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Jeremy Scahill reports that the reclusive Blackwater owner, Erik Prince, has travel plans on his horizon.
Sources close to Blackwater and its secretive owner Erik Prince claim that the embattled head of the world’s most infamous mercenary firm is planning to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Middle Eastern nation, a major hub for the US war industry, has no extradition treaty with the United States. In April, five of Prince’s top deputies were hit with a 15-count indictment by a federal Grand Jury on conspiracy, weapons and obstruction of justice charges. Among those indicted were Prince’s longtime number two man, former Blackwater president Gary Jackson, former vice presidents William Matthews and Ana Bundy, and Prince’s former legal counsel Andrew Howell.
The Blackwater/Erik Prince saga took yet another dramatic turn last week, when Prince abruptly announced that he was putting his company up for sale. While Prince has not personally been charged with any crimes, federal investigators and several Congressional committees clearly have his company and inner circle in their sights. The Nation learned of Prince’s alleged plans to move to the UAE from three separate sources. One Blackwater source told The Nation that Prince intends to sell his company quickly, saying the “sale is going to be a fast move within a couple of months.”
The report of a move to Dubai makes a lot of sense in context. Prince may be trying to liquidate major holdings so he can move his money offshore, too, in advance of possible claims by victims of Blackwater violence. I discuss the legal issues, including extradition, deeper into Scahill’s article.
The question is now pretty simple: what is the Justice Department going to do about all of this? If they really are preparing a case against him, they’re going to look like chumps if they let him skip the jurisdiction before they have a chance to act. On the other hand, there are no clear signs yet that Prince has been advised he is a target in any of the pending federal investigations, so he has as much right to pull up stakes and move to an overseas tax shelter as the next massively wealthy auto-parts heir.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”