Schakowsky: Former Blackwater boss tried to ‘intimidate’ me

By Andrew Jones
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 16:41 EDT
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Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Screenshot via Youtube.
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Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) continued an ongoing feud with former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, accusing him of “attempted intimidation” towards her in a speech on the House floor Wednesday morning.

Schakowsky brought up a letter sent to her from Prince’s attorney about the congresswoman’s comments about his Blackwater video game for Xbox 360. She told British newspaper Independent in September that, “If Mr. Prince had not emigrated to the United Arab Emirates, which does not have an extradition agreement with the US, he too would now be facing prosecution.”

Prince’s attorney fired back in the letter sent to Schakowsky.

“Your statement to [The Independent], which imputes commission of a crime, is per se libelous,” the letter said. “Your malice cannot be questioned. You have a multi-year history of making derogatory comments about Mr. Prince and his former company, Blackwater. You have abused your Congressional power to request that Mr. Prince be investigated.”

The Illinois congresswoman was keen to respond.

“Now, Mr. Prince has adopted yet another heavy-handed tactic: attempted intimidation of a member of Congress,” she said. “I’m entering the letter in the Congressional record. It accuses me of defamatory statements, characterizes my efforts to urge investigations into Mr. Prince as a violation of Congressional power, and describes possible legal action if I persist.”

Schakowsky, who has introduced the Stop Outsourcing Security Act since 2007 to prevent contractor like Blackwater (now known as Xe) from winning military contracts, said she would continue her battle with the company ex-CEO.

“I want to make it clear to Mr. Prince that I will not stop working to end our reliance on private security contractors and to investigate any and all allegations of misconduct,” she said.

Schakowsky’s Stop Outsourcing Security Act hasn’t gotten much traction in Congress, failing to become law.

Despite Blackwater facing major criticism for a number of incidents, Prince has yet to be charged with a crime.

U.S. law does not permit the extradition of individuals who have not been charged with crimes — unless it’s extraordinary rendition of a terrorism suspect, a practice begun by President George W. Bush that’s continued unchecked under President Barack Obama.

Of course, Prince is not likely to ever be the target of a rendition mission: his former employees have reportedly helped the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency along those same lines, up to and including assassination missions.

WATCH: Video from C-SPAN, which was broadcast on November 30, 2011.

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
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