Blackwater Waging 'Secret War' in Pakistan
Mercenaries doing CIA dirty work, plotting killings
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2009 3:33 AM CST
Updated Nov 24, 2009 4:55 AM CST
Pakistani demonstrators shout slogans against US drone missile strikes on the country's tribal areas.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

(Newser) – An elite team of Blackwater operatives have been doing the CIA's dirty work in Pakistan, a Nation investigation finds. The team plans operations, including "snatch-and-grab" assassinations and drone strikes from a secret base in Karachi run by US Joint Special Operations Command, according to a senior source with direct involvement in the program.

The program is so "compartmentalized" that senior figures in the Obama administration and the US military may not be aware of its existence," the source says. Blackwater personnel have been granted the highest level security clearances, helping shield the program from oversight, according to the military intelligence source.