Blackwater Responds to Murder Allegations

| Wed Aug. 5, 2009 2:57 PM EDT

Two ex-Blackwater employees (or individuals claiming to be) say the company and its enigmatic founder, Erik Prince, murdered—or arranged for the murders—of people cooperating with federal authorities investigating the controversial security firm. Blackwater, which renamed itself Xe earlier this year, says it "questions the judgement of anyone who relies upon" the anonymous declarations filed Monday in connection with a series of civil suits brought on behalf of Iraqi civilians. It calls the accusations—which also include charges of weapons smuggling, money laundering, and a "wife-swapping and sex ring" run out of the company's Moyock, North Carolina headquarters—"unsubstantiated," "offensive," and slanderous.

Earlier today, Blackwater/Xe spokeswoman Stacy DeLuke emailed me the company's statement on the allegations. I've updated my post from yesterday with the company's comments. Given the nature of the charges, I'm reprinting them again here (typos and all).

The proper place for this case to be litigated is in the Court, and we will respond fully in our reply brief (which will be filed on August 17) to the anonymous unsubstantiated  and offensive assertions put forward by the plaintiffs. Because the plaintiffs have chosen inappropriately to argue their case in the media, however, we will also say this:

- The  brief filed by Plaintiff includes two anonymous affidavits state that  their "information" has been provided to the Justice Department -- we can gauge the credence given to those statements --  which hold no water. When the indictments were announced, the United States Attorney the United States Attorney made a point of stating that "[t]he indictment does not charge or implicate Blackwater Worldwide"; "[i]t charges only the actions of certain employees for their roles in the September 16 shooting." He emphasized that the indictment was "very narrow in its allegations": "Six individual Blackwater guards have been charged with unjustified shootings . . .  not the entire Blackwater organization in Baghdad.  There were 19 Blackwater guards on the . . . team that day . . . .  Most acted professionally, responsibly and honorably.  Indeed, this indictment should not be read as accusation against any of those brave men and women who risk their lives as Blackwater security contractors."

- It is obvious that Plaintiffs have chosen to slander Mr. Prince rather than raise legal arguments or actual facts that will be considered by a court of law. We are happy to engage them there.

-We question the judgment of anyone who relies upon and reiterate anonymous declarations. 

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