"AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill, yesterday you talked about being in New Orleans after Katrina, seeing the Blackwater guards come in, being paid $350 [a day] by Blackwater, but Blackwater charging $950. What about other places in the United States, deploying here, like the border? |
JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, Blackwater really viewed New Orleans as an opportunity to begin a whole new division, and they started, after Hurricane Katrina, a domestic operations division. Blackwater representatives, a few months ago, met with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about doing disaster response in the event of an earthquake. The company has simultaneously applied for operating licenses in all of the coastal states of the United States. Their new training facility, they call it -- I call it a private military base -- is opening up now in Illinois. In fact, they just released yesterday their new training schedule, and there's grassroots resistance in Illinois happening to the opening of this private military base in Mount Carroll, Illinois, which is a few hours outside of Chicago. Blackwater is also struggling to open a new facility in San Diego -- near San Diego, California. Once again, local people are rising up and saying, "We don't want these men with heavy weapons coming into our community. We don't want the rattle of machinegun fire." So Blackwater really, I think, views the domestic feeding trough in the United States as a frontier to conquer.
Democracy Now! transcript