Winner of the George Polk Book Award
Synopses & Reviews
It was the Mogadishu moment of the Iraq war. March 31, 2004: Four American mercenaries are ambushed in the Sunni hotbed of Fallujah, their jeeps set ablaze with the men inside. An angry mob drags their charred corpses through the streets, hanging them from a bridge over the Euphrates River. "Fallujah is the graveyard of the Americans!," the mob declares in front of the cameras. Within hours, the images spread across the world. The ensuing US slaughter in Fallujah would fuel the fierce Iraqi resistance that haunts US occupation forces to this day. Who were the mercenaries killed in Fallujah and who sent them there to die?
Meet Blackwater USA, the powerful private army that the U.S. government has quietly hired to operate in international war zones and on American soil. Founded by billionaire Erik Prince, the company has its own military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and twenty-thousand troops at the ready, Blackwater is the elite Praetorian Guard for the "global war on terror"-- yet most people have never heard of it. It was the moment the war turned: On March 31, 2004, four Americans were ambushed and burned near their jeeps by an angry mob in the Sunni stronghold of Falluja. Their charred corpses were hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River. The ensuing slaughter by U.S. troops would fuel the fierce Iraqi resistance that haunts occupation forces to this day. But these men were neither American military nor civilians. They were highly trained private soldiers sent to Iraq by a secretive mercenary company based in the wilderness of North Carolina. Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army is the unauthorized story of the epic rise of one of the most powerful and secretive forces to emerge from the U.S. military-industrial complex, hailed by the Bush administration as a revolution in military affairs, but considered by others as a dire threat to American democracy.
"Thanks to Jeremy Scahill and other reporters of conscience and courage, 'independent journalist' is not an oxymoron." Ray McGovern
"From Belgrade to Baghdad, from Nigeria to New Orleans, Jeremy Scahill leads a new generation of muckraking journalists. Scahill is exposing the dark, violent and secretive world of the neo-mercenaries Washington is increasingly deploying in its wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and at home in the US. His investigative skill, coupled with his graceful style make this book essential reading." Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!
Meet Blackwater USA, the world's most secretive and powerful mercenary firm. Based in the wilderness of North Carolina, it is the fastest-growing private army on the planet, with forces capable of carrying out regime change throughout the world. Blackwater protects the top U.S. officials in Iraq and yet the world knows almost nothing about the firm's quasi-military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and inside the United States.
On September 16, 2007, machine gun fire erupted in Baghdad's Nisour Square leaving seventeen Iraqi civilians dead, among them women and children. The shooting spree, labeled Baghdad's Bloody Sunday, was neither the work of Iraqi insurgents nor U.S. soldiers. The shooters were private forces working for the secretive mercenary company, Blackwater Worldwide.
This is the explosive story of a company that rose a decade ago from Moyock, North Carolina, to become one of the most powerful players in the War on Terror. In his gripping bestseller, award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill takes us from the bloodied streets of Iraq to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to the chambers of power in Washington, to expose Blackwater as the frightening new face of the U.S. war machine.
* Winner of the George Polk Book Award
* Alternet Best Book of the Year
* Barnes & Noble one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007
* Amazon one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2007
Meet Blackwater USA, the world’s most secretive and powerful mercenary firm. Based in the wilderness of North Carolina, it is the fastest-growing private army on the planet, with forces capable of carrying out regime change throughout the world. Blackwater protects the top U.S. officials in Iraq and yet the world knows almost nothing about the firm’s quasi-military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and inside the United States.
This is the dark story of the rise of a powerful mercenary army, ranging from the blood-soaked streets of Fallujah to rooftop firefights in Najaf to the hurricane-ravaged U.S. Gulf Coast to Washington D.C., where Blackwater executives are hailed as new heroes in the war on terror.
The unauthorized story of the epic rise of one of the most powerful and secretive forces to emerge from the U.S. military-industrial complex, hailed by the Bush administration as a revolution in military affairs, but considered by others as a dire threat to American democracy.
About the Author
Jeremy Scahill is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill has won numerous awards for his reporting, including the prestigious George Polk Award, which he won twice. While a correspondent for Democracy Now!, Scahill reported extensively from Iraq through both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Traveling around the hurricane zone in the wake of Katrina, Scahill exposed the presence of Blackwater forces in New Orleans and his reporting sparked a Congressional inquiry and an internal Department of Homeland Security investigation. He has appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS’s The NewsHour, Bill Moyers Journal and is a frequent guest on other radio and TV programs nationwide. Scahill also serves as an election correspondent for HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.