Claim: Pentagon tried to ‘intimidate’ journo covering Blackwater
The office of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking soldier in the US, tried to intimidate a reporter working on a story about security contractor Blackwater’s operations in Pakistan, the reporter claims.
Jeremy Scahill — whose story alleging secret assassination and bombing campaigns inside Pakistan run by Xe Services, formerly Blackwater, appeared in The Nation on Monday — said he received a phone call from Adm. Mullen’s office the day before the story appeared, informing him that his story “didn’t match up with reality.”
Speaking to Laura Flanders’ GRITtv, Scahill described how he got little cooperation from the government in his investigation — until he received a phone call from Adm. Mullen’s office the day before the article was to be published.
“I didn’t call them,” Scahill said. “They called me. They wouldn’t tell me how they got my number. They wouldn’t tell me how they heard about the story. And they told me that my story didn’t match up with reality.”
Scahill said he interpreted the move as an attempt at intimidation.
“How would any journalist perceive a call from the top US military chain of command, when you haven’t called them [and] they won’t tell you how they heard about the story? I did take it as an act of intimidation on the part of Adm. Mullen’s office.”
The following video was posted to the Web by GRITtv, November 25, 2009. Scahill’s comments about Adm. Mullen start around the 8:00 mark.