was in BW 2000 at the rate of $68 thousand. for devices for shooting ranges. It happened, that exactly the same amount at the end of this year, Erik Prince donate to the race Bush.

At year end, the incident occurred, which served as the starting point meteoric rise BW. morning 12 October 2000 year in Aden, Yemeni port, small boat swam to the guided-missile cruiser USS Cole, stopped at refueling. Having caught up with the board of the cruiser, ship blew up, Performing in the skin 12-foot hole. The responsibility for this terrorist act, claimed the lives 17 sailors and injured 39, He took over Osama bin Laden. The second national tragedy (after the massacre at Columbine school) BW brought another batch of contracts, this time with the Navy. While the men were not combat training in small arms, and therefore we were not ready to repel this kind of attack. Therefore, the command decided to train in combat escort ships on the basis of BW. Eventually, during its existence, the company has trained about 30 000 sailors and earned only at this $35,7 million.

The attack on the cruiser USS Cole really spurred business BW, but it all faded to the background of the, that many call the most horrible terrorist attack on US soil.

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morning 11 September 2001 American Airlines flight №11kompanii, en route from Boston to Los Angeles with 92 passengers on board, changed course and headed toward New York. AT 8:46 in the morning the plane crashed into the World Trade Center north tower. 17 minutes later flight 175 United Airlines crashed into the south tower. And in 9:37 flight 77 American Airlines flew into the Pentagon. US authorities began to look for the possibility of immediate response to the attacks and revenge for those killed in both towers. The changing environment has provided Erik Prince and his colleagues carte blanche, where they can easily write their wildest thoughts about the company's future. Events began to unfold themselves - the new Minister of Defense Rumsfeld has set the course to increase the presence of private companies in the US war machine. As fate favored BW.

Across 2 weeks after 11 September, Prince was invited on Fox News, where he admitted: "4 years I have been doing this business and has already started a cynical attitude to the, how much people value their safety. But now everything has changed - our phone does not stop at all ". This month BW contract with the FBI $610 thousand. Soon the company will train staff of almost every government structure.

but, real fame came to BW later, m in 2002, when the company entered the market of mercenaries, open division Blackwater Security Consulting. As with Al Clark, Prince has borrowed this idea from my colleague, Jamie Smith, former CIA employee. As Smith himself claimed in an interview, "I just knew, it is a logical step in the privatization of the activities of the Ministry of Defense ". 22 January Blackwater Security Consulting has opened in a few months, when the US occupied Afghanistan and the planned invasion of Iraq, BWSC began to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly, working under contract to the CIA. One of the key figures in the conclusion of this contract was Alvin Krongard nicknamed buzzy (Buzzy), CIA executive director, people number 3 in management. Interestingly it is the, that to a career in the CIA worked all his life as an investment banker. He made Alex.Brown, the oldest investment banking firm in the US, the most successful in the country, subsequently more profitable to sell it in 1998 and lost in the CIA. There were rumors, Alex.Brown that he had worked for the CIA under the guise.

AT 2005 Krongard became famous for his statement that, surviving that Bin Laden will need.

"You could say, that all of us will be better on, that he is at liberty ", he said. "Because if something happens to him, you will see, how many people will want to stand in his place and show, how they macho, staged another bloodbath. Bin Laden is the most charismatic leader, than criminal genius ". Speaking in the language of corporate governance, Krongard believed Bin Laden "is not the chief executive officer, but rather a venture investor. Let's, we'll want to blow up Trafalgar Square. We go to Bin Laden and he says: "Here's some money, here passports, and if you need a weapon, go out to the guy "".

Krongard traveled to Kabul and claimed, that the safety of the local residency rather low. After that, BW without competition received a six-month contract in the amount of $5,4 million. to send a detachment of 20 mercenaries in the very Kabul residency.

The idea of ​​working for the CIA was so pleased to Prince, he personally led the squad. While mercenaries guarding the CIA agents, Prince was in one of the hottest points of Afghanistan - Village Shakin, where the US military base equipped with a 4-miles from the border with Pakistan. Very comfortably, to transport terror suspects across the border and back, away from prying eyes.

A week later, Prince Shakin left and returned to Kabul. As stated by Jamie Smith, "He was looking for people there, which could offer BW any contracts for work '. The game of spy in the hot spot so pleased to Prince, he decided to go to CIA, but it fizzled after, as a result of the polygraph examination were inconclusive. Despite this, Prince maintained friendly relations with the management. He even issued a special allowance, which allowed to look at the many CIA station.

Since the contracts with the CIA and other intelligence services secret, impossible to understand, many became exactly earn BW after receiving the contract in Afghanistan. Smith only mentioned, that after the growth of the company has become a runaway. Further work for the CIA, as well as political and military ties Prince, eventually helped the company to find their most coveted and rich client - the US Department of State. Smith then very aptly put it: "Once we got the contract with State Department, It happened something incredible. The doors to the high offices of the State Duma opened the way to the US representation in almost all corners of the world. It looks like, although sounds scary, to cancer. Once the cancer cells get into your blood, two days later the whole body stnoavitsya guaranteed infected ".

In March of 2003, US troops entered Baghdad. And along with them and occupying administrative tip, including local "proconsul", Paul Bremer III, room 1 Middle East. It was his and had to protect children from BW contract. Bremer, how and Prince, was a Catholic, an ardent supporter of neo-conservative views and arrogant imperialist, who dreamed to reshape the world to become a US strategic interests - all in the name of sacred democracy. Protect Bremer's meant to be number one among private military companies, to operate at the operating theater.

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Paul Bremer

President BW, Gary Jackson (Gary Jackson), former SEAL, then he began to brag, BW contracts that have become so secret, that they could not even tell one federal agency to contract with other federal agencies. Less than a year later the whole arrogance blown away by the wind - 4 BW soldier met his death, surrounded by crazed Islamists, after which the entire course of the US military campaign in Iraq will change dramatically. All this happened in Fallujah.

FALLWDJA DL BW

Long before, BW as the soldiers set foot on Iraqi soil, Fallujah has been considered a tumultuous city. During the British occupation in 1920 a rebellion broke out in the city. The reason was a quarrel between the head of the occupation forces, podpolkovnikom Dzheralydom Lichmanom (Gerald Leachman) and local leader Sheikh Dhar, during which the Colonel was killed, and the British, in revenge, We began to mercilessly bomb the city. Iraqis showed stiff resistance, killing more than 1000 British soldiers, but they lost about 10 000.

Americans, knowing the history of this city, advance dubbed it "prosaddamskogo center of resistance to the occupation forces". In the Washington Post then wrote: "Historical ties with pro-government structures - this is just part of the story of Fallujah. It is also a region, where strong rural traditions, reflexive nationalism, generously flavored with radical Islamism and the like ".

During the Gulf War 1991 of the year, British again excelled - fighter-bomber Tornado Royal Air Force dropped a few "smart bombs" on a bridge over the Euphrates. In this case, three bombs off course and fell in a residential area one kilometer from the bridge, destroying the house and the local market. Eventually 130 people were killed, 80 suffered.

Echoes of this tragedy auknulos Americans, instantly setting the entire population of Fallujah against them, It costs first Marines to set foot on Iraqi soil. The situation is aggravated by the fact, that resided in Fallujah, basically, Sunnis - the most loyal to Saddam Population. In Fallujah born and raised many of the soldiers of his Revolutionary Army.

US special forces captured Fallujah in April 2003, but soon they were forced to leave the city. Local swore and swore, that calm the rampaging Sunnis, if US troops leave. Not the last role was played by the great-grandson of Sheikh of Dhara, convince US commanders, that all will be well. Under increasing pressure from the international community, dissatisfied by storm and accompanying victims by civilian, troops withdrew from. As soon as the last "Hammer" was out of sight on the road to Baghdad, Fallujah again sided with the rebels.

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Hundreds of soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division returned and quickly occupied some areas of the city, simultaneously turning the local Al Qaeda school (ca.. translation: and called, Al Qaed, "Belonging to the leader") the headquarters.

The same local imam at night (perhaps, already familiar to you Dhar) He urged to rise up against the American occupation. After the evening prayer, people began to gather for an anti-American demonstration. It all started in the morning 28 April 2003, when protesters gathered around the former headquarters of the party "Baas" (Arab Baath Socialist Party), which passed under the control of Americans. Across the road, at City Hall, US Lieutenant Colonel, part-time commander of all troops in Fallujah, He held a meeting. The crowd chanted "God is great, and Mohammed - his prophet ", "No to Saddam! No US!"And similar slogans.

Lieutenant Colonel had to interrupt the meeting and to order their troops to declare the demonstrators, that "this action can be regarded as a hostile act and suppressed by force". What is surprising, protesters realized neillyuzorno threat and left the territory, heading in the direction of the school of Al Qaeda. On the way to it adjoined the other residents of the city, and as a result the number of protesters reached several hundred.

In the crowd were carrying a large portrait of Saddam, while at the same time they heard cries of "We do not want Saddam, and we do not need America!».

 

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getting dark, but the protesters were not going anywhere diverge. in front of, slogans reinforced by steel shot in the air, to American soldiers on the roof of the school throwing stones. According to some reports, them began to fire. The US military first used smoke grenades, but after a stray shots fired back. In an instant, the demonstration turned into a bloodbath. 75 people were injured, a 13 were killed. The international press immediately compared the incident with the "Bloody Sunday", 1972, in Northern Ireland, when British soldiers opened fire on protesters Catholics.

The morning after the dispersal of the rally hard in Falluja, the street people come out again - this time around 1000. They again gathered at the former headquarters of the party "Baas". It is not clear, why they decided to come back after the first warning, but the Americans did not stand on ceremony, and opened fire, ubiv 4 and wounding 15. According to journalists, Interviews with local communities, none of the protesters was not in possession of a firearm, all behave peacefully. The US command claimed, that fire was only because of its own security considerations.

On the same day Saddam, still on the run, He appealed to the citizens of the country with a message: "Forget about everything and rise up against the occupying forces! Now there is nothing more important than, than to expel the infidels cowardly invaders!». A few hours later someone threw a grenade through the window of Staff of US troops, injuring 7 th military. On local markets appeared DVD-disk with videos of the shooting of protesters Iraqis, interspersed with a scene from the movie "Black Hawk Down", where Somalis are killing American soldiers. All this to the accompaniment of the local muezzin, singing about the revolt and calling for people to go kill. Fallujah did not give up, Fallujah hated US.

Protection protege BUSH IN BAGHDAD

Paul Bremer III arrived in Baghdad 12 May 2003 and immediately settled in the republican palace of Saddam on the banks of the Tigris.

Perhaps the greatest legacy Bremer in Iraq, where he was considered a true proconsul, It was the transformation of the country into the epicenter of anti-American sentiment around the world and the transfer of local authority control system, which resulted in the unprecedented corruption and bribery.

As Erik Prince, Bremer - conservative Catholic, worked up a sweat on the Republican administration and won respect among pravoreligioznyh and neoconservative organizations.

In 1970 he was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Kissinger. In the 80's left the civil service, becoming the CEO of the consulting firm of the same Kissinger.

Known for "terrorism expert" among neoconservatives, Bremer has played a major role in developing the concept of a global war against terrorism and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (Department of Homeland Security).

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AT 1999 he was appointed Chairman of the National Council on combating terrorism. AT 2001 He was a senior adviser on policy and modern risks in the company's Marsh & McLennan. The head office of the company located in the north tower of the World Trade Center. Of 1700 employees, 11 September did not return home 295.

13 September, Bremer wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal, where were you, in particular, these lines:

"Our car is to become the most feared in this decade. Prior to that, we have demonstrated the seriousness of our intentions, not inflicting any harm. This time, the terrorists and their accomplices should be destroyed. This could mean war with one or more States. As in any war, will be casualties among the civilian. How many a battle we will win, as some lose. How some Americans would die. But, eventually, America wins, as always!»

Once Bremer was in Iraq at the post of head of the puppet administration, he organized the process of "de-Baathification". In the local reality, this meant the removal of the top minds from politics and state recovery process. Under Saddam belong to the party "Baas" was mandatory for the various positions.

Bremersky Decree №1 deprived thousands of state employees (teachers, doctors, nurses) work. According to the Decree №2, the entire Iraqi army, 400 000 human, subject to dissolution, without the right to a pension. Not worth talking about, yesterday soldiers easily turned into terrorists and Rebel.

ca.. translation: More details about these events you can read in a book Imperial Life in The Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone. If you do not have time - you can see "Green Zone", free artistic action-packed retelling of the book with Matt Damon in the lead role.

After a while Bremer, in defiance of calls to establish a direct electoral system, I created Supreme Council of 35 human, where he had unlimited powers, including the right of veto. Board members could not get some groups of Sunnis and Shiites all, supporting radical religious leader Muqtada Sadr, American occupation administration implacable enemy.

What is happening in Iraq is well described by Bremer's brother, Duncan, while run for US Congress:

"Maybe I prefer, to radical Islamists look at the world in my opinion, and got out of the corresponding benefits. But I still think, it would be better, if they do abandon their vision of the world and their particular interpretation of Islam in particular,, allowing us to live in peace. From a geopolitical point of view, it does not matter, whether they will profess peace, Islam or Buddhism or anything else. It is important that they give up their religious ideology forever ".

There was also a decree №37, Iraq diminished the income tax of legal entities 40% to 15%. The decree №39 decreed, that foreign companies are allowed to own up 100% Iraqi assets, except for the natural resources industry. Investors are also allowed to withdraw all the profits abroad.

Already by mid-August, across 3 months after his arrival in Baghdad, attacks on Americans and Iraqi collaborators took a daily character.

28 August BW on non-competitive basis received a contract for the creation of personal protection for the group to Bremer $27,7 million.

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"No one fully understood, how to get it from Washington to Baghdad unharmed ", - recalled BW President Gary Jackson. "Secret Service (ca.. translation: analogue of the Russian Federal Security Service in) I assess the risk and concluded, it is many times more dangerous, than meets the eye. therefore, eventually, they came to us ".

"The standard rate of personal protection group member was $300 day, - Fortune magazine stated. "As soon as BW opened recruitment in personal protection Bremer, rate soared to $ 600 ".

Because of the boundless hatred for Bremer from local Iraqis, BW has developed an innovative personal safety report of its "object №1». He singled out for 36 bodyguards (most of whom were former SEAL), two detachments and dog handlers 3 Helicopter flights to the country. BW employees dubbed the Praetorian Guard, the company's image in the world of PMCs was flawless. They began to appear in the press photos near high figures, Colin Powell and Tony Blair.

BW soldiers themselves looked threatening and were more like Hollywood action heroes - tanned cropped athletes in sunglasses, from head to toe hung with gear. They do not stand on ceremony with journalists, chasing them up and down, their military convoys and helicopters to support local snipers scare, their trunks unceremoniously looking at the passers-by at any time of day.

Another case of violation of the law with impunity employees BW occurred in May 2004. The incident was the subject of investigative journalism correspondent Los Angeles Times, Christian Miller (Christian Miller).

Trip Robert Callahan (Robert Callahan), a diplomat of the US Embassy in Baghdad, coming to an end, and it is a full day meeting with journalists and representatives of media organizations. As usual, All employees of the State Department, Callahan and not the exception, escorted by BW. Going back to the next meeting, his convoy of five cars turned onto the busy street. At the same time, the Iraqi "bomb", Mohammed al-Khattab, bring up two passengers, dangerously close to the convoy, on mercenaries to instantly fire its engine for an old "Opel". One bullet passed through and hit the passenger in the back seat, instantly killing him.

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Miller dug up hundreds of pages on the incident report, and could prove, that mercenaries had fired warning shots. However BW did not suffer any punishment - they clearly have done their job, Iraqis living their little interest. BW work style perfectly matched with Bremer's mission in Iraq - his bodyguards were excellent, until he committed "robbery of-Iraq". His death would mean the end of an impeccable reputation, and thus an end to lucrative contracts.

Alive and well Bremer was a walking billboard for the company - if we can protect human, who hates every Iraqi, we can definitely protect you wherever. Less than a year later he Osama bin Laden issued an appeal, Where is the promised reward - 10 kg of gold - for the murder of Bremer. In turn, the force of resistance offered by $50 thousand. per head of any of the BW staff.

Bremer mentioned, It is costing BW take its protection into their own hands, as "on request Rumsfeld, The Secret Service has estimated the level of my safety and decided to, I - the most threatened US official worldwide. It got to the, The resistance members allegedly introduced to the national palace of his barber, which was at the time shearing cut my throat ".

December 2003, a few months after, BW as the Bremer took custody, it made the first official confirmation of the attack. Bremer recalled:

"We sat in a convoy to the" green zone "- 4 armored "Humvee" and 3 armored "Chevrolet Suburban". Above us circling helicopters with snipers BW. When I discussed with his assistant plans to visit the International Economic Forum in Davos, there was a deafening explosion, and after him, shooting from automatic weapons. At the head of the machine of the explosion burst tire. The rear window of my "Suburban" completely smashed, and passenger landed a bullet from a Kalashnikov. We waited perfectly-planned ambush ".

While the company guarded Bremer, about it, little has been heard. The media reports the name of the BW barely mentioned. Employees called a personal guard Bremer or his bodyguards. Sometimes they are mistaken for the Secret Service agents. But their world was called PMCs only as elite, trendsetters all mercenaries market.

When Bremer left Iraq in 2004, there were more than 20 000 armed mercenaries. For the year of Bremer they cost America $2 billion and increased the budget for the reconstruction of Iraq in the 30%. Benefit from it all, naturally, The result is not only BW - many companies (DynCorp, Control Risks Group, Erinys, Aegis, Hart, Kroll, Steele Foundation) We decided to participate in the gold rush and earn. The Economist magazine wrote, that even the British PMCs snatched a piece of cake, raising its revenues from 320 million. pounds to 1.6 billion pounds per year.

That the mercenaries did in Iraq, who killed, how many of them killed themselves - all these issues were not and will not answer, since all their activities condoned. Any prosecution (at least, BW staff) It was doomed to failure.

In September 2003,, a month after receipt of the contract by Bremer Protection, BW squad of 4 people heading north from Baghdad on a country road, when they, according to their own reports, They attacked in a small village. This morning, one of the fighters, Ben Thomas, He loaded his rifle M4 powerful experimental ammunition, which does not allow for the use of US Armed Forces. They were armor-piercing boeripasy limited penetration, BBOP (APLP, armor piercing limited penetration). When injected into the body, such a bullet flies through, and disclosed, literally tearing off pieces of human. During a firefight in the village, Thomas shot such ammunition in one of the attackers, hitting him in the buttocks. He described the impact of the bullets in the newspaper Army Times:

"How to describe the, who did not see it live ... It's like a shot in the human miniature explosion-shell. The bullet hit him in the ass, and tore all the lower left part of the abdomen. No one could have thought, this guy is going to die from simple injuries in the ass ".

Thomas, former SEAL, I returned to the base, which started a real fight for his experimental cartridges. News leaked, after which he was threatened Tribunal, but learning, that he was a mercenary, the case was not given stroke. After all this, Thomas save on your myspace link to an article about the use of the signature BBOP: "Osama bin Laden - my suchka».

Many Iraqis and some journalists mistakenly believed, BW that mercenaries are agents of the CIA or Mossad, that in any case lead the local population in a rage. But the mercenary behavior annoyed the real and US intelligence officers, as they undermine their safety.

17 Martha, a kilometer from the "green zone", at the Mount Lebanon Hotel on blown up a car bomb, ubiv 28 human. In this hotel, in addition to the ordinary guests, They lived as a CIA undercover, and mercenaries, working under contract to the US government. In March, there was a rumor, US authorities are preparing a tender for $100 million. for private security organizations throughout the "green zone" (10 square kilometers, where foreign and government targets) and its 3 000 residents. The tender did not take place, but things have BW were still excellent - the company has opened several offices in Baghdad, Amman (the capital of Jordan), Kuwait and the center of US intelligence, McLean, Virginia, which now housed a division of government relations.

FOUR MARTYR

By early 2004, the mountains, the BW firmly entrenched in Iraq. Erik Prince, Gary Jackson and other leaders of the BW is actively looking for an opportunity to get more contracts and expand its presence in the Middle East.

Launched a campaign to attract talent - BW needed former special forces soldiers. The payment was more than decent - a day mercenary BW could receive from $600 to $800 dollars, in special cases, and more. Also, while in the hot spot was much smaller, than in the army - the contract was concluded for 2 of the month, and it is a fantastic opportunity to earn in the short term. Future mercenaries were also provided tax breaks.

For people, who were taught to kill other people professionally, and that there was simply no place "in civilian life", mercenary work was a unique chance to combine employment favorite business with a good income. "It `s that, what are you doing", - said the former fighter SEAL, - "Here, let us say, 20 s you control speedboat or jump out of an airplane and then suddenly start to sell some insurance. All skills, received the service - combat in urban environments, sniper case, Melee - all applicable to everyday life. It's hard".

among those, who work mercenary tempting, It was a former SEAL, Scott Helvenston (Scott Helvenston) - tanned and taut character with cover. Literally. His picture was on the cover of the US Navy's promotional calendar. He even trained Demi Moore for the movie "GI Jane" and advised John Travolta for the film "Face". Odd jobs, he in 2004 finally decided to return to the world of blood and gunpowder. At first, he was offered a job DynCorp company - position in the personal protection of the President of Afghanistan, but the contract intended to travel for a year. He did not want to leave the family for such period. Then he saw the news about a short trip to BW. So he became their mercenary. Going to the Middle East, he thought, that will be one of those 36 Bremer's bodyguards, but everything went wrong, he supposed.

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Scott Helveston

In search of new contracts, BW cooperate with Kuwaiti company Regency Hotel & Hospital Company. Together they have won in a row the company ESS, subcontractor Halliburton (ca.. translation: megakorporatsiya, story that pulls on a separate article), on convoys with cooking facilities for US military protection. To get more contracts from ESS, BW hastily began collecting a protective convoy.

Scott wrote in an e-mail home:

"We were told, that in two days we will be accompanied by a bus in Baghdad. This evening we went with the kids for dinner at a local restaurant, where they called me and asked, if I could today 5 am advance. I refused, my things were not collected, and indeed I was not going to go anywhere this evening. Back in the room, I was met by one of the instructors with her boyfriend. They called me a coward, said, that fired me, if I do not go in the morning with a new detachment in the convoy ".

The letter he sent not only to the native, but also to all the executive directors of BW with the theme of "a blatant lack of professionalism". It was the last letter, that Scott sent in their lives.

The second was Jerry Zovko (Jerry Zovko). AT 19 years he had already served in the army, He became a Ranger and went to Yugoslavia, Where, According to his family, He participated in covert operations. He then became a "green beret", but it has not been assigned to a specific squad. In 1997, he retired from the Armed Forces, but he was unable to tell his family, what exactly he was doing, Referring to the secrecy. He was then offered a job by the same company DynCorp, and he agreed, having gone to guard the US Embassy in Qatar. Then he was a mercenary in the MPRI, training the new Iraqi army. Then he came to BW, where he met with the third member of the future of the convoy - Vesom Batalonoy (wes Batalona).

Batalona was also a ranger, He served in Panama in 1989 and in Somalia in 1993,. Working together in BW, they met the fourth - Mike Teague (Mike Teague), a former member of the 160th "Night pursuers" special aviation regiment (Night Stalkers). Ice Man (ice man), so it was called friends and colleagues, I visited Panama, Grenade, Afghanistan, He left the service and became a security guard, he quickly tired, after which he came to BW.

The task for all four was the same - escorting trucks with kitchen equipment through the outskirts of Falluji to a military base.

ambush

It should be noted, that at that time in Fallujah there was just unrest with shooting from both sides. In February 2004, an organized crowd attacked the local police station in broad daylight, ubiv 23 officer and free all prisoners. The very next morning, the militias were already independently patrolling the streets with weapons in their hands..

Situation started to get out of hand. US set out to pacify Fallujah significant.

In March, the first expeditionary force of Marines took some parts from the 82nd Airborne Division, tune to capture the whole city. Long battles began for every street and every house.

At the same time, another important act occurred in this terrible performance of gunpowder., sand and blood, and it happened not in Iraq, and in Palestine. Israeli military destroys Hamas spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, hitting it with a missile from a helicopter in the Gaza Strip. This killing added fuel to the already fierce Sunni resistance throughout the Middle East..

Attack time, finely matched by assault on the rebellious Sunni Fallujah marines, reinforced Iraqi suspicions, that the Americans act in concert with the Israelis. Hard to imagine, what else needed to be done, so that the people of Fallujah hate you more.

Meanwhile 4 mercenary BW, Helvenston, Zovko, The battalion and Teague were ready for their first departure. The battalion then rightly resented, that the group never worked together before such a responsible task. Also, at the last moment they should have joined 2 man, but they were left in the camp to fill in papers. Instead of armored hammers, they were given two simple Pajero, which hastily replaced the rear window on a steel sheet. But no one began to refuse to complete the task, although, according to BW internal regulations, the minimum squad should be 6 human.

30 March Helvenston was driving a red Pajero, dissecting Highway No. 10 in Fallujah. Tig was sitting next to him, who knew Helvenston all day - a non-standard situation for the detachment, which moved into the database zone. Behind the red Pajero rode black, who was driving a healthy man Zovko, opposite him Battalion, oldest member (he was 48). They did not get a place of honor in Bremer’s personal guard, but they did not lose hope. Today's convoy of forks and pans, and tomorrow, you look, diplomat from washington.

Everyone was tense - the two remaining at the base of the mercenary were supposed to cover the machine with light machine guns, but they were not. And that meant, that the only passenger was forced to not only guide the driver, but also shoot back. The mercenaries did not have any preliminary intelligence on the area of ​​operation, there was no information on possible threats. There was not even a normal card.

Four fighters in civilian transport drove into Fallujah in 9:30 morning. The city of mosques had already woken up and was waiting.

The main street through Fallujah usually looks like an anthill - lots of cars, of people, scurrying back and forth, the shops, cafes and hookahs on both sides of the road. Typical picture for cities in the Middle East. However, shortly before the convoy entered the city, a group of masked people detonated a bomb nearby, scaring away all passers-by and forcing store owners to close their points. The streets are empty.

So when two Pajero drove into the city, could say, that they were more like two white crows. Whole situation, it seemed, was planned in advance. At the movies, made by Iraqi rebels after that fateful day, they boasted, that they were helped to track the movements of the BW convoy. "Local Mujahideen, who worked for the army of Islamic jihad told our commander, that a group of CIA agents without protection will go through Fallujah ”. BW representatives later stated, that the city was accompanied by a convoy of Iraqi police.

The convoy moved slowly through the streets of Fallujah, while at some point did not stop. Witnesses said, that a group of children ran up to the jeeps and spoke to the mercenaries inside. Bye Helvenston and Teague, led the convoy, sorted out what was happening, there was an automatic burst. Bullets immediately flashed the door of the jeep, if it were made of cardboard.

something happened, What are afraid all the fighters of special units - the convoy was trapped. Scott Helvenston died on the spot, Mike Teague hit the neck, and he was slowly dying. Suddenly, several people jumped onto the hood of their red Pajero, emptying their Kalashnikov clips in the windshield. Both mercenaries were dead. To the cries of "Allahu Akbar!»Local onlookers joined the attackers. Falluja sensed blood.

As soon as the first shots rang out, second jeep driver, Ves Batalona pressed the gas pedal to the floor, pushing trucks in the middle of a convoy. It is not clear to the end, did he try to save his comrades or leave this hell away. According to BW's internal rules, if you are ambushed, you should only take care of yourself., leaving the danger zone as soon as possible. However, none of the scenarios was successful - as soon as their jeep crashed into a convoy truck, instantly opened fire on them. Caught in the head, Battalion several times in the chest, but he was still alive. They pulled him out of the car and started stoning, until he died. Then the attackers cut off his hand, leg and head, while dancing and having fun. Someone brought gas and doused jeeps and bodies. For the fun of the distraught crowd, they were set on fire.. And all this under the constant cries of "Allahu Akbar!».

A few minutes later, journalists arrived, capturing this terrible massacre on camera. The crowd by that time had grown to three hundred people. Charred remains of mercenaries taken out of the car, after which they were dismembered by all available means - fittings, shovels and other items at hand. There were exclamations: “With our blood and our souls we will sacrifice ourselves in the name of Islam!», then two mutilated bodies were tied to a car and dragged to a bridge over the Euphrates. Someone climbed the bridge, hanging the remains of mercenaries on steel beams, where they hung 10 hours. Then they took off, burned again, the ashes were loaded into a cart and transported through the city to the city hall.

This was the second Mogadishu for the Americans - in 1993, African rebels shot down an American Black Hawk helicopter with 18 soldiers on board, dragging then their lifeless bodies through the whole city. Then the Clinton administration was forced to withdraw troops from the country. This time the victims were not military, and mercenaries, and the US was not going to retreat anywhere. in front of, the death of four BW mercenaries will result in a fierce assault on the entire Fallujah and equally fierce resistance, and all this a year after the capture of Baghdad. Until the planned transfer of independence to local authorities 90 days. The war has just begun.

FIRE AND SWORD

Burnt Mercenary Remains still hung on the bridge, when ambush news began to spread across all the news agencies of the world. However, there was no instant reaction from the American authorities., although nearby were four thousand marines in full combat readiness.

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At this time, George W. Bush participated in the election campaign., where I never tired of repeating, that "America never scare a bunch of criminals and murderers. We will destroy them there [in Iraq], so that you don’t have to deal with them in our country ”. Bremer contacted the commander of all US forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez in Iraq and said: “We must respond to this incident.”, otherwise the enemy will understand, that we are indecisive. Sanchez responded, that he was just busy dusting off the operation to storm the city, which was planned a year ago.

Preparation for the assault began with the processing of public opinion. All officials from small to large unanimously declared, that barbarism against Americans cannot be allowed. Bill O'Reilly from Fox News channel was generally fairly straightforward:

"I spit on the people of Fallujah. Their hearts and minds are not already win. They just will beat you and be done with it. They have already proved, so let's just raze this place to the ground ”.

He later stated:

“Fear is a very good thing. Terrorists and their accomplices must be destroyed or imprisoned. Their punishment should be a reminder to the rest. What do you think, Saddam ruled his country? Fear!»

Questions rained down on the marines, why no instant response. Colonel Michael Walker, US Marine Corps official, He said:

"Should we send there, for example, tank, that, with all due respect, pick up the remains of four people? What would it change? The crowd is the crowd. It would only provoke them. It was right to let the situation calm down ".

In north carolina, Meanwhile, BW phones burst, since the identities of the four mercenaries were established and made public. According to its internal rules, BW Formally Denies Affiliation.

Exactly the day after the ambush in Fallujah, BW Hires Influential Republican Lobbyist Firm Alexander Strategy Group (ASG), led by Tom Delay, to help the company cope with a difficult situation.

For Marines, just getting ready to capture Fallujah, the brutal murder of four mercenaries meant a complete change in the strategy of their commander, Major General James Mattis. The White House added fuel to the fire, viewing this tragedy solely as a challenge to all US forces in Iraq. Bush immediately summoned Rumsfeld and the entire military top. As the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Rumsfeld had a plan for a full-scale assault on Fallujah. That’s exactly what Bush wanted to hear and approved the plan almost immediately. ”.

2 April 2004 of the year, across 2 days after an ambush on mercenaries BW, Operation Vigilant Resolve begins (ca.. translation: rough translation - “Firm determination”). A representative of the US Marine Corps immediately declared, that marines are motivated in two cases: first, when they go to free someone, and second, when they go to kill someone.

Today they were not going to free anyone.

NADJAF

While the Marines were about to storm Fallujah, Eric Prince’s reputation in Washington was simply on top. He was invited to Capitol Hill as a special guest of powerful republican lawmakers - people, who literally ran Congress - where the BW proclaimed a "silent partner" in the war on terrorism. Prince's Chart Filled in Minutes. However, tracking the situation now occupied the lion's share of his time., in which again his employees played a decisive role. This is not about the four mercenaries killed in Fallujah..

A few weeks before the Fallujah tragedy, Bush Administration Develops Action Plan Against Muktada Sadr, influential religious figure in Iraq. Paul Bremer and the White House see Sadr as a serious obstacle to fulfilling their main mission in Iraq - transferring independence to local authorities, scheduled for June 2004.

Sadr, son of a respected religious leader killed by Saddam's troops, showed up in occupied Iraq as commander of the Shiite Army Mahdi. He became the most ardent opponent of the American occupation of Iraq. Being a true Iraqi nationalist, he spoke street language, sprinkling my sermons with slang and knew, how to attract people to your side.

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Muqtada al-Sadr

As the Washington Post wrote, there were fears in powerful American circles, that any influence on Sadr will inevitably lead to an increase in his popularity and becoming a martyr.

28 In March, a US armed forces engagement group broke into the Baghdad office of the weekly anti-occupation newspaper Al Havza (ca.. translation: Seminary), issued by Sadrom, dispersed all employees, and the building was sealed. According to Bremer, power action was caused by violation by the editors of the newspaper Decree No. 14, according to which the newspaper “undermined general security and incited violent actions”.

The closure of the newspaper instantly provoked large-scale protests, which have even reached the borders of the "green zone". Protesters shouted extremist slogans like “Just say, Muqtada, and we will resume the revolution of 1920!». It's about rebellion against British occupation.

On the day of the assault on Falluji by the Marines, Sadr stated: “I am the punishing hand of Hezbollah and Hamas here, in Iraq. Bremer immediately ordered the arrest of his first mate, Sheikh Mustafa Yakubi. The next day, Sadr openly announced a rebellion against American occupation.

Thousands of furious Shiites boarded buses in Baghdad, heading to Najaf, where, according to some reports, the arrested Yakubi was kept. The crowd began to seize local office buildings. Najaf’s police immediately ran away and the headquarters of the occupying forces remained the only power in the city, guarded by mercenaries BW.

04/04/04

morning 4 April, when the sun was just rising over Najaf, a small detachment of BW employees carried a watch on the roof of the headquarters. There were almost no regular troops in the city due to an agreement with Shiite religious leaders., unwilling to see American troops in the holy city. Learning from the news of the fate of his fellows in Fallujah, BW mercenaries were platooned. They watched, like a crowd of protesters, growing every hour, trying to get to the university campus in the nearby town of Kufa. It was clear, that they will not stop there.

The security of the headquarters in Najaf cannot be called intimidating - 8 mercenaries bw, among them is the same Ben Thomas, who killed an Iraqi with an assault rifle shot in the ass, several fighters from El Salvador and a couple of marines.

Corporal of the Marine Corps Lonnie Young (Lonnie Young) that day was supposed to install radio equipment just on the campus of the University of Kufa. “When I entered through the central gate, I saw a small group of protesters on the street. ", - recalled Young. "Going deeper, we saw, how the coalition forces in riot gear gather at the main gate ".

Half an hour later, Young completed the installation of equipment, returned to the truck and dozed off. A partner woke him, said, that the equipment is not working. "I said, I’ll come now ”, - said Young, - “As soon as I got dressed, grabbed his weapon and got out of the truck, there were distinct shots from the AK-47 in front of the main gate ".

He quickly ran back, towards the headquarters of the local occupation forces. On the roof, BW mercenaries and fighters from El Salvador were already waiting for him.. Clinging to his machine gun, he saw, after a few minutes a truck stopped on the street in front of the headquarters, from which the armed locals ran out and immediately opened fire on the roof of the headquarters. Young recalled: "I began to scream, that one in my sight. I needed permission to open fire ”. But there were none of the Marine Corps on the roof, who could give such an order. So he turned to the first BW mercenary he came across.: "With your permission, sir, i caught the target!». Young was given the go-ahead and he opened fire.

According to some reports, the number of protesters in front of headquarters that day ranged from 700 to 2 000.

Thousands of bullets and tens of 40mm grenades flew at Iraqi attackers. every 15 minutes, one of the defenders stopped shooting - the barrel was overheating. People of Sadr answered with fire from AK-47 and RPG. According to the description of the Washington Post, “At some point in front of the gate, protesters noticed a truck with Salvadoran soldiers. Demonstrators stopped them, pulled everyone out. One was killed on the spot., putting a grenade in his mouth and pulling a check, and the other two were beaten and sent under guard to a mosque. ”.

In the midst of the battle, one of the local police managed to get to the roof and took part in the defense. BW fighters began to shoot what is happening on video.

- You see the guy on the ground? In him an RPG!

- where?

- Right in front of the truck, to the right of the wall!

Boom Boom, tra-ta-ta, attackers fall dead. One of the BW mercenaries coordinates the fire of three soldiers on the roof. Fight continues.

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Soon, the Iraqis began to pull up their snipers against the defenders at the headquarters of the occupying forces.. They wounded three, including the mercenary, which the bullet hit the jaw. According to Corporal Young, “Blood sprinkled several meters and I saw a quarter hole in his jaw the size of a quarter. I tried to put pressure on the wound and stop the bleeding, but blood just flowed through my fingers ". Eventually, he somehow squeezed the wounded carotid artery and handed it to the doctor. Then he returned to the post:

"Wherever I look, corpses of Iraqis lay everywhere below. But the attackers all continued to run to the main gate. I shot and shot and thought only of one thing - to kill, not to be killed. It seemed, that we are about to be crushed by a number. But from this thought I only fiercely shot ”.

Ammunition was running out, each defender had a handful of rounds. The situation has become critical. Somehow BW mercenaries contacted a camp in Baghdad and requested ammunition. Bremer personally ordered his three helicopters to be sent for help. As a result, the mercenaries received ammunition and continued to defend, and the Marines, including young, They were evacuated. Soon, American special forces arrived in Najaf and cleared the territory.

No sooner had the dust settled after the repulsed assault in Najaf, as Muktada Sadr publicly ordered to stop all peaceful demonstrations and go exclusively to violence. In reply, American helicopters generously ironed Sadr City's Baghdad area, where Sadr had the largest number of supporters.

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If before there could be questions about the role of BW in the Iraq war, it has now become clear, that this is a serious player in the middle east theater of operations. While the mercenaries cleaned their weapons at night after a repulsed assault in Najaf, thousands of marines were going to avenge their brutally murdered comrades, surrounding Fallujah.

ALWAYS FAITHFUL

Operation Firm Determination Begins. First, special forces entered the city to capture "particularly important targets", then the assault began with the forces of 3 battalions of marines, reinforced by tanks.

War writer, Bing West (Bing West), who managed to get to the marines at the beginning of the offensive, wrote about an interesting way of conducting psychological struggle:

"The companies competed in coming up with the most dirty insults, which were then broadcast on a megaphone. When the furious Iraqis ran out of cover, shooting from Kalash anywhere, Marines methodically destroyed them. Guns ‘n’ Roses and AC / DC soon sounded over Fallujah. ”.

After a week's siege, Americans were never able to tame Fallujah. According to official reports, they destroyed 600 armed insurgents, although the real numbers were much higher. Soon Iraqi security forces, re-formed by the Americans after the dissolution of the Saddam army, began to go over to the wrong side. One of four soldiers either started shooting at the Americans, or just didn't go to work. The Marines tried to take over the city with the help of local, but the idea failed miserably - by handing over to the Iraqi armed forces 800 AK-47, 27 light trucks and 50 radio stations, they were surprised to find them among the resistance fighters.

A second assault was scheduled in a few months., In November. After 700 air strikes and massive artillery bombardment, the city fell. The Marines renamed the ill-fated bridge over the Euphrates "BW Bridge". Someone wrote in black marker on one of the beams: "This is for the Americans from BW, killed here in 2004. Always true (ca.. translation: marines slogan, always faithful). PS. Go fuck it!»

BLACK WATER

During this time Eric Prince, understanding, that the company's fame can be a double-edged sword, worked closely with lobbying firm ASG, or rather with his longtime acquaintance - Paul Berends (Paul Behrends). Berends' company has not only helped to whitewash BW's image and iron out rough edges in international scandals, she also spurred business well. The thing is, that Berends was also involved in American foreign policy in the Middle East. to be precise, then he was doing a big deal with oil giant Unocal to lay a pipeline through Taliban-infested Afghanistan. Not surprising, that BW got a contract to protect this entire facility.

In May of the same year, BW used all its lobbying opportunities, to prevent the adoption of the law, according to which PMC employees are legally equated to military personnel of regular units. In 2007, year this law was adopted. But it was still far from 2007.

Costly services of ASG lobbyists paid off - former specialists were eager to work at BW. The New York Times wrote: “Some military commanders openly resent the, that salary from $500 to $1500 takes the best special forces fighters from under their noses a day, at the same time, when their abilities are needed more than ever ".

But there was no turning back. Privatization within the Ministry of Defense was in full swing - supplies of provisions, fuel, quartering, and now also military operations - all this was successfully carried out by private companies, which became a necessary mechanism in the huge US military machine.

Successfully repelling the attack in Najaf showed, how useful are armed mercenaries in the Iraqi occupation.

The Bush administration did not even raise the issue of revising the strategy for using private companies after a series of tragedies in Iraq.. Even after the scandal of bullying and torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, which involved contractors from two American private companies, the course has not changed. Business is business.

According to experts, the private military services market has reached $100 billion already in 2004 and continued to grow. How much BW earned is unclear, since the company did not advertise its income. The head of the company, Gary Jackson, boasted, what the 3 the growth of the company's capitalization amounted to 300%.

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After Fallujah and Najaf, PMCs began to contact each other, sharing useful information and intelligence. "Each PMC roughly corresponds to a battalion", - told one government official to the Washington Post. - “Now they have decided to unite, creating the largest paramilitary organization in the world ".

DEJAVU

In the summer of 2004, when crowds of mercenaries poured into Iraq, the situation began to worsen. BW convoy was ambushed again in June, reminding everyone of the atrocities in Fallujah. On the morning of June 5th, two BW jeeps were heading to Baghdad airport. They were performing a contract for the same company, as in Fallujah - ESS. Mercenaries from the Polish special forces GROM were in the jeeps together with the Americans, broke the contract with their aircraft and left for BW. Former GROM commander spoke, that the Poles were offered s / n in $15 thousand. per month with insurance.

When the convoy rushed along the highway to the airport, they were caught up by fighters on five cars. According to eyewitnesses, they fired an RPG convoy, blowing up one of the mercenary jeeps. The passengers of the second jeep responded with heavy fire. The scene resembled a high-speed chase with shooting in the style of Hollywood blockbusters - superior enemy forces, incessant shooting, high speed, shouting, fire and chaos. The mercenaries eventually managed to drive into the oncoming lane, fend off the attackers and escape. Everything said about, that BW was attacked by an organized militant group, planning the action in advance. And all this on the main road from the "green zone" to the airport, a year after the capture of Baghdad.

At this time, Bremer's term as leader of the Iraqi occupation was coming to an end.. The senior of his personal protection team took reasonable precautions., invited 17 additional "hummers" to accompany, as well as a couple of Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets for air support. The last thing Bremer did before, how to leave Iraq, this endowed all mercenaries with immunity from local prosecution for any offenses in Iraq. Now BW could not denounce any court. Senator Patrick Leahy (Patrick Leahey) tried to push through an amendment to the law on sanctioning defense spending, which allowed to judge American offenders on foreign theater, but she did not vote.

Bremer’s departure didn’t affect BW’s business at all - they simply began to guard his ally, Ambassador John Negroponte. Famous for its participation in the "dirty wars" of the United States in central America in the 1980s, he controlled the activities of the death battalions "Contras", warring with the left Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Like other participants Iran-contrast, Negroponte Gets High in Bush Administration. In Iraq, he became responsible for the largest US embassy and the largest CIA residency in the world.

In late June,, when Negroponte just settled in in his new office in Baghdad, BW received another prestigious contract under the program of international personal protection of employees of the State Department. The program involves the protection of US officials abroad, as well as some senior representatives of foreign countries. If necessary,, contractual mercenaries issued diplomatic and local passports. They were also allowed to recruit and train foreign nationals “for joint security operations abroad”. By 2007, BW had earned approximately $750 million.

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This contract finally showed, that BW is the most preferred PMC in government. Things worked out just fine - at the end of November 2004, Bush was re-elected. President BW, Gary Jackson, then made a massive corporate newsletter with the following content:

"Well, presidential election is over, people said their word, liberals lined up in hospitals, suffering from post-election injury, and President Bush’s war on terrorism will continue 4 of the year! Our army has performed well in Fallujah. As Iraq becomes a calmer place, State Department will send more officials to help build democracy. They will need professional protection., therefore they hired BW ".

BEGINNING OF THE END?

16 September, 2007 of the year, Nisur Square, Baghdad. Noon. It's always stuffy on the street, the sun mercilessly bakes the heads of Iraqis scurrying back and forth. An armed convoy of four South African-made Mamba infantry fighting vehicles is slowly driving through asphalt hot in forty-degree heat, a light air support helicopter hangs above them. Iraqi policeman, seeing a convoy in the distance, out of habit blocks traffic flow.

Heavy cars enter the square, but then abruptly change course, turn around on 180 degrees and taxi into the oncoming lane of the one-way road. Drive a bit in the oncoming lane, for no reason they stop, and the man in the tower of the third car opens heavy fire on the cars standing in the traffic jam.

The first bullet hits the head of medical student Ahmed Hatem. His mother, also a medic, riding in the passenger seat, screaming heart-rendingly and trying to reanimate an already dead son. She doesn't see, that Ahmed’s leg is still pressing the gas pedal, and the car slowly rolls up to an armed convoy. People in BMP towers react instantly and shoot until, until the car explodes. Then they switch to all the cars, standing nearby. Police officers try to signal to Americans to cease fire, but to no avail.

The hellish rumble of heavy machine guns drowns out the heart-rending screams of frightened Iraqis. It looks like a horror movie. Those, who is trying to escape, killed on the spot. Those, who is trying to hide in the salon of his car, kill too.

The carnage continues around 15 minutes. After several shouts of “Cease fire!» ("stop shooting") one of the shooters throws a smoke grenade and the convoy disappears, turning the square into a slaughterhouse. Thus ends the fascinating story of the largest PMC in the world - Blackwater.

Subsequent allegations in the lawsuit included the following:

- BW employees shouldn't have been in Nisur Square at all. Combat Operations Planning Center, staffed by BW and State Department staff, directly ordered the BW fighters to stay with their object and not leave the cordoned off zone;

- the moment of the shootout, the BW fighters did not protect anyone and did not accompany, since their "object" landed earlier;

- BW cannot have a legal contract with US federal agencies at all. The Antipinkerton Act prohibits the U.S. government from hiring employees of the Pinkerton detective agency or any similar organization. This act dates from the late 19th century., when the U.S. government hired Pinkerton employees to act as strikebreakers during trade union unrest. To somehow save the unions, Congress and passed this law. Since the Pinkerton agency and BW overlap, the latter may be subject to this act. Vice President BW, Martin Strong, rightly stated, what: "Don't be pinkertons, President Lincoln would never have made it to his inauguration site, simply because, that there was no one back then, who could provide the proper level of security for the person's room 1 in the state ".

Instead of, to hide and ride out the storm, BW staged a massive rebranding campaign, getting rid of the stigma of mercenaries in every possible way. After a while, the company opened several divisions:

1) Greystone, registered in Barbados. Good old mercenaries from the best special forces in the world. Among the services, the "international peacekeeping program" with its anti-riot units stood out., including the use of non-lethal special equipment. Armed special forces are also available for recruitment to work in the DB zones..

2) Total Intelligence Solutions, led by three CIA veterans.

3) Grizzly. Subdivision, engaged in the development of its own armored vehicle for use in both the OBD environment, and on ordinary roads.

4) BW Aviation Division - division of the air fleet. 40 aircraft, including turboprop machines for landing in extreme conditions. In August 2007, the unit won a tender from the Pentagon to conduct flights in Central Asia for the amount of $92 million.

5) Unit to develop its own unmanned balloon for the Ministry of Homeland Security to monitor the border with Mexico.

6) BW Marine Unit with McArthur, able to transport 2 helicopter MH-6 Little Bird and 35 personnel of the.

7) Womble's own lobbying firm, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice. In documents, submitted to the Senate in 2008-v, states, that the firm will lobby for BW's interests in the following areas: defense, National security, aerospace operations, SGI, international relations and law enforcement.

While Bush was a staunch warrior, the prospect of aggressive measures against PMCs, no matter who initiated it - Republicans or Democrats - was vague. War is a great way to raise your electoral rating, as among ordinary citizens, and among the elite. However, in 2007, the so-called HAB act was introduced into the lower house of parliament. ("Stop outsourcing security", SOS, stop outsourcing security), providing for the termination of the employment of PMCs, including BW, in all theaters of war. Of 435 representatives of the House of Representatives voted in favor of only a tiny part. Among senators, the act found support only in 2, Senator from Vermont, whose name won't tell anyone anyway (Bernie Sanders) and then just a senator from New York named Hillary Clinton.

RESUME

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Speech, spoken in 2001 in front of Pentagon officials, allows you to better understand what is happening:

“The key problem today is the enemy, which threatens, seriously threatens the security of the U.S. This enemy is one of the world's last strongholds of central planning. He thinks in dictatorial five-year plans. From a single center, he tries to impose his demands on everyone: across the oceans, across continents, across time zones. With devilish consistency, he stifles freedom of thought and ruins new ideas. It violates the integrity of the US defense capabilities and threatens the lives of military personnel. ".

Having paused, worthy of a dramatic actor, Rumsfeld, Cold War veteran, continued:

"Maybe, this enemy will seem the former Soviet Union, but he disappeared long ago. you think, that I am describing one of the remaining old dictators. But also their days, also, passed. This enemy is much closer to home. His name is the bureaucracy in the Pentagon ".

On the same day, Rumsfeld made a proposal to significantly increase the participation of the private sector in American military campaigns around the world.. He knew, that his initiative will meet a tough rebuff:

“Some ask, how the secretary of defense can attack the Pentagon in front of his own employees? I will answer them, that I have not the slightest desire to do this. I just want to set him free. We must save the Pentagon from ourselves "

Exactly the next morning, the Pentagon was attacked again, just not with criticism, and with a heavy Boeing-757. A United Airlines plane flew into the west wing of the building, taking lives 125 human.

It didn't take long for Rumsfeld, that, as an experienced grandmaster, take advantage of such impossible luck and start a full-scale campaign against the bureaucracy beyond words, but in fact. According to the new Pentagon policy, strong emphasis on the private sector, covert operations, advanced weapons systems, special forces and mercenaries. The era of the global war on terrorism under new rules has begun.

By a lucky coincidence, small company BW, engaged in military training in North Carolina, was among the first to call from the AP and offered to participate in the war on terror. In just one night, from the 11th to the 12th of September, company, barely making ends meet for several years, will become a key player in the world war, unleashed by the most powerful empire of our time.

With the first American tanks in March 2003, the largest army of mercenaries that ever existed entered Baghdad. Towards the end of Rumsfeld's tenure as Secretary of Defense, the ratio of soldiers of regular units and mercenaries came close to 1:1. To the delight of the entire military industry, before resigning, Rumsfeld classified mercenaries, giving them the status of official participants in the US military machine. He called it "the combined strength of the Ministry of Defense", which includes active and spare parts, civil servants and mercenaries, together the constituent strategic forces and means for maintaining the database.

Actually, BW turned into a private army, which reports to one person - the founder of the company, Eric Prince, secured right christian, not stinting on charitable donations for the Bush ml presidential race. and a number of legislative initiatives of the right religious sense.

Without any public discussion, the Bush administration outsourced a number of tasks, which the military usually did. The mercenary market grew at such a rate, that the experts began to resemble the gold rush. London newspaper The Times noted, that “in Iraq, the post-war business boom is not observed in the oil industry, but in private protection ".

The company had senior patrons, which means there were no problems with the law. Congressional Hearing, where was the head of the Ministry of Defense department for working with mercenaries called, Shay Assad (Shay Assad), a strange incident has occurred.

Rep.: Will the Ministry of Defense be able to prosecute mercenaries, implicated in unjustified killings of civilians?

Assad: Sir, I cannot answer this question.

Rep.: Interesting. Think, what does it mean - these mercenaries even get away with killing!

In fact, BW has declared itself above the law. As soon as the company was pressed by the Ministry of Defense, her lawyers said, that BW employees are not military personnel and will not be prosecuted in military courts. If the company's cases were considered in civil courts, then lawyers unanimously declared immunity, since by decree, adopted by Rumsfeld, mercenaries became part of that same total defense force, and therefore, excluded from civil proceedings.

A week after Rumsfeld leaves office, Colin Powell, Foreign Secretary, He said: “The troops of the regular army are so scattered around the world in the war on terror, that their, can say, and not at all ".

With sun, stretched on many fronts, the U.S. government frantically sought allies for a joint global war on terror.

Foreign states were reluctant to take such actions, if at all went, but foreign soldiers, even from the enemy countries of the United States, were ready to go to the front, if only they pay well.

BW employees were officially hired by the Department of Homeland Security to work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The company invoiced the government daily $950 per employee.

Shortly after the creation of the internal operations division, BW spokesman said:

“It's hard to admit, but it is so. The doctors, lawyers, funeral services and even the media - they all make money from tragedies. We are no exception. After all, someone has to do this ".

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Author of the translation - Kirill Kruglov

***

Afterword of the editorial board: a lot of water has flown under the bridge since the book was reprinted in 2008 (and even more blood). In 2009, after a series of high-profile scandals, Prince has stepped down as CEO and currently “absolutely and completely regrets in every way every case, when he agreed to fulfill the contract of the State Department ". Blackwater changed its name several times and is now Academi. The company belongs to the USTC Holdings investment group and it is doing very well - last year it received a multi-million dollar contract for training American intelligence officers on the basics of “advanced interrogation techniques” (ie. torture).

Prince does the same, as before, but under a different flag: he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Frontier Services Group, recently owned by the Citic Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the PRC. The company provides logistics and security services in Africa - the spearhead of China's economic expansion is also aimed there..

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Erik Prince

Al Clark left Blackwater and helped found several other PMCs, but not particularly good at that.

Bremer retired from politics and draws most of the time paintings.

Neck Assad has business go not bad - he is involved in the finance of the Department of Defense and has received many awards for good service.

Muqtada Sadr has achieved considerable success in the political life of Iraq: behind his political bloc 40 seats in parliament and six ministerial portfolios.

US withdraws troops from Iraq several years ago, but they were immediately replaced 5000 heavily armed mercenaries. We are talking only about those, who is recorded exactly as armed guards. Nobody knows how many "logistics specialists" there are., "Security experts" and other mercenaries, recorded in this way. There - and in other parts of the world.

Events conspire to set a fire with the methods we employ

Taken here

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