George Graham

America’s Ongoing Deal with the Devil

As far as I know, Barack Obama is a decent human being and his administration’s overriding goal is to do the best possible job for the country. But despite the president’s good intentions, the American government still makes deals with the Devil.

I suppose the reason they would give is that the exercise of power inevitably involves such deals (illustration from the story of Faust above, left).

History abounds in examples of this notion. But when I learn of each new example, my heart grows heavier and my hopes for humanity grow dimmer.

And today brings news of just such a deal.

It features Blackwater and its owner Erik Prince (photo above, right). You remember Blackwater, don’t you? The company that provided those merciless mercenaries for the Iraq War? The murderers, gun runners, rapists and thieves accused of one atrocity after another? The band of brigands so blackened by charges of wrongdoing that the company had to change its name and is now known as Xe?

Apparently, this wretched outfit is so essential to the nation’s security that it must be allowed to get away with a perpetual pattern of worldwide lawlessness.

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In the case that caught my eye this morning, Prince was accused of violating U.S. export control regulations by seeking contracts for Blackwater in the Sudan – despite sanctions against that African country. Here’s an excerpt from the McClatchy Newspapers report:

The effort to drum up new business in East Africa by Blackwater owner Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL who had close ties with top officials in the George W. Bush White House and the CIA, became a major element in a continuing four-year federal investigation into allegations of sanctions violations, illegal exports and bribery.

The Obama administration, however, has decided for now not to bring criminal charges against Blackwater, according to a U.S. official close to the case.

Instead, the U.S. government and the private military contractor are negotiating a multimillion-dollar fine to settle allegations that Blackwater violated U.S. export control regulations in Sudan, Iraq and elsewhere. Prince renamed the company Xe Services in an apparent attempt to shake off a reputation for recklessness, and this month put it up for sale.

Had the company been indicted, it could have been suspended from doing business with the U.S. government, and a conviction could have brought debarment from all government contracts, including providing guard services for the CIA and State Department in war zones. In recent weeks the Obama administration awarded the firm a $120 million State Department security contract, and about $100 million in new CIA work.

Doesn’t that make you cringe? It makes me cringe!

And what makes it truly diabolical is that Prince defends his actions on “Christian” grounds. He and his mercenary assassins have been quoted as planning to exterminate nonbelievers in Iraq. And he defends his money grubbing in the Sudan as an effort to help defend Christians from the Muslim Arab military dictatorship.

You see, Prince is a “Christian.” An evangelical Christian. He sees his mission as a modern crusade. And, according to the reports I’ve read, he not only gets away with the lifelong abuse of law and morality but also rakes in billions along the way.

It’s enough to make Jesus weep.

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About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for