Xe Services (Blackwater) Killers' Story Doesn't Add Up

Wherever Xe Services' mercenaries are deployed, dead civilians stack up.


Subjects of the empire tend to get pretty pissed off when this faceless American multinational kills off innocent people -- families out for a drive, folks walking down the street in the middle of the afternoon.

This can be bad for business. After the Nisour Square Massacre, XE Services -- then known as Blackwater Worldwide -- was briefly booted out of Iraq as a result of a massive public outcry (before the Iraqi government demonstrated its legendary sovereignty by buckling to U.S. demands that the company be reinstated).

Xe Services is in Afghanistan, and as one might expect civilian bodies have turned up over there as well. Last week, two of its mercenaries were charged by federal authorities for a shooting last May in Kabul which resulted in far fewer casualties than Nisour Square, but according to prosecutors was equally unjustified.

TPM reports that the killers -- who were fired after the incident for violating the company's alcohol policy -- say they're being "thrown under the bus by a company desperate to preserve its standing with the Afghan government, after another shooting case in Iraq led to a crackdown on its operations in that country." The company says they were out on a bender when the shooting occurred, and not on the official clock. The men say they were working at the time, and that the shooting was justified. 

I have no reason to doubt that they were working at the time and that Xe Services is covering up that fact (although, to be clear, I don't know all the details of this case). But, on its face, their claim of innocence seems to have a fatal flaw -- it doesn't pass the proverbial "smell test."

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