April 16th, 2010
04:35 PM ET

Former Blackwater president, 4 others charged

[Posted at 4:34 p.m.] They are accused of "enticing" the Camden County sheriff's department in North Carolina to pose as the purchaser of M4 and Ak47s, then directing the deliveries to Blackwater's facility in nearby Moyock where the firearms were stocked as part of the company's arsenal.

Blackwater is a security firm with federal contracts involving security overseas and training programs in the United States.

The indictment alleges that Blackwater was hoping to get a security contract with the Jordanian government and "arranged to present the King of Jordan ... with several firearms as gifts." When the defendants couldn't account for the firearms in their inventory, they allegedly falsified four separate forms to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), claiming they had personally purchased the firearms.

[Posted at 4:17 p.m.] A federal grand jury has indicted former Blackwater President Gary Jackson and four other officials at the company - now known as Xe Services - on felony weapons charges.

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soundoff (286 Responses)
  1. Josh B.

    Private Armies are dangerous to our and the world's safety.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John the Brit

    Looks good on these evil bastards. I have one comment in response to the person who posted the following on 16th April: "Wow, finally somebody has reighned in these vigilantes." NB "reighned" is not a word. It is good that the vigilantes have been REINED in, and that this (we hope) will end their REIGN. But a reign is not the same as reins. Astonishingly, even the Times of London recently made this same malaproprism when it declared (I swear I am not making this up) that MPs expenses need to be "reigned in." No. They need to reined in. Corrupt MPs, like Blackwater, have reigned for far too long. It is time to rein them in and make them neigh.

    April 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mabel floyd

    that company should have been charged a long time ago. what about the soldiers being electrocuted in showers ? many people killed-and they still have contracts? SHAMEFUL!! charged–but not convicted–these are amoral people and SHOULD get the max–wonder if that will happen-

    April 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chris

    I've worked with Blastwater guys–incredibly unprofessional. They use steriods and other drugs, disregard proper procedures, and are so cocky that it gets in the way of their preformance. I almost shot one because he refused to remove the magazine from his rifle when he tried to come through my post.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wk

    I'm glad law enforcement has is finally taking an interest in Blackwater's activities , but when all is said and done , I'll be surprised if these individuals receive a slap on the wrist .One of Blackwater's politial contacts will make sure this case goes away .

    April 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Clark Nova

    They got off on the 17 murders because of a crooked judge, which is very likely what will happen with these charges, as well.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JoJo the Idiot Boy

    try going into a war-torn country to do the bidding of your government without the protection guys like this provide! can't be done. it's easy to sit back in your safe living room and talk about war mongers and profiteers, but until it's your ass in that convoy you don't know the skill and training these guys provide to save your life. the bigger question is why are diplomats in a country that is so unsafe they need a huge contingent of guards. if it's a military operation, let the military do their job before sending in the diplomats.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rod C. Venger


    You'd prefer lower-paid killers?
    Oh wait, THOSE killers are currently unavailable, too busy shooting up OUR neighborhoods, OUR kids, OUR parents.

    Say what you will about Blackwater, they were hired to do a job in a specific place, and they did it.

    April 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Major Michael Reisman Ret USA RN CS FNP

    For the record they do have some honorable folks there. I know of two medics personally. I'd stilll provide medical care for them. That's why I'm a nurse and in this field I'm in. Again, I'm one of the good guys

    April 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Calypso3

    Very interesting commentary. First, my thanks to BTM, you sir have just validated everything my family and the US military have stood for over the past 200 years. In most other countries you would now be in jail for your comments about the Army, here it's freedom of speech and I have defended that right for over 25 years and in the past 200 my family racked up over 180 years of service so you could be a loudmouth putz!

    Now as for Blackwater, they may indeed have done things wrong, but only for a small part of the time. For the majority of the time the did it pretty damn good. Just ask the soldiers who were hopelessly pinned down and Blackwater personnel not only entered the fight, they resupplied them with ammo from the air and evacuated their dead and wounded. HOWEVER, Blackwater DOES NOT work for the Army!!!!! They work for that paragon of virtue and diplomacy, yess you guessed it – the US State Department!! Who's own Department of State Security isn't large enough to provide security for their personnel. Hence, Blackwater (Xe), DynCorp, Triple Canopy, Aegis Defense, etc. have taken on that burden.

    Please feel free to complain all you want, take you best shots at me and others but until you've been there (anywhere – not just Iraq and Afghanistan), worn the uniform, been shot at and shipped your best friends home in a body bag. Talk about something you're good at, like picking your liberal, democratic nose and eating the snot and leave the security and defense of this nation to much better men and women. Oh yeah, I forgot to say, that service time includes perople like my wife who as a naval officer has done two different deployments to the gulf and one to a real paradise called Haiti.

    April 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mycos

    Psychologists have been struggling to understand the conservative/authoritarian mindset ever since their baffling appearance at Nuremberg. There they shocked us by making many of the same excuses for Nazi crimes during war that we see on display here.
    So far, what we think is happening with them, is this....Often when a child is raised by cold, parents with militant behavioral demands, the child often fails to pass through a critically important phase of cognitive development; one that occurs as we move away from the strongly authoritarian, hierrchical mindset we all have from infancy on. By failing to make this transition, they become the RWA -SDO personalities seen here.

    Psychologists have long been fascinated with them. Because they never matured into cognitively capable, well-balanced and socialized adults, they are left to instead seek out authority, power and the rules they deliver because it offers them the same sense of security that they knew as children. Right-wing authoritarians are almost always political conservatives, and so will also have the same highly deferential attitude toward religious, military or secular authorities that their parents demanded as a child. They have a stunted intellectual capacity and are lacking many of the cognitive and epistemological tools the rest of us take for granted.

    Don't take my word for it! Here's some of the scientific literature on conservatism: "It appears that conservatism has pathological dimensions manifested in violence and distorted psycho-sexual development" (Boshier, 1983, p. 159). This is supported by a study conducted by Walker, Rowe, and Quincey (1993) in which there was a direct correlation between authoritarianism and sexually aggressive behavior. An investigation done by Muehlenhard (1988) revealed that rape justification and aggression toward subordinate individuals was much higher in traditional (conservative personality) than non-traditional personalities."

    "Neither conceptually nor empirically does there appear to be any grounds for distinguishing between authoritarianism and the conservative personality -except that the former may be regarded as a somewhat more particular case of the latter" (Wilson, 1973, p. 33).

    "Duguid (1981b) has noted that offenders possess many of the attributes of persons with authoritarian personalities. "In their attitudes toward society, these men-inmates-share many of the attributes of what has become known as the %u2018authoritarian personality%u2019".

    "Persons who had dogmatic beliefs and adhered to absolutist and perfectionistic religious groups tended to be more frequently and more intensely emotionally disturbed than those who followed less dogmatic religion (Ellis, 1986).
    Authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism are correlated, with scores on authoritarianism related to ethnic and racial prejudice, hostility toward homosexuals, and punitiveness in prison sentencing (Wylie & Forest, 1992). According to Parker (1990), dogmatism was incompatible with ethical acuity"

    McClosky noted that, "Conservatism is not the doctrine of the intellectual elite or of the more intelligent segments of the population, but the reverse. By every measure available to us, conservative beliefs are found most frequently among the uninformed, the poorly educated, and the less intelligent" (p. 38). McClosky, H. Conservatism and Personality. American Political Science Review, 52, 27-45.

    April 18, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
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