A federal investigation alleged Enrique Prado"s involvement in seven murders, yet he was in charge once America outsourced covert killing come a personal company.


It was among the biggest secrets of the post-9/11 era: soon after the attacks, President shrub gave the CIA permission to develop a top secret assassination unit to find and kill Al Qaeda operatives. The routine was maintained from conference for 7 years. And also when Leon Panetta told legislators around it in 2009, he revealed that the CIA had actually hired the exclusive security for sure Blackwater to aid run it. "The move was historic," claims Evan Wright, the two-time nationwide Magazine Award-winning journalist that wrote Generation Kill. "It appears to have significant the first time the U.S. Government outsourced a surprise assassination business to exclusive enterprise."

The quote is indigenous his e-book exactly how to acquire Away v Murder in America, which go on to keep in mind that "in the past, the CIA was topic to oversight, however tenuous, indigenous the president and Congress," but that "President Bush"s 2001 executive, management order severed this heat by carrying to the CIA his unique authority to grant assassinations. By removing self from the decision-making cycle, the chairman shielded self -- and all chosen authority -- native responsibility must a mission walk wrong or be uncovered illegal. As soon as the CIA moved the assassination unit to Blackwater, it ongoing the trend. CIA police officers would no much longer participate in the agency"s many violent operations, or angry them. If that practiced any oversight in ~ all, the CIA would rely on Blackwater"s self-reporting about missions the conducted. To run operations with Blackwater provided the CIA the power to have human being abducted, or killed, through no one in the government being exactly responsible." nobody of this is brand-new information, though ns imagine that many human being reading this item space hearing around it for the very first time.

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Isn"t the bizarre?

The mass of Wright"s e-book (full disclosure: I help edit the website of Byliner, publisher the the e-book) speak the story of Enrique Prado, a high-ranking CIA-officer-turned-Blackwater-employee who supervised assassination devices for both the CIA and also the contractor. To whom was this awesome obligation entrusted? follow to Wright"s investigation, a federal organized crime squad operation out the the Miami-Dade Police Department produced an investigation allegedly tie Prado to seven murders brought out while he functioned as a bodyguard for a narco crime boss. In ~ the time, the CIA asserted him unavailable because that questioning; the investigation was close up door down before he to be arrested or tried.

There"s a lot more to the story -- Wright"s e-book is nearly 50 pages long -- however this bit is of particular note:

The reporting on Prado"s tasks at Blackwater created no evidence that the firm"s employee had ever killed everyone on instead of of the CIA. Yet I spoke to Blackwater employees who insisted the they had. 2 Blackwater home builders told me the their firm started conducting assassinations in Afghanistan as early on as 2008. They declared to have participated in together operations -- one in a assistance role, the other as a "trigger puller." The contractors, come whom i spoke in 2009 and 2010, to be both ex-Special pressures soldiers who were not specifically bothered through assassination work, although lock did question the legality that Blackwater"s involvement in it.
According come the "trigger puller," he and a companion were selected because that one together operation since they were Mexican Americans, whose darker skin enabled them to blend in as Afghan civilians. The very first mission he explained took ar in 2008. He and his partner spent three weeks training outside Kabul, coming to be accustomed to walking barefoot like Afghans while toting tools underneath their jackets. Your mission centered on walking into a market and killing the occupant that a pickup truck, whose identification a CIA case worker had listed to them. They flourished in their mission, that told me, and also moved on come another. This contractor"s story didn"t completely fit with various other accounts about Prado"s unit in ~ Blackwater. The e-mail composed by Prado and also later obtained by the Times appeared to show that the unit wouldn"t usage Americans to lug out really assassinations. Moreover, 2 CIA resources insisted that the builders I speak to to be lying. Together one placed it, "These guys are defense guards who want to look favor Rambo."*
While Blackwater"s covert unit started as a Bush administration story, chairman Obama currently owns it. In 2010, his administration intervened on behalf of the Blackwater executives indicted for weapons trafficking, filing activities to suppress proof on the grounds that it could compromise nationwide security. The administration then vested Blackwater (which is now called Academi) a $250 million contract to execute unspecified services for the CIA. At the exact same time, Obama has actually publicly taken duty for part lethal work -- the marine SEALs" sniper attack on Somali pirates, the raid top top bin Laden. His aides have additionally said the he evaluate target lists for drone strikes. The president"s actions offer him the illustration of a male who wants the best of both worlds. He shows up as a tough, resolute leader as soon as he announces his role in killings the will most likely be popular -- a pirate, a terrorist. Yet the apparatus for much less accountable killings grinds on.

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Needless come say, this ought to spark one investigation, but more than that, that should reason Americans come step ago and reflect top top how delicate we"ve made ourselves to bad actors in the post-9/11 era. We"re giving C.I.A. Agents and also even private security home builders the type of power no individual must wield. And apparently ours screening apparatus turns out to it is in lacking.

* Update: This post previously contained a much longer excerpt from this ar of Evan Wright"s story. In it, a retired Air force lieutenant colonel is quoted affirming that exclusive security home builders in Afghanistan lug out assassinations because that the CIA. ~ publication, the Air force lieutenant colonel contacted me to dispute the quote, insisting he had actually never said anything the the sort. Light -- that is an knowledgeable journalist and the winner of two national Magazine Awards -- stands by his reporting, together does his publisher. Due to the fact that I am not in a position to adjudicate the dispute in between a reporter and also his source, nor to offer my readers the info needed to perform so, I"ve cut the pertinent paragraph, which was tangential to the remainder of the article.