"The Warrior Class": Blackwater videos in Harper's Magazine show brutality on display

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This month's Harper's Magazine includes a feature by Charles Glass about the growth of private security firms since 9/11, "The Warrior Class: A golden age for the freelance soldier."

The conclusion to the piece describes a series of videos shown to Glass by a source who had worked for the private-security company Blackwater (now Academi, formerly also Xe Services) in Iraq.

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Blackwater founder Erik Prince building American-led army of revolution-crushing mercenaries in UAE


Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater (now rebranded "Xe") is building a stealth, American-led mercenary army in the United Arab Emirates "with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom." The business plan, at least in part, appears to be to help autocratic regimes crush popular democratic uprisings—a response to "Arab Spring." — Read the rest

Egypt: 6 Al Jazeera reporters arrested by military, then released (updated)


About an hour ago, six reporters with Al Jazeera were arrested in Cairo. This follows a crackdown on the news network's operations by the Egyptian government. Al Jazeera correspondent Dan Nolan live-tweeted the group's arrest, above.

Update: Reports are now circulating that they've been released, following a request from the US State Department Foreign Affairs Ministry. — Read the rest

Katrina: roundup

* Last year, photographer Siege spent his life's savings on a trailer for his mom (above) and 13-year-old brother in Louisiana. Katrina destroyed their trailer home, and ate their belongings. Siege returned to Louisiana with his girlfriend to help them recover. — Read the rest