Guest Opinion by Don Gorton
I was doing some research on the controversy surrounding the private security firm Blackwater, and its CEO and founder Erik Prince. Blackwater employees were involved in a massacre of Iraqi civilians in Baghdad last month, and Erik Prince was forced to appear before a House Committee last week.
I was intrigued to learn that his father Edgar was a co-founder of the Family Research Council with Gary Bauer. Erik interned in the first Bush Administration, but grew disenchanted in part because he didn’t agree with “homosexual groups being invited in” to the White House, as he told the Grand Rapids, MI press. He campaigned for Pat Buchanan in 1992. A former Navy Seal, he came into a large inheritance when his Dad died in 1995, and he used the funds to start Blackwater. He is a major contributor to both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. He’s on the Board of “Christian Freedom International.” His sister married a Republican bigwig in Michigan and has been a major fundraiser for the second George Bush.
I’ve always wondered where James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Gary Bauer got the big bucks they needed to bankroll their massive media operations. I gather they benefit from the largesse of wealthy fundamentalists like the Prince family. Meanwhile, Blackwater has raked in around a billion dollars in US government contracts for its controversial security role in Iraq. The September 16th episode may prove to be Prince’s downfall, given the fallout.
I think it’s a scandal that the guy who founded the trigger-happy security firm that shoots up the streets in Baghdad is a major supporter of the religious right. Apparently Prince’s Bible omits the part where God commands Thou shalt not kill.