The founder and CEO of Blackwater Worldwide, Erik Prince, reveals in the new issue of “Vanity Fair” that he will no longer be involved in the company’s operations.
In an article dated Dec. 2, Mr. Prince says he is resigning from the private security contractor and plans to turn it over to its employees and a board.
Mr. Prince founded in Blackwater in 1997. The private security contractor, recently renamed Xe Services, had worked closely with CIA, the State Department and the US military.
It became one of the world’s most respected but also reviled defense contractors following a September 2007 incident in which Blackwater guards shot and killed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.
The shooting, which Blackwater claimed was in self defense, triggered international outrage and led to the State Department to drop end the company’s contracts to protect its diplomats in Iraq.
Over the past year the company has become a target of multiple federal investigations.
“I’m through”, says Mr. Prince in the magazine article. The 40 year-old heir to a Michigan auto-parts company, says he plans to become a high school teacher.
Mr. Prince claims in the interview that he has worked for the CIA spy since 2004, performing missions ranging from inserting personnel into troubled areas to assembling hit teams whose mission was to target and kill Al Qaeda members.
Mr. Prince says Blackwater, based in Moyock, N.C., is paying $2 million monthly for his legal bills.
“I put myself and the company at the CIA’s disposal for some very risky missions, but when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus,” he tells Vanity Fair.
Some of Mr. Prince’s legal woes stem from accusations that the CIA hired Blackwater for a plan to capture and kill terrorists.