Erik Prince: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier…Author?

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Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of Blackwater Worldwide, accused of multiple unlawful killings in Iraq, will defend his company in a new book, due out this summer. Conservative newspaper Human Events reports on its website that Prince has signed a book deal with Regnery, a publisher of conservative political screeds. According to Human Events:

Prince’s book, tentatively titled We Are Blackwater, will be released this summer. It is the only insider’s account of the controversial company that has supplied bodyguards and support-and-rescue personnel to hot spots around the world, including the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prince, a former Navy SEAL, will reveal how he created Blackwater, refute criticisms of the company, and take the reader on thrilling Blackwater missions into hostile territory, from rescuing teenage missionaries in Africa, to helicoptering wounded Marines to safety, to inventing, testing, and manufacturing armored vehicles to better protect our troops in the field.

The Blackwater founder doesn’t shy away from controversy. He rebuts the criticism — largely from the Left — about Blackwater being a renegade outfit of “mercenaries” and “war profiteers.” He shows how Blackwater has handled protection, rescue, and supply assignments that even our military can’t.

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Indeed, this last bit, “protection, rescue, and supply assignments,” is the focus of Blackwater’s business strategizing of late, as the firm attempts to plot a course beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prince’s book will no doubt make the argument that Blackwater contractors are ideally suited to relieve suffering in remote parts of the globe. Already the idea has surfaced in at least one of Blackwater’s recent advertisements in the IPOA Journal, an advocacy publication produced by an industry trade group. The ad features a photo of a starving African child being spoon-fed and extols Blackwater’s “commitment and compassion for all people.” (Click here and scroll to page two.)

Still, my favorite expression of the kinder, gentler Blackwater is a poster, currently for sale on the firm’s website. An image may speak a thousand words, but nothing beats the phrase, “Coming Soon: Global Stability.”

From the looks of it, Prince may already be positioning himself, if only in his own mind, for a movie deal to accompany the book. Any ideas on who would play Prince? I pick Mark Hamill.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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