John Ashcroft assumes charge of "ethics and professionalism" for Blackwater

In a surreal moment of unintentional crony-capitalist comedy, John Ashcroft has taken a job at the infamous mercenary/profiteer firm Blackwater (now called "Xe"), where he will be in charge of "ethics and professionalism."
Ashcroft's arrival at Xe is yet another clear signal it's not giving up the quest for lucrative government security contracts now that it's no longer owned by founder Erik Prince, even as it emphasizes the side of its business that trains law enforcement officers. In September, it won part of a $10 billion State Department contract to protect diplomats, starting with the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. Ashcroft, a U.S. senator before becoming attorney general in the Bush administration, is a very known quantity to the federal officials that Xe will pitch. Even if he's not lobbying for Blackwater, Ashcroft's addition on the board is meant to inspire confidence in government officials of its newfound rectitude.

To some, Ashcroft will be forever known as the face of Bush-era counterterrorism, the official who vigorously defended the Patriot Act's sweeping surveillance powers; told civil libertarians that their dissents "only aid terrorists"; and covered up the Spirit of Justice's boob. At the same time, when Ashcroft was critically ill in 2005, he resisted a White House entreaty to his hospital bed seeking to reauthorize warrantless surveillance in defiance of the acting attorney general.

Blackwater's New Ethics Chief: John Ashcroft


  1. Our Navy Seals make $50-60k a year. These private mercenaries make $100k to over $300k a year with nice perks and sometimes tax free. Seems like a great way to drive our highest trained soldiers out of the military and into the private sector. Of course, our politicians and public servants cash in when they leave for the private sector too!

    1. Navy SEALs make upwards of twice that much when you count in various types of special pay, allowances, and the combat zone tax exemption “loophole.” They also acquire special skills, have a lot of fun and get to see the world. The fact that they turn away applicants is a pretty good indicator their compensation is not too bad.

  2. I hopes he realizes he won’t be as immune to prosecution in his new post. He knowingly misused/broke the law, imprisoning for a long time a “potential witness” that they never, ever planned to call to testify. But you know what? The supreme court says that doesn’t matter. He was the AG and he’s untouchable for anything he did then.

    Opinion piece but the facts are cited:

  3. I pity the hardworking folks at The Onion. When real life is like this, is there any room left for satire?

  4. See, this is why people need to use the Submitterator. Faster handling of this story would have gotten it posted on April 1st as it should have been.

    …wait, it WHAT?

    Never mind… *sigh*

  5. They’d better remove any semi-nude statuary in their offices before he starts his new job.

  6. Ethics chief at Blackwater? Sounds like a cruise job, like Head Sommelier for Alcoholics Anonymous.

  7. So… Ashcroft is in charge of Xenon gas? Will this mean an increase in high-intensity flash bulb pricing?

  8. Hey, I’ve got an idea!
    Using Ashcroft’s “Patriot” Act, I will omnisciently watch all of the politicians, where they go, what they say on the phone, what (or “who”) they buy!

    Then I will use Xe omnipotently as a extralegal domestic enforcer!

    So if money doesn’t get my legislation passed, muscle will!

    Why I tell you, it’s so crazy, it just might work!

    Who needs democracy when you have the “Patriot” Act!

    (I think I will copyright my idea, I don’t think Mussolini did, did he?)

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