The groundbreaking bestselling expose of the shadowy mercenary army that perpetrated horrific war crimes in America's name.
On September 16, 2007, machine gun fire erupted in Baghdad's Nisour Square, leaving seventeen Iraqi civilians dead, among them women and children. The shooting spree, labeled "Baghdad's Bloody Sunday," was neither the work of Iraqi insurgents nor U.S. soldiers. The shooters were private forces, subcontractors working for the secretive mercenary company, Blackwater Worldwide, led by Erik Prince
Award-winning journalist Jeremy Scahill takes us from the bloodied streets of Iraq to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to the chambers of power in Washington, to reveal the frightening new face of the U.S. military machine, and what happens when you outsource war.
"A crackling expose" -- New York Times Book Review
"[Scahill] is a one-man truth squad" -- Bill Moyers
"[An] utterly gripping and explosive story" -- Naomi Klein, The Guardian
According to Scahill, a regular contributor to the Nation, Blackwater USA, the self-described private military contractor and security firm, owes its existence to the post-Cold War drawdown of U.S. armed forces, its prosperity to the post-9/11 overextension of those forces, and its notoriety to a growing reputation as a mercenary outfit. Scahill describes Blackwater's expansion, from an early emphasis on administrative and training functions to what amounts to a combat role as an internal security force in Iraq. He cites company representatives who say Blackwater's capacities can readily be expanded to supplying brigade-sized forces for humanitarian purposes, peacekeeping, and low-level conflict. While emphasizing the possibility of an "adventurous President" employing Blackwater's mercenaries covertly, Scahill underestimates the effect of publicity on the deniability he sees as central to such scenarios.