Blackwater's Slimy Influence
You gotta love the timing of it all. On the very day that Bill Clinton's foundation finally releases its list of donors (only because it was forced to as a condition of Hillary being named Secretary of State), among which is the shadowy private security contractor Blackwater USA, the State Dept.'s Inspector General issues a report noting that Blackwater may lose its license to operate in Iraq due to its small problem of slaughtering apparently innocent civilians. Blackwater, which has been called everything from George Bush's Rent-An-Army to "the elite Praetorian Guard for the global war on terror," has been a key cog in the Bush Administration's strategy for privatizing our military. The North Carolina-based company has won a cool $1 billion in defense contracts from the U.S. during the Iraq war. The company was the subject of this scathing book (which I haven't read). But credit the L.A. Times' T. Christian Miller for some of the best early work on this story. Too bad that paper is being systematically ravaged by its owner. The Clinton Foundation's website, by the way, has apparently crashed today from the crush of visitors eager to finally see that list of contributors. Do make a point of stopping back later to check it out. Just know that, true as always to his slippery nature (you'll recall his infamous comment "it depends on what the meaning of the word is is"), Slick Willie has only provided broad ranges of dollar figures for his donors. Some things never change.