Erik Prince

  • Aired:  12/17/13
  •  | Views: 13,921

Erik Prince disputes the notion that Blackwater was nothing more than a group of out-of-control mercenaries. (7:47)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: MY GUEST TONIGHT, HE

WAS THE FOUNDER AND CEO OFBLACKWATER.

HIS BOOK IS CALLED CIVILIANWARRIORS.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAMERIK PRINCE.

SIR --[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

THE BOOK IS CALLED CIVILIANWARRIORS.

YOU, SIR, HAVE A BIT OF AREPUTATION AND I WOULDN'T SAY

DESERVED OR NOT BUT THERE ARETHOSE WHO VIEW YOU AS A LESS

THAN SAVORY CHARACTER, SATANIC ILLUMINATI.

I DON'T HAVE A QUESTION THERE.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT.

>> THANKS FOR THE UPDATE.

>> Jon: WHY DID YOU WRITE THISBOOK?

>> TO SET RECORD STRAIGHT.

WE'VE BEEN MISCHARACTERIZED ANDBEAT UP IN THE MEDIA AND BLOGO

SPHERE FOR LONG ENOUGH.

>> Jon: WHAT IS THE GREATESTMISCHARACTERIZATION OF YOU.

>> IS THAT WE WERE OUT OFCONTROL MERCENARIES.

WE WERE VERY MUCH UNDER CONTROL.

WE WERE UNDER CONTROL THE U.S.

GOVERNMENT, THE STATE DEPARTMENTDOD CUSTOMERS.

I WAS A VETERAN.

I HIRED VETERANS WE WENT AND DIDA JOB THAT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDED

US TO DO.

THEY ANSWERED THE CALL AGAIN.

IT WAS AN ALL VOLUNTEER FORCE.

>> Jon: BUT YOU AREMERCENARIES.

>> OXFORD, THE DICTIONARY WOULDDEFINE THAT DIFFERENTLY.

>> Jon: OH, NO YOU DIDN'T.

OH, NO YOU DIDN'T.

WAIT, WHAT?

>> THE DICTIONARY WOULD DEFINEIT AS GOING TO FIGHT IN A

FOREIGN WAR NOT YOUR OWN.

WE WERE AMERICANS WORKING FORAMERICA DEFENDING AMERICANS IN

AN AMERICAN ACTION OVERSEAS.

>> Jon: I DO AGREE WITH YOU.

I THINK IT'SAN EASY TARGET BLACKWATER.

YOUR NAME IS BLACK WATER FORGOD'S SAKES.

>> NOT EVEN SOME SMART MARKETINGFIRM CAME UP WITH THAT.

WHEN WE WERE BUILDING THE PLACEIT WAS A TRAINING FACILITY WE

BUILT IT TO TRAIN SEALS.

>> Jon: WHEN HE SAYS SEALS HEMEANS NAVY SEALS.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: PEOPLE MIGHT THINKIT'S AN ODD CHANGE OF DIRECTION.

OUR LEGS STARTED TURNING BLACKFROM THE PEAT.

>> THE LOGO OF A BEAR PAW CAMEFROM PUTTING FIVE MILES OF POWER

POLES AND THE BEARS WERE RIPPINGTHE CLAWS INTO THE POLES MARKING

THEIR TURF.

IT WAS DEVELOPED ON THE BACK OFA NAPKIN.

>> Jon: THAT'S INTERESTING.

THERE WERE SOME INCIDENTS INIRAQ THAT YOU WOULD PROBABLY

AGREE WERE, IF NOT OUT OFCONTROL, AS CLOSE TO OUT OF

CONTROL.

THE NISSAR SQUARE IS THE FAMOUSONE WHERE 17 CIVILIANS WERE

KILLED IN WHAT THE INQUESTDETERMINED WAS UNNECESSARY

VIOLENCE.

>> CERTAINLY ANY TIME A CAR BOMBGOES OFF THE SITUATION SOUGHT OF

CONTROL.

WE DID MORE THAN 100,000MISSIONS WHERE NO ONE WAS

KILLED OR INJURED.

ANY TIME AN INNOCENT LIFE ISLOST IT'S TRAGIC.

41 OF OUR GUYS DIED PROTECTINGTHE US GOVERNMENT.

THE SQUARE STARTED WITH A CARBOMB AND A TEAM MOVED TO HELP

THAT TEAM LEAVE THE AREA.

AND AFTER THEY GO THROUGH THEUSE OF FORCE CONTINUUM, THEY

ENDED UP HAVING TO FIRE.

A FIRE FIGHT ERUPTED.

THE ARMOREDVEHICLE THEY WERE IN WAS

DISABLED BY INCOMING ENEMY ROUNDWHICH DELAYED THEM LONGER

BECAUSE THE VEHICLE WASDISABLED.

YEAH, IT'S A TRAGEDY.

>> Jon: MAYBE THIS BRINGS UPTHE POINT INHERENT IN THE

DIFFICULTY OF BEING IN YOURPOSITION AND THAT IS THAT THE

GOALS OF BLACKWATER WILL NEVERBE THE SAME AS THE GOALS OF THE

UNITED STATES MILITARY.

YOU ARE TWO SEPARATEORGANIZATIONS.

AND EVEN THOUGH YOU'VE BEENHIRED.

YOU SAID SOMETHING INTERESTING,I THOUGHT, WHICH WAS OUR JOB WAS

TO PROTECT THESE GUYS.

>> PROTECT THE DIPLOMATS.

>> Jon: PROTECT THE DIPLOMATS.

THAT'S A VERY NARROW DEFINITIONOF THE JOB IN IRAQ.

IRAQ HAD A WHOLE WINNING OFHEARTS AND MINDS

COMPONENT.

OUR TROOPS WERE HELD TO ADIFFICULT RULE OF ENGAGEMENT,

YOU KNOW THE ANBAR UPRISING ANDTRYING TO QUELL THE INSURGENCIES

BY WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES.

BLACKWATER TO THEIR CREDIT, LIKEYOU SAY PEOPLE DIDN'T DIE, BUT

DIDN'T YOU HAVE A DIFFERENTDIRECTIVE AND GOAL THAN THE

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ANDDOESN'T THAT POINT OUT THE

INHERENT DIFFICULTIES OF LARGEBORE, LARGE SCALE HIRED FORCE?

>> I THINK IT SPEAKS TO THEDYSFUNCTION THAT EXISTS BETWEEN

THE DOD, DEPARTMENT OF STATEC.I.A. WORKING TOGETHER.

WE WANTED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLETO GO TO THE MEETINGS TO DO THE

RECONSTRUCTION OPERATIONS, TO DOPOLITICAL RECONCILIATION

WHICH WE DID.

OPERATING UNDER THEIR RULES OFENGAGEMENT.

PART OF THE FRUSTRATION FOR US.

IF THERE WAS A MISSION WECOMPLETELY CONTROLLED IF WE

WORKED FOR AN NGO WE WOULD USE AVERY LOW PROFILE VEHICLE.

IT WOULD LOOK LIKE A BEAT UPTAXI.

IN CASE THEY ARE WORKING FOR ASTATE DEPARTMENT YOU HAVE TO GET

A POLISHED VEHICLE,DRIVING BETWEEN THE SAME

POINTS EVERY DAY MAKES IT EASYFOR THE ENEMY TO HIT YOU.

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK THEN THATIT IS -- GIVEN THE FACT THAT YOU

SAY THERE'S CONFUSION FOR ALLTHESE GROUPS WORKING TOGETHER,

BUT YOU SAID YOU WERE UNDER THESAME RULES OF ENGAGEMENT BUT NOT

BOUND BY IT.

NOT IN THE SAME WAY THAT THECODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE WOULD

BIND SOMEBODY BY IT.

THOSE GROUPS ARE NOT BOUND BYTHAT ARE THEY?

>> WE HAD RULES OF ENGAGEMENTDICTATED BY THE STATE

DEPARTMENT.

WE DIDN'T HAVE OFFENSIVE RULESOF ENGAGEMENT BECAUSE WE WERE

NOT THERE TO PLAY OFFENSE.

OUR GUYS WERE UNDER THE MILITARYCODE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF

JUSTICE.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT DIDN'T WANTUS UNDER THAT RULE.

WE WOULD HAVE PREFERRED IT -->> Jon: DOESN'T THAT CREATE

THOUGH BY NOT KNOWING HAVING THESAME CHAIN OF COMMAND, DOESN'T

THAT CREATE SO MUCH DIFFICULTIESWITHIN THAT THEATER OF

OPERATION IS THAT THE UNINTENDEDCONSEQUENCES OF THAT WOULD IT BE

BETTER FOR THE MONEY TO BE PUTTOWARDS INCREASING THE ACTUAL

MILITARY FORCE?

>> WHEN YOU, YOU KNOW THE U.S.

MILITARY ROLLED FROM KUWAIT TOIRAQ AND WHEN YOU STOP IT AND

TURN NIGHT A COUNTER INSURGENCYFORCE IT'S A DIFFERENT MIX.

IT CREATES GAPS.

THAT'S WHAT WE WERE THERE TOFILL.

YOU COULD RAMP UP THECAPABILITY, USE IT FOR A FEW

YEARS AND WHEN WE DON'T NEED ITANYMORE IT GOES AWAY.

YOU DON'T HAVE LEGACY INSURANCE,RETIREMENTS ALL THE REST.

>> Jon: THE CBO SAYS IT'S THESAME.

THEY SAY THE SAME.

>> THE GAO I SAW SHOWED US BEINGFAR CHEAPER.

>> Jon: I'M GOING WITH CBO.

>> OKAY.

>> Jon: YOU WANT TO ARMWRESTLE FOR IT.

>> SURE.

>> Jon: WAIT, I JUST MADE ATERRIBLE MISTAKE.

WILL YOU STICK AROUND FOR ALITTLE BIT.

CIVILIAN WARRIORS IT'S ON THEBOOK SHELVES NOW.

YOU SHOULD READ THIS BECAUSE WEHAVE PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS ABOUT

WHAT THIS FORCE IS AND WHAT ITMEANS TO THE UNITED STATES AND

IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET THE VIEWOF AN INDIVIDUAL WHO EXPERIENCED

IT AND DEALT WITH IT.

ERIK PRINCE, GET THE BOOK.

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