Monday, October 15, 2007

Prince Discusses Blackwater Personnel

Tonight Erik Prince explained to Charlie Rose some of the process that goes into recruiting and training Blackwater personnel. Contrary to popular mythology, not just any Joe off the street makes the cut. In fact, the Blackwater contract with the State Department, called the Worldwide Personal Protective Services Contract (WPPS), details in nearly a thousand pages of minute detail how Blackwater is to conduct itself, including how it recruits and trains. As Prince explains,
[This document covers in] very exhaustive detail of the kind of person we have to hire, the resume requirements, the military experience or law enforcement, the psychological checks, the criminal background checks, medical/dental screening, additional training, 160 plus hours in driving, firearms, use of force, cultural sensitivity, full range of training. We have to do an exhaustive training program for each of those persons, so we do the recruiting, vetting, equipping, training, deploying, all back to a State Department standard. It's observed by the State Department. They send their people to observe our training, go through the resumes of the instructors, and we deploy that person, and then they come under the operational control of the US government, in this case, of the State Department.

Why don't you ever hear the media talking about the WPPS? Or would researching their material be too much trouble...?

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