“So now I’m done keeping quiet. What’s been said before is only half the story – and I won’t sit idly by while the bureaucrats go after me so that everyone else can just go back to business as usual. The true history of Blackwater is exhilarating, rewarding, exasperating, and tragic. It’s the story of men taking bullets to protect the men who take all the credit, a tale of patriots whose names became known only when lawyers and politicians needed to blame somebody for something. Our critics have spoken. Now it’s my turn.”
Unless you live under a rock (so that’s roughly 50% of the American population) you have heard of Blackwater and it was never in a positive light. For many years author and former owner of Blackwater, Erik Prince was unable to defend his company from what would normally be considered libelous claims. His lips were sealed by virtue of government non-disclosure agreements. The government who kept hiring his company while trashing him in the media kept paying him while telling the rest of the world how bad a company Blackwater was. Civilian Warriors is Prince’s “TURN” to tell the story of “the unsung heroes of the War on Terror.” Prince was still required to clear this publication through government agencies so one has to wonder what was taken out, but there is still a lot here to digest.
Being the brilliant entrepreneur that he is Prince found a legal way around discussing the work that he “did’ for the CIA. The afterword is a narrative by Max Boot and tells the CIA part through research on previously reported information and news stories. In fact, Boot doesn’t know Prince and his story is independent of Prince. A very slick way to, again, tell his side of the story.
There are parts of this that read like an action thriller and parts that dwell on government contracts that can be mundane though necessary. Prince is all about the facts and he presents a wonderful defense of his company and his contractors, many of which were x-military men and women. The best thing that I took away from this story is that while politicians and lawyers pilloried Blackwater and Prince in the media and Congress and the courts their customers (i.e. Department of Defense, State Department, CIA, etc.) kept hiring Blackwater and Prince. Politicians and lawyers are easily the two most vile, legal professions. Prince unleashed is not afraid to name names and I thank him for that. He has done what I LONG for most business men to do…Go Galt. While he has not truly gone “Galt” he has stood up to those whose actions weaken this country…the liars (AKA politicians, lawyers, media and their minions).
If you want see the straight record then you should read Civilian Warriors. If you want to keep living an oblivious life then there is always Dreams of My Father (who was a Communist by the way). There are so many paragraphs in the book where I noted interesting facts. You’ll have to read the book to find those that interest you and I highly suggest that you read this book, but here are a few to whet your appetite.
“What got created under monolithic government control was dramatically inferior to what came from a free-market company whose very survival was pinned to the quality of its work. I told my men to think like Mercedes, and we turned Blackwater into a self-contained machine that could recruit, vet, equip, train, deploy, and support all manner of men to accomplish some of the most difficult missions in the world, all for a fraction of what the DoD typically spent.”
“I took a measure of pride in that one. I’m not sure whether a person can really gauge the quality of his work by the enemies he’s made, but if I somehow upset Hamas, and the Taliban, and Henry Waxman, I must have done something right.”
This has nothing to do with the book, but is a shameless plug for my website if you want to read more about Mr. Waxman.