According to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Blackwater has created 31 shell companies in order to win military and CIA contracts without revealing its notorious name.
Chairman Carl Levin released a chart of the subsidiaries to the New York Times last week. According to the Times, at least three of the companies have been awarded secret contracts. One official said Blackwater, now called Xe Services, and its subsidiaries have been paid $600 million in classified government deals since 2001.
Levin, who’s conducting an investigation into government contracting, said he asked the Justice Department to look into whether Blackwater had misled federal agencies by using its subsidiaries.
As the Times points out, Army officials told a committee earlier this year that they didn’t know a Blackwater subsidiary, Paravant, was part of Blackwater when the Army awarded the company a contract to help train the Afghan Army.
But Xe, which everyone knows is nee Blackwater, has also been winning contracts. In June, the CIA acknowledged Blackwater won a $100 million contract for security services in Afghanistan. CIA director Leon Panetta defended the decision, saying Blackwater underbid its competitors by several million dollars and had “shaped up their act.”
There are even public contracts for Xe, like a $120 million deal to protect embassies for the State Department.
Lawmakers have called it reckless to continue employing Blackwater, after a string of abuses was revealed, including the 2007 murder of 27 Iraqi civilians by Blackwater guards.