For Sale: One Disgraced Security Firm

Name change didn't rescue Blackwater from its bad reputation
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2010 9:15 AM CDT
FILE - In a July, 21, 2008 file photo, founder and CEO of Blackwater Worldwide Erik Prince is seen at Blackwater's offices in Moyock, N.C.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
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(Newser) – The private security firm that used to be known as Blackwater is up for sale, after a recent name change to Xe Services failed to cure its dismal reputation. Founder Erik Prince has put the company on the block, saying improvements since the disastrous shootout at a Baghdad intersection in 2007 should have put the company back in the good graces of the US government, but they haven't. “Performance doesn’t matter in Washington, just politics,” he complains in a statement given to the AP.

Xe is still dogged by the five former execs facing weapons charges, a Justice Department inquiry into attempts to bribe Iraqi officials, and ongoing manslaughter cases against its former guards for the 2007 shooting spree, in which 17 Iraqi civilians died, the New York Times notes. While Xe Services has already sold off its aviation division, the lucky buyer will get the company's 7,000-acre compound in North Carolina, featuring shooting ranges and other military and law enforcement training facilities.

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