Daniel Schulman

Senior Editor

Based in DC, Dan covers politics and national security. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, the Village Voice, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other publications. He is the author of the new Koch brothers biography, Sons of Wichita (Grand Central Publishing). Email him at dschulman (at) motherjones.com.

Get my RSS |

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Blackwater's South Park Debut

| Wed Mar. 10, 2010 7:31 AM EST

It wasn't a matter of if this would happen, but when. In a promo for the upcoming season of South Park, Eric Cartman strolls into an armory: "Yes, I would like 500-AK-47s please," he says to an official sitting behind a desk.

"500 AK-47s?" the official responds. "OK, but you're going to have to sign for those."

"Not a problem," Cartman says.

Apparently, this was more or less the scene that took place in a weapons depot outside of Kabul in September 2008 when some Blackwater wisenheimer signed for 211 AKs he was unauthorized to have using the alias Eric Cartman.

"It makes perfect sense. It's the name I would use," South Park co-creator Trey Parker told the Huffington Post a couple weeks ago. "Our first reaction to any story is 'How do we put this into the show?' and the second reaction is 'Did Cartman do that?'"

Tune in March 17 for the season 14 premier to see if Cartman makes Blackwater respect his authoritah.

(H/T Danger Room, Attackerman)

Levin Demands Blackwater/Raytheon Probe

| Thu Mar. 4, 2010 11:18 AM EST

Last week, Fred Roitz, a top executive at Xe Services (formerly Blackwater), made a stunning admission. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said Raytheon had requested that Blackwater create a shell company in order to win a $25 million subcontract to train Afghan troops. In Roitz's telling, Raytheon apparently wanted to do business with Blackwater, yet didn't want to be associated with its controversial brand. Blackwater obliged, creating a subsidiary called Paravant that was separate from its parent company in name alone. Armed services committee member Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) called the subsidiary a "classic example of a cover corporation." Committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) described the creation of Paravant as "deception" and said "there's clearly an effort to coverup that Blackwater was the real contractor here."

Now Levin wants a Justice Department investigation into Blackwater and Raytheon. Specifically he wants to know whether representatives of the companies "made false or misleading statements in their submission of a contract proposal to the U.S. Army."

Diplomatic Impunity?

| Wed Mar. 3, 2010 4:38 PM EST

For years a group representing current and former State Department officials has warned of an "above-the-law" culture that has taken root within the agency's law enforcement division, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. No one paid much attention—and now the State Department could have a major scandal on its hands.

Court records unsealed Tuesday suggest that diplomatic security officers may have worked to impede the investigation into 2007's mass shooting in Baghdad's Nisour Square by Blackwater personnel. The New York Times' James Risen unearthed a key exchange, buried in thousands of pages of court transcripts, in which Kenneth Kohl, the lead prosecutor in the case against five former Blackwater guards, recalls an interview with a diplomatic security officer stationed at the US Embassy in Baghdad when the episode occurred:

"I talked to David Farrington, who was concerned, who expressed concern about the integrity of the work being done by his fellow officers," Mr. Kohl recalled. He said that Mr. Farrington had said he was in meetings where diplomatic security agents said that after they had gone to the scene and picked up casings and other evidence, "They said we’ve got enough to get these guys off now."

Tue Jan. 10, 2012 11:49 PM EST
Sun Jan. 8, 2012 10:56 AM EST
Sat Jan. 7, 2012 10:22 AM EST
Tue Jul. 12, 2011 7:45 AM EDT
Tue May. 17, 2011 10:33 AM EDT
Tue Oct. 19, 2010 10:22 AM EDT
Fri Sep. 10, 2010 9:55 AM EDT
Fri Aug. 13, 2010 6:36 AM EDT
Thu Aug. 5, 2010 7:02 AM EDT
Mon Jul. 26, 2010 4:05 PM EDT
Wed Jun. 23, 2010 10:46 AM EDT
Tue Jun. 22, 2010 9:16 AM EDT
Fri Jun. 18, 2010 11:53 AM EDT
Fri Jun. 18, 2010 5:00 AM EDT
Wed Jun. 16, 2010 7:00 AM EDT
Tue Jun. 15, 2010 9:58 AM EDT
Mon Jun. 14, 2010 11:51 AM EDT
Wed Jun. 9, 2010 2:13 PM EDT
Tue Jun. 8, 2010 12:49 PM EDT
Wed May. 26, 2010 2:18 PM EDT
Fri May. 14, 2010 11:25 AM EDT
Fri May. 14, 2010 5:15 AM EDT
Thu May. 6, 2010 3:47 PM EDT
Wed May. 5, 2010 1:00 PM EDT
Wed Apr. 21, 2010 10:07 AM EDT
Sat Apr. 10, 2010 8:23 AM EDT
Fri Apr. 9, 2010 9:33 AM EDT
Thu Apr. 8, 2010 12:57 PM EDT
Thu Apr. 1, 2010 11:44 AM EDT
Thu Apr. 1, 2010 9:15 AM EDT
Fri Mar. 26, 2010 10:42 AM EDT
Thu Mar. 25, 2010 11:29 AM EDT
Tue Mar. 23, 2010 3:47 PM EDT
Tue Mar. 23, 2010 10:58 AM EDT
Wed Mar. 10, 2010 7:31 AM EST
Thu Mar. 4, 2010 11:18 AM EST
Wed Mar. 3, 2010 4:38 PM EST
Wed Mar. 3, 2010 9:45 AM EST
Thu Feb. 25, 2010 2:00 PM EST
Thu Feb. 25, 2010 1:28 PM EST
Wed Feb. 24, 2010 5:10 PM EST