Blackwater personnel escorting Paul Bremer, an American civil administrator, upon his arrival in Ramadi, Iraq, in March 2004. [Reuters]
Under the world's most boring headline, the New York Times published a bizarre scoop by reporter James Risen this weekend. Did you read it?
If you didn't, read it now. It's an insane story about Blackwater (renamed "Xe Services" in 2009, and "Academi" in 2011) that contains bad guys, slightly less bad guys, hubris, sociopaths, slain innocents, a dedicated detective duo, and billions of your taxpayer dollars.
Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.
"Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater" [seriously, could they have cooked up a more dull headline for this insane report?/NYT/HT:Trevor Timm]
The UK will allow China’s Huawei to build what are described as ‘non-core’ elements of a British 5G network, but the Chinese company is not allowed to operate at what are defined by the government as sensitive sites.
Documents show that the antivirus company Avast has been selling its users’ internet browsing data, through a subsidiary named Jumpshot, to clients that include Pepsi, Google, and Microsoft, reports Motherboard. The report is the result of a joint investigation between the VICE News site and PC Mag.
Google’s recently announced new redesign of desktop search results would have made ads pretty much look exactly like search results. Google is now backtracking, listening to the criticism, and trying a different visual approach.
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