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Blackwater, the mercenary firm (now named Xe Services) that residents of East County's tiny Potrero thwarted, may be sold today (Dec. 17) according to the New York Times. The company wanted to put a large training center in Potrero in 2008; residents revolted and the company backed out, although it did succeed in putting a shooting range near the border. The company's mercenaries stirred up criminal charges, civil suits, and congressional investigations over accusations of murder and bribery in the Iraq war. The State Department threatened to stop awarding mercenary contracts to the company as long as it was headed by Erik Prince, an independently wealthy resident of Michigan. The buyers are said to be a Los Angeles financial advisor and New York-based private equity firm.

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that some residents of the Imperial County town of Ocotillo are fighting a proposed $100 million military and law enforcement training center that would be built by Brandon Webb and his San Diego-based company, Wind Zero, Inc. The Imperial County Board of Supervisors is taking up the proposal, which has the backing of local law enforcement.

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 17, 2010 @ 11:14 a.m.

Erik Prince and Blackwater are a disgrace to America.

The damage these yahoo mercs have brought to our nation will take decades to undo.....


Don Bauder Dec. 17, 2010 @ 12:58 p.m.

Agreed. It somehow seems fitting that Prince married into the Amway family. Best, Don Bauder


MsGrant Dec. 17, 2010 @ 3:53 p.m.

Surf, it will never be undone. There will always be another "Blackwater". If you have not noticed (and I am pretty sure you have), we are not moving in the direction of undoing, although one would hope so with all this exposure. The powers that be consistently turn the "blind eye".


Founder Dec. 17, 2010 @ 5:26 p.m.

Right ON

From now on, at least for our life times, America will be known as the place where the Ultra Wealthy live, surrounded by their unemployed "surf's."


Don Bauder Dec. 17, 2010 @ 5:44 p.m.

And those in Congress in the pockets of the ultra wealthy are paid to vote against benefits for the serfs. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 17, 2010 @ 5:42 p.m.

I am afraid we are stuck with mercenaries. If I were in the military, paid a fraction of what these hired guns are paid, I would be indignant. And I understand plenty of those in uniform are. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 21, 2010 @ 8:44 a.m.

If I were in the military, paid a fraction of what these hired guns are paid, I would be indignant. And I understand plenty of those in uniform are.

It probably KILLS their moral.

I am pretty sure these contracted deals are for the most part scams, ala Randy Cunningham (US Rep) and Dusty Foggo(#[email protected]) and Brent Wilkes.


MURPHYJUNK Dec. 18, 2010 @ 9:44 a.m.

not like "old days" when the military for hire guys were independent and no one to organize them ( make a profit)


Don Bauder Dec. 18, 2010 @ 12:36 p.m.

Have you ever gone through the Alamo and counted how many alleged heroes were Texans? A large percentage were mercenaries. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Dec. 19, 2010 @ 11:03 a.m.

Don, you better watch yourself when you make comments like that one. Whether or not you are right, that's sacred ground.


Don Bauder Dec. 19, 2010 @ 6:51 p.m.

Yes, the guides at the Alamo whisper. It is a sacred shrine. But if you read about how they got trapped there, you have to wonder if any of those heroes were sober. They had numerous chances to escape. As I recall, several of the heroes were Scottish mercenaries. I think Davy Crockett was one of the non-Texan hired guns. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Dec. 20, 2010 @ 2:21 p.m.


I think your definition of "old days" is a bit further back than mine :)


Don Bauder Dec. 20, 2010 @ 9:25 p.m.

Hey, my definition of the "old days" goes back further than almost everyone's. I sometimes say, "Nobody is older than I am," but I admit that's hyperbole. Some are. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK Dec. 21, 2010 @ 8:53 a.m.

better to look back than try and go back


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2010 @ 7:52 a.m.

You've noticed from my picture that, unlike some San Diego elected officials, I don't wear a wig. Don't color my gray hair, either. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 22, 2010 @ 9:10 a.m.

I remember when former CA Senator Alan Cranston ran for Presdient, he was as bald as a Q-ball, but he still dyed his hair-hilarious stuff.

And Jan Goldsmith- words cannot describe his wig, and the mindset he has to wear a wig that bad.


nan shartel Dec. 21, 2010 @ 2:23 a.m.

ditto Don...i go back almost as far...


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2010 @ 7:53 a.m.

You revealed that in one of your earliest posts, Nan, when you talked about how you had worked for a San Francisco retailer in the 1950s. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 22, 2010 @ 8:42 a.m.

NOTE: The Ocotillo council has approved the military and law enforcement center. Best, Don Bauder


dwbat Dec. 22, 2010 @ 8:55 p.m.

Heck, Don. I'm so old that I beta-tested dirt! Yes, it had a lot of bugs in it, too. ;-)


dwbat Dec. 22, 2010 @ 9:17 p.m.

The buyer was New York-based USTC Holdings, LLC, which is an investor consortium led by private equity firms Forte Capital Advisors and Manhattan Partners. Forte Capital is run by a friend and former business associate of Erik Prince. Doh!


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