Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, March 08, 2019

Combat mercenaries for Trump

by digby

Eric Prince is one of the most malevolent figures in American life. His history as a mercenary who ran a murderous "contracting" firm in Iraq is well known. He was also with the Trump family on election night. They're that close.

The Intercept's Mehdi Hasen had the chance to interview him recently and asked him about the Russia investigation:

Toward the end of the interview, I raised the issue of “Russiagate” and the special counsel’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Putin government. Prince was grilled by the House Intelligence Committee over a secret meeting he had in the Seychelles with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian oligarch described as a “messenger” to Putin by Prince’s friends in the UAE; the meeting was on January 11, 2017, nine days before Trump’s inauguration. “It lasted one beer,” he told me flippantly, in reference to the Dmitriev meeting, which has been described by U.S., European, and Arab officials as “an apparent effort to establish a backchannel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump.”

But why didn’t Prince tell members of Congress about his other secret meeting, in Trump Tower in August 2016? Especially if it was about a sensitive foreign policy issue like Iran?

“I don’t believe I was asked that question,” he replied.

Not true. I reminded him that he had been asked by a member of the House Intelligence Committee whether he had any “formal communications or contact with the campaign.”

The Blackwater founder then switched tack. He “did” inform the committee about the meeting, Prince told me. Why wasn’t it in the transcript of the hearing then, I countered? “I don’t know if they got the transcript wrong,” he said. Later in the interview, in response to a question from the audience, he doubled down: “Not all the discussion that day was transcribed, and that’s a fact.”

Got that? First, he said he wasn’t asked; then he said he told them about it; then he claimed that they made a mistake with the transcript; then he claimed that it was said off the record.

My understanding — based on a conversation between one of my Al Jazeera English colleagues and a staffer connected to the Intelligence Committee, and also based on public comments made by Rep. Eric Swalwell about Prince being “not truthful” with Congress — is that the off-the-record sections of the transcript contain zero references to the Trump Tower meeting, which was later revealed by the New York Timesand (reluctantly) confirmed to me by Prince on “Head to Head.”

This is a major problem for this major ally of the president. It is, of course, a crime to lie under oath; it is also a crime to lie to a congressional committee, whether you are under oath or not. “Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell,” Vox notes, “was convicted of lying to a Senate committee during the Watergate scandal.”

So I couldn’t help but ask the defensive Prince: Did he not worry that Mueller might send him to prison for not telling the truth, as he did with Gen. Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and others?

“Nope,” he replied, giving me that dead-eyed stare once again, “not at all.”

This is far from over, however. Earlier this week, the House Judiciary Committee under its new Democratic chair, Rep. Jerry Nadler, sent out requests for documents to “81 agencies, individuals, and other entities tied to the president” — including Prince — as part of its sweeping investigation into alleged corruption and abuse of power by the president and his associates. In December 2018, Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee told the Daily Beast that the former Blackwater boss had been “discredited” and that they planned to recall him before their panel “even if we have to subpoena him.”

Will Prince have better answers for them than he had for me?

I doubt it.

He is undoubtedly very sure of a pardon. They all are.

The fact that Erik Prince is a trump insider should make everyone who thinks Trump is some kind of non-interventionist think again. Prince wants to privatize warfighting. Of course Trump likes that idea.