The Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine isn’t mincing any words when it comes to security contractor Blackwater.
The company is “Rambo meets Wall Street,” David Corn told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann Thursday night.
In an interview about a recent allegation that the company put a prostitute on its payroll for “morale” purposes, Corn argued the company, which has renamed itself Xe Services, has effectively run rampant.
The company’s well-chronicled use of excessive force is “done in our name, to protect diplomats,” Corn said, but the government and taxpayers don’t have much control over it.
“The problem is these are operations that perhaps should be done by the government itself so that taxpayers who pay for it themselves can have full accountability of what’s being done in return for the dollars they spend,” Corn said.
A pair of whistleblowers accused Blackwater earlier this week of “defrauding the government for years with phony billing, including charging for a prostitute, alcohol and spa trips,” according to the Washington Post.
It’s not the first time the company has been accused of spending taxpayer money on prostitution. Last summer, former employees of the company said it had used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad.
Earlier this week, the Iraqi government gave 250 current and former Blackwater employees seven days to leave the country. But Corn said that “might have been a political ploy” by Iraqi authorities.
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Feb. 11, 2010.